Posts tagged ‘over-the-top’

Speaker Interview: Samir Parikh Director, Product Management Gainspeed #CableCongress

Samir parik

Samir Parikh has more than 15 years of product management and engineering experience in the networking and telecommunications industry.

Meet Samir Parikh at Cable Congress 2015, 11-13 March, The SQUARE, Brussels. 

  1. Tell us more about how you work with content providers and the cable tech community.

Gainspeed’s Virtual CCAP solution re-imagines the cable access network, delivering a myriad of benefits to cable operators including the ability to rapidly respond to changing market needs, satisfy exploding capacity requirements, quickly deploy new services, and cost-effectively migrate their HFC networks to a software-driven, all-IP architecture.

We work closely with the cable tech community, including standards bodies, other technology companies, and cable operators themselves to ensure our solution effectively addresses the challenges they are facing.

  1. What are the technology trends driving the sector and your business forward?

There has been a radical shift in how consumers access video entertainment. Streaming Over-the-Top video content such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, as well as IP video from satellite and cable operators, has created a seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth. There are also bandwidth demands from cloud computing, gaming and other high speed data applications. The existing cable infrastructure is at a breaking point. Cable operators are working aggressively to add capacity to the network to support this demand, but the technologies available cannot keep up.

  1. You were voted most innovative at CableLabs’ Summer Conference Innovation Showcase last July. What innovative products is Gainspeed working on now?

We remain highly focused on building the industry’s first and only complete Virtual CCAP solution. Our solution already enables operators to dynamically and automatically allocate bandwidth, leveraging our Full Spectrum DOCSIS capabilities, and deliver legacy QAM video over digital 10 Gigabit Ethernet. We continue to enhance the system, bringing additional SDN- and NFV-enabled capabilities and services to the cable network.

  1. How are innovations in the cable industry impacting on Gainspeed’s investment decisions?

Cable industry innovations actually align very well with our product investments.

Cable operators are looking for new and exciting ways to engage and interact with their consumer base, and opportunities to broaden offerings and increase service velocity with their business customers. Additionally, the tremendous growth in bandwidth demand has operators seeking better ways to boost network capacity while lowering cost.  Finally, cable operators are trying to “go green” for both environmental and economic reasons.

Gainspeed’s Virtual CCAP enables operators to address all of these objectives by building a highly scalable network, capable of dynamically allocating bandwidth and delivering virtual cloud-based services, at a fraction of the CAPEX and OPEX (space, power and cooling) of competitive solutions.

  1. What does Gainspeed do better than its competition from a marketing and engagement point of view?

It is imperative that we focus our technology and innovation on addressing real problems that cable operators are facing today, and will face in the years to come. To achieve that, we maintain an active dialog with our prospects and customers, and have built technical and business advisory boards comprising industry luminaries to ensure we stay on track and true to our mission.

  1. What strategies does cable need in order to effectively compete for consumer attention in a hyper-connected world?

Consumers want a new consumption and delivery model for content. They want to be able to very specifically choose content they are interested in, not be sold a pre-packaged bundle with 100s of channels they don’t care about. And they want a seamless experience for online and offline content access across any device, anywhere, as well as the ability to interact with the content and others via social networks and platforms to come.

Cable needs to provide the consumers with the flexibility they are looking for, otherwise they are just enabling their competition. A software-driven, All-IP architecture and virtualized network services are key technological innovations that will help cable operators stay competitive.

Meet Samir Parikh at Cable Congress 2015, 11-13 March, The SQUARE, Brussels. 

Cable Congress eBook: The Platform Effect

The Platform Effect

Overview
There is no disputing recently that Over The Top (OTT) approaches to cloud content and smart devices (connected TVs, mobile phones and tablets) have had a huge influence on the media and payTV industry.

Just as new market entrants scrambled to sign content deals and offered a compelling OTT offering, the payTV market leaders also pushed to deliver their valued content to these new screens. They needed to do this to keep up with the innovation curve and meet consumer desires to leverage their new devices.

Many had predicted the demise of traditional media stalwarts and the set-top box (STB) but the industry enjoyed continued growth. However, it is important to recognize that the OTT experiment is in its infancy and innovative internet services and device companies will continue to evolve and learn from their early missteps. This paper discusses why OTT has yet to succeed with consumers and how their relationship is evolving with this new way of watching TV. It will also examine what PayTV operators can learn through this experience in order to continue to enrich their content, differentiate services and get closer to customers to maintain their lead and fulfil growth plans.

Going “Nonlinear”
While the critical component lacking in most of the OTT offerings is clearly traditional live TV content, trials such as the Hill Holiday OTT user study ‘An Experiment in Cutting the Cord’ have proven that this is not the most frustrating factor for consumers using OTT.

