Friday, 24 September 2010

Digital killed the video star

The Institute of Engineering and Technology announced the results of a new survey today, which indicates that vinyl, film and video tape are in decline, as British households become dedicated to digital.

We don’t think that the death of vinyl, film and video tape is something that should be wept. A new and exciting entertainment era is emerging, with television at the heart. The TV is no longer just a box in the living room that plays out programmes dictated by the broadcaster. Today’s TV experience is an opportunity to interact with an explosion of content created for the digital world. Viewers can shape their own viewing experience – whether through video-on-demand and catch up TV services, red-button features or unseen DVD style extras such as behind the scenes footage.

The traditional passive experience of TV viewing is evolving to an interactive experience, with an increasing number of online applications converging onto our TV sets and the inclusion of services such as the BBC iPlayer and Sky Player. The combination of traditional broadcast viewing mixed with new on-demand web based TV services means the possibilities for consumers are endless. What would you like to see on your TV Set-top box or iDTV?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Project Canvas announces ‘YouView’

This week Project Canvas marked the next phase in its development, announcing the brand name for its connected TV offering. ‘YouView’ will be a free-to-air service and will launch in H1 next year, delivering viewers digital TV, on-demand services and internet content.

YouView set-top boxes are set to include a variety of services including: a programme search function, a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and an applications store.

The current Project Director Richard Halton has now been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and will be working with Chairman Kip Meek. Unsurprisingly, the news has drawn a fair bit of attention in the press, with Halton stating that the service will “change the way we watch TV for ever”. A slick video has been added to the homepage of the new YouView website, click here to watch it.

Monday, 13 September 2010

3D of old

3D was by far the biggest topic at IBC in 2009. However, this year the topic doesn't seem to have moved on much. Whilst there are plenty of 3D demos around the show, there isn’t anything new that blows you away.

The World Cup matches obviously make a debut, with the company logos and team sheets working well in 3D graphics. Yet, when the game kicks off, the 3D element is a distraction. It seems the best example to date is the U2 concert, which has been rolled out again for the show.

The point with 3D is that it won’t replace everyday viewing. It will work spectacularly well for elements of our viewing consumption. It is much more likely that we’ll be getting our glasses out twice a week, rather than every day.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

HbbTV playing out at IBC

Day 2 of IBC was a busy one once again. I’ve had little time to stray away from the ANT stand in hall 5 and have seen a host of companies supporting the HbbTV Standard. It was IBC 2009 where we first demonstrated a couple of HbbTV implementations on the EBU Stand, in the space of 12 months the initiative has progressed at an impressive pace with services already live in Germany.

This year at the ETSI booth in Hall 2 the first French HbbTV services are being demonstrated – marking another important milestone for the standard. If you’re at the show I recommend you take a look for yourself, the demonstration can be found at stand number 2.C29.

Friday, 10 September 2010

BBC iPlayer news at IBC 10

Greetings from Amsterdam! We’re excited to be at IBC once again, I’m pleased to report that the show floor is already buzzing. We’re keen to hear the big announcements as the show develops. But first, here’s one of our own:

The ANT Galio Platform now supports BBC iPlayer. We believe its availability on a device agnostic TV software platform is an important milestone for set-top box (STB) and connected TV manufacturers, as the TV industry strives to deliver more PC style catch-up video services.

We’re committed to giving consumers greater choice and improving the TV experience and this just one area where we are developing future functionality.

We’ll continue to update you on all IBC goings on and if you’re at the show yourself come down to stand 5.A03 – we would love to see you.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Skipping by the TV ads

Time shifted viewing has been on the cards since digital video recorders were invented with a fast forward button. So it’s unlikely to come as a surprise that time shifted viewing has more than tripled since 2006, from 1.7% to 5.9%, largely due to the growing use of DVRs such as Sky+ and Freeview+.

For the advertising industry, alarming figures are emerging - almost 90% of people skip through the adverts when watching recorded programmes. Despite this, Screen Digest upgraded its TV advertising forecast in March, predicting a 4.6 per cent year-on-year growth in the UK TV ad market during 2010.

So, why the contrast? TV commercials won’t die; they just need to get smarter. Shortening the length of the advert to adapt to the dwindling attention span should be the first port of call. And recognising that a good advert won’t just be watched on a TV screen. Think social - how can the advert appeal to networking sites and spark a viral phenomenon?

There is no doubt that the debate over the value of TV commercials will intensify as the digital television market expands. But, the simple fact is most of us can recall our favourite and most memorable TV commercials. What is yours?