Those of us who have been around our industry for a while may remember “the future with four anys.” It was the shining future of TV: anywhere, anytime, over any access, to any device. Now that this future has become a reality and many of the technology opportunities our industry pursued over the past decade (and longer) have been fulfilled, what next?
The latest article by David Price and myself, posted on Videonet, look at the evolution that got us here, including a major disruptive event that not everyone was prepared for, and its impact on the all-important topic of video security. All the while hoping that the next decade isn’t one where disruption itself doesn’t become the new normal.
The report provides a thorough examination and analysis of the TV Service Delivery Platform (TV SDP) category, and of the SDP offerings available to pay-TV operators from 17 different suppliers. It provides a comprehensive resource for operators that are evaluating new TV service platforms, as well as for those seeking to understand the latest capabilities through which they can enhance their existing offerings or take them multiscreen.
Viaccess-Orca recently posted a thought piece on their company blog, about Apple and Microsoft shaking things up in the OTT video world. It ended with the question: “Who will dominate the living room?” Given the success of the Xbox and Xbox LIVE, versus Apple’s currently serviceable but functionally lackluster entry in the TV category, my immediate reaction was “Microsoft,” but on further reflection, I have to say “leaning toward Apple, but Android is a contender too.”
Now that Microsoft is leaving the TV infrastructure business (Mediaroom), they are on a more even footing with Apple. Both companies have content ecosystems that are tied with their devices and with the cloud. Both have vulnerabilities. While Apple has been absent in the game category, Microsoft has stumbled in two very strategic device categories (ceding the smartphone and tablet categories to others, not to mention its current challenges with Windows).
If revenue is your measure of success, Xbox has sold more units than Apple TV, but Apple has a clear advantage in content revenue. According to researcher NPD Group, Apple iTunes has 65% and 67% of online movie and TV content unit sales, respectively, compared with Microsoft Xbox Video at 10% and 14%.
Usability is a key to the living room and design will make all the difference. The old adage about Web design still counts: more than two clicks and you’ve failed. Usability has always been an Apple hallmark, but as Viaccess-Orca’s article pointed out, Microsoft offers speech and motion control (and what’s next for Siri?). Apple has Airplay but Microsoft has SmartGlass.
The dark horse in this race is Android because third party developers have more of a say on the user experience. Android offers more control over the conventions of interactivity, while Apple and Microsoft have hard-and-fast user interface rules. Whether device companies (Samsung comes to mind) can deliver on that premise remains an open question.
PS: I’m surprised that Viaccess-Orca resisted the temptation to offer their own opinions about winning the living room, being developers in that space themselves, with a five million user living laboratory through Orange (France Telecom).
MRG has released the report Multiscreen Video Security, written by Steven Hawley of tvstrategies. The report describes the Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies used to secure pay TV content across a wide range of connected CE devices, and includes a global forecast through 2016. Security products and solutions from eleven (11) leading video security vendors are detailed, including the types of distribution and devices that they support.
In addition to CA and DRM, the report explains the roles of watermarking, fingerprinting, key obfuscation, embedded root-of-trust, clone detection, tamper detection and link-layer security; and explains how these enabling technologies work.
At CES 2013, Verizon Communications showed off a variety of updates for its FiOS TV service, as well as a demonstration of the forthcoming Redbox Instant service from the Verizon-Coinstar joint venture. Read this article on Telecompetitor…
AT&T recently hosted its 2012 Consumer Industry Analyst Conference in Atlanta, the company’s first such event. Attendees received updates on the latest AT&T services and devices, including its U-verse TV IPTV service. AT&T also briefed us about several recently-announced “beyond TV” service initiatives – some of which are poised to launch during 2013 – as well as a peek into the near future. Read the entire article on Telecompetitor….
The results of two significant online video consumer studies were presented at the recent TelcoTV conference, and highlights from NBC Universal’s online video research from the 2012 London Olympics were also published. The numbers say that the demise of pay TV has been greatly over-exaggerated, and the potential for multiscreen services is clear, including for pay TV operators. Read the rest of this post at Telecompetitor…
Here is the second of two articles about IBC 2012. At IBC this year, I was on the lookout at the intersection of TV software – which has always been my focus – and multi-screen delivery. Two product categories enable multi-screen services: service delivery platforms and video gateways. Some suppliers have entries in both. This article looks at offerings from Viaccess-Orca, Cisco (with NDS), Nagra, and Motorola.
This is the first of two posts about the 2012 International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam. As an analyst, I’m just as interested in the macro-level trends as I am the individual vendors and products. So let’s look at a couple of those trends. If OTT and 3D television were the big news a couple of years ago, then this year it was multi-screen TV…
NBC Universal made a huge effort not only to cover and distribute more Olympic Games coverage than ever before, but also, by undertaking a major research effort into the results of its coverage. The actual results will give observers the best picture yet of multiscreen video consumers and what makes them tick…
Read the rest of this article on the Telecompetitor site! (original post was August 1)