Ronnie05's Blog

Active TV through the Android OS

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on April 10, 2010

So how would you expect an Android TV to be different than the IPTVs and Satellite televisions of today? The answer is consumer engagement!

Scandinavia, the first fully interactive Full LED –HD OLED internet TV powered by Android was launched at IFA Berlin by Sweden’s People of Lava in sizes 42”,47” and 55”. Starting this summer selected early users will be able purchase and evaluate the Scandinavia TV through a beta-test program and discussions are already ongoing with potential future partners and developers for content and media. The innovation is seen as the fusion of the Android smartphone capabilities and a full HD LED TV.

So coming back to the first question: Android TV versus IPTV and other Satellite televisions. While Web TV is the future in making, simply replacing the laptop with a TVV screen is not adding any value to the proposition. Researches have pointed out to the fact of multitasking during the (passive) TV experience. The new TV experience is dynamic, reciprocal and certainly not passive, but combining the laptop and TV in media consumption without the burdens/difficulties of usage, can be a relevant middle-way to change TV behavior without being too disruptive.

Thus the People of Lava proclaim: “Watch TV, chat with your friends, play You-Tube clips, surf the net. This becomes a (dynamic) window to the world.”

Android platform and internet capabilities provide a wide range of functionalities, including Android TV applications such as YouTube, Google Maps, Weather, Time, Calendar, and Internet Browser. Users can download Apps, both free and from coming the Android marketplace and the People of Lava App-store. The Android TV provides access to social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and let you send email as well. It allows the user to surf the net, plan trips with Google Maps, It also has USB connections to use external storage and other features. From an application point of view, the Android TV will be interesting if the portfolio of applications is broad. Imagine TV viewing getting active with a thriving community of developers and App makers adding value to the whole equation.

Active TV viewing is here….

Profiling IPTV (Part IV): The Outlook on Indian Markets. A Billion Dollar Opportunity

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 5, 2010

Outlook

Wireless IPTV: Wireless IPTV also called ‘Quadruple Play’ is going to be a revolution in India. Launch of 3G and WiMax technology will bring about a huge change in the Indian market.

User generated content: IPTV is much ahead of DTH when it comes to user generated content. Exclusivity of content and differentiation will be key requirements for IPTV to be successful has gone beyond DTH potential to go beyond DTH when it comes to brining user interactivity believes that wireless IPTV is going to be a revolution in India. Launch of 3G and WiMax technology will bring about a huge change in the Indian market.
Interactivity: IPTV is all about interactivity, services from a cable or satellite operator are ‘pushed’ into your home. The user has limited choice and has to keep on surfing channels for variety. Cable TV is a one-way communication where as IPTV provides for a two-way communication. Users have complete control over the content they wishes to view. Content providers and operators will have to come up with more innovative interactive services to capture the imagination of Indian consumers.

Competitive environment: IPTV is not just restricted to telecom operators, globally leading cable operators have also aggressively marketed IPTV services to reach out to new customers. Cable operators can leverage their existing cable network infrastructure, existing customer base and customer reach to offer comprehensive and high quality services at affordable prices.

Recommendations

Indian operators providing IPTV services have not aggressively pushed and promoted IPTV like the way they have promoted DTH. The marketing efforts have been lacking to a great extent. Though BSNL has tried to some extent, the efforts are more of an evaluation strategy rather than a marketing strategy. A more focused marketing strategy would yield better results for these companies. Long term success will depend on Operators collaborating with content developers, content providers and VAS providers to offer unique customized customer centric content. Exclusive content, such as any sporting event exclusive rights, is another area where global operators have been able to push IPTV.
IPTV operators should leverage flexibility of IP platform to extend services to mobile platforms and develop effective approach for content acquisition. Operators need to build advanced services and offer more options for bundling with other services to improve value proposition. Web based and mobile video delivery by working on IPTV into a cross platform strategy could be a significant leverage available.

The Indian market could be the next billion dollar opportunity for the equipment providers for Global and Indian IPTV equipment providers. The need is to have innovation and technology to produce low cost customized set top boxes that can cater to Indian masses. Equipment makers will have to draw inspiration from mobile devices manufacturers like Nokia and to some extent healthcare device makers like GE who have learned the art of building low cost and quality products targeted at Indian consumers.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Profiling IPTV (Part III): Technology Challenges and Pricing in India

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on February 28, 2010

Technology Challenges: SDTV versus HDTV

Not all the available set-top boxes in India are scalable from standard definition to high definition technology. Most of the IPTV or DTH set-top boxes are just meant for SDTV. Customer has the choice to choose HD compatible set-top box and pay much more for it. In addition he needs to have high definition LCD, plasma TV, etc.


