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.
Cloud technology services provider Akamai says 19 percent of U.S. homes now can sustain the average 15 Mbps broadband speeds necessary to stream 4K/Ultra HD video. Further, its latest State of the Internet report registered a slight speed improvement for the U.S. market.
According to top executives in the space, the wave of 4K technology in the pay-TV market is rising--and it likely will become a standard feature in the next few years--but there remain a number of obstacles for the technology to overcome in the near term.
While the introduction by Dish Network Monday of its much ballyhooed streaming service, Sling TV, commanded the bulk of attention, another significant product introduction got a little lost in the noise. Dish will also introduce to its customers later this month a 4K version of its Hopper DVR that is compatible with any Ultra HD TV set.
Whether it's connected cars, 4K video or next-gen home networking technologies like Home Plug AV, the Fierce editorial team is out in force at this year's CES 2015 show. Phil Goldstein, Mike Dano and Daniel Frankel are on the ground throughout the week in Las Vegas covering all the major keynotes, events and press conferences. Stay tuned to this page for complete coverage of the CES 2015 show. You can visit the page here.