Friday, December 31, 2010

Connected TV Owners Primarily Access Netflix, Not YouTube

In the slowly growing market of Internet-connected television, 57% of owners are primarily using the functionality to access Netflix streaming.

The percentage is significant considering it surpasses by 10 percentage points (47%) the number of connected TV owners accessing YouTube, the perennial leader in online video consumption. While more users access Netflix than YouTube, YouTube was still the second most-popular service used on connected TVs. Another 54% utilize connectivity to access music and photos.

Netflix in November launched a streaming-only service domestically after announcing that a majority of its subscribers stream content versus renting physical discs.

Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis, said that until CE manufacturers and media companies increase and simplify access to entertainment content to the TV from the Internet, early adopters will navigate toward marquee brands such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

"Manufacturers are underselling the Internet features of connected TVs,” Rubin said. “Broadband features unlock worlds of on-demand content; manufacturers should provide the key by integrating Wi-Fi.”

For the complete article, please click here.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet our expert Analysts at CES

Request a briefing with the Parks Associates Analysts or a meeting with our Parks Associates Business Development Team to discuss your research needs while at CES 2011 on January 6th.

Farhan Abid, Research Analyst

Home Systems, Energy Management and Smart Grid Technologies, Entertainment Systems, Home Systems Integration Channel, Home Builders

Bill Ablondi, Director, Home Systems Research

Home Systems, Home Controls, Energy Management and Smart Grid, Home Security, Entertainment Systems, Home Systems Integration Channel, Home Builders and Multifamily Executives

Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst

Gaming Content and Services, Game Consoles, Connected Consumer Electronics, 3D TV Technologies and Services, Consumer Storage Products and Services

Laura Allen Phillips, Research Analyst

Digital Media, Online Video, Digital Music, Social Networking, Consumer Storage and “Cloud Media” Services & Technologies

Brett Sappington, Senior Analyst

Residential Broadband Services, Digital Television Services, Value-added Services, Interactive Technology and Services, TV Everywhere, User Interfaces, Set-top Boxes

Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst

Home Networks & Residential Gateways, Home Networking Media (Wi-Fi,, HomePlug, MoCA, etc.), Set-top Boxes, Connected Consumer Electronics, Consumer Storage Products and Services, Media Server Hardware and Software, Value-added Services, Online Video, Consumers and Digital Entertainment, Digital Home Technical Support Services

Harry Wang, Director, Health & Mobile Product Research

Digital Health Products and Services, Portable and Mobile Access Platforms and Applications, Digital Imaging Products and Services

Heather Way, Research Analyst

Digital Media, Emerging Advertising Technologies, Digital Video Advertising

Monday, December 27, 2010

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a historic vote Tuesday, approved network neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking customer access to legal Web content, but many consumer groups decried the new regulations as weak and full of loopholes.

The new rules provide fewer protections for mobile broadband subscribers and may lead to a fractured Internet, critics said. The new rules, a compromise championed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, would bar wireline-based broadband providers -- but not mobile broadband providers -- from "unreasonable discrimination" against Web traffic, prompting some consumer groups to call the rules "fake" net neutrality.

Genachowski's plan, approved after more than seven years of debate about whether net neutrality rules are needed, also contains several loopholes for broadband providers, critics said, including an exception for managed services separate from the public Internet.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

"Call of Duty: Black Ops" sets record for Activision

Activision Blizzard Inc has raked in more than $1 billion in worldwide sales of "Call of Duty: Black Ops," the latest installment of the U.S. game publisher's most successful franchise.

That performance built on the previous benchmark of $650 million of sales in the game's first five days, which set a five-day global record for a movie, book or videogame, the company said.

Wall Street's expectations run high for Activision's holiday quarter, based also on the company's latest "World of Warcraft" installment. But sales in the $50 billion U.S. video game industry -- which has been slow to bounce back from the recession -- are down 5 percent for the year to November 30.

