With IP-based video technology maturing, there is a growing number of smaller companies able to provide subscribers in their typically exurban-to-rural areas with services and features that include larger packages of top-ranked channels (with more of those channels in HD), multi-room DVR, TV Everywhere-type services and hybrid features like Caller ID on TV.
Cable operators, telecom carriers, satellite providers and other service providers are racing to build the infrastructure necessary for delivering any program, on-demand or live, to any device at any time and over any access network. Being first to market with that ability could be a tremendous advantage.
While not every operator has rolled out a complete multi-screen TV Everywhere service offering, there is certainly sufficient activity worldwide for us to say that TV Everywhere is truly here. In fact, forward-thinking operators are already planning “what’s next” when it comes to TV Everywhere.
Nagra and Harmonic are working on the first commercial MPEG-DASH OTT service, Verimatrix unveiled VCAS for DASH, SeaWell introduced an MPEG-DASH-based system that provides ad insertion, Miranda launched the Nvision 920 and an upgraded Nvision 8140, RGB showed off its new TransAct Encoder/Transcoder, and GreenPeak launched the new GP710.
Comcast and its NBCUniversal subsidiary are taking a stake in zeebox, the maker of a so-called "second screen" app that people can fiddle with on mobile devices while they watch TV. The U.S. cable giant isn't saying how much it's putting into the company.
Mediacom Communications plans to deploy a whole-home/multi-screen service across its footprint throughout 2013. The MSO will base the service initially on four-tuner TiVo DVRs, and it will later give its subscribers the option of using a six-tuner version from Pace when that box becomes available.
With gobs of video downloaded and consumed around the home on various devices, Wi-Fi networks have needed to up their game. Celeno has been working on high-performance chips to enable the distribution of video streams, including HD, to set-top boxes, tablets, wireless TVs, DVRs, laptops and other devices.
Sky News Arabia has deployed Envivio’s Muse software-based encoders for its real-time Web streaming service. The broadcaster, based in Abu Dhabi, uses the Envivio video processing solution to compress and stream its live video content to its website for OTT viewing on PCs and mobile devices by people around the world.
Barnes & Noble will launch a video service this fall that lets users buy and watch movies and TV shows on their mobile devices and TVs. Users of Nook Video will be able to shop an extensive collection of movies and shows from major studios.
On its own, HBO might cost U.S. consumers in the range of $10 to $15 a month, but TV distributors usually bundle the offering together with other packages that include 100 channels or more, which can raise one's monthly bill well above $100.
The new multi-screen service – which currently works with Apple iOS devices, including the new iPhone 5 – is called Shaw Go. Once Shaw cable and Shaw Direct satellite subscribers authenticate themselves, they can access HBO Canada and Movie Central programming on Internet-connected devices.
TV Everywhere and Web portal vendor Synacor has joined forces with Comcast Spotlight, which is the advertising division for Comcast Cable, to provide a single point of contact for local online ads. Comcast Spotlight can now sell its advertising inventory on the Web portals that Synacor manages for cable operators.
Mint version 2.5 includes extended abstraction for services leveraging a variety of authentication protocols, including OAuth, SAML, LDAP, and an integrated Presence engine to support companion devices and interactive and blended real-time experiences.
Working in conjunction with Arris, BendBroadband has launched a free iPad application that allows its subscribers to browse channel listings while watching live TV and to control their DVR settings and recordings on the go. The Alpha app is available through iTunes.
With the fall TV season underway, Comcast issued a press release touting its TV Everywhere capabilities, which now includes a Web portal just for the fall shows, but what was notable in the release was that so far this year, Comcast said its Xfinity TV customers have already watched and streamed approximately 1.5 billion TV Everywhere shows across on-demand, online and apps.
Kaltura has introduced software development kits (SDKs) and reference applications for Google TV, integration with the Xbox gaming console, and native reference applications for iOS and Android devices. Kaltura will also work with service providers.
Integration and testing vendor Tata Elxsi announced that it has licensed the Comcast Reference Design Kit in order to speed up the development of next-generation TV products. Previously announced licensees for the RDK include itaas, Entropic, Broadcom, Motorola and S3 Group.
Time Warner Cable subscribers already had access to Viacom programming via its TWC TV app, which serves up live show to computers, iOS and Android devices within a home, but now they have access to an expanded lineup of full-length episodes from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1.
It has taken a village of vendors, but Liberty Global’s Horizon TV platform, which enables home networking, TV Everywhere services, personal recommendations and Internet applications to TVs, is now available to subscribers in the Netherlands.
The service is being jointly offered by Spanish infrastructure telecom operator Abertis Telecom and Nagra. The multi-screen hosting service is already in use by Spanish broadcasters for their HbbTV-based services and will be enhanced to become what is expected to be the world’s first commercial deployment of MPEG-DASH.
With new support for DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), along with previous support for Smooth Streaming, HLS and HDS, network operators are now able to use SeaWell’s Spectrum software to convert all major streaming formats dynamically and deliver IP video content to any connected device.
HBO Europe is using RGB’s Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG) and TransAct Packager for transcoding and packaging video for its HBO Go live streaming service. The transcoded and packaged video content is delivered via Microsoft Smooth Streaming.
Synacor’s Cloud ID enables consumers to authenticate, authorize and/or register, at any time or location, on any device. The new Social Login capability gives Synacor customers the flexibility to offer consumers access to online pay-TV content simultaneous with their access to social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or Google.
Cogeco Cable has expanded its relationship with Rovi by signing on to use Rovi Video, which provides metadata collections for TV shows and movies across set-top boxes, mobile devices and on the Internet. Using Rovi Video, Cogeco customers can access English and French profiles of Canadian and international celebrities.
Avail-TVN said it will provide a range of content, including studio, broadcast and cable content, providing access to live and on-demand content across multiple devices. Avail-TVN will also arrange for digital licensing and enabling technologies.