THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY
An ITP Business Publication
MEASURING FOR OTT How to ensure the delivery of high-quality OTT content
OTT: FRIEND OR FOE? Is OTT really a threat to traditional pay TV models?
BROADCAST ASIA We review the event for the best product releases
READY FOR PRIMETIME Is the Middle East ready for the onslaught of mobile TV?
VOLUME 5 ISSUE 7 JULY 2012
22 34 JULY 2012 VOLUME 5 ISSUE 7
04 16 22 28
NEWS New channels go live in Qatar and Lebanon; Eutelsat acquires a new satellite; du signed for Olympics.
TV GOES MOBILE!
THE FUTURE IN SINGAPORE We review Broadcast Asia and the main announcements made by companies there.
The requirements for test and measurement of OTT devices and why they need to be addressed.
OTT: FRIEND OR FOE?
We look at the prospects for the mobile TV industry in the region.
MEASURING FOR OTT
Based on varying research, we look at whether OTT is a real threat to traditional pay TV.
On some of the most interesting products released at Broadcast Asia in Singapore.
A look at the latest products released in the last month.
Simen Frostad, Chairman of Bridge Technologies.
JULY 2012 01
ALL ABOUT TV
eing my fi rst issue as editor I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all the DB readers. I am very excited about meeting you each month and look forward to discussing everything about the broadcast business. I would also like to thank Jason Saundalkar, my predecessor, for doing such a wonderful job with the magazine. Th is month we are all about TV. On page 16 you will fi nd our main feature on mobile TV and its growing popularity around the world. Better wi-fi and 3G connections (4G in some cases) have made mobile TV increasingly popular all over the world. Smart TVs have also added to the prospects of mobile TV. In the Middle East it has been a little slow in taking off, but there are positive signs. Mobile TV has become a companion to regular TV viewing and with the increasing number of apps that connect smartphones with your TV, I think the mobile TV phenomenon will grow. Speaking of apps, Microsoft unveiled its Microsoft Glass app which allows smartphone content to be viewed on TV. I think the future for TV lies in its seamless connectivity with different devices in the home. And this is where we come to over-the-top (OTT) content delivery. We have two features on the topic. One of our features looks at how OTT technology affects the traditional pay TV model. After looking through various research reports and speaking to experts, we realize there is one conclusion: OTT is a complementary service to traditional
pay TV and not a competitor. There is no way one can exist on its own. The flexibility of OTT is important to customers, but so is the choice that traditional TV offers. It seems that many TV providers in North America have understood this and have started pairing up or offering their own OTT services. And according to our experts, and in my opinion, I think this is where we are headed. The Middle East, however, has been slow in acquiring this technology and it remains to be seen how much broadband penetration and government laws change the fate of OTT in the region. Keeping this in mind, Samsung and Philips have launched the Smart TV alliance to better forge relations with app developers as well. Our other feature on OTT looks at the hard technology required to measure the quality of the product being delivered to a user. If operators want to deliver a good product they should be able to measure the quality of their product while being able to provide quick solutions to breakdown issues. The feature looks at what options are out there for operators and how to incorporate them in their regular workflows. Please send in your comments, suggestions and ideas and I look forward to meeting you every month with something exciting about the world of digital broadcasting.
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AEQ has moved its headquarters to a new building in the Scientific Business Park LEGATEC in the Madrid suburb of Leganés. The new building triples AEQ’s capacity over the previous facility. The building itself has been designed with ecological sustainability and the ability to generate photovoltaic power.
