Thursday, August 29, 2013

Alticast: The Future of TV, Simplified

Alticast, a worldwide leader in open standards based software for video service delivery, announced today that they will present technology that promises to simplify the television experience for viewers and streamline the implementation process for operators, at IBC in Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 13-17.

In Hall 1, F36, Alticast will showcase various IP Migration Paths, Innovative HTML5 UI/UX designs, Cloud PVR, Companion Applications and several set-top boxes based on the Reference Development Kit (RDK) software developed by Comcast.

As one of the first licensees for the RDK, Alticast is an expert integrator working with major operators worldwide to leverage RDK as part of the transition to IP. Alticast will demonstrate its total DVB-RDK set-top box solution for operators, featuring Broadcom’s leading BCM7428 solution for high-performance, high-definition IP set-top box clients with integrated MoCA 2.0 and Alticast’s WindmillTM UI. The Broadcom BCM7428 represents one of many RDK-ready set-top box SoCs that can support Alticast’s DVB-RDK stack and Windmill UI, enabling operators to quickly develop complete gateway and client RDK solutions.

Alticast complements the RDK with Alticast components including support for critical DVB standards as well as media control, application lifecycle management and device administration.

Next Generation In User Interfaces. 
Partnering with MOVEA, Alticast provides a Gesture User Interface for your TV experience. Utilizing Alticast’s years of UI expertise with Movea's Smartmotion server and remote provides control literally at your fingertips. This is something you need to come experience.

Also being demonstrated is the next generation of Windmill.  This advanced navigation software extends a consumers choices providing access to content and applications from several sources.

Windmill Commercial Launch
Also being showcased is Korean MSO T-Broad’s newly deployed User Experience. This state of the art set-top includes Alticast’s full architecture from AltiPlatform to AltiView.  AltiPlatform provides easy access to standards-based TV functionality and innovative web and mobile services with the security and reliability that customers require.

Cloud PVR

As operators continue to shift toward All-IP, Network DVR or “Cloud DVR” becomes increasingly important.  Alticast will demonstrate Cloud DVR, which will increase subscriber satisfaction, speed up STB integration time and minimize CAPEX.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The 4K evolution has started.+

This modest launch of 4K in South Korea has triggered speculation about whether it will be successful, or struggle like 3D. The difference between 3D and 4K is content. 3D content is limited to films produced in 3D. 4K can be sourced by any content originally shot on film, which is a lot of content. It is then dependent on a business model to convert and broadcast. It seemed HDTV would never catch on, but even though the dream of a single specification for HDTV never happened, HDTV is a reality albeit under multiple forms. It will be interesting to see if content owners enthusiastically embrace this format and get their conversion farms rolling to supply content to the hungry TV manufacturers that want it to succeed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm In RDK

Have you seen Alticast's own John Carlucci's recent feature in the RDK Newsletter?  If not, make sure you check it out-

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Legal Guts of RSDVR

RSDVR is going through a renaissance. The business and technical success relies on legal interpretation of copyright. In case you missed it, a few months back CopyHype carried an in depth legal opinion on RSDVR by Terry Hart. The opinion explored some of the issues around Cablevision and Aereo. Particularly it explored the legal definition of public performance which is an important part of the overall legal argument. For those looking to place bets in the RSDVR space, it is worth a read.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Previewing Technology for Cable Lab Summer Conference: Application Lifecycle Management

John Carlucci previews  technology Alticast will be showing at Cable Labs Summer Conference in Keystone this week.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Korea Telecom Launches Web Based IPTV Service

Korean IPTV operator KT has announced the launch of “Olleh TV Smart”, an HTML5 based next-generation IPTV service accessible from both set-top boxes and user devices such as PC’s, smartphones, and tablets.

KT Media Hub CEO, Ju-Sung Kim, said during a press conference held in Seoul, “Implementing HTML5 in Olleh TV, allows us to emerge from the dependency on a specific platform and establish a foothold in an open ecosystem for all subscribers, content providers and broadcasters. KT will continue to adopt diverse services with expandability and interactivity, enabling the convergence of traditional broadcast and Internet service.”

The use of HTML5 provides an open User Experience (UX) that can be deployed across multiple devices. HTML5 also provides a much easier way to update and improve the User Experience. As part of KT’s new UX they have introduced an exciting application that converges live stream baseball games with statistics about the players. While subscribers watch the game, they can check the players’ profiles, previous scores, and the status of other games in real time. They can also instantly re-play key moments of the game. KT is planning to expand this mash-up service to golf, soccer and other sports, as well as travel and cooking.

KT will launch additional features including HTML5-based interactive education, cloud games, ‘Cloud DVD’ and private broadcasting services in coming months. Users will be able to view purchased content on TV, smartphones and other devices and upload pictures taken on their smartphones. Finally, users can make their own favorite channels according to their interests and play premium games.

Alticast has been partnering with KT since 2008 with continual development and enhancement of Olleh TV. Alticast has been a key partner providing technological resources and experience to successfully manage and deliver a high performing, multi-functional project. Alticast will continue to play a key role in delivering KT’s industry-leading technology and applications.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interactive Television

Do we want to interact with our TVs? What does this mean? The TVOT conference had many incarnations of what might be considered interactive TV, some were not on the TV at all, but interactive 'sister' applications that run on a tablet or cell phone. Some are showing up right on the TV, which is starting to accelerate for two reasons, first, the increased sales of Smart TVs that have built-in functionality to support browsers, OTT offerings, applications and more; second, HTML5 is becoming the platform for next generation set-top boxes, which means the TV screen will have much of the functionality of a browser. How will this start to show up in your home?

Many people see sports and reality TV applications as primary opportunities; election coverage had examples last year that allowed viewers to react to debates and social applications, like twitter, are starting to 'pop-up.' Most people don't have the capability to interact with some of these features, but predictions suggest next year will provide the tipping-point for applications on TVs.  Imagine a transparent 'browser application' on-top of your viewing content. A point-of-sale coupon could pop-up and you could 'capture' it to your phone. Voting for reality TV shows could be real-time. The concepts are endless. The question is, how will it be received. We have struggled with the idea that the TV is often a one to many environment, and that interaction is more suited to a computer. This will add some complications, for example, what happens when the voting comes up and the people on the couch don't agree.

The second angle will be whether content creators and operators will invest in these interactive applications. There will be trail blazers, but many will need to have a financial incentive. The TV environment could see a lot of change in the next few years and the public will 'vote' with their behaviors, which will help determine which concepts are successful.

And what else is up? Finally all the talk of the TV controlling your household is coming to fruition, this will also succeed or fail by the actions of users. It is an interesting time for operators and content owners.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cable and Phone Plans, So Many Possibilities

"Cord-cutting", the popular term for turning off cable TV and home phone services, looks like it may be boomeranging in European markets. This article is exposing how the pipe into the home is pretty important and companies in Europe are approaching customers with creative package bundles to ensure customers keep cable and home phone services and instead cut costs by reducing their mobile bills. An interesting idea is at the bottom of the article where Orange is making remote controls that look and act a lot more like mobile phones.

In the US we can only dream of the billing amounts in this article, where our mobile phone and cable bills are much higher, but the article shows how complicated the marketing efforts are to entice the users to keep the household budget with one provider. I believe recent quarterly reports from some operators show that while they have lost some subscribers in the US to cord-cutting, they remain profitable with creative packaging.