Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending June 24, 2016

According to ABI Research, video-centric entertainment and richer media are the key drivers for gigabit speeds, reported Videonet. And ARRIS CTO, CPE, Charles Cheevers commented that the most pressing need for gigabit speeds is to handle multiple concurrent 4K video streams to different devices in the home, usually over Wi-Fi®.

Altice has officially closed its deal to purchase Cablevision for $17.7 billion, according to FierceCable. Altice will combine Cablevision with Suddenlink (acquired in December 2015) to form Altice USA, which will be the fourth largest cable provider in the U.S. The company will serve 4.6 million customers across 20 states.

According to Bloomberg Technology, NBCUniversal announced that the U.S. Justice Department cleared its proposed purchase of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. for $3.8 billion. NBCUniversal expects to close the deal in the coming months.

A new report by Parks Associates found that U.S. broadband households watch an average of 3.8 hours of Internet video on TV screens each week, according to Digital TV News. This accounts for 20 percent of all video viewed on TV screens. The report also cautioned that consumers might increasingly employ the use of ad blocking solutions while streaming video.

Netflix will be implementing a price hike for long-term customers over the course of the year, which could result in a loss of hundreds of thousands of subscribers, according to Variety. Netflix noted that it expects moderate churn following the higher prices, but also expects $520 million in additional revenue.

  1. The need for Gigabit broadband speeds (June 22, 2016) By John Moulding, VideoNet: We are about to enter a new era in entertainment and communications thanks to Gigabit speed broadband. While the smart home and IoT will spawn innovative services and applications that help to fill these pipes, CCTV security monitoring is their only bandwidth hog right now. The initial benefits that Gigabit broadband brings to these nascent markets is therefore lower latency and ultra reliability.
  2. Altice completes Cablevision acquisition, appoints Dexter Goei as CEO of U.S. business (June 21, 2016) By Ben Munson, FierceCable: Altice today announced it officially closed its $17.7 billion deal to purchase Cablevision, which it will combine with its recently acquired Suddenlink to form Altice USA, the fourth largest cable provider in the U.S.
  3. Comcast’s NBC Says U.S. Clears DreamWorks Animation Deal (June 21, 2016) By Anousha Sakoui and David McLaughlin, Bloomberg: Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal said the U.S. Justice Department cleared its proposed $3.8 billion purchase of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and that the company looks forward to completing the deal soon.
  4. U.S. broadband households watch 3.8 hours of internet video on TV per week (June 22, 2016) By Digital TV News Staff, Digital TV News: U.S. broadband households watch nearly four hours of Internet video per week on a TV screen.
  5. Netflix Price Hikes Could Lead Nearly 500,000 U.S. Subs to Cancel (Study) (June 20, 2016) By Todd Spangler, Variety: Hundreds of thousands of Netflix subscribers may bail on the streaming service after the No. 1 subscription video service raises prices for long-term customers over the course this year.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending June 17, 2016

The Online Reporter recounted ARRIS CTO, CPE, Charles Cheevers’ comments on virtual reality (VR) at last month’s INTX show, noting that early adopters will seize on VR headsets and drive bandwidth demand. Cheevers also noted that VR could be the main driving force behind the need for all things gigabit.

According to a recent report by IHS Research, the number of connected audio-visual devices globally exceeds 8 billion, reported Rapid TV News. The report also found that Netflix secured a presence on 339 million devices as of year-end 2015, and that smartphones outnumbered tablets by five to one.

Facebook predicted that its platform will be mobile in five years and will consist almost entirely of video, a notion supported by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reported Quartz. Facebook has already begun to promote video over purely text posts in its algorithm, a trend the company insists is user-driven and will continue.

Multichannel News reported on a recent study by Parks Associates, which found that approximately 23 percent of households headed by Millennials are OTT-only, which is above the average of 15 percent of all U.S. broadband homes. The study also found that 61 percent of Millennials subscribe to both pay TV and OTT services.

Researchers at Columbia University have discovered a simple solution to combat virtual reality-induced discomfort and nausea, according to BBC News. The researchers found that a sensory mismatch between what viewers see on a VR headset and where they are in reality is a source of motion sickness. The technique of slightly narrowing the field of view will bridge the gap for a more enjoyable VR experience.

