Why a hybrid approach is vital to future-proofing your in-car entertainment system

The pace of change in software development is incredibly fast, and it’s becoming increasingly complex. As cars become more software-focused, the need to update car software regularly will increase. It will become as natural as updating software on a smartphone. This need will be even more acute in in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and in-car entertainment, which are growing in influence on purchasing decisions. In this blog, I’ll outline what this means in practice.

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Newly launched DLNA CVP-2 guidelines remove the multiscreen device fragmentation roadblock

Last week, the DLNA announced the official publication of the new CVP-2 guidelines, which were developed by service providers in conjunction with some of the world’s largest CE manufacturers and technology suppliers including Comcast, Cox and Samsung. The aim of the new guidelines, which we discussed in January, is to enable operators to launch truly interoperable multiscreen services, responding to an increase in consumer demand for TV Everywhere. In light of the staggering number of DLNA certified products (336 million DLNA Certified smartphones expected to be sold in 2014 according to the DLNA), it is clear that the official launch of the guidelines comes at the right time. DLNA Certified Device growth is due to reach 7.32 billion by 2018, providing exciting opportunities for operators.

CVP-2 preserves content provider rights and ensures interoperability through protected streaming by leveraging DTCP-IP, which allows access to subscription TV throughout the home and across all enabled devices. This unique specification ensures that content can be shared securely between devices in a user’s home. However, it also ensures third parties outside of this network cannot access it. By providing ‘studio confident’ security, operators enable content owners and copyright holders to remain in control of the media sharing experience.

From a consumer perspective, it enables the seamless streaming of content to a multitude of compatible devices, allowing them to enjoy the full range of high quality content including HD programmes, movies, DVR content, channel guides, and other premium features on any screen in the home. Consumers now want the ability to watch premium content while moving from one room to the next, allowing technologies supporting HTML5 to come to the fore as they offer remote user interfaces that fit every screen. This enables operators to deliver a seamless experience across all screens, meaning that the user can start watching content on the living room screen and enjoy it as the consumer moves from one room to the next. The new guidelines, backed up by one of the most efficient standardisation organisations in the industry, empower operators by enabling them to deliver services that comply with both content providers’ and consumer demand.

CVP-2 provides many advantages for operators, which can be utilized to deploy multiscreen. These include:

– leveraging standardised technologies such as HTML Remote User Interfaces (RUI), HTTP adapted delivery and authentication to combine with current DTCP-IP Link Layer Protection
– ensuring that networked devices are green and conserve energy in line with power regulations and DLNA’s own voluntary initiatives. There is a built in mechanism for DLNA devices to display energy management functionalities for each of its network interfaces
–  catering for remote diagnostics and optimises the consumer viewing experience by including support for MPEG-DASH, an adaptive delivery technology for high-quality streaming which can deal with any bandwidth variation on the home network. It can support the adaptive delivery of content based on MPEG-2 TS and MP4 formats as well as for 3D video media format profiles and the modifications needed to allow the smooth insertion of advertisements.

ACCESS will demonstrate CVP-2 integration on the CableNET booth at the Cable Show in San Francisco (April 29th – May 1st).

Parks Associates examines multiscreen video security challenges in new white paper

Parks Associates Whitepaper
A new Parks Associates white paper, “New Market Realities in Content Delivery”, looks at the security challenges that need to be faced before multiscreen is ready for primetime.

Parks comments that: “in an arena where content has seemingly ruled, consumers, instead, are the driving force.”

The paper looks at how security and multiscreen interacts for operators, the content industry and the consumer. A key finding in the Park Associates paper is that :”Smart TV manufacturers will hold a prime seat at the table if they develop a future- proof roadmap that allows for affordable upgrades to their own technology.”

Parks also provide a reminder that usability is key, stating: “While the evolution of connected CE devices causes consumers to expect to view the content of their choice on any device, at any time, and anywhere, the multiple options threaten to create an environment that is too technologically difficult for the average consumer to navigate.”

