Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wireless Networking Panel comes to CONNECTIONS Summit at CES

On Thursady, January 8th at 9:30 AM, Kurt Scherf , VP of Research and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates, will moderate the Wireless Networking panel at the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

This panel examines the development of multimedia wireless networking technologies and their respective applications. Topics include the latest advances such as 802.11n, wireless HDMI, UWB, and the associated solutions that can be implemented on both fixed and portable CE devices. The panel focuses on wireless technology’s capability to facilitate multimedia (especially video) consumption in the home, a key area of interest to CE vendors, service providers, and chipset developers.

Panel speakers include the following companies: AMIMON, WirelessHD, ProVision Communications, and Pulse~LINK.

Mobile Broadband in North America and Europe: Change is Key to Continuing Profitability

On Wednesday, November 12th at 12 PM ET (11 AM CT), Parks Associates and Camiant will be hosting a webcast that addresses mobile broadband in North America and in Europe.

Since mobile broadband markets are blooming, mobile carriers in Europe and North America alike see strong growth in mobile subscribers and massive growth in non-messaging mobile data traffic. Yet there are troubles on the horizon. Many carriers use rudimentary network control and business models to monetize the service. These models leave money on the table in the short term and condition abusive consumer use cases in the long term.

This webinar will address the following key focus areas: 1). Mobile broadband adoption and data traffic; 2). Market forecasts and growth trends; 3). Regional differences in business models and traffic growth patterns (Eastern and Western Europe, U.S. and Canada); 4). Managing mobile broadband network use: drawbacks and challenges; and 5). Need for more refined network controls and business models.

To sign up for this free webcast, please complete this online form:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CONNECTIONS Summit at CES addresses Customer Support in Digital Home

On Thursday, January 8th, 2009, the Digital Home Customer Support: From Troubleshooting to Upselling? panel will take place at the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES. This panel will be moderated by Kurt Scherf, the Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates.

Remote, in-store, and at-home consumer IT support services will generate $1 billion in revenues annually in the next few years, a substantial market opportunity. However, the market for these services to date includes mostly ad hoc and reactive solutions. Are we about to witness the rise of more holistic, marketing-based, and proactive applications? How can customer support move from solving one problem to selling a complete set of lifecycle-based value-adds?

The confirmed speakers for this panel include:

  • Art Lancaster, CTO, Affinegy
  • Anthony Rodio, Chief Operating Officer,
  • Fred King, VP, Sales & Marketing, PlumChoice, Inc.
  • Mike Talley, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Customer Care, 2Wire
  • Bill Stanley, Director, Operations Solutions, Telcordia

To view the agenda and other confirmed speakers, click here.

HomeToys supports CONNECTIONS Summit at CES

Parks Associates welcomes HomeToys as a supporting media organization of the upcoming CONNECTIONS Conference.

HomeToys recently released their monthly Home Tech Industry newsletter. The October/November issue includes highlights from Cedia Expo 2008, the HomeToys Special Show News Report, Getting Serious Energy Management, Getting VoIPed on a Home Network, It's Time to Personalize Surround Sound, Integrating Home Theater & Whole Home Audio, New Options for Technicians, Tubes You Can Use, PLC - Wireless Lighting Control, No Way to Regulate, and e-Health Opportunities. To read these topics in depth, please click here to view this month's issue.

For more information about HomeToys, visit .

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Excellent Broadband TV Primer

Parks Associates Web Cast, Broadband Video to the TV and Beyond, is an excellent primer for anyone wanting to get the most out of the upcoming Digital Hollywood and TelcoTV conferences. It is not too late to listen, as Parks Associates has the recording online. Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst, combines extensive primary and secondary research together with excellent analysis to provide a clear picture of the current broadband video market.

Scherf’s presentation provides an update on the broadband video space and the various players that are distributing online video content, how online video is being monetized and the rise of networked consumer electronics as a way of viewing broadband video. He splits the broadband video space into multiple categories, including:

  • DVD+electronic delivery (e.g. NetFlix)

  • Broadcaster initiatives (e.g. ABC, CBS, etc.)

  • Internet Video Providers (e.g. Apple TV)

  • Portals (e.g. Google)

  • TV on the Web (e.g. Veoh)

  • Broadband Service Providers (e.g. Verizon)

  • Hardware and Content (e.g. TiVo)

He makes the point that the combined revenue for theatrical box office, DVD sales and DVD rentals has been flat since 2004. As a result, all of the major content owners seen online video as a new revenue channel. Examples of the seriousness of the major content providers include:

  • NBC, where 92% of viewers who start a program watch the entire program

  • CBS estimates its average online video viewer is 38 years old

  • has served up 400 million episodes and 1 billion advertisements.