Despite a strong November, research group NPD estimates that overall sales of gaming hardware and software for 2010 are likely to range from $18.8 billion to $19.6 billion, the top of which would be roughly flat with last year.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Samsung, Others to Show New Tablets at CES

Samsung will show at the Consumer Electronics Show an iPad-sized tablet with a unique style of slide out keyboard, according to The New York Times.

The device will run Windows 7 in landscape mode but will switch to a special interface when in tablet mode (or in portrait mode, without the keyboard). The Samsung tablet will receive a formal introduction during Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at CES, along with a new tablet from Dell and other suppliers.

at CES, hopes to counter the iPad with business-use or work-horse devices for business people who want to both read newspapers and magazines on a tablet and switch over to Excel, Word or PowerPoint.

For the complete article, please click here.

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E-Readers With Color Open Door for Pictures

Millions of consumers have embraced black-and-white e-readers like the Kindle for reading simple novels or nonfiction — but books with color illustrations have generally remained better read in print.

Now publishers are making headway in converting their enormous libraries of illustrated titles to e-books, hoping to capitalize on the growing popularity of the Apple iPad and the Nook Color and their ability to showcase books with color photographs and illustrations.

Apple said that it was set to make a major push into illustrated books, introducing more than 100 titles to its iBookstore, an assortment of children’s books, photography books and cookbooks.

Some of the most popular children’s picture books of all time will be available, including some of the “Olivia” picture books, published by Simon & Schuster. Other titles are “Ad Hoc at Home,” a lavish cookbook by the chef Thomas Keller; “Beginnings,” by the photographer Anne Geddes; and “In the National Parks,” a photograph collection by Ansel Adams.

Publishers have been eager to sell illustrated books in digital form, particularly picture books for children, since they could eventually become a significant additional source of revenue.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Paramount to put enhanced movies for Windows Phone 7

Paramount said it will bring out 10 movie apps of its films just for Windows Phone 7 smartphones. The first of these apps is School of Rock, now available in the US and Canadian Windows Phone Marketplace, with other markets getting it before year's end. Each app uses Microsoft Silverlight and includes the full movie, as well as themed menus, buttons, bonus features and other special experiences.

Three other titles named thus far include Zoolander, Waiting for Superman and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The remaining six titles will be announced at a later, unspecified date. From the app, users can cut their own custom clips, answer trivia about the movie with Scene It? questions, and a Movie Info section that names the actors, music and places in the movie.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Tech Behind Hit Games Comes to iPhone

The technology behind hit videogames such as “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Gears of War 3″ is coming to iPhone and iPad game developers this week, in another sign that mobile gaming is booming on Apple’s platforms.

Epic Games is planning to release an updated version of its game-development tools, known as the Unreal Development Kit, to the public soon. The kit, which is free to download, will include new tools to create high-quality graphics and animations on iOS, effectively simplifying and speeding up the development processes for games. Epic doesn’t charge license fees to tinker with the kit nor to make free games. But, if developers want to sell their apps, they have to pay a $99 licensing fee and 25% royalties after the first $5,000 in sales.

Apple has sold more than 125 million devices using its iOS operating system, strongly competing against the Nintendo DS, which has shipped roughly 135 million units, and the PlayStation Portable, which has sold more than 62 million units.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Comcast Testing Internet TV Service

Comcast Corp. is testing a new service that knits together television and the Internet, as the U.S. cable giant goes after rivals that threaten to undermine its business.

Users can watch and search a smattering of Web video through their televisions and search across live, on-demand and recorded programming.

The service, known to participants as "Spectrum" and internally as "Xcalibur," doesn't let participants freely browse the Web, though they do have some basic connections to social networks to comment on television shows, the people familiar with the matter said.

While the test is small, it marks a significant step in the efforts of the largest TV distributor in the U.S. to adapt to the rise of Internet programming and the cohort of devices—such as Roku boxes and Apple TV—that make it easier and more convenient to watch.

