Thursday, May 12, 2011
SYDNEY, NSW: IPTV has now fully eclipsed 3D as Panasonic’s key television technology, with all 26 new models in the Panasonic range containing some form of internet connectivity. By contrast, only 16 of the panels announced today; across LCD, LED LED and plasma; contain 3D.
At the top of the range, Panasonic has announced its new Smart Viera brand platform. There are two versions available, the premium Viera Connect and the paired down Easy IPTV.
Through Viera Connect, users can watch catch-up TV through ABC iView and Yahoo!7 Plus7, internet radio, social media (Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, amongst others), Skype, interactive games and fitness programs. There’s also PVR recording to hard drives via USB, Wi-Fi readiness (with an included adaptor) and DLNA.
On Easy IPTV, users get access to ShoutCast internet radio and Facebook.
There’s also an app store of sorts called Viera Connect Market, from which users can purchase programs from third party developers. SD card and USB flash drive playback is again included, now with the expanded playback of DivX HD and MKV files.
The Viera Connect platform will be available on the VT30, GT30 and ST30 range of 3D Full HD plasmas. Easy IPTV will be on the U30 (Full HD) and X30 (HD) range of 2D plasmas. Not all RRPs were announced at today’s launch, though we do know that Panasonic’s HD plasma range will start at $849, Full HD 2D will start at $1,099 and 3D Full HD will start at $1,599. Release dates are staggered between now and August.
In the LCD market, Panasonic has Viera Connect on its DT30 (3D) and E30 (2D) series of Full HD LED models. Prices range from RRP $1,099 to $1,799 across four models available this month and next.
Easy IPTV is on the E3 series of Full HD LEDs and the U30 series of HD traditional LCD TVs. Prices range from RRP $799 to $1,199.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
CNet : So far, most HDTV makers are offering only video-on-demand (VOD) and miscellaneous Web services like YouTube and Tweeter through their Web-connected TVs. I had this random thought bubble of Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) much like Singapore's SingTel mio TV, debuting on these panels after yesterday's StarHub Cable TV event. After all, IPTV is delivered through the Internet, which is the same backbone for these online services. There've also been rumors about mio TV for the Xbox 360 for the longest time that I can remember, so it is technically feasible to implement such a solution to a certain extent.
Would this feature be a compelling consideration in your HDTV purchase?
Posted by NaxeruL at 10:13 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 (Bernama) -- Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) aims to have UniFi, its newly-launched high-speed broadband (HSBB) services, in 750,000 premises by year-end and 1.3 million premises by end of 2012.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said on Thursday that the service would be rolled out in phases with HSBB expected to cover 92 per cent of the Klang Valley by 2011.
Zamzamzairani also said that revenue from HSBB would start coming in the second half of this year, although it would not be significant.
"This type of gestation period is normal for a telco," he told reporters after a media briefing on the UniFi products here.
For residential commercial packages, the 5Mbps package is priced at RM149, the 10Mbps package at RM199 and the 20Mbps package at RM249.
The packages include a 22-channel IPTV service, free calls to TM numbers and free broadband equipment worth RM800.
"We will be improving the IPTV channels as we move along," Zamzamzairani said, adding that there were already two high-definition channels in the packages.
Comparing the prices between the 5Mbps package and the current Streamyx 4Mbps Combo Package, he said current that Streamyx subscribers would immediately be paying a lower fee at RM140 as compared to the usual RM160.
"We are undertaking a product rationalising exercise to relook our product and pricing options (for Streamyx) and will make the appropriate annoucements shortly," he added.
The business packages starts with the 5Mbps package priced at RM199, the 10Mbps package at RM599 and the 20Mbps package at RM899.
Although the packages do not include the IPTV service, they come with complimentary services like 10GB Web hosting with domain, 5GB E-Storage, and free broadband equipment worth RM800.
Zamzamzairani said there would be an initial promotion waiving charges for standard installations and activations worth RM300.
Another perk of the UniFi services was that subscribers could access all Streamyx hotzones, currently 2,500 of them, nationwide, he said.
Posted by NaxeruL at 9:32 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
According to forecasts from analyst firm Strategy Analytics, IPTV (News - Alert) subscriptions are poised to grow from more than 30 million in 2010 to 68 million by the end of 2014. The firm reported that Asia Pacific and Western Europe will lead in deployments. At a time, when industry leaders prepare to attend the IPTV World Forum in London this week, the findings have been announced.
