OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The HbbTV Association says it has finalized and published its Operator Applications Specification or OpApp spec. The idea is to allow a special class of apps which can act as set tops on smart TVs for operators, but instead of sitting on the various OS’s of smart TVs, it is built on top of the HbbTV apps. Operator apps would have access to deeper parts of the chip architecture so that the TV could be set up to always boot with a particular operator’s UI. All it needs is an agreement with the manufacturer. Various operators have tried deploying their user experience straight to connected TVs, but so far, such deployments have been specific to the operator and/or TV manufacturer and this effectively provides a standard. HbbTV has worked on OpApps for years with IPTV operators in Europe.

As Samsung converts factory space to keep up with demand for OLED and other new TV screen technologies like Quantum Dot, it has turned to rival LG to supply it with LCD panels according to Large Display Monitor (LDM). The thinking is that LG will supply panels between 65 and 75 inches. LDM reckons that LG and Sony will lead the high end of the market, although that sounds far-fetched to us, given Samsung’s dominance, so perhaps it means purely on LCD, not the newer technologies.

US chip firm Qorvo said it has placed its multi-stack, multi-protocol GP712 System-on-Chip into the new Zigbee-based Humax Chorus Voice Assistant. Everyone is getting into Voice and Humax is no different, and this device will pair voice control with ZigBee commands to sensors and actuators in smart home systems. Gartner says that the global market for virtual personal assistants will reach $3.52 billion by 2021, up from $720 million in 2016.

The Kudelski Group said it will demonstrate the two real-world applications of its IoT Security Suite at CES; White Noise, its secure encrypted phone communication system and its Surveillance Camera Security system which can re-secure any camera which has been hijacked for a distributed denial of service attack. White Noise hides keys in parts of the silicon of a phone, and give hardware based encryption for secure phone communications. The technology is also available as a secure Bluetooth headset, designed and developed in partnership with leading electronics company, Sennheiser.

This week Nokia and Huawei, two competing telecommunications equipment vendors, have announced they have signed a multi-year patent license agreement in Nokia’s favor. Details of the license agreement remain confidential, Nokia discloses patent licensing revenue in its quarterly accounts and expects revenue for the agreement to be recognized in Q4 2017, including an element of non-recurring catch-up revenue.

Ericsson, keen to make hay with its Media division which is up for sale, has announced a deal with Canada’s Telus which it first signaled in in April 2017, for its MediaFirst TV platform. Ericsson has only signed one new deal for MediaFirst (with Canada’s Novus Entertainment) since it took it over from Microsoft, and this is really an extension of an old Mediaroom deal. The Telus Optik TV service and app is built using MediaFirst and Telus customers can watch live TV, set recordings and watch On Demand content from their phones and tablets.