Those efforts, including forays from giants like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Apple Inc., haven't displaced traditional TV so far. Cable companies are quick to point out that the new players may struggle to manage the costs of delivering massive amounts of content without the infrastructure cable operators have. But they are emerging as stronger competitors as they procure more content and strike partnerships with video brands like Netflix Inc.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CONNECTIONS Summit at CES to address video strategies as U.S. online video viewers to reach 215 million by 2014

The final session of CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES, "Video Everywhere: Key Strategies," will examine market implications of TV Everywhere, VOD, and connected TVs, along with the risks of cord cutting, featuring speakers from Rovi, Korea Telecom, DivX, ActiveVideo Networks, and Sigma Designs.

The penetration of connected TVs and Blu-ray players has tripled in the past year, and over one-third of U.S. broadband household report increased time spent watching long-form videos on a PC. Consumer expectations for the video experience are expanding, and service providers and CE manufacturers must meet these demands or risk losing customers to competitors and over-the-top sources.

"Video Everywhere" session speakers:

  • Sean Besser, VP, Business Development, Rovi Corp.

  • Woo Seung Lee, Team Manager, Media Business Planning Department, Korea Telecom

  • Matt Milne, EVP and GM, DivX

  • Edgar Villalpando, SVP, Marketing, ActiveVideo Networks

  • Michael Weismann, VP Corporate Marketing, Sigma Designs

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES provides consumer data and analysis of business and marketing strategies for operators, CE manufacturers, utilities, and communications companies delivering connected devices and advanced services and applications to consumers.

For information about CONNECTIONS™ Conferences, visit

Accedo Broadband and Popbox announce application partnership

Accedo Broadband, the leading provider of interactive applications for IPTV and Connected TV, and Syabas, the maker of the innovative Popbox over-the-top device today announced a partnership for applications on the Popbox devices.

The first set of applications from Accedo to be launched on Popbox is a range of games from its popular Funspot casual game portfolio.

The innovative Popbox platform enables consumers to enjoy a wide assortment of content including blockbuster movies, Internet radio, home videos, photos, music, games and more directly on their TV.

Visitors attending CES can view demos of the initial apps deployed by Accedo on the Popbox platform by appointment only at the Hilton. Contact Steve Young for appointment.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Smart TVs Need to Succeed: Three Pillars of Smart TV's

The Internet and TV are finally converging, in a way consumers seem to be responding to.
Intel is trying to brand smart TVs as something different from Internet-connected TVs - poised to be a hot item this holiday season - that have web-based features but fall short of being smart.

In Intel's world,says Wilfred Martis, a smart TV must meet the following three pillars:

Unlimited Content Access: "To do that, you need a browser." This means a smart TV shouldn't be restricted by the apps available to run on it. It should be able to grab any content that lives on the web. The only product that really does that, at the moment, sort of, is Google TV (available on some Sony products and the Logitech Revue).

Extensive Use of Apps: Martis emphasized that the architecture should be easy for app developers to use so apps would be plentiful. Again, this plays into Intel's strengths since its basic architecture is widely used and would allow easy portability of apps from one platform to a smart TV platform. "Creative developers will enhance the way users experience television," he says.

Immersive Experience: OK, this one's kind of obvious, but also one that's difficult to get right. Having used Google TV for a couple of weeks, I'm a little split on how immersive it is. But it is pretty good and the best method I've seen to integrate the web beyond the gated community of apps you will find on devices like a PS3, Roku or most Internet-connected TVs.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movies at Home, for $20,000

A proposed service aims to bring movies to homes the same day they hit theaters, a milestone that Hollywood has long anticipated with a mixture of fear and fascination.

But there's a catch: At the prices currently being discussed by Prima Cinema Inc., the start-up that is touting the service, those movies will reach only world's the best-appointed living rooms.

Prima plans to charge customers a one-time fee of about $20,000 for a digital-delivery system and an additional $500 per film. The Los Angeles-based company has around $5 million in backing from the venture arm of Best Buy Co. and General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, and hopes to start delivering movies to customers as soon as a year from now.

The steep price has been met with mixed reactions in Hollywood. Some executives question whether it will be possible to build a market beyond a few thousand users. (Prima says it plans to install its systems in 250,000 homes within five years.) Others say the high price would create an exclusive, super-premium niche market without cutting into existing sources of revenue.

