Monday, 19 September 2011

Hunt urges telecom firms to put aside rivalries in bid to roll out superfast broadband

The RTS (Royal Television Society) Cambridge Convention took place here in Cambridge, UK, last week. The event at Kings College called TV Everywhere: Paths to Growth brought together executives from across the broadcast industry.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt addressed the conference and issued a call to action to telecoms firms to put aside rivalries to roll out superfast broadband.

The Government’s ambition is that the UK should have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90% of homes and businesses having access to up to 40MBps superfast broadband.

Superfast broadband will be critical to the mainstream adoption of internet services that require high bandwidth such as connected TVs.

Hunt warned that disputes between BT and rival telecom operators over the price of renting BT ducts were delaying the roll out of fibre. Watchdog Ofcom has promised to intervene but it’s unlikely that the issue will be settled until 2012.

Hunt also called for a cross-media approach to fighting anti-piracy. He said that advertisers, credit card companies, and ISPs should cut ties with web sites that serve illegal content.

A full copy of Jeremy Hunt’s speech is available on The Guardian web site.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Onwards and upwards for HbbTV – IBC 2011

Whilst delegates at IBC may be a little less certain than usual of the show’s core theme this year, one thing’s for sure – HbbTV is continuing to attract the attention of the industry as a means of open delivery of combine broadcast / broadband TV services

In addition to the debut of ANT Galio Move which we blogged about yesterday, we’ve also been showing Rovi’s TotalGide, running on the ANT Galio Platform for the first time. Rovi and ANT have joined forces to demonstrate how an HTML version of Rovi TotalGuide, a metadata- and multimedia-rich entertainment discovery solution, can be deployed on HbbTV-compatible CE devices via the ANT Galio platform. The ANT Galio Platform, in combination with Rovi TotalGuide, enables HbbTV users to view extended programming information on TV shows and movies, select channels to view and in future releases, will allow the user to schedule recordings directly to the TV device.
This year we’re also showing a TechnoTrend STB using the ANT Galio HbbTV Platform to deliver a range of German HbbTV services and portal applications.

As with previous years, HbbTV continues to be a popular topic on our stand. ANT is proud to be a founding member of the consortium which has strong support from across the delivery chain. Earlier this week the HbbTV consortium announced that it has now reached 50 members.

If you’re at the show and would like to see our HbbTV demos for yourself, please come and find us in hall 4 (stand 4.C98).

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Hello from Amsterdam…IBC so far

As ever, it’s been a very busy few days here at IBC in Amsterdam – and it’s not over yet! Our main observation from the show floor this year is that there doesn’t seem to be one clear theme. Whilst in previous years specific technologies, like 3D for example, dominated discussion, this year there doesn’t seem to be one clear ‘leader’.

Connected devices are continuing to attract attention. So perhaps the thing we’re most excited about are our show demos. Over the last couple of days, the ANT team has been busy demonstrating our new TV companion application, ANT Galio Move, which delivers companion device functionality with Apple iPads. It’s the first time we’ve showcased it and we’ve seen a great deal of interest from device vendors, broadcasters and operators.

ANT Galio Move enables consumers to stream live and recorded TV direct to companion devices anywhere in the home using a Wi-Fi connection. Without disrupting the main TV viewing experience users can navigate the EPG, manage recordings and change channel all in a natural, rapid and intuitive touch screen user experience.

If you’re at the show and would like to pay us a visit, please come and find us in hall 4 (stand 4.C98).

Thursday, 1 September 2011

TV Apps - keeping the user’s attention

It was announced last week that android users would be able to start developing their own apps for Google TV, TV Apps are really starting to come into their own and are proving to be a useful way to get viewers to engage more with TV content.

A recent poll by Harris Interactive earlier this year indicates that as many as one third of all Americans multi-task while watching TV. While this may seem like bad news for advertisers, another recent survey by Nielsen has some good news for them.

The Nielsen survey indicates that interactive TV content actually encourages viewers to pay more attention to TV programmes and ads. Given the number of distractions faced by consumers, applications can play an important part in keeping the attention of viewers and in retaining their interest. There is a downside to this, however: viewers tend to stick to well-known brands in their choice of applications and are reluctant to try out new content, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics. Even brands like Facebook are struggling to capture the attention of TV viewers with their TV apps.

So while there is a real struggle for brand owners to increase the use of their TV applications, there is real value if they manage to succeed. This may be an area where TV content providers with strong brands have a real advantage – successful TV applications will not only increase the reach of those brands in new media, but can also help retain the value of their content to advertisers by keeping their viewers engaged and interested.