Previously customers were able to use Sky Go Extra to watch Sky content offline, but this is the first time it has been able to stream on the go, without the customer eating into their data allowance.
Sophia Ahmad, Director of Sky Mobile, said: “We launched Sky Mobile to connect our customers to more of what they love. Streaming films and TV shows on-the-go is now one of the most popular ways to pass time while travelling or commuting – and our new Watch offer makes it easier for our customers to stay up to date with the unmissable must-watch television, from Game of Thrones to F1 races, that we know our customers love.”
Watch is available to all Sky Mobile customers, though the precise nature of the content depends on which Sky package the customer has signed up to.
Research from Openwave Mobility has found that over the past five years, video on mobile networks has grown on average 50-60% year-on-year (YoY), while in many developing markets, the rate is more than twice this.
The findings are part of the latest Mobile Video Index (MVI), now in its third edition. Along with live data from over 30 mobile operators globally, the latest edition of the MVI also features insight from the Mobile Video Industry Council, an industry group that includes BT, EE, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, MTS, Telus, KPN, Orange and Vodafone.
Along with the phenomenal growth in mobile video, the MVI examines mobile data traffic patterns – which are highly irregular, making it almost impossible for operators to plan ahead. For example, the report documents how one of the largest operators in the world has a ratio of peak to average traffic of over three times, while another operator sees 80% of the day’s traffic in just two hours – straining the Radio Access Network (RAN) to the limit and impacting subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE).
Traffic volumes with high resolution videos will grow exponentially with 5G, and forecasts from the Mobile Video Industry Council show that 90% of 5G traffic will be video. In such an environment, QoE becomes a delicate balancing act for operators that have to juggle video picture quality with video delivery quality. The MVI reports on this and provides insight on the effective use of key performance indicators (KPIs) by some operators on aspects such as buffering versus higher resolutions.
“5G is not just another G” according to both Analysys Mason and ABI Research, both of which held roundtables at the Mobile Video Industry Council. They explained how 5G deployments will shape the way video services evolve. The MVI also reports on the unique perspective of 5G’s video capabilities from two major OTT organizations, Hulu and BT Sport. Both organizations outline how 5G provides the capability for completely new premium video services over mobile. The report summarizes strategies to build OTT partnerships using premium video and advertising, as all ecosystem players fight to be at the heart of the new mobile video ecosystem.
“Operators have invested billions in 5G, but it is not the panacea that some think it is,” said Matt Halligan, CTO and Head of Engineering at Openwave Mobility.
“5G will open the door to even more competition – from new categories of players – and the promise of low latency means AR and VR services will be high on the menu for subscribers. QoE is already hard to manage, and immersive video services are 33x more data intensive than 480p video. So, unless operators have a robust strategy to differentiate their service, they could be sleepwalking into a 5G nightmare.”
The enhanced SDK now also includes HEVC support, real-time analytics, as well as multiple ad solutions support. including Facebook Audience Network (FAN).
Kaltura’s Cloud TV Platform SDK is already in use – powering 20 million views per day, and supporting over 6,000 different types of Android devices – in cloud TV deployments by Tier 1 operators and media companies, including PJSC VimpelCom, which in September 2018 launched its mobile TV service, Beeline TV, powered by Kaltura.
“The essence of Cloud TV is ensuring that whenever a person wants to watch TV, they simply can, at the highest quality, regardless of the device they choose or their location. As mobile video consumption continues to grow, we at Kaltura have been working on the state-of-the-art technology behind-the-scenes that makes this possible,” said Dr. Shay David, Kaltura Co-founder, president and general manager, Media and Telecom.
“At Kaltura, we relentlessly innovate to find new ways to ensure that subscribers, no matter where they might be, enjoy amazing TV service quality. This new generation of our Mobile SDK ensures that mobile viewing is a superior
Kaltura’s new playback optimization solution for mobile viewing was developed by monitoring internet connectivity data at the network level in addition to device and player-level data.
This monitoring enables Kaltura’s mobile SDK to dramatically shorten load and handshake time, thus delivering a smoother and faster video start time. This new solution will be particularly relevant in emerging markets which may have slower mobile network connections. It will also be a major boost to viewing of primetime events with high
levels of simultaneous viewers.
In addition, Kaltura’s new Mobile SDK version now supports HEVC and provides real-time analytics such as indications of join time, play failures, time spent on the service and more, helping the TV service provider optimize and accelerate their business decisions.
Kaltura’s Mobile SDK also now supports multiple advertising solutions, including Facebook Audience Network (FAN) Facebook ads, and Google AdManager.