Prima isn't the only company trying to bring movies to homes faster. Time Warner Inc., which owns Warner Bros., has said it expects to test an early-release offering with a new film as soon as next year. Under the program, consumers would pay roughly $20 to $30 to watch digital copies of movies within a month or two of their release in theaters.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google Acquires Two Companies, Voice Synthesis And Video Optimization

Google has agreed to acquire acquire Cambridge, England-based Phonetic Arts, and video software maker Widevine Technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed for either.

While Phonetic Arts will help Google support speech synthesis to support natural computer speech from recorded voices, Widevine will allow the Mountain View, Calif. company to stream videos to consumers supported by optimization software and a digital rights management (DRM) platform.

Google will maintain Widevine's agreements with customers and provide support for existing and future clients such as AT&T, Best Buy and Netflix. There are plans to build Widevine's technology into Google's to enhance both sets of products, which should improve lagging video content available through devices such as Google TV.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Ralink First to Offer Per-Packet Antenna Diversity Technology in World’s Smallest and Most Integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi Router-on-a-Chip

Ralink Technology Corporation, a leading developer of high performance wired and wireless networking solutions, today announced the world’s first 802.11n router-on-a-chip to include per-packet antenna diversity technology. With MIPS CPU, 5 port 10/100 Ethernet MAC/PHY, PMU, radio, baseband and power amplifiers all contained on a single die, Ralink’s new RT5350 delivers the high performance, smaller size and attractive pricing required for integration into today’s high volume router, broadband connectivity, and consumer electronics products

The RT5350 router-on-a-chip includes an 802.11n media access controller (MAC) and baseband, a 2.4GHz radio and FEM, a 360 MHz MIPS® 24K™ CPU core, and a 5-port 10/100 Ethernet MAC/PHY. The RT5350 requires fewer components and includes almost everything needed to build an AP router from a single chip. The embedded chip level per-packet antenna diversity function enhances load balance and coverage. These results in almost 40 percent faster WLAN throughput over range compared to conventional 1x1 single antenna competing solutions in a multiple-client environment. The USB port can be configured to access external storage for Digital Home applications. In addition, the RT5350 has multiple hardware interfaces (SPI/PCM/I2S/I2C/UART/GDMA) to enable interoperability with many possible applications. Moreover, it features a configurable boot clock rate to prevent 3G, LTE frequency interference.

To read the complete article, please click here.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Latens Pace announcement

Pace the world leader in set top boxes and advanced residential gateways has acquired Latens Systems. The combination of Pace and Latens brings the potential of a new level of global presence, innovation and investment that will allow Latens to accelerate the development of Pay TV technologies.

Latens will continue to operate as an independent supplier of leading technology in the Pay TV business. This will allow Latens to continue its open approach to working with leading industry suppliers such as set top box manufacturers, ensuring our customers continue to have best of breed solutions and choice of suppliers.

For the complete article, please click here.

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CONNECTIONS Summit at CES to feature analyst roundtable, 3DTV, smartphones, connected home services, and consumer buying habits

Parks Associates will open CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES on January 6 with the session "Analyst Roundtable: The Connected Home is Here!" at 10:00 a.m., featuring expert analysis on the expansion of enhanced connectivity in the home.

Sales of Internet-capable consumer electronics will exceed 200 million worldwide in 2011. Mainstream adoption of digital technologies is reaching all corners of the home. Multiple players, including content owners, CE companies, retailers, broadband and communications providers, and energy utilities, will seek to enhance their consumer relationships through new applications, services, and features that fit with these new market demands.

  • In 2011, 36% of new flat-panel TVs sold worldwide will be Internet-capable, growing to 76% of all units in 2015.

  • Smartphones and Internet-capable CE remain popular purchases despite CE purchase intentions plunging from almost 50% in 2009 to 38% in 2010.

  • In 2011, U.S. sales of smartphones will reach nearly 60 million, and Internet tablets, including Apple iPads , will exceed 13 million.

  • By 2014, 80% of new flat-panel TVs sold in the U.S. and Western Europe will have 3D capabilities.

