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The evolution of Pay TV and the work of the Pay-TV Innovation Forum

In the face of unprecedented change, pay-TV companies have shown remarkable resilience but some big questions remain about how they continue to grow and the best strategies for success. NAGRA has committed resources to a research programme studying the major growth and innovation opportunities in the pay-TV industry, working in partnership with TV research consultancy, MTM. The Pay-TV Innovation Forum will report back throughout the year.

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Cablevision and Hulu: Breakthrough simplicity for online video on pay-TV STBs

The integration of Hulu into the Cablevision Optimum TV experience shows how both online services and Pay TV are continuing to sharpen the user experience to provide the most inviting environment available. Hulu and Cablevision are taking advantage of new developments in the virtualization of STB functionality to accelerate and simplify consumer access to vast libraries of online content in a big-screen environment.

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Mobile TV: Calling up the future

Momentum is building around mobile TV, helped by HBO and its mobile-optimised SVOD service and ESPN on Sling TV. There will be a boom of mobile operators entering the TV market, like Vodafone Spain. Consumers will be given free data when streaming video. Service providers are going into the short-form video business, like Verizon with go90. Facebook is likely to become a mobile video powerhouse and is the one to watch.

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Keep your viewers hooked – Four steps for a 'one more video' mindset

Asked what their number one goal is, one online video content publisher said, “We want audiences to watch one more video.” With so much competition, viewers have never had so many options for entertainment. Digital publishers have only seconds to make an impact strong enough to keep a viewer on their site, watching content, engaged and eager for more. They need a strategy to maximize the amount of time viewers spend with them.

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Sense & Viewability

Using viewability as a way to plan and buy online advertising is not straightforward. VAST does not allow reporting on viewability, whereas VPAID does, creating a significant problem for total campaign reporting. A recent study showed that only 3% of European ad inventory is available at an 80% + campaign viewability goal. Here are some tips on what you can do if you care about viewability.

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Life beyond today’s set-top box

The legacy Pay TV set top-box has defied predictions of its imminent death for almost a decade but, at last, the end is in sight as everything moves to IP and the cloud. At the same time, the writing is on the wall for HbbTV as the world looks for lighter OTT adapters and away from monolithic hybrid platforms designed with legacy STBs in mind. 

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The User Experience as a Differentiator for Video Services

One route to multiscreen service differentiation is content; the more interesting and increasingly important one is via the UX. In future we will have truly dynamic user experiences that adjust, in terms of features and design, in real-time for different target groups, different times and behaviours. It is a mistake to assume it is possible or even necessary to have one UX to fit all.

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Wi-Fi must bridge in-home broadband deficit

Wi-Fi is the new last mile for Internet access and service providers have found themselves in the invidious position of having to support the Wi-Fi domain while having virtually no control over its configuration, never mind performance. With headline broadband speeds rising to 1-2 Gbps, consumer expectations are raised further. Traditional in-home Wi-Fi systems, relying on one access point, will no longer be sufficient.

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The State of HDR in Broadcast and OTT

By Yoeri Geutskens

A lot has been written about HDR video lately, and from all of this perhaps only one thing becomes clear – that there appear to be various standards to choose from/ What’s going on in this area in terms of technologies and standards?

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The advertising developments, 2015-16, you need to know about

What mattered in 2015 and what to expect in 2016 in video advertising, including a major push to solve digital ad fraud, consolidated ‘mar-tech’ stacks, programmatic in linear TV, cracking the code for ROI measurement, social media video initiatives, viewability measurement as table-stakes, challengers to the BARB throne, the rise (and eventual fall?) of digital walled data gardens, more efforts to stitch together disparate platform data sets…

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Looking Back at RDK in 2015: Driving Speed and Innovation

The RDK has resulted in tangible improvements in Pay TV service innovation, development-operations efficiency and customer satisfaction. STB designs are available days after taking a new chip from silicon vendors and devices are in customer homes within months. There are code releases every 2-4 weeks rather than months or years. App developers have working prototypes available at your first meeting. Now RDK is developing similar software commonality and standardisation across modems and routers with RDK-B (Broadband).

