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5 December 2019

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Speeds of 700 Mbps and latency of 6ms were achieved using WiFi 6 technology in a “challenging” factory environment, following a test run carried out by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). At a 27-acre Mettis Aerospace facility in the UK, the WBA delivered applications including 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers and video calling, in an environment where wireless delivery can be made tricky by the presence of interference in the form of heat, particulates and noise from machinery. Vendor suppliers involved in the project were Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave, Intel, Concurrent Engineering and Keysight. Phase 2 of the trial will focus on mixed reality applications.

It is done. CBS and Viacom have at long last completed their tug-of-war merger – forming ViacomCBS which is being marketed as a content powerhouse with global scale. Accounting for about 22% of total US TV viewership, the newly formed entity is home to some 140,000 premium TV episodes and 3,600 movies, claiming an annual content investment sum of over $13 billion.

The Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) Alliance has received another new member that is not a direct video streaming company. Cable and satellite TV equipment supplier Atlanta DTH will now provide full support for the low latency video streaming protocol developed by Haivision. Atlanta DTH now sells a streaming dongle as well as IPTV products.

Broadcaster Eleven Sports has elected for a new editing and publishing platform from supplier Blackbird, in a two-year contract designed to rapidly get sports content online for fans. Blackbird’s clipping and editing suite will be integrated into Eleven’s video infrastructure to prepare content for social media channels and OTT platforms in Belgium and Portugal.

Mobile operator A1 Bulgaria has launched A1 Xplore TV, a new pay TV platform built using the Nexx 4.0 user experience technology from Zappware. It includes 220 channels and A1 Xplore TV Go allows subscribers to stream content on the go.

Czech telco itself s.r.o. has selected a new suite of encoders from Netint Technologies as part of its media distribution network infrastructure upgrade. itself s.r.o. has switched out its existing AVC encoders for Netint’s Codensity T408 HEVC encoders to achieve a 50% reduction in bandwidth usage, featuring ASIC-based video processing to enable transcoding up to 8K UHD resolution. itself s.r.o. delivers a video streaming service to some 45,000 households.

Media player platform Plex has made its AVoD offering available globally, claiming this makes it the world’s most widely available ad-supported streaming service.

Comcast will dish out additional details about NBCUniversal’s forthcoming streaming service Peacock in January 2020, hopefully ending speculation about pricing. Some reports have suggested Peacock could be made completely free.

Russian service provider Rostelecom has expanded its deal with Juniper Networks to upgrade IP infrastructure. The project will use Juniper’s MX Series 5G Universal routing platform and PTX series packet transport routers, replacing the MX960 and PTX10008 products which were apparently at breaking point during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 World University Games.

AWS used its re:Invent show to reveal a landmark deal with Fox for a cloud-based media production and delivery platform. Fox will distribute its content over AWS infrastructure via an integrated platform for broadcast and digital video services, claiming an industry first for delivering both traditional broadcast and D2C streaming services. Fox is also rolling out AWS Local Zone, a new technology that places compute, storage, database and other select services closer to consumer applications.

TiVo has made the Amazon Prime Video app available on select hardware following demand from pay TV operator customers.

PCCW’s APAC OTT video service Viu has inked a distribution agreement with Discovery to bring factual and lifestyle entertainment content to viewers.

A hearing on Vivendi’s attempt to block Mediaset launching a pan-European video offering will take place this weekend. Italian mass media firm Mediaset wants to merge its operations in Spain and Italy to form a new holding company called MediaForEurope.

Panasonic said it will cease LCD panel production by 2021 and the Japanese electronics giant is also selling its semiconductor business to Nuvoton Technology in Taiwan. The US-China trade war has dented Panasonic’s chip sales.

Swedish telco Telia has finalized its takeover of Bonnier Broadcasting for €870 million ($965 million), which includes TV4, MTV and C More.