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Insider Report

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

w/e July 26, 2009 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2008


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IPTV standard enables content location

ITU has given first stage approval to a new standard that enables an IPTV end user to locate and subscribe to content coming from different, independent service providers. The standard will enable a greater deal of choice for end-users and will help service providers offer a more competitive package.

Recommendation ITU-T H.770 - Mechanisms for service discovery and selection for IPTV - describes the mechanisms for service provider discovery, service discovery and selection. Services such as linear TV and video-on-demand are addressed with metadata that describes programming and delivery protocols detailed.

Paid video to overtake free video online in 2009

Strategy Analytics' digital media analyst, Martin Olausson, has predicted that the global paid online video segment will reach $3.8 billion in 2009, and exceed the free online video segment, which is expected to reach $3.5 billion this year. The total online video sector is predicted to grow 38 per cent annually until 2012, with the paid video segment growing faster than the free video segment in the coming years. While the free web video segment – consisting of web video ads and public broadcasting web video – is expected to continue to show rapid growth at 37 per cent compound annual growth rate in the next four years, the paid online video segment, including download-to-own, rental and subscription services, is expected to grow even faster, at 39% annually, during the same period according to this latest Strategy Analytics research.

"The economic downturn and diminishing advertising budgets have increased the focus on consumer paid content on the web in the last six months," said Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics. "Increased consumer awareness and uptake of services, such as Netflix WatchNow and Xbox Live Video Store, in combination with new services such as the TV Everywhere initiative announced by Comcast and Time Warner Cable will also help drive the paid online video segment in the coming years."

OTT video will transform VOD provisioning

Next generation video-on-demand technology—known as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and Data Centres—will dramatically change the business model and the user experience for video delivery services. CDN-provisioned Video-on-Demand will allow content owners more control over their creations and provide viewers with more choices in programming and delivery methods according to In-Stat.

"As Content Providers build or out-source their own data centres, they will be in charge of every aspect of their content," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. "We will see flexible, complex, and creative ways to derive every last penny out of every piece of content."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • Over the next five years, the worldwide value of Content Delivery Network services will nearly double, to more than $2 billion.
  • The IT industry is aggressively driving forward with cost-cutting technologies that simplify storage, virtualised servers, and standardise networks.
  • Traditional TV and Subscription-TV Services need to migrate their existing "siloed" Video-on-Demand infrastructure to more efficient Data Centre and CDN models.
  • Internet protocol networks that connect from Data Centres and CDNs to Final Mile networks provide a "lean" delivery system that can profitably support Advanced Advertising and more personalised video delivery experiences.
  • North America will remain the dominant geographic segment for CDNs through 2013. However, Europe and Asia Pacific will see significantly higher growth rates.
  • Adaptive Bit Rate Video approaches will permit IP-networks to deliver a high-quality User Experience at lower bit rates, and will cross over to TV-based services.

    20m wireless networked TVs to ship in 2011

    As part of the continuing trend towards networked home entertainment, television sets will increasingly include wired or wireless connections to online content. A study from ABI Research forecasts that in 2011, some 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity will be shipped worldwide. This segment is expected to show linear growth through the study’s forecast horizon of 2014.

    Network connectivity does already exist in high-end models, and networked TVs are already quite widespread in Japan. According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, "North America, Western Europe, and select Asian countries are seen as the next growth markets, and the 2009 holiday season and 2010 will be the watershed periods when vendors will see whether networked TV should trickle down to mainstream models and really take off there."

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    Consumers still buying technology products

    Consumers continue to buy technology products to improve their lives, although the consumer electronics (CE) industry will see overall shipment revenues decline in 2009, according to data released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The semi-annual US Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast shows that industry revenues will contract to $165 billion in 2009 but grow slightly in 2010.

    The consumer electronics industry will see shipment revenues fall 7.7 per cent, to $165 billion this year, the first decline since 2001. While consumer demand for CE products remains high, several market forces are contributing to lower revenues, including lower consumer spending, price declines and compositional shifts in key product categories. As consumer confidence rebuilds, industry revenues will grow, albeit at a pace of less than one per cent in 2010. CEA’s forecast projects industry revenues will bottom out by the second half of 2009, although many risk factors remain causing industry growth to remain muted.

    Cablevision’s server-based DVR model GIven OK by SUpreme Court

    Tom Rutledge, Cablevision Systems’ chief operating officer, said his company understands the potential implications for ad skipping and the concerns this has raised in the programming community.

    In a major victory for Cablevision Systems, the U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to consider a legal challenge by the television networks and Hollywood studios that would block the use of a next-generation digital video recorder. Cablevision is now free to launch the new server-based remote DVR service later this year.

    The content owners, making up some of the largest media conglomerates in the nation, had argued that Cablevision’s remote program storage service violated copyright laws. The new service, they said, was more akin to a video-on-demand service, for which they receive additional licensing fees. Allowing the recording would illegally copy their programs without a license, they argued.

    Growing Trend in Video Interviewing

    HireVue’s COO, Chip Luman was interviewed recently on both nationally syndicated The Big Biz Show with Bob “Sully” Sullivan and Russ T. Nailz and HeadHunter Radio with Cecelia Gonzalez about the growing trend in Corporate America of using Video Interviewing in the hiring process.