The analyst roundtable will feature data from recent consumer projects, including Consumer Decision Process, Residential Energy Management, Consumer Demand for Technical Support Services, and Digital Video: Three Screens and Beyond.

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES is on the first day of 2011 International CES in the South Hall Convention Center, Rooms S206-207. Summit sessions:

Analyst Roundtable: The Connected Home is Here!
Operator Strategies: Video, Services, and Support
Monetizing Connected Consumer Electronics
Executive Roundtable: The Smart Grid and the Home Area Network
Anytime Anywhere Entertainment & Communication – Mobile Applications
Video Everywhere: Key Strategies

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES includes support from CONNECTIONS™ Europe sponsors Accedo Broadband, ActiveVideo Networks, ADB, Gigle Networks, Latens, PacketVideo, ProVision Communications, Radialpoint, Ralink Technology Corporation, Virgin Media, and Zeitera. CONNECTIONS™ 2011 sponsors include Association Sponsor CEA and Affinegy, Allegro, HCL, iTOK, Rovi, and Roxio.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Sigma Designs, a leading provider of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for delivering entertainment and control throughout the home, today announced that it is the recipient of two prestigious industry awards. Sigma’s HomePlug® AV with Clearpath™ (CG2110CP) has been named an International CES Innovations2011 Design and Engineering Award Honoree in the Enabling Technology category. It was also named a TelcoTV Vision Award Winner.

HomePlug AV with ClearPath is a breakthrough home networking technology that enables unprecedented, carrier-class streaming of HD video, voice, and data over existing powerlines in the home. Sigma’s chipset uses all three wires – phase, neutral, and ground to deliver improved performance and up to twice the throughput. It is the only MIMO (multiple in, multiple out)solution available over powerline. Sigma’s HomePlug AV with ClearPath gives substantially better coverage, throughput, and the ability to deliver HD where it is not possible today. Both ClearPath and MIMO over powerline are Sigma patented technologies.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CONNECTIONS EU - HCL's view on Mobile Broadband Panel

Folks we had an interesting session on Mobile Broadband: Devices, Strategies and Consumer Demand at Connections Europe 2010 last week (Nov. 15-16) at Amsterdam, Europe. Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates, our moderator, kept the discussions focused with pointed questions. We started off with each panelist given 4 minutes to introduce themselves, their company, and opening remarks about the topic.

Andrew Bielinski from Vidiator spoke about their mobile media delivery platform, Xenon, and its role in enabling rich media services. I agree with him on the utility of such a platform. Clearly mobile operators are looking at ways to participate in the mobile content delivery value chain. Operators around the world have different levels of sophistication, experience, willingness to experiment and innovate. The bigger ones are willing to take on aggregating mobile content and services on their own and offer “branded services” while others are looking to partner and create revenue sharing models. For those operators who also play in the fixed space, they are looking to differentiate their offerings via the so-called “three-screen strategy” where operators let their subscribers experience content on any screen – PC, mobile or the traditional TV set. In any case, mobile media delivery platforms have an important role to play to make sure that all modes of content delivery – streaming, progressive download, download are available for the widest choice of content, to a multitude of mobile end points with the highest quality of experience and resiliency and in a manner which optimizes wireless network usage.

Laureen Cook gave a wonderful exposition of the various on-going activities at ngConnect. Clearly, 4G/LTE is the key driver for such initiatives. I believe the ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, applications and content has opened immense possibilities to create and monetize services across vertical industries. Digital Signage and Mobile LED, if properly networked, and powered with contextual relevance and configured as a means for point of sale offers tremendous opportunities for the retail segment. Likewise, a LTE Connected Car, can access your entire audio-video library from the home media server or over the Internet for the listening-viewing pleasure of the passengers while on the move. These trends open up new vistas for automotive industry where they can offer new services in the “app store” model. E-healthcare and M-health present new revenue generating opportunities for mobile operators. “If Telefonica has its way, your knee will one day call your doctor. In partnership with Barcelona's Hospital de la Esperanza, Telefonica has developed a knee brace embedded with motion sensors that enable physicians to monitor patients' rehabilitation remotely after they've been discharged from the hospital. As they exercise, patients--and there are 200 testing the device right now--watch their movements simulated via a 3D avatar on a computer, which wirelessly sends the data to the doctor for view on a PC or cell phone. Telefonica aims to sell the brace to hospitals worldwide when trials are completed by next year.” (Source: When Body Parts Call the Doctor, Business Week; 4/12/2010, Issue 4173, p54-55, 2p). Machine-to-Machine applications where the broadband subscription, is attached to a device and not necessarily to an end-user is yet another monetization opportunity. Smart metering/grid applications, video monitoring/surveillance, wireless subscriptions added to e-reader devices are some examples of this category of services.

