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15 September 2022

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Five years ago this week…

Rather than the usual suspects of VR, ML or AI, the IBC buzzword of 2017 was a single company. Hardly an interview went by without Faultline hearing of AWS integration, with vendors praising the scalability offered by the cloud giant just two years on from its takeover of encoding pioneer Elemental. With Azure providing the only serious alternative to AWS at the time, it seemed as though the latter was racing ahead in the video space as it clinched the lion’s share of deal announcements at the RAI – Kaltura‘s TV Platform CMS being one.

Vodafone Iceland has tapped XroadMedia’s Ncanto personalized content discovery system, following a two-month trial period in which Vodafone Iceland found an increase in rentals per recommendation and playback increases.

It comes as rival recommendation specialist ThinkAnalytics announced a win with targeted TV advertising platform Castoola on the first day of IBC 2022. The ThinkAdvertising system has been used to boost the purchase of contextual hyper-targeted ad campaigns for an unnamed European operator by 10x.

 

The DirecTV Go service in Latin America, owned by Vrio, is using the Harmonic VOS360 cloud SaaS platform to stream linear channels and sports events. Running on three major public clouds, the platform provides agility, scalability and resiliency, plus AI-based encoding to decrease buffer time and increase streaming quality.

Pearl TV, the group representing US broadcasters, has worked with Swiss set top software supplier iWedia to launch an ATSC 3.0 fast track program with new interactive features – to accelerate adoption of NextGen TV receivers by CPE makers in the Android TV space.

It comes as US operator Evoca has just rolled out the market’s first Android TV Operator Tier launcher on an ATSC 3.0 platform. This is powered by Xperi-owned Vewd’s OpX for Android TV, launched at IBC – a cloud-managed operator-grade set top custom launcher integrating pay TV and OTT content.

Amino’s R180 set top running Amlogic’s X4 chipset has received RDK Video Accelerator certification status, to speed up the launch of premium OTT services on operator hardware.

Vewd, recently acquired by Xperi, launched OpX for Android TV at IBC – a cloud-managed operator-grade set top custom launcher integrating pay TV and OTT content.

India’s largest MSO, GTPL Hathway, has selected Nagra’s Active Streaming Protection framework for its new OTT platform, including Security Services Platform, multi-DRM and secure player technologies.

 

The Video Services Forum (VSF) has released the 2022 versions of a handful of RIST specifications, including the Main Profile, Advanced Profile, TR-06-2, and TR-06-3. These add support for EAP-SRP authentication, for security functions, as well as the new VSF EtherType, which is a new Ethernet format that is used in the new TR-06-2/3 specs.

MainStreaming and Intel claim to have enabled power savings of up to 61%. Using the third generation of Xeon Scalable CPUs, with integrated CDN accelerators, MainStreaming is pitching the video delivery network at live sports, and is pointing to its recent success with DAZN and LaLiga for the 2022 season. MainStreaming currently claims to support peaks of 3.7 million concurrent European viewers.

Deutsche Telekom and RTL Deutschland have claimed the first 5G network slicing demonstration of live TV broadcast, using the 5G Standalone stack from DT. A live interview at the Digital X tradeshow was the subject matter. LiveU provided the backpack-housed transmission system, which featured only a single SIM card, instead of up to eight for the older systems.

Hughes Network Systems has launched a ‘low latency’ service that blends its GEO-based satellite offerings with available wireless bandwidth – via cellular and LEO. The back-end service is called Multipath, with the customer-facing brand called HughesNet Fusion. The initial speed is 25 Mbps, but the upcoming launch of the Jupiter 3 satellite should bump this up to 100 Mbps, says Hughes.

SpaceX is appealing the FCC decision to revoke its $885.5 million Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) subsidy, arguing that the FCC decision “rests on unsupported conjecture and outside-the-record information apparently cherry-picked from somewhere on the internet.” Meow. Meanwhile, OneWeb just secured FCC sign-off for 720 LEO satellites.

TikTok has launched WiFi hotspots in South Africa, via a partnership with local provider ThinkWiFi. Some 50 access points are being installed, to bridge the digital divide. These will be free to use, but TikTok is evidently benefiting commercially from the arrangement.

Zappware has partnered with AirConsole and N-Dream. The trio are launching a cloud-based games offering, which uses a smartphone for the controller input. Pitched at operators, the service has tiers of free games and paid titles.

 

Quickplay Media has been picked by Allen Media Group (AMG), to power its new D2C strategy. AMG owns 27 affiliate TV stations in 21 US markets, spanning a footprint of some 220 million customers. Quickplay will power the Local Now AVoD service, as well as apps for The Weather Channel, Grio, HBCU Go, And Sports.tv. Quickplay is using Google Cloud Platform, for the infrastructure.

Alaska’s GCI has struck a $150 million deal with Intelsat, to provide rural coverage for the entire state. GCI has confirmed it plans to use LEO satellites in its roadmap. Speaking of LEO, OneWeb is part of a British academic and government project, to test 5G services delivered from LEO satellites.

Intel and Broadcom have claimed the first cross-vendor demonstration of WiFi 7. The test achieved a 5 Gbps throughput, using a Broadcom-powered access point, connecting to an Intel WiFi SoC inside a Dell laptop. The announcement cites 16K streaming as a use case.

Sony has launched the world’s first cinematic camera with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) functionality. The FR7 Cinema Line PTZ supports NDI, for IP-based workflows, as well as SDI, which seems firmly framed as the legacy choice.

Object Matrix has announced an expansion of its deal with BT, supplying an additional 600TB node for BT’s on-prem object-based video library storage system. The new appliance replaces six legacy nodes with a single box. Since 2010, BT has installed 61 units from Object Matrix.