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VideoFutur (France)

The VideoFutur VoD service is owned by French set top maker and OTT specialist Netgem. It was founded in 1982 as a video game store, and first launched a VoD service in 2009, before being taken over by Netgem in 2013. Operations and figures: Netgem reported first half 2017 revenue of €32.9 million ($39.1 million), down from €39.1 million ($46.5 million) in the same period last year. Operating income for the period was €2.7 million ($3.2 million) compared to €3.4 million ($4 million) one year ago, while net profit was down from €2.7 million ($3.2 million) to €1.3 million ($1.5 million). The VideoFutur VoD service had 100,000 subscribers as of September 2015 – taking 3 years to double its base…

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TDC (Denmark)

The YouSee Play TV service launched in August 2012 via TDC’s cable subsidiary YouSee, and its YouBio SVoD offering launched in January 2013. Operations and figures: TDC Group posted Q2 2017 revenue of $807.9 million, down 2.9%, with profit of $600.7 million, down 3.4%. Denmark accounted for $416.3 million of this, a drop of 3.1%, with TV revenue declining 2.1% to $166.3 million in the period. TDC ended the first half of this year with 1.34 million TV subscribers in Denmark, losing 57,000 year on year. It also has 2.57 million mobile subscribers and 1.29 million broadband homes. Technology suppliers: TDC uses Ateme Titan encoders, and packaging software from fellow French firm Anevia. Netgem provides the hybrid set tops and…

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Rethink IoT News ATW 178: Around The Web Roundup

Make sure to subscribe to get ATW in your inbox, for free, each Monday. // M&A, Strategies, Alliances // Itron is buying Silver Spring Networks for $830m, net of some $118m (!) that Silver Spring had in the bank, adding the Wi-SUN advocate to Itron’s extensive smart grid portfolio. The Trusted IoT Alliance has launched, focused on blockchain-enabled IoT apps – founded by Bosch, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Gemalto, and US Bank, and smaller blockchain companies. Hitachi has combined its Data Systems, Insight Group, and Pentaho divisions into a new subsidiary – called Vantara, which will broadly tackle IoT and IT-OT projects. Comcast has acquired Stringify, the developer that built its xFI service. Stringify provides a rival to the IFTTT automation…

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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Cable experts from Liberty Global, Comcast and Dakota-based cableco Midcontinent Communications will be joined by executives from vendors Arris, Cisco, Harmonic, Nokia and Intel to discuss the benefits of Remote PHY architectures, at the Cable Tech Expo in Denver on October 17. The CableLabs standard can help towards improved network performance and capacity, reduce costs, and make next-generation cable services simpler to operate, by allowing an integrated CCAP (Converged Cable Access Platform) to be separated into two components – the CCAP core and Remote PHY device. Remote PHY is being hyped up as the technology that forms the foundation of achieving virtualization and full duplex DOCSIS. German FTTH network operator Deutsche Glasfaser has selected UK IP video technology vendor Amino…

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Ultra HD Forum asks operators what they want for phase B

It is about time operators’ views were taken properly account of in setting priorities for development of standards for Ultra HD infrastructure, but that has now been done by the Ultra HD Forum. While some of the feedback confirms what we already knew or suspected, at least there is some clarity over which of the components or which versions operators are looking to deploy first. To some extent, consumers’ voices have already been heard by the UHD alliance, the other of two bodies charged with bringing UHD standards to market, although not actually formulating them. The standards themselves come from the long-standing industry bodies such as DVB, SMPTE and the ITU, although the UHD Alliance and Ultra HD Forum wield…

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Net Insight joins Ericsson UDN, mulls e-gaming entrance

Almost two years have flashed by since Faultline Online Reporter last covered Net Insight, but at IBC last week we discovered that the Swedish IP video vendor has finally given its True Live video synchronization software a name, calling it Sye, and also struck an integration deal at the show with Ericsson for the UDN (Unified Delivery Network) content distribution service. We get the impression that Net Insight has struggled to win customers for its True Live product, not due to the technology itself being flawed as the demos we have been shown look impressive, but simply because of the demand from broadcasters to have a perfectly synchronized video ecosystem across multiple screens is not high enough. Sports broadcasters have…

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CableLabs gets heavily into NFV

