Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TANDBERG Solution at the Forefront of Seamless Video Integration Into Any Unified Communications Platform

Telepresence and video conferencing have been instrumental in helping businesses address the challenges of recent economic pressures, such as travel reductions and employee productivity. The ROI for both group and "personal" video will be further realized through seamless integration into a unified communications (UC) platform. The TANDBERG end-to-end solution delivers unrivaled H.323/Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) dual stack capabilities to bridge the world of existing telepresence and video conferencing solutions with VoIP and UC so businesses can make the most of their investments.

With the ability to support richer features such as presence, messaging, and advanced telephony features, SIP is the most widely used signaling standard to bring business tools together in a UC environment. However, with many video conferencing products using either H.323 or proprietary signaling protocols, integrating video with UC platforms and UC desktop video clients can be costly and challenging. TANDBERG has solved this issue with its Video Communication Server (VCS), which enables SIP and H.323 interworking without any investment in additional hardware or software. This allows seamless interoperation of all TANDBERG products with third-party vendors and tools such as Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and VoIP PBXes.

TANDBERG has long encouraged open standards supporting interoperability among all vendors' products and services. With this focus, the company has built the industry's broadest and easiest to use telepresence and video product solution set, which supports both H.323 and SIP protocols at the same time. This enables third-party, legacy, and future video products -- as well as other business critical tools -- to work together on a UC platform without a heavy investment in upgrade costs. With no hardware to replace for future upgrades, customers can be assured that the infrastructure they deploy today can remain in place to support future SIP deployments.

For more information, please visit www.TANDBERG.com.

Friday, September 25, 2009

RedMere's Technology Passes ESD Test

RedMere, the leader in high-speed chip and cable technology solutions, announces 15kV ESD results for active HDMI High Speed Cables with embedded RM1689 devices.

Testing up to 15kV was performed using the IEC/EN 61000-4-2 method which is a test method by immunity standards listed under the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive from the European Union. Testing active cables for ESD is important as kilovolts of static could cause damage to the cables.

RedMere is working with globally based customers to continually test active cables with other international standards.

Thomson takes a further leap forward with next generation interactive HD cable set-top boxes

Thomson, a worldwide leader of services to content creators, is demonstrating two new cable set-top boxes, based on its third generation technology and delivering high speed data as well as comprehensive digital cable services. The set-top boxes allow cable operators to offer broadband to the home at up to 100Mb/s with home networking and content sharing using the MoCA (Multimedia over Co-ax Alliance) standard.

The new DCI708 set-top box is ready for both standard and high definition television using MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 coding, including 1080 line progressive HD. It is based on a new system on a chip device, which incorporates full support for Docsis and EuroDocsis, including channel bonding to achieve internet access speeds of up to 100Mb/s. The DCI804 set-top box offers the same features and additionally includes an internal disk recorder, using fast and compact 2.5” disk drives for local recording, timeshifts and downloading data from the network operator.

The new boxes support multiple middleware and conditional access solutions. The integral high speed data connectivity gives the operator ready access for advanced interactive applications such as video on demand, and secure communications, as well as remote diagnostics and updates to minimise support costs. Where the home has existing co-ax cable connecting rooms, the implementation of MoCA allows a single set-top box to distribute content to multiple rooms within the home, allowing the users to take advantage of home networking.

For the full release, click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Telcordia Focuses on National Cyber Security Issues

As cyber threats and national security issues continue to capture the attention of the nation and the Obama administration looks to appoint the much heralded Cyber Czar, Telcordia Technologies, a leading architect of telecommunications software and services and a long standing contributor to advanced national communications systems, is amplifying its focus on critical issues surrounding the vulnerability and survivability of the nation's networks.

Telcordia, a chief architect of the telecommunications system in the U.S., has pioneered many of the telecommunications services used today. With more than 1800 patents issued, the company is renowned for developing groundbreaking communications technologies that have served as the connectivity tissue for most U.S. and foreign carrier networks.

National security issues and their impacts continue to intensify. The Department of Homeland Security reports the number of cyber attacks on government and private networks multiplied nearly 20-fold over the last four years. As fragmented systems thwart the secure exchange of information across government entities and companies, information blockage remains a national concern.

Following the divestiture of the Bell Telephone System, there was no longer one company responsible for architecturing, engineering and ensuring the integrity of the nation's communications network. At the same time, networks became markedly more complex with the onset of new competition, technologies and applications, further increasing the vulnerability and security risks of the network infrastructure. Previous administrations have attempted to reduce the vulnerabilities in the system, defend against the full spectrum of threats, and develop next-generation technologies to maintain a competitive edge but those efforts have fallen short.

