Insider Reporter

Insider Report

news and views on broadcast and professional video/audio sectors, worldwide

w/e December 9, 2007 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2007


Technology News | Industry News | Company News |
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DTT to surpass 50% by 2010 in Europe

Digital terrestrial television has become Europe’s second digital TV distribution platform, according to Italian consultancy e-Media Institute.

According to data from June 2007, DTT was received in 25 million households in Western Europe, compared to 37 million satellite TV households. Digital cable and IPTV had respectively 13 million and 4 million. In comparison, the number of DTT households in December 2005 totalled slightly less than 14 million.

In Italy, figures from the end of September 2007 indicate that the percentage of DTT households stood at 17 per cent. According to the e-Media Institute, this figure is lower than originally forecast, due to the strong slowdown in growth registered over the past two years. The expectation is that Italian DTT penetration could top 50 per cent by 2010.

The study also indicates that, in three years time, all the main European countries will register a digital TV penetration close to or higher than 90 per cent. The only exception being Germany, due to a strong analogue multichannel environment dominated by cable. According to the e-Media Institute, Italian digital penetration would arrive to 87 per cent, thanks to the expected expansion of DTT. In the top five countries i

n Europe (France, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain), IPTV and DTT will be the platforms with the highest growth between 2006 and 2010, registering growth rates of 40 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

Mobile TV: Subscribers but no profits

According to Mobile TV: Business Models and Opportunities from Screen Digest, MNOs must offer mobile TV but won’t make any money from it in the near term.

Looking across 25 countries it concludes that in the short term network operators don’t stand to make much profit from offering mobile TV services yet they must offer it to remain competitive. Operators who do not offer mobile TV will simply lose their subscribers to other operators or other media devices, such as the in-car devices so popular in Asia. The lion’s share of the income from offering mobile TV services will be shared between the handset manufacturers, software companies, content creators and network owners.

Online Video Report

ComScore, specialists in measuring the digital world, has released its Video Metrix report for September 2007, revealing that nearly 75 per cent of US Internet users watched a video online (including both streaming video and progressive downloads), averaging three hours of video per person during the month. Google Sites, which includes, topped the September rankings with both the most unique video viewers and most videos viewed.

September saw Americans view more than nine billion videos online, with Google Sites once again ranking as the top US video property with 2.6 billion videos viewed (28.3 per cent share of videos), 2.5 billion of which occurred at (27.6 per cent). Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 387 million (4.2 per cent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 381 million (4.1 per cent) and Viacom Digital with 304 million (3.3 per cent

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Broadcast Technology Sales Up 14 Percent

Sales are increasing at more than 14 per cent per annum in broadcast and media technology companies worldwide, according to the latest Industry Index published today by the IABM - the trade association which represents broadcast and media technology suppliers

Sales for European companies are storming ahead at over 17 per cent per annum, while their North American counterparts are growing at just 10.3 per cent. The profit-to-sales ratio stands at 12 per cent with European businesses leading the way as well. Large companies dominate the profit performance with a profit-to-sales ratio of 13 per cent compared to smaller businesses at just 3 per cent.

The IABM released the index which tracks the financial performance of more than 60 companies who in total report sales of $8.6billion, representing more than two thirds of the global market. The Index is balanced at 50:50 North America to European companies based on sales turnover.

Commenting on the report, Roger Crumpton, IABM CEO said, "Our market is changing fast and companies are achieving an excellent level of performance. The continued roll-out of HD and digital operating infrastructures is supporting that growth."

BBC HD launches

BBC HD, the UK's first free-to-air high definition television channel, has launched on satellite and cable. Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision said: "I am delighted that BBC HD, the UK's first public service HD channel…HD is the next generation of television and a real opportunity for programme makers to reach out to the audience in ways they have never done before. HD is a real creative enabler making our programmes even more powerful and outstanding." BBC HD is available on channel 143 on Sky and on channel 108 on Virgin Media.

NAB '08 to Spotlight Content Community

NAB 2008 will enhance its focus on the content community within the media marketplace, show organizers from the National Association of Broadcasters announced.

Scheduled speakers at the 2008 show will include iconic author Alvin Toffler, whose book Future Shock has sold more than six million copies and accurately forecast the disruptive influence on global economics by transformative information and content delivery technologies.

Given that NAB Show attendees represent every stage of the content life cycle, including creation, management, commerce, distribution and consumption, this year's show will feature a content theater, two pavilions dedicated to IPTV and mobile solutions, and a commerce area to facilitate content partnership opportunities. The content theater will feature high-level Q&A sessions, keynote speeches and panel discussions to be presented alongside segment screenings of recent, cutting-edge films.

