People in markets such as China, Brazil and India use the opportunities offered by web-connected television more than those in the UK, US and Germany. This is according to research carried out across thirteen countries by GfK, the consumer research experts. Their study found that western consumers are stuck in an ‘analogue’ mindset, whereas viewers in emerging markets are more likely to exploit the digital capabilities of Connected TV. Save
GfK’s findings show that, in broad terms, ‘Social TV’ has yet to fully take-off. Globally, just 28% of viewers said that they found programmes that they can interact with to be more interesting to watch. And only a quarter (25%) thought that tweeting and commenting on programmes ‘enhances the viewing experience’. Richard Preedy, Research Director at GfK, comments: "Our findings suggest that broadcasters need to integrate their social elements far more engagingly into the fabric of the programme, to encourage viewers to interact.”
Viewers in countries such as China, Brazil and India are more motivated to interact with programmes than those in the UK, US and Germany. This is indicative of the emerging markets having seen a greater and more rapid uptake of enhanced TV capability, compared to consumers in the markets that are traditionally seen as more developed. They are also likely to use more of the functionality offered by the latest television sets – with three-quarters (75%) of Chinese Smart-TV owners utilising its features in the past month, compared to half, or less, those in the Western markets
Price, screen size and display technology still dominate
Across all markets, the ability to connect to the internet is seen as less important than price, screen size and display technology, when buying a new TV. However, the disinterest in internet connectivity for TVs is significantly greater in the Western countries, than in the emerging markets. Only 26% of UK and 29% of US consumers say they look out for a net enabled TV set, compared to 61% in India and 64% in China.
Western demand is growing
But there is hope on the horizon. Latest market data from GfK shows that the demand for Smart TVs is gaining momentum in the West, with sales in the six biggest European countries increasing by 31% in the first half of 2012.
Richard Preedy adds:
"We are seeing the developing countries such as India, Brazil and especially China viewing an increasing amount of content away from a television set, but also using TV in a more advanced way. They combine viewing a programme with increased levels of online activity – giving us a glimpse into how the West will start to move in the coming years. China, India and Brazil essentially are the early adopters at the moment. However, in the coming decade, critical mass will be reached in traditional TV markets such as the UK, US and Germany and the way we all watch programming will be changed forever – finally burying analogue for good.”
Discovery is more important than interaction: programme makers should change tactics
The study shows that discovery is still more important to viewers than interaction: 33% more viewers search for information on the shows they are watching than use social networks to share the experience with friends. GfK therefore argues that programme makers need to focus on viral campaigns and digital bonus content to enhance the viewers’ experience, rather than looking for viewers to enhance their own experience via interaction.
GfK’s findings also suggest intuitive control will be the next big growth area. They found that 67% are interested in touch and gesture TV control and 43% want to control their TV using something other than the traditional remote control. With smartphones developing beyond the traditional boundaries of a mobile phone, it is likely that this technology holds an advantage over TV in having already defined its usability credentials in terms of touch and gesture control.
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"While TV does not show any signs of losing its position as the top content-viewing device, other technologies are starting to catch it. The growth of online catch-up and streaming services makes devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and games consoles far more accessible in terms of content delivery and therefore more appealing to viewers looking for content rather than a mechanism for consuming it. As a result of this the technology manufacturers and OS developers could hold the key to future content delivery with viewers looking towards the most convenient and intuitive method of consuming this content across their device ecosystem.”
Dijit Media, Inc, today launched NextGuide™, a "hyper-personalized" guide for streaming and live TV that helps answer the question "what should I watch next?" and transforms the way people discover TV shows and movies for viewing either on the TV or on their iPad™.
NextGuide combines listings from any live TV service with movies and TV shows that can be found and played on services including Netflix and iTunes, with rich searching capability, alerts, and one-click watching.
"In 2012, the concept of watching 'TV' can include anything from live or recorded movies, TV shows, and sporting events from cable or satellite providers or streaming services including Netflix. Further, viewing these shows has shifted from just the living room to the consumers' device of choice (TV, iPad, smartphone, etc.). To add to the confusion, there are pay TV subscribers, cord cutting, binge viewing. This type of fragmentation is bound to get even more chaotic in the future," says Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit.