  1. ARRIS Gives Us a Hint of the Bandwidth Requirements for VR (June 17, 2016) By Online Reporter Staff, The Online Reporter: Virtual Reality (VR) video experiences will be the next major bandwidth-consuming application, according to ARRIS CTO Charles Cheevers. “We’ll see the early adopters pick up the VR headsets and that’ll drive bandwidth,” Cheevers said, speaking at INTX last month. “I think this year we’re going to see this holiday season a lot of interest in VR headsets.”
  2. Eight billion connected devices globally boost video (June 13, 2016) By Michelle Clancy, Rapid TV News: Netflix has secured a presence across 32% of the connected devices in the US.
  3. Facebook is predicting the end of the written word (June 14, 2016) By Cassie Werber, Quartz: Back when humans were first grappling with the impact of a new, global forum for communication, Clay Shirky, a prominent thinker in the digital sphere, made the persuasive argument that the internet made us more creative—even if only in a small way.
  4. Study: 23% of Millennials Head OTT-Only Broadband Homes (June 15, 2016) By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News: But 61% of that group subscribes to pay TV and OTT services, Parks Associates says
  5. Virtual reality sickness ‘tackled with field of view trick’ (June 16, 2016) By Chris Baranuik, BBC News: Virtual reality-induced nausea can be reduced with a simple field of view alteration, Columbia University researchers have said.

 

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending June 10, 2016

Portugal-based cable operator NOS has launched a premium 4K video service, the first RDK 4K launch in Europe, according to Broadband TV News. For the transition to 4K video, NOS selected ARRIS’s HEVC set-tops to unite the new application framework from Espial and a completely refreshed user interface.

The Huffington Post highlighted the benefits of DOCSIS® 3.1 technology, noting that it is expected to support speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second to help make 4K television and virtual reality possible. The article included comments from ARRIS CTO Charles Cheevers, who noted that consumer demand for gigabit Wi-Fi speeds is growing quickly.

Engadget reported on Netflix’s new tool that measures video quality by gauging visual information fidelity, detail loss and the effect of motion. This new tool provides a quality test that is more reflective of real-life viewing. Netflix is reportedly releasing the software as an open-source code that will be available to help other companies fine-tune the quality of their videos.

Research firm Strategy Analytics noted in its latest report that fixed broadband service continues to grow in the U.S. and is not being replaced by mobile broadband, according to FierceCable. The report found that cable operators are driving growth through increased speeds and multiplay bundle options. It also found that operators added 3.3 million new broadband subscribers from April 2015 to March 2016.

CSI Magazine reported that the French government is launching a public consultation as it looks to open new frequency bands to help meet the growing needs of the Internet of Things (IoT.) The consultation will focus on requirements in three specific frequency bands and will help lay the foundation for future development of IoT.

  1. NOS introduces Europe’s first RDK 4K launch (June 8, 2016) By Julian Clover, Broadband TV News: NOS’s 4K service built on RDK, the first in Europe; with ARRIS ZD4500 HEVC set-top featuring application framework from Espial and content security from Nagra.
  2. Blazing Fast Gigabit Internet Now Possible with DOCSIS 3.1 Technology (June 3, 2016) By William Morrow, The Huffington Post: Think your internet is fast now? It’s about to get a whole lot faster.
  3. Netflix built a tool to gauge real-world video quality (June 6, 2016) By Jon Fingas, Engadget: It wants to know how good its streaming looks for the human eye.
  4. Cable’s fixed broadband market not threatened by mobile, Strategy Analytics says (June 2, 2016) By Daniel Frankel, FireceCable: Mobile networks will not render fixed broadband services obsolete, says research company Strategy Analytics.
  5. France consults on IoT spectrum (June 6, 2016) By CSI Magazine Staff, CSI Magazine: The country’s government is launching a public consultation with a view to opening new sub-1Ghz frequency bands to meet the growing needs of the Internet of Things.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending April 22, 2016

FierceCable reported on ARRIS’s new products and deals announced this week. The company introduced a new line of SURFboard ® routers and extenders with RipCurrent™ G.hn technology, designed for the “next-generation Wi-Fi home.” At this week’s NAB show, ARRIS announced that it has signed an agreement with HBO to sell its DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver to enable the programmer for future content distribution with HEVC compression. ARRIS also announced that VUBIQUITY is using its SECUREMEDIA content protection solution to pre-encrypt video content.