NAB also unveiled a new logo and tagline -- NAB Show: Where Content Comes to Life -- demonstrating the show's commitment to serving the entire content community.

"By spotlighting the content community, the NAB Show will remain the dominant event for the future of content creation, management and delivery," said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. "Whether it is broadcast TV and radio, the Internet, satellite, IPTV or the next yet-invented handheld device, it is content that serves as the unifying driver of entertainment and innovation."

Toffler, whose other best-selling books include The Third Wave and Revolutionary Wealth, will be speaking at an event open to all NAB Show attendees. He and his spouse, Heidi -- a co-author of many of his books -- have been called by Time magazine "the standard by which all subsequent would-be futurists have been measured." Toffler has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, a faculty member at the New School for Social Research, and an editor at Fortune magazine.

The NAB Show will take place April 11 - 17, 2008 in Las Vegas (exhibits open April 14). It is the world's largest electronic media show covering the development, delivery and management of professional video and audio content across all mediums. Complete details are available at

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Harris acquires Zandar

Harris Corporation has acquired Zandar Technologies, a privately held developer and provider of high-quality multi-image display processors for television broadcast and professional video markets.

Irdeto buys Cloakware

Irdeto announced it has acquired 100 per cent of Cloakware, a privately held software company based in Virginia, USA and Ottawa, Canada. Graham Kill, CEO of Irdeto said: "This acquisition strengthens our existing content security offering, broadens Irdeto’s reach across the entire content lifecycle and vertically expands our offering into new markets."

Cloakware’s technology, which makes security inseparable from the software it protects, adds an additional layer of protection to Irdeto’s security offering. The acquisition of Cloakware furthers Irdeto’s agenda to deliver end-to-end security offerings and a broad portfolio of security solutions covering multiple markets and a wide range of devices.

Cloakware’s software solutions protect more than one billion applications and the assets of some of the world’s largest, most recognisable and technologically advanced companies. Customers include Texas Instruments, Pioneer Electronics, NXP, State Street, and Vodafone. Irdeto and Cloakware’s long-standing partnership includes solutions to prevent piracy and subscription fraud in digital video and IP networks. Cloakware's previous shareholders included significant venture capital funds and industry experts Fairhaven Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, and Intel Capital.

XM and Sirius deal closer?

Shares of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius rose sharply before the weekend after speculation the Department of Justice is to announce it will not block a deal to unite the two.

If and when the transaction wins DOJ approval, it will move to the Federal Communications Commission. If the FCC approves the XM/Sirius combination, it's expected that conditions could be attached to the deal.

If the deal is approved, XM shareholders will receive 4.6 shares of Sirius' stock for every XM share they own

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Sony HD at Broadcast Live & Video Forum

Following the expansion of its HDV camcorder range and the arrival of the highly anticipated express card based Sony PMW EX1 camcorder, Sony will showcase its most sophisticated and greatest range of High Definition broadcast equipment in the UK to date. With a choice of formats to meet customers needs, visitors to the Sony stand will see an impressive collection of HD Technology for all environments and any budget.

Designed for users who strive for improved picture quality and flexible recording options, the new HVR-Z7E (handheld) and HVP-S270E (shoulder mount) camcorders, HVR-M35E playback and recording decks will be on display for the first time since their launch in November 2007.

These latest models feature interchangeable lens systems; native progressive recording capabilities; increased sensitivity for low-light conditions and hybrid solid state recording. Ideal for entry level TV productions through to corporate videos, the next generation of HDV products are due to be available shortly after Broadcast Live.

“At Sony we pride ourselves on creating a broad range of innovative and intuitive technologies and formats so that our customers know we have the right solution to meet their needs and feel that our products are almost tailor made for their requirements,” commented Carl Pring, Marketing Manager, Sony UK. “We listen to our customers’ feedback and develop our products with them in mind, so we are excited to hear what they think of our latest designs.”

Following the successful European launch of Sony’s first solid state camcorder, the PMW-EX1, it will make its highly anticipated British debut at the show.

From broadcasters through to independent videographers and filmmakers, the PMW-EX1 hails as a highly compact, robust and high performance camcorder. Allowing for exceptional HD quality at an affordable price, the PMW-EX1 uses the Sony SxS PRO flash memory cards as its recording medium, which enables the PMW-EX1 to record up to 100 minutes of the best HD footage at 35Mbps.

