Eluvio has created a distribution network that ingests content and then decomposes it into its most basic elements like binary data, metadata and programming code, then reconstitutes these elements into video streams at the edge. This solution can be used by production companies, like when delivering master files, but as a disruptive technology its greatest impact could be when distributing video direct to consumers, where it has the potential, on paper, to supersede CDNs. For ABR distribution the new architecture effectively builds streams at the edge, on demand and just-in-time, from the constituent parts – avoiding the need for network file storage and duplication.
The Smart Media Device is a new category of gateway with set-top box functions plus a voice assistant (possibly more than one) that uses a built-in far-field microphone and speaker. With this platform situated in popular rooms, service providers can impress consumers with ‘skills’ like telling them their Wi-Fi password. There are new value-add opportunities – like enabling ‘Ageing in place’ services. The SMD can harness the television set for visual feedback. When it comes to delivering smart home services, this device could overtake computers and tablets in terms of ease of use.
Ruwido has been showcasing three key design strategies for the modern remote control: user identification as a gateway to greater personalisation; smartphone pairing as a way to integrate with smart home applications and non-operator entertainment like Spotify; and more use of the remote when the television is off. The user identification relies on what the vendor calls ‘biometric haptic’ technology and can tell an operator who is in front of the TV within seconds.
Entries to the Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020 will be judged by senior executives from DAZN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Viacom International Media Networks, RTL, YouView, Tele2, Bonnier Broadcasting, ITV, BT, Vodafone Group, Sky, OMD EMEA and Publitalia ’80, plus experienced industry consultants who work with tier-one media owners.
The DVB arrived at IBC with renewed vigour and a big plan – to provide the standards-based, multi-vendor interoperability that could make streaming more like television. In a world-first demonstration, it combined DVB-I, multicast ABR and low-latency streaming – what it believes are the building blocks for the post-broadcast age. If you want a simple analogy for what DVB is offering, it is a DVB-T type initiative, except the Internet replaces terrestrial (and satellite and cable) as the delivery mechanism.
The Videonet Connected TV Awards have returned and are 100% focused on the television marketplace, showcasing stand-out innovation and leadership. The awards are organised by Videonet magazine and the judging panel features 14 top executives who are currently working for a service provider, broadcaster or media agency, alongside highly respected consultants.
Buyer sentiment, taken as an average, is far more positive towards television than it was even two years ago in Canada. There is an acknowledgement that TV works, including for short-term objectives, though a need to prove it more effectively. Media owner innovation is happening, but slowly. There are concerns locally about price inflation and price transparency.
The widely deployed 1.5 version of the HbbTV specification supports full replacement of broadcast ads with IP-delivered ads, but cannot guarantee frame accuracy. Workarounds have been suggested like inserting a broadcaster ident at each end of the ad break to give televisions and STBs more switching time. The 2.0.1 HbbTV spec introduces better synchronisation and pre-buffering, and work is ongoing to accelerate switching times. Device support, consistency and minimum standards remain an issue. The roadmap to HbbTV addressable is established, but there are notable hurdles to overcome.
Encouraged by the ITU, leading television advocacy and standards organisations have conducted a series of investigations into the future of television, with the most recent meeting taking place in Geneva in June. Attendees were focused on what TV represents in an era of personalised, app-delivered media. Discussions included how to keep the device landscape open and interoperable and how to level the playing field for broadcasters and on-demand services. There were renewed calls to complete the European digital single market - and then pursue a world digital single market.
UK public service broadcasters dominate creation of UK-made original content and the BBC and Channel 4 are commissioning more brand-new shows than other European PSBs, but that has not stopped global streaming services from taking a larger slice of UK viewing time. The global streamers have spread their local production thinly across markets until now, but the UK is taking a disproportionate amount of their non-U.S. OTT commissioning focus.