"We set out to create an app experience that helps the viewer reclaim control by getting away from old concepts, like 'the grid' and focusing instead on people, and how they consume media. We put you in control of your own guide that gets to know you, not just a spreadsheet of content. And we give you an amazingly rich and intuitive browsing experience that actually helps you find the things you care about in a fun, easy and enjoyable way."
Robert Scoble writes at Business Insider:
This hooks up to Facebook and Twitter to bring a beautiful, customized TV guide to you. It’s yet another example of contextual software — one that brings you better experiences the more you tell the Internet about you.
Why is this so cool? Because over the past few years I’ve been telling Facebook more about what my favorite TV shows are. On my Facebook likes page you can see the 129 shows that I like. Next Guide uses this page to customize the layout and choices of TV shows it shows you.
But it goes further. It looks at other social behavior and even other content you liked to suggest new shows to you.
This shows another step toward what’s going to happen across the industry: that nearly everything we touch will get personalized thanks to data that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other systems have been collecting on us.
Janko Roettgers from Gigaom writes:
Natan Edelsberg from Lost Remote:
One key lesson learned with the Dijit app was that remote control functionality wasn’t used as much as the team initially thought. That’s why NextGuide squarely focuses on content recommendations. The app pulls in social data from Facebook and recommends content to you in a variety of channels, with the ability to add and customize the channels you’re interested in most, and even combine various filters. Only want live TV results about dogs in your home city? NextGuide can deliver.
There is also a time grid that mixes live and on-demand recommendations, which can be a bit confusing: It’s not easily understandable why NextGuide would recommend one Netflix title Thursday at 9 p.m. and another Friday at noon. Toeman acknowledged that the personalization could still be improved.
What’s interesting about NextGuide is that it’s not your classic throwing old ideas out of the window and starting over from scratch move. Instead, NextGuide and Dijit are joined by the hip: Dijit logins work on both apps, and comments posted on one of them are also displayed on the other.
The app also has powerful social features, and uses a person's Facebook friends' interests and their own profile to make recommendations. Unlike any other guide or listing service, NextGuide can not only assist in finding a show, but also launches shows directly into other viewing apps such as Netflix. NextGuide also gives DIRECTV customers with a DVR the ability to initiate recordings onto their home DVR fortimeshifted viewing.
Dijit’s been relatively quiet since the beginning of the year when it launched its iPad app. Now, the social TV startup led by Jeremy Toeman has launched NextGuide, a new iPad app that “brings personalization into the core of the TV discovery process, and connects people with shows they want to watch contextually based on interests, geography and personalities rather than times and channels,” according to the company. We spoke with Toeman who demo’d the app for us in New York.Last year felt like the battle of the TV check in, and now 2012 is finishing off as the battle of the second screen platform with several apps gunning to be your social TV guide of choice. Zeebox is poised to launch in the US with rumors of a big Comcast partnership. TVGuide has launched a more powerful app than ever. GetGlue has taking their hundreds of millions of data points to launch a social guide. yap. TV is expanding around the globe. And now Dijit, which built it’s expertise by allowing you to actually control your TV from the app, wants to be the go-to place for discovery.The new app features a slick design, displaying a scrollable mosaic of TV show graphics. Dijit says NextGuide is the “first-ever TV app for iPad that combines social features with any customers’ live TV listings, DirecTV DVR scheduling, and Netflix, HuluPlus, and iTunes content for search and playback, into the same view.” Toeman has big plans to move beyond just DirecTV DVR scheduling. “We think we’ll be within 50 million homes within a month or two,” he told Lost Remote.
Humax, a world leading set-top-box manufacturer, showcases its web-ready Freesat+ box at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2012 in Amsterdam. With the implementation of the Opera Devices Software Development Kit (SDK), Humax's Freesat+ box provides Freesat's newly launched service, <free time>, a HTML5-based backwards EPG. Through <free time>, viewers can navigate back through the EPG and choose to watch content on-demand.
"Web services delivered to TV are increasingly moving to HTML5, so it makes sense to have one engine to drive the browser and power all applications,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "Freesat brings HTML5 technology to its next-generation products. People can browse the web, run apps, play music and games--and most importantly--watch what they want, when they want it, on their TVs. This is the power of the web. For set-top-box and device vendors, adopting web standards can reduce the barriers of deployment and shorten the time to market.”
