Monday, September 05, 2011

Connected TV boosted by IFA

Short overview of recent (IFA) developments around 'Next-generation TV', which encompasses:

  • Connected TV, hybrid TV;
  • Multiscreen, second screen, companion screen;
  • TV everywhere, place shifting;
  • Social TV, companion screen, interactivity;
  • Personalisation, targeted ads, t-commerce.
(A comprehensive primer is available here.)

The easy conclusions:
  • OTT TV is finding serious adoption.
  • Second scree is rising.
  • Standardisation may help.
  • The software and hardware market is highly fragmented. Product development at break-neck speed.
  • True interactivity (beyond VOD and pausing live TV) must be complicated to develop (and sell).
  • Content deals are difficult to negotiate.
Trend #1: Operators launching OTT TV
  • Vectra, the #2 MSO in Poland, uses the Xbox 360.
  • Grande Communications, a Texas-based MSO, uses the TiVo Premiere.
  • ONO (Spain) will launch its TiVo-based solution in October.
  • TCT in Wyoming is using the Entone solution.
  • Waoo!, a fiber-based provider in Denmark, uses RGB.
  • Mobistar in Belgium added VOD.
  • Numericable (France) launched an in-home developed service.
  • Vodafone Iceland is launching with Espial, Amino and SecureMedia.
  • DirecTV (DSB) allows anyone out of reach of its satellites (i.e. non-subscribers) to watch NFL games over broadband
Trend #2: Second screen
  • ANT launched Galio Move, which streams content from the STB over WiFi to any other screen in the home.
  • KPN launched something just like it: iTV Online.
Trend #3: Interactivity
  • Miso is providing DirecTV with a Social TV solution that synchronises iPhone content with what is being watched on TV, as long as both connect to the same WiFi network.
  • MTV has a similar service, the WatchWith app, also for iPhone (and iPad, computer). Technology from Rogue Paper.
  • Ensequence and Zeitera partnered to synchronise TV content with a companion screen, for all sorts of applications: social networking, voting, behind-the-scenes content, coupon services, product placement, content discovery.
Trend #4: Standardisation
  • 3-D active shutter technology: an initiative from Panasonic and XpanD, followed by a long list of manufacturers. Toshiba keeps making noise about glasses-free 3-D.
  • The CEA wants to move to the 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • HD is rapidly becoming the de facto 'standard', but 4K and now 8K are on the horizon (2020?).
  • HbbTV is finding some adoption lately, mainly from German, French and Spanish broadcasters and manufacturers.
  • Philips, LG, Loewe and Sharp partnered to standardise app development for multi-platform Smart TV apps.
Trend #5: Connected devices up, broadcast down
Trend #6: Product development:
Trend #7: Content deals
  • Samsung: HBO Go in the US, MTG's Viaplay in Scandinavia
  • Sony: Bandeirantes in Latin America, NFL in the US.
  • Sony, Samsung, Philips, Toshiba: INA
  • Onkyo: Spotify
  • Roku: Epix, Funspot
  • Panasonic: FetchTV portal
  • Wyplay: YouTube

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