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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Comcast plans to roll out a new set top exclusively for its broadband subscribers, designed to aggregate OTT video services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and more, but with limited access to rival offerings such as DirecTV Now or Sling TV and no cable TV, according to CNBC sources. The voice-activated device will run a similar platform to X1 and is set to launch next year.

Nokia has won three mammoth deals collectively worth over €2 billion, landing fixed and mobile broadband network access deployments at heavyweights China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The Finnish vendor will supply a mix of technologies and services covering radio access, passive optical networks, IP routing, SDN, network management, home CPE, core routers, multi-service edge routers, and more – geared towards 4G, 5G and IoT evolution projects.

Deutsche Telekom came out this week with Q3 revenues of €19.1 billion up 4.7% on last year and net profits off 11% to €1.3 billon. It grew broadband 3% to 13.5 million in its native Germany, and pay TV by 6.5% to 3.3 million, and throughout its other European operations was either just up or just down in broadband and TV except for the Czech Republic where it added a creditable 39% to reach 227,000 broadband lines and 68,000 TV customers, virtually from a standing start. But most financial growth came out of its T-Mobile USA cellular operation. It says in Germany it now has 11.6 million fiber customers, with around 4.7 million of these wholesale.

Kentucky-based cable operator TVS Cable has deployed the CableOS virtualized cable access product from US encoding specialist Harmonic for its new DOCSIS 3.1 broadband service. “Prior to deploying CableOS, we were running seven CMTS’ over 1,100 miles of plant space. It was complex and expensive to manage so many different devices, IP pools and hardware types. Harmonic’s CableOS solution significantly reduced the complexity,” said David Thacker, assistant manager at TVS Cable.

Vietnam’s largest satellite TV operator VSTV K+ has deployed Titan technology from French firm Ateme, already achieving opex and bandwidth savings in MPEG-2 and H.264, resulting in significant satellite transponder usage, Ateme claims.

The Perseus Plus codec developed by compression company V-Nova is now supported by Telestream’s video streaming system LightSpeed Live, which it says is used by numerous major operators and video service providers worldwide.

Taiwanese equipment vendor Zyxel Communications has released its new AC3800 tri-band WiFi Extender, along with a new gigabit MoCA 2.0 residential gateway. Part of the Multy Pro portfolio, the AC3800 extender can be used with various residential gateways or connected to any existing broadband router to create an independent whole-home WiFi system. It features ten antenna pairs, with one 2.4GHz radio and two 5GHz radios, one for dedicated 1,733 Mbps WiFi backhaul and another for serving WiFi clients. Its new MoCA 2.0 gateway features built-in WiFi optimization and offers automatic configuration, band steering and roaming features.

TiVo registered a third quarter operating loss of $7.7 million, a substantial 395% increase, on total revenues down 17% to $164.7 million. The planned transition away from hardware managed to reduce costs, but the hardware sector still made a loss of $3.9 million, although this has been slashed from the $9.9 million loss in the same period last year.

Korean operator LG U+ has selected UK media management technology firm EditShare to produce and distribute The Show, its popular SBS Medianet music program, to subscribers. EditShare says its architecture is designed to support LG U+’s “omni-view” experience meaning new camera angles not currently available on traditional TV or OTT options.

US video compression and broadcast systems developer Minerva Networks has tapped the MultiRights OTT product from Verimatrix for its new white-label Your TV Now service for set tops and streaming devices, built on the Minerva 10 platform. MultiRights is built to harmonize multiple DRMs via a common platform.

Argentinian cable operator Telecentro has become the first in Latin America to deploy the Dragon TV voice control technology from Nuance. Subscribers can now search content, recognizing hundreds of thousands of show titles, programs, movies, genres and channel names using conversational AI technology, according to Nuance.

Swedish technology company Crunchfish has signed a cooperation deal with Chinese AR developer LLVision, which will offer touchless gesture interaction from Crunchfish in its new AR platform. IT service provider Digital China and smart technologies firm Siveco China are the first customers.

Some 24% of smart speaker owners in the UK want to be able to use the device to control their smart TV sets, according to Parks Associates.

Netflix is set to exceed 10 million subscribers in the UK by the end of this year, according to strategy consultancy MTM, predicting 1.1 million sign ups to the service between now and the end of December. The integration with Sky Q will provide a significant boost, with MTM forecasting 200,000 Netflix sign ups through the Sky Q platform.

Australia’s TPG was the fastest ISP during the last quarter, followed by Aussie Broadband, iiNet, Optus, Telstra and MyRepublic, according to a report from ACCC Measuring Broadband Australia, prepared by SamKnows. It found that NBN services continue to outperform ADSL, coming in three times higher at an average 22.7 Mbps.

 

Ukraine has the world’s cheapest broadband at an average of $5 a month, while Mauritania in West Africa is down the other end of the spectrum with a frightening average price of $768.16 a month, according to UK research agencies Cable.co.uk and BVA BDRC.

The proposed $2 billion sale of Netherlands-based media firm Endemol Shine, jointly owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management, has been shelved, Variety reports. ITV, Sony, Banijay Group and Fremantle were all rumored to be interested but none committed, meaning Disney will inherit a 50% stake in Endemol Shine.

Data company Esports One has built an AI-based analytics engine for esports fans, partnering with Riot Games to offer insights for its Brazilian broadcast division. The aim is to make it easier for fans to follow the action, due to the rapid nature in which events unfold in esports. Using proprietary computer vision technology and machine learning, it captures and analyzes what is happening in a professional esports match to add commentary and insights.

Universal Music Group is the first major record label to license content from Boomplay, an African music streaming service with 36 million users on a run rate of 2 million monthly sign ups. Boomplay is jointly owned by Chinese firms Transsnet Music Limited and NetEase.

The Malaysian government will inject $2.4 million into the country’s esports industry next year, prompting additional investments from key figures in the games industry, namely M8 Gaming founder Clement Hui.

Comscore is integrating traffic from Snapchat Discover into its audience measurement portfolio, to provide publishers with audience viewing figures from the platform such as demographics and time spent consuming content.

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