“One constant theme we’ve seen in our multi-country survey work is a low perceived value-for-money among pay-tv subscribers,” said David Mercer, vice president of the Strategy Analytics (News - Alert) Digital Consumer Practice. “Service providers need to concentrate on coherently explaining IPTV’s value proposition -- something that few have been able to successfully achieve so far.”
IPTV needs to go beyond simply competing at par with other pay-tv platforms, said Strategy Analytics.
“Telcos have a deeply-ingrained ‘monopoly mindset,’” Ben Piper, director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service, noted. “IPTV represents the first time they have ever been second to market, and building to well-established consumer expectations is no easy task. IPTV needs to do more than replicate what the cable companies are offering. To be successful, it needs to surpass it.”
In related news, Broadcast International (News - Alert), Inc. has announced that Steve Jones will speak at the upcoming IPTV World Forum in London, England on March 23-25, 2010.
Posted by NaxeruL at 8:46 AM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This week I visited the IPTV World Forum in London. Having worked for the past 16 years with webcasting, streaming media, and IPTV technologies this event gave me an opportunity to catch up with the latest developments in the sector that identifies itself as IPTV. Call me cynical, but I was impressed by all the "wrong" things.
So the first thing that struck me as I arrived at the show was the size of the exhibition. It crossed my mind that the sector has enlarged significantly in the past 5 years. Indeed, I remember writing to the editor of Cable and Satellite TV (a publication by the IPTV forums’ organisers) in 2004 offering articles about IP connectivity for TVs; he politely refused the offer, citing that this was not relevant to his audience. It's interesting that now that publication is called Digital TV and its clearly the exploding area in his business.
The second thing that struck me about the show was the number of faces who have moved into IPTV from telecoms. The event was a heaving morass of suited ex-telecom workers in mass quantity. It's like a huge amount of folks who were selling B2B network services and technologies that failed have all moved over to IPTV. The same still-drunk-from-last-night-bullish-but-ignorant-sales-guys-in-suits who always need to "refer to a colleague" if you ask them any question about their technology are now surfing middle-management roles in IPTV ventures. They really do know nothing about their technologies, and sit on the bottom of the corporate pond as "box shifters," moving boxes they don’t understand, into the hands of buyers who don’t really know what they want. If I had a noise-reduction-filter for these idiots at the event it would have reduced the headcount by about 80%. It’s like "sales by press gang" and it doesn’t wash with me: I’m far too passionate about the technology to put up with all their bullsh*t and I carry a bag of acronyms which I throw at them to defend myself.
The next thing that I noted was that there was only a small handful of technology types exhibited: basically set-top boxes (and accessories such as remote controls) and middleware providers (which also generally crept over to head-end services).
There were no network service providers. There were no content providers, aggregators, advertising systems (of any real worth), subscriber systems, etc. There was one network technology—Edgeware, which was actually quite interesting and the exception to the whole day for me).
It should have been billed as the "Set Top Box Forum."
Worse, even small providers had stories of "800 client IPTV networks" and "millions of boxes sold," but when I asked for some examples of profitable, sizable deployments everyone got cagey and cited example networks in Nepal or the Congo. I don’t believe that they were real.
When you step back and look at the UK market there are three ways the mass market gets their TV now: Freeview (digital terrestrial with xDSL IP capability), Sky (DTH digital satellite with xDSL IP capability), and Virgin (cable with DOCSIS IP).
The other player, BT Vision, has so few subscribers that if you took £1 from every £15 monthly subscription to pay for staffing BT Vision you would have 2 full time staff. Think about that. BT Vision, it has to be noted, doesn’t believe in its own network for delivery of linear video either – it has a Freeview card built in. Hardly a vote of confidence in its own network, is it!?
Of these only Virgin, which has its own network and so their own QoS, is lined up to become a true IPTV player as it migrates to the IP way of doing things across the board.
So given that Sky and Virgin still supply their own STBs to subscribers, and Freeview is at least a year away from IP, I wonder who in the UK market would be interested in buying any set-top boxes for their subscribers. Let’s imagine that there is a crazy VC who wanted to set up an IPTV platform for the Isle of Wight. He wanted to buy a few thousand set-top boxes. He wants to deploy a network—and assuming the BT network isn’t good enough for BT Vision, he is unlikely to consider BT an option.
It would be likely that he does a deal with an unbundled DSL provider (one with their own kit in the local exchanges) such as Cable and Wireless. This would result in a "private network" to the home—one of the absolute pre-requisites for IPTV, and the key factor that differentiates if from internet TV or "over the top" (OTT) TV, as its now being called.
