Netflix Will Continue Broadcast Partnerships, Remain Ad-Free

Maria Ferreras, Netflix VP of business development for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), explained that Netflix will not discontinue its broadcast partnerships in which it takes global rights outside a production’s territory of origin. Speaking at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam, Ferreras pointed to a production in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 as an example. U.K. producers have been concerned that Netflix would cease these partnerships as it gets deeper into local production. The company also reiterated it would not run ads on its streaming service. Continue reading Netflix Will Continue Broadcast Partnerships, Remain Ad-Free

Google Ad Sales Flourish Over Small Exchanges Post-GDPR

Since the European Union’s new GDPR privacy law took effect, Google is prospering; the company has gotten individuals to sign off on targeted advertising at much higher rates than other online ad services. Because of that, Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), a tool ad buyers use to purchase targeted online ads, is now directing more ads to its own marketplace rather than smaller ad exchanges because Google says it can’t verify that smaller firms have gotten consent of individuals who will see the ads. Continue reading Google Ad Sales Flourish Over Small Exchanges Post-GDPR

Netflix Makes Major Commitment to Canada With New Studio

Netflix is planning to invest a minimum of 500 million Canadian dollars ($400.8 million U.S.) over the next five years to build a studio in Canada, revealed Canada’s Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly. The studio will create original Canadian productions, some of which will be French-language, in recognition of Canada’s status as a bilingual country. Canada, which was the first foreign country where Netflix launched, is also home to the third most global subscribers. The Canadian studio will be Netflix’s first global content outpost. Continue reading Netflix Makes Major Commitment to Canada With New Studio

VR Industry Forum Draft Guidelines Push for Open Ecosystem

Over the weekend, the Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) released its draft VR and 360 video production and distribution guidelines at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. The draft document begins with an intro section suggesting best practices for VR/360 production, including experiences with three degrees of freedom (3DOF). It then makes specific recommendations for the technical aspects of visual and audio VR/360 content production, media and presentation profiles, and content security. VRIF aims to release the full guidelines, with an emphasis on an open ecosystem, at CES 2018 in January. Continue reading VR Industry Forum Draft Guidelines Push for Open Ecosystem

Unity’s Cinemachine Designed for Animation, Games, Movies

At the Unite Europe conference in Amsterdam, more than 1,400 game developers examined tools and innovations from game engine company Unity. Among those was the virtual camera system Cinemachine, which makes it easier for even neophyte content creators to get creative with animation, games, eSports, cinematics and movie pre-visualization. Unity’s Asset Store offers free 3D models and environments, including the Adam character from last year’s impressive tech demo. The engine also offers generic animations that can be applied to characters. Continue reading Unity’s Cinemachine Designed for Animation, Games, Movies

Netflix Foreign Sales Catching Up to North American Revenue

At the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings gave a keynote address, indicative of the importance of his company’s many international partnerships with cellphone and cable operators. As a result of those relationships, Netflix is able to build out its subscriber base without much advertising and more readily enter new markets. Hastings’ appearance in Barcelona jibes with the company’s stated goal of focusing on subscribers outside the U.S. Continue reading Netflix Foreign Sales Catching Up to North American Revenue

Equinix Offers AWS Direct Connect Cloud Service via LA Hub

With Amazon Web Services Direct Connect now available in Equinix’s Los Angeles data centers, the company has bumped up its number of metros offering the AWS cloud service to 12 (five of which are located in North America). Direct Connect enables companies to safely integrate their infrastructure with public cloud services to benefit performance, network consistency and overall costs. The Equinix LA campus features four IBX data centers connected via Metro Connect, providing a scalable and secure system for digital content and entertainment companies. Continue reading Equinix Offers AWS Direct Connect Cloud Service via LA Hub

Samsung, SK Telecom to Build First Nationwide Network for IoT

Samsung announced it is partnering with SK Telecom to build a LoRaWAN network to cover all of South Korea, claiming it would be the world’s first nationwide network for the Internet of Things. The IoT network rolls out in Daegu next month and will be available throughout the country by the middle of this year. LoRaWAN (which means “long-range wide-area network”) was already used to build a citywide IoT network in Amsterdam. “LoRaWAN represents an attempt to standardize LPWAN (low-power wide-area networks),” explains TechCrunch, “which are meant to offer a cheaper and more power-efficient alternative to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks for the Internet of Things.” Continue reading Samsung, SK Telecom to Build First Nationwide Network for IoT

