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w/e May 15, 2007 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2007


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23% of US TVs only broadcast

Leichtman Research Group has found that 23 per cent of all TV sets in consumers’ homes do not receive cable or Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) programming. This represents over 70 million TV sets in US households that only receive over-the-air broadcast television.

While just 15 per cent of households nationwide do not subscribe to cable, DBS, or any other type of multi-channel video service, these households account for only half of all broadcast-only TV sets. The other half are in households that subscribe to cable or DBS. Nine percent of TV sets in cable households are broadcast-only, and 19 per cent of TV sets in DBS households are broadcast-only.

Mobile Tv Report

Research and Markets announced the addition of Mobile TV: Global Standards Review & Forecast for Infrastructure & Handsets 2007-2011 to their offering.

The big issues about mobile TV are whether people really want to watch television programming on a screen that small, and if so, how long will it take to happen and what exactly will the experience be like?

During the research for this report, the answers to these questions have become obvious: doubt about the rise of mobile TV as a major new technology area will be swept aside by the large number of possibilities in front of the cellular and broadcasting communities.

In every single trial, of video on a handset, between 60% and 85% of the audience said, “When can I buy one?” or words to that effect. Once a consumer sees what is possible, their doubt appears to evaporate. It is only people that have seen impoverished “unicast” video services, and who also compete for spectrum with mobile voice, who continue to believe that video on a device that small is a mistake.

Unicast video will have its place, we are sure. However, the early services, whether they were the Live! service from Vodafone, the huge number of TV channels offered by Orange in Europe, the VCast services of Verizon or AT&T Video and Sprint PCS services offered in the US, were all extremely limited.

In surveys of US customers that had experienced these services, around 13% to 15% of them thought that mobile TV had a future.

It was in August 2005 when Nokia first asked people who had experienced a DVB-H mobile TV trials what they thought of it. It turned out that those people were amazed. They had found a cure for boredom. And effectively that’s the biggest driver for mobile TV, and its usage pattern, which shows in the four or five trials that have surveyed their customers. This is particularly noteworthy in public trials in Finland, the UK, and France and the live volume services in Italy, Korea and Japan, with new prime times occurring in journey time to work, in work breaks and in early evening post work, and also later in the home.

About 13% of people asked in surveys what they thought of streaming TV on a mobile would say “it might take off,” while in broadcast services which offer up to 4 times the resolution, around 60% say “We’d buy it,” or “It will take off.

People ask what are the drivers for Mobile TV, and what’s obvious is that quality video on the move was always the driver because it will break into the chunks of boredom that pepper our work days, but only if the quality is sufficiently good that consumers can watch it without getting a headache or eyestrain.

When Nokia first announced the results of its Finland survey it showed that 41% of trial participants were happy to pay for mobile TV services, at $12 a month and that 58% said that they believed broadcast mobile TV services would be popular. And they watched their usual programs, not “mobisodes.” These were national channels including drama, sports and news programming. Given that the national sport of Finland is Ice Hockey, these people found the service had the resolution not only to watch the scores in the corner of the screen, but they could see the tiny puck flying around the ice at incredible speeds. The trial was on while the Ice Hockey World cup was in progress and that was one of the major viewing experiences, along with Formula One car racing and the UEFA Cup Champions League soccer. They went from a standing start to watching 20 minutes a day across the pilot viewers, and some watched an enormous amount of mobile TV, in multiple 30 or 40 minutes chunks each day. Furthermore, when viewers begin to see DVR applications on their handset throughout 2008 and beyond, the problems with TV schedules should diminish. At present the widespread use of simulcast – showing the same channels that are currently on TV - means that the 8.00 am slot is no longer just for housewives and schoolchildren, but is just as likely to be watched by businessmen on the way to work. With the DVR, the businessman will just set his phone DVR to record when he sets his alarm clock, and watch prime time TV in the morning.

Of course, there have been problems with early experiments. The Koreans, with two working systems, have only managed to get 3 million customers on their mobile TV system in a country of 48 million people. However, considering that the two competing services are locked in a political rivalry that sees one without good distribution channels and the other without good content, one realizes that mobile TV services here are a success in spite of themselves.

