IBC 2017: time for ubiquitous content in an IoT world

Every year, content providers find new ways to deliver interactive media seamlessly and securely to every device – and the advent of Internet of Things enabled devices is making this choice of device even wider. This leads to an overwhelming number of competing services and subscriptions, which in turn means consumers have to navigate numerous apps in order to watch their favorite content. In this situation, the simple operation of choosing what to watch becomes a challenge. This fragmented approach to multiscreen can be a great source of frustration for consumers, but operators can resolve this by aggregating all content sources and delivering them via a single application. I recently talked to Goran Nastic, editor of CSI Magazine, to discuss how multiscreen needed to evolve to offer this experience today.

Dr Neale Foster, Managing Director and COO of ACCESS Europe, interviewed by CSI Magazine Editor Goran Nastic
Dr Neale Foster, Managing Director and COO of ACCESS Europe, interviewed by CSI Magazine Editor Goran Nastic.

This unified approach to multiscreen is something forward thinking operators, such as Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) in India, have already started to adopt. Earlier this year, we announced that Jio had deployed ACCESS Twine™ to power its multiscreen service targeting 100 million subscribers across India. Beyond Jio’s own content, available in the cloud, the service provides access to the consumer’s personal library and external sources such as YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive and social media content in and out of the home.

This year we will be returning to IBC to explain how Jio has laid the foundations for the next generation of multiscreen services for operators all over the world, and how pay-TV operators can follow in their footsteps and offer a similar experience to consumers.

Our on-stand demonstrations at IBC 2017 (stand #14.D14) will include:

  • ACCESS Twine™: The solution increases stickiness to services, regardless of content and/or device. Platform-agnostic and built on industry standards, ACCESS Twine™ enables operators to combine all kinds of content sources, be it public, private or premium content in an effort to limit application hopping. The platform’s functionality extends to data aggregation and management, which enables operators to create, transfer, store and analyze relevant usage data of media consumption, behavior, and preferred devices.
  • NetFront™ Browser family: NetFront™ Browser solutions are high performance HTML5-capable software solutions that provide operators, Systems on Chips vendors and device manufacturers with solutions enhancing Chromium and WebKit HTML5 engines with support for HbbTV, Freeview Play, YouTube on TV 2017 and up to 4K and 8K services. The NetFront Browser solutions present and execute an application that is an associated collection of documents (typically JavaScript™, CSS and HTML) as well as the content from the broadcast DSM-CC Object Carousel to provide the consumer with the interactive services they now expect.

Alongside product demonstrations throughout the show, Dr. Fleming Lampi, Global Product Director at ACCESS, will also be taking part in a panel discussion entitled “Service design considerations for the multi-screen OTT world” in the Content Everywhere Hub (Hall #14.J10 – Sunday, September 17 at 15:30 – 16:15), Attendees to the panel discussion will be able to learn about the various elements to take into account when developing a multiscreen-friendly user experience and learn how to choose the right content protection solutions for their online video services.

Our solutions are deployed in over 1.5 billion devices. To learn more about our plans at IBC 2017 or to book an appointment with us at the show, please contact tv@access-company.com

How the Connected Car is Transforming In-Car Entertainment

This is the first of our Automotive focussed blogs on The Multiscreen Blog. These blogs will discuss current and upcoming trends, as the car becomes another channel for connected entertainment.

In the past, the purchase of a new car could also spell the end of the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer if the vehicle was not going to be ‘dealer maintained’. However, the advent of connectivity in the car with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) developments means that OEMs can now forge a closer bond with consumers.

The connected car era has enabled the vehicle to become a fully evolved ecosystem providing a richer user experience and a host of new product offerings such as advanced diagnostics, enhanced driving safety, voice recognition, automotive apps, regularly updated car firmware and rear seat entertainment. These new features are increasingly becoming integral in the buying process both for high end and midrange cars, and enable OEMs to increase monetization opportunities over the life span of the vehicle.

The consumer desire for increased connectivity can be partly attributed to the connected car’s ability to control cost by proactively addressing performance issues. For example, new services that allow easier identification of wear and tear ensure problems are easily addressed and solved. Receiving performance related insurance could help offer a fairer tariff system based on driver performance rather than age and ultimately ensure lower rates for many road users.

However, data has a bigger role to play in transforming the automotive industry. Data and analytics enable the car to automatically communicate levels of wear and tear, providing drivers with accurate information to share with mechanics without waiting for the compulsory car inspection. Efficiently aggregated and analysed, data can also help the industry to offer tailored advertising and media strategies. For example, a tyre company could advertise for its products directly via the head unit as soon as the car informs the driver that its tyres need changing. OEMs and Tier Ones have already shown their desire to protect this data through agreements on privacy and data security principles that regulate how automakers collect, use and share information.

Connectivity in the car will enable a greater range of services to become available. For example, rear-seat entertainment has moved from an OEM controlled experience to a more personalised one that integrates connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and more. This trend forecasts increased use of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in the car and the possible advent of ‘All seat entertainment’. An immediate consequence of Internet access everywhere and increased media consumption on every connected device has led to what is referred to as the ‘multiscreen era’ in the entertainment industry. In the multiscreen world, consumers demand a seamless experience on every device in and out of the home, and now even in their car. This creates additional challenges for OEMs and Tier Ones as they look to safeguard content on billions of different screens across the globe.

