In Broadcast February 2012 - 28


InMEDIA IPTV: State of Play
By Craig Moehl IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) saw rapid growth in the last year and there is the anticipation of a frenetic year ahead…
IPTV was one of the hot topics of 2011 and its momentum has been building at a steady pace throughout the year. However this has been largely due to the blurring of the line between what is defined as IPTV and what is Internet TV; with more and more services being delivered through a hybrid model. IPTV is historically differentiated from Internet TV i.e. the digital delivery of TV services via the web, by the fact that IPTV services are distributed via set top boxes and consumer devices. They also traditionally have different Quality of Service (QOS) metrics. However content providers seem to have migrated to a multi-track approach throughout the year. Broadcasters such as the BBC and Sky have developed services which work over their traditional distribution methods digital terrestrial and satellite but also through third party networks like Virgin and on multiple devices as pure Internet TV solutions. The expansion of content portals such as LOVEFiLM which is rapidly evolving from a disc distribution business to a streaming content company has further blurred the lines between the two categories. Competition in this space has hotted up with NetFlix now launched in the UK after announcing deals with BBC’s commercial arm et al. What is interesting is that NetFlix don’t see LOVEFiLM as the competitor to beat and they are setting their ambitious sights on Sky’s enviable market share. New hardware platforms such as consoles (notably the revamped Xbox 360 platform), phones and tablets, Set-top boxes (STB) and Internet enabled TVs have also added to the wealth of distribution channels coming into the market; each offering the capability to content providers to offer their services via applications. So to an extent the IPTV and Internet TV are for all intents and purposes interchangeable, especially from a consumer’s points of view. The future will see not just live and on-demand video being supported by IPTV but soon music, pictures, information and notably ebooks will be jostling for position on IP connected widgets globally. Content is King, all hail IPContent! engine etc was expected. But controlling and viewing Tivo on a tablet acting as a remote was sublime, especially with the ability to search for your desired media and then “flick” it onto the TV. One of the significant drivers for the growth in 2012 will be the adoption of Internet enabled TV’s. Or so the manufacturers are truly hoping. Currently these account for just nine per cent of the market in the UK, but with the cost of these TV’s dropping in price to as little as £225 this figure is likely to grow significantly in 2012. Samsung seems to have most of the votes in the Smart TV development space, forcing LG, Sharp and Phillips to collaborate and produce a common SmartTVApp development platform that will hopefully be built on open standards such as HTML5, CEHTML and HbbTV. Competitors such as Sony are already looking to radically overhaul their platforms in the coming year. While this constant innovation means rapidly improving experiences for the consumer it has led to a highly fragmented market in terms of both platforms and experience which means that content providers have to develop apps that work across a large range of platforms. The overwhelming feeling from the Apps World conference in London at the end of November was that technology was not the issue. Rather the undefined business models, the lack of numbers of connected TV’s and the lack of interoperability were the key issues. This is clearly a nascent market moving at a frenetic pace. Logically, a standards-based browser such as Opera could solve a lot of these interop issues but sadly history shows that logic is usually trumped by politics and economics. Will this be the case in connected TV Smart Apps? 2012 will tell.
Craig Moehl

28

Smart Screens

Informa’s new Telecoms & Media report forecasts that global revenue from on-demand TV products will top US$6.9 billion for 2011, doubling to US$13.8 billion in 2016, despite the global economic downturn. Entertainment is after all, the best way to push on through a recession. For once, the figures may actually be true if you consider the pace at which new technology is surfacing. Three days of constant walking of the vast halls at IBC 2011 were not enough to cover the new technology in this space. The advances in STBs features is astounding. The brilliant new Tivo acting as a media centre, PVR, STB, and recommendation