HCL ERS is uniquely positioned to play a major role in this segment by virtue of our work across these vertical industries and a strong competency in telecom & networking .

Arnaud Le Hung from Ruckus Wireless, spoke about the advances in the WiFi space, their 802.11n offerings and its relevance in the mobile broadband. WiFi plays a major role for data offload as well as offers a wireless distribution medium within the home or a hot spot. In this way, WiFi can be seen as complementary to mobile broadband. FMC approaches based on Femto cells and Pico cells extend the offload parlance to apply over licensed spectrum.

Yves Tjoens from ALU, emphasized the applications enabling framework for homes, which provides opportunities for bringing in walled garden and 3rd party content as well as creating a unified FMC environment for the home. He also talked about the impact of increased signaling traffic with the proliferation of mobile devices and the need for optimization in this space. Through embedded proxies in gateways collaborating with control logic in the network infrastructure, a notion of “personal” cloud is realized, where content is moved seamlessly between the mobile, PC and TVs whether at home or outside the home. Elements of home automation and home security can also be addressed in this framework.

There is no doubt, that mobile broadband, offers many opportunities for revenue growth for the mobile operators. My point is that mobile operators have the benefit of 20:20 hindsight. They have seen what has worked and what has not worked. Internet Players and Device manufacturers have leveraged their assets to create interesting business models. Apple and Google have shown the value of ad’s and targeted services – mobile operators can do a lot more by effectively mining all the data they have about the subscriber to create what is a 360-degree view of individuals – who they are, what services they use, where they are and how they are connected at any given time, what roles they play at, how and when they use their services, even to whom they are connected, how much they pay, their lifestyle choices, and their privacy preferences. So beyond offering mobile broadband connectivity services either retail or wholesale, mobile operators can leverage these “SMARTS” in their networks for “SMARTER” service offerings for a much bigger pie of the service delivery market.

The 70:30 revenue shares between the app store provider and developers has been successful to some extent. Powered by high performance application CPUs from vendors such as Intel, ARM and Qualcomm and driven by an “open” OS environment, such as that provided by Android, Symbian, Moblin, Apple iOS, RIM, Windows mobile and others, apps usage has unleashed a surge in mobile broadband traffic and have opened up new revenue opportunities for providers. Higher resolution screens, 3D graphics, combined with higher bandwidth, low latency and differentiated QoS of 4G/LTE - is bringing superior video-rich experience to the end user. This presents significant opportunities for mobile operators. Similar to the “open” environment promoted by device manufacturers and Internet players, mobile operators can expose APIs for 3rd party application enablement. By exposing network assets through open interfaces, capabilities of the network can be leveraged in unique ways for a long tail of software applications for different vertical segments of the industry such as healthcare, automotive, energy utilities, media and entertainment. For example, MVNOs can leverage the mobile operator’s network for creating their own branded services. Media and Entertainment content producers can leverage mobile CDN services to reach their end customers. By creating such arrangements, operators can provide “deep hook” services and secure their position in the service delivery value chain. This has the potential for being a HUGE revenue multiplier for delivered services and gives the operators the revenue growth they need to fix the so-called the Y curve of revenue vs. traffic growth.

