Thursday, May 31, 2007
Find Internet TV™, a leading directory and guide of sites broadcasting video online, announces the launch of its program Listings for live Internet TV. The Find Internet TV Listings is the first to provide Internet users a programming grid to find live online video content. The Listings is visible at Find Internet TV (http://www.findinternettv.com/Listings.aspx) and contains schedules for a wide variety of quality programming from around the world, including entertainment television, sporting events, music, and news.
"Online video, whether live or on-demand, is expanding immensely, and it has become increasingly difficult for viewers to locate the content they want to watch online. While a number of companies and sites have made their focus to index video clips on the Web, they've left live streaming video on the sidelines," says Curtis Sund, Founder of Find Internet TV. "With our live Internet TV Listings, users now have the ability to visit one central destination for complete and updated lineup of live online content."
Find Internet TV's program grid provides a high quality user experience through an easy-to-navigate, feature-rich format. Users have the ability to jump hour-by-hour through the grid or to specific dates and times. In addition, users can save their favorite Internet TV channels for easy access.
The Find Internet TV Listings includes sites broadcasting from all over the world, in different languages, and in different time zones. To provide the best end-user experience, the site automatically adjusts all program runtimes to match the viewer's time zone.
"The number of viewers who are looking for live television content on the Internet is tremendous and ever-growing. We have witnessed it through our directory and search engine when live events take place. This first-of-its-kind live Internet TV Listings is a win-win solution for both viewers and content providers," said Birgit Schelzel, Marketing Manager for Find Internet TV.
Content providers will benefit from the Listings through increased visibility of their live programming and a clear representation of their offering throughout the day. Users that click to view the program are sent directly to the content provider's Web site and, in many cases, to the video landing page. The programming schedule can be easily maintained by authorized representatives via a backend application.
Sites with a live programming schedule that wish to be added to the directory or wish to advertise within the program grid, please email email@example.com.
About Find Internet TV
Find Internet TV is a one-stop-shop for locating sites broadcasting video online by providing a feature-rich directory and program Listings for live content. Find Internet TV searches, categorizes, tags, and files sites across all genres and of all sizes, ranging from large media networks to user-generated video blogs. To learn more about Find Internet TV, visit http://www.findinternettv.com/.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The number of IPTV subscribers will reach nearly 60 million worldwide by year-end 2011, spurred by both aggressive and reactionary telco tactics, according to IPTV: From Quadruple Play to Multiplay. This new report from Parks Associates, which provides forecasts and analyses for the worldwide IPTV market, predicts television choices for European consumers in particular will expand greatly in the next several years, due to a growing number of IPTV providers per country, a surge in digital terrestrial offerings, and a resurgence of cable providers in certain markets.
IPTV: From Quadruple Play to Multiplay covers IPTV deployments in 20 nations and profiles nearly 60 providers. It also examines key IPTV technology, including middleware, applications software, and conditional access providers.
One of the topics scheduled for the upcoming CONNECTIONS Europe in Berlin is entitled "Social Media and Web 2.0: Ramifications for services." The transition to Web 3.0 or a Semantic infrastructure is already common fodder in the blogosphere, but as CONNECTIONS identified - the utilities developed during the several years of 2.0 are now ripe to enhance traditional Internet services.
Examine this blog for example: Conferences are typically events uniting individuals from various fields and locations to discuss a subject of common interest and relevance. After the event, continuation of the presented information is reliant on the attendees. Will they share the information with colleagues? Will the discussed concepts appear in future business ventures? Or will the collective knowledge dissipate during the return flight?
Establishing a community surrounding a conference establishes both a pre-market and post-market for the previously ephemeral event. Want to know who else is attending the event to structure your networking? Then visit the blog and read comments, posts, scheduled speakers, etc. Similarly, summarized information appearing post-event allows for additional consumption and promotes easy dissemination to interested individuals unable to attend the event. Web 2.0 keeps CONNECTIONS connected year round.
