Years after Netflix, smartphones and tablets all hit the scene, even those service providers capable of multi-screen delivery continue to struggle with the multi-screen phenomenon. That’s because even as service providers respond to viewers’ increasing appetite for video on screens other than the TV, consumers’ multi-screen behavior continues to evolve.
The once heavily tech-driven business model of small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable and broadband service providers is morphing into a kaleidoscope of moving, interchangeable parts. Smaller operators whose subscriber counts number in the four- and five-figure range are fiddling with and tweaking their business models like never before.
The multi-screen transformation has taken the video world by storm. Customers now expect the same video services they receive on their set-top box on their video-capable devices. Adoption of multi-screen services is occurring across the spectrum, running the gamut of service providers, content providers and enterprises.
Global mobile data traffic is expected to increase 13-fold by 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month, according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast. The company says the growth in mobile data usage will be driven by the increase in mobile Internet connection, including M2M modules.
The Walt Disney Co. broke the pay-TV mold when it announced it is selling the rights to show its recent theatrical releases to Netflix beginning in 2016. The decision represented a major endorsement of Netflix's Internet video service, which is wresting the Disney rights away from the Starz cable channel.
Technology development is accelerating, and consumer and enterprise demand for bandwidth-hungry content and applications continues to expand. The need for global standardization has become an industry prerequisite, driven by the needs of service providers to deliver robust new services quickly and cost-effectively.
AT&T has renamed its U-verse Live TV app, now calling it Mobile TV. The carrier announced the change that will go along with improved video quality on LTE, direct billing to subscriber accounts and an even $9.99 charge for the service across the board.
John Malone’s Liberty Global is in the process of cooking up a deal to buy Virgin Media. Virgin Media’s price tag could be in the range of $24 billion, while its market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion.
Authenticated subscribers of Time Warner Cable and DirecTV can now catch all of the Los Angeles Lakers games on their iOS devices, home computers, and Android tablets and phones. Time Warner Cable has made its TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes video content available for Internet and mobile viewing.
Mexican telephony and broadband provider Axtel just fired up an IPTV. Ericsson said it is providing managed services, consulting and systems integration for the service. The initial launch is in Mexico's three largest cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
The big thing in TV land at CES, in terms of both hype and actual size, was 4K TVs, aka ultra-high-def, or Ultra HDTVs. The great thing about shows like CES is that they show you exciting possible futures. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that 4K TVs are pretty darn nifty.
There is a movement toward usage-based pricing that borrows from an electrical utility model of the early 1900s. Today’s megabits are yesterday’s kilowatts, and like power companies before them, service providers appreciate the symbiotic relationship that device makers can deliver.
There are so many TV choices available that it’s virtually impossible for consumers to discover what’s really there. The challenge is proactively presenting subscribers with personalized content recommendations, instead of forcing them to work hard to find something they like to watch.
The FCC has a proceeding underway to update its cable TV technical regulations. For the most part, there is agreement that the version of SCTE 40 adopted last year contains the appropriate technical specifications for digital cable systems. But the FCC also asked whether it should regulate the picture quality that is delivered to viewers.
Greenlee introduced its new 910FS Optical Fusion Splicer and 910CL Optical Fiber Cleaver; Actiontec launched ScreenBeam, a wireless display kit that lets users mirror their PC, tablet and smartphone displays on an HDTV; and Celeno and Atmel are developing integrated solutions for high-performance Wi-Fi Direct remote controls.