For more information on Telcordia's security offerings visit www.telcordia.com/services/security/index.html.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Numericable and Nagravision launch a comprehensive widget TV solution and announce the introduction of multicast TV broadcasting technology

Numericable has chosen Nagravision's, a Kudelski Group company, widget platform for the launch of its "Widget TV" service on its network. Widgets will allow Numericable customers to interact with their TV and build a genuine social network as part of their TV experience.

The partnership between the Kudelski Group and Numericable will also translate into the introduction in 2010 of a new "SDV" technology enabling the use of an increasing number of channels thanks to the multicast broadcasting technology.

TV widgets symbolize TV 2.0. A widget is a small, easy-to-use software application that lets consumers interact with online information in a graphically appealing way. It creates a targeted and familiar environment with recommendation of relevant data for consumers making them more likely to return to a certain service of interest.

Numericable will in particular offer the "MyTV" widget that will make it possible to send program alerts to friends. Subsequently, Numericable subscribers will be able to choose widgets from a large gallery including live and on-demand recommendation widgets as well as widgets allowing them to share videos and track their updates from online social networks.

Nagravision's widget platform will allow Numericable to work together with content providers and software application developers in order to develop innovative services in relation with the content being viewed or addressing specific consumer needs. The widget platform will be open and will encourage external developments as does the Apple Store.

For the full press release, click here.

ActiveVideo and Videon Central Form Partnership: Joint Initiative to Pipe Interactive TV to Millions of Web-Connected CE Devices

ActiveVideo Networks, the global leader in cloud-based interactive television solutions, and Videon Central, Inc., a leading provider of digital video solutions and Blu-ray Disc (BD) middleware, announced a joint initiative that is intended to dramatically speed adoption of the next generation of CE video devices.

The two companies announced that they will work together to leverage the combined strengths of Videon Central (Videon) core middleware technologies and ActiveVideo processing in the network "cloud" to significantly expand the reach and availability of rich, Web-based user experiences that are redefining interactive television (iTV 2.0). ActiveVideo anticipates that a joint solution would be available on Web-connected televisions, BD and DVD players, and other devices in millions of homes by year end, 2010.

Anticipated to be available in more than 5 million homes by the end of 2009, ActiveVideo immerses viewers in an engaging experience that combines Web video, Web 2.0 functionality and traditional television. With ActiveVideo, viewers can navigate a completely interactive environment of both linear and broadband programming including rich interfaces and graphics optimized for TV and remote control navigation; social networking; personal media; niche content; and targeted, actionable advertising. ActiveVideo uses intelligent MPEG streaming to deliver the Web 2.0 experience to a worldwide television audience through both legacy and next generation digital set-top boxes and broadband-connected devices.

For the full press release, click here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Accelerating Service Launch with Telcordia Activator

Telcordia, a global leader in the development of IP, wireline and mobile telecommunication software and services, announced a breakthrough in the speed of introduction of new telecom services and network devices with the latest release of its next gen service activation product, Telcordia® Activator.

Until now, communication service providers' (CSPs') programs to introduce additional services have relied on vendors developing extra software to support new processes, services or device types. This significantly added to the cost, complexity and time to bring new products to market at scale. But through its innovative modelling and scripting technologies, Telcordia Activator eliminates the need for specialized adapter software development. This removes a complete set of development-related costs and time from the new service introduction process; typically shrinking the project timescale from months to weeks.

Total cost of ownership is also reduced compared to traditional activation solutions, since services can be extended or created in-house without the need for expensive development resources.

With Telcordia Activator, CSPs can now consolidate and automate all service activation on a single, flexible platform that significantly boosts accuracy and speed, and ensures a flawless first-time customer experience.

Available as a standalone activation platform that can be integrated with any existing Operations Support System (OSS), Telcordia Activator is also pre-integrated with Telcordia Next Generation OSS including Telcordia® Granite Inventory.

For more information about Telcordia please visit www.telcordia.com. For more information about Telcordia Activator visit www.telcordia.com/products/activator/index.html.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OSGi Alliance & HGI Collaborate to Boost Broadband Provider Flexibility & Service Offerings

The OSGi Alliance and the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) announced a partnership agreement that will enable broadband service providers to offer more flexible applications to residential customers. Under this agreement, the partners will work together to integrate the OSGi Service Platform into the home gateway, creating a software execution environment that will facilitate the deployment of new service capabilities into the digital home.