MOBILE PAYMENTS TO HIT $171.5B IN 2012 Worldwide mobile payment transaction values will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012, a 61.9% increase from $105.9 billion in 2011. According to Gartner, the number of mobile payment users will reach 212.2 million this year, up from 160.5 million last year. “We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to grow an average of 42% between 2011 and 2016, and we are forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016,” said research director Sandy Shen. Gartner also found that the market will experience fragmented services and solutions for the next two years, requiring solutions to be catered to local markets. 04 JULY 2012
AEQ MOVES TO NEW HEADQUARTERS
AL MAYADEEN GOES LIVE IN LEBANON Former Al Jazeera journalist launched the satellite channel in Beirut In an attempt to rival Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia and MBC’s Al Arabiya, Tunisian journalist Ghasan bin Jiddo launched Al Mayadeen, a Beirut-based satellite channel for pan-Arab audiences. In 2011, bin Jiddo left Al Jazeera over what he believed to be unfair coverage of Syrian president Bashar Assad’s regime. Al Mayadeen promises to support the Palestinian cause and all forms of “resistance”, with a commitment to professional and balanced journalism - according to Lebanon’s The Daily Star. “We are not a channel that speaks in the name of Iran or the Syrian regime. We are a completely independent channel which reflects reality as it is,” bin Jiddo was quoted as saying. “We will fight sectarianism and stand against colonialism and foreign intervention...The station’s compass will always be turned to Palestine and the resistance.”
Ghasan bin Jiddo is the head of Al Mayadeen.
Although there is much speculation as to who is funding the channel, bin Jiddo claims it is being financed by unnamed Arab businessmen. The channel is reportedly employing around 300 staff, and will include contributors from around the world, including outspoken British politician George Galloway, who will host a weekly show.
846 million $5.7 billion Number of mobile broadband users in 2011
Machine-to-machine connection revenues in 2011
SOURCE: Analysys Mason
QATARI AL RAYYAN TV LAUNCHES The new Qatari satellite channel, Al Rayyan TV, started operations May 18 following the installation of the OCTOPUS 6 Newsroom software. The launch marked the first adoption of OCTOPUS in the GCC and involved installing a new live news channel into a new studio. “The Al Rayyan newsroom staff were experienced but had not used the OCTOPUS newsroom system before,” said Tony Jabbour , senior broadcast engineer of Al Rayyan TV. “That
proved not to be a problem as they took to Octopus very quickly and without any trouble. And when the station opened they were very happy to use it on air.” Owned by the Rayyan Media and Marketing Company, Al Rayyan Satellite channel will deliver live broadcasting targeting Qatari society and promote Qatari heritage and values, in addition to promoting the value of communication in the family, competitive spirit and creative thinking. www.digitalproductionme.com
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QATAR TO GET NEW MEDIA LAW AFTER RAMADAN After months of deliberation, the groundbreaking legislation is finally up for approval Qatar will enforce its fi rst media law following the holy month of Ramadan. The Qatar News Agency quoted Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari, the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, who said that the state cabinet will approve the proposed legislation at the fi rst meeting after Ramadan. “Qatar will be proud of its law which will be the fi rst of its kind in the entire Arab world,” the minister said. The law will abolish prison sentences for journalists, and should therefore live up to the expectations of the media, he added.
The changing face of Qatar.
The law is part of Qatar’s developments for the Vision 2030 initiative. The draft law is reported to include 45 articles covering print, broadcast and electronic media in the Gulf state. It is still unclear whether online journalism will be subject to the new laws. The legislation was drafted after four years of study, including government briefs as well as journalist inputs. “For the fi rst time the Advisory Council discussed proposals from editors and took into consideration the opinion of the culture ministry as well,” the minister said.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
As digital communication outlets serve as today’s leading news sources, we believe that this partnership will prove immensely beneficial for avid Olympic followers looking for to-the-minute news feeds. MOHAMMED AL KAMALI, UAE National Olympics Committee. BROADCAST BRIEFS
DU SIGNS WITH UAE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
SYRIAN MINISTRY CONDEMNS BLOCKING OF CHANNELS
BROADBAND REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
UAE telco du entered into an official partnership with the UAE National Olympic Committee (NOC) in support of the country’s participation in the London 2012 games. The initiative will result in the creation of an additional section entirely dedicated to UAE Olympic News within Eurosport Arabia.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs condemned the Arab League Council’s decision asking the administrations of Arabsat and NileSat to cease the broadcast of official and unofficial Syrian TV channels. The Ministry called the extraordinary action “unprecedented and politically motivated”.
The pace of global broadband adoption is accelerating, with the number of broadband users climbing 14.5% over the past year. A Point Topic report showed the number increased by more than 16 million in Q1 to pass 600 million. The previous year, 14 million subs were added in Q1.
06 JULY 2012
SONY TO LAUNCH GOOGLE TV IN JULY Service to be the first to launch outside the United States In a bid to expand coverage in the Asia-Pacific market, Eutelsat Communications concluded negotiations to acquire the GE-23 satellite, associated customer contracts and orbital rights from GE Capital. The transaction, which cost US$228 million, is expected to close in the second half of 2012, subject to regulatory approvals. The satellite, which will be renamed EUTELSAT 172A, will complement the EUTELSAT 70B satellite, equipped with a dedicated Asian beam, which is scheduled to launch at the end of 2012. The satellite offers unique coverage over the AsiaPacific region via a payload of 20 Ku-band transponders accessing five interconnecting beams and 18 C-band transponders connected to a trans-Pacific beam. The acquisition will be financed through Eutelsat’s existing liquidity and will lead to a moderate increase in the Net Debt / EBITDA ratio. In related news, China Investment Corp., the world’s fifth-largest sovereign fund, agreed to buy a 7% stake in satellite company Eutelsat from Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras. China Investment will pay Abertis EU 385.2 million (US $483 million) for 15.4 million shares, Abertis said in a statement. 08 JULY 2012
EUTELSAT ACQUIRES SATELLITE
Sony will launch its new set-top box with Google TV in the United States on July 22, priced at $199. Along with the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player, the recently-launched NSZ-GP9 connected Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV will be also be available for $299. This features Sony’s Blu-ray Disc technology coupled with the Google TV platform. The NSZ-GS7 and NSZ-GP9 offer a Google Chrome browser giving access to apps in the Google Play Store, including, direct access to YouTube and cross-search functionality designed to show all content sources available from broadcast providers and the Internet. With the new NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV, Sony will also be the first manufacturer to launch Google TV prod-
ucts outside of the United States, initially starting with the United Kingdom in July, followed later by Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, and Mexico. The NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV will be available from autumn in the United States, followed later by Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Netherlands.
Samsung’s smartphone market share in 2011. SOURCE: Fitch Ratings
BROADCAST BRIEFS CABLE LOSING GROUND TO IPTV, SATELLITE According to Infonetics Research’s “Pay-TV Services and Subscribers” report, cable is losing its status as the top pay TV technology to IPTV and satellite, especially in North America. Over-the-top services siphon away” a small, but growing number of households from traditional cable services. The region has the highest-value pay-TV market, totaling $261 billion in 2011 and expected to reach $371 billion by 2016.
CNN TOPS ENGLISH TV NEWS According to a new EMS Middle East survey, CNN is the most watched international English language news channel in the Middle East, reaching 33.4% of regional audiences every month. Al Jazeera English records 15.5% of the audience share and BBC World News captures 13%. On a weekly basis, CNN registers a 21.3% reach, compared to Al Jazeera English with 10.5% and BBC World News with 9.2%. The EMS Middle East survey, conducted between September 19 and December 1, 2011, covered the top 13% of adults (aged 25-64) by income, in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
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Kuwaiti operator Gulfsat secured long-term access to satellite resources by signing a new contract for capacity on Eutelsat Communications’ EUTELSAT 8 West A satellite at 8 degrees West. The multi-year lease secure’s Gulfsat’s fourth transponder with Eutelsat. Gulfsat already broadcasts more than 40 flagship TV channels from EUTELSAT 8 West A, including MBC Group’s Al Arabiya news channel and Al Arabiya Al Hadath. The additional resources will support further growth at a key reference for Direct-toHome broadcasting across the Middle East. “This new contract adds further weight to the strong partnerships that Eutelsat nurtures with key players across the Middle East,” said JeanFrançois Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat Communications chief commercial officer. “It opens the door to further development of premium broadcast channels at the 8° West platform whose proximity to our 7° West neighbourhood facilitates Direct-to-Home reception of over 540 TV channels.”