The threat from over-the-top providers, and the shift of the US telecoms market towards convergence and cloud platforms, has driven the cablecos to become far more technologically innovative. They are expanding into wireless connectivity and also into virtualization, with their R&D arm, CableLabs, becoming active in previously unfamiliar standards efforts like 3GPP and ETSI. With the latter, CableLabs is working on many projects connected to two key ETSI initiatives, NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing). From July this year, ETSI has been rolling out its planned series of five standards to define how virtual network functions (VNFs) should be configured for ease of deployment and management. A key contributor has been Don Clarke, co-author of of the…

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Celeno challenges mesh WiFi model at IBC, wins more of Liberty Global

Israeli WiFi chip vendor Celeno Communications landed another European deal this week, securing Belgian operator Telenet to add the OptimizAIR software to its new WiFi marketing service Flow – which Celeno told us at IBC is all about managing air time to allocated devices. However, the main topic of conversation in Amsterdam this year was not Celeno’s new account win, but how it is facing up to fierce rival AirTies – discussing the key differences between their competing product lines in a multi-AP marketplace, representing a multi-billion dollar opportunity. AirTies has pioneered a method of mesh networking, using secret behind the scenes techniques to stem the bad apple and sticky client problems that consumer devices can cause in a network,…

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SoftAtHome adds O2 Czech, new Orange deal and Quantenna WiFi

French TV software player SoftAtHome launched the O2 Czech Republic smart box at IBC this week, built by KaonMedia on a Broadcom chip. It also showed off “voice” capabilities, cut an extended deal with Orange and extended its Smart WiFi to include Quantenna chips. SoftAtHome is also behind the O2 Czech upgrade to the WiFi system which is needed as the home gateway was upgraded to 250 Mbps using what some call VDSL3, but which most call V-Plus or simple VDSL 35b, which uses 35 MHz of spectrum in the baseband, over twisted pair rather than 17 MHz and has to be used with vectoring to get the best outcome. Performances can go up to 360 Mbps, but it is…

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Sixty Javascripts interactive TV elements, Huawei and Unified partner

Put Sixty into Google, and being a rather US centric search engine and you will not find any entry referring to a company on the first few hundred pages of hits. Once you know it’s a company called Sixty from Norway, and put the .no top level domain in, there it is. It’s that kind of company too. Not that noticeable, and to some extent not really technical, but really, really neat, once you get it. It has spent the last 15 years designing TV graphics, which define TV experiences for Norwegian Broadcasters like TV2. We saw some of its designs and it’s just another designer really, not the world’s best. But its new Easy TV UI framework is making…

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Security top trend at IBC, but watermarking makes a solo appearance

Plenty of piracy news and security deals came of out IBC, presenting some positive steps forward for the industry and good news for the technology vendors, but the growing reliance on security can also spell trouble for service providers and their respective CDN suppliers – as networks are burdened with handling more and more components in video content such as forensic watermarking. CDN technology firm Edgeware addressed these issues last week, announcing an integration deal with ContentArmor’s watermarking technology and talked up the case for operators to build out their own CDN architecture. Edgeware’s CMO Richard Brandon broke down watermarking into two methods in our IBC meeting – manifest-based and bitstream-based watermarking. The issue here is that there has to…

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Operators tempted by Google’s Greek gifts of Android TV, others wary

Google was an elephant in the room at IBC 2017, wooing operators with its latest version of Android TV, which allows them more control over recommendations so that they can prioritize their own content above third-party OTT material. At the same time operators gain access to the extensive Android app ecosystem as well as a platform for unifying linear broadcast and third-party OTT services within a common and consistent UI. They also have plenty of vendors offering tools to help them deploy Android TV effectively. Sweden’s Accedo was one, peddling its Operator Tier Android TV Launcher as a platform within its Studio Pay TV edition product at IBC. The flipside is that Google can get access to search and user…

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Accidental empires, I’ve lost the remote, IBC and the power of voice

When we first heard that some of the TV companies wanted to put a feature into TVs they make, which allowed you to change channel by voice command, Faultline Online Reporter could not be less excited. On its own, the ability to change a TV channel is little more than a gimmick. When Siri came out, we can remember being positively irritated at the voice and the stupid way that every iPhone owner just HAD to show us how clever it was, when all it did was regurgitate Wikipedia entries. But the idea of an ever present voice assistant, which moves from your car to your home to your place of work, which is always on hand, who knows you…