Add some live twitter feeds from the event, keynote podcasts available to registered members only after creating a profile, video blogs of product demonstration...the CONNECTIONS blog transforms into an event in itself. Thanks for reading!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
- IPTV: Business models, consumer segmentation, & forecasts by region
- Remote Self Monitoring: Incremental or Core Revenues?
- Online Gaming: A Differentiator for Bundles
- Social Media and Web 2.0: Ramifications for services
Equipment and Hardware
- Infrastructure Elements: Supplying the Service Providers for IPTV
- IP-based Entertainment and Control Systems
- Digital Media Servers & Adapters: Stand-alone, Set-top Boxes, or Both
- Digital Health
- End-to-End Managed Digital Home Solutions
Thursday, May 17, 2007
- Broadband penetration in the U.S. will surpass 50% of residences around mid-2007. On a global basis, statistics indicate that we are approaching the 300 million household mark.
- The two large U.S. telcos – AT&T and Verizon – officially entered the IPTV space in 2006, accounting for more than 200,000 subscribers in their first full year of availability. On a global basis, Europe surpassed Asia in terms of overall subscribers, and we’re seeing much more activity in Europe in terms of cross-border competition among different telecommunications providers. Parks Associates’ year-end 2006 estimate for the total number of IPTV subscribers worldwide sat north of four million.
- Entertainment content disruption accelerated, as MySpace was bought by News Corp. and YouTube was sold to Google – leading to the “NewTube.”
- The launch of all the three new game consoles (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation3, and the Nintendo Wii) was significant. The Xbox 360 and its associated content services are now positioned – according to Microsoft – as second only behind Apple for video downloads.
- Agreement on the underlying protocols that make up the next Wi-Fi standard – 802.11n – was reached. We’re already seeing high volume shipments of Draft-N products, and wireless is aiming at the entertainment and multimedia space.
- Apple announced a month ago that they had sold 100 million iPods (plus two billion music downloads as of year-end 2006), a testament to consumers’ desire for more accessible and easy-to-use media enjoyment services and products. In addition, the company released AppleTV, which may be a significant boost to the growth of multimedia networks, where PCs and CE seamlessly interoperate to enhance entertainment applications.
- Microsoft officially launched the Vista OS, which places a new level of media creation and consumption capabilities in front of end-users.
- Virtual economies are booming, with World of Warcraft claiming nine million subs and Second Life at more than five million users. The online gaming community is becoming more entwined with unique social and commerce applications.
- Digital rights management issues continue to ebb and flow. High-end media server company Kaleidescape was found to be within compliance of the DVD Copy Control Association's license to the Content Scramble System, the method used to encrypt video and audio data on DVDs. Speculation is that this may open the door to “managed copy,” where the studios agree that consumers can take their owned DVDs and make a copy on a server for safekeeping. On another positive front, the head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – Dan Glickman – recently affirmed the studios’ blessing on “authorized copies of the content they purchase.” Further, Steve Jobs at Apple recently discussed the abolition of rights management for digital music. After all, he argues, fewer than 2 billion songs were sold under DRM with digital music services (such as iTunes); at the same time, the music industry sold 20 billion unprotected songs on CDs.
- At the same time, legal challenges remain in the DRM space. Cablevision was recently blocked by a federal judge from continuing its RS-DVR service, which basically put time-shifting capabilities in the head-end. We view Europe and Asia as much more significant markets for “nDVR” applications. And XM Satellite is being sued by music publishers for allowing subscribers to copy broadcasts to MP3 players.
- Home control systems companies continued consolidation with Nortek and Legrand acquiring LiteTouch & Gefen and Vantage and US Tec, respectively. BestBuy released its Home System in a Box, called ConnectedLife.Home. BT and Bell Canada marked the entry of telcos into the home security space.
- Retailers, service providers, and third-party entities are discovering there are significant business opportunites in digital home tech and customer support services. Revenues from Best Buy’s Geek Squad services (including product installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and repair) alone exceed $1 billion in U.S. We’ve also seen other major big box retailers either launch or rebrand their own digital home technology service offerings. Circuit City launched its firedogSM service in September 2006, and OfficeMax® just launched ctrlcenter™ for remote tech support in April 2007. Both CompUSA and Staples rebranded their tech support services, to TechPro and EasyTech, respectively.
It's good to be back blogging again! The analysts were swamped the last few weeks with travel and the preparations for the CONNECTIONS™ conference. If you weren't able to join us last week in Santa Clara, we're sorry that we missed you. The level of speakers this year was excellent. With the keynotes coming from the likes of Motorola (Ray Sokola, Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President) Texas Instruments (Greg Jones, General Manager for DSP Systems Strategic Marketing), Cisco Systems (Daniel Scheinman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Media Solutions Group), Verizon (Shawn Strickland, Vice President, Video Solutions), HP (John Orcutt, Vice President, Managed Home Business), and Yahoo (Patrick Barry, Vice President, Digital Home), it led to some very visionary thoughts and statements. At the same time, since our analysts were moderating another 27 plenaries and break-out sessions, it provided a very granular look at the specific opportunities and challenges facing our industry.
The blog is going to reflect some highlights from the CONNECTIONS conference over the course of the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, the industry continues to move forward. Last week, it was reported that NETGEAR is acquiring Infrant Technologies, the developer of the ReadyNAS™ line of consumer storage products. It's yet one more step, we feel, in a trend to greatly enhance consumer storage by building more tightly-integrated solutions (such as home networking components) around the storage platform, and beginning to implement more media server capabilities within the home network framework.
At the same time, I think you're seeing a real shift away from some of the messaging that is coming from the consumer storage and NAS companies. In the past, the major message that appeared to be coming from these players was mainly one built around the "fear-and-doubt" scenarios involving consumers and media. The common example, of course, is a hard drive or other type of catastrophic computer failure, where years' worth of digital photos are lost forever. Granted, consumers' own lack of awareness about the risks associated with digital media is low, as are the actions they are taking to properly secure their media in a safe backup mode. Our own studies (recently, Managing the Digital Home: Installation and Support Services) finds that more than one-third of consumers aren't even backing up their data and digital media at all! Further, among those who do, the majority are writing to CDs or DVDs, which leads us to believe that they're not doing this on a terribly frequent basis.
So, while increasing consumer education and stressing the importance with secure backup is important, a common refrain now being echoed today is centered mainly on two messages 1) How the NAS and other online storage and content services are helping to diversify the amount of content available to consumers; and 2) that the storage platform can serve as a centerpiece for consumer's desire to share their own content in the form of digital photos and home movies. And, in our opinion, this is a really effective strategy. After all, one of the key data points that came from last year's groundbreaking study Digital Media Habits is that "I want to share" is a desire from consumers that resonates loud and clear. So, you're starting to see systems built around this consumer driver. Not only is a very robust platform for storage a centerpiece, but you see companies paying more attention to building online tools such as portals and media showcases around that storage.
HP's John Orcutt touched on this kind of strategy last week in his keynote address titled The Connected Entertainment Ecosystem. Obviously, HP has made some recent changes to its connected home strategy. No longer will it push the Digital Entertainment Center (DEC) strategy, which relied on a living room PC form factor. Instead, HP's focus is on its MediaSmart TVs and Server devices. Using home networking (which obviously has improved much in the past few years), HP's gamble is that well-developed user interfaces, access to a wider variety of content (from a number of HP partners, including some of the online movies-on-demand services), and a server hidden in the background that is performing many automated back-up features but also key to allowing consumers to share their personal content with friends and family will be a winner. And, based on what we saw in the presentation, we'd have to agree. The user interfaces are beautiful and intuitive, and we love the fact that HP is not talking about "mirrored drives" and "RAID" as key concepts, but developing messaging around ease-of-use and sharing.
Storage will continue to be the heart of the connected home, whether it's in a fixed (media server) or mobile/portable (music player) device. It's a really interesting time to be following this space, as last week's conference and the news announcements leads us to believe that it's going to be front-and-center among a number of key vendors who are putting the connected home pieces together.