Insider Reporter

Insider Report

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

w/e June 22, 2008 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2008


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Global satellite TV revenue nears $131bn

According to the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), global satellite services revenues grew more than 18 per cent, with satellite television contributing nearly three-quarters of the $78.6 billion earned in 2007 by satellite services revenue. Furthermore the report said that launch services revenue grew to $4 billion in 2007, increasing nearly 19 per cent from 2006.

Total satellite global revenues in 2007 were $ 130.8 billion, representing an average annual growth of 11.5 per cent for the period from 2002-2007 and sales in consumer hardware resulted in a 19 per cent rise in ground equipment revenues over the previous year, posting 2007 revenues of almost $40 billion.

The SIA said more satellites were launched in 2007 than in 2006 but satellite manufacturing revenues dipped slightly reflecting the higher number of microsatellites that have recently been launched.

Satellite pay TV subscribers increased by about 13 per cent over 2006 levels, surpassing the 100 million mark globally for the first time. Satellite carriage of High Definition Television (HDTV) continued to grow rapidly. The number of HDTV channels worldwide grew by 150 per cent from 2006 to May 2008. Satellite-delivered HDTV channels are also forecasted to grow 350 per cent by 2013.

DSL becomes Broadband Forum

Changing network environments and new sophisticated applications such as IPTV have brought the DSL Forum to transform its work across the broadband space, leading to the unveiling of its new name and identy – The Broadband Forum.

To meet the need for greater speed, more responsive network provisioning and greater personalised Quality of Experience (QoE) for customers, the DSL Forum has expanded its scope of work over the years, producing more than 150 technical reports to help drive industry progress. Moving from pure DSL solutions to include access agnostic management specifications in 2005, the Forum now adds PON solutions, more digital home optimisation models and sets the standard for real time application support.

"Broadband has already changed lives considerably since our organisation first began in 1994 – but now the world stands on the brink of a giant leap forward in converged communications," said George Dobrowski, Chairman and President of The Broadband Forum. "For some time now, we have been dealing with much more than DSL," he continued, pointing out that because DSL featured in the body’s name, many of its specifications that were access-agnostic, management-related or provided solutions to broader broadband issues, were being missed by the standards community because they mistakenly thought the Forum’s work was just DSL-specific.

DAM (digital asset management) to triple by 2013

Global revenue from digital asset management (DAM) solutions is expected to triple by 2013, according to ABI Research. The research, which also covers conditional access and broadband video markets, indicates marked differences in adoption rates and market growth between the major industrialized regions, North America, Europe and Asia.

"Certain common factors affect the growth of conditional access, digital asset management, and broadband video across all regions," says industry analyst Zippy Aima. "There is the recent proliferation of digital media content, especially video, and the rise of portable devices for viewing it. We can add the widespread availability of broadband data services to distribute it, and the need for systems that can store and deliver that content to the right people at the right time."

Beyond those common drivers, however, differences emerge. In North America, the conditional access market is quite mature, and revenue is expected to reach a plateau starting this year. Telcos will earn the largest piece of that revenue, followed by the cable industry, with the satellite sector a distant third. The maturity of the North American market affects shipments of new conditional access servers too, which will see lower than replacement rates, while shipments in Asia will more than double in the same period.

"After a slow start, IPTV is finally finding traction, particularly in Asia and Europe," adds Aima. "The pay-TV business model will do especially well, with the number of videos viewed increasing six-fold by 2013, while free content suffers a few percent decline."

None of these markets is without its challenges. Although vendors and service providers have been quick to provide and adopt new conditional access solutions, the required infrastructure changes are slow and expensive. The explosion of online video also demands more bandwidth. With the security of both premium entertainment content and private data under threat, ever-stronger access control is needed. DAM vendors must also focus on integration: their tools must interact with a constantly changing array of other applications.

DTT will dominate digital

Digital Terrestrial Television will be the primary TV service in 44 per cent of Western European households by 2012, says ABI Research. Most DTT services are free-to-air (FTA) services. However, pay-DTT in particular is carving out a niche in competition with other pay-TV offerings from cable and telco-based service providers in some markets. A new research brief from ABI Research finds that DTT’s market potential varies widely from country to country, depending on factors that include the availability of digital alternatives and the current reliance on analogue terrestrial FTA TV.

Some pay-DTT providers are positioning their service as a kind of halfway house between free-to-air services and other forms of pay TV, says senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. ‘They offer all the regular FTA programs, plus some premium content at an attractive price. One of the most interesting markets, Italy is expected to show the strongest growth in DTT over the next five years, and pay-DTT is a leading component of that growth. It is attractive for several reasons including plenty of sports programming, but the main driver is the prevalence of Opay-as-you-go (PAYG) services that don't require a commitment to lengthy subscriptions.