GULFSAT ADDS EUTELSAT TRANSPONDER
GRASS VALLEY TO ASSIST ON UPDATES FOX Turkey, a regional affi liate of News Corporation, is upgrading its playout infrastructure to the latest signal processing and distribution technologies from Grass Valley to better enable the distribution of HD content to subscribers. Grass Valley engineers, working with FOX Turkey, have designed a fully networked, serverbased infrastructure allowing the automated ingest and playout of HD content as digital fi les. Th is will make FOX Turkey staff more productive in the way its infrastructure now handles media and introduces a new level of flexibility and staff collaboration. “In making the move to full HD operations, we needed an integrated platform that is reliable and flexible enough to let us to expand and easily add new services as required to keep our business competitive,” said Necip Kircin, CTO, FOX Turkey. “We recognize that moving to a fi lebased system will help us both now and in the future and Grass Valley was the best solutions
partner, given its vast experience in this area, to work with us.” The total Grass Valley solution not only helps FOX Turkey future-proof its operations, but ensures a fast return on investment by enabling the organization to expand its offerings almost immediately. FOX Turkey has purchased, and is in the process of installing, numerous Grass Valley K2 Summit media servers which will all be networked and deployed as a storage area network (SAN).
CONSUMER TECH PARAGON SOFTWARE GROUP LAUNCHES EXFAT 9.0
Paragon Software Group released Paragon exFAT 9.0 Embedded, a driver technology that requires evaluation and integration into hardware products such as tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs and other external memory-dependent consumer electronics. The fully customizable product enables hardware manufacturers to recompile Binary
010 JULY 2012
FOX Turkey and Qatar TV. to upgrade playout infrastructure
Kernel Modules in various kernel-driver integration scenarios, such as modified kernel configurations, patched kernels or migrasssstion to a different kernel version. Optimizing usage of lower-speed interfaces and enabling portable Android devices to fully utilize bandwidth of SD I/O interfaces, the integration of Paragon exFAT 9.0 Embedded into electronic devices reduces time-to-market, provides smoother read and write operations, as well as better and faster performance on slower interfaces. Additional functionality includes a “standby mode” that ensures file system consistency and reduces the need for file system checks and repairs; “fast mount” that enables instant access to the content; reliable support for modern highperformance SDXC memory cards.
SMART TV AND APP MAKERS ENTER ALLIANCE In a bid to further the adoption of smart TVs, makers LG and Philips found alliance Following their collaboration announcement at IFA 2011 in Berlin, the Smart TV Alliance was founded by LG Electronics and TP Vision (for Philips TVs). The Alliance aims to create a non-proprietary ecosystem for application developers to create attractive, platform-independent services based on standards like HTML 5. Although original partner Sharp was absent from the alliance, the founders said that other Japanese TV makers are also in the process of joining the Alliance. “Instead of spending valuable time on porting and testing on different platforms, developers can focus their creativity solely on realising apps that consumers
will enjoy,” said Alain Perrot, a Smart TV Alliance Executive board member from TP Vision. “Now we can really make it interesting and fun for everybody.” One of the primary objectives of this consortium is to help define technical
specifications which will enable application developers to create their applications once and run them on multiple TVs regardless of the platform. To enable this kind of development process, Smart TV Alliance will make the fi rst version of its software development kit (SDK) available on its website which developers can download at no cost and use to develop their applications. Smart TV Alliance plans to build on this fi rst version and announce specifications of SDK 2.0 followed by the actual SDK 2.0 software release at the end of this year. With SDK 2.0, developers will be able to create applications for 2013 TV sets from participating Alliance members.