Vodafone Deutschland and regional public broadcaster WDR will test how TV and video-on-demand (VOD) content can be broadcast via 5G in Germany.
The offer is to be transmitted in HD quality and received via an app on mobile devices. WDR will distribute its content through a 5G test system which Vodafone intends to activate directly at a TV production facility for the first time.
The possibility of receiving the TV and VOD content is to be tested in the course of the year – with the help of dedicated software – on a smartphone or tablet with 5G support that is still in product development stage. The trial is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2020.
Initially, the partners will test the data transmission at the 5G Lab in Düsseldorf and at the 5G Mobility Lab in Aldenhoven. Next year, the trial will be extended to the city centre of Cologne, using Vodafone’s 5G network on the WDR campus.
In Bavaria, regional public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk and partners have launched a trial for TV transmissions via 5G in December 2018.
The announcement was made today by Flix Snip founder and CEO Sebastien Perioche.
Flix Snip features short format entertainment content, 20 minutes or less, in all genres, including drama, animation, children’s, family, comedy, science fiction and horror. Flix Snip on Rostelecom will feature 200 short form movies at launch with 20 new titles, films and series, to be added monthly. Curated from distributors and filmmakers around the globe, content will be localised and dubbed in Russian language.
“We’re delighted to expand Flix Snip to Russia on Rostelecom. Our service provides engaging short form filmed content, perfect for Russian consumers as their viewing habits evolve and as they are migrating to multiple devices and multiple screens for shorter form entertainment,” comments Perioche.
“Flix Snip will definitely add significant value to Rostelecom’s current offerings, by providing premium content in a wide variety of genres, with something for all ages and the entire family to enjoy during the short breaks in their lives.”
Flix Snip’s launch on Rostelecom is the first of several launches in the territory, with more partners to be announced soon.
Apple takes 30% of revenue for third-party app sales through its iTunes App Store. For subscription services, the cut drops to 15% on renewals after the first year.
The measure only applies to new subscribers to Netflix, or when people temporarily stop their subscription and resume their subscription. Existing members can continue to use iTunes for renewal payments.
The Netflix app will continue ue two be available on the iTunes Store.
Last May, Netflix made the same move with Alphabet’s Google Play Store for subscribers using Android devices.
As they result, they can now watch almost 150 TV channels, of which 60 are in HD, as well as use 7-Day Replay TV and the online MyPrime video library either directly through a TV with a built-in Android operating system or via a connected multimedia device, the Android TV box.
All customers of UPC digital TV get Horizon Go mobile TV at no additional cost within their pre-paid package.
Commenting on the development, Clemens Kruse, CCO, UPC Broadband Slovakia, said: “UPC, as one of the leading providers of innovative digital TV, internet and telephone services in Slovakia, registers a constantly growing interest of customers in applications such as Android TV. With this innovation, we respond to the real needs of our customers and continue to make watching TV even more enjoyable and easier for them. Applications make it easy to use mobile TV services such as Horizon Go, which offers a number of innovative and interactive services, such as the 7-Day Replay TV or video library with over 2,000 movie and series titles”.
A transmitter from German technology company Rohde & Schwarz successfully went into operation at the Wendelstein transmitter site of Bavarian public broadcaster BR on December 4, 2018 as part of the 5G Today research project.
In addition, fellow project partner Kathrein completed an antenna test operation at BR’s transmitter site in Ismaning near Munich.
The introduction of 5G will open up a worldwide market with millions of smartphones and tablets acting as potential TV receivers able to combine live TV, catch-up and on-demand services, social networks and other media application, according to the project partners.
“With 5G Broadcast, a new, very efficient distribution method is currently being created to provide stationary and, above all, mobile users with high-quality linear and hybrid channels and services,” said Helwin Lesch, head of BR’s distribution and controlling department. “BR is particularly interested in the possibility of broadcasting radio and TV channels via 5G. The 5G-HTHP technology allows widescale distribution of content in the existing broadcast frequency range. No additional frequency spectrum is required for this.”
LTE Broadcast, also known as FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service), was specified in 3GPP Release 14 in June 2017. It defines new options for broadcasting to LTE-enabled mobile user equipment such as smartphones and tablets. For the first time, the upgraded standard allows high-power high-tower (HPHT) applications in downlink only mode while utilising the full signal bandwidth for multicast/broadcast applications. Moreover, 3GPP Release 14 defines an extended cyclic prefix (guard interval) and modes to enable operation without SIM cards, which is necessary for broadcast applications.
