Welcome 

Opinions

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.

Read More

Ad replacements provide big boost for broadcasters

The concept of linear TV will never go away. Live sports and news events will ensure its future, but it is going to look different as it moves online. The most forward-thinking broadcasters are deploying targeted ad replacement solutions. The money-generating possibilities of server-side ad replacement have increased dramatically in the last couple of years, partly thanks to a seamless viewer experience.

Read More

Home Wi-Fi performance on the radar at IBC 2015

30% of support calls to operators are Wi-Fi related, with the figure higher where broadband speeds are fastest. The Pay TV industry is waking up to the reality that Wi-Fi performance issues are perhaps the major impediment to customer satisfaction. Ahead of IBC, Wi-Fi performance at home has become a key strategic enabler for Pay TV business models.

Read More

Cashing in on Big Screen VOD with DAI

Time-shifting and binge-watching are causing economic havoc for broadcasters on the living room TV, with stale ads losing them money. But they need to embrace ‘Big-Screen VOD’ and monetize it. The solution, alongside effective on-demand audience measurement, is Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). DAI also means platforms get more content, leading to happier subscribers.

Read More

IoT comes of age through integration and local wireless connectivity

IoT will only start to have a major impact on consumers’ homes and lives when islands of IoT are integrated. This requires connectivity and over time just two wireless protocols will matter, closely coupled together: Bluetooth Low Energy for low power IoT devices like sensors and thermostats, and Wi-Fi for services such as IPTV and OTT video that require high network capacity.

Read More

The importance of simplifying Cloud DVR for the benefit of the service provider

With the pressing need to differentiate their offerings, service providers are turning to the cloud to improve the video delivery experience. Cloud DVR enables them to provide all content anywhere, anytime, on any device. While the flexibility of cDVR is compelling, jumping to the cloud is not easy. The right infrastructure however, can make it simpler.

Read More

Client steering combines with Mesh to guarantee Wi-Fi delivery throughout the home

‘Sticky clients’ is a troublesome Wi-Fi phenomenon where a mobile device remains tied to the first network, frequency band and access point it joins, even as it moves around the house and network conditions change. A device that moves to the other end of the building can then hog airtime capacity at the expense of all other receive devices. With Client Steering technology the network chooses the best path for a device and updates the choice every two seconds.

Read More

The future of the TV UX is not more pixels

The TV User Experience (UX) is always the subject of discussions in the industry. Is it dead? Will it change? Are consumers addicted to the simplicity of the past? TV manufacturers have over the past 15 years pushed ever larger, higher resolution screens to consumers. Surely, brilliant new screens will allow for a fantastic user experience and will drive more interactive consumers? Michael Lantz, CEO of the video application provider Accedo argues that future development will go somewhere else.

Read More

Systematic improvements to reach the right video QoE

Many video operators spend a lot of time, effort and resources on detecting, pinpointing and restoring event oriented problems, such as broken equipment or faulty cables. These processes focus on detecting incidents and then bringing the system back to its normal state of operation. What is sometimes overlooked, or at least handled with lower priority, is if the normal state is what it should be.

Read More

Closing the loop in change management – the customer experience perspective

Side-effects of service environment changes are often a major contributing factor in negative customer viewing experiences. Operators can manage these changes efficiently and effectively – and close the loop in the change management process – with a customer experience centric approach and a data-driven way of working.

Read More

AirTies Mesh can extend full broadband experience to all corners of home

Wi-Fi has become a big problem for many broadband and Pay TV operators. More powerful routers with extra antennae or WiFi repeaters are only partial solutions to the performance now demanded in consumer homes. Instead, Wireless Mesh is the answer and it is easy for consumers to self-install, with the location of the access points not too critical because of the redundancy inherent in the mesh network. 

Read More

The challenges Spotify faces in the race to win eyeballs and influence people

Spotify, like Snapchat, wants to broaden its offering and monetize the service with mobile advertising. It faces a few challenges if it is to succeed, starting with video ad tech because doing this right requires considerable development resources. The fragmentation of the Android ecosystem creates a device support issue and they will need good video discovery and sophisticated analytics.

Read More

Wi-Fi Mesh can extend super broadband and 4K TV across the home

Consumers want Ethernet-standard video networking from their home Wi-Fi and the answer is mesh technology, exploiting multiple access points to provide resilience and extra capacity while eliminating dead zones. Mesh uses 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi signals to expand capacity, with the latter effectively providing backhaul between the access points.

 

Read More

Time for Pay TV industry to get serious about Wi-Fi

The arrival of UHD will increase pressure for consistent QoS over Wi-Fi in the home and solutions that can prioritize the TV services over general traffic. Set-top boxes that also act as Wi-Fi Access Points, transmitting as well as receiving, will boost performance and help make the STB the pivotal home device.

Read More

Singtel Wireless Mesh trial shows Wi-Fi at home becomes the real last mile

AirTies Mesh is transforming Wi-Fi into an access medium that is just as reliable as the external fixed broadband network. This is a major turning point for the industry. A seminal trial of this technology is currently being conducted by Singapore’s leading Telco Singtel, ahead of a planned commercial launch in July 2015.

Read More

Building Relationships, Not Bundles: Why The Cord-Cutters Are Saving The Cable Industry

Cord-cutting may be the best thing that has ever happened to the cable industry. Customers are not going anywhere, just demanding different digital services, so operators may have to say goodbye to the content bundle but new opportunities will revolve around connected cars and homes. There is a chance to become the ecosystem of IoT but that will need a different type of digital commerce platform.

Read More

Like the set-top box, home wireless platforms are here to stay

Now fixed broadband access is like a commodity, Wi-Fi is becoming the focal point of innovation for digital home connectivity but this would be inhibited if Wi-Fi functions were embedded in other devices, rather than using dedicated equipment. Like set-top boxes, routers and Access Points will defy rumours of their demise.

Read More

Addressable TV: from Good to Greater

Technically it is within our capacity to combine set-top box and TV viewing data with additional digital data to create a single-view of individual viewers and true audience addressability for advertising. But for now, true addressable TV remains just out of reach in Europe. Here are the reasons why, and what needs to change to accelerate the incremental growth expected for addressable advertising this year in Europe.

Read More

CableLabs looking for Wi-Fi to deliver gigabit speeds throughout the entire home

It was clear from a recent CableLabs meeting that there is a greatly increased concern over Wi-Fi performance and reliability issues in the home. The priority being given to  DOCSIS 3.1 deployment, the fact that for consumers Internet equals Wi-Fi, and the fact that consumers want to connect multiscreen devices over Wi-Fi rather than having to hook up to wired networks, is driving the interest in how you enable gigabit Wi-Fi in the home.

Read More

Whose Wi-Fi is it anyway?

As the technology exists to support great Wi-Fi QoE under the most testing conditions, operators should provide total home support for Wi-Fi if consumers are willing to pay for equipment that is right for their house - or the cost could be bundled into the service package.

Read More

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