The home gateway (HG) plays a central role in the digital home, interconnecting computers, devices on the home network, and the Internet, all while supporting Quality of Service and remote management. Service providers are increasingly looking to deliver HG-based consumer services such as energy management, media server, and home network diagnostics. Pairing the dynamic and modular OSGi technology with HG-specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and protocols will greatly extend the service capabilities of the home gateway.

The OSGi Alliance and the HGI will develop the software execution environment for Home Gateways within the context of established concepts, standards, and technologies in the home gateway and software/middleware markets. To implement the agreement, members of the organizations’ OSGi Residential Expert Group and HGI Software Execution Environment Task Force will align requirements and specifications, timetables and roadmaps, and identify other organizations and technologies which should be involved.

Defining the Connected Home

The connected home is a term used frequently but often defined ambiguously. For Parks Associates, the connected home is comprised of the following elements:
  • Access services - including broadband, television, landline communications, and mobile services
  • Content and value-added services that complement the core access services
  • Devices that connect to these access services and each other, creating a network that can share content and resources throughout the home
  • Consumer electronics manufacturers, the PC industry, pay-television service providers, and broadband providers are driving the development of the connected home, for obvious reasons, as the interplay of these elements expands the businesses for all these players.
Learn more about how Parks Associates categorizes the major business strategies involved in the connected home. Read the September Parks Points today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CONNECTIONS Summit at CES to focus on connected products and services and business strategies for 3D TV, advertising, and energy management

Parks Associates today released the preliminary agenda for CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES, which focuses on new business strategies for connected CE, service providers, 3D video, Smart Grid technologies, and other connected home solutions.

The international research firm will host this event on January 7, 2010, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, on the first day of 2010 International CES. Parks Associates’ expert analysts will moderate the Summit sessions, presenting consumer research on buying habits, purchase intentions, and interest in a variety of connected home solutions. The sessions also feature executives in the digital living markets, who will discuss the challenges of today’s business climate and the areas of service and innovation that fit best with the changing needs of households throughout the world.

To view the agenda, click here.

CONNECTIONS Summit at CES Agenda

CES is about making business connections, and CONNECTIONS Summit is the ideal place to start. This information-packed networking event features presentations of the latest consumer and industry research, forecasts, and panel discussions moderated by Parks Associates. You’ll hear commentary, insight, and debate from industry executives and analysts on connected CE, video services and advertising, energy management, mobile convergence, and more. Then unwind at the evening reception, where you can network with existing and prospective partners.

View Agenda
- Consumer Electronics Purchases: Are Consumers Back in the Buying Mood?
- The Connected TV – Displays and Beyond
- Service Provider Strategies for the Connected Home
- The Mobile Aspect of Unified Infotainment: Opportunities and Challenges
- Advances in Television Advertising
- Bringing the Smart Grid to the Smart Home
- 3D: Adding New Dimensions to Entertainment

Monday, September 14, 2009

CONNECTIONS Europe agenda: Connected Devices & Services

CONNECTIONS Europe will be held in Amsterdam on November 4 and covers the international landscape for connected devices and services with a European emphasis, including:

  • Internet video and the TV experience
  • Cloud computing and advanced TV and communications services
  • Residential gateway or set-top box
  • The impact of 3D TV
  • The three-screen ecosystem
  • The interface for online and user-generated content
  • The companies best positioned to lead the connected home ecosystem

Attending CONNECTIONS Europe provides executives with networking and strategic planning opportunities.

  • The development roadmap of the technologies and applications that will define the European and global digital lifestyle
  • Identification of existing and emerging leaders in the connected home ecosystem
  • Adoption and revenue forecasts of key connected device and service categories
  • An examination of the business models which will drive the convergence in video and entertainment content and applications, online services, and communications.

RedMere, New CONNECTIONS Sponsor

CONNECTIONS welcomes RedMere as a new CONNECTIONS Europe Advisory Sponsor and the first 2010 CONNECTIONS US Sponsor.

RedMere is the leading provider of chip and cable technology solutions for the next generation of compact, lightweight cables for Synchronization, Camera, Home Theater, Game and Enterprise applications. Whether on the move, at home or at work these new cable systems deliver the ultimate in compact digital connectivity over HDMI, DisplayPort and USB for Video and Still Cameras, Smartphones, HDTV, Blu-Ray DVD, PS3 and Xbox, as well as enterprise solutions using Infiniband and PCI Express. RedMere provides cable-embedded semiconductors and advanced cable reference design to cable industry leaders and manufacturing partners.

