For all the talk of pioneering technology like virtual reality, AI, blockchain and 5G, IBC 2018 illustrated the profound trajectory of the industry from broadcast to unicast. It’s one in which channels will pop-up or pop-down at the click of a button with the cloud playing an increasingly prominent role.
If it wasn’t already clear from the all UHD HDR FIFA World Cup, it should be clear from the show floor and conference debate here at IBC2018 that the industry is seeing real momentum in 4K UHD content. As a result, the need for robust protection and tracking of high value content is even more important and this is the main driver for watermarking.
Previously, a common model for IoT devices was to build, ship and forget. This has resulted in a flood of unsecured consumer devices in homes and a challenge in retrofitting security. There is an opportunity in smart home products with strong safety features and Pay TV operators are in a decent position to capitalize on the smart home potential by building on the solid relationship they have with customers.
In recent times, Google has begun to make serious, some might say game-changing in-roads, into the middleware market. So much so that Android TV (Operator Tier) is arguably the middleware that is on the fastest track to growth.
Here are some key take-aways from IBC 2017.
8K approaches normalization
The security of 4K UHD content is currently high on the agenda of content owners everywhere and 8K is already coming into view on the horizon. After more than a decade of development and regular appearances in IBC’s Future Zone, NHK is approaching the finishing line with its 8K broadcasting system.
Cable companies, pay TV operators and telcos are often called service providers for the principal reason that they are not selling media and entertainment – they are selling a service. One of the most valuable assets they hold is a direct physical link into people’s homes and an ongoing monthly billing relationship.
From a pure business perspective that means anything a service provider can leverage to boost bandwidth usage and ARPU is fair game.
The threat of illegal content redistribution really cannot be underestimated. That’s the consensus from yesterday’s IBC Conference technical paper session on cyber and content security.
So let’s look at some facts – according to Irdeto data from late last year, there were more than 2.7 million advertisements on e-commerce websites, including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba for illicit content streaming devices.
Crossing the showfloor at IBC 2017 this week will be CTOs of telcos and pay TV providers from Europe and beyond, diligently investigating whether to deploy their service on Android TV. They would be in good company. As of mid-2017, Irdeto reports more than 20 well-known deployments around the world.
Undeniably part of the attraction is the middleware’s support for both broadcast and OTT services.
The hacking of HBO may have stolen the headlines recently, and the unauthorized script, tweets or leak of high value content is of clear concern. But the industry also continues to have revenues threatened on a daily basis from illegal premium live streams. Live sports is content that is among the most targeted, particularly top-tier football, but premium sports across the board are risk.
Take the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight…
Contrary to popular belief, pay TV remains remarkably robust across Europe and, according to analysts Futuresource Consulting, the reason why is the user experience.
In its latest ‘Living With Digital’ consumer research report, Futuresource states that across all major European territories, the most important reason given for continuing with a pay TV subscription was ease of use and a wide range of channels.