Welcome 

Opinions

Ultra HD Outlook: Providing Operators With an End-to-End Delivery Chain

The fact that there is no single specification for HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology is a challenge for UHD. Five different groups - ITU, EBU/DVB, SMPTE, MPEG and Blu-ray - are involved in HDR standards work and The Ultra HD Alliance was formed to unify these efforts and aims to produce a single HDR specification and standard quality measurement for UHD TVs. Meanwhile, the Ultra HD Forum will define the ecosystem, and the two groups are talking to make sure they work closely together.

Read More

UHD standards bodies work together to harmonize High Dynamic Range

UHD is about resolution, colour range and frame rate, while dynamic range appears to have the greatest impact on picture quality of all. Some TV makers view HDR as a point of competitive differentiation and an extra beyond the main UHD standard. While ITU, EBU, DVB, SMPTE and MPEG are all looking at HDR, we still need an overarching standards body to crash heads together and converge on a common set of specifications. Step forward Ultra HD Alliance and Ultra HD Forum.

 

Read More

Keeping an Active Eye on Piracy: How to Stop the Redistribution of Live Sporting Events

The value of live sports content is being seriously threatened by pirates who are illegally rebroadcasting these events. Some pirate sites are so professional-looking that advertisers and consumers aren’t even aware that they’re illegal. The answer is to enhance  CAS and DRM with security tools like active monitoring and watermarking that are geared more towards stopping the redistribution of video content over the Internet.

Read More

What impact will the new changes to DRM have on OTT providers?

DRM plugins in web browsers are considered an easy entry point for hackers and the industry has embraced HTML5 browsers that can play DRM-protected content. DRM browser plugins will soon be a thing of the past. To avoid unhappy customers missing out on content they want, OTT businesses will have to employ a multi-DRM strategy.

Read More

Operators wake up to new last mile of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has become the new ‘last mile’ for broadband operators and its performance has a proven business impact. At CES 2015 operators said 30-60% of support calls are Wi-Fi related. A report commissioned by AirTies showed that two-thirds of cable and satellite  operators cited inconsistent Wi-Fi coverage as a major barrier to delivering video services in the home. Mesh technology will give them a ‘Premium Wi-Fi’ experience.

Read More

The Shift to Software in Video Processing

A list of reasons why software-defined video, where video processing software runs on general purpose processors, is the future of broadcast and platform operations, including:  Performance that surpasses task-specific equipment; The ability to deploy software across an optimal combination of dedicated and virtualized resources in both private and public data centers; Instant upgrades without waiting for new custom video chips; The ability to integrate live-to-VOD features such as nPVR and catch-up TV at any time.

Read More

UHD can learn from Wi-Fi: Thoughts from CES 2015

4K TV done right is a thing of beauty, but without comprehensive and universally agreed standards right across the UHD delivery chain, market acceptance will be slow. UHD can take some lessons from Wi-Fi, where The Wi-Fi Alliance is a great example of how standards can be agreed across the world in an area that is challenging technically and yet requires interoperability between different components to work effectively. 

Read More

The route to Pay TV success in low-value subscription markets

How can service providers deliver compelling Pay TV services in low-value subscription markets with low Internet penetration on low-cost STBs? The answer is to use broadcast networks and harness mobile phones as return paths, then offer value-add services like text-based sports and weather, network VOD and USB-based PVR, and monetise partly through EPG ad insertion and home page video ad insertion.

Read More

Predictions for 2015, including service providers as ID and payment gateways for web content

Kaltura’s predictions for 2015 including more acceptance of cross-screen audience measurement techniques, smaller media companies making better use of data,consistent business rules on everything from 4k televisions to wearables and service providers who act as identity and payment gateways for web content on TV (think Swisscom/iTunes and BT/Netflix).

Read More

Wi-Fi taken for granted too much at CES 2015

There will be an underlying assumption at CES that Wi-Fi will always work in the background to support new gadgets but, unlike wired networks, performance and reliability vary greatly according to building design and the number of users. Only with mesh technology can Wi-Fi be taken for granted and assumed to work out of the box.  

Read More

CES Wrap: Four OTT Trends for 2015

In 4k, Roku has announced a 4K television in partnership with TCL. Confirming that apps fragmentation persists, Samsung has announced its mobile OS, Tizen will be running its 2015 TVs, and LG's 2nd generation of webOS debuts. OTT distributors need to think about wearables, smart home, cars and even virtual reality as non-traditional platforms, and direct-to-consumer content owners need to think ‘end-to-end’.

Read More

C3, C7, C...Who Cares? - The Future of TV Advertising Will Be DAI

The C3 window during which on-demand views are added to original broadcast ratings for the purposes of advertising measurement is being extended to seven days. But the answer to monetising TV is not simply adding days to the viewing window, but introducing dynamic advertising insertion with its more targeted and timely ads that improve ROI and bottom lines.

