multichannel connect
careers
all access

News

At IBC, It’s Video Everywhere

9/13/2010 12:48 AM Eastern

Technologies and tools
for delivering TV anywhere —
and everywhere — took center
stage at the international IBC
trade show, which kicked off last
week in Amsterdam.

NDS and SanDisk, a top provider
of flash-based storage chips,
pitched the idea that cable operators
could deliver a low-cost
set-top box that provides DVR-esque features
like pausing live TV by using solid-
state storage instead of a hard
disk. The companies showed off
the NDS MediaHighway software
in a set-top box with SanDisk’s P4
solid-state drives.

Without a spinning disk, such
“DVR-lite” set-tops wouldn’t need
the fan that’s required for regular
DVRs. That could result in a smaller,
quieter, more energy-efficient device
with a footprint more like Roku
set-tops or the new Apple TV.

According to NDS and SanDisk, a
small amount of SSD storage —
like 4 Gigabytes, 8 GBs or 16 GBs
— is considerably cheaper than
hard disk drives, which are typically
available only in higher capacities.
And such a device could
enable not just pausing live TV,
but also VOD delivered over a
home network and advertising
solutions like the DVR-based ad-swapping
system NDS demonstrated
at IBC with BlackArrow.

“For the first time, SSDs are
now a cost-effective alternative
to hard drives in the [set-top
box] market,” said Doron
Myersdorf, SanDisk’s senior director
for solid-state disk. The
development, he added, promises
to take VOD content “beyond
the DVR to offer a high degree of
DVR-like functionality on a new
range of boxes.”


ActiveVideo Networks
was
busy at the show, demonstrating
its interactive TV system on Cisco
Systems
’ video-on-demand
infrastructure. In the demo, ActiveVideo’s
CloudTV Platform
software was running on Cisco’s
Content Delivery System (CDS).
The demo let users navigate an
interactive program guide application
on an Apple iPad tablet
to select live, time-shifted or
VOD content, and then watch it
on TV or directly on their iPad
over a Wi-Fi network in a simulated
home environment.

The work ActiveVideo is doing
with Cisco is not exclusive. “We’re
working with the preeminent networking
company in the world,
but we’re hoping it’s one of many
potential relationships,” said ActiveVideo
president and CEO Jeff
Miller. In a follow-up statement,
Miller added, “We’re hoping this
is one of many potential endeavors
with Cisco.”

Also at IBC, ActiveVideo
showed off a 3DTV user interface,
which the company claimed can
be delivered to any existing set-top
box or Internet-connected
device.

RGB Networks and SeaChange
International
, meanwhile, had
put together a solution for inserting
ads across linear video
on TVs, PCs and mobile devices,
promising a way to better capture
advertising revenue from “TV Everywhere”
services. In their IBC
demo, the companies showed
live TV delivered to a set-top box,
an iPad, an iPhone and a PC with
Adobe Flash 10.1.

“Consumers will expect entire
channel lineups on any screen
— and service providers will
want to extend their significant
ad revenue stream to mobiles
and PCs,” said Damian Mulcock,
SeaChange’s vice president
of worldwide multiscreen business.

Other items of note from IBC:

IneoQuest Technologies
debuted a headend-based video
probe, dubbed Expedus DVA,
that allows cable and telco TV
operators to monitor 250 or more
channels using a combination of
quality-of-service (QoS) and quality-of-experience (QoE) metrics. By correlating
QoS and QoE performance,
Expedus DVA can cut down the
time it takes to troubleshoot video
problems while improving
customer satisfaction, according
to IneoQuest.

Harmonic announced NMX
Digital Service Manager version
6, which enhances tools for monitoring
and managing video processing
and delivery systems
with a new interface, streamlined
workflow management, better
alarm management and a comprehensive
dashboard view.

Elemental Technologies,
a provider of massively parallel
video processing solutions,
showed off what it said was the
world’s first live streaming 3D video
in 1080p high-definition format
over the Internet in collaboration
with Microsoft, Level 3 Communications
and TVN Group.

Liberty Global announced
it has selected Celeno Communications
802.11n Wi-Fi chip
for its residential gateway, which
is being built by Samsung Electronics
with integration and middleware
from NDS. The device is
scheduled for European deployment
in 2011.

Motorola announced the
first commercial deployment of
its VIP1002E/F Series IPTV set-top
with Turkey’s TTNET.

September