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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

About One Million Users to Patronize AT&T IPTV

AT&T operations president and CEO John Stankey revealed the operator is expecting to reach one million IPTV customers within the next week, reaching its predicted year-end target, reports Light Reading. Stankey also said AT&T will continue to add new elements to its U-verse IPTV offering, including adding 'more internet-like capabilities'. Elsewhere AT&T has begun testing femtocells in employees' homes with plans to conduct a city-wide test in the second quarter of 2009. Stankey said AT&T is looking at femtocells that provide full 3G speeds. In another development, the CEO explained that the company would continue to add new capabilities to its U-verse IPTV offering, including more high-definition channels and greater HD streaming capacity, according to Light Reading.

RGU at Time Warner Cable Still Crawls

Although the cable industry expects to hold its own in an economic downturn, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC - message board) continues to see a slower uptake of new service subscriptions, the MSO's president and CEO, Glenn Britt, warned. Britt, speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, reiterated that Time Warner Cable saw RGU (revenue-generating unit) growth slow dramatically in October versus the year before, as consumers started to close their pocketbooks. Britt said. "Some weeks are certainly better than others, but it's certainly slower than it was a year ago." He noted that he couldnt't "remember an [economic] environment like this during my career." The good news, Britt said, is that cable offers "services that people are not going to disconnect easily or quickly." If he had to size up the offerings, he expects video to "remain very strong," because "history would say people watch more TV during bad times."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Qwest Offers VOD, not Ready for IPTV

Qwest, a reseller of DirectTV direct broadcast satellite service has revealed that it will soon be offering its customers with Video on Demand (VOD) services using broadband connections.

This telecommunication company based in the US also made it known that is not yet ripped to offer IPTV service to its customers because of the high cost in providing such service. However, with the number of companies offering such services, the company believes that any of their customers who might one such service could as well find online video content.

In a chat with Telephone Online, Edward A. Mueller who is the CEO at Qwest said that "I don't want to do IPTV – it's too expensive, and there's not enough scale.  We won't be able to keep up on content.  I love DirectTV.  We have more subscribers that we've signed up to DirectTV than Verizon has on FiOS or AT&T has on U-Verse.  We believe [consumers] will want a customized ability to get HD Video on Demand.  And the only way to that is to have enough bandwidth so it's real time.

"The young consumers of the future will want broadband on demand, and they are more interested in interaction and in the symmetry of the service.  We have a great relationship with DirecTV, and they have a core competency in content.  What we want is to be able to provide is that 20-Megabit Internet connection that is more important to the younger consumers of today.  They not only don't want a wire line phone, they also don't want to have a TV – because they use Video on Demand."

It is however being rumored that the company wants to invest a huge sum of $300million in order to provide on-delivering 20Mbps VDSL to about 1.5million customers over the next two years.

No US Company Listed in the World’s Ten Largest IPTV Providers

Notwithstanding the level of development and awareness of IPTV in the US, it is quite surprising to know that none of the US based IPTV companies is able to make it to the first ten ranking among the world's largest provider of the service.

The largest company in the US is AT&T with is product branded U-Verse has not yet passed attained this ranking with subscribers base of about 170,000 but hope to make it with the current trend of subscription to their service. The service which is a fiber/coaxial hybrid disqualified Verizon from being listed.

Interestingly, seven countries of the Europe made it to the top ten and three of them are French companies. On top of the list is Iliad which offers the its French customers a DSL/IPTV/VoIP triple play bundle for only $45 a month and is expected to start offering fiber lines for the same price as that of DSL to its customers.

Much of France's success (from the consumer point of view) is attributed to local loop unbundling, an idea they picked up from us shortly before we abandoned the idea. A recent study stated that, on average, a U.S. family of four will pay $140 per month for the triple play, compared to $80 in Germany, $54 in France, and $50 in the UK.

STAR India and DEN enter into Partnership

Digital Entertainment Networks Pyt Ltd (DEN) has entered into partnership with STAR India in order to create a platform for distributing television channels in India via all fixed networks. The fixed networks include cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS. The joint venture will be an exclusive distributor for STAR India for all channels distributed domestically by STAR India

The two companies are pioneers in the media industry in India and have agreed to base the possession on fifty-fifty sharing and with the headquarters to be stationed in Mumbai. It will also seek to expand its bouquet offerings by including other third party channels for distribution.

"It is an important growth initiative in the distribution platform business and enables us to better harness the growth opportunity. We are pleased to tie up with a group of professionals who we find are strategically aligned to our vision of this business and its growth prospects" said Uday Shankar, the CEO STAR India.

Sameer Manchanda, Promoter and Chairman of DEN said that his company is quite excited to join forces with STAR India which he said is India's richest content provider in building an independently-run and robust channel distribution platform.

He said "Our vision is to incorporate world's best practices to create a platform of premium content, which adds value to the entire distribution chain. We feel this joint venture presents a compelling opportunity to all content providers."

Conklin-Intracom’s fs|cdn Solution Selected by Bruce Telecom

The Canadian telecommunication company, Bruce Telecom has selected Conklin-Intracom package for IPTV, fs|cdn along side with it content delivery for its IPTV service, which uses MPEG-4 compression technology, this revealed by Conklin-Intracom itself.

Hans Nilsson who is the President and CEO of Bruce Telecom said that the company is entering into video with a strong vendor partner in Conklin-Intracom. "We selected the fs|cdn solution for its visionary architecture and ability to incorporate new content models with ease.  In such a dynamic market, we didn't want to get locked into a static solution incapable of evolving to meet new technological challenges," he said.

