As operators in the U.S. prepare to hoist the next big video resolution standard, 4K/Ultra HD, new data from ABI Research suggests that less than half of global pay-TV customers have good ol'-fashioned high-definition displays in their homes.
DirecTV stands firmly behind the deployment of 4K/UltraHD services and plans to have 50-70 4K channels available to subscribers by 2020, according to SVP Philip Goswitz.
It remains very uncertain that the programming production and distribution pipeline will have the goods by then, but Strategy Analytics says that nearly half of U.S. living rooms will have 4K/Ultra HD TV sets by 2020.
Broadcom is using the occasion of the CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., to roll out a new 4K set-top chip for set-tops, new diagnostic analyzers for cable operators, and a 5G Wi-Fi combo chip.
If online video's future--particularly when it comes to 4K streaming--depends upon the capacity and speed of the nation's networks, then companies like Google play a critical role. Google Fiber's ongoing challenge to other Internet service providers is to bring 1 Gbps services to consumers at a reasonable price.
Revenue from streaming video services jumped 175 percent between 2010 and 2013, from $1.86 billion to $5.12 billion. That massive rise in dollars being thrown at online video is part of the reason why raising the broadband speed bar in the U.S. to 25 Mbps is absolutely essential to continued economic growth, according to Internet Association President Michael Beckerman.
I'm a fan of Las Vegas. It's a great town for people watching, good eats, and getting tiny drinks for free. I recognize, however, that it's a polarizing city. Like New Orleans or Atlanta, Vegas is one of those towns you either love or hate. It's different from those cities people have a hard time disliking – you know, like Austin, San Francisco…or Barcelona.
The cable television industry in the recent past could hardly be called innovative. But that has changed as a slew of disruptive technologies, including online video, rapidly developing mobile devices, and other pay-TV entrants, such as IPTV providers and their fiber-based networks, challenged traditional cable's dominance.
The Ultra HD Alliance is one week old. But according to a report in GigaOm, the cooperative effort already has significant fault lines.
TiVo product chief Jim Denney has a lot of bogeys on his internal screen. He's got to watch the latest development in video user interfaces and program guides to keep TiVo's set-tops on the leading edge. And of course, there are the ever-present multiscreen issues to keep up with. FierceCable Editor Daniel Frankel caught up to Denney during CES and got him to discuss these issues--and a few more.