Confirming reports from earlier this year, YouTube rolled out 360-degree live streaming for its videos along with spatial audio for select on-demand content, reported PCWorld. Select performances from this weekend’s music event, Coachella, will now be live streamed in 360 degrees on YouTube.

World Screen reported that Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched its first TV Everywhere streaming service, Watch OWN, allowing access to a live feed of OWN and a selection of on-demand content. Watch OWN is available on iOS and Android devices.

According to a new report from Adobe and The Diffusion Group (TDG), consumers now spend 42 percent of TV time with over-the-top (OTT) services, reported CED Magazine. The report noted that 65 percent of the OTT time on the home TV screen is spent watching subscription video on demand (SVOD), 30 percent is spent watching free streaming services (FVOD), and 5 percent is spent watching transactional streaming services (TVOD).

Finally, a recent report from the European Audiovisual Observatory shows that European productions account for 27 percent of all films available on video on demand (VOD) in Europe, compared with 59 percent for U.S. films, reported TVBEurope. Additionally, 30 percent of films available on SVOD in Europe are of European origin, compared with 60 percent for U.S. films.

  1. Arris sells DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver to HBO, announces new line of Surfboard products (April 19, 2016) By Daniel Frankel, FierceCable: Announcing an array of new products and deals at this week’s NAB show, Arris said it has reached a deal with HBO to provide its DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver.
  2. YouTube rolling out live 360-degree videos with immersive Coachella experience (April 19, 2016) By Ian Paul, PCWorld: YouTube 360-degree live video is here, and you’re first chance to see it will probably be during the Coachella festival on Saturday and Sunday.
  3. OWN Unveils Its First TV Everywhere App (April 20, 2016) By Sara Alessi, World Screen: Oprah Winfrey Network has launched its first TV Everywhere streaming service, offering access to a live feed of the channel and a selection of on-demand programming.
  4. New Report Says Consumers Spend 42 Percent of TV Time on OTT (April 20, 2016) By Laura Hamilton, CED Magazine: More data continues to flow in about consumers’ love-fest with over-the-top video.
  5. Europe contributes a quarter of VoD film (April 20, 2016) By James Groves, TVBEurope: European production companies supply 27 percent of the continent’s VoD film content, according to the latest report from the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending April 15, 2016

CED Magazine reported that ARRIS collaborated with The Weather Channel to bring “Local Now” on Sling TV across all devices. The over-the-top (OTT) streaming service offers subscribers personalized weather, news, traffic and sports information based on their location.

This week, Variety reported on DirecTV’s deal to offer U.S. viewers up to 25 of this season’s Major League Baseball (MLB) games live in 4K Ultra HD (UHD). DirecTV’s coverage of the baseball games on Friday, April 15, marks the first-ever live 4K UHD telecast of an MLB game in the U.S.

Subscription video on demand services (SVOD) catering to a niche audience has become increasingly popular. Former Network USA CEO, Phil Osborn, launched AeroCinema, a new aviation-focused SVOD service, that offers more than 400 rare aviation features, documentaries, and profiles, reported Realscreen. The $4.95-a-month service is available on smart TVs as well as on mobile devices and desktops.

According to a recent study by Nielsen, video on demand (VOD) is a part of the daily viewing habits for many users around the world, regardless of their age, reported MediaPost. The study found that among the 65 percent of respondents who watch any VOD programming, 43 percent watch at least once a day. Among other findings, the study noted that movies dominate the type of VOD content viewed across all regions and generations.

Finally, Rapid TV News reported that according to a report by Enders Analysis, Netflix is on its way to reaching its goal of 80-90 million U.S. subscribers and 150 million global subscribers by 2020. The report also noted that another round of international expansion will double the media giant’s global base over the next five years outpacing all of its competitors.