Validation from agencies globally that IPTV has a 4X-5X growth in the next 3-4 years.

Also one of the reasons why not many players are aggressively looking to promote IPTV services is because currently in India, TV program producers are not making programs in HD TV format.

The price drop in HDTV in India expected, as DishTV, Reliance BIG TV and Tata Sky satellite TV channel providers are having plan to start HDTV channels.

Experts say the push to HD TV has been prompted by the government’s decision that the 2010 Commonwealth Games will be broadcast only in high-definition. As a result, Doordarshan is also expected to launch HDTV on an experimental basis, has stated it will produce content for the Commonwealth in this format.

Sun Direct (DTH) is the only player either in DTH or IPTV or digital cable areas who is providing ‘Sun Direct HD’ which provides high definition broadcast service on the DTH platform in India. It provides two HD channel in India, both are movie channel and regional languages (Tamil and Telugu).

Technology Challenges: Network and Bandwidth

Challenges like robustness and scalability of IPTV technology. Choice of middleware platforms and video server architectures, changes in bandwidth requirements and availability and interoperability among enabling technology products are the key challenges to effectively delivering high-quality video services. The market is in its infancy and the more established commercial rollouts attracting limited take up. Growth of over-the-top (OTT) video consumption poses a particular challenge to the growth of IPTV, which shares many functional attributes with Internet video-such as time shifting, interactivity and on-demand program scheduling-but which currently still relies primarily on a subscription based revenue model.

Basic deployment challenges are classified as network issues like bandwidth drop offs that have a direct effect on video quality due to copper usage , operational issues like frequently updating routing tables, bandwidth issues and network management concerns and in home issues like wiring, interference, additional CPE requirements ,post installation requirement and multi-room DVR and HDTV requirement.

Pricing in India

Indian market is extremely sensitive to price and to succeed stakeholders will have to carefully price their services to win in a competitive environment. Currently, IPTV packages are aggressively priced. In fact some of the packages are at par with prices of DTH packages. However, cost of set top boxes are extremely high and needs to come down drastically to attract more subscribers. This can be the potential make or break for success of IPTV in the Indian market. The Indian market offers a great opportunity for set top box manufacturers for a long term growth. These manufacturers can look at innovative design models with low cost manufacturing capabilities to support mass demand from the Indian market. Companies would have to draw inspiration from mobile/handset manufacturers like Nokia, LG, Samsung, etc, who churned out low cost customized devices targeted at the Indian market. Globally companies are trying to integrate HDTV with a built-in set top box which acts as a multi compatible device that can support cable, DTH, and IPTV. The next wave of development in highly competitive markets like India and China might bring global innovation for IPTV.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Profiling IPTV (Part II): Key issues in IPTV implementation in India

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on February 26, 2010

The IPTV Value Chain

India’s first IPTV deployment was in 2006, when MTNL rolled out its IPTV service in Mumbai followed by BSNL. Other major players like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications were given the go ahead to launch their IPTV services in the Indian market in February 2008 by Trai. Airtel has launched its service in January 2009, while Reliance has launched their services in Mumbai.

However, India still has a long way to go before IPTV can pick up momentum like wireless communication or DTH services. India has a lot of problems that exists as a barrier for growth of IPTV in India.

Some of the key issues in IPTV implementation in India are:

Physical infrastructure: One of the biggest challenges India faces is the required infrastructure for growth of IPTV. India lacks the required high-speed wiring and copper cables and is still dependent on copper or coaxial cables for deployment of IPTV network. Some parts of the world have successfully shifted to optic fiber for deploying high quality IPTV services.

Broadband penetration: One of the biggest and most important factor for success of IPTV in any country is its infrastructure for broadband services and broadband penetration. India’s broadband penetration is one of the lowest in the world and the success of IPTV is directly dependant on broadband penetration. India’s broadband penetration rate is 2% (rate of Internet penetration of the total households). Although, it is expected to pick up pace in the coming years, advanced technologies like VDSL, WiMax or LTE can save the day for IPTV in India.