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Cablecos set to become dangerous rivals to Verizon as 5G emerges

The final point made by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at the Goldman Sachs event (see above) was that he has to deliver 1Gbps in both fixed and mobile wireless to support the telco’s full vision for converged services, content and media. His presentation seemed to signify a more rounded strategy for 5G+content/media than Verizon’s. AT&T has better assets, both in the network and the multiplay, and it looks tough for its rival to beat that without a really barn-storming content deal (and there aren’t many candidates in the US), or a reversion to its traditional approach, that of investing in having the highest quality network experience. That, however, would need to go beyond being narrowly first to launch 5G services…

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Liberty Global embraced G.hn a while back, forgets to mention it

Wandering around the stands of IBC there is evidence of business that is still supposed to be a secret, everywhere you look. Most companies have a list of logos on the side of their stand, and often list companies which you have been waiting for years to declare which vendor they work with. But looking closer at devices is sometimes also rewarding. The G.hn HomePlug war has been waxing and waning for years, and coming across a WiFi extender device which was earmarked as Liberty Global, we noted that it was a G.hn plug, signifying that this was a design win for that technology, whereas in the past it had used HomePlug powerline as a connector in European homes. This…

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Sckipio leapfrogs Broadcom G.fast chips once again

Israeli broadband chip firm Sckipio, this week upgraded its G.fast chip to the wider 212 MHz bandwidth, the second generation standard. It has been in a race against Broadcom for mind share and market share and Broadcom already has out its 2nd generation chip. The Sckipio solution is actually a 3 chip system called the 23000, though it’s not clear what discrete workloads each of the chips have. Sckipio was first in the market to come out with first generation chips and it may look like it is slipping somewhat against Broadcom, but it came out with added features which it is convinced will continue to keep it ahead of its far larger rival. It is fairly vital that Sckipio…

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How AWS became the buzzword of IBC 2017

Not virtual reality, machine learning or AI, but it was a company name that claimed the IBC buzzword crown in Amsterdam this week. Among the countless vendors Faultline Online Reporter spoke to at the show, hardly a meeting went by without the mention of an AWS integration and the promising prospects its mega web infrastructure can help spin up as vendors strive for scalability. Two years on since its takeover of encoding pioneer Elemental, the cloud giant is growing exponentially, at around 100% a year. The conclusion we are leaning towards is that if a vendor really wants to scale and take the cloud opportunity by the horns, it really only has two choices, AWS or Azure – and the…

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Comcast cuts truck rolls with open source AI system

[This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Faultline Online Reporter, which is focused on the video industry.] Comcast claims to have saved tens of millions of dollars of truck roll expenses, by using a machine learning program that can predict with 90% accuracy whether or not it will need to send a technician to a customer’s home to fix connectivity problems. Every operator would love to reduce truck rolls. Estimates of the average costs vary, but tend to be somewhere between $50 and $100 per visit. Even if a company is using the most efficient vehicles possible, those costs are increasing as fuel and labor costs rise. All service operators are well aware that they end up dispatching technicians…

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Towercos and cities make progress in enabling US densification

[This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Wireless Watch, which is focused on the wireless industry.] Small cells took a major part in last week’s Mobile World Congress Americas event in San Francisco, indicating how this technology is finally entering the mainstream of carrier strategies as they look towards densification and 5G. Ironically, of course, the MNOs’ hesitancy to implement small cells at scale may come back to haunt them, if new rivals emerge which can use shared spectrum, small cells and edge computing to support new business models and undermine the mobile operators’ dominance – with the IoT being particularly disruptive. But whether the deployer is an MNO, a cableco or a neutral host provider, the complexities of…

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BMW says cars will not be an ad-fest, industry cogs suggests otherwise

BMW’s head of digital products and services, Dieter May, said that the company “is not in the business of selling data and so we need to be really careful,” speaking at Dmexco. The declaration was made in a conversation about customer data collection, and indicates that BMW won’t be looking to sell endless streams of customer data to advertisers, because this approach risks spoiling the automaker’s relationship with its customers – who are likely already fed up with intrusive advertising practices in the digital age. May did recognize that there are real partner opportunities with companies that align with BMW’s premium brand, and given spending power of a typical BMW customer, it would be foolish to turn its back on…

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