If you would like to receive a complimentary copy of the white paper, please visit: http://eu.access-company.com/whitepaper-download.html

IHS Screen Digest report puts multiscreen monetization under the microscope

At ACCESS we are producing solutions to drive the success of multiscreen deployments. We are also aware that the business models to drive multiscreen are not yet solid – so to help drive multiscreen monetization debate forward we asked IHS Screen Digest to look at the issues surrounding monetization. The result is a white paper ‘Unlocking and Securing Multiscreen’s Monetization Potential’, now available at http://mediapilot.access-company.com/screendigest.html.

The IHS Screen Digest paper sites ‘insurance’ as the main driver of present multiscreen deployments, with monetization some time I the future. IHS Screen Digest states this as follows: “Pay-TV multiscreen is not a reaction to eroding subscription bases, or revenue loss in the present. It is a form of insurance, and secures the future where consumers continue to purchase high-value pay-TV subscriptions.  … In pivoting their extensive content offers beyond the set-top, operators can protect the future of the subscription income stream, place subscriber acquisition on firm footing, and monetise wide- reaching content distribution in proactive, incremental fashion.”
In addition, the report identifies the three following technologies as key to driving multiscreen success: DLNA, HTML5 and security.

Key findings of the report include:

  • OTT has so far had little or no discernible impact on subscriber numbers (see graph below)
  • OTT is not affecting marginal revenues from operators’ advanced services
  • Consumers content spend is still predominantly on Pay-TV subscriptions
  • DLNA, HTML5 and security are the three key technologies key to multiscreen success

Our work in producing DLNA and HTML5 solutions and our collaboration with CAS/DRM partners means that we’re playing a key role in all three technologies that IHS Screen Digest identifies as at the heart of enabling the multiscreen revolution.

Although the report finds little hard evidence of OTT yet hurting the TV operators, when I’m talking to customers they are pretty sure that Pay-TV VoD buy rates are lower when a consumer has OTT. Our research also suggests that OTT ARPU is in almost all cases considerably greater than incremental Pay-TV VoD ARPUs.

Putting together what the report says with what I’m hearing anecdotally it’s clear that Pay-TV operators are in a strong position. However, it’s critical that they guard against OTT chipping away at their customer base and VoD revenues. The best way to do that is by deploying powerful DLNA and HTML5 powered VoD, OTT, multiroom and multiscreen services that at least match their OTT rivals in terms of both usability and content breadth. If they can do that their natural advantages of existing strong content relationships, scale, QoS and customer care combined with the cross marketing and discounting they can offer to cross-sell VoD and OTT services to their existing customers will ensure that Pay-TV operators will continue to prosper relative to their OTT rivals.

 Joerg Eggink
Global Product Director, Connected Home
ACCESS Europe GmbH

Introducing the Multiscreen Blog

I would like to introduce you to the ACCESS Multiscreen blog here at http://nord.themultiscreenblog.com.w01d64c1.kasserver.com/. We think there are a number of reasons why this is a really great time to launch a blog looking at the business and technical issues surrounding the monetization of multiscreen. Most operators agree that they want and need to deploy multiscreen services and consumer demand is clearly there for access to content on all devices and at locations. But there are a number of issues – and it’s these we want to talk to you about.

Almost every operator is thinking very carefully about the business models of multiscreen – we asked IHS Screen Digest to look into this, if you would like to know more please visit http://mediapilot.access-company.com/screendigest.html. Security is another issue that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Multiscreen needs security that’s widely available, doesn’t interfere with the way consumers want to share consume content and is secure enough to satisfy the content studios’ understandably high security requirements. We call this ‘studio confident’ security and we’re working with CAS vendors to be able to provide the market with highly functional multiscreen solutions that combine the power of DLNA, HTML5 with the security of CAS.

I hope you decide to sign up for our blog, which you can do simply by subscribing at the bottom of the page. I look forward to me and other team members writing blogs moving forward and I want to stress that we really do want to have a dialogue rather than just telling you what we think. So if you would like to respond to our blogs or say something else about multiscreen, please do get in touch by writing your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay updated and follow us on twitter @access_europe , and learn more on LinkedIn .

Best regards,
Dr. Neale Foster
VP Sales, Marketing & Strategy for TV

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