Network capability: IPTV requires at least 1.5 Mbps line (with MPEG-4) for basic services at a good QoS and 8 Mbps line (with MPEG-4) for HDTV services. Some part of the broadband networks, especially MTNL and BSNL networks are not ready yet. Most of the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, etc, are SDTV compatible this is largely due BSNL and MNTL network and these are the cities where BSNL and MTNL first launched its IPTV in India. Quality of service: India lacks the required infrastructure to support IPTV. Current subscribers have criticized the QoS offered by these companies.

Content readiness and cost: Content is critical for success of IPTV and to compete with DTH and cable operators IPTV service providers will have to provide high quality innovative content. With respect to content there are various costs which are involved and it totally depends on what route does the player take. It can be either fixed fee deal with broadcaster or Ala carte price per channel. Operators will have to offer services that are not being already provided by their competitor including live TV, video on demand (VOD) and digital video recorders (DVRs).

Cost of service for user: The cost of IPTV services offered are quite competitive but the cost of IPTV STBS is still very high. Cost of IPTV STBS will have to fall further, as they are more expensive than traditional DTH or Cable set top boxes

Regulatory framework: Some of the potential regulatory issues identified includes advertising: targeted advertising and advertisement less content delivery to allow next generation business models; time shifted TV: legal framework to support content storage, redistribution and super-distribution (for example, access from multiple devices); privacy: protect privacy of user content (with consideration for lawful intercept); piracy: provide a framework for detection and prosecution. Alternate models: watermarking, crawling, etc ; multimedia communications: triple play, voice, video and data regulations; and content classification: larger scale production.

IPTV ecosystem: IPTV infrastructure is not at par or as required for areas like broadband/transport infrastructure and technology, favorable regulations, customer understanding of product proposition, content readiness and cost, unified standards development and pricing and promotions

Tagged with: ,

Profiling IPTV (Part I): The next gen TV!

Posted in Industry updates, New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on February 25, 2010

IPTV on Global Stage

From its first deployments in 1999, IPTV has grown in strength, quality and numbers over the ten years of its existence. The estimated subscriber base was 23mn in 2008 which grew to 26.7 mn by 2009 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32% to 81mn by the end of 2013. In terms of service revenue, global IPTV market is $6.7 bn in 2009 and is expected to grow to $19.9 bn by 2013 as per industry estimates. Globally, there are around 120 IPTV service providers in over sixty countries, with Europe and the far eastern markets taking the top spots. Currently, Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, and Belgium are leading the pack in terms of IPTV penetration. By 2013, Europe and North America will generate a larger share of global revenue, due to low ARPUs in China and India, the fastest growing markets (and the biggest) in Asia.
Major developments over the last few years has led to IPTV foray into Asian countries. These include:
• Deployment of IPTV services over ADSL access on telephone wire or without internet/broadband connection
• Another major milestone for IPTV was approval of a new ITU standard that supports global rollout of IPTV services which would encourage many global IPTV service providers to look at the Indian market either to provide services directly or the cable operator route.

Globally, cable operators abroad are starting to deliver IPTV services over Docsis 3.0, a CableLabs platform that bursts data in excess of 100 Mbit/s.

The Indian IPTV Market

Indian IPTV market is at a nascent stage where it is being deployed over DSL, ADSL and ADSL2+ network infrastructure owned by operators like BSNL, MTNL, and Airtel. Interestingly state owned companies are aggressively promoting IPTV while private players (Airtel and Reliance) have kept a low profile. Recently BSNL and MTNL along with Smart Digivision (official franchisee for IPTV) announced ‘MyWay’ that will be launched in over fifty-four cities, the largest IPTV launch in the country. Smart Digivision plans to offer IPTV services to 1.6-1.7 mn broadband subscribers of BSNL and MTNL in these selected cities which comprise 80% of the country’s broadband subscriber base. Private players believe DTH is for masses and IPTV is for the classes. However, in the long run IPTV can become an ARPU driver.

The scenario for IPTV market in India is driven by certain factors like interactivity, value added services, customer end benefits, and fueling broadband demand. India still has a long way to go before IPTV can pick up momentum like wireless communication or DTH services. India has a lot of problems that exists as a barrier for growth of IPTV in India.
India is not only a potential market for IPTV, but can also become a hub for innovation and the next technological breakthrough in global IPTV market as is clearly evident from the amount of interest shown by biggies like Cisco, UTStarcom, CopperGate.

Tagged with: ,
%d bloggers like this: