Contrary to popular belief, pay TV remains remarkably robust across Europe and, according to analysts Futuresource Consulting, the reason why is the user experience.

In its latest ‘Living With Digital’ consumer research report, Futuresource states that across all major European territories – the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy –  the most important reason given by consumers themselves for continuing with a pay TV subscription was because services are easy to use and have a wide range of channels.

Even with a plethora of competing digital media adapters on offer from Roku and Apple TV to Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast, consumers still value the ability to simply plug in their living room TV, sit back and press play on a remote without having to fiddle with the HDMI port.

This extends to buying a new TV at retail. Consumers want to be able to buy a 4K UHD set and access their favored pay TV service without having to spend extra on additional set top boxes or modules, or to set all this up when they get home. Ideally, they want one screen, one remote, one beautiful UI.

You can call this laziness if you like. A more polite way of putting it would be frictionless. There’s nothing wrong with ease of access. It’s what we all want if we’re honest.

Logical then, to include pay TV-grade security inside the TV at retail itself. That’s what Irdeto has done and it’s claiming an industry first. It’s newly launched TV Cloaked CA solution will be implemented into Vestel’s 4K TVs to allow consumers to access premium pay TV services directly through their TVs.

“The first implementation of TV Cloaked CA in partnership with leading home and professional appliance manufacturer Vestel, is a groundbreaking move that we are very excited about,” explains Irdeto’s Steeve Huin, VP Strategic Partnerships.

“It’s exciting because it means pay TV access without the need for a set-top box or any separate CA module. It means consumers can subscribe to their pay TV services with no further investment in equipment on their part. As soon as they plug into the network operator at home they are ready to go.”

All of which is not to say that OTT services have stalled. On the contrary – services from Amazon and in particular Netflix are gaining momentum across Europe, the Living With Digital report finds. What is intriguing is that the importance of the smart TV as a primary device for accessing Netflix should not be discounted. The combination of introducing pay TV grade security to TVs, combined with the growth of services like Netflix means that TVs are becoming the ultimate device to consume broadcast and OTT content.

Content may be king but it’s the user experience that also counts.

Nb: Futuresource Consulting ‘Living With Digital’ synthesizes and analyzes the responses of how, where and what 2000 consumers are viewing and spending for each territory. More details here.