Featuring the highest HD quality seen so far in a compact camcorder, the PMW-EX1 also offers all the benefits of tapeless workflow, selectable bit rates and outstanding picture performance associated with XDCAM HD. With innovative applications such as creative recording and an all new imaging system, consisting of three half inch type CMOS sensors with an effective pixel count of 1920x1080 to produce images in HD resolution, the PMW-EX1 will redefine the standard for the professional compact camcorder market. The PMW-EX1 is the first in the new collection from the XDCAM EX range. In the XDCAM HD environment Sony is also showcasing the new PDW-700 that offers full 1920x1080 recording with 4:2:2 operation at 50Mb/s recording onto the new dual layer discs.

Having recently surpassed the 35,000 sales mark and strengthened the HD family with the introduction of the HDW-F900R camcorder, HDW-1800 series VTRs and HDW 790P camcorders, Broadcast Live again provides an excellent platform to display Sony’s de facto standard for HD production.

The Sony HDCAM SR range will also be on show with the first Sony full bandwidth HD 4:4:4 (RGB) portable VTR system, and the high end HD digital videocassette recorder which employs the HDCAM-SR format. To show off this ultimate high definition picture quality Sony will further be demonstrating the latest BVM-L230 display designed for the most prestigious productions and grading applications which has been an anticipated product since its initial outing at NAB 07.

Adobe Debuts Flash Media Server 3 Product Line

Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the Adobe® Flash® Media Server 3 family of products, which offers streaming media and real-time communication capabilities to the broadest possible audience. With industry standard H.264 video capabilities and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support, Adobe Flash Media Server 3 provides content owners with increased protection for streaming high quality video and allows for the delivery of interactive media applications that work consistently across multiple browsers and operating systems. Adobe Flash Media Server 3 provides a more efficient instant-on video experience virtually anytime, anywhere – to the Web, the desktop with Adobe Media Player and to mobile devices with Adobe Flash Lite™ 3. With new pricing options, customers have a wide array of choices for the broadcasting of high quality streaming media experiences.

“Adobe’s award-winning Flash technology is driving the shift from traditional media consumption to engaging interactive experiences,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions at Adobe. “By offering the Flash Media Server 3 product line coupled with new pricing options, Adobe is reducing the barrier to entry for content owners who want to deliver streaming video or real-time communications online. Whether they opt for interactive social media services or linear streaming, our customers can feel confident that their media is more secure and that the end-user experience is the highest quality.”

The new product line includes two offerings: Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server 3 for live and on-demand video streaming and Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server 3 for customized scalable video streaming services, plus multi-way social media applications.

Both products deliver new features that provide media publishers with cost-effective streaming solutions for leading Web video formats. These features include: nearly double the amount of streams per server; support for industry standard H.264 video and HE-AAC audio in Adobe Flash Player 9 (see separate release); upgrades to Adobe’s patented protocol for delivering protected content; and enhanced live video support for news, concerts, sporting events and social media services. In addition, Adobe Flash Media Server 3 supports both prerecorded and live streaming to Adobe Flash Lite™ 3 which ensures the same video experience via mobile devices.

Adobe Flash Media Server 3 is expected to be available in January 2008 and will ship with special pre-built services making it easier to stream Flash Player compatible video. Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server 3 will be offered at $4,500. For single-server deployments, Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server 3 will be available at $995.

Broadcom HD Video/Audio Encoder/Transcoder Single-Chip

Broadcom Corporation announced the industry's most advanced 65 nanometer (nm) real-time, high definition (HD) encoder/transcoder solution. The new single- chip transcoder enables a wide range of consumer devices, with varying video and audio formats, to share a wide variety of video and audio content while maintaining a high degree of digital rights management and security. The new chip is the foundation for capturing audio and video content and for reconciling disparate video and audio content in cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes, home media centers, portable media players, cell phones and a wide range of entertainment devices for the connected home.

"The new BCM7043 provides our customers with the industry's most advanced, highest performing video and audio transcoder solution for set-top box, home media center and digital TV applications," said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. "With BCM7043 transcoder technology, Broadcom will enable a new generation of product and service offerings that incorporate the 'seamless mobility' vision to enable consumers to share and view video and audio content, when and where they want to."

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Thomson Names President of Broadcast Network Services

Thomson announced that it has appointed Bill Patrizio as president of the Broadcast Network Services business unit in the Technicolor services division.

The Broadcast Network Services Business Unit provides solution management and end-to-end service provisioning, on a global basis, for media, entertainment and communications companies. These services enable the division’s customers to grow their businesses, increase their competitive advantage and smoothly transition to fully digital technologies.

