Monday, July 25, 2016

ALTICAST GEARS UP FOR NEW MARKET OPPORTUNITIES; NAMES MIKE FALLON PRESIDENT OF ALTICAST AMERICAS

Alticast today announced the appointment of Mike Fallon as president of Alticast Americas as the company positions itself to capitalize on an increased number of technological and geographic growth opportunities in the global pay-TV industry.

Fallon, who previously headed Alticast’s North American customer engagement activities, will assume overall responsibility for Alticast’s business strategy and operational activities in the North and South American markets. John Carlucci, who had served as president and CTO of Alticast US, will devote all of his energies to his CTO role of identifying and productizing new technologies that can drive business results for pay-TV operators.

“Our success with Videotron, our APAC customers and other operators in North America and worldwide have generated numerous new business and technology opportunities,” said Mansoo Han, CEO of Alticast.  “The appointment of Mike Fallon will better enable us to leverage his strategic and leadership skills, while freeing John Carlucci to accelerate the technology solutions that the market is demanding.”

As head of Alticast’s North American professional services efforts, Fallon has helped to drive three consecutive years of increasing revenue growth.  During that time he has worked directly with Tier 1 North American pay-TV operators to determine their business objectives, and has built and leveraged an Alticast team that has expedited the creation of solutions that are meeting customers’ needs.

"Alticast’s best-in-class UX, our device software solutions and our next-generation cloud services platform already are positioned to drive value for our Americas customer base,” said Fallon. "We expect to build on that success as we bring the same CAS and DRM content protection technology that is widely deployed in APAC to the Americas market.” 


Prior to Alticast, Fallon spent eight years with Advanced Digital Broadcast and its Vidiom Systems acquisition.  As director of customer operations he led cross-functional teams that delivered an integrated software/hardware solution that was deployed nationally by Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. Earlier in his career, Fallon spent three years with ARRIS.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Dallas.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Look who’s a finalist for an award at IBC


We’ve talked in the past about how more valuable 4K content and the diversity of consumer viewing devices is causing operators to rethink existing content security paradigms, but what’s important to note is how we’ve put our money where our mouth is.

We’ve taken the lead in providing operators with new security solutions that have the flexibility to protect both 4K and existing HD and SD content across multiple devices, including set-top boxes, streaming sticks and boxes, tablets and smartphones.  When CJ Hellovision launched the world’s first deployment of UHD to more than 4.3 million homes in South Korea, they turned to Alticast for their security needs.

This week, we notched another highlight: Notification that we’ve earned a spot on the short list of finalists for a Best Content Protection Technology award at IBC. The experts who judged Cable & Satellite International’s CSI Awards singled out our AltiProtect UHD for recognition as one of the most outstanding solutions for helping the industry protect the integrity of content delivery.

We can’t say for sure what the judges liked about AltiProtect UHD, but we’d like to think we caught their eyes for our ability to use market-proven cryptographic technology to maximize content security and operational efficiency via three key elements:
  •  AltiProtect UHD CAS, which uses AES 128 or better encryption algorithms to ensure optimal content protection;
  •  AltiProtect UHD DRM, which supports the multi-device environments that are prevalent in today’s television ecosystem; and
  • AltiProtect Downloadable & Exchangeable Framework (AltiProtect D&E), which allows operators seamlessly to swap content protection systems to eliminate service calls and to accelerate the introduction of new devices.

If you’ll be at IBC, we’d be delighted to discuss AltiProtect UHD – or any of the other Alticast products or solutions that are driving value for the industry.  You can find us at Stand 1F.36 throughout the show and at the CSI Awards September 9 – where we’ll hopefully be on stage accepting the Best Content Protection Technology trophy.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

QoS the key to IPTV shift


No matter how many dropped calls, bad connections or dead zones, there’s no denying that mobile telephony has eroded use of landlines over the past several decades.  In a new white paper from Alticast, Susan Crouse posits that a similar shift is priming the pump for a parallel shift in the television landscape.

 “IPTV Migration Strategies, Part II: The Household Infrastructure” looks at the in-home obstacles – including Wi-Fi inconsistencies, shared bandwidth and other problems – that operators need to overcome, and identifies Quality of Service (QoS) as the “lynchpin” in determining operators’ readiness to shift to IPTV.

The paper notes that younger viewers already are accepting video breakup, buffering and Adaptive Bitrate quality degradation in the name of any-device, anytime convenience, just as mobile callers have learned to put up with the inconsistencies of cell service. But that doesn’t mean Cable operators will accept degraded video quality, so while bandwidth is getting better and streaming is improving, operators are figuring out how they will deliver high quality video over an IPTV network as they transform their video delivery platform.

Ultimately, IPTV services can offer greater viewing flexibility, tools that allow consumers greater control over the viewing environment and “big data”-driven search and discovery and other new applications. Solving QoS issues can unlock the door to product and service innovations that can enable significant customer acquisition, customer retention and new product offerings expanding revenue opportunities for cable operators.

To download the white paper, follow this link.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Discovery, Personalization and the TV User Experience"

Written by Susan Crouse

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Television of Tomorrow (TV0T) conference in San Francisco. This included a fun hour participating on a panel about "Discovery, Personalization and the TV User Experience.” The conference is a great collection of industry experts, providing interesting insights, knowledge and entertainment. TVoT seems to find all the newest upstarts both on the technology and talent side, particularly in the area of “digital media,” which TVoT and others define mostly as OTT originating from the Internet. They also are closely tracking the television viewing habits of the millennial and gen Z demographic, as they seem to be eschewing television services, satisfied with on-line and OTT options.


On the panel, I was joined by Campbell Foster from Adobe, Kimberly Hicks of Viacom, and Andre Swanston of Tru Optik. Gerard Kunzel was our moderator. We discussed a wide range of UI ideas including recommendation engine integration of social and other big data sources, simplification of the UI, personalization for each household member, the trend toward voice control, and much more. If you missed the event, TVoT will eventually have videos of all the sessions on their website.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Ready or not, 4K’s on its way


It hasn’t gotten to the point where you’re going to be shunned by the neighbors if you’re not watching 4K UHD TV, but there’s no question that the new, improved viewing technology is taking big steps toward becoming part of the home entertainment mainstream.

While obstacles to mass adoption exist – among them a lack of content ubiquity and perceptions of incompatibility between 4K UHD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) – there are plenty of indications that 4K is poised for take-off. Service providers in Canada and South Korea have been particularly ambitious in leveraging 4K as a product differentiator.

Charles Meubus, senior director of video technology at Videotron, talked recently about how deploying 4K set-top boxes “future proofs our installed base.” Said Meubus at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event: “These set-tops” – which leverage Alticast’s expertise in middleware and UI enablement – “provide an exceptional end-user experience.”

Our own Jae Park added that deployment of 4K STBs in the South Korean market has exceeded expectations, and has spurred competition among multiple service providers.  Importantly, Park said that the South Korean experience was showing that – despite industry concerns – “we find 4K and HDR to complement each other.”


In this report on the Big Communications Event panel, Light Reading’s Brian Santo convey the panelists’ opinion that “little is going to impede the growth of the 4K market for long.”