Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

Streaming analytics firm Conviva reports that the global streaming market grew 14 percent in Q2 2022 as compared to the same period last year. Asia and Latin America drove the growth, vaulting 90 percent and 70 percent, respectively. The quarterly Conviva State of Streaming Report noted that North America, the most mature streaming market in the world, grew a modest 5 percent year over year. “As the global streaming industry matures, streaming success is getting more complicated,” Conviva reports, citing as factors device fragmentation and heightened quality expectations in an increasingly ad-supported streaming world. Continue reading Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Top European TV supplier Vestel has become the first OEM for Xperi’s new TiVo-branded TVOS. In addition to distributing TVs under its own imprimatur, the Turkish firm manufactures sets for Hitachi, JVC, Toshiba and Panasonic. Vestel will begin selling branded TVs with TiVo as the primary software OS in mid-2023, Xperi said. Smart set manufacturers have increasingly sought a portal approach that helps customers navigate among a dizzying array of individual content platforms while sidestepping the additional costs associated with interfaces from the likes of Amazon Fire, Roku, Google TV or Android TV. Continue reading Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Samsung TV Plus Targets Premium Content in FAST Relaunch

Samsung Electronics America is refreshing Samsung TV Plus, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) and video on-demand service seen in 24 countries on 465 million TV and mobile devices. The main emphasis will be adding premium content that Samsung is looking to license from industry partners. Launched in 2015 as one of the first FAST services by a device manufacturer, Samsung TV Plus has nonetheless maintained a low profile, despite offering what is now more than 220 linear channels in the U.S., over 1,600 channels globally, and 50-plus O&Os spanning news, sports and entertainment. Continue reading Samsung TV Plus Targets Premium Content in FAST Relaunch

YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

YouTube is laying the groundwork to bring its YouTube Shorts to Google TV and Android TV. While the company’s take on TikTok’s vertically framed, quick-hit content has been enormously successful — racking-up as many as 30 billion views in one day on mobile devices this year — there is as yet no dedicated TV support for the phone-first format. That’s about to change according to reports filtering out of an internal partner event. While the meeting centered on Alphabet’s own smart TV formats, as a content-provider YouTube’s past practices have tended to platform agnosticism. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

Technology company Xperi has purchased Norway-based OTT software maker Vewd for $109 million. Xperi purchased TiVo for $3 billion in December 2019, with the goal of integrating TiVo’s video UX with its smart TV expertise. Xperi intends to compete with companies like Amazon, Comcast, Google and Roku for the “gatekeeper” position in the world’s connected-TV living rooms. The Vewd deal gives Xperi access to an installed European footprint of roughly 15 million devices that it plans to target for activation of TiVo+, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) service. Continue reading TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

Some streaming platforms are continuing to stream TV commercials even after viewers turn off their sets, costing brands an estimated $1 billion per year in wasted fees, according to new research. The news comes as streaming gains in popularity and premium services like HBO Max, Disney+ and Netflix dabble in ad-supported streaming tiers. A study by iSpot.tv and GroupM indicates roughly 17 percent of television ads playing through connected streaming devices are playing on a dark TV set, which is possible because when regular TVs are turned off that action isn’t always conveyed through HDMI ports. Continue reading Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

Paramount’s Pluto TV FAST Success a Streaming Case Study

As global streaming leader Netflix retools its business model to accommodate a less expensive, ad-supported subscription tier, the industry is turning its attention to FAST service (free ad-supported streaming television). It’s part of the process of accommodating linear television for the streaming age. Pluto TV, a division of Paramount Global, managed to hit the $1 billion revenue mark last year without any paying subscribers and tallied over 64 million monthly active users as of December 2021. Not too shabby for a service that was not taken very seriously when it launched on April Fool’s Day 2014. Continue reading Paramount’s Pluto TV FAST Success a Streaming Case Study

New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

Further to its goal of becoming a sort of Google-with-benefits for viewers who stream TV shows and movies across multiple platforms, Plex is reformatting its welcome screen to include a discover feature, universal search and universal watchlists. Rolling out in beta, the new Plex interface offers what amounts to personalized search-and-save “across virtually any streaming service,” from Plex’s own free movies and television series to subscription services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max. “As of today, Plex searches, personalizes, and organizes all of your content, no matter where that content lives,” the company announced. Continue reading New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

