OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Italian recommendations software company ContentWise has landed its largest deployment to date, powering content personalization, discovery and search for Telefónica’s Latin American multiplatform video services – covering live TV, multiscreen VoD and catch-up services. ContentWise bases recommendations on a viewer’s profile and preferences, providing its testing and performance analytics capabilities to Telefónica, allowing the operator’s editorial team to experiment with various editorial strategies to measure business outcomes. Telefónica has kept quiet about almost all its recommendations software sources, other than Israeli firm Jinni popping up in Spain. Telefónica has some 4.6 million TV subscribers in Latin America, where it operates under the Vivo TV and Vivo Play brands in Brazil, plus Movistar TV and Movistar Play brands in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay and Ecuador.

LG Electronics has been hyping up its new $4.6 billion OLED factory in China, which it released plans for in December, projecting production to peak at 20 million units by 2020 if everything goes swimmingly, with a bottom estimate of 10 million units by 2020. Shipments of screens in the $2,000 or more market are forecast to account for 70% of the South Korean electronics maker’s OLED sales this year, according to weekly newsletter Large Display Monitor.

RF semiconductor maker MaxLinear is supplying its MxL692 ATSC receiver to US OEM manufacturer Geniatech, bringing live digital TV to Android devices. Geniatech is fitting its new PT682 Pad TV Tuner with the MaxLinear device, which claims to be the industry’s first single-channel integrated ATSC receiver integrated circuit. Combined with Geniatech’s PadTV HD Android app, viewers can watch free-to-air TV channels using the built-in telescoping antenna, via OTA ATSC and QAM digital TV signals.

SES has launched four UHD channels in Latin America for pay TV providers, part of its UHD package of pre-configured content, reception equipment and satellite distribution for quick UHD service deployment. The new channels include NASA TV UHD, produced by Harmonic, and SES Ultra HD, an incubator channel for emerging 4K content producers. The satellite fleet operator also claims its UHD system is undergoing trials with a number of tier 1 North American pay TV operators.

The latest in the Leslie Moonves saga involves Viacom demanding CBS inflate its takeover offer by 20% to $14.8 billion, adding to what was all but confirmed last week about a low bid being almost immediately rejected by the Viacom board. Reports also suggest National Amusements’ Shari Redstone will seek to replace Moonves and the entire CBS board of directors if a merger agreement cannot be reached, according to CNBC.

Qualcomm has unveiled its new 10nm QCS605 and QCS603 SoCs as part of the Vision Intelligence Platform, to deliver computing for on-device camera processing and machine learning. The SoCs are integrated with Qualcomm’s image signal processor and AI Engine, plus an ARM-based multicore CPU, vector processor and GPU. The platform is designed to support smart security cameras, sports cameras, VR cameras and more.

Vivendi’s Dailymotion, the French YouTube, has struck a syndication deal with South Korean network MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation), to distribute and promote eight MBC channels to an audience of around 300 million viewers.

Video platform provider Haivision added its new KB Max portable video encoder for 4K UHD, 360 VR and HD internet streaming to its KB Series portfolio at NAB. The small form factor appliance is designed for encoding and streaming on-the-go live events and non-permanent installations. It can remove the need for cloud transcoding by packing in full ABR cascades in HEVC or H.264 into a small box, yet still offers the functionality to send streams up to 4K UHD to all major platforms for cloud transcoding and delivery.

US cableco Mediacom has renewed its licensing deal with TiVo for analytics, program guides and other intellectual property, as well as access to the TiVo Gateway DVR and TiVo Mini.

Swedish triple play operator Com Hem has launched TV Hub, an Android TV-based platform combining linear TV with HDR and 4K streaming services, plus 2,000 apps from the Google Play store. The new TV Hub voice remote control includes dedicated shortcuts to on-demand services Netflix, SVT Play and TV4 Play. Com Hem says it developed the TV Hub hardware UI and software itself, with help from 3SS and Technicolor.

Connected security specialist Verimatrix has combined its watermarking portfolio with anti-piracy services from TMG to provide a joint revenue security system. By detecting and disabling illegitimate video streams across multiple platforms, while identifying the source of pirated content, the duo say they can address the interests of all stakeholders.

Hulu has added support for its live TV and SVoD service on LG Electronics webOS-powered TV models from 2016 to 2018, plus Tizen Samsung TVs.

Univision-owned local Phoenix station KFPH-CD Channel 35 has begun broadcasting UniMás programming in ATSC 3.0, as part of the Phoenix Model Market initiative operated by broadcast partnership group Pearl TV. Also at NAB, Sony was demonstrating adaptive ad insertion and messaging using ATSC 3.0 capabilities, over unidirectional transport and dynamic adaptive streaming over ROUTE and DASH.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai addressed NAB attendees with a statement suggesting recent regulatory decisions have aided the ability for broadcasters to innovate and compete in a free market. Pai also proposed plans to launch a displacement window for LPTV (Low Power Television) and translator stations which are required to switch stations following the incentive auction.

Microsoft Azure has licensed the i265 HEVC codec from Ittiam Systems, making it available through the Azure Media Services Premium Encoder. The i265 comes with encoding toolsets, HDR formats and patented advanced algorithms, supporting 4K and ABR encoding and integrated with the Zenium framework from Imagine Communications, an open microservices workflow platform for quickly deploying new services.

Canal+, part of Vivendi, has carried out an executive reshuffle. The French pay TV operator has promoted current CEO Maxime Saada to President of its directorate, replacing Jean-Christophe Thiery, who is in line to take the role of Chairman of the supervisory council, currently occupied by billionaire Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bolloré.

OTT streaming technology vendor Net Insight has partnered with CDN provider CDNetworks, to expand the reach of Sye, Net Insight’s True Live OTT video synchronization software. CDNetworks’ content delivery technologies will bring ultra-low latency support for live streaming synchronization of audio, video and metadata across streams and devices.

Fox Networks Group’s London offices have been raided by the European Commission regarding alleged violation of EU antitrust laws on the distribution of sports rights.

Nokia has shipped its ViTrust public safety product to SK Telecom to test simultaneous video, voice and data sharing over LTE for first responders in mission-critical situations. Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core and other technologies have been deployed to interwork with SK Telecom’s existing evolved packet core system.

Apple has been slapped with a $502.6 million damages verdict by the Eastern District of Texas, for infringing four VirnetX network security patents relating to Apple’s FaceTime and VPN On Demand.

AI video analytics firm Valossa has become an Avid Alliance member, which will see the integration of its video recognition and intelligence tools into Avid’s MediaCentral asset management product. Online video platform vendor Ooyala, owned by Australian telco Telstra, has also collaborated with Avid, adding its Flex Media Platform into Avid MediaCentral.

Discovery Communications India has selected the Clear Cloud Media Asset Management system from Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) for managing long form content operations. The broadcaster will connect its production houses via the PFT MAM module, enabling a single system for file-based content acquisition, technical checks, mastering and playout delivery.

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have been ordered to immediately remove activities from Facebook by the German cable operator association FRK. The broadcasters apparently supplied Facebook with “millions of user data of their viewers while nobody knows how they are exploited and who uses them in the end,” according to FRK Chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte.

Streaming software outfit Wowza Media Systems has updated its ClearCaster appliance, adding automated redundancy set up for reliable Facebook Live streaming, plus the ability to simulcast streams through the Wowza Streaming Cloud service.

Canadian telco Sogetel and US ISP Antietam Broadband have both deployed the Arris ME-7000 Converged Compression Platform, which helps operators deliver 4K and HDR video, plus advertising splicing and multiplexing through the platform’s new HEVC module.