The major content owners are finding advertising as one way to monetize existing content, with ad rates up to $70 CPM on sites such as Hulu. The value of online advertising is more than just impressions, as ad executives surveyed by Parks Associates highly value the interactivity, reporting, immediate feedback and direct customer relationships that broadband video provides.

Broadband video allows for innovative advertising and new formats, such as overlay ads, which are much less intrusive to viewers. One of the early innovators in overlay and alternative format advertising is Blip.TV, which, according to Scherf, will be integrating onto Verizon’s FiOS service. Scherf points out broadband video may provide service providers, such as Verizon and Comcast with new advertising opportunities as well.

People are also spending money on transactional online video. Scherf suggests that the game console has become and will continue to be an important way for viewing video from the Internet (e.g. see this link on how the Play Station 2 works with video). For instance, over 5.1 million homes are using game consoles to view video. In the case of the X-Box 360, the average monthly spend is over $20 per month. Other methods for moving online video to the living room include DVD players and TVs with integrated Internet connections. To this last point, Scherf sees a general trend for a tighter linkage between content and devices.

This article captured just a few of the many jewels from this excellent webcast. Scherf ended the session with a number of provocative questions that remain to be answered. I look forward to future Parks Associates’ webcasts to help answer his questions regarding this rapidly evolving market.

Written by Ken Pyle, 10-23-2008

Spain prefers Analog TV

One and a half years before the analogue switch-off, scheduled for April 2010, Spaniards seem to be not very keen on DTT as most of them, 61.4 percent, still prefer to watch analogue TV, according to the latest viewing figures.

DTT got an average share of 17.4 percent in September, a record figure in its history but still very low in comparison with the allegedly high DTT take-up, with 37.4 percent of Spanish homes already enjoying DTT (of which 32.4 percent have an IDTV), according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

According to INE, TV penetration reaches 99.7 percent, with 21.4 percent receiving TV through satellite, 15 percent through cable and 4.6 percent via IPTV. INE's latest report also reveals that 51 percent of Spanish homes have access to the Internet, of which 43.5 percent (almost 6.6 million homes) through broadband via ADSL (67.9 percent) or cable (14.8 percent).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Global CONNECTIONS Sponsor, Icron Strengthens USB Extension Patent Portfolio

Newly Acquired Patent Increases Icron’s USB Patent Portfolio to 19 --

Icron Technologies Corporation, the developers of ExtremeUSB®, announced this month that it has acquired, from the original third party inventor, an early unassigned USB extension patent that further strengthens its existing patent portfolio on USB extension solutions. Icron’s USB patent portfolio now numbers 19 issued or pending patents.

The purchased patent titled “Extender apparatus for USB connection of computer units”, US Patent 6308215, issued in October 2001, is the earliest patent that deals with specific implementations of extending USB across a pair of wires. It complements Icron’s existing patents that extend USB at a protocol level over any media. The invention described in this patent enables USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 peripherals to be connected to a host over a pair of wires and is found in many applications today, particularly in the USB 1.1 active cable extension market.

With over 2.6 Billion USB-enabled devices shipping in 2007 alone, USB continues to be the most recognized and successful interface for device connectivity in the PC, CE and mobile device market.

Icron believes that there are a number of USB extension implementations on the market today that are covered by this patent, and will be looking for opportunities to license the patent to companies where appropriate.

For more information on the company and its products, please visit .

Premiere loses big and restructures

German pay-TV broadcaster Premiere’s shares fell 60 per cent as it announced losses, a subscriber number re-statement and revealed it is trying to restructure bank debt.

"As a result of the EBITDA outlook, Premiere has commenced discussions with its banks regarding a restructuring of debt facilities and is confident to reach an agreement," it said.

The company said it was satisfied with the way the talks were proceeding and did not plan a capital increase. "We are conducting a thorough review of operations and are confident that this will result in a new strategic direction supported by a financially sound business plan for the future growth and profitability of Premiere," said CEO Mark Williams.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sponsor of CONNECTIONS, MoCA has new member

Parks Associates and the CONNECTIONS Conference welcomes The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) as a continued sponsor of global events for 2009.

MoCA is an open, industry driven initiative promoting distribution of digital video and entertainment through existing coaxial cable in the home. MoCA technology provides the backbone for whole home entertainment networks of multiple wired and wireless products.