IPTV standards

The IPTV Forum consisting of telecommunication carriers, broadcasters and device manufacturers in Japan has formulated a technical specification draft for IPTV service receivers.

This draft assumes broadcast services using IP multicast technology as well as VOD services that deliver videos through streaming or downloads. Receivers developed in line with this technical specification draft will support 'acTVila' and 'Hikari TV' services, for example. The IPTV Forum, a voluntary organisation, plans to hand over its achievements to a new organisation that will be launched to finalise the receiver specifications and advance the maintenance work

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U.S. video game sales up 37 percent in May

U.S. sales of video game hardware and software were $1.12 billion in May, up 37 percent from a year earlier, with Take-Two Interactive Software Corp's "Grand Theft Audio 4" the best-selling title for the month, market researcher NPD said in a report this week.

To date, the U.S. video games industry has generated $6.6 billion in sales, topping total 2007 annual revenue, NPD said. It noted that the industry is on pace to see revenue in the $21 billion to $23 billion range in 2008.

Sinclair Declares Quarterly Common Stock Dividend o

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share on the Company's Class A and Class B common stock. The dividends are payable on July 15, 2008, to the holders of record at the close of business on July 1, 2008. The common stock will trade ex-dividend on June 27, 2008.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies, owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 58 television stations in 35 markets. Sinclair's television group is affiliated with all major networks and reaches approximately 22% of all U.S. television households. For more information, please visit Sinclair's website at

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Chyron Added to Russell Microcap Index

Chyron announced that it has been selected for inclusion in the Russell Microcap Index, according to the preliminary list of additions issued by the Russell Investment Group on June 13, 2008. The Company will officially be a member of the index when it is reconstituted on June 30, 2008.

Annual reconstitution of Russell’s U.S. indices captures the 4,000 largest U.S. stocks as of the end of May, ranking them by total market capitalization. Russell determines membership for its equity indices primarily by objective market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

Michael Wellesley-Wesley, Chyron President and CEO commented, “The addition to the Russell Microcap Index is a significant achievement for Chyron, and is representative of the growth we have experienced over the past several years. We believe that the exposure gained from our listing will boost our ongoing efforts to bring the Chyron story to a wider audience of institutional investors.”

Russell indices are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for both passive and active investment strategies. An industry-leading $4.4 trillion in assets currently are benchmarked to them. These investment tools originated from Russell’s multi-manager investment business in the early 1980s when the company saw the need for a more objective, market-driven set of benchmarks in order to evaluate outside investment managers.

In addition, Chyron was included in Fortune Small Business’ (‘FSB’) list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the United States. Chyron ranked number 58 overall and number 3 in New York. The editors of FSB analyze companies with annual revenues of less than $200 million and share price of greater than $1, on a yearly basis, and rank them based on earnings per share, revenues and stock performance over the past three years.

"To be recognized by Fortune as one of the fastest growing small companies in America is an honor," Wellesley-Wesley stated. “We have worked diligently in recent years to establish Chyron as the leading brand in digital graphics solutions both On Air and Online, and this recognition exemplifies the progress we have made to date in expanding our brand across these content creation industries.”

Yahoo closer to Google deal

Yahoo and Google are close to reaching a search advertising deal, and talks between Yahoo and Microsoft Corp about a similar deal have fallen through, it is being reported.

Talks between Microsoft and Yahoo concluded after Yahoo decided to pursue a deal with Google,. Yahoo also asked Microsoft if it would renew its $33-a-share takeover offer for the Internet company, but Microsoft reportedly was not interested.

Meanwhile, Yahoo has confirmed a formal search alliance with Google under which Google ads will run alongside Yahoo! search results in the US and Canada. The deal leaves rival suitor Microsoft out in the cold as it hunts for a way to revive its own flagging Internet fortunes.

Microsoft and YuMe Join Forces

YuMe, the largest online video advertising network, announced that it has been selected by Microsoft Corp. to complement Microsoft's existing video advertising services. Scheduled to begin this summer, YuMe will provide video advertising network management capabilities and sales for unsold inventory on Microsoft's online properties.

"In working with YuMe, we will further maximize the value of our unsold video inventory through YuMe's robust platform for video advertising network management," said Rob Bennett, general manager, MSN Entertainment, Video & Sports, Microsoft. "YuMe offers the ability to connect additional ad networks to its platform, and we plan on utilizing this service to provide YuMe and other ad networks access to Microsoft's unsold video inventory."

YuMe will monetize Microsoft's video advertising inventory by selling Microsoft's excess video ad inventory as part of YuMe's network of channels (News, Sports, Entertainment, etc.), allowing advertisers to purchase by audience and content genre.