We created the first mobile web browser in the 1980s for NTT DoCoMo and we have seen the market evolve to offer more connectivity on every screen, from smartphones to game consoles and smart TVs. For us, it was only a matter of time before entertainment pervaded every aspect of our lives, including our cars.

Yet, to enable consumers to get a seamless experience everywhere, OEMs and Tier 1s need solutions that bring the latest connected entertainment experiences to the vehicle. This is why we have developed a suite of software products for the automotive industry including ACCESS Twine™, a multiscreen management platform that provides this seamless experience on any device. Furthermore, the solution can be deployed by any OEM and Tier 1 without additional developments, and caters for both embedded screen and BYOD offerings. A complete solution for the automotive sector, ACCESS Twine provides OEMs with full control over branding and the in-car experience.

We live in the age of automation in which we can talk to our phones and remotely pilot drones. It’s high time that the car industry implemented solutions that enable vehicles to become smarter in order to play a leading role in the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution that is taking off right now.

How IoT can be turned into a Secure and Personal Multiscreen Consumer Proposition

Over a short space of time, web technologies have evolved rapidly in order to create new immersive web experiences such as tailored web browsing, multiscreen TV and the mobile web. For example, the web has matured considerably since the first mobile web browser developed by ACCESS for NTT DoCoMo, and has played an integral role in transforming consumer interaction with devices. With the emergence of Internet-enabled devices including smart TVs, wearables and the connected car, operators looking to deploy multiscreen services have room to create immersive services spanning the entire connected device spectrum, which combine to create the Internet-of-Things (IoT). A recent Gartner report predicts that the number of connected devices will increase by 30% in 2015 to 4.9bn before growing fivefold to 25bn by 2020. Due to the sizeable scope of IoT, this article will focus on the Internet of Connected Entertainment.

From linear TV to multiscreen
A few decades ago, the TV was a dumb screen offering linear programming on a few channels. However, consumer adoption of Internet-enabled handheld devices such as smartphones provided the breeding ground for operators to bring interactivity into the connected home and radically transform the TV experience. The emergence of IoT has facilitated the increase in the number of devices used for ‘at-home’ entertainment. The average British household has six devices or more to watch content, allowing operators to create a fully immersive multiscreen experience both in and out of the home.

However, the increase in Internet-enabled devices has also caused security concerns around content transiting over the open Internet. With more devices connecting to the service, the risk of unauthorised access is on the rise and operators need to integrate robust support for Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions within their multiscreen solutions to offer ‘studio confident’ streaming that earns the studios’ trust.

By deploying solutions that can ‘trans-crypt’ different types of CA and DRM systems on the fly, operators can secure the delivery of any type of content to any screen within the home via the home gateway, reducing the need to invest in cloud infrastructure. Additionally, using the in-home network increases quality of service, while limiting the risk of that content being accessed or streamed illegally over the Internet. Content can also be downloaded in the appropriate format to companion devices such as smartphones and tablets, opening the door to video consumption out of the home, and it’s likely that wearables and the connected car will enable TV Everywhere to truly emerge.

An important part of the explosion in IoT will be down to the connected car, according to recent Gartner research. A new report states that one in five vehicles will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, accounting for more than a quarter of a billion cars across the globe. Bringing connectivity to the car is the first step for OEMs and integrators to offer video content in the confines of the vehicle, enabling TV services to extend to any environment.

Processing data in multiscreen, multi-device environment
This multiplicity of connected devices inside and outside of the home leads to a host of challenges for operators, including offering a seamless experience on all devices. As consumers now expect a single service spanning the entire connected home, it is imperative for operators to create a familiar UX (User experience) across all supported browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, device types and interaction methods. Integrating solutions that support HTML5 and the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and Media Source Extensions (MSE) can help operators to develop this seamless UX including a security framework on all screens automatically.

While providing a seamless experience is a pre-requisite for operators, constant access to web browsing and social media has led to a tremendous increase in the amount of data produced and shared by consumers. This has triggered increased subscriber demand for personalised services that are accessible on every device everywhere. Recent research from BI Intelligence predicts that IoT will contribute to $1.7 trillion in value added to the global economy in 2019, demonstrating considerable opportunities for operators looking to deploy large-scale multiscreen services both in and out of the home.

Operators are increasingly looking for solutions that automatically aggregate and analyse data to help them better understand subscriber behaviour, the types of devices used to watch content and more. They need to be able to offer more targeted services and content, including tailored advertising on multiple platforms and better search and discovery options. It is clear that data and analytics will play an integral role in determining the future of multiscreen and it is those operators who can be entrusted with their subscribers’ personal data and utilize it to tailor services that will benefit from multiscreen connectivity.

The article was by-lined to Dr Neale Foster, COO and VP Global Sales, ACCESS

Dr Neale Foster is COO and VP Global Sales at ACCESS, a global provider of advanced software technologies to the automotive, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and digital TV markets. Since 1984, ACCESS has provided advanced software solutions and services for over 1.5 billion mobiles, smartphones and tablets, connected TVs and set-top boxes. ACCESS will be demonstrating its multiscreen product portfolio including ACCESS Twine™, the NetFront™ Browser series and NetFront™ Living Connect at TV Connect at the ExCeL in London on April 28-30 (stand 93)

This article was originally published on www.tvbeurope.com

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