Platinax: For EntrepreneursPlatinax Business ForumPlatinax Business NewsPlatinax Business DirectoryBusiness Blog
May 13, 2007

BT Vision to offer CBS Paramount programming

Link: BT Vision to offer CBS Paramount programming

by Jan Harris

BT Vision has secured a deal for CBS Paramount International Television to provide further on-demand programming for its BT Vision digital TV service. The agreement includes episodes of Sex and The City and Twin Peaks.

BT is preparing for a multi-million-pound national advertising campaign to promote its BT Vision IPTV service, which was launched in 2006.

TV, print, radio and online ads will promote the service with the strapline ‘TV on your terms’.

BT’s hybrid IPTV-digital terrestrial set-top box, known as the V-box, will be available in high street retailers John Lewis and Comet, priced at £199.

V-box connects to BT Broadband to provide thousands of hours of on-demand content and Freeview channels. It also features a personal video recorder which can record up to 80 hours of programming.

The box is installed by a BT engineer for £60 and there is also a £30 connection charge. A self-install version of BT Vision should be available later this year. Customers can choose to either pay per view or subscribe to programming blocks.

The new deal with CBS Paramount builds on content deals with Warner Bros, HBO, NBC Universal, Sony BMG and BBC Worldwide and the company is expected to announce further content deals shortly.

VeeSee TV debuts IPTV for the deaf

Link: VeeSee TV debuts IPTV for the deaf

by Jan Harris

VeeSee TV is launching an IPTV service for deaf people, which provides programming completely in British Sign Language (BSL).

The service can either be watched on a computer or streamed to a TV set. Although the service currently only offers a few hours of programming, this will be quickly expanded.

The service, which was developed by BSL interpreter Susie Grant, is available 24 hours a day. Ms Grant launched VeeSee TV because of the poor provision for deaf viewers on mainstream TV.

VeeSee is the first dedicated channel for BSL users. It also provides an interactive forum and user-generated content and will provide a platform for deaf film-makers to showcase their work.

When VeeSee is fully established, subscribers will be able to use webcam-to-webcam video streaming to communicate with other subscribers using BSL.

The VeeSee service is part of ViewTV - a portal of 900 streaming channels.

May 2, 2007

BBC’s iPlayer service approved

Link: BBC’s iPlayer service approved

by Jan Harris
Computers & Internet

The BBC has secured approval to go ahead with its iPlayer on-demand TV service which will allow viewers to download BBC programmes.

The BBC Trust, the BBC’s independent governing body, approved the service following a public value test (PVT) which received responses from around 10,500 individuals and organisations. The test demonstrated significant public support for iPlayer.

The trust concluded that the service would have limited market impact, dismissing concerns that iPlayer could have a detrimental effect on DVD retailers and commercial broadcasters.

iPlayer will initially allow users to download BBC programmes for up to seven days after broadcast and watch them for up to 30 days after download.

Selected series will be available to download in their entirety for 30 days after the final episode has been broadcast.

The iPlayer service will initially be available to those using Windows, although it will eventually be rolled out to Macs, cable TV services and Freeview boxes. The launch date for the service has not yet been announced.

May 1, 2007

IBM announces infrastructure solution for IPTV

Link: IBM announces infrastructure solution for IPTV

by Jan Harris
Computers & Internet

IBM has announced a new internet protocol television (IPTV) infrastructure solution for service providers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The solution aims to make it easier for European ISPs to provide next-generation IPTV entertainment services along with their data and voice services. It will help ISPs optimise network usage and differentiate their IPTV service from those of their competitors.

IBM believes that while ISPs are keen to add IPTV, triple-play services (VoIP services, broadband Internet and cable television/video-on-demand) present significant technical challenges and ISP’s may lack the technical and implementation skills to integrate video delivery into their existing networks.

IBM will now be able to provide IPTV infrastructures for ISP’s through its Converged Communications for IPTV service.

Cisco and its subsidiary, Scientific Atlanta, will provide next-generation IP and video infrastructure for the IPTV portion of the triple-play solution.

IBM will provide business consulting, technical consulting, implementation services and flexible financing services from IBM Global Financing.

The infrastructure solution is an extension of IBM’s long-standing relationship with Cisco.

Its standard components include IBM BladeCenter and xSeries Servers; software products from IBM WebSphere, Tivoli and Lotus brands; and Cisco end-to-end IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) solutions. The new solution also uses Linux technology.

The IBM IPTV infrastructure solution will be sold through IBM Global Technology Services and Cisco. It will be available in most countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa during 2Q 2007.

April 30, 2007

Joost signs up 31 advertisers

Link: Joost signs up 31 advertisers

by Jan Harris

Internet television company Joost has signed up 31 advertisers ahead of the launch of its free service.

Joost, which was launched by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, is testing the service prior to a public launch. It aims to provide free TV-like viewing with the wide choice and user control possible over the Internet. The service will be supported by advertising.

Joost has already signed broad programming partnership deals with Viacom and CBS Corp, and other independent producers.

It has now entered into three-month contracts with major names including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Nike and Visa, for pre-roll and overlay ads. It is working with media and brand advertising agencies to develop marketing campaigns for their clients

The company is taking an innovative approach to advertising - it hopes to micro-target audiences with new and unique ads during professionally produced programming.

Joost has entered into a partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates to monitor the effectiveness of this approach. User-consumption habits, advertising impact and intent-to-purchase data will be collected and analysed.

April 23, 2007

Med1a Launches View TV Local

Link: Med1a Launches View TV Local

by Brian Turner

Med1a, the IPTV consultancy, is launching ‘View TV Local’, a platform of IPTV channels on which content owners, marketers and publishers can provide Internet TV to local towns and communities.

The View TV Local portal comprises website technology, video footage and User Generated Content (UGC) such as news and weather reports and local information, which can be transmitted to local communities almost instantly.

The first local channels to launch on the new service include Chester TV, Tamworth TV and Redditch TV. The channels are received on a PC via broadband, with a web browser pointed at or a dedicated webaddress.

Each channel is scaleable up to 250,000 concurrent viewers and costs less per viewer than digital and cable broadcasting.

April 16, 2007

1.5 million UK homes will have IPTV by 2011

Link: 1.5 million UK homes will have IPTV by 2011

by Jan Harris

New research from the Centre for Telecoms Research suggests that the availability of faster broadband will boost the use of IPTV to 5% of UK households by 2011. This represents around 1.5 million households, compared with 80,000 users in 2006.

The transition to IPTV will also be driven by the release of hybrid DTT/IPTV set top boxes by telecom companies such as BT and Tiscali.

The report, UK Internet Services Market, 2002-2011, also predicts that 85% of UK households will have a personal computer by 2011. There will be 20 million UK broadband connections and 90% of these will be capable of speeds above 2Mb, compared with only 33% with such speeds in 2006.

April 10, 2007

Deal creates single broadcast transmission service provider

Link: Deal creates single broadcast transmission service provider

by Jan Harris

National Grid Plc, the power networks company, is selling its wireless business to broadcaster Arqiva Ltd, in a move that will bring together the privatised transmission arms of both the former Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the BBC. The transaction is valued at £2.5 billion.

National Grid Wireless provides television and radio transmission services for the BBC, hosts wireless sites for mobile network operators, and owns and operates two Freeview digital TV multiplexes.

Arqiva will acquire the National Grid Wireless assets through its parent company Macquarie UK Broadcast Ventures Ltd.

Arqiva recently acquired BT Group Plc’s satellite broadcast division and also integrated transmitter assets previously belonging to NTL Inc., now renamed Virgin Media Inc. NTL was set up to run former IBA transmitter masts when the IBA was disbanded in 1990.

The BBC has already selected Arqiva as the preferred supplier of its distribution network and managed transmission service for UK digital terrestrial television.

The move towards having a single broadcast transmission service provider brings the UK into line with most of the rest of the world. However, the transaction could be subject to investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom.

IPTV subscriptions to grow 92% year on year

Link: IPTV subscriptions to grow 92% year on year

by Jan Harris

According to a new report from market research analyst iSuppli Corp, the number of global subscribers for IPTV will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 92.5 percent from 3.9 million in 2006 to 103 million in 2011.

IPTV subscription revenue is expected to grow from $960.5 million in 2006 to $39.1 billion in 2011.

IPTV brings together voice, Internet and entertainment services in a bundle known as triple-play.

Triple-play services cross industry sectors and there is fierce competition between market participants, which is helping to drive growth in the IPTV market.

In North America cable companies are expanding their services into data and voice communications - crossing over into territory previously occupied by telecoms operators.

In response, telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T are providing IPTV services using their advanced broadband networks.

Satellite companies are also moving to strengthen their competitive position. Companies such as DirecTV and Echostar are placing an emphasis on high-definition (HD) programming and offering unique content, such as sports packages, to differentiate their service from those offered by cable companies and telecoms operators.

Number of IPTV subscribers expected to double in 2007

Link: Number of IPTV subscribers expected to double in 2007

by Brian Turner

Screen Digest, the media analyst, expects the European market for IPTV to double in 2007.

Research examining 54 IPTV services across Europe found that IPTV is the fastest growing pay-TV platform.

The service is growing faster than all other platforms combined and subscriptions to IPTV services across Europe are expected to almost double from 2.9m in 2006 to 5.6m in 2007.

The major IPTV operators in Europe are Orange, Telefónica, Free Telecom, Neuf Telecom and Fastweb, which together accounted for 60% of the total market across the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

These operators are expected to retain their leading positions through 2007.

The uptake of IPTV in France, Spain and the UK is being driven by the availability of hybrid Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) and IPTV boxes. This allows customers to access DTT channels free of charge, and gives them the option to take pay-TV and Video on Demand (VoD).

This model is used by BT in the UK and Darty in France.

In the UK, the number of IPTV subscribers is expected to grow from 80,000 to 300,000 by the end of 2007 - an increase of 250% - prompted by the recent launch of BT’s service and national launches from rivals Tiscali and France Telecom in the autumn.

March 23, 2007

Microsoft temporarily closes Soapbox

Link: Microsoft temporarily closes Soapbox

by Jan Harris
Computers & Internet

Microsoft is closing newly launched ‘Soapbox’ video-sharing site, to bolster its defences against pirated content. Current subscribers will be able to continue using the site, but no new subscribers will be accepted.

Since a test version of the site was launched in February, Soapbox has filled up with unauthorised clips from companies such as News Corp and NBC Universal.

This would have been potentially very embarrassing for Microsoft which has entered into an online joint venture with News Corp and NBC, together with AOL and Yahoo, to provide a video network featuring content from major TV networks and film studios.

Microsoft has appointed digital-fingerprinting technology from Audible Magic to create a system to filter clips and prevent the uploading of copyrighted video clips.

Soapbox will be closed to new subscribers for up to two months, until safeguards against pirated content are in place.

Simply Media and JumpTV in UK TV partnership

Link: Simply Media and JumpTV in UK TV partnership

by Jan Harris

Digital entertainment provider Simply Media has entered into a partnership with JumpTV, which broadcasts ethnic television over the Internet, to provide international television channels to subscribers of ‘Simply TV’.

Simply Media’s new Internet Protocol set-top box, Simply TV, will provide JumpTV channels from Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Customers will be able to specify whether they want channels from particular countries or regions and will also be able to subscribe to individual channels.

Simply Media operates over 25 digital television channels, including 5 satellite channels, and delivers them via its web portal.

The company’s new IPTV powered set-top box will provide Internet television in an easy to operate format.

The Simply TV set-top box service will be advertised to ethnic audiences on and offline and customers will be able to subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis when they purchase a set-top box. Subscriptions range from £3.99 to £19.99 a month.

Simply TV plans to launch its set-top box product in the UK, in Spring 2007. The box is WiFi-enabled and works with any broadband Internet Service Provider.

Apple TV now available in UK

Link: Apple TV now available in UK

by Jan Harris

Apple TV, which allows iTunes content from a PC or Mac to be wirelessly played on a widescreen television is now shipping in the UK following a one-month delay.

All types of content can be viewed, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts, via a wireless network.

Operation of Apple TV is easy with a simple and intuitive Apple Remote which works from a distance of 30 feet. The device works with most modern televisions and computers running Mac OS X or Windows XP.

Apple TV provides access to over 400 movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality; over four million songs; 5,000 music videos; 100,000 podcasts; and 20,000 audiobooks from the iTunes Store.

Apple TV includes a 40GB hard drive, allowing users to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each.

It can be easily connected to widescreen TVs and home theatre systems and can wirelessly auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers to a TV.

The suggested retail price for the system is £199 (inc. VAT).

March 20, 2007

Consortium to develop specification for IPTV

Link: Consortium to develop specification for IPTV

by Jan Harris

Leaders in the telecoms sector have joined to fond the Open IPTV Forum, which will work to define an interoperable end-to-end specification for the delivery of IPTV services.

The forum was announced by AT&T Inc., Ericsson, France Telecom, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung Siemens, Sony, and Telecom Italia.

The Open IPTV Forum will be fully open to members of the communications and entertainment industries and will develop open standards which could streamline and accelerate the deployment of IPTV technologies. The standards will bring together current, diverse standards into one delivery solution.

The forum aims to maximise the benefits of IPTV for consumers, network operators, content providers, service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and infrastructure providers.

The Open IPTV Forum will initially focus on architecture specifications and will look at protocol specifications later in 2007.

It will consider a range of issues, including the integration of content and communication services across mobile handsets and home devices; content protection; and interfaces to provide IPTV services over both managed network environments and the public Internet.

80% of Computer Households Will Have Broadband by 2010

Link: 80% of Computer Households Will Have Broadband by 2010

by Jan Harris

According to a new report from Research and Markets, 80% of households with a computer will have broadband by 2010.

At the end of 2006 there were 16.6 million internet connections - 3.2 million dial-up and 13.4 million broadband connections.

The report suggests that consumers will become increasingly aware of the services available via broadband, leading to increased demand for faster connectivity speeds.

However, Research and Markets expects overall DSL ARPU (average revenue per user) to remain at similar levels until 2010, due to increased competition between service providers.

Research and Markets expects the increase in broadband connections to help increase the take-up of IPTV. However, because of popular alternatives, such as DTT, satellite TV and cable TV, IPTV uptake will remain relatively low.

Google and YouTube in $1bn copyright dispute

Link: Google and YouTube in $1bn copyright dispute

by Jan Harris

Broadcaster Viacom, which owns MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, is suing Google for alleged copyright infringement and claiming $1bn in damages.

Viacom claims that nearly 160,000 clips from its programmes have been displayed on YouTube, Google’s popular video sharing website which allows users to upload, view, and share video clips.

The broadcaster has requested an injunction to stop its material being uploaded to YouTube. It claims that clips from its programming have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

In early February Viacom asked for 100,000 of its clips to be removed from the site under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Google agreed to comply with the request.

Google is developing technology which will filter out clips that infringe copyright and expects to deliver it in the near future.

March 12, 2007

Telindus Launches IPTV Products in UK

Link: Telindus Launches IPTV Products in UK

by Jan Harris

Telindus Group NV, a provider of ICT solutions and services, has introduced a portfolio of IPTV products to the UK.

The company’s IPTV portfolio is designed to help digital content owners generate the maximum profits from broadband networks and deliver ‘triple play’ services (a combination of voice, video, and data streaming services on one network) and digital content via a set-top box (STB) or direct to a PC.

Telindus provides a portfolio of effective tools designed to easily integrate with a company’s existing IP infrastructure, to deliver digital content to consumers.

The Telindus IPTV portfolio includes Telindus TV - an IPTV solution for delivering digital TV via IP set top boxes to a television or PC; Telindus VoD - a MPEG-2 digital Video-on-Demand solution for a STB or PC; Telindus CMS - a content management system and Telindus CARE - a web-based system for managing subscribers and the provision of Telindus play services.

The IPTV portfolio is available as a complete packager, or customers can select whichever modules best serve their needs.

March 8, 2007

NDS and Nortel collaborate on IPTV

Link: NDS and Nortel collaborate on IPTV

by Brian Turner

US-based Nortel Networks is joining with NDS, a West Drayton, UK-based networking firm to develop Internet Protocol TV services for the European market.

Nortel has signed a global reseller and joint marketing agreement with NDS and set up a laboratory for IPTV research at its Research Triangle Park campus in North Carolina.

The two companies plan to integrate Nortel’s voice and multi-media products into NDS’s MediaHighway middleware in order to offer IPTV that includes a comprehensive package of services.

A user will be able to control a range of communications services from their TV, including caller ID, call handling, address book, click-to-dial, call-logs, instant messaging and other IP-based communication services.

Nortel and NDS demonstrated the service at the IPTV World Forum 07 at Olympia, London.

March 7, 2007

Joost boost with JumpTV

Link: Joost boost with JumpTV

by Jan Harris

JumpTV is set to appear on the upcoming Joost online television service.

Canadian JumpTV, which offers 270 channels of programming from 70 countries on both a free and subscription basis, has agreed to provide some shows for free on Joost.

It will initially offer Spanish-language series from Colombia, Chile and Peru, and an Arabic-language comedy, followed later by programming in Romanian, Turkish, Russian, and Bengali.

Joost was launched by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the founders of Skype and Kazaa in January as an ad-supported Internet television network. It uses the same peer-to-peer file-sharing technology that has turned the music industry upside down.

Joost’s deal with JumpTV follows a recent deal with Viacom to distribute content, such as movies from Paramount, and content from MTV.

Ofcom reports recommends fibre to the home technology

Link: Ofcom reports recommends fibre to the home technology

by Jan Harris

According to an Ofcom-commissioned report from Plextek, the UK should embrace FTTH (fibre to the home) technology, so that it doesn’t trail behind the rest of Western Europe in providing high-speed Internet services. FTTH uses optical fibre for last-mile connections to users’ premises and provides super high-speed broadband.

The findings of the report contradict Ofcom’s previous advice that DSL broadband is an adequate solution to support the UK’s future internet access needs.

Plextek undertook a six-month study into the role of wireless broadband and found that high-speed fibre connections to the home and office will be vital if the UK is to adopt services such as IPTV which need greater bandwith than can be provided by DSL broadband.

The report recommends a combination of fibre connectivity backbone networks and fixed and wireless gigabit connections in the last mile. This combination is already in use in some parts of the UK - by the Metronet network in Manchester for instance.

Steve Methley, senior consultant at Plextek advised that high definition (HD) TV services will require undiluted access to streaming content at 10-15Mb/s per channel, substantially faster than today’s ADSL systems can support.

Wireless standards are being developed with a bias towards small screen mobile content delivery and are not attempting to address the needs of services such as HDTV.

Next Page »