Visit www.redmere.com for more information.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tata Teleservices Expands Telcordia Relationship to Provide Real-Time Charging on its GSM Network

When Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL), India's fastest growing pan-India dual-technology telecom service provider, was looking to launch its GSM-based prepaid service offerings in the rapidly growing Indian market, it selected Telcordia, a leading global provider of communications network software and services for IP, wireline, wireless and cable. Just a few months later, the Telcordia solution was implemented, enabling TTSL to launch its innovative and exciting prepaid offerings on its new GSM Network.

Presently, Tata Teleservices relies on Telcordia® Real-Time Charging to deliver a highly scalable, reliable and cost-effective real-time charging solution for its nearly 40 million CDMA subscribers.

India is experiencing an unprecedented rate of subscriber growth, especially in the prepaid market, and the challenge for communications service providers (CSPs) is to attract new subscribers, retaining existing ones and increasing service use to boost revenue. As such, there is a greater need for CSPs to differentiate their service offerings by providing relevant, interactive and personalized services. Telcordia Real-Time Charging makes it easy to create and deploy customer-specific rules for rating, discounting and promotions, and enables CSPs to differentiate their service offerings and personalize the telecom experience for its customers.

For more information about Telcordia's presence in India, click here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

World’s First End-to-End TV Solution with 3D User Interface Ready for Deployment on IP-Hybrid Networks

The world’s first end-to-end, 3D TV solution is the result of a partnership between Orca Interactive, SoftAtHome and Viaccess to develop a unique, end-to-end 3D TV experience for the digital home. It enables service providers to accelerate time to market to deliver a new TV offering with a 3D HD user interface on broadcast, IPTV or hybrid networks (DVB-S/C/T+IP).

The user interface is one of the key battlefields for service providers to maximize customer retention and increase VOD and services revenues. In order to help service providers meet this challenge, the partners set out to bring to market the first, fully integrated and ready-to-deploy TV solution for the next generation TV user experience. This unique end-to-end solution blends the core IPTV components: Orca’s service delivery platform including the COMPASS groundbreaking content discovery solution; premium set-top-box from Pace; SoftAtHome’s operating platform; and card and cardless conditional access from Viaccess.

In addition to the 3D HD user interface, the solution gives Service Providers a complete solution to quickly deploy live TV, VoD, PVR, personalization and DLNA content sharing functionality with optimal performance and content protection. It leverages the standard Open Graphics Libraries API combined with hardware accelerators to deliver high performance HD 3D experience. The solution is on display at IBC on the booths of different partners: Orca Interactive (2.B40), Pace (1.B19), SoftAtHome (Hotel Okura Amsterdam), Viaccess (1.A51), Broadcom (5.A10), Bluestreak Technology (IP 613) and httv (1.C93).

Thomson unveils simple and seamless video integration solution between IP networks and 3G mobile services

Thomson, a worldwide leader of services to content creators, has brought its experience to bear on the growing market for video communications and announces the launch of the new Cirpack 3G Video Calls Gateway. With the new product, it is now simple for operators to set up multimedia services – including calls, video blogging and even live television access – and allow 3G mobile and fixed IP devices to share video.

The Cirpack 3G Video Calls Gateway connects mobile networks and IP/IMS based networks by integrating the 3G video protocol (H.324m) with the SIP voice over IP protocol. It also provides the bi-directional transcoding to serve the codecs each device requires. As well as point to point calls, the Gateway also offers access to server-based functionality such as push video, video blogging and video mail. With the appropriate equipment, a subscriber could establish video surveillance at home or place of business and view it on a mobile phone.

One of the barriers to 3G mobile video has traditionally been the considerable connection delay when placing calls, due to the need to exchange a number of messages to establish parameters. The Cirpack 3G Video Calls Gateway solves this by implementing the Windowed Numbered Simple Retransmission Protocol, which bundles all signalling into a single batch and dramatically improving call set-up time.

The Cirpack 3G Video Calls Gateway is part of the pre-integrated Thomson VoIP solution and fully interoperable with Cirpack softswitches and media gateways. It runs on standard, off-the-shelf IT platforms with full redundancy for high availability while retaining the best price/performance ratio. It is simply scalable to very large numbers of simultaneous video calls by adding software licenses rather than costly hardware.

For more information, visit www.thomson.net.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Verimatrix and Envivio Extend Adaptive Rate Streaming Beyond the iPhone

Verimatrix, setting the standard in content security technologies that enhance the value of pay-TV networks, and Envivio, Inc. announced a collaborative solution that enables pay-TV operators to use Apple's HTTP adaptive bitrate streaming technology for the iPhone to deliver IPTV and over the top (OTT) content that scales effectively across mobile devices, PCs and other client types. The solution pairs Envivio's 4Caster C4 three screens encoder/transcoder with the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) to create a unified headend that delivers protected standard (SD) and high definition (HD) content over unmanaged networks to any Internet-connected consumer playback device.

Introduced as a component of Apple OS 3.0 for the iPhone, adaptive bitrate streaming delivers smooth audio and video streams using Internet-standard HTTP protocols. The technology supports automatic adaptation to available network types and automatically switches to the optimal bitrate for a smooth quality playback experience. Envivio 4Caster C4 enables its deployment by ingesting analog or digital sources and then encoding and encrypting the content for delivery at multiple bitrates to multiple devices. In this solution, the 4Caster C4 is integrated with Verimatrix VCAS, which provides for key management, user authentication and unified right managements. The combination enables pay-TV operators to create unique service offerings for multi-screen delivery. Furthermore, live and video-on-demand (VOD) content can be delivered using the same protocols with easy incorporation of targeted advertising segments.

For the full press release, click here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rallycast Debuts as the First On-Screen HDTV Social Experience

Service Integrates Fantasy Sports from ESPN, CBS and Yahoo, Text Messaging & Facebook Status Updates on Internet-Connected HDTVs

Rallypoint, a leading software developer for Internet-connected HDTVs, launched Rallycast Fantasy Sports, the ultimate fantasy sports and social networking experience for Internet-connected high-definition televisions. Rallypoint also announced a new partnership with retail chain Best Buy to distribute Rallycast.

Rallycast’s line of TV Apps allow users to overlay personalized Internet content on their HDTV. Rallycast features a Toolbar menu system where users can access TV Apps for fantasy sports, check sports scores and stats, send text messages and post status updates on Facebook and write on friend’s walls. In the future, the company also plans to offer more TV Apps that feature Web 2.0 content from popular websites, expanded TV show content and home shopping.

Rallycast TV Apps are overlaid within the television program the user is watching, so users never have to change the channel, connect their computer to the TV, or take a laptop into the living room. Users can see multiple TV Apps at the same time.

Rallypoint and Best Buy are committed to educating consumers on the new capabilities of Internet-connected HDTVs and will use the in-store video network to display more information about the Rallycast product line.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ActiveVideo Enhances Product Engineering and Development Leadership to Support Increased Demand, Accelerated Deployment Worldwide

ActiveVideo Networks, a leading global provider of cloud-based interactive services that are redefining television (iTV 2.0), announced enhancements to the leadership of its product engineering and development team to drive accelerated deployment of ActiveVideo products and solutions.

In order to address growing market demand worldwide, ActiveVideo announced that Greg Brown has been promoted to the position of Vice President, Product Development, and that Mark Dawson, Vice President, Product Management, and Dr. Lena Pavlovskaia, Vice President, Advanced Development, have assumed expanded roles. All three executives report to John Callahan, CTO of ActiveVideo Networks.

Earlier this year ActiveVideo Networks strengthened its position in the fast-growing market for delivery of interactive services from the network "cloud" through the acquisition of Avinity Systems BV, a Netherlands company that now serves as ActiveVideo's European headquarters. ActiveVideo Networks anticipates that its cloud-based interactive TV solutions will be available to more than 5 million homes worldwide by the end of 2009.

For the full release, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Geek Squad Veteran Joins support.com Board of Directors

support.com, a leading provider of online technology services, announced that Mark Fries has joined its Board of Directors.

Mr. Fries is currently a partner at The ROIG Group LLC, a consulting firm specializing in accelerating value for businesses. Prior to co-founding The ROIG Group, Mr. Fries worked as a senior executive at Best Buy Co., Inc. for 10 years. During his tenure at Best Buy, Mr. Fries served as Vice President, Services Strategy and Partnerships for Best Buy's services businesses, including Geek Squad, Magnolia Home Theater Installation and Extended Warranty/Repair. Before his leadership role at Geek Squad, Mr. Fries served as Vice President and Program Executive for Best Buy's Customer Centricity initiative and Vice President for Innovation Development. Before joining Best Buy, Mr. Fries held various management positions at Target Corporation and Honeywell International Inc.