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Technical challenges for cross-platform VR development and deployment

VR has unique technical challenges for multi-platform distribution and apps. You will need a video player that can run the right video formats, in stereoscopic 360° with consistent 60fps as a minimum, and enough performance on mobile devices to provide at least 4K video, with good content protection. Although VR devices have started to align on what a VR controller is, input fragmentation is still an issue so you will have to support game console, free space and fixed space controllers as well as gaze cursor interactions.

The 4K question: Has the TV industry run out of ideas?

Only 57% of UK households have HD and only 79 of Netflix’s thousands of titles are offered in 4K quality. It could be a while before we see Ultra HD as standard but at some point all TV will be 4K and there will be no need to trade-off between high prices and high quality. And the smart advice to consumers buying televisions is to wait a couple of years.

OTT is growing in so many different ways globally

Each region of the globe is experiencing differences in OTT roll-out and consumption habits, illustrating the diverse opportunities and solutions needed. In the U.S., Hulu’s on-demand service sees 75% of viewing driven by recommendations. Argentinian football clubs have found that while linear TV deals have diminished, live streaming has become lucrative. Malaysia’s Media Prima integrates direct and programmatic trading to capitalise on a digital video advertising boom.

The connected screen revolution may be coming to an end

Mediatel’s Connected Screens tracker looks beyond marketing spend, sales or social media buzz and focuses on what people actually have in the home and are using at the moment. Looking across recent waves of UK data, it is tempting to conclude that after a decade of rapid change, the revolution may be coming to an end. If the media industry is in the back of the car, excitedly asking ‘are we there yet?’, the answer may well be ‘yes’.

The value of a science and engineering approach in product development

When testing services, most operators today have to perform one experiment at a time, and if the experiment yields unsatisfactory results they go back to the drawing board and set up a new experiment, based on new service designs. They are often hamstrung by a UI that has a fixed layout, and static apps incapable of speedy, cost-effective adaptation. This model should be replaced with multiple highly automated and simultaneous tests, so you can act upon the successes and failures much faster.

Making the quality of online video matter

As ABR streaming becomes more prevalent, the need arises for standardization and better understanding of video quality of OTT services. The ITU launched a standardization procedure to meet this need and the final model was approved as ITU-T Recommendation P.1203 in December 2016. The ABR quality estimation model means perceived video streaming quality can be calculated using objective parameters. Here are more details about what P.1203 achieves and why we need it.

Three ways Artificial Intelligence will advance media businesses

IBB Consulting has identified three key areas where media companies can integrate AI and machine learning. Chatbots are not just good for customer care; they could be based on show characters to increase engagement with content. AI will not write TV scripts but is smart enough to gather data for financial reports and event summaries. AI could edit content – creating cuts to make different actors more prevalent. Then there is personalization including recommendations.

Demographics are dead, so what now for programme producers?

Making programmes for niches will lead to greater success than trying to conquer the masses with generic TV. It results in higher viewer satisfaction and audience retention but this does require programmers to look beyond demographics and segment their viewers more effectively. Broadcasters need to understand the differences between ‘Knowledge Hunters’, ‘Device Hoppers’ and ‘Fans of the Familiar’ and what kind of TV those different groups want.

Why DVR is moving to the cloud

Cloud DVR means viewers can record more shows, buy extra storage when needed and download recorded programmes to a smartphone to watch on-the-go, all improving the user experience. ‘Unique copy’ legal requirements and CDN costs present challenges to this model but can be offset by the use of large data centres and their economies of scale, and by the introduction of addressable advertising, which increases revenues from the on-demand streams.

Eight things to consider when choosing a sync-and-retarget advertising partner

Sync-and-retarget capabilities mean you know what someone is watching on television and, in real-time, you can show ads to them on digital channels via demand side platforms. This is incredibly useful for advertisers, whether for branding or to drive more efficient direct response. Here are eight questions you should ask of technology and service partners before deciding who can help you with this concept.

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