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Viewers See Quality Gap Between Live Streaming and Live Pay TV

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TV viewers are happy with streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) quality, but report problems with live delivery. In a survey, 59 percent of pay TV viewers reported having no problems with live content in the past month, while only 51 percent of online viewers said the same. Additionally, 10 percent of pay TV viewers said they'd had delivery issues 3 or more times, while 16 percent of online viewers said the same.

That data comes from a report on live streaming quality created by brand strategy and marketing company Ring Digital. The survey questioned 304 people in September and October, and has a margin of error of ±5.6 percent. The survey was sponsored by Touchstream.

Viewers see lower quality with live streams: 27 percent saying live stream quality of experience is worse than for pay TV, while 38 percent say it's the same. Stalls and buffers are the biggest headaches for 61 percent of streamers. The next biggest issue is playback failure, cited by 16 percent. When viewers encounter buffer delays, 51 percent say they stop watching after 2 or 3 attempts, while 28 percent stop after encountering just one problem.

Streaming TV viewers overwhelmingly prefer watching on a connected TV, the survey found, and least prefer watching on phones. 

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