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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Perpetual mixed reality headset disappointment Magic Leap has bagged an exclusive deal with AT&T to offer its $2,295 VR headset in-store and online as of next week, in tandem with a marketing campaign allowing footfall to experience an in-store Game of Thrones VR demo involving fighting White Walkers. AT&T is an investor in Magic Leap and a DirecTV app for Magic Leap headsets is in the works.

 

US technology and multimedia company Avid has joined the SRT Alliance, supporting development of the Secure Reliable Transport low latency protocol (see full story in this issue for more detail on developments).

 

Orange has signed up for a blockchain-based certification program called Safe.press, developed by French start-up Block Expert, which aims to stamp out fake news through a platform for mutual authentication. By doing so, Orange says it has become the first company globally to show a blockchain-secured digital trust label on its websites – allowing one-click verification about the authenticity of online content broadcast to the media in real-time.

Video app developer Metrological has been selected by Dutch service provider Delta Fiber to provide a new, integrated TV app experience for its TV subscribers. Built on the Metrological back-end, Delta Fiber can integrate premium OTT services, international apps and analytics into the TV experience.

Another video app developer, 24i Media, has won a deployment at Sinclair Broadcast Group, powering the new streaming service STIRR from the US telecommunications company. STIRR is using 24i’s module-based technology, through two products called SmartTemplate and AppCore, to build apps across various screens across Apple TV, Android, FireTV, Roku and iOS – allowing for customization and repurposing of the UI across a number of connected devices. STIRR shows national and local news, sports and entertainment content in the US.

Claiming a successful one-year stint in the UK, French software supplier netgem.tv has launched its personalized Internet TV service in Ireland, bringing live channels and on-demand content from Irish DTT broadcaster Saorview through one UI for the first time to Irish viewers.

Live IP systems provider TVU Networks will unveil its new MediaMind Appliance at NAB 2019, a metadata generation and search engine for accelerating production performance and content reuse within an existing broadcast media supply chain. TVU says it combines time-code with AI-based facial and speech recognition to generate metadata and an open API lets users connect directly with media asset management and non-linear editing systems.

UK-based machine learning developer Speechmatics has incorporated its Automatic Speech Recognition technology into the SmartLive sports system from media asset management technology firm Tedial. SmartLive allows operators to search for comments made during a sporting match by automatically creating file locators and importing a file into a watch folder – from where it generates speech-to-text from the commentary track. Speechmatics says by allowing quicker access to content, production teams have more time for creative endeavors.

Online social blog and video sharing platform Reddit will double its advertising revenues by 2021 to reach $261.7 million, according to eMarketer. “The company has retooled its ad offerings over the past year, which included the launch of new ad formats like autoplay in-stream video, cost-per-click, app install and ‘Top Post Takeover,’ which allows brands to have their ads appear on the site’s front page,” said eMarketer forecasting director Monica Peart.

Liberty Global’s Virgin Media has been voted the UK’s fastest broadband provider for the seventh year running by comparison site Broadband Genie, clocking an average of 71.5 Mbps download speeds – triple the speed of its closest rival.

OTT video viewing in India surged 25% last year to hit 325 million unique viewers, driven by catch-up TV, according to a joint report from professional services firm Ernst & Young and Indian media convention group FICCI Frames.

Requirements for HbbTV 2 devices in Germany have been released by industry association Deutsche TV-Plattform to enable service launches in the second half of this year.

First-party audience segments on the Roku platform can now be targeted by marketers using Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics, thanks to a partnership inked this week between the two companies. The idea is to allow customers to better scale campaigns across OTT while measuring success.

Indian VoD platform Zee5 is now available on KaiOS feature phones from disruptive MNO Reliance Jio, smartphones with a reported footprint of 40 million devices. The Zee5 app delivers on-demand content from popular Hindi and regional channels and currently claims a monthly active user base of 56.3 million, spending an average of 31 minutes a day using the service.

Qualcomm will power HTC’s Vive Wave mobile virtual reality platform using prototype reference designs for building products around Snapdragon processors. Vive Wave, currently in development, is an open tool aiming to enable VR and AR headset makers to deploy cheaper hardware.

Qualcomm has had a patent relating to a battery-saving feature invalidated by the US International Trade Commission.

 

TiVo has launched CubiTV for Android TV, a pre-integrated product targeted at customers wanting to deploy Android TV operator tier. TiVo says CubiTV uses a set top agnostic architecture to control costs and a modular approach allows operators to add on features while scaling.

Polish DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat has rolled out a new IPTV service on a dedicated Evobox set top, providing over 150 TV channels with time-shift and catch-up features. It costs €4.95 a month and requires a minimum broadband connection of 8 Mbps from any one of service providers Orange, Netia or Plus.

WiFi software and access point provider Plume is getting into the D2C business via the launch of its cloud-based Adaptive WiFi service in the UK, its first market outside the US, alongside its smart home platforms HomePass and AI Security. Plume will offer direct subscriptions as well as offering products through ISPs. For 1 or 2 bedroom homes, the full service costs £99 a month, rising to £199 for 3 or 4 bedroom homes, both having to pay £99 upfront for one SuperPod and two Powerpods.

Media group Globecast has tapped server-side ad technology from SnifferCat to offer dynamic ad insertion capabilities, giving customers a single source view into OTT activity across viewership, inventory and revenues.

European satellite operator Inmarsat has accepted a private equity offer for the business from a consortium of firms led by Apax, Warburg Pincus, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

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