PARTNERSHIP FOR VISUAL UNITY AND SMC Systems integrations companies to increase multiscreen and mobile product integration Systems integrations companies Visual Unity and Salam Media Cast (SMC) have entered into a partnership to increase the integration of multiscreen IP solutions and mobile content delivery into broadcasters’ existing workflows. Under the terms of the new cooperation, broadcast and multiscreen system integrator Visual Unity will provide multiscreen expertise in managing content across the networks and solutions that fully integrated broadcasting solutions provider SMC installs. The arrangement will cover the Middle East and North Africa and will give Visual 012 JULY 2012
Unity, which recently established an office in the Middle East, the opportunity to leverage SMC’s regional presence and facilities. “By working with SMC we can engage in opportunities that require both traditional linear and multiscreen systems integration input,” commented Jamal Bnari, Visual Unity’s head of sales and narketing for the Middle East and Asia. “We are already collaborating on large tenders for IPTV, application development and digital signage tenders.” Visual Unity recently established an office in the Middle East.
Jamal Bnari and Paul Willis
BROADCAST PIX LAUNCHES MULTILINGUAL SERVICES As part of the new video control center, the services are aimed at non-English speakers In a bid to better connect with their multilingual audiences, live video production systems maker Broadcast Pix launched Multi-Lingual Fluent-View, a local language user interface, for Granite and Mica Video Control Centers. The new service will allow video producers to translate all controls to a selected language, including English, Portuguese, Spanish and others, with the option to add other languages and dialects with Broadcast Pix Translation Assistant software.
The service, which was launched at Broadcast Asia 2012, will also incorporate Unicode support to translate data into character-based languages like Chinese and Arabic. Multi-Lingual Fluent-View can be used on a touch-screen monitor to control all the capabilities of the Broadcast Pix system, including its switcher, clip store, CG, Fluent Macros, and remote control of robotic cameras, recorders, streamers, and servers. It can also be used to complement one of five Broadcast Pix control panels.
A Beta version of Multi-Lingual FluentView is available as a free download now, and will be included in the final release of Video Control Center 3.1 software in July. V3.1 also includes new multi-screen support that enables three “programs” to be generated from one Broadcast Pix system, using the system’s program output and two enhanced PowerAux outputs, to drive any combination of image magnification (IMAG) screens, Internet feeds, or live television productions.
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SHARJAH BANS SATELLITE DISHES The Sharjah government has banned satellite dishes from buildings and instructed residents to subscribe to cable providers, Khaleej Times reported, citing the director-general of the Sharjah Municipality, Sultan Al Muallah. Although the decision had been passed earlier, the municipality is now enforcing the law more strictly. The municipality reportedly started distributing circulars giving residents 48 hours to take down satellite dishes. Residents were asked to use the cable services provided in most buildings. People who fail to comply with the new rule face a fine of AED250 in the first week and AED500 in case of delayed payments. Residents are also urged to call 993 to report violators. The call comes as part of a campaign by the Sharjah Municipality to remove satellite dishes
from balconies and rooftops of buildings to maintain the overall appearance of the emirate, the report stated. The flyers and leaflets contained information on the negative impact of installing these satellite dishes in balconies, windows and terraces. The director of technical affairs at the Sharjah Municipality, Abdul Aziz Al Mansouri, reportedly said they will continue the awareness campaign by distributing flyers in Arabic, English, Hindi and Persian. People of different nationalities install satellite dishes from their countries to be able to watch local programming, but this is not allowed in the UAE. Many buildings also do now allow elements that spoil the appearance of a building like hanging laundry in the balcony or, in this case, satellite dishes.
Guns’n’Roses ban Slash t-shirts from UK tour MBC and WWE launch Arabic sites Dynacord introduces new mate New Burj Al Arab promo goes live Eurovision bomb plot foiled
MISS UNIVERSE SLOVAKIA ILLUMINATED Robe provided the lighting for the 2012 Miss Universe Slovak Republic, which was one again under the direction of lighting designer, Martin Kubánka.
http://www.digitalproductionme.com/article-5472-sharjah-bans-satellite-dishes/ 014 JULY 2012
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