OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The Latest OTT Video News, deals, launches and products from Faultline.

Potential Yahoo bidders are now coming out of the woodwork. This week Yahoo is believed to have narrowed down its bidders to a handful, which still includes Verizon; but other names associated with a deal have included private equity firms Apax, TPG, Bain, Apollo Global Management and Warburg Pincus; AT&T’s Yellow Pages; Japan’s Rakuten with even Comcast’s name being mentioned. No other shortlist names have leaked so far, and the UK’s Daily Mail is no longer still being discussed, an offer we described as a long shot last week.

M7 Group will use video service quality management tools from Agama Technologies, for all of its video services across Europe including satellite firms in OTT systems in Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the Czech Republic and Germany. The systems integrator for the installation was the Stream Group and the deal covers monitoring of head-end and selected networks for IP and OTT services.

French encoder firm Ateme said this week it is integrating Technicolor’s enhanced HDR distribution technology into its Titan encoders. For HDR, Titan can leverage SMPTE ST 2084 Perceptual Quantizer Electro-Optical Transfer Function and SMPTE ST 2086 color grading metadata, in addition to HEVC UHD and BT.2020 color space, and now SMPTE ST 2094 color volume transformation dynamic metadata.

Visiware International which supplies interactive games for TV to 50 networks worldwide, is announcing the launch of a new generation of casual game service, using portal and a portfolio of games built in HTML5, which can run on some set top boxes already.

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has an HTML5 conformance suite for embedded devices based on the W3C‘s Test the Web Forward project. The new tool provides a test solution for embedded browsers which could not previously use the W3C Test Suite, which was focused on desktop browsers. DLNA has now made changes to allow the use of the test suite on these device types due to the lack of a mouse, small screens, and the lack of support for multi-windowed browsing or storage for test results.

ABC launched Clearinghouse at NAB this week, a new program that will help it cut deals with authenticated streaming platforms for its local affiliates. Hearst TV‘s 14 ABC affiliates would be the first to use the pilot program and ABC had signed template agreements with DirecTV and PlayStation Vue. In the US, local broadcast affiliates, have been slow to jump into streaming content.

Liberty Global subsidiary Unitymedia in Germany has released plans to provide up to 1.5 million WiFi access points via its subscribers’ home routers by the end of the year. Faultline has been tracking Liberty Global’s aims to have 10 million global Homespots by the end of 2016 and has attributed just 1 million to Unitymedia, so that suggests slightly more. A service based around these Homespots will come out in the Summer.

US OTT provider Kaltura has said at NAB that it will partner Encompass Digital Media, which delivers video solutions to broadcast companies, to offer OTT companies an end-to-end managed TV platform. The combined platform will put Encompass virtual headends with Kaltura’s service platform, and advanced monetization capabilities.

HBO will use an Arris DSR-7400 Transcoder satellite receiver to output HEVC content for distribution delivery of HBO content over satellite. It supports MPEG 2/4 and HEVC and DVB-S2X advanced modulation technologies. The ARRIS DSR-7400 uses HEVC video compression to reduce satellite bandwidth by up to 50 percent, but maintains compatibility with deployed MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 set-tops. This is a necessary step before HBO can go to 4K.

Remote control maker Ruwido says that it has another deal with Swisscom to take its next generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) remote control with integrated voice transmission for its TV 2.0. In 2014 Swisscom introduced Europe’s first BLE remote control.

Dish Network reported sales of $3.79 billion for Q1 up just a fraction from $3.72 billion for the corresponding period in 2015. Net income attributable to Dish was $389 million compared to $351 million a year-ago. Dish said that n pay TV subscribers went down 23,000, compared to a rise of 35,000 a year before. Dish has included all of its Sling TV customer in this number, so it is likely that DTH customer fell substantially. Dish said it activated 657,000 gross new Pay TV subscribers, compared to 723,000 a year ago. The company closed the first quarter with 13.874 million pay TV subscribers, compared to 14.013 million pay TV subscribers at the end of first quarter 2015, but still grew ARPU to $87.94 up from $85.73. Dish also added 5,000 broadband customers.

Proprietary codec specialist V-Nova said that it has been deployed on Sky’s IPTV platform in Italy. The move will enable Sky in Italy to expand significantly the reach of its full HD offering over the existing IP infrastructure. V-Nova said that it cut the Sky HD bitrate from 8 Mbps to 4 Mbps and it achieved this on a software only upgrade on a Harmonic Encoder and on Sky set tops. Sky Italy was V-Nova’s first customer for its Perseus codec, used initially for its contribution feeds. We’re not sure what IPTV customers Sky has, but most of its Italian customers use direct to Home satellite for distribution, except where it uses one of the broadband operators for IPTV distribution such as Telecom Italia.

Comcast and its content management subsidiary thePlatform have unveiled a product to unify broadcast and online video technologies called theVideoPlatform. This is built on Comcast’s entertainment and media infrastructure and is powered by its online video platform, mpx. theVideoPlatform manages the video workflow from linear to digital to enable broadcasters, operators, multichannel networks, and publishers to launch OTT services.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has signed a Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) agreement with The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI), to hand over documents which will be handled, adapted and maintained by ETSI’s SmartM2M Technical Committee, in coherence with oneM2M. The documents address smart home initiatives, including requirements for HGI Open Platform 2.1, smart home architectures and system requirements, and requirements for wireless home area networks.

DRM specialist Intertrust has announced that its will be providing its cloud-based ExpressPlay DRM services to Adobe Primetime – a multiscreen TV platform for live, linear, and VoD. ExpressPlay supports Marlin, PlayReady, FairPlay and Widevine technologies, and protects content on web apps for video, music, and eBook content. Adobe Primetime includes TVSDK for multiscreen playback, DRM, authentication, dynamic ad insertion, and an OTT ad sales platform.

TV games developer Visiware International has teamed up with TVersity, the Israeli company behind AppFlinger which throws which throws content through set tops. The partnership will bring premium gaming content via HTML 5 apps to TV operators worldwide, and the two companies say it has already been selected by an unnamed North American pay TV operator. Visiware says it has services deployed on over 50 satellite, cable, IPTV, and fiber networks, as well as on connected TV sets and OTT boxes.