The Anatomy of a Live OTT Service

The “Anatomy Of” series is a collection of visuals that give a behind the scenes look at the systems that power over-the-top television.

We’re seeing television’s most significant transformation in decades, with viewers watching more TV on the go and on any device. Streaming viewership has continued to rise and dMVPDs are building new systems and processes to deliver live TV over the internet.

There’s a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes to bring Hulu with Live TV to our viewers. This diagram explores the complex process of receiving content from our network partners and delivering it to our viewers’ devices across the country. Curious to learn more about the process? Be on the lookout for a series of posts detailing our live OTT system, coming in the next few days.


Encoding: converting a high-quality video signal into different resolutions & quality.

Repackaging: changing the format of segments for different delivery standards for different devices

Segment: a small portion of a video stream

Manifest: textual data describing what segments to fetch and in what order

EPG: electronic program guide

Gateway: standard way for devices to get information about programs & channels

VOD: video on demand (as opposed to live)

CDN: content delivery network, an efficient and robust way to send out large amounts of data to devices in people’s homes