“We are thrilled to have Bill join the services division as president of Broadcast Network Services,” said Lanny Raimondo, senior executive vice president of Thomson and head of the Technicolor services Division. “We’re confident that Bill, who has a deep understanding of the media and entertainment industry, will make significant contributions to the leadership and vision for this fast-growing business unit.”

In his role as president, Patrizio will oversee all broadcast network management services worldwide. Broadcast Network Services is a leader in media and entertainment content preparation, management and distribution services. It builds and operates digital network origination playout, and production facilities that enable network or channel distribution to a variety of platforms, including cable, terrestrial broadcast, and DTH (satellite) for channel operators.

Key customers include BBC Worldwide, Canal+, Disney, France24, ITV, M6, NBC Universal, Netherlands Public Broadcasting, and TV5 Monde.

“I am very pleased to be joining Thomson and its Technicolor Services division,” said Patrizio. “This company has tremendous assets and management talent, and I am looking forward to working with the team to deliver significant contributions toward the growth of the Broadcast Network Services business.”

Prior to joining Thomson, Patrizio served in a variety of senior executive positions within general management, operations, sales and marketing. Previously, Patrizio was a vice president at Universal Studios. While at Universal, he designed and led a corporate reengineering initiative that increased shareholder value and increased process, technology and organizational efficiency. Most recently, Patrizio was senior vice president and chief procurement officer at JPMorgan Chase, where he led global supply operations for the company’s consumer and wholesale banking divisions.

He also served as a corporate senior vice president for The Walt Disney Company, where he was instrumental in creating operational efficiencies and improvements in productivity across its businesses. In addition, Patrizio held senior-level management positions with Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. and the Kellogg Company. Patrizio received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Iona College

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  • SD not HD Dominates Recording Formats
    According to SCRI's just published "2007 – 2009 HD / Digital Video Trends Report", recording formats are always a bell weather of trends in our industry. This year we see expected large penetration for SD format, but surprisingly no HD formats reached more than HDV (25.5%), despite the fact that HDV is a relatively new player in the market. HDCAM still has over 21% penetration, with DVCPRO HD slightly lower at about 17%. Neither reached the remaining penetration of Betacam SP (well over 50% of the market still has Betacam SP). Penetration of HDCAM has remained essentially constant since the last Survey. In SD products DV based recorders (DV, DVCPRO, DV CAM, and variants) are present in more than 80% of all facilities.

    The 2007 - 2009 HDTV / Digital Trends Report is now available. Data for the report was derived from extensive surveys of broadcast and professional video/film production/post facilities, worldwide.

    This years Summary includes very important data which shows that the industry will remain healthy and growing into the future. It shows support for existing standards, and some degree of skepticism about the uptake rates for some emerging technology. Above all it represents a snapshot of the changes which are shaping the hardware and programming in which we are all involved. The US economy has weathered recent storms well, with strong corporate profits. With an election year next year both production facility and broadcast station owners should do well, as is traditional in presidential election years.

    Summary data about the survey includes information on respondents, including Media and Video Functions, and Demographics. Approximately 1 out of eight respondents were associated with broadcast licensees, and six out of ten respondents were associated with production of film or commercial production facilities. A follow up question appears to identify most of the broadcast respondents as being related to ENG/EFP operations. 27% were associated with religious organizations, government, corporate facilities, or healthcare.

    This extensive 75 page report includes an Executive Summary, followed by an analysis, charts and tables of how the broadcast / professional video marketplace equipment end-users respond to questions on key trends -- click to view table of contents
  • NEW: 2007-2009 HDTV / Digital Trends Report This extensive 75 page report includes an Executive Summary, followed by an analysis, charts and tables of how the broadcast / professional video marketplace equipment endusers respond to the key HDTV / Digital Video Trends -- click to view table of contents

  • IPTV / Mobile TV Report: now available, 14 page Executive Summary and Analysis, with over 120 pages of articles and reports from online sources as well as SCRI Insider Reports. Cost is $995, or $695 for current SCRI Insider Report subscribers and clients. for more info.

  • Broadcast/Pro Video Product Reports. Tracking purchase history (2006), purchase plans (2007 & 2008), brand shares, etc. for each of twenty five specific product types, from Camcorders to VTRs.

  • Broadcast/Pro Video Macro Industry Overview Report. Over 50 pages of analysis and information on the state-of-the-industry compiled from secondary online research sources including industry news sites, manufacturers sites, as well as SCRI's own weekly online News Briefs and Insider Reports.

  • Broadcast/Pro Video Micro Quantitative Product Data Report. 23-page report containing quantitative data tables, for all six verical end-user markets, and all of the 25 Product categories, as well as in total, with summary tables from 2002- 2008.

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