IBC 2014: NextVR Unveils 360-Degree 3D VR Camera System

NextVR, a virtual reality technology and content company, introduced a 360-degree 3D virtual reality rig outfitted with six RED Epic Dragon cameras at IBC in Amsterdam last week. The “NextVR Virtual Reality Digital Cinema Camera System” supports the recording and live streaming of immersive, ultra high definition, stereoscopic content at 60fps and includes spatial audio capture. NextVR also unveiled VR content acquired with the equipment, displaying it on the new Samsung Gear VR headset. Continue reading IBC 2014: NextVR Unveils 360-Degree 3D VR Camera System

IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

SanDisk unveiled its new 512GB memory card at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last week. The $800 Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card — which SanDisk touts as “the highest capacity SD card on the market” — is designed for professionals that shoot 4K video, Full HD video and high-speed burst mode photography. The new offering marks an increase in SD card capacity by 1,000 times in just over a decade. It was only 2003 when consumers were scrambling for SanDisk’s 512MB cards. Continue reading IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Israel-based Vidmind plans to unveil the second generation of its Android set-top box this week at IBC in Amsterdam. The company hopes to attract cord cutters with an offering that combines over-the-air broadcast TV with live streaming and on-demand content. Meanwhile, TiVo has announced its 24TB TiVo Mega, slated for launch early next year. For $5,000 you can record six shows at once and store up to 4,000 hours of HD programming (or 26,000 hours of SD content). It also includes free TiVo service for life. Continue reading Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

IBC 2013: Broadcast Community Debates the Future of 4K TV

During the recent International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, the broadcast community debated the practicality of Ultra HD, challenges involved with achieving it, and whether consumers will care. While industry interest remains mixed, companies such as Sky Deutschland and BSkyB are presently testing 4K broadcast transmissions. Stakeholders in Europe are expected to be early adopters of the format, with one estimate projecting more than 110 million Ultra HD displays to reach homes by 2025. Continue reading IBC 2013: Broadcast Community Debates the Future of 4K TV

IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

At the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on Friday, FIFA and Sony announced that next year’s World Cup Final in Brazil will be produced in 4K. Sony also revealed it is developing production equipment to support 8K technology, and that 8K broadcasts are being planned for coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Sony hopes the announcements will help spark interest in Ultra HD, including the ultra sharp 8K, which is 16 times the resolution of current HD offerings. Continue reading IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

Scratch Play: Assimilate Launches Universal Media Player

Santa Clara, CA-based Assimilate has launched a free media player for visual effects artists, cinematographers and prosumers that supports Raw footage from digital cinematography and DSLR cameras. The new Scratch Play also supports formats such as OpenEXR and ProRes, providing digital imaging professionals and DSLR enthusiasts with the ability to review shots, pull stills, export CDLs or LUTs, and review animation at full resolution. Continue reading Scratch Play: Assimilate Launches Universal Media Player

Disruptive TV Trends: What is the Future of the Business of Television?

  • Amsterdam’s annual IBC event offered a number of potential TV game-changers earlier this month, suggests TVNewsCheck. These include cloud-based or service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications for capturing, producing, processing and distributing digital video and audio; IT-based playout (channel in a box) tools that could potentially make broadcast playout more affordable; and 3D technology likely to be deployed for the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Also on display were technologies “aimed at making 3D production more affordable and compatible with standard 2D operations.”
  • Cloud services were at the forefront since broadcasters are now challenged by having to support an increasing number of distribution platforms.
  • Vendors discussed the fundamental concerns about cloud-based architectures, “notably content security, access to content, collaboration, bandwidth and workflow continuity,” reports TVNewsCheck.
  • In a related article from GigaOM that analyzes shifts in traditional television, venture capitalist Habib Kairouz writes that the TV industry is poised for some significant changes due to a number of upcoming trends: TV anywhere and anytime will catch on; the rise of the Internet-connected TV and interactive programming; and personalized advertising.
  • The article suggests that content owners will benefit as MSOs, IPTV providers, and others compete with one another. MSO’s are hedging their bets by purchasing both traditional and interactive content, while TV manufacturers are looking to build Internet services into their low margin businesses. We should watch for new entrants to increase the disruption in this space.

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