Delivery Routes

Netflix on a device near you

One of the business model issues is that in the mainstream, consumers are not yet comfortable

with concluding a financial transaction on their TV. Buying a movie on Virgin Cable (in a trusted walled-garden with an established paywall workflow) is very different to ordering a pizza on a TVSmartApp. Google has a real challenge. Although YouTube is the most popular on-line video destination, it will struggle to compete with content-rich competitors Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Amazon and Hulu (Plus) to gain a foothold on the haloed TV screen along with daughter devices such as tablets. Despite new announcements with Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony, Google TV 2.0 is entering a level playing field and does not seem able to leverage its brand or technology in this sector – yet. Of course the user experience is not just fragmented due to the number of TV platforms – target devices are not just limited to the connected TV. Blu-ray players now come enabled with streaming capabilities through Blu-ray live. New consumer services such as UltraViolet will smooth the inevitable transition to IPContent only. With the buy-in of all the major Hollywood studios (with the exception of Disney, who are on their own mission), consumers can already buy physical media and then download and have access to the content in perpetuity. Astute retailers like Amazon are also buying into the platform. And just when you thought that the routes and products to market were all defined, out of left field come connected STB pioneers Roku, not only with a January 2012 UK launch but with genuine innovation. The Streaming Stick is a USB flash drive-sized device that connects to your HDMI port and turns your flat-panel into a Connected TV, which you control with your TV’s remote to give access to up to 400 streaming channels. One solution to this plethora of standards in the UK was the formation of YouView by a number of both content providers (BBC,
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast February 2012

In Broadcast - February 2012
Contents
Pictorvision Academy Award
The Ultimate Strategy to Win
Importance of Smooth Streaming
Sony Vegas Pro 11 GPU Speed Boost
Trilogy Communications Celebrates 25 years
CES 2012 Smarter Systems on Show
Vitec Videocom CEO Joop Janssen has the Answers
Space Saving 3D System
OpticamSWITCH Success at Swiss TV
In Broadcast February 2012 - 1
In Broadcast February 2012 - 2
In Broadcast February 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast February 2012 - Pictorvision Academy Award
In Broadcast February 2012 - 5
In Broadcast February 2012 - 6
In Broadcast February 2012 - 7
In Broadcast February 2012 - 8
In Broadcast February 2012 - 9
In Broadcast February 2012 - 10
In Broadcast February 2012 - 11
In Broadcast February 2012 - 12
In Broadcast February 2012 - 13
In Broadcast February 2012 - 14
In Broadcast February 2012 - 15
In Broadcast February 2012 - 16
In Broadcast February 2012 - 17
In Broadcast February 2012 - 18
In Broadcast February 2012 - 19
In Broadcast February 2012 - The Ultimate Strategy to Win
In Broadcast February 2012 - 21
In Broadcast February 2012 - 22
In Broadcast February 2012 - 23
In Broadcast February 2012 - 24
In Broadcast February 2012 - 25
In Broadcast February 2012 - 26
In Broadcast February 2012 - 27
In Broadcast February 2012 - 28
In Broadcast February 2012 - 29
In Broadcast February 2012 - 30
In Broadcast February 2012 - 31
In Broadcast February 2012 - 32
In Broadcast February 2012 - 33
In Broadcast February 2012 - Importance of Smooth Streaming
In Broadcast February 2012 - 35
In Broadcast February 2012 - 36
In Broadcast February 2012 - 37
In Broadcast February 2012 - 38
In Broadcast February 2012 - 39
In Broadcast February 2012 - Sony Vegas Pro 11 GPU Speed Boost
In Broadcast February 2012 - Trilogy Communications Celebrates 25 years
In Broadcast February 2012 - 42
In Broadcast February 2012 - 43
In Broadcast February 2012 - 44
In Broadcast February 2012 - 45
In Broadcast February 2012 - 46
In Broadcast February 2012 - 47
In Broadcast February 2012 - 48
In Broadcast February 2012 - CES 2012 Smarter Systems on Show
In Broadcast February 2012 - 50
In Broadcast February 2012 - 51
In Broadcast February 2012 - 52
In Broadcast February 2012 - 53
In Broadcast February 2012 - 54
In Broadcast February 2012 - Vitec Videocom CEO Joop Janssen has the Answers
In Broadcast February 2012 - Space Saving 3D System
In Broadcast February 2012 - 57
In Broadcast February 2012 - 58
In Broadcast February 2012 - 59
In Broadcast February 2012 - 60
In Broadcast February 2012 - 61
In Broadcast February 2012 - OpticamSWITCH Success at Swiss TV
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