Tae Hun Kim, head of the Business Division at Humax added:
The Opera Devices SDK has delivered the power of the web to millions of TVs, set-top boxes, portable media players and other devices across the world. It empowers Humax to build HTML5 and CE-HTML rendering into its Freesat+ box and supports the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) and HTML5 browser technology, which have been adopted by the next-generation Freesat+ receivers. In addition, this tool kit includes a full web browser using hardware acceleration with DirectFB, and supporting WebGL, to speed up rendering and animations.
“Humax has always been dedicated to creating the best viewing experience for Freesat viewers through our products. To take it to the next level, we decided to make our Freesat+ products more interactive and future proof. Opera is playing a central role in creating an intuitive web experience on TVs. We are working very closely with Opera to successfully make Humax Freesat+ boxes available in the market within our targeted time frame.”
"The second screen applications running on tablets and other devices serve as an exciting new platform for publishing synchronized content that enhances the viewer's experience," said Jim Martinolich, vice president of integration technology at Chyron. "zeebox is the leading second screen app and its integration with our ENGAGE platform aids broadcasters in creating and managing second screen content without introducing significant new production costs. We are very excited to be adding zeebox to our list of ENGAGE charter partners."
"Broadcasters are clamoring to embrace social TV and second-screen engagement, but the combination of fragmented market, myriad of consumer apps, and lack of integration with their existing workflow has -- until now -- made this a complex and expensive process," said Anthony Rose, CTO and co-founder of zeebox. "By giving broadcasters the ability to publish directly into the zeebox platform using their existing tools and production workflow, we're making it as easy for a broadcaster to create a play-along, social TV or interactive experience delivered within zeebox as it is to pop up an on-screen graphic -- and that's a huge game changer."
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The DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) group is seeking an expanded role to unify global standards for multiscreen services, while also ending the historical regional fragmentation in digital terrestrial transmission. The organization is best known for setting physical layer standards for the three traditional broadcasting media of cable, satellite and terrestrial, but for the latter its DVB T and DVB T2 specifications are just one of four regional standards.At the same time emerging multiscreen services are being held back by fragmented standards, particularly over interaction between companion screens and linear broadcast services. At an IBC press conference the DVB said it wanted to act as a unifying force both in digital terrestrial transmission and companion screen interaction, while also clarifying its position over an emerging third generation satellite standard, presumably called DVB S3.
DVB Project Office executive director Peter Siebert has told Broadband TV News that the organization would be interested in bringing HbbTV under its wing.“If I had a Christmas wish then that would be to have HbbTV in the DVB,” said Dr Siebert. “It’s logical sense when you look at the membership because it is basically the same.A move to inside the DVB is not without precedent. Last year CI Plus was brought into the DVB having previously been a project within the organization. Recent development work will see an improved browser capability within the new version 1.4. A significant change will take place with the introduction of version 1.5 where the commercial group is currently working on requirements for a new, smaller, form factor.
British pay TV operator Virgin Media is launching a new multiscreen service this autumn called Virgin TV Anywhere. The cable platform is a video streaming service that will offer content and services to various connected devices over WiFi. The website and app will include 30 live channels and over 2,000 hours of on-demand content and will be made available to all Virgin Media customers for no extra charge.Add a comment Add a comment
Broadband TV News is reporting that YouView CEO Richard Halton has told IBC delegates that the BBC-telco led hybrid platform is exploring the options for the second screen.
“There are different partnership opportunities, so what I am looking for is how you treat this in the home, using a second screen app,” said Halton. “The cloud is too far away to control the TV, so you’re looking at Wi-Fi”.
Halton said he was open to suggestion, saying that although some elements might be brought forward in the autumn, he was a long way from making an announcement.”
Mindful of what is likely to be an older audience not used to the ‘pay-TV’ experience, Halton said that most second screen applications were a little ahead of the Freeview consumer, but resolving some of those fundamentals now was very important.
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At this year’s IBC edition in Amsterdam, httv will release the first commercial version of “HbbTV Starter Kit”, a lightweight play-out product for HbbTV services prototyping, validation and demo. This new product completes the httv’s HbbTV product range.
Created for non Broadcast specialists, HbbTV Starter Kit enables to easily display HbbTV applications in real broadcast conditions, requiring only a PC and a modulation card.