In Italy around 300,000 customers have bought mobile TV in 6 months out of a population of the 6.8 million existing customers of the operator 3 Italia. This means a penetration of almost 5% in 6 months. Boredom is the driver for mobile TV, but poor execution at the network, establishment of market channels and content availability are all that’s holding it back

IP Video Creates Significant Potential for CCTV

CCTV in Europe is on a high growth trajectory, with rising awareness and adoption of IP solutions acting as major drivers bolstering growth, according to a new F&S study. In addition, proactive systems capable of performing intelligent analysis are spurring demand for network cameras and recorders. The European CCTV and video surveillance equipment market is relatively the most active segment within the security industry in comparison to other building security equipment, and is characterised by a surge of activity in the IP surveillance domain.

THe F&S Report, European CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of US$1.42 billion in 2005 and estimates this to reach US$1.94 billion in 2012.

IP-based video surveillance systems are enjoying huge publicity, with every business thinking of or already incorporating network-based solutions into their surveillance systems. These systems are considered more or less as a commodity, with customers beginning to regard them as the most effective way to deter the growing levels of crime. As a result, the market is witnessing a major technological transition towards network-enabled surveillance solutions.

"More than any other factor, the unnoticed breaches in security, followed by the subsequent loss of either personal or sensitive data, have heightened the need for CCTV and video surveillance solutions as part of security systems in every organisation," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Archana Umesh Rao. "Across Europe, it is evident that awareness levels of the need for video surveillance are at an all-time high, following acts of terrorism, vandalism and violence."

In this situation, CCTV and video surveillance systems capable of capturing, transmitting and recording real-time data are seen as the only solution to deter crime. However, at present, the difficulty in convincing resellers and end users to follow the market trend towards IP technology is slowing down the migration to network-based solutions.

"A strong analogue market, followed by years of experience of security companies in offering traditional CCTV products, is rendering it difficult for manufacturers to make installers look beyond what they have been offering up to now," explains Rao. "As a result, educating end users and installers, as well as making them aware of the huge benefits and the return on investment for network solutions should remain a key focus area for market participants."

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Disney Q2 revenue flat, net income up

Despite flat revenue, Walt Disney reported Q2 net income up on the back of strong gains at ESPN and movie hits such as 'Wild Hogs.'Second-quarter revenue was largely static at $8.07 billion. Disney said media networks were the biggest profit driver during the second quarter. Although revenue was flat there, operating income jumped 21 per cent. ESPN led the way, benefiting in part from lower sports-programming costs and a decline in investment in ESPN mobile, which switched to a licensing model.

As part of its results Disney outlined its ‘digital video vital signs’. The company reported that 92 million ad-supported episodes from ABC and Disney have been requested since September 2006; 23.7 million Disney shows have been sold on iTunes and 2 million movies have been sold on iTunes.

Gray TV Q1 Growth via Acquisitions

Gray Television, Inc. announced results from operations for the three months ("first quarter") ended March 31, 2007 as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2006.

Significant items to note for the period ended March 31, 2007: Net revenue on an "as reported" basis increased 2%, or $1.5 million, to $69.7 million reflecting the acquisition of television station WNDU in March, 2006.

On a pro forma(1) basis, after giving effect to the acquisition of television station WNDU, Gray was able to generate additional revenue to replace all but $1.1 million of the prior year's $3.4 million of Olympic and $1.9 million of political advertising revenues.

Gray has continued to grow through acquisitions of new stations and the start up of new operations. Gray's most recent acquisition was the purchase of WNDU, South Bend, IN on March 3, 2006. This station is significant to Gray and has added to Gray's Broadcast Cash Flow from its date of acquisition. Due to the significance of WNDU to Gray's results of operations, Gray's pro forma results for the three months ended March 31, 2006 have been presented to include the results of WNDU as if the station had been acquired on January 1, 2006. Gray has also continued to grow through the start up of new digital second channels in its existing television markets. The Company has increased the number of digital second channels it is operating to 39 channels as of March 31, 2007 from six channels in operation at January 1, 2006. The Company intends to launch one additional digital second channel in the second half of 2007.

LIN TV Corp. Q1 Net Income Up

LIN TV Corp. reported first quarter ended March 31, 2007 net income of $20.7 million compared to a loss of $4.3 million for the same period last year. The increase was largely driven by the gain on the sale of the Company’s Puerto Rico operations completed during the quarter, together with an increase in new business revenues and a decrease in station operating costs.