The common thread across all the tested platforms has been that users were fundamentally uncertain of how to watch TV that was not their familiar linear style network feed. OTT’s new “search only” approach violated the common principals of channels, Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) and TV networks, which to the PayTV operator’s benefit is the comfort zone of the consumer. Consumers simply do not have the time to be engaged in managing their entertainment ecosystem and making decisions. Users consistently commented that they prefer a “lean back and forget” experience where users appreciate the network’s next show. Simply put, they did not know what to watch next.

This presents an interesting challenge to PayTV operators who themselves are starting to offer more cloud-based DVR and web content and Video on Demand (VoD) libraries that may complicate the linear experience. However, it’s also a huge opportunity to take what is known about the consumer’s personal choices, viewing habits and social media interactions (on an opt-in basis) to take the linear experience to a completely new level. It’s an opportunity to create the first “personal linear network” that is customised for each user, blending the best traditional PayTV content with other smart content offering opportunities.

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Two-thirds of pay-TV subs have access to multiscreen services

Two-thirds of pay-TV subs have access to multiscreen services

Western European multiscreen operator-provided growth has led to an 80% increase in coverage and given 66% of pay-TV subscribers in the region access to these services.

These findings, at the heart of new research by Parks Associates, clearly show just how multiscreen in in the mainstream and compared with only 36% access in mid-2011. The analyst adds that with service providers poised to deploy over 20 million high-end, feature-rich residential gateways in Western Europe this year, multiscreen services may soon be offered in conjunction with other advanced features such as VoIP, advanced home network monitoring, and media sharing.

“The competition from over the top (OTT) services, growth in broadband penetration, and consumer adoption of connected devices all drove the rapid deployment of multiscreen services, and now operators are looking to shift focus from customer retention to monetisation,” said Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates.

Rapid TV News | by Joseph O’Halloran

Cable Congress eBook: Facing the future with OTT

Ever-increasing broadband speeds are changing the TV landscape forever

On the one hand there is the threat of viewers being lured away to spend time on their PCs, smartphones or tablets when they were previously slumped on the sofa watching pay-TV. On the other there is the opportunity that broadband offers to existing and new entrant operators that can harness the power of broadband to deliver over-the-top services for the benefit of the consumer and the finance director.

Most major metropolitan areas, and increasingly the more far-flung regions, can now support the delivery of broadcast quality pictures over the internet to a greater or lesser extent. If you are delivering pictures to the TV screen there is no point in tying up broadband capacity with channels that can already be received, so you can use existing cable channels and blend them in to a wider offering.

There is a genuine demand from consumers for TV as a service, be it to a portable device, or the fixed one in the corner of the living room still known as the TV set. The difficulty is that viewers are not entirely sure what they want, using their PC. smartphone or tablet to catch-up on TV shows they may have missed and are often directed there by the broadcasters themselves, at least until a similar service is introduced on the TV itself. A number of consumer electronics players have seen this as an opportunity to wrest control of the television from the operators by presenting viewers with new ways to consume broadband-delivered content. By managing users’ access to broadcast and web entertainment through a single connected device the CE manufacturers are essentially setting themselves up as virtual IPTV operators and placing themselves in direct competition with the established pay-TV industry.

There is more to the Connected TV than just family photos and widgets. The combination of ongoing revenues, not to mention the possibility of speeding up the television replacement cycle, has led manufacturers to increasingly bundle in content. This has manifested itself in the availability of catch-up TV services, such as the BBC iPlayer or Sky Go. Coupled with the addition of movies on demand from the major Hollywood studios, and integrations with YouTube and Facebook, manufacturers are able to offer a strong content line-up. However, with current Connected TV technology there is significant disconnect between the traditional EPG and bundled OTT services and widgets, which makes for a disjointed user experience.

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Blog by Guy Bisson, Research Director, Television, IHS Screen Digest

OTT: MOVE ALONG, NOTHING NEW TO SEE HERE

Every morning, around 8am, I rest my head gently on the shoulder of a woman I’ve never met. A short man nuzzles my armpit with his nose while the blond locks of the girl to my left tickle my face as they catch a brief draft. I can’t stand straight, the noise is ear-splitting and there’s no space to hold a paper or book. It’s my daily trip to the office, chauffeur courtesy of London Underground.

Through a chink of space between the shoulders of my fellow travellers, I entertain myself by reading advertisements for dating sites, tropical beach paradises and, more recently, an offer to “imagine a TV channel that learns what you want to watch.” “Lovefilm is not a TV channel”, it continues, but “it has more movies available to watch instantly online through your TV than all the other TV channels put together.”

Interesting, if slightly schizophrenic, pitch. Amazon-owned Lovefilm’s recent advertising blitz has, of course, been prompted by the arrival in the UK of a trans-Atlantic rival in the form of Netflix. Both services steam content to the TV over-the-top, via PCs, connected TVs, games consoles and other Internet devices. More interestingly from a business perspective, both claim that their main rival is not one another, but pay TV giant Sky.

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