OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The latest in OTT video news, deals, launches and products from the team at Faultline.

Chinese electronics manufacturer LeEco has backed out of its $2 billion takeover of US TV maker Vizio – a deal which Faultline Online Reporter predicted to fail from the offset, as we suggested at the time that the “Netflix of China” should have bought a company with a direct route to the OTT market instead, one like Roku. Not too long ago, LeEco was thought to be the world’s fastest growing smartphone vendor, but the company has run into trouble after missing its US sales target by a wide margin and is planning to slash 175 jobs, around one third of its US workforce. Bloomberg adds that LeEco is holding off on these job cuts because its current troubled financial state of affairs will not stretch to pay severance fees.

Multiscreen platform provider Alticast has extended the security capabilities of its AltiProtect multi-DRM product to 4K UHD running on Windows platforms. Alticast has integrated Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology, which it says eliminates exposure to untrusted areas, enables secure delivery of 4K UHD online video content from servers to client devices, and prevents copying of content from GPU to memory.

Cinema and consumer electronics firm THX has signed as a member of the Streaming Video Alliance, a body that develops and promotes open standards for streaming video to support wider adoption. THX says it will contribute actively in industry workshops focused on QoE, and adds that its experience in audio can also benefit the alliance.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) department of the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has assigned a group of companies to tackle the problem of performing rapid evaluations of real-time image processing functions. It says this will also simultaneously demonstrate the latest adaptive capabilities that modern FPGA (field-programmable gate array)-based SoC architectures can deliver to surveillance applications. The contracted firms are Plextek Services, RFEL, and 4Sight Imaging.

SPI Filmbox has signed a distribution deal with Russian satellite operator Orion, uplinking seven channels on its Telekarta TV platform and becoming the exclusive distributor of SPI channels in the country.

Virtual reality revenues will reach $7.2 billion globally by the end of this year, growing to $74.8 billion by 2021, according to a new Virtual Reality Industry Report from market intelligence firm Greenlight Insights. Head mounted displays (HMDs) will account for $4.7 billion of this year’s VR revenues, while the report notes that a driving factor for VR is the increased spending in several enterprise sectors as well as the location-based entertainment industry.

US multiscreen TV advertising company Flyswipe says it has developed a technology that can determine which commercial to place in front of a viewing audience based on the age and gender of the group. Flyswipe is showcasing its Audience Recognition Technology (ART) platform at the upcoming NAB show, which works by matching multiple viewer attributes, based on data collected by marketers, against ad inventory. It gives the example, “providing a commercial of women’s perfume to a male audience is not effective and would not happen when the ART platform is being used.”

Verizon subscribers in Philadelphia are suing the company for charging them $10 a month for extra FiOS set tops, without apparently explaining that the high-end Quantum FiOS video service can be accessed on other streaming devices such as Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire. The suit states Verizon “deceives and confuses its Quantum customers by remaining silent regarding the availability of set top alternatives.”

BlackBerry has received an $815 million refund payment from Qualcomm, relating to royalties on sales in the period between 2010 and 2015. The decision is final and cannot be appealed by Qualcomm.  BlackBerry stated that Qualcomm remains a key technology partner.

German Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, has proposed that fixed internet subscribers should be compensated by ISPs if 90% of the contracted maximum speed advertised is not delivered at least once during two days measurement, using new software which the regulator plans to make available for consumers. The consultation is open for comment until 10 May.

Touchstream, which determines video streaming glitches, is debuting its new cloud-based monitoring and management system for dynamic live video streams at the upcoming NAB show. It says the platform provides insights by monitoring the origin and CDN endpoints of a live stream, from “strategic positions” across the internet – allowing video service providers to resolve streaming issues before they reach the end user.

US content security specialist Verimatrix will introduce a range of user-specific forensic video watermarking tools at NAB, based on its traditional VideoMark client-side system and on StreamMark, the version for streaming ABR systems. The company will also announce its MultiRights OTT Plus solution, which combines revenue security and analytics and will show a real-time client module, a subscriber QoE module and a VOD insights module.

It is marketing madness when you watch TV while you fill your car at a gas station, but that’s where we are now. Gas Station TV has announced a 50-50 joint venture with Verifone’s Pump Media and the combined venture will offer video adverts at 18,000 gas pumps and delivers 3.3 billion ad impressions. It says it reaches 75 million viewers each month.

Brightcove has launched Brightcove Live an API-driven streaming platform with server-side ad insertion, cloud DVR, content encryption, on-the-fly clipping, and seamless video on demand (VOD) asset creation. Brightcove Live was deployed by Seven West Media during the Australian Open, streaming action from 16 different courts within an hour of each match’s completion and publishing 400 clips, such as interviews with the players and match highlights.