"YuMe brings a best in class video advertising platform and sales team to Microsoft to immediately monetize excess video inventory on Microsoft properties," said Jayant Kadambi, CEO and co-founder of YuMe. "Our selection by Microsoft is testament to both our technology's strength and our expertise in helping publishers best monetize their content and advertisers best reach their desired target audience."

As part of the agreement Microsoft will also utilize NetworkMe, a capability of YuMe's advertising platform that allows publishers to aggregate all of their video content into one private ad network, providing a consolidated view of available inventory. With NetworkMe a publisher gains unprecedented inventory liquidity and the ability to maximize CPMs and fill-rates across multiple properties.

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New JVC HD Everio Line

JVC has added three new high definition camcorders to its HD Everio line, including a pair of dual-format models, one of which records up to 50 hours of AVCHD Full HD video. Two new models, the GZ-HD40 and GZ-HD30, are claimed to be the world's first AVCHD / MPEG-2 dual-format camcorders, allowing access to the superior long time compression afforded by AVCHD, as well as MPEG-2's superior editing and post-production environment. Both offer 1920 x 1080 Full HD recording in both formats to a 120GB (GZ-HD40) or 80GB (GZ-HD30) internal hard disk drive. The third new model, the GZ-HD10, offers 1440 x 1080 recording in the AVCHD format to a 40GB hard drive.

All three models will be available in August of 2008 at prices ranging from $800 to $1,300.

RED One camera used in moviemaking

Film studio Digital Playground reports that it's started filming movies with RED One digital cameras which purport to offer four times the resolution of a regular high-def camera.

In a statement, the studio says the RED One camera was used in the Fox studio release Jumper and will be employed in two upcoming Steven Spielberg movies.

Joone, the founder of Digital Playground, says the camera eliminates the grain sometimes seen in 35 mm film, providing a clearer, more realistic picture. That will come in handy with the studio announcing last week that it would begin offering every new release on Blu-ray high-def disc.

"The addition of RED digital cameras allows Digital Playground to match the quality productions of mainstream entertainment studios, while remaining the world-wide leader in adult entertainment," the company said in a press release. "Fans will actually lose themselves in the clarity of our new movies."

Digital Playground's new pix hopes to knock the boots off of viewers. The studio says RED digital cameras use a sensor measured at 4,520 x 2,540 pixels, four times the number of pixels captured in high-def cameras. Digital Playground has already used them in 10 films to be released soon.

"On set, we love the camera so much that we named it Baby. The RED One holds up where other cameras can't. Porno on 35 mm with 4k resolution is an amazing thing!" says Robby D, a Digital Playground director.

Digital Playground's library of films include Pirates and Island Fever 3.

Apple Releases Xsan Admin, Xsan Filesystem Update 2.1

Apple released Xsan 2.1 Admin Update and Xsan Filesystem Update 2.1 on Thursday evening. The updates provide reliability and compatibility fixes for the Mac OS X-based SAN file system.

Xsan 2.1 Admin Update improves remote Xsan administration and configuration. It also includes fixes for configuring volumes, LUNs and affinities with SAN Setup Assistant, changing a computer between client and metadata controller roles, listing computers connected to a SAN, and visually displaying when LUNs have been truncated. The update is available for download at the Apple Support Web site.

Xsan Filesystem Update 2.1 improves metadata controller reliability, using and validating file system Access Control Lists, and improves the process of upgrading from Xsan 1.4. The update is available for download at the Apple Support Web site.

Editshare Introduces Universal Media File

EditShare has introduced new technology that creates a single media file which can be used in both Avid and Final Cut Pro editing environments. The Universal Media File technology works in conjunction with EditShare's Flow Ingest, the only multi-channel acquisition solution that captures in one format and simultaneously outputs to multiple formats.

The Universal Media File adds a new dimension to shared workflow situations, allowing media to easily be shared and used by editors working on both Avid and Final Cut Pro systems. There's no need to tie-up ingest channels or create multiple files of the same media for use on different systems.

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New marketing manager at Digidesign

Digidesign has appointed Max Gutnik marketing manager for professional products. He will lead the marketing team in developing and implementing marketing strategies for the company’s line of professional recording, post production and broadcast products, including Pro Tools|HD and ICON integrated consoles.

Gutnik comes to Digidesign from Apogee Electronics, where he was director of sales and marketing. There, he was instrumental in developing several of the company’s product lines. He is also a musician, music instructor and recording artist, and has held high-profile positions in retail with businesses such as Sweetwater Sound and Guitar Center.

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  • Broadcast/Pro Video Product Sales Top $10 billion -- read more

  • 2008 - 2009 Broadcast/Pro Video Product Reports
  • 2008-09 Broadcast/Pro Video Macro Industry Overview Report
  • 2008-09 Broadcast/Pro Video Micro Quantitative Product Data Report
  • HDTV / Digital Trends Report
  • IPTV / Mobile TV Report

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