In pure "footprint terms," regardless of the other network options in the area, he would be selling against satellite-delivered Sky unless he is selling in to what Sky call "multi-tenant-occupancy" locations such as tower blocks. That’s some stiff competition, so he had better have some excellent deals on content to draw viewers away from the Sky offering.
Is he really likely to get any significant uptake? I don’t think so.
So I don’t currently believe in IPTV start-ups for consumer propositions where there are incumbent broadcasters. "Serious IPTV" should be viewed as a migration path for incumbent operators to migrate to in my opinion. The sale of new set-top boxes and middleware is to Sky, Virgin, and soon to Freeview. It is not to new network operators with no subscribers, no content, and no experience.
All those new set-top box companies that claim to have 800 IPTV networks as clients must be making that figure up. It just doesn’t bear any grip on reality. If that is the length of their client database I reckon more than 80% are simply labs, test groups, consultants, a few digital signage applications, and a sprinkling of small network operators such as hotels and businesses with specific applications. Not that these should be in any way discounted. However there is no way that the scale of that market is really big enough to justify so many set-top box manufacturers exhibiting at the show. It seems worryingly overinflated.
It really comes across as a market full of people who believe hype, and have suspended reality (probably down to a "creative" accounting level) to justify the spend on manufacture and device development.
Those of you who have been in the streaming and CDN space for a while will remember the satellite edgecasting networks (Enfocast, SkyCache, iBeam, etc.) from 2000/2001. Great products, great ideas, and so on; however, they seemed to blindly ignore the pending massive commoditisation and price drop in the established fixed line market that eventually came and flash-flooded their businesses away.
At the end of the day Pace, Huawei, Phillips, and a small number of other big players completely control the market. Small players like Amino may get some traction in more niche product areas like hotels and halls of residence applications, but they are going to surprise me if we see Virgin or Sky switch to their devices and away from the big names.
As soon as the "big guys" see a trend in their customers (and the relationships with these customers are virtually joint-venture level) they adapt, and there is no room for a smaller player to ramp up production and meet the demands that the major networks operators have.
Though I mention Amino, I thought it was interesting to note something in their tactics: These guys burst into the scene because theirs was the first high profile implementation of VC-1 (Microsoft’s early implementation of an MPEG-4) to be released "on-chip" in a set-top box. That simple thing, a little akin to Inlet's current closeness to Microsoft with Smooth Encoding, propelled Amino to the forefront of the industry in both the IPTV and streaming media worlds.
The differentiating VC-1 feature (which meant a simple Windows Media Server could be used as a head-end instead of extremely expensive alternatives) seems to have been forgotten, and not just by the market, but by the company itself. At the IPTV World Forum they didn’t even have the VC-1 enabled box on the stand. They were all about their PC-based boxes and their middleware. Just like everyone else at the show. Strange to forget or bury your unique selling proposition in such a fiercely competitive space.
Here’s another example that this audience will appreciate: Why is it that you can buy a basic Dell PC and an Osprey Card for under £1000 and build a perfectly reliable encoder for almost any format? That is a streaming media approach.
If you are an IPTV guy, you can buy a Tandberg chassis, with a convoluted hidden away XP Embedded PC and a proprietary and expensive video card to use as your encoder and it will cost you nearly £30k. The reliability is almost exactly the same. In fact, apart from the 1u Tandberg chassis,and the video card, the rest probably IS the same. £29k is a lot for a brand.
There is so little that makes sense in the IPTV market that I was really left puzzled as to why the conference was so busy and there seemed to be so much finance moving around in the sector. I fear it’s all too much and too quick, and when the hype subsides many of the groups who could have made better financial decisions and investments will recoil from the sector and the real opportunities with long term value will have been missed in the fool's gold rush.
In contrast, the (surprisingly when you think about it) more mature, slightly differentiated streaming media space is much more deliberating now. We had our fool's gold rush at the start of the millennium. Since then the internet video space has become much more focussed on selling infrastructure to sustainable clients—ones who themselves have viable, if not already working, business models.
Subscriber access is much easier in the streaming world where the user pays for their own access technology—the middleware of media players and operating systems—and the business models (subscription or ad-led) pay for CDN services and hosting. There are few huge capex risks that are needed. Last year was the year of "ecosystems" in streaming media. These ecosystems are nearly complete now, with correctly scaled models feeding thirsty markets. The consumers are fickle and want to move from platform to platform with ease—possibly many times in one use session. The PVR under the broadcast TV does a good job of capturing series to view on the "main screen" but if I want specific VOD or niche programming, well hell, that’s what the internet is for isn’t it? I don’t need to pay for a set-top box with less content on it than a single video web portal. I already have access to an infinite number of web portals on my laptop. Why oh why would I buy an IPTV service?
