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12 September 2019

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Faultline preached and Apple listened. Hosting its special event this week, it was revealed that the Apple TV+ streaming service will be priced at an aggressively cheap $4.99 a month, with a free one-year subscription for purchasers of any new iPhone, iPad or Macbook. Undercutting Netflix was a necessity, but undercutting the SVoD leader along with Disney+ and other major rivals in one fell swoop certainly took us by surprise. A few weeks ago, rumors circled putting Apple TV+ at the industry standard $9.99 a month, which we described at the time as spineless, so there is relief to see Apple muster the guts to slash this figure in half and give the established players a run for their money.

 

US telco CenturyLink has acquired peer to peer expert Streamroot for an undisclosed sum, citing the vendor’s data-driven approach to improving the user experience, particularly during peak internet traffic hours. We last checked in with Streamroot during a webinar back in May, demoing how P2P integrations can be rapidly completed in around 5 minutes thanks to some new algorithms capable of changing the P2P architecture, for example disabling upload when a user is connected to a cellular network in order to alleviate bandwidth. Streamroot’s core technology works by offloading most of the central management resources and workload to the end user, replacing it with a relatively small list of files and associated users. Once Streamroot’s distributed network architecture (DNA) has a list of peers, a pair of video viewers can exchange address information within a secure relay system, from where a direct WebRTC connection can be exchanged to offload video files. This is especially useful and effective in handling adaptive bit rate.

ThinkAnalytics has landed a giant of a deal at Deutsche Telekom to personalize the German operator’s content discovery across OTT and pay TV services – boasting one of Europe’s largest ever deployments of advanced search and discovery platforms. Roll out of the UK recommendation specialist’s software actually began in July at DT’s Croatian outfit Hrvatski Telecom for the new OTT video platform, which is set to spread throughout the continent. ThinkAnalytics is working in partnership with Pan-Net, DT’s technology unit, which supplies a standardized, cloud-based infrastructure to support future deployments.

Vodafone has expanded its deal with video software vendor Kaltura, rolling out cloud TV technology in Portugal, Greece and Romania, joining existing Spain and Italy deployments. Kaltura says the service is a multi-country telco-grade TV system relying on a single common cloud-based platform.

Silicon supplier ALi Corporation is pre-integrating Atom software from OTT video outfit Vewd on its M3528 platform for set tops – bringing OTT functionality to entry-level set tops previously incapable of running modern TV apps. Vewd Atom is a cloud-based system for legacy IP-connected set tops which renders all app UIs in the cloud while the device itself handles playback.

Rohde & Schwarz has released two DAB+ transmitters claiming to offer the lowest total cost of ownership with a product life of over 15 years. The new R&S TMV9evo and R&S THV9evo transmitters feature a VHF band III amplifier design, providing network operators with high energy efficiency of up to 49% in each of the band’s channels – reducing energy consumption while achieving operational cost efficiencies.

Imagine Communications has added what it calls core OTT monetization functionality to its Targeted Delivery portfolio to support dynamic ad insertion for linear and OTT services with hosting, powered by AWS, as well as simplified browser-based management. The UK vendor is also collaborating with global streaming TV platform provider MobiTV to incorporate seamless content monetization capabilities into live connected TV and OTT video services, to eventually include VoD and cloud DVR.

Personalization and discovery firm XroadMedia has been selected by Amplia, a subsidiary of video service provider TSTT (Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago), deploying the Ncanto technology pre-integrated with Zappware to personalize viewing experiences across the Caribbean.

SES subsidiary HD Plus is the first operator to deploy TVkey Cloud on its HD+ satellite platform. The technology was developed jointly by Nagra and Samsung Electronics, providing cloud-based direct-to-TV security for smart TVs. TVkey Cloud enables HD Plus to deliver an operator-branded TV UI with HD Plus’ own HD+ Komfort-Funktion (value-added service) with time-shift and 7-day-catch-up TV. The Kudelski subsidiary also had its Security Services Platform (SSP) selected by Wynk, part of Indian telco behemoth Bharti Airtel, to secure streaming content and support multi-DRM – the first deployment of cloud SSP for OTT in India.

Orange Spain has rolled out a new Android TV set top secured by Viaccess-Orca’s DRM technology, using powerful hardware-based content protection mechanisms, manufactured by Sagemcom. Orange Spain is now using security agents from VO within both its legacy Linux-based set tops and new Android TV set top.

That said, Sagemcom has just launched the Orange IWU 200 compact 4K UHD set top, running a Broadcom BCM72604 SoC, powered by SoftAtHome middleware and secured by Viaccess-Orca content protection. It also includes a Multi Recorder Service developed by Broadpeak, consisting of a cloud PVR with “unlimited” space.

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has tapped Prime Focus Technologies to manage media processing and centralized content operations using Clear Media ERP technology. PFT will also handle online services including DRM, VoD transcoding, packaging, delivery, simulcast and live to VoD.

Broadcom has joined the RDK Video Accelerator Program and introduced a slew of pre-integrated RDK-based chipsets. The silicon giant says its BCM72180 and BCM72604 Advanced Ultra HD chipsets will enable CPE manufacturers to create different classes of new RDK Video Accelerator set tops.

French video technology vendor Anevia has optimized its Genova video compression technology to work with Nvidia T4 GPUs, enabling OTT service providers to deliver higher quality at low costs, as well as entering a technical collaboration with Intel to optimize video encoder performance.

Make.TV has been acquired by broadcast IP video transport firm LTN Global, enabling customers to add workflows such as closed captioning, transcoding and graphics, plus signaling and metadata for monetization. Make.TV’s cloud-based services allow producers to manage workflows incorporating video sources such as mobile devices, cameras, social media platforms, professional sources, and traditional broadcast infrastructure.

Live IP video distribution company Zixi has integrated with Ateme’s Titan technology to create a complete system including encoder, transcoder, multiplexer, statmux, packager and origin.

Australian entertainment company Swift Media has upgraded its existing Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) to a more efficient cloud infrastructure ready to support new business models and 4K UHD video.