Time Warner Cable, the second largest cable television provider in the U.S., has joined MoCA® as a Contributor level member. Time Warner Cable provides a variety of services for the connected home in addition to cable television including digital phone and high-speed Internet access. As of March 31, 2008, Time Warner Cable served approximately 14.7 million customers who subscribed to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services, representing approximately 33.0 million revenue generating units.

Visit for more information.

Broadcast industry needs to improve the quality of video content and lower the cost per deliverable

AmberFin releases the results of a research survey conducted at this year's IBC conference in Amsterdam.

The results clearly demonstrate the use of multiple platforms such as broadband, IPTV and mobile handsets as key drivers for the industry moving forward. The quality of content was named as a key factor affecting take up of these newer delivery platforms.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virgin Media Television appoints new Execs

Virgin Media Television has confirmed two senior appointments to strengthen and develop its commercial strategy for the multi-screen digital future.

David Cuff joins VMtv as its new Commercial Director, responsible for commercial strategy across the full range of VMtv’s business. Cuff has previously held positions with Flextech Television and Initiative Media, and runs his own consultancy business, Cuff Media.

Ivan Ali-Khan also takes up the newly-created position of Head of Digital, reporting to Cuff. Ivan will be responsible for VMtv’s multiplatform commercial and creative strategies, and he is tasked with developing VMtv’s channel and programme brands across broadband, on-demand and mobile. Ali-Khan has been Head of Media Planning at VMtv since January 2006, and was previously Broadcast Director at the Media Planning Group.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cable Europe and Screen Digest release digital cable TV subscribers numbers

Customer subscriptions for digital cable TV jumped 18 percent to 16.3 million across Europe in the first half of this year, as subscribers migrate to enhanced services.

Figures published by Cable Europe, the cable industry association representing operators reaching more than 70m households, and compiled by Screen Digest, the media market analysts, revealed a record growth for the European cable industry in digital television.

Cable Europe, the cable industry association representing operators reaching more than 70 million households, welcomed the figures as evidence that cable platforms can attract new customers for digital TV, internet and telephony services.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, said: “Demand for digital services is showing that customers are upgrading their older analogue services faster than ever. The new digital services enable the industry to provide a richer audience experience.”

Of Europe’s largest pay-TV markets, Screen Digest reported 32 percent growth in Germany to 3.4 million customers; 12 percent in France and Spain to 1.6 million and 1.05 million customers respectively; a 15 percent increase in the Netherlands to 1.8 million; and 3 percent growth to 3.36 million customers in the highly competitive UK market.

The growth rates in digital TV services were broadly mirrored in cable internet and cable telephony, which rose 6.7 percent and 9.2 percent respectively for Europe as a whole between the end of 2007 and June 30, 2008.Rising digital demand contrasted with a 5 percent decline in analogue cable TV services in the first half of the year, according to Screen Digest’s figures.

Global Media Awards to honor excellence at CES

David Wertheimer, CEO & Executive Director of, becomes vice chairman of the new Global Media Awards. This is a new joint project between the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) to honor excellence in the creative adaptation of technology that enhances video programming or content.

Now, for the first time, these two industry leaders have partnered together to launch the Global Media Awards (GMA) in order to recognize how the worlds of technology and entertainment have merged to advance both the creativity and science of media worldwide. The Global Media Awards will be awarded at the opening night of the 2009 International CES, the world’s largest event for consumer technology, on January 8, 2009.

The Global Media Awards promote the advancement of content and technology innovation in seven new categories:

  • Short Form
  • Advertising
  • Web Site / Internet
  • Repurposed Linear / Traditional Content
  • Long Form
  • Platform
  • Experience / Program Guide

Entering one's work in the GMA competition will provide it greater visibility with respected experts in the digital media industry and the opportunity to be on the cutting edge at the 2009 CES/NATAS event in Las Vegas.

For information about the Global Media Awards, follow this link for the complete rulebook and application: or call 212-586-8424.

Parks Associates will also be hosting the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES. This CONNECTIONS™ Summit features ten sessions, held January 8 & 9, the first two days at CES and moderated by the Parks Associates analysts. Attending these sessions offers the perfect start to CES – attendees receive consumer and industry data, insight from leading executives, and the opportunity to speak with Parks Associates' analysts.

Friday, October 17, 2008

ActiveVideo Networks becomes Global Silver Sponsors of CONNECTIONS events

Parks Associates announces ActiveVideo Networks™ as a Global Silver Sponsor for the 2009 CONNECTIONS™ conference.

