Ten years after the transition from MPEG-2 to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, history is about to repeat itself with the arrival of HEVC, also known as H.265, the successor of H.264/MPEG AVC. The standard was approved in January, and just a few months later a live end-toend HEVC content delivery chain was demonstrated for the French Tennis Open event in early June 2013, providing tangible proof that HEVC is on a path toward commercial deployment.
For service providers, the challenges of multi-screen are no less daunting for being well known. It is a marvelously complex process to deliver video to an ever-expanding universe of devices running multiple major operating systems all with different screen sizes and supporting unique combinations of streaming formats and digital rights management (DRM) schemes.
AfterBuzz TV has contracted with Akamai Technologies to distribute its schedule of aftershows, a series of webcasts and podcasts of commentary that immediately follow the broadcast of television shows and televised events. Akamai is delivering the aftershows to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as to personal computers.
Belgacom has selected Edgeware’s Distributed Video Delivery Network (D-VDN) system for multiscreen delivery of both live and on-demand video. Belgacom previously deployed Edgeware IPTV technology to enable a networked PVR (nPVR) service. Belgacom installed Edgeware’s D-VDN alongside its nPVR system this past summer.
Yahoo is auditioning for a bigger role on iPhones and iPads with the release of its first mobile application tailored for watching video on touch-control screens. The app, called Yahoo Screen, is set up to make the experience of sifting through video on smartphones and tablet computers more like channel surfing on a television.
Arris announced its own version of a Sling Box, built in conjunction with Sling Media. The Arris MS4000 can offer up to 4 simultaneous HD channels, of both live and on-demand content to mobile devices. It will be commercially available starting in the first quarter of 2014.
Microsoft has signed a multi-year contract to use Jinni’s discovery software on its Xbox. Jinni’s Entertainment Genome uses knowledge of every show and movie in the Xbox Video catalog to help the Xbox recommendations system connect Xbox users to content they might favor watching.
Ericsson wrapped up its acquisition of Microsoft’s Mediaroom business and TV solution. The operation will be integrated into the Ericsson group under the business unit support solutions, and will be called Ericsson Mediaroom as of today. The operation will continue to be managed from Silicon Valley.
Deutsche Telekom is in field trials of cloud-based technology to update the user interfaces and capabilities of set-tops and other CPE. Using cloud technology from ActiveVideo, the company is delivering video-on-demand stores, localized EPGs, and portals for TV apps.
Intel is testing its new set-top box designed for an over the top (OTT) service, with about 1,000 of its employees who work at its Oregon campus, in anticipation of a product launch later this year. The chip maker, which is testing a user interface and is trying to line up content, is about to widen its test with more employees.
Invitel, a fixed line telecommunications and broadband Internet services provider (ISP) in Hungary, has selected and deployed RGB’s Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG) to help the company transition its line-up of HD programming from MPEG-2 to the more bandwidth-efficient MPEG-4/H.264 compression format.
The cloud is being sold as the greatest innovation since the food industry started building zip-lock technology into the packages of everything from hot dogs to shredded cheese, but there have been concerns: can cloud computing scale to cover hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and aren’t you just courting trouble by automatically building in too much delay? But the world is safe for the cloud, according to ActiveVideo.
KT is preparing to launch an HTML5-based IPTV service accessible from both set-top boxes and user devices such as PC’s, smartphones, and tablets. The service will be called Olleh TV Smart. Notice of the announcement came from Alticast, which provides the middleware for KT’s IPTV system.
Conax has devised a hosted IP solution, specifically for the Latin America pay-TV market, that is based on its own Contego Unite system and includes middleware from partner Cubiware. The solution would be installed by system integrator Bold MSS. Customers will be able to use the system to offer services that include OTT VOD and multiscreen delivery.
Ikanos said it has achieved aggregate throughput of 300Mbps over a standard, single-pair copper cable at a distance of about 650 feet, using the company’s current VDSL chipsets. The 300Mbps aggregate throughput has been demonstrated on Ikanos’ Vx185 family of communication processors for CPE with Fusiv architecture.
NeuLion said it is providing the delivery systems for Sensio Technologies’ recently introduced service delivering 3-D content over-the-top to 3-D TVs. Sensio Tech is basing its 3DGO Service on NeuLion's TV Everywhere Platform. 3DGO streams 3D content on demand, using a non-subscription, pay-as-you-go business model.
The Malaysian company has activated a global CDN service that can deliver both live and on-demand content and can also perform ad insertion on behalf of clients, including over the top (OTT), web TV, and mobile service providers. Technology partners include SeaWell Networks, Elemental Technologies, Minerva, Verimatrix, and VuBiquity.
The updated app will enable Dish customers to view scores of games from earlier in the day and from the previous day. The app will continue to feature live game scores, upcoming start times and on-screen updates displaying the most exciting live games using Thuuz technology.
Netflix has cut a deal to offer new TV shows from DreamWorks Animation starting in 2014 in what the company described as its biggest transaction ever for original first-run content. Though financial details were not disclosed, Netflix Inc. said the agreement includes more than 300 hours of new TV episodes in a multi-year deal.
Jinni announced that its recommendation engine can now track the preferences of two viewers, and generate recommendations that both viewers are likely to want to view together. Called “Watch Together,” Jinni said the feature is part of its latest discovery engine API.
As we roll into the third day of the NCTA Cable Show 2013, we ponder on what we have learned about X2 and the race to put stuff in the cloud, about high school football in Florida, about CCAP technology, and about life in general. Actually, not so much about life in general.
In a 3.0 demo, CableLabs was bonding 128 channels to crank out in excess of 4 Gbps in a total of 768 MHz. In the 3.1 demo, which included OFDM modulation and LDPC error correction, CableLabs was pushing data at a clip in excess of 6 Gbps, but in only 650 MHz, the better to show the spectral efficiency inherent in the move to OFDM.
Day 1 Featured technology disruptors who weren't so much disruptive as impatient -- if not actually impertinent, and some razzle dazzle from NCTA president Micheal Powell. Oh, and a surprise performance by Hammer (formerly MC Hammer). Can't touch that.
Executives from Vox Media, Jawbone, Twitter, and Roku were all quite enthusiastic about being complements to the cable industry, but they all wished that cable would innovate a little faster. Tom Rutledge meanwhile essentially admonished programmers to give it up already.
We're in Washington D.C., for the 2013 NCTA Cable Show. Eight of 10 buildings surrounding the convention center are being constructed, reconstructed, or deconstructed -- even the Washington monument is wreathed in scaffolding. There's a metaphor in there somewhere...