Insider Reporter


Insider Report

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

w/e September 23, 2007 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2007

INDEX

Technology News | Industry News | Company News |
Product News | People in the News | Research News

TECHNOLOGY NEWS

China IPTV Market Report

Large-scaled commercial project of IPTV in China had started since the second half of 2005, and the IPTV project has expanded to province area from city area, and the designed user capacity amounts to 100,000. The planned capacity in Jiangsu, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong etc all amounts to 100,000. Accordingly, the IPTV users rose to 550,000 in China at the end of 2006.

China Netcom and China Telecom still regarded IPTV as the focus of broadband development in 2006, and IPTV commercial market started in China. However, as the operation mode is imperfect and the users demand needs to be further exploited, China IPTV market is still in the fostering period.

From the perspective of the current business development, the time shifting and on-demand broadcast are popular among the users. IPTV not only is faced with urban high-end users, but also has the strong demand potential in the rural market. In the aspect of the manufacturers, the commercial market is held by UT Starcom, ZTE etc basically in China.

China Netcom had developed small-scaled IPTV trial operation in 21 cities up to Nov, 2006. Moreover, China Netcom carried out rural long-distance education activity in the countryside of Henan via IPTV, and the activity would develop 80,000 more IPTV users. After two-year promotion, the IPTV users in Harbin Netcom had amounted to 100 thousand by the end of 2006.

China Telecom has carried out IPTV trial operation in 23 cities now, and its benchmarking project is the IPTV project cooperated by Shanghai Telecom and Shanghai Media Group, and up to Oct, 2006, the users of Shanghai IPTV had developed to be 20,000; by the end of 2006, the users had reached 60 thousand.

From the perspective of operators, Shanghai Media Group, the earliest to obtain the IPTV license, has carried out cooperation with fixed-line operators all over China. In May, 2006, CCTV obtained the IPTV license, in Aug 2006, South Media received the IPTV license, and in Oct, China Radio International also obtained the IPTV license, which will enrich IPTV program resource further and benefit the expansion of IPTV users.

More and more users will receive IPTV, the new video service mode, gradually in the future; meanwhile, telecom operators will expand IPTV content further, especially the highly interactive IPTV value-add business, such as long-distance education, online games, information service, video telephone etc, and also is shaking off the dependence on broadcasting TV programs gradually.

It is forecasted that the IPTV users will exceed 10 million in China in 2010, reaching 14.539 million

China's First Digital TV Broadcast Standard Launched

Altera Corporation announced its Stratix(R) II high-performance FPGAs were used by Tsinghua University to develop China's recently ratified Digital Multimedia Broadcast -- Terrestrial (DTMB, also referred to as DMB-TH) national digital television broadcast standard. The DTMB standard became the mandatory terrestrial TV signal for Chinese broadcasters on August 1, 2007.

The digital video modulation intellectual property (IP) in the standard will be used by all digital TV system suppliers providing video transport equipment to broadcasters in China. Supported by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the terrestrial DTMB standard (GB20600-2006) delivers digital television signals to fixed television sets and mobile televisions found on public transportation.

The DTMB standard uses both time-domain synchronous orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing and vestigial sideband multiplexing. The Stratix II FPGAs are optimal for the standard because the devices include all the logic, digital signal processing (DSP) blocks and memory required for the application's complex signal processing requirements.

German digitalisation breakthrough

The digitalisation of TV-households is gathering momentum in Germany where 77 per cent of TV-households will be digitalised at primary reception by the end of 2012. This is the forecast of Goldmedia published in its study "The Future of TV-transmission", which analyses the development of broadcasting infrastructures in Germany.

Satellite in Germany acts as the driving force behind digitalisation. More and more analogue satellite TV channels are only transmitted digitally. The diminishing number of these satellite programmes is becoming increasingly unattractive for customers and therefore 94 per cent of satellite reception will be digitalised by 2012.

Only 14 per cent of Germany's TV-households made use of digital cable by the end of 2006. However, by 2012 cable will have a more than 50 per cent degree of digitalisation and will thereby become the second most important digital infrastructure for television in Germany.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

CBS Corporation Increases Quarterly Dividend By 14%

CBS Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has authorized an increase in the quarterly dividend by 14% from 22 to 25 cents per share. The dividend is payable on October 1, 2007 to stockholders of record as of September 14, 2007.

In addition, the Board has approved a $1.6 billion stock repurchase program which the Company will implement via an accelerated share repurchase transaction.

"Raising our dividend and using a portion of our excess cash to buy back shares reaffirms CBS's commitment to return a sizable portion of our strong free cash flow to shareholders," said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Since January 1, 2006 we have raised our quarterly dividend by nearly 80%."

KT launches IPTV service

KT, the largest telephone and broadband line operator in Korea, has launched its IPTV offering to its Megapass broadband Internet service users across the nation.

Mega TV is expected to form a healthy rivalry with Hanaro Telecom's 'Hana TV' service, which has secured more then 500,000 users and aims to double the number by early next year. KT also expects to draw 300,000 subscribers this year and to increase the number to one million next year.

The new Mega TV service will offer a multitude of video-on-demand programming services, and a range of interactive TV services.

NBC quits iTunes

NBC Universal has been unable to come to an agreement with Apple on pricing and has not renewed its contract to sell digital downloads of television shows through iTunes. NBC is the largest supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, accounting for about 40 per cent of downloads.

The decision by NBC Universal highlights the escalating tension between Apple and media companies, which are unhappy that Apple will not give them more control over the pricing of songs and videos that are sold on iTunes. NBC Universal is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.

The current two-year deal extends through December so the breakdown will not have an immediate impact on iTunes.