ActiveVideo Networks™ provides programming and technology that infuse television with Web content and interactivity. Based on standard Web authoring and delivery technologies, the company’s ActiveVideo® Distribution Network simply and inexpensively enables expanded programming, navigation and advertising possibilities, allowing viewers to define and share TV experiences.

ActiveVideo combines Web-based media and targeted, clickable advertisements with the high-quality video, immediate responsiveness and remote control navigation of television for uniform interactivity across all digital set-tops and Web-connected televisions. ActiveVideo Networks is based in the heart of Silicon Valley, with offices in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Beijing and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit .

Parks Associates looks forward to working with ActiveVideo Networks at the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES (Jan 8-9), CONNECTIONS Europe in Nice, France (March 31), CONNECTIONS US (June 2-4), and CONNECTIONS Europe (Nov).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CONNECTIONS™ to focus on new opportunities and growth in broadband services, PC penetration, data networks, and new media

CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase, the thirteenth-annual conference focuses on four primary tracks, correlated to Parks Associates’ research: Home Systems, Communications & Entertainment Services, New Media & Digital Content, and Consumer Electronics.

The event also features sessions highlighting Parks Associates’ consumer research and topics on the expanding vision of the digital lifestyle.

Parks Associates forecasts multiple sectors will prosper in the coming years:
- U.S. revenues for wireless and powerline controls will exceed $3 billion in 2012
- Service and hardware revenues will contribute $1.8 billion to the U.S. eldercare industry by 2013
- U.S. consumers will spend over $6 billion for Internet video services by 2013
- 68 million households worldwide will have home networking applications by the end of 2008

CONNECTIONS™ focuses on the solutions fundamental to the digital lifestyle and offers specialized tracks that examine the emerging opportunities as these solutions evolve.

CONNECTIONS™, hosted by Parks Associates with support from CEA®, is the premier executive event focused on the market developments and growth factors for advanced digital lifestyle solutions.

Call For Papers Announced - CONNECTIONS 2009

CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase is now accepting speaker submissions for its 2009 conference, which will take place June 2-4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase is hosted by leading research firm Parks Associates with support from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) and is the premier executive event focused on the market developments and growth factors for advanced digital lifestyle solutions.

This unique, research-driven executive conference and showcase, hosting close to 1,000 attendees each year, delivers insight and recommendations for new business models and opportunities in digital media/content, connected consumer electronics, broadband and value-added services, and home systems.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HD-PLC Alliance becomes Global Platinum Sponsor

Parks Associates proudly welcomes HD-PLC Alliance as a Global Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming 2009 CONNECTIONS(TM) events.

HD-PLC Alliance was established in 2007, aims to promote widespread use of HD-PLC and interoperability among products using the technology. Its activities include expanding development of new products, education and increased awareness of the technology's benefits. The Alliance is open to companies, globally wherever engaged in developing products or providing services based on the HD-PLC format, as well as to any company interested in the HD-PLC technology, encourages their participation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

WITI goes Platinum with CONNECTIONS™

CONNECTIONS™ is proud to welcome Women In Technology International as a platinum supporter of all the upcoming 2009 CONNECTIONS™ events.

WITI is the nation's leading trade association for professional, tech-savvy women committed to using technology, resources and connections to advance women worldwide. With a global network of smart, talented women and a market reach exceeding 2 million, WITI has established powerful strategic alliances and programs to provide connections, resources, and opportunities within a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other. WITI's mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.

For more information please visit

Thursday, October 2, 2008

MPEG Industry Forum Supports CONNECTIONS Events

CONNECTIONS welcomes MPEG Industry Forum as a Supporting organization of all of the upcoming CONNECTIONS events.

The MPEG Industry Forum is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of furthering the adoption of MPEG Standards, by establishing them as well accepted and widely used standards among creators of content, developers, manufacturers, providers of services, and end users.

MPEG Industry Forum currently has over 50 Members and well over 2000 people subscribed to its mailing lists. Members represent very broad, worldwide interests across the board, from sectors including consumer electronics, chip manufacturers, professional equipment makers, content providers, computer makers, software companies, telecommunications, research institutions and more. Many members are MPEG-4 technology providers, some of them are technology users. MPEG Industry Forum has established, large companies, as well relatively new, smaller companies among its members, and members are equally distributed over Asia-Pacific, Europe and Northern America.

To learn more visit