Beyond this, services like RCS which provide IM, presence-enabled address books, video sharing have the potential for seeing an uptake with 4G/LTE. OOT Internet services can also be offered with tiered subscription plans, or funded through targeted advertizing. Personalized services that leverage presence, location and subscriber data mining will enable a richer set of monetizable service offerings. Further, mobile operators can have “billing” relationships not only with the end users but also with other market players like enterprises across vertical industries, Internet players, content owners, and others. In this type of business model, known as the 2-sided business model, the operator can have revenue sharing agreements with other providers by exposing its assets like location, subscriber data, presence information, QoS, for smarter, personalized service offerings. Amazon Kindle, sponsored broadband, smart metering, are some examples of such services. Clearly as a trusted provider, mobile operators have an edge over OOT players.

HCL ERS plays in the entire service delivery ecosystem: consumer devices space such as mobile end points, product engineering services space for various 4G/LTE network elements such as eNodeB, mobile backhaul, mobile packet core, offers product engineering for service enablement elements such as PCRF, BSS/OSS, IMS-based solutions and supports application development. With “out-of-the-box” innovative product engineering services, combined with its presence in different vertical segments such as healthcare, media & entertainment, energy & utilities, automotives, aero, financial, retail, and with core competency in telecom and networking HCL ERS can be a prime system integration partner for OEMs who are looking to create and deploy long tail of value added services for these segments for faster time to market. All in all future looks very bright for revenues from mobile broadband, if things done right by the operators.

Content submitted by Deepak Kataria, HCL. To view his speaker highlight, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Canal+ introduces prepaid cards for IPTV

French pay-TV provider Canal+ is offering parts of its programming free of charge to subscribers of the Orange TV and BBox IPTV platforms until December 1. The operator has also introduced prepaid cards for IPTV viewers.

The move is part of a big marketing push by the pay-TV operator to increase the number of subscribers to its main premium channels, Canal+, Canal+ Décalé, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Family and Canal+ Cinéma. Orange TV as well as Bouygues Telecom’s BBox customers can watch eight hours a day of premium programming for free.

The Canal+ group has also introduced pre-paid cards for triple play subscribers to the IPTV services from Orange, SFR, Free, Alice, Darty and Bouygues Telecom. For €10 people have one week access to the five main channels from Canal+, or to the CanalSat thematic bouquet.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Broadcom gets Gigle in home networking acquisition

Semiconductor firm Broadcom has agreed to acquire fellow chip company Gigle Networks for $75 million in cash--a deal that will have implications in the rapidly consolidating powerline home networking segment, as well as affecting the broader push toward home standard home networking.

, a privately-held company based in Barcelona, Spain, is a member of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, which promotes the HomePlug AV specification for home networking. However, the company also has been working in the arena and should help speed Broadcom’s advances into both of these segments.

Broadcom will look to incorporate Gigle’s HomePlug chips, which are also IEEE 1901-compliant, into set-top boxes, routers and residential gateways manufactured by its equipment vendor partners.

For the complete article, please click here.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did Adaptive Rate Streaming Get Enough Attention during the OTT Spotlight in 2010?

As the end of 2010 draws closer, we’d like to take a few minutes to examine some of the technologies and trends that have significantly impacted the market in 2010.

You’ll notice that OTT has been a common theme throughout our blog posts this year – we have tackled issues ranging from the likelihood of traditional TV operators embracing OTT video as a service to how service providers can capitalize on advanced OTT technologies to enable new streams of business to the growing support for HTTP Live Streaming.

In addition to helping operators maximize the effectiveness of their existing bandwidth, ARS also offers many advantages over previous video delivery techniques over the Internet. For instance, it naturally supports home firewall transparency, and a wide variety of use cases — it can deliver video across a combination of wired and wireless networks, through any combination of home broadband devices and firewall devices.

In our opinion, this is extremely important because the protocols that we’ve been using for IPTV, in particular, don’t have those properties, and as a result they don’t work very well around the home. In comparison with previous video techniques used on the Internet, such as progressive download, we see both improvements in operational cost savings for the service provider and in the quality of consumer experience.

And the improvements to the quality of the consumer experience are tremendous. This is so important because user experience is perhaps the most important determinant of success for businesses that rely on video delivery. People don’t expect their video material to stop and start and for the audio to drop; they expect a very seamless, continuous experience, and they are not very forgiving of delivery issues. ARS provides that seamless experience even when conditions deteriorate sharply or if sharing of bandwidth occurs.