“We are pleased with our first quarter performance and our growth in revenues, despite tough comparisons to the first quarter of 2006 when we benefited from substantial national advertising on our five NBC stations during the Olympics and last year’s record political year,” said Vincent L. Sadusky, president and chief executive officer of LIN TV. “Our ongoing efforts to develop digital and interactive products are providing great momentum for what we believe will be a robust advertising market in late 2007 and early 2008.”

News Corp. Q3 Net Income Up 23%

Q3 Highlights include:

  • Filmed Entertainment delivers record operating income contribution of $410 million, up 82%, on strong theatrical release slate and continued success of film and television home entertainment titles.
  • Cable Network Programming operating income up 34% as increased affiliate revenues drive growth at the Fox News Channel, the FX Network and the Regional Sports Networks. SKY Italia generates operating income of $91 million, an improvement of 32% versus a year ago, reflecting net subscriber additions of 456,000 over the past 12 months as the subscriber base expands to 4.17 million.
  • Television operating income decreases as advertising strength at the FOX broadcast network and the station group is offset primarily by losses from the first year of MyNetworkTV.

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    Microsoft Bidding for Yahoo, Again

    According to a Reuters report, shares in Yahoo jumped 18 per cent in on reports that Microsoft is once again weighing a bid for the search company and has asked for formal talks to be renewed.

    It is believed Yahoo could fetch around $50 billion, Micrsoft’s current market value is about $300 billion.

    The move follows an attempt by Microsoft to acquire Yahoo! a few months ago in a bid to mount a credible attack on Google. The New York Post reports that a deal between Microsoft and Yahoo would increase the combined companies' share of the search advertising market to 27 per cent against Google's 65 per cent.

    A deal to acquire Yahoo! would radically expand Microsoft's footprint in display advertising, an area where Yahoo! has traditionally been strong. It would also give Microsoft access to Panama, the online operating system that Yahoo! has trumpeted as a realistic threat to Google's prowess.

    Qwest CEO: Maybe People Don't Want Telco TV

    AT&T and Verizon plan to spend billions of dollars over the next several years on new TV services, including robust High-Definition TV lineups.

    However, Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert says his fellow telcos may be dialing a wrong number. Asked by Bloomberg News why Qwest does not have a more ambitious TV plan, he said:

    "Is it possible that our model is OK?" asked Notebaert back. "We don't have to knee-jerk. The only reason you think I should spend more is because someone else is spending more."

    Qwest does offer its customers third-party TV service from DIRECTV -- and it has launched its own TV lineup in several communities in the Southwest (with more likely coming soon.) However, unlike AT&T and Verizon, the company has no immediate plans to launch a larger TV business.

    Notebaert's caution is not unfounded. After more than two years, AT&T's u-Verse TV business has less than 100,000 customers while Verizon's FiOS had 348,000 at the end of the first quarter.

    Bloomberg reports that AT&T has committed to spending $5.1 billion on TV over the next five years; Verizon will spend $23 billion over the next seven. The telcos are finding it difficult to crack the TV market which is now dominated by the cable and satellite operators.

    Both telcos offers more than 20 High-Definition channels in their lineups.

    Viewpoint Corp. Q1

    Viewpoint Corporation, a leading internet marketing technology company, announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007. The Company also recently announced a strategic partnership with DG FastChannel and concurrent $4.3 million private equity investment in Viewpoint, as well as an additional private equity investment from Gruber & McBaine Capital Management of $1.0 million.

    Viewpoint reported total revenue of $3.3 million for the first quarter 2007, inline with our expectations a 22 percent decrease as compared to $4.3 million in the fourth quarter 2006 and a 17 percent decrease as compared to $4.0 million in the first quarter 2006. Gross profit was $2.3 million for the first quarter of 2007, a decrease of 25 percent as compared to the $3.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and an increase from $2.2 million for the first quarter of 2006.

    Patrick Vogt, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “In the first quarter, we achieved important milestones in developing our business platform. Our strategic partnership with DG FastChannel, combined with our recent acquisition of MAKOS, provide us with the opportunity to capture more growth in our business. The inclusion of our rich media and video technology into the vast DG FastChannel system enables more integrated advertising services and reporting for customers. Furthermore, through MAKOS, we are now able to better serve clients that require cross platform advertising support including broadcast video, creative and story boarding capabilities.