    According to Luman, it’s simple economics that’s driving interest. “Companies are seeing a 3 to 10X savings in the hiring process by using HireVue,” Luman reported on HeadHunter Radio. “They’re looking for ways to make it easier for their HR professionals to get information to hiring managers, ultimately resulting in faster and better hires.”

    A recent report on Video Interviewing published by Human Capital analyst Dr. John Sullivan became a topic of discussion on The Big Biz Show. Dr. Sullivan noted that “Literally hundreds of firms have already begun using video interviews, and usage patterns are climbing at a significant pace.” In his report, Dr. Sullivan predicted that “Within a few years the 'interview from anywhere’ approach will become the standard practice for all but final hiring interviews.”

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    Altera Q2 Sales & Net Income Up

    Altera Corporation announced second quarter sales of $279.2 million, up 6 percent from the first quarter of 2009 and down 22 percent from the second quarter of 2008. New products grew 16 percent sequentially.

    Second quarter net income was $47.4 million, $0.16 per diluted share, up from net income of $44.0 million, $0.15 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2009 and down from $98.0 million, $0.32 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2008. Second quarter 2009 tax expense includes an additional $11.5 million charge as a result of a United States court ruling announced during the quarter related to worldwide equity compensation cost sharing. Altera was not a party to the case. The additional tax expense reduced second quarter earnings by $0.04 per diluted share.

    Year-to-date cash flow from operating activities was $90.9 million. Altera ended the quarter with $1.3 billion in cash and short-term investments.

    "With a more than doubling of our 40-nm sales and surging 65-nm sales, new products resumed sequential growth and drove our top line results this quarter," said John Daane, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. "Combined, our three 40-nm FPGA families continue to set design win value records. We believe that these newest Altera FPGAs will be our most successful ever."

    YouTube profits soon

    Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette has said that its YouTube video site should be profitable in the not-too-distant future. "We're really pleased both in terms of its revenue growth, which is really material to YouTube and, in the not long, too long distance future, we actually see a very profitable and good business for us," said Pichette.

    He acknowledged the company decided to tout YouTube's "very credible business model" in the wake of a spate of negative analyst reports and press stories that questioned the company's ability to make money from its video site.

    Nikesh Arora, president of global sales operations and business development, said that branded advertising has picked up significantly on YouTube, as well as other display properties. "We are beginning to see that YouTube has established (itself) in the advertiser space now that the YouTube home page is of relevance and is desirable for customers. So we are seeing significant sell-through in most of our major markets where we have YouTube home page for sale," he said.

    The company indicated it was monetising roughly triple the number of monetised views from one year ago. Arora indicated that advertisers have shown a lot of interest in the short clips that Google is beginning to acquire from partners like Walt Disney, and he suggested the next phase would involve moving toward long-form video.

    Macrovision Changes Names to Rovi

    Macrovision Solutions Corporation has announced the official change of its name to Rovi Corporation, and unveiled its new brand positioning and visual identity. The company will now officially operate under the banner of Rovi Corporation, and its common stock will trade under the stock symbol ROVI on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

    "Over the past two years, we have been focused on an ambitious strategy to change the digital entertainment experience. As a result, we have made dramatic changes to our solutions portfolio. With our leading guide solutions and extensive entertainment metadata, we believe we are now positioned as a key enabler for digital entertainment. Today’s announcement is the next step in uniting our technology and people under one shared identity, allowing us to move forward in creating a highly enjoyable entertainment experience for the consumer," said Fred Amoroso, president and CEO of Rovi Corporation.

    The news also coincides with the company’s launch of a new media guide, code named "Liquid." This new media guide is capable of connecting consumers to entertainment content on the Internet and digital content stored at home, as well as broadcast and cable TV in a single, elegant user interface designed to simplify access to content.

    Rovi also announced t that it is working with Blockbuster to easily integrate access to Blockbuster OnDemand content and services directly through the Liquid guide. This integration will enable consumers to enjoy Blockbuster’s growing library of digital content with their family and friends directly and easily on the TV.

    The Liquid guide is designed to provide a direct access to content from leading online entertainment services such as Slacker radio and YouTube XL, a website that is optimized for watching YouTube videos on large displays, allowing people to easily interact and engage with content they choose to consume on their own time. It is also compatible with leading movie technology provider Roxio CinemaNow.

    Paramount home entertainment merger?

    Viacom’s Paramount Pictures studio is seeking to merge its home entertainment division with a rival and is in advanced talks with Sony Pictures and News Corporation’s Fox studio, signalling that Hollywood could soon see a wave of consolidation.

    The negotiations follow an industry-wide slump in DVD sales, the entertainment sector’s most profitable revenue stream. Sales have fallen by as much as 20 per cent in the past year, forcing studios to cut costs in order to maintain profit margins.

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    MagicSoft Playout and CG

    Magicsoft is pleased to announce the July release of the free downloadable demo version of the CG and Playou t. Demo version can be downloaded from Magicsoft's web site at . No limitation during demo SD and HD testing except watermark.

    Playout allows HD, HDV and full HD materials to be mixed in the same playlist doing autoscalling for S D materials. Frame accurate IN and OUT points can be set for mov, avi ,dv and mpeg2. QuickTime materials with alpha channel will output video + key.

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    2009-2010 Broadcast Pro Video Marketplace Reports

    2009-2010 Broadcast Pro Video Marketplace Reports Series is now available. A total of 25 individual product reports as well as a macro industry overview and micro quantitative data analysis reports are available. Contact for more information.

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