Sony shuts Connect

Sony is to close its online music store Connect. The service, which sold songs in a format barring them from being played on non-Sony devices, will shut down after next March

Meanwhile, it introduced a new US version of its Sony Walkman that includes the ability to play digital video, the latest potential rival to Apple’s dominant iPod media player.

Thomson buys SyncCast

Thomson has acquired SyncCast Corp., a wholesale distributor of online movies, music and other entertainment, as part of an effort to boost its own digital-services businesses. Through its Technicolor services division, Thomson is trying to win more business from studios and distribution companies as they increasingly move toward digitization of key processes such as creating masters and delivery

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COMPANY NEWS

Chyron Announces One-for-Three Reverse Stock Split

Chyron Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has approved a one-for-three reverse split of its common stock. It is currently expected that the shares of common stock will trade post-split effective on September 20, 2007.

As previously announced, the split is part of the Company’s efforts to pursue a listing for its common shares on the American Stock Exchange LLC (AMEX). The Company’s AMEX listing application is pending, although there can be no assurance that the application will be approved.

Michael Wellesley-Wesley, Chyron President and CEO, commented, "We believe that listing on the AMEX will be a benefit to our shareholders. It should improve the liquidity and stability of our common stock, and broaden the audience of potential institutional stockholders.”

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PRODUCT NEWS

Panasonic Ships New AG-HPG10 P2

Panasonic announced the immediate availability of the AG-HPG10, a rugged, highly affordable P2 solid-state high-definition/standard-definition video viewer/recorder. Dubbed the P2 Gear, the 1.1-pound, battery-operated AG-HPG10 provides a host of functions to support P2 workflow in the field as well as within video production facilities, including P2 card playback, transfer and recording, uncompressed HD-SDI transfer, clip file and metadata management, and data back up onto USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 equipped hard drives.

The AG-HPG10 features a 3.5” 4:3 LCD monitor and a two-slot P2 memory card drive. It offers playback in multiple formats, including 1080i (24p, 24pA, 25p, 30p, 50i, 60i), 720p (24p, 24pN, 25p, 25pN, 30p, 30pN, 50p, 60p), 576i (25p, 50i) and 480i (24p, 24pA, 30p, 60i). It supports downconversion from HD (1080 or 720) to SD (480) and cross-conversion (720 to 1080) for HD transmission.

The P2 Gear is equipped with two industry standard high-speed data transfer interfaces, IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0, for transferring content to a PC- or Mac-based nonlinear editor or FireWire-equipped DV/DVCPRO/HD tape deck. The HD-SDI output allows playback to a larger HD production monitor or uncompressed content transfer to HD-SDI equipped decks, post production systems and storage networks. For added flexibility, the P2 Gear can record from IEEE 1394-equipped DV/ DVCPRO/ DVCPROHD camcorders and decks. P2 cards can also be “hot-swapped” for continuous recording.

The AG-HPG10 P2 Gear is available now at a suggested list price of $3,995 including a 5-year limited warranty program.

Harmonic HD for DirecTV

Harmonic announced that DIRECTV, the world’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) satellite operator with more than 16.3 million subscribers, has deployed Harmonic’s DiviCom Electra 7000 high definition (HD) MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoders for its national HD channel expansion.

Xytech Integrates Software with IBM Media Hub

Xytech Systems Corporation,a leading provider of business software for media operations including workflow management, resource scheduling, and media asset management, announced its support for a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) through the integration of Xytech Enterprise software with the IBM Media Hub Solution Framework.

Media Hub is IBM’s services oriented architecture (SOA)-based solution for the media and entertainment industry that is designed to manage the increasing complexity of running a content-focused business from the point of creation to the distribution of digital content.

Many film studios are already Xytech customers and use the Xytech software to manage their business workflows, schedule resources, manage media asset libraries, and prepare content for distribution or broadcast. Several of these film studios have enlisted IBM and Xytech to work together to further automate enterprise-wide business processes. Through the use of the IBM Media Hub, a flexible SOA can be established that is agile in supporting not only new distribution channels and revenue opportunities but also the further integration of business and production systems. IBM and Xytech are also developing an adapter between Media Hub and Xytech Enterprise software that can be used by other production, broadcasting, and large post production facilities around the world.

Dick Anderson, general manager for Media and Entertainment at IBM, said, “Our broadcast and studio clients have a strong focus on automating their digital workflows and media operations. SOA and the IBM Media Hub Solution Framework are seeing real traction in meeting this market need, and we are delighted that Xytech is now bringing their substantial software capability into our clients’ integrated workflow.”

“IBM Media Hub and Xytech Enterprise software are prominent solutions in the Media & Entertainment industry,” said Ron Peeters, Executive Vice President, Xytech Systems Corporation. “Xytech’s media business software combined with IBM’s deep expertise in automating digital workflows and complex business processes with SOA will greatly benefit our customers.”

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

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RESEARCH NEWS

SCRI RESEARCH NEWS

  • 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. Contactdes_chas@scri.com 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.

  • HDTV / Digital Video Technology Trends Survey: SCRI is now conducting the 2007 HDTV / Digital Video Technology Trends Survey. Coverage this year is comprehensive using SCRI extensive dBase of broadcast and pro video facilities in conjunction with NBMedia (Digital Cinematography, TV Broadcast, TV Technology, Videography, DV, Post Magazines & Portals as well as with Penton's Broadcast Engineering Magazine and the Digital Cinema Society's members. Survey questions were developed by SCRI Consultants with inputs from major clients and industry experts. Survey is online now with results available in the fall. Click here to view online survey

    Contact SCRI Research Director, Des Chaskelson for a copy of the survey questions &/or for more information and/or to place an order.

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