    “The Viewpoint internet marketing technology platform is now built and we are now entering the next phase in our business strategy,” continued Mr. Vogt. “Our Q2 pipeline is strong and as such we expect significant sequential improvement in revenue and our bottom-line results. We expect growth in revenue for 2007 compared to 2006, in addition we expect significant improvement in bottom-line performance in 2007 compared to 2006. We are confident in the business going forward and believe that the momentum that has been building in the first half of the year will continue throughout the year.”

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    Apple Intros FC Studio 2 and FC Server

    Apple unveiled the latest version of its video production suite, Final Cut Studio 2. The video editing application package includes several new releases: Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Compressor 3, DVD Studio Pro 4.2, and the introduction of a color grading and finishing application, Color.

    Final Cut Pro 6, a new iteration of the company's non-linear editing application, features the ability to mix and match most video formats and frame rates in a single timeline without transcoding. It also includes ProRes 422, a full raster, 10-bit 4:2:2 post production format that creates HD quality files at SD file sizes, SmoothCam which removes unwanted camera movement, and the ability to edit Motion templates.

    New to Final Cut Studio is Color, a color grading and finishing application that includes advanced color correction tools such as gamma, lift and gain adjustments, as well as custom R, G, B and luma curves, and the secondaries provide the ability to isolate specific areas of an image with soft-edged mattes and custom-shaped vignettes, which can be easily tracked. Professional scopes provide monitoring of chrominance and luminance values via waveforms, histograms and new 3D scopes. Color includes over 20 signature looks which can be customized to create a unique mood for any given project, and offers a seamless roundtrip workflow where projects can be sent from Final Cut Pro 6 directly to Color for grading, finishing and final rendering with 32-bit float 4:4:4 image processing.

    Motion 3, Apple's motion graphics application, adds support for 3D environments, improves camera behaviors and adds drag-and-drop support, offers vector-based painting tools with brushes that support color, particles, video or pictures, adds a match moving tool that maps images and effects to the path of other objects, adds additional retiming behaviors, and adds the ability to create animations that respond to soundtrack volume and frequency.

    Soundtrack Pro 2, Apple's audio editing application, features new multi-track editing and recording tools in a streamlined interface, a heads-up spotting display that lets editors align effects and dialog with picture, advanced take management tools that enable editors to combine pieces of the best takes to craft seamless performances, stereo and surround mixing tools enabling users to create 5.1 and stereo mixes in the same project. Editors can work with a royalty-free library of over 5,000 professionally produced foley and sound effects, including over 1,000 surround sound effects and evocative multi-channel music tracks. A new Conform tool enables users to synchronize and track changes between picture and sound editorial.

    Compressor 3 is Apple's professional encoding tool. The new version features a streamlined interface and simplified workflows, batch processing and job chaining capabilities that support creating output for multiple formats simultaneously, and the ability to add animated watermarks directly from Motion projects. It also adds drag-and-drop presets for broadcast television, Web, iPod, Apple TV, DVD and mobile phones.

    Color is the newest addition to the Final Cut Studio 2 suite. The color grading and finishing application includes professional color correction tools, supports selectively isolating image areas with soft edge mattes and custom shaped vignettes that can be tracked, offers professional scopes for monitoring chrominance and luminance, and supports round trip workflows with Final Cut Pro 6 for grading, finishing and final rendering with 32-bit float 4:4:4 image processing.

    Final Cut Studio 2 will be available in May, and will cost US$1,299. Upgrades from Final Cut Studio will be priced at $499, or $699 from Final Cut Pro.

    Apple also introduced Final Cut Server, a new server application that works seamlessly with Final Cut Studio 2 to provide media asset management and workflow automation for post-production and broadcast professionals. A scaleable server application that supports workgroups of any size, Final Cut Server includes a cross-platform client that enables content browsing, review and approval from within a studio or over the Internet.

    Final Cut Server automatically catalogs large collections of assets and enables searching across multiple volumes via a user interface. Final Cut Server is designed to manage the flow of work, as assets and projects move from producer to editor to artist through the entire production process.

    Final Cut Server will be available this summer through the for a suggested retail price of $999 (US) for one server and 10 concurrent client licenses, and $1,999 (US) for one server and unlimited client licenses.