The software - web based user interface - is a simplified version of
httvStream HbbTV, the play-out solution chosen by the French DTT.
Since it’s pre-release at the IPTV World Forum, a wide audience has shown interest for such a tool: iTV developers, broadcasters, editors, communication agencies and even operators for demos purposes.
Globecast will notably be using HbbTV Starter Kit to show its demo with France24 during the IBC
“By releasing HbbTV Starter Kit as well as other new products such as Broadcast Application Manager, httv confirms its position towards the HbbTV standard: commitment and expertise. There has been a growing demand for a simple, cost-effective play-out solution and a market space to fill in. HbbTV Starter Kit is our answer to this need and we are proud to have Globecast as a first customer.” says Sabrina Cheref, Sales & Maketing Manager.
It is a cost-effective solution all the more as it addresses numerous needs: from tests during development phases to professional events. Any HbbTV application type (Broadband, Broadcast or Hybrid) and service (News, Catch-up portal, VOD, EPG, voting…) can be broadcasted. It also handles stream events. The users may upload their own videos.Add a comment Add a comment
More HTML5 in the world of TV means more entertainment options and a better web experience, regardless of which devices you use.
Opera Software announced today that its HTML5 technology has been added to STMicroelectronics’ STi7108 and STiH416 HD set-top-box systems-on-chip, as well as FLI76xx “Newman” and FLI75xx “Freeman” TV systems-on-chip. The all-new Opera SDK 3.4 will also include pre-integrated support for the most used adaptive bitrate protocols: Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and several profiles of MPEG DASH.
“The addition of HTML5, combined with adaptive streaming, to STMicroelectronics’ platforms is the result of a long-term cooperation between STMicroelectronics and Opera Software,” says Frode Hernes, VP Products for TV and Connected Devices, Opera Software. “For many years, Opera and ST have successfully collaborated on numerous customer projects, and the launch of our latest SDK will give STMicroelectronics’ users cutting-edge web technologies support.”
HTML5 is an open web standard for interactive multimedia content that Opera Software has been supporting for a long time. HTML5 is winning commitment from internet working groups, content providers and end-product developers. Emerging standards for connected-TV services, such as the pan-European Hybrid Broadcast and Broadband TV (HbbTV), are also working on incorporating HTML5 for delivery of broadband content.
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“With its enhanced value for consumers and its potential for operators to create new and innovative services, HTML5-based online television is among the most important entertainment channels in the connected home,” says Laurent Remont, General Manager for STMicroelectronics’ Unified Platform Division. “By partnering with Opera to perfect HTML5 support for our hybrid Internet/HDTV chips, STMicroelectronics is enabling immediate entry to this exciting new world.”
The Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) and the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) Consortium today announced their collaboration on the testing of technologies common to IPTV and enhanced broadcast environments. These include testing the Declarative Application Environment (colloquially referred to as the “OIPF browser”) and the Media Formats specifications that are currently being implemented in retail connected TVs and STBs in those regions where hybrid services based on the HbbTV specification are deployed.
This initiative enhances the cooperation that began a year ago and has now delivered common procedures for the development, review and acceptance of test material by engineers from both OIPF and HbbTV. Test material can be used by any test tool implementing the defined interface specifications which permits its use via IP or broadcast techniques. These procedures and specifications define a testing environment that can be used in product development, acceptance testing by service providers, and formal conformance testing at test centers.
The results of this co-operation will be included in the first release of the OIPF Test Suite expected to be available in the first quarter of 2013 and the second release of the HbbTV Test Suite expected in the second half of 2013. These test suites are essential for improving interoperability between connected TV applications, services and receivers and reduce the costs related to resolving interoperability problems.
Dr Klaus Illgner-Fehns, Chair HbbTV Consortium, commentsed:
“Test material is expensive to develop, and sharing this between the two organisations will result in more test material being created earlier than would be possible without the co-operation.” “Furthermore”, he adds, “reviewing test material is time consuming, and sharing this effort between the members of the two organisations will result in both organisation's test suites also being available faster”.
