Wednesday, 31 March 2010

IPTV sees its strongest year of growth yet

A recent report by Point Topic has shown that last year IPTV had its strongest year of growth to date, with 10.8mn new users globally subscribing to IPTV services.

Strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region is now thought to account for 32% of the global IPTV market. But the fastest growth was seen in the Americas with 58% more subscribers this year. And, although the Middle East & Africa have only recently adopted IPTV, the number of subscribers shows a significant growth of 11.8% more subscribers in 2009 than 2008.

Here in Europe we are also seeing a keen uptake of IPTV services. France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Russia are all in the top ten countries for IPTV adoption in 2009. Which Point Topic states is down to product bundles and keen competition.

We are pleased to be seeing the number of IPTV subscribers grow year on year, and look forward to the product innovations that will drive continuous growth in 2010.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

IPTV World Forum comes to a close

The last few days have provided us with a great opportunity to chat with others in the industry.

Speaking to Graham Pomphrey from Digital TV Europe this afternoon, an interesting point was raised about how exhibitors have been more realistic in their approach this year, moving from technologies that look attractive but will take a while before the market is ready for them to concentrating on showcasing technologies that are soon to be released.

This is something we were excited to do with HbbTV this year. As HbbTV has now gone to market in Germany and is used by consumers, we were able to showcase a live demonstration in the UK.

As IPTV World Forum 2010 has come to a close we look forward to seeing what technology innovations IPTV World Forum 2011 will bring.

Ben Lawrence
Marketing Communications Manager

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Day 2: #IPTV World Forum

Day two of IPTV World Forum. Numbers seem to be up on yesterday, with a good mix of attendees, ranging from partners and prospects to the journalist and analyst community.

I’ve managed to find a few minutes to look around the show today. The stands seem to be slicker and bigger, maybe just a little more polished than last year. And, there are even a few interesting stand additions. Most notably a rather cool blimp that is floating around filming the crowd and a weird life sized human-sized televised image of a woman.

Ben Lawrence
Marketing Communications Manager

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Taking in IPTV World Forum

It’s the first day of IPTV World Forum 2010 and it’s great to see that the number of exhibitors are up on last year.

The good news for ANT this year is we’ve seen a real buzz around HbbTV. Our live on stand demonstration of HbbTV services, such as news VoD (Video on Demand) from Tageschau and digital text and catch-up programming from ARD and ZDF (see image), have attracted a strong and varied crowd.

It’s been all go on the ANT stand all day today, but I hope to see more of the other stands tomorrow.

Ben Lawrence
Marketing Communications Manager

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

HD TV on the rise

According to data released this week by satellite operator SES Astra, we are set to see the number of HD channels triple by the end of 2013. They expect to see this reflected in the number of pay-TV subscribers as well. Thomas Wrede, VP product management media, SES Astra, notes that there is a well known relationship between the number of subscribers and the number of channels, which they find with each pay-TV operator.

There have also been advances in technology hardware, with the report stating that there has been an increase in the number of 1920 x 1080 flat screens purchased. SES Astra note however, that initial HD forecasts have already been proven to be far lower than the actual volumes being deployed. This once again demonstrates the need for more HD content, which is yet to become mainstream.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Don't Forget What People Want

Looking through the latest specifications from STB manufacturers, TV makers and middleware providers, the list of amazing new features that will be delivered to the home user in the next 12 months is breathtaking.

Catch-up TV, download and play Movies, widget solutions, Web applications, VoIP and video calling, full Internet browsing, 3D interfaces, full integration into the home network with iTunes, support and video streaming and the list goes on.

I’m all for adding new features to the STB but let us all not forget the fact that most people want to just sit down and have an uninterrupted viewing experience. Any technologies we add, must not detract from this. New technologies must complement the existing service by offering the user choice and not detracting from the core viewing experience.

Chris Foulds, Release Manager, ANT

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Keep content in mind

ABI Research predicts that 846 million people will have subscribed to paid for TV services by the end of 2014. The majority of subscribers are expected to come from cable TV platforms, will satellite TV coming in second, followed by telco TV.

The 2014 prediction is 25% more than the 2009 number, representing impressive growth for paid TV services. This jump is reportedly down to the increasing demand for premium content, the emergence of new operators and the offers that they’re bringing to market combined with a growing list of interactive features.

Interactive applications are proving to be a key differentiating factor for operators, especially in more mature markets. But it’s important to keep content in mind as it is the ‘must have’ content that drives subscriptions, increases ARPU and reduces churn.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Android's fragmentation rumours

Reports that Google's Mobile Operating System Android is showing signs of fragmentation are rife. However, is fragmentation the wrong word?

I think it is. Device manufacturers and most importantly operators are yet to catch up with the idea of supporting a device throughout its lifetime. Traditionally you made a phone, put in it the shops, sold it and that was it.

However, now consumers are demanding support for these devices in the same way they get support for their PCs. So, whilst Google is releasing newer versions. All of a sudden handset manufacturers, like HTC, have ongoing work to do to integrate it and operators have to push the stuff out. But, where does the additional revenue to cover this come from?

As STB's and TV's enter this arena we will all have to be careful not to fall into the same trap.

Chris Foulds, Release Manager, ANT