We’ve been talking about ACR (automatic content recognition) in blogs and at conferences for quite some time now (most recently, the 10th prediction for second screen trends in 2013). For many players in the ecosystem (including consumers), the ability to trigger an event on the second screen based on what is happening on the first screen is somewhat of a holy grail of enabling technology capabilities. But as we discussed at NAB in April and at IBC in September, this has so far remained elusive in terms of real scale for consumers reached because of the challenges inherent in each of the various approaches.”
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At IBC 2012, httv, the France and Singapore based solutions provider for Digital TV, will showcase the first commercial deployment of its STB turnkey solution: “httvBOX”. Televes, a leading European STB manufacturer, has chosen httv’s httvBOX firmware solution to launch its HbbTV compliant set top box.
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“This is definitely going to be the multiscreen IBC. It is a consumer-led movement: already more than 40 percent of consumers use social media from the couch in front of the television. Social media is both triggering and being triggered by television viewing, and users are as happy to watch on an iPad as on a large television screen. The key will be putting the right content onto multiple screens without changing the essential television experience.”
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Steve Mack, who was in on the ground floor at RealNetworks in 1995 and who wrote the original Streaming Media Bible in 2002, once said to me “Metadata isn’t cool. But the stuff you can do with metadata is very cool.”. The same might be said of streaming protocols. The technologies behind the acronyms RTMP, RTSP, HTTP, UDP, and TCP might not be as sexy as topics such as social media, monetization, and even that other acronym du jour, OTT, but without them, none of the sexy stuff would work.
Each year, IBC presents a great opportunity to see what our industry is doing, hear what it is saying and find out where it is going. This year was no different and the volume of visitors, exhibitors and some great speakers showcased an industry in good health with an exciting, if somewhat unpredictable, future. Having listened to and participated in a number of conference sessions, chatted with many customers, vendors and colleagues and shortened the lifespan of my shoes wandering the vast exhibition halls, here are my top ten trends of IBC 2011 in no particular order.
Tvinci, the Pay Over-the-Top video platform provider, today announced its OTT Platform has won the ‘Best Web TV technology or service’ category in the 2011 CSI Product Awards. The annual ceremony, which was held at IBC, Amsterdam, recognizes solutions that demonstrate technology innovation, market leadership and which meet a clear need in the industry. Judged independently, the Tvinci OTT platform was meticulously evaluated by an expert panel, which recognized its unique capacity to offer both service providers and end users an OTT experience with a personalized approach towards video consumption.
This week at IBC there was some skin placed on the bones of the UPC Horizon box, something which now has so much hype about it, it could never possibly live up to the expectations observers have placed on it. It may however live up to those placed on it by UPC and its parent Liberty Global.
Forgive our skepticism, but when your product has missed its original ship date by over half a year, we aren’t believing anything until we see it. Or, should we say, our colleagues in Europe see it. Iomega’s Olivier D’Eternod — Head of Product Marketing for EMEA — was recently on-hand at IBC in Amsterdam, and he was quoted over at Intel’s blog as saying that the ‘TV with Boxee’ would be “available in Europe by mid-October.”
Later today, I’ll be speaking on a panelwith Jason Wong from Tivo, Anna Cronin from Channel 4 (UK), David Docherty from Digital TV Group, Gile Cottle from Informa Telecoms and Bill Scott from EaselTV at IBC. The topic of the panel is the democratization of content via connected televisions.