  1. Arris and The Weather Channel Team for “Local Now” OTT Streaming Service (April 14, 2016) By Laura Hamilton, CED Magazine: Arris announced today that it has collaborated with The Weather Channel to bring “Local Now” to Sling TV across all devices.
  2. DirecTV to Carry MLB Network Games in 4K Ultra HD (April 12, 2016) By Todd Splangler, Variety: AT&T-owned satellite service offers U.S. subscribers first live baseball games in UHD format.
  3. Aviation SVOD service AeroCinema takes flight (April 12, 2016) By Daniele Alcinii, Realscreen: As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”
  4. VOD An Every Day Affair For Many (April 11, 2016) By Jack Loechner, MediaPost: According to Nielsen, Video-On-Demand is becoming a part of daily viewing habits for many around the world, regardless of age.
  5. 2015 surge sets Netflix on track for 150MN customers by 2020 (April 12, 2016) By Joseph O’Halloran, Rapid TV News: Record growth in 2015 shows Netflix to be well on its way to achieving its goal of 60-90 million US streaming customers and a global base of 150 million by 2020 according to a report by Enders Analysis.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending April 1, 2016

FierceCable highlighted the ‘Home of the Future’ presentation that ARRIS CTO Charles Cheevers delivered at the company’s Investor Day event. The presentation looked at a number of technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 4K streaming and virtual reality (VR) that will require in the future broadband capacity four times that of today’s average. Cheevers predicted that within five years, an early adopter’s home will include 3.5 set-tops, four streaming video devices, four Internet-connected cameras and three Wi-Fi extenders on an average.

Mutlichannel News reported that Comcast is planning to offer its new Xfinity Stream TV service to customers who are not subscribers of Comcast’s broadband service. Xfinity Stream will run on Comcast’s own managed IP network, but will not be delivered as an over-the-top (OTT) service.

Fullscreen, AT&T’s joint venture with the Chernin Group, announced that it will introduce an ad-free subscription video on demand (SVOD) service for teens and young adults next month, reported Variety. The $4.99-a-month offering will include original content as well as a collection of movies and TV shows licensed from established producers, such as Warner Bros. Television, Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal and MTV among others.

According to a recent report by Parks Associates, OTT video usage in Western Europe continues to rise, but still trails behind the U.S., reported CED Magazine. The OTT Video Market Tracker report revealed that 55 percent of UK broadband households and 51 percent in France watch TV programming and movies online, compared to 70 percent in the U.S.

Finally, TVTechnology reported that according to NSR’s UHD via Satellite, 3rd Edition report, 2016 is seen as a “key inflection point” for the rollout of Ultra HD (UHD) via satellite. The report projected that by 2025, there will be more than 785 UHD channels. And the bandwidth capacity required to carry these channels will drive an added $280 million in annual leasing revenues.

  1. Arris ‘home of the future’ presentation ends illusion of monastic broadband existence (March 28, 2016) By Daniel Frank, FierceCable: As I enter my 23rd month on the beat at FierceCable, one of things that has confounded me is the push towards gigabit-level speed.
  2. Comcast Eyes Standalone Option for Stream TV Service (March 31, 2016) By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News: IPTV Service to become available on MSO’s network to subs, who don’t get broadband from Comcast.
  3. Fullscreen Unveils $5 Subscription-Video Service, Taking on Netflix and YouTube Red (March 30, 2016) By Todd Spangler, Variety: Company investor AT&T on board with marketing, distribution and co-production deal.
  4. OTT Market Strong in U.S. and Growing in Europe (March 29, 2016) By Laura Hamilton, CED Magazine: OTT video usage in Western Europe is continuing to expand with 55 percent of U.K. broadband households and 51 percent in France watching TV programming and movies online, compared to 70 percent in the United States.
  5. Report: UHD Channels to Exceed 785 by 2025 (March 29, 2016) By Michael Balderston, TVTechnology: UHD via Satellite report marks 2016 as key inflection point.

 

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