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Video set to take over the world

We should expect some major innovations across the video industry during 2016 as OTT explodes and Pay TV providers are finally faced with a ‘change or die’ moment. The Internet is becoming video-centric and content must be geared for shorter attention spans. Increasing audience engagement with video within social media sites will drive change. Workarounds will emerge for ad-skipping.

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TV Apps aren’t getting used

Research has found that 70% of consumers have not downloaded any network or cable channel apps. To ensure their apps get the attention they deserve, media companies need to offer video-centric experiences, provide the shortest path to great content and overcome the challenge of managing multiple apps across different viewing platforms, among other things.

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The future of the set-top box

There are now a myriad of devices connected to the TV and by providing a universal remote control a brand can increase the chances that their remote is in our hands. The controller that is easiest to set-up and offers the most compatibility with other consumer devices is likely to be the customer favourite when it comes to accessing content found in different places.

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Converting Rugby World Cup Views to Digital Revenues with Server-Side Ad Insertion

The recent Rugby World Cup demonstrated how to monetise live digital simulcasts with advertising. Every match was streamed by UK broadcasters using server-side ad replacement and ad view-through rates of up to 98.2% were achieved, explained by personally engaging ads and reliable frame-accurate insertion. There was zero ad-blocking. 

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Moving the Ultra HD Industry Forward: A Tale of Two Consortia

The work of the UHD Alliance and the Ultra-HD Forum will establish the proper foundation to ensure the next-generation consumer entertainment experience will survive a mildly bumpy start and ultimately thrive. Both groups want to minimize fragmentation to deliver the immersive video and audio ‘wow’ factor that consumers will pay for.

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Subscriber insights will help SVOD providers avoid Netflix’s “inability to collect” hiccup

A company not meeting its quarterly earnings expectations is not a major story. Yet, when the world’s largest SVOD provider missed its subscriber sign up numbers by 270,000 for the U.S., causing an 8% dip in share price, the reason behind it required closer inspection.

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Programmatic Reserve: The change is coming

Programmatic Reserve gives publishers the opportunity to tap into programmatic budgets and discover new buyers, as well as massively increasing their sales efficiency, all under a reserved, controlled environment. Buyers in turn are able to purchase audience at scale from very premium environments. It should give premium publishers the confidence to jump in with both feet rather than just dipping their toes into the programmatic pool.

 

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Local TV’s Last Hurrah

As surely as metro newspapers have consolidated, then vanished over the past decade, local TV stations will lose financial footing as OTT transforms video-content delivery. The success stories will emerge from stations that reframe value propositions to leverage digital media, crowd-sourced content and metadata to better serve local viewers and advertisers.

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The evolution of the remote control

TV remote controls have been getting bigger and we have more of them to command a growing number of living room entertainment devices. To reduce complexity and improve the customer experience, new designs should enable you to control any device in the home, provide a UI that is optimized for individuals and include voice, motion and touch options. 

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Fixing Wi-Fi, the new weak link in broadband

Home Wi-Fi is the new ‘last mile’, acting as a broadband bottleneck. Using mesh technology and Client Steering, which gives the home network control over which Wi-Fi path each client device uses,  operators can guarantee QoS and still give consumers the freedom to configure the network as they want, in a spirit of partnership.

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Live and Catch-Up: The New Sweet Spot for Server-side Ad Stitching

Ad-blocking tools generally do not work effectively for video viewed via native iOS/Android applications or closed OTT streaming devices. And consistent video delivery is now possible despite device fragmentation. Client-side ad insertion can therefore do a great job for VOD advertising, where minor delays are acceptable, but they are not ready for primetime: live and catch-up TV. This is where server-side ad stitching is reinventing itself.

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Big data can boost Wi-Fi experience in the home

Highlighting the role of the Wi-Fi access layer in Big Data analysis, which goes way beyond identifying QoE issues like signal black spots to identify media usage at an individual level, and not only by device but by location. Thus advertisers could serve breakfast cereal ads to people, but only when they are in the kitchen.

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Software encoding is key to live Ultra HD success

Live ultra HD services are on the verge of commercial deployments after a series of trials and growing consensus over some of the most important extensions. One of the biggest challenges lies in live encoding and especially sports. This challenge is hard enough with basic Ultra HD but will get even worse when new and attractive schemes are added, such as higher display frame rates (HFR) and HDR.

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