The National Association of Broadcasters' annual gathering in Las Vegas is more than a chance for broadcasters to get together and kvetch and plot, it's also the opportunity for vendors to show off a plethora of technological advances that may be part of tomorrow's reality--or may just be part of today's whimsy.
LAS VEGAS--While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was exhorting traditional broadcasters to take a fresh look at over-the-top content delivery at a Tuesday keynote here, visitors to the National Association of Broadcasters annual trade show were getting an eyeful and an earful of solutions for just that (or close to it). IP video is top of mind at the show, and it's beginning to change the way broadcasters and distributors do business.
LAS VEGAS--Set-top box manufacturers have the ability to make multiple services available through a single consumer premises unit, but when it comes to the approaching 4K storm, they "ought to be worried," according to Benoit Fouchard, ATEME's chief strategy officer. Alternatives to STBs are being developed to meet the 4K demand, particularly by smart TV manufacturers, and a new 4K channel launching in Korea on Thursday bypasses the set-top box for a 4K-ready TV.
IPTV set-top box technology veered off in modern directions at two opposite ends of the world when Sumitomo Electric Networks said it would supply UltraHD (aka 4K) set-top boxes to Japan's largest IPTV provider NTT Plala and Marvell said it was developing an 802.11ac Android IPTV set-top box for Swisscom.
Amazon has ordered full seasons of six new original TV series for its Prime Instant streaming video service, including five programs that will be produced in 4K Ultra HD format.
The prices of 4K Ultra HD TVs will "reach mass-market pricing" within the next two to three years, according to a report from Parks Associates.
IP video technology provider aioTV has developed a 4K version of its Passbox application platform that could be used to deliver Ultra HD programming to subscribers using both traditional pay TV and over-the-top video services.
If it actually works, the technology could reduce congestion on wireless networks or give new entrants into the wireless broadband industry a different cost structure for building a high-speed network.
Russian satellite TV provider NTV-Plus waited 11 days to announce that it delivered a live broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in Ultra HD, or 4K, format.
Josh Wein, editor of FierceOnlineVideo, recently talked with Stephane Bourque, CEO of Incognito Software, about the challenges that ISPs face delivering online video, such as the prospect of more OTT providers, the adoption of 4K streaming and the wait-and-see approach ISPs are taking to net neutrality in the U.S.