Dr Nilo Mitra, OIPF President, said:
“Having one set of test material for the common technologies of both organizations delivers significant cost saving for companies who want to benefit from implementing both organizations’ specifications.” “Moreover”, he notes, “the referencing of the OIPF browser by various regional standards throughout the world will lead to greater value of its testing and increase the number of compliant and interoperable devices worldwide.”
Other aspects of the successful cooperation between these two organizations include enhancements to the OIPF browser to support additional requirements arising from the deployment of browser-based television applications.Add a comment Add a comment
ACCESS CO., LTD, a global provider of advanced software solutions to the mobile, beyond-PC and digital TV markets, today announced that its ACCESSMyTV™ social TV and over-the-top platform is to launch in Germany early in 2013. ACCESS has selected the PayWizard payment and subscription platform to offer a suite of monetization capabilities to merchants offering content to consumers using the ACCESSMyTV social TV service. Available in German retail outlets from Q1 2013, ACCESSMyTV will be demonstrated at IBC on the ACCESS (14.103) exhibition stand.
The ACCESSMyTV service supported by PayWizard enables German consumers to watch and interact with terrestrial TV, enjoy paid and free OTT content and build their own personal TV OTT web video channels. Consumers can take advantage of PayWizard’s secure, PCI compliant, multicurrency, multi-device applications and single sign-on billing engine so that initially subscriptions, and subsequently Premium Content can be bought from any provider with a secure 4 digit PIN - enabling consumers to view content through ACCESSMyTV on any internet connected device, at a time that suits them.
“Undoubtedly one of the main talking points at IBC 2012 will be how the industry can monetize Social TV strategies,” said Dr. Neale Foster, VP of Global Sales IA, ACCESS. “We will demonstrate at IBC how we are providing a straight forward, simple route for broadcasters, operators and content owners to create new, revenue generating business models in Social TV through the integration of ACCESSMyTV with PayWizard. The PayWizard platform gives us valuable insight into paid-for consumption, enabling us to refine our offering and take best advantage of targeted discounts and offers to maximize potential revenue opportunities.”
PayWizard Commercial Director, Jamie Mackinlay commented:
“We are delighted that ACCESSMyTV has decided to use the PayWizard payment and subscription platform. PayWizard provides quick and secure single-click purchasing across any connected device and is fully supported by our enterprise solution - including a full management information dashboard and suite of German language customer support.” PayWizard is available to demonstrate at IBC on their exhibition stand (14.100) in the Connected World Hall.
ACCESSMyTV is a new OTT multi-screen social video platform for connected devices that provides a structured route for the monetization of OTT video content, games and apps. It allows consumers to create, watch and share personal video, leveraging the power of social networking to deliver a rich interactive service. ACCESSMyTV creates deep consumer engagement and a viral marketing dynamic through the creation of personalized OTT web video channels.Add a comment Add a comment
a market-leading enabler of Smart TV and IPTV applications, today
announced a partnership with TiVo, a leader in the advanced television
entertainment market, for the launch of multiple applications for the
Accedo will launch multiple applications on TiVo, starting with funspot® games, initially in the US with the potential to reach customers in Europe in the near future.
“We are delighted to be launching TV apps from Accedo, including a range of games, on our platform,” commented Joshua Danovitz, VP & General Manager, International, TiVo Inc.,. “Accedo was a natural choice for us to partner with, given the company’s extensive experience in TV applications”“We are pleased to be working with TiVo to offer compelling application solutions to their cable TV operator and retail customers,” commented Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo. “TiVo is a true pioneer in the TV industry and the most recent initiatives to innovate their platform has opened up a wealth of opportunities to deliver appealing interactive services to consumers.”
TiVo is a pioneer in home entertainment, having developed the world's first digital video recorder (DVR). Today, the company continues to revolutionize the way consumers watch and access home entertainment, making the TiVo solution the focal point of the digital living room. TiVo’s innovative platform continues to be the best way to experience television, movies, video downloads, music, photos, and more from both traditional linear television and delivered via broadband.
Accedo offers a range of licensed and custom developed applications from well-known branded services. These applications have been optimized by Accedo for an interactive TV experience and are made available on a wide range of platforms. Application categories include social media, casual gaming, video- and photo services, as well as a number of other popular Internet and news services.
Accedo and TiVo will be demonstrating the TV application portfolio at their stands at IBC (Accedo - 14.361, TiVo – 14.522).