Stating his own opinion, Ian Meletios, the CEO of Conklin-Intracom said that "Bruce Telecom was searching for a strong leader in the delivery of both standard and high-definition TV using MPEG-4.  We are honoured to be selected by Bruce Telecom and look forward to a long term business relationship with them."

It is expected that the fs|cdn delivery solution will be used to serve the lakeside communities of Kincardine, Port Elgin, Tiverton and Southampton.  fs|cdn is an integrated IPTV middleware and conditional access solution allowing service providers to deliver linear and on demand TV, chat, email, messaging and next generation interactive services.

RTPi and TNMG Partner to offer RTPi Channel on IPTV Platform

With the primary reason of offering RTPi's (Radio e Televisão de Portugal)

Channel on IPTV platform, RTPi has teamed up with a Japanese company The New Media Group (TNMG).The service, which will operate on TNMG's IPTV platform known as World On-Demand would be launched in Japan and East Asia.

The vice president of marketing at TNMG, Ryuzo Akano said in a statement that "In keeping with our desire to reach underserved communities, this partnership means a lot to us. We plan on expanding the service for Portuguese speakers in the coming months."

In addition, the two companies are looking forward to of developing collaborative channels together which possibly will put them on the edge. TNMG is also making plans to launch the channel on its Australia service, scheduled for launch for Telstra in the next couple of months.

Guidelines of 2.0 Designs for Home Networking Released By HANA

Announcing the release of its 2.0 Design Guideline, High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance popularly known as HANA said that the intention is to afford their customers the ability to share high-definition and standard-definition content between devices anywhere in their home using a single cable with a single remote control and this the company believes will facilitate usability of the service.

Confident about the relieve such guidelines would bring to their customers, Jack Chaney who is the head of HANA Technical Work Group Chair expressed their excitement about the simplicity that HANA 2.0 is bringing back to home entertainment with its one cable, one remote capabilities. He said, "HANA 2.0 utilises 1394, guaranteeing the Quality of Service required by consumers for today's HD content.  1394 is the only network that provides isochronous delivery of HD video and audio programming without any complications."

With the 1394 interface, users would be able to utilize their existing coax wiring to connect products throughout their homes, eliminating the need for rewiring, and also to send cable programming to any HANA DTV in he home from a single set-top box.

HANA 2.0 also implements other industry standards including many used by Universal Plug n Play (UPnP) to discover devices on the home network and it features include the sharing of a minimum of five simultaneous HD content streams throughout the entire home, simple browser/server architecture, plug-and-play simplicity for consumers, high speed, guaranteed Quality of Service, the ability to add new devices to the network without having to download new device drivers or update firmware, and the ability to reserve device resources for future use to enable time-shift recordings.

SecureMedia to Protect Telbo’s IPTV Service

With a view to protecting its newly launched "mity" IPTV service, Telefonia Bonairiano (Telbo) has chosen SecureMedia's Encryptonite ONE content protection system which is a multi-format and multi-platform Conditional Access (CA)/ Digital Rights Management (DRM) software solution and employs a patented, common encryption scheme for both broadcast and video on demand (VOD) content.

Telbo in conjunction with two consultancy firms namely Savant Communications and Manycast Consultancy collaborated together to develop the IPTV service that is expected to the model for roll-out in another 24 countries by Telbo partner, Telco.

The service which was launched last month comprises a basic package of about 40 channels and these include the popular ones like HBO, Discovery and Fox. Telbo will also offer the Dutch public channels (Nederland 1, 2 and 3) which will be inserted into the head-end via optical submarine cables.  The Telco also offers an Extended Basic Package and packages serving specific needs such as an International Package, Sports package, Action Package including adult content and 3 movie oriented packages.

While commenting on the significance of the service, the Managing Director of Telbo, Edsel Winklaar said that "'mity' is a significant milestone for the region, our partners, Bonaire and of course Telefonia Bonairiano. "We are proud of our employees and our partners at Savant Communications and Manycast Consultancy who established the service within a timeframe usually too tight for a project like this.  To launch an enhanced, totally transparent protected digital TV service that would provide our customers with the high quality entertainment that they demanded and accomplish this within an extraordinary time deadline, we could only select SecureMedia.  We required a proven and comprehensive security solution that ensured us the ability to obtain rich content from Hollywood and other major content providers and the Encryptonite ONE System is that solution."

Offering his own comment, Fred Ellis, the COO of SecureMedia added that : "We are very excited to not only secure the Caribbean's first IPTV deployment on Bonaire – 'mitv Digital TV service', but to accomplish this feat in record time, a testament to the flexibility and versatility of our Encryptonite ONE System securing such an innovative multiple services platform.  We applaud Telefonia Bonairiano and our partners at Savant Communications and Manycast Consultancy for their knowledge, efficient design and operation of this enhanced, totally protected digital TV service and we look forward to working with them on new deployments throughout the region."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

BT and Disney Agreed to offer On-Demand Service

Following an agreement reached between Disney-ABC International Television and its parent telecom, BT Vision, the former shows which include the popular Lost, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty will be made available on-demand for subscription through UK IPTV service.

It is estimated that the deal will bring about 650 additional episodes to BT Vision on a rental and pay-per-view basis. In that respect, Disney-ABC representatives visited the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week to ensure that the deal proceeds according to plan.

The BT Vision CEO while commenting on the agreement said that "We're continuing to develop the quality and quantity of BT Vision's programming offering and we are very pleased to bring Disney-ABC International Television's outstanding TV series to our customers for the first time."

Recognizing the possible effect of this agreement on the IPTV market, Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman said at CES that BT would become the first of Media room IPTV clients to offer IPTV-enabled Xbox 360 games consoles to its customers in commercial quantity.