In 2021, there is no shortage of ways to consume television programming. From streaming devices to on-demand services to traditional TV, if you can imagine it, you can probably get it. Many believe that traditional TV, or linear TV, is outdated and no longer relevant. Contrary to popular belief, linear TV is still relevant in today’s entertainment environment and with the right transformations will stick around for years to come.


Together, let’s look at linear TV, its benefits, and where it is headed in the future.



What is the Difference Between OTT, CTV, and Linear TV?

Linear TV refers to the traditional way that viewers watch television. Programs are scheduled and play at a specific time. The only way to watch it is by tuning in at the right time or recording it via DVR. It’s called linear because the programs are “lined up.”


Over the top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) are examples of non-linear TV, meaning that the content is not lined up and can be viewed on-demand (VOD). OTT refers to the delivery mechanism for internet streaming, like Netflix or Hulu. CTV is the device that allows you to stream to your television, like a smart TV or gaming console.


Non-linear television is becoming increasingly popular as it allows viewers to watch what they want, when they want, without a costly cable or satellite subscription. Several entertainment conglomerates are even jumping on the bandwagon with their own OTT services, like Disney+ and NBC’s Peacock. The popularity has led to a phenomenon called “cord-cutting,” which is the trend of consumers canceling cable and becoming dedicated VOD viewers.



The Benefits of Linear TV

Despite an influx of “cord-cutters,” there are still ways that linear TV is more beneficial to viewers. Live events are one such example. Live game shows, parades, and sporting events are all best viewed on traditional, linear TV. Some streaming services have attempted to make a way for themselves in the live sports industry, but technical limitations, like the high latency of streaming, make it difficult for them to compete.


Linear TV is also still the first choice for global news. With their long-standing expertise in the global news arena, linear TV maintains the best infrastructure and resources for the best broadcast.



The Challenges of Linear TV

With the benefits come the challenges. Unlike non-linear TV, linear TV can’t create a custom advertising experience. Brands are more enticed by the opportunity to engage with their consumers through non-linear advertising and are moving away from traditional cable TV commercials.


Not to mention, on-demand capabilities are very attractive to viewers in this busy age of overscheduling. They want to be able to watch an entire season of a television show in one sitting and with non-linear TV, they can.



The Future of Linear TV

Linear TV companies see the changing landscape of television and are finding ways to change along with it. Companies like Vodafone and Viacom18 have taken their linear TV to the next level with Cloud TV. Cloud TV gives linear TV companies streaming and OTT services. With this ability they can obtain access to audience targeting and personalization, putting them on par with other non-linear providers.




Tulix Systems is Changing the Game

As you can see, though many are trying leave linear TV in past, it is still an incredibly useful entertainment offering with its sights on the future of TV. Tulix Systems is making headway in assisting linear TV operators with live streaming. With TulixCDN, linear TV operators can stream live and globally to viewers on all devices. Operators around the world are choosing Tulix because of our superior streaming network, expertise, and consultative approach in finding the best solution to meet their needs.


Interested in learning more about Tulix Systems and our linear TV services? Contact our team today!