CES: TCL 8K QLED X925 Pro Comes in a Very Thin Package

TCL, the No. 2 TV-maker in the world after Samsung, raised the curtain on a new flagship model at CES 2022. The X925 Pro is a super-thin, 85-inch, 8K Google TV powered by the company’s own flavor of Mini-LED, featuring OD-Zero technology. Measuring just 10mm thick — half that of some competing models — the 8K display has local dimming, QLED color, a built-in webcam for video chats, 120Hz refresh rate and, to make gamers happy, variable refresh rate (VRR). The Google TV OS enables hands-free “Hey, Google” voice commands. The X925 Pro touts numerous high-end touches and has a $10,000 price to match. Continue reading CES: TCL 8K QLED X925 Pro Comes in a Very Thin Package

CES: Nuvyyo Showcases Its New Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad DVR

Canadian electronics and app firm Nuvyyo has introduced an ATSC 3.0-compatible over-the-air DVR that also receives existing OTA signals. The Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI hybrid DVR records up to four channels simultaneously and accepts external hard drives of up to 8TB. The Tablo connects to any TV antenna and television, monitor or modem with an HDMI port. However, unlike other Nuvyyo network DVRs this Tablo model does not support the live streaming or sharing to other displays of recorded OTA content. Nuvyyo says for optimum performance the Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad should be connected to a 4K HDR television. Continue reading CES: Nuvyyo Showcases Its New Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad DVR

CES: Samsung Reveals Gaming Hub, 55-Inch Curved Monitor

Samsung introduced its largest curved monitor ever, the 55-inch Odyssey Ark, which will come with a special stand, enabling it to rotate vertically when it is released Q3. The flexible and curved gaming screen debut came at the end of Samsung’s Gaming Hub presentation at CES, although immersive lifestyle applications (like workouts and movies) were also demonstrated in a socially responsible keynote themed “Together for Tomorrow.” The Gaming Hub will come with select 2022 Samsung monitors and TVs, and will include access to the cloud libraries of Nvidia GeForce, Google Stadia, Utomik and others as part of Samsung’s Bespoke smart TV menu due later this year. Continue reading CES: Samsung Reveals Gaming Hub, 55-Inch Curved Monitor

CES: Samsung Reveals Its Latest Smart TVs and M8 Monitor

Samsung is heading to CES this week with new smart TV features including its Gaming Hub and an NFT platform that integrates the purchase and trade of digital art and assets. The company is also introducing the 4K 32-inch M8 smart monitor, which like the M7 combines computer functionality with smart TV features such as preloaded streaming apps but bests its predecessor by adding a SlimFit camera for video calls and a SmartThings IoT hub that maps smart devices throughout the household and lets you control them from the monitor. The M8 price and release date has yet to be announced. Continue reading CES: Samsung Reveals Its Latest Smart TVs and M8 Monitor

Comcast’s Sky Glass 4K QLED Smart TV: The Pros and Cons

Sky Glass, the streaming television platform that Comcast offers European customers as an alternative to dish-delivered Sky Q, has begun generating reviews. Billed as a turn-key smart TV solution, Sky Glass features a 4K display, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, a built-in set-top-box and six-speaker Dolby Atmos. It also touts wake-word voice commands at the press of a button and multiscreen functionality via the Sky Stream Puck. However, as a walled garden Sky Glass is said to lack the versatility of Android TV or LG’s webOS TV platforms. Continue reading Comcast’s Sky Glass 4K QLED Smart TV: The Pros and Cons

Amazon Ships Its First Fire TV-Branded 4K Smart TV Models

The first Amazon-branded televisions are now available. The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series models start at $370, while the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series — which come Alexa-enabled for voice control — start at $410 for a device marketed as an all-in-one entertainment solution for streaming, subscription TV, gaming, music and more. Amazon’s branded TV launch comes as Comcast throws its hat in the ring with its XClass sets built by Hisense. They join an already vibrant field, with players including Apple, Google, Roku, TCL, Samsung, LG and Vizio competing for market share. Continue reading Amazon Ships Its First Fire TV-Branded 4K Smart TV Models

Comcast Launches Sky Glass Smart TV with Streaming in UK

Comcast’s European subscription service Sky has officially launched its anticipated smart TV set, Sky Glass, which allows customers to stream Sky and other content services over the Internet without a set-top box or satellite dish. Sky was acquired in 2018 by Philadelphia-based Comcast, which paid $39 billion for the European pay TV service. Sky Glass is currently available in 43-, 55- and 65-inch sizes in five colors — white, pink, green, blue and black. The televisions will be sold in the United Kingdom beginning October 18 with launches to other European markets starting next year. Continue reading Comcast Launches Sky Glass Smart TV with Streaming in UK