 

Read More

Local TV – turning potential into success

Local TV has arrived in various UK markets, though Birmingham highlights how things can go wrong. The challenge will be delivering the right service and making people aware of them. Research shows half of Brits are keen on local programming but 15% have not heard of ‘local TV’. London Live, drawing on newspaper editorial resources, shows the potential for cross-platform advertising and promotion. 

Read More

Integrating Video Services - The Need for a Hybrid Solution

Ambitions to deploy new services, including improved user interfaces and programme guides, can be limited by legacy set-top box hardware. A virtual STB approach can enable mobile devices to connect to a server in the cloud to control the legacy STB, or use connected CE devices to extend the guide experience while leveraging the core video functions of the traditional STBs.

Read More

Human eye puts strain on Wi-Fi

At CES in January we should expect smartphones and tablets with higher resolutions. Recent studies show that even on 10-inch tablets people can see the quality improvement from 4K video and maybe even from 8K video. 4K on tablets, and not just televisions, will increase the pressure on Wi-Fi, which often struggles just with normal HD, using current technologies.

Read More

Advanced video services: The solution is in the cloud

It will take more than hype to convince platform operators that they should move their video operations to the cloud, although ever-changing consumer behaviour, device profiles, streaming formats and encoding standards mean a virtualised option is tempting. Operators need to ask whether cloud solutions can reliably support a robust and competitive Pay TV operation today and into the future.

Read More

Consumer Wi-Fi pain goes unrecognized

Wi-Fi performance in the home is a surprisingly neglected aspect of broadband service by analysts as well as operators and consumers are starting to accept a substandard level of service over Wi-Fi. The limits of using single access points, and the benefits of instead using mesh technology for home Wi-Fi, are now documented and will become more important as in-home mobile device usage grows.

Read More

Wireless mesh avoids need for wired backbone for ubiquitous home TV service

While Wi-Fi can now support full HD to portable devices around the home, many residences have signal black spots. Increasing the power of routers or central Access Points is not the solution if walls and ceilings separate them from end devices. Using a Wireless Mesh technology does deliver whole home coverage - and avoids the challenges associated with wired backbones that interconnect multiple Access Points.

Read More

Selling digital films has been a struggle for many years, but it just might have found its saviour in Sky and BT

In the UK Electronic Sell-Through (EST) purchasing has been dominated by younger age ranges. Those not using it cite price, difficulty with the process, concerns about storage and security. Now BT and Sky allow subscribers to browse and buy directly from their TV menu, with the digital film downloading to their STB. This is attracting an older age group, reflecting an industry assumption that TV platforms are more trusted by older age groups than recent entrants to the content game.

Read More

RDK: Maximizing the Benefits of Adoption

The RDK provides a foundation to increase the pace of new software development, testing, and deployment which may encourage the DevOps paradigm of close cooperation between development and operational departments. This article outlines the practical considerations for operators moving to RDK, ensuring maximum benefit from the inherent openness, flexibility and portability of RDK.

Read More

IP Video: A Whirlwind of Innovation

In the next few years, we will see all video delivered over all-IP networks. Every end user will ultimately be served with a unique stream, with the exception of a few popular live TV programmes and TV channels that remain on multicast. Dedicated video platforms will migrate to cloud-based services and the traditional STB will disappear. As a result, service providers will deliver a great user experience in a more cost-effective way. 

Read More

Successfully Navigating the European TV Landscape

The European TV market is brimming with opportunities for service providers offering OTT, VOD and multiscreen, but to operate across borders you need to contend with a myriad of operating, technical, cultural and commercial nuances, plus different legal restrictions, which makes a local partner valuable. Even new entrants will need linear as well as VOD and everyone will need to invest in original programming. 

Read More

Fixed broadband vendors still ignore the Wi-Fi dimension

Most broadband services now compromise three physical segments: fibre then copper and finally Wi-Fi in the home. There has long been some synchronization between the fibre and copper elements, as has happened with the progression of the VDSL standards, culminating in G.Fast. It makes sense now to bring Wi-Fi right into those discussions.

Read More

Even with 11ac, Wi-Fi is not able to meet consumer expectations

Wi-Fi has been struggling to keep up with consumer expectations for in-home performance, particularly among those watching HD on tablets and other devices. 802.11ac increases performance but decreases range so, if anything, it increases the variation in performance seen around a building, especially between floors. As a result, Wi-Fi performance will feature prominently at Broadband World Forum this week.

Read More

The problem of piracy

Game of Thrones suffered 1.6m illegal downloads in four weeks leading to August. DRM is the answer but many  vendors use invasive digital rights protection techniques that assume the system is always under attack and which cause restrictions and performance degradation to honest users. Streaming is performance intensive so we need solutions that do not impact the user experience.

Read More