    Avid Unveils Liquid Chrome Xe

    Avid Technology, Inc. unveiled Avid Liquid Chrome Xe, the newest member of the Avid Liquid family. With support for the AJA XENA LHe board, the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe system offers customers a powerful, low-cost SDI I/O option and support for uncompressed SD and HD video formats. Avid also announced version 7.2 software for all products in the Avid Liquid family, adding support for a variety of new camera formats from JVC, Panasonic, and Canon, as well as 24p support for JVC cameras. Using Avid Liquid products, videographers can create and output high-quality SD and HD video productions in a variety of formats for tape, DVD, the Web, cell phones, iPods, and PlayStation Portable (PSP) devices.

    The Avid Liquid Chrome Xe system is software that works in conjunction with the AJA XENA LHe board. After installing the AJA XENA LHe board with the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe software, customers can easily work on uncompressed HD video projects. The Avid Liquid Chrome Xe system also offers a wide range of I/O capabilities including SD and HD analog and SDI I/O; analog composite/component video I/O; 10-bit broadcast-quality hardware HD to SD down conversion; TBC via analog inputs; analog and digital stereo audio I/O; 2-channel analog audio I/O; and 2-channel AES, and 8-channel embedded audio. Users can also preview their projects in real time from the timeline on an external monitor in HD.

    Pricing for the Avid Liquid family of products begins at $499 for Avid Liquid software. Avid Liquid Pro software with the analog SD breakout box is priced at $999. Pricing for the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe system requires two components: the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe software for $999, and the AJA XENA board - sold separately from AJA - for $1,790

    Canon’s New HR10 HD Camcorder

    Consumers who are looking for the ideal camcorder to interface with the ever-expanding home entertainment environment and provide more High Definition content, need to look no further. The Canon HR10 HD Camcorder offers the benefits of top-notch broadcast quality lenses and photographic heritage by providing users with a Genuine Canon 10x optical zoom lens, a Full HD 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensor and the AVCHD video format. Available in August, the Canon HR10 HD Camcorder will have an estimated selling price of $1199.

    EditShare Version 5.0

    EditShare, a provider of cross-platform collaborative editing and shared media storage systems, announced version 5.0 of their EditShare shared storage solutions. The new release brings improved ergonomics, simplified administration and expanded capabilities to the EditShare shared-storage environment. EditShare Version 5.0 will begin shipping Q2 2007.

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  • SCRI Data SCRI Data 2007-2008 Broadcast/Pro Video Product Reports NOW Available!

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    Data from SCRI's definitive, extensive & annually updated (since 1984) survey among U.S. broadcast and pro video facilities, tracking purchase history & purchase plans for each of twenty five specific product types, analyzing market size, trends, growth patterns, brand shares and industry trends, is now available. This 27 volume series of Product Reports (25 Product Reports along with a Micro and Macro Industry Executive Summary) is ready to ship to clients pre-NAB.

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    Almost 50% of Europe watches TV online

    An independent study by Motorola has revealed that almost half of Europe has already watched TV on the Internet. The European study, which surveyed attitudes and behaviours of 2500 broadband users in UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, said 45 per cent of European viewers are already watching TV online.

    French television addicts are the most demanding, with 59 per cent choosing to watch previews and episodes of their favourite shows via the web. Italians and Brits come in second and third respectively, whilst German viewers remain most bound to schedules set by TV broadcasters with only 33 per cent catching shows online.

    The extended use of the TV is still increasing: 45 per cent of Europeans expect to be making video calls via their home TVs by the time the 2012 Olympics is on.

    "These results show that viewers across Europe are no longer satisfied with fitting into schedules dictated by broadcasters and are turning to the choice and flexibility offered by TV over the internet," says Karl Elliott, Marketing Director for Motorola.

    Other statistics underlined consumers’ desires for freedom of choice when watching TV included: 57 per cent of respondents want the ability to go online via the TV set during a live broadcast, for example to get sports statistics during a match or check out retail stores for fashion show items. And 35 per cent of viewers want the ability to pause, fast forward or rewind live broadcast programming.

    US Internet video audience double Cable TV

    Video networking site Tubearoo has highlighted data claiming that the US Internet video audience has grown to nearly double the number of US basic cable TV subscribers. According to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the number of US basic cable subscribers was 65.6 million in December 2006; while comScore Video Metrix reported the number of unique U.S. Internet video streamers at nearly 123 million in January 2007.

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