In partnership with Harmonic, we worked with Ben Schwarz to author a primer talking about the impact of ARS. You will find a high-level technical description that leads to the technology trade-offs of the different flavors of ARS (from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe). It is written as a guide to help operators make sound selection parameters and consider business implications based on those decisions. You can download the primer at

We think ARS is one of the year’s most significant enabling technologies, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for 2011. What ARS advancements do you think we will see in 2011?

Sign up for our Authorized Access newsletters to stay informed on the latest news on revenue security, conditional access and digital TV developments.

-- Content submitted by Vermatrix

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Panasonic Blu-ray Players Add Vudu Service

Panasonic announced it has added Vudu's HD movie streaming service to its line of Viera Cast-enabled Blu-ray Disc players, beginning on Nov. 24.

Vudu is a video-on-demand service offering instant streaming (no download time) of movies and TV programs through IPTV-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players with no computer or cable/satellite TV service required, and no subscription or monthly membership fees.

Vudu's service offers an extensive library of HD movies available for streaming to connected equipment, many of which are available at a $2 rate for a two-night rental. Additionally, many new releases are available on the service on the same day as they are released as DVDs.

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CONNECTIONS US - Now accepting speaker submissions

Interested in Presenting Your Company's Vision at CONNECTIONS 2011?

Submit today to be a speaker at the 2011 CONNECTIONS U.S Conference in Santa Clara, California.

CONNECTIONS addresses critical business issues pertaining to the converging entertainment, media, and service markets for consumers. The CONNECTIONS audience is 550+ top executives, media, and thought leaders in the digital living markets. Presentations include information and analysis on the following subjects: New Business Models; Case Study; Consumer Trends, Factors, or Research; Challenges/Opportunities; Technology Trends; Standards/
Interoperability Issues.

Event Topics include:
Accepting submissions for this event until January 31, 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vidiator - Company Highlight

Vidiator have made a major product transition from being focused on mobile streaming (typically this means RTSP to mobile devices) to investing their resources and mobile video experience into delivering a converged HTTP streaming platform. This change has been very successful.

They now truly have a great product.

Vidiator believes they are the strongest player in the market because they offer all essential parts of the mobile video distribution from encoding to delivery. For example, they offer integration software that ensures HTTP streaming can be used with proper tracking and billing methods. Their flexible product and the fact that they go onsite and build large systems and ensure high class support to their customers, makes them unique in the business.

They are really excited to be releasing the 6th generation of our Xenon platform in the next few months. It contains delivery of iPhone, Flash and Silverlight in HD. Vidiator has a unique encode once for all formats approach where our customers can save a lot of hardware in converged solutions using our method.

Their company mission is to ensure service providers can deliver an excellent and consistent user experience on any device and network.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oxygen Audio debuts car stereo with iPhone interface

French electronics manufacturer Oxygen Audio will introduce an audio system at CES 2011 that uses an iPhone as the head unit interface. The O'Car audio system physically integrates an iPhone by snapping it to the front of the audio deck. A cantilever swivels the phone horizontally or vertically, and angles it in any direction.

Using the iPhone as the software platform, you'll be able to use your favorite app-du-jour for traffic information and navigation or whatever new technology comes to the market--as long as it goes to your phone. A downloadable app controls the entertainment system, offering AM/FM/RDS radio, 4 by 55 watt amp and subwoofer control, and also provides seamless app multitasking.

The single DIN head unit, which will retail for $299 in first quarter of 2011 (although there's a chance European markets will get it before Christmas), is equipped with hands-free calling Bluetooth capabilities and an external speaker. While you won't be able to access programs on your phone using voice commands, the O'Car app will automatically dim audio programs for voice prompts if you're using turn-by-turn directions or receiving or making phone calls, said Oxygen Audio spokesman Gregory Borchardt. And should you decide to switch devices, the aftermarket manufacturer is developing adapters for Androids.

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