OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Liberty Global has renewed its product agreements with TiVo and signed a multi-year extension for intellectual property to access patent portfolios, most of which presumably come from the Rovi side of the business.

Helmet-mounted display maker Everysight has selected the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E embedded platform to power its Raptor AR Smartglasses, to be released soon on an invite-only basis, costing €579. The Raptor device is targeted at cyclists and triathletes, providing a multimedia display showing data such as route navigation, time, distance, speed, heart rate, cadence and power. The Snapdragon 410E allows for up to 8 hours of usage and integration with WiFi, Bluetooth and ANT, the wireless sensor network owned by Garmin – allowing Raptor to interface with the cloud. Everysight says its patented Beam technology gives Raptor a sharp, high-resolution AR experience within a user’s line of sight, while reducing eyestrain and not obstructing vision.

French TV software player SoftAtHome has received G-PON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) certification for its software stack from the Broadband Forum, the first product to be BBF.247 certified. SoftAtHome says its new G-PON Home Gateway has now been deployed with major European operators, presumably Orange and Swisscom. The program is open to G-PON Optical Network Unit (ONU) products with ethernet interfaces and is based on the Broadband Forum’s OD-247 test plan. It brings conformance to the Broadband Forum’s TR-156 technical paper and the ITU’s G.998 recommendation, which is heralded as critical to interoperable implementations.

SoftAtHome has also teamed up with app designer Hubee to enhance its smart WiFi system, aiming to bring more visibility to end users’ home wireless networks using Hubee’s Beemix platform, which is being demoed at Broadband World Forum this week. The MySmartWiFi app is based on the open SoftAtHome API, allowing users to monitor multiple APs around a home and see the exact status of all connected devices, including position and speed, as well as diagnose problems and propose solutions.

Cisco is poised to acquire Maryland-based Broadsoft, a supplier of UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration) software, according to Bloomberg sources. Broadsoft says UCC is all about enabling the shift to omni-channel interactions via mobile messaging, and just last week it picked up Swisscom as a new customer.

Content provider Insight TV has signed its first US deal through a 4K UHD distribution agreement with US cableco Layer3 TV, bringing Insight TV to Layer3 TV subscribers on channel 115 in Denver, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Dallas. Insight TV is the second 24-hour 4K network to be added by Layer3 TV.

Israeli mobile operator Partner Communications Company, formerly Orange Israel, has announced that its Partner TV service has signed up 30,000 households since its launch 4 months ago. Approximately 20,000 of these are live, with the remaining 10,000 scheduled for installations. Partner TV comes with 40 channels and a 4K converter, with VoD, catch-up and DVR available on up to 5 screens, costing $8.50 a month.

Advertising spend for on-demand OTT content will reach $29 billion across 138 countries by 2022, doubling over the next five years, according to Research and Markets’ latest Global AVoD Forecasts report. The US will remain the largest AVoD market, adding $4 billion in the period, but closely followed by China which will grow ad spend by $5 billion. However, North America will be surpassed by Asia Pacific for ad spend by 2022, with the two regions accounting for a combined 77% of the global total.

Telefonica’s Brazilian telco Vivo has extended its deal with billing services firm Netcracker, licensing its revenue management and provisioning system until 2020. Vivo serves TV, mobile and internet services to approximately 97 million subscribers; Netcracker’s business support system (BSS) handles billing for 35 million of these. Wave-2 chipsets from MaxLinear have been selected by Shanghai-based Cambridge Industries Group for four new products, including a new WiFi extender, new ethernet adapter and powerline networking products. MaxLinear says its Wave-2 technology can deliver up to 2 Gbps over any coaxial cable, without requiring point-of-entry filters or splitter replacements.

Swedish streaming service Magine has selected CDN technology from Limelight Networks, replacing legacy delivery infrastructure from an unnamed CDN provider. Magine has implemented a multi-CDN strategy, building its own tools to evaluate CDN performance by region, the quality of streams, costs and reliability of each CDN provider.

Another Limelight Networks deal saw it team up with open caching technology company Qwilt, to improve QoE by combining Limelight’s infrastructure of 80 worldwide points of presence and over 25 Tbps of egress capacity with Qwilt’s open caching in ISP networks. Qwilt claims caches it has deployed within operator networks are available to fill requests at the network edge without needing to traverse the public internet.

Globe Telecom in the Philippines has signed a Roku Powered licensing agreement to use Roku’s streaming platform and OS for its new home video service Streamwatch, which is due to launch next month. Globe is the first Roku Powered partner to offer a Roku Streaming Stick to its customers, coming equipped with three months access to Netflix, Hooq and Disney Channel Apps.

AirTies has landed a two-year contract renewal at Singaporean telco Singtel to supply its Managed Mesh system, which includes the newly announced Air 4930 wireless access point.

Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense has unveiled the 100 inch 4K UHD Smart Laster TV, claiming to combine movie theater technology with proprietary light source technology to deliver crisp images, showcasing natural colors in rooms with any brightness levels. The new TV set is powered by a Texas Instruments DLP 4K UHD DMD chip, delivering more than 8 million pixels to the screen.

French cable channel Canal+ has formed a joint venture with Telecom Italia focusing on content production and rights acquisition. Telecom Italia plans to develop new linear and non-linear video offerings in Italy, dealing with Italian and international productions plus getting rights to live sports content. TIM will hold 60% of the business and Canal+ will take 40%.

Application protection technology from Intertrust Technologies subsidiary whiteCryption has been selected by Korean bank kakaobank to protect its internet banking mobile apps on Android devices. whiteCryption’s Secure Key Box product protects cryptographic keys and keeps personal data secure in software only environments.

America Movil holds 30% of the Latin American pay TV market, followed by AT&T with 27% and Televisa with 25%, according to a new Datataxis report. However, America Movil lost 1.3% of its pay TV subscriber base in the quarter and AT&T lost 0.6%, while Televisa grew 0.3%. Despite this, the entire region remained flat for subscribers from the previous quarter.

Cisco is combining its multi-cloud portfolio with Google Cloud’s open, hybrid technologies, including support for Kubernetes open source container software, and software from Istio and Google’s Apigee, to provide organizations with development and deployments tools for increasing scale and improving agility and security in the cloud.

Orange grew revenues in France 0.2% to €4.53 billion in the third quarter, its best Q3 performance for 9 years, while its other European businesses increased revenues 3.9% to €2.79 billion. Its fiber business performed well, reaching 1.8 million customers with 40% growth.

Orange also announced the acquisition of a 63.98% stake in Business & Decision, an international consulting and systems integration group. The French operator aims to strengthen its Orange Business Services activities as a data services integrator in France and overseas.

Nokia’s Q3 revenues dropped 7% year on year to €5.54 billion, but operating profit jumped 20% to €668 million. Its Ultra Broadband Networks business suffered worse with 17% revenue decline and 72% profit shrinkage, while its Nokia Technologies arm saw the highest revenue growth, up 37%, and Global Services saw the biggest profit boost, growing 182%.

Charter Communications revenues grew 4.2% in Q3 to $10.46 billion, with video customers falling 2% to 16.5 million but broadband customers rising 6% to 22.3 million in the quarter, and fixed line customers growing 1.1% to 10.4 million.