Why is it that business forget to ask, "who’s paying for all this at the end of the value chain?"
So while I have no doubt that the incumbent "big broadcasters" and subscriber services will move to IPTV to increase their profitability, and that small IPTV plays will continue to work in closed spaces like hospitals, halls of residence and, hotels, I think that the chances of users dropping their Sky subscriptions and turning off their laptops to take out a service from a small IPTV player are on par with hell freezing over.
I just can’t see it being scaled right at the moment and I hope for all the IPTV companies’ shareholders sake I’m horribly wrong!
Posted by NaxeruL at 10:45 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia (TM) has announced the packages and rates for its High Speed Broadband (HSBB) service called UniFi, promising to deliver a premium online experience at affordable prices.
In a statement, the company said UniFi delivers faster network access speed (port speed) for bandwith hungry applications and superior end-to-end performance. It comes with triple-play services of high-speed internet, video (IPTV and Video on Demand (VoD) and phone.
For residential customers, the packages and their respective monthly prices will be 5Mbps (RM149), 10Mbps (RM199) and 20Mbps (RM249).
UniFi subscribers will also enjoy 22 free linear TV channels and VoD titles refreshed every month as a value-added service. These channels are delivered via an 8Mbps connection exclusively and in addition to the the data speeds of 5, 10 and 20Mbps they subscribe to, the company said.
"With IPTV, customer can be in control of their TV as they watch the programmes according to their own schedules - no more fixed programme schedule to follow. IPTV also provides platform for interactive applications for customers to enjoy," TM added.
UniFi subscribers also pay no installation and activation charges for equipment such as their residential gateway unit, set top box and optical network unit, worth more than RM1,000. There is no deposit required as well.
New and existing 4Mbps Streamyx Combo and non-Combo customers will only pay RM140 per month effective immediately, regardless of their location. This is to encourage 4Mbps Streamyx subscribers located in areas where UniFi is available to upgrade to UniFi and for those outside to switch to the Blockbuster package, the company said.
For business customers, UniFi packages come with the same speeds but are packaged without the IPTV and VoD. The prices are RM199 (5Mbps), RM599 (10Mbps) and RM899 (20Mbps).
UniFi offers a compelling value proposition for businesses to exploit the full potential of already familiar enterprise-class communication tools such as hosted web-based group messaging, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management.
In the near future, UniFi subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide variety of third-party services and applications, including telecommuting, security and surveillance, interactive channels and gaming, and many more services which will be developed by TM's value-added service partners to enhance the ecosystem. This potential is limitless.
TM is also putting in place the necessary support infrastructure to ensure a superior customer experience. UniFi customers in the initial four areas of Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar can sign up at TM website, www.tm.com.my, or visit the selected six TMpoints within the four exchange areas. The selected TMpoints are in Taipan USJ, Damansara Utama, Menara TM, Bukit Mahkamah, Shah Alam and Bangsar. For enquiries or further details on UniFi, subscribers or potential subscribers can call 1 300 88 1222 or e-mail email@example.com
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The demand for IPTV has shown explosive growth over the last 12 months. Recent research by MRG, Inc predicts that the number of IPTV subscribers worldwide will continue to grow at 31% per year to reach 83 million by 2013, creating a $38 billion marketplace for services alone.
This revolution in the delivery of broadcast content is creating vast opportunities for application developers, content providers and technology companies alike. The IBC2010 IPTV Zone will bring together many organisations and technologies emerging as major forces in this new market and provide the opportunity for them to showcase their capabilities at the heart of the broadcast industry's leading international conference and exhibition.
Now in its fourth year, the IBC2010 IPTV Zone has been expanded to form a hub for a new area and visitor attraction showcasing advances in connected consumer devices and exploring their impact on content creation and distribution.
The IBC2010 IPTV Zone will be accompanied by the IBC2010 IPTV Zone Business Briefings to which attendance is free. These briefings will examine some of the issues and opportunities arising from this revolution in broadcast content delivery in further detail and are intended to reinforce and complement the established peer reviewed, paid-delegate IBC Conference. Amongst the subjects addressed at this year’s Business Briefings will be the impact of new technologies on traditional revenue streams and the emergence of new business models and funding mechanisms.
The IPTV Zone at IBC2010 is being jointly developed and marketed by IBC, IT Europa and BPL. The IBC2010 exhibition takes place from 10th - 14th September 2010 at the RAI, Amsterdam.
Credit to TVOver.net
Posted by NaxeruL at 12:01 AM