The R&S THU9evo high-power transmitter with a transmission power of 5 kW (100 kW ERP) and the specially developed antenna from German technology company Kathrein are part of the LTE Broadcast test transmission. The Rohde & Schwarz FeMBMS transmission addresses broadcast applications for video and IP data in HPHT topologies with bandwidths of 5 MHz and 10 MHz. The transmitter receives the reference and configuration data via 3GPP-conform protocols from an LTE EPC (Evolved Packet Core). The research project uses the Rohde & Schwarz broadcast service and control centre R&S BSCC that contains all necessary EPC functions. The broadcast services are provided by BR and transferred to the R&S BSCC via an R&S AVHE100 headend.
The transmitters in Ismaning and on the Wendelstein mountain form a Single Frequency Network (SFN), which is to enable mobile and portable reception in the greater Munich area as well as on the main traffic routes between Munich and Salzburg. Kathrein developed a special antenna for the transmission of diversity signals for the transmitter station in Ismaning. 12 UHF antenna fields were installed at a height of 200 meters. The project also included the installation of a 370-metre long, arm-thick HF transmission cable. Another Rohde & Schwarz high-power transmitter with 7 kW output power for 100 kW ERP is to be connected to the antenna at the end of January 2019. The test broadcasting network will then be prepared for the measurements.
The 5G field trial is established in Germany as part of the Bavarian research project 5G Today. The project is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation. Under the leadership of the Institute for Broadcast Technology (IRT), project partners Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz are investigating large-scale TV broadcasts in the FeMBMS mode over 5G broadcast networks. The project is supported by Telefónica Germany and ARD’s Bavarian affiliate BR, who is providing two HPHT sites near Munich for this field trial.
The announcement was made at the platform’s annual Outside the Box industry event at BAFTA.
The app, an example of much discussed PSB and industry collaboration, provides viewers with a one-stop-shop for the country’s most watched TV shows. Through the iOS app viewers will be able to stream live channels from BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and access on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play. Further catch up players and live streams will be added in due course. As with all Freeview products, the app is completely free to use with no download fee and no subscription. An Android version will launch in early 2019.
The announcement marks a significant step for the UK’s largest TV platform. For the first time viewers will be able to watch live Freeview programming without having to access an aerial allowing the platform to deliver against the different ways consumers now want to access content. It’s hoped the app will follow in the success of Freeview in the home, to become the bedrock of Britain’s TV viewing on the go.
The feature-rich app will allow viewers to search through both live and on demand content from the supported players helping them find their favourite shows. The Recommendations feature will also help viewers discover new favourites across the suite of supported on demand players.
The new service has only been made possible through the collaboration between Digital UK and Freeview’s common shareholders, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva, who led the software build. Digital UK, which leads on the product specification and technical development worked hand in hand with Freeview on the app.
Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK said, “In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, the new Freeview mobile app is an excellent example of broadcaster and industry collaboration in action. Today’s viewers value having access to their favourite shows when and where they want and the new app provides the aggregated experience that consumers increasingly expect from a TV provider. We’re putting the best of free-to-air content – public service and commercial – in to one place on mobile just as we have on TV, ensuring that great free tv is available to everyone wherever they are”.
Arqiva acted as technology partner to DUK by developing both the app and integrating it with the Content Providers’ metadata feeds.
This projection is based on current trends and the upward trajectory of mobile video traffic, which has grown more than 50% year-on-year.
The Council meeting at their inaugural gathering discussed recent trends in mobile video traffic and content, and operator concerns over RAN capacity, service differentiation and Quality of Experience.
Growth in volumes of video traffic was, unsurprisingly, a major discussion point. What is surprising is the reason for this growth. For most operators, growth in mobile video from 2010 to 2015 came as a result of increased video watch times. But, since 2015, growth in mobile video has come significantly as a result of a move to higher bandwidth HD content, rather than greater watch time only. This has also meant higher levels of obfuscated encryption protocols such as QUIC (Google) and 0-RTT (Facebook and Instagram) flooding the network impeding operators’ ability to deliver a consistent QoE. The Council, including Tier 1 mobile operators Deutsche Telekom, EE, KPN, MTS, Orange, Telefonica, Telus and Vodafone, in fact debated the conflicting components of QoE i.e. Quality of Delivery (reduced buffering) versus Quality of Picture (resolution) and the implications.
A special OTT content providers’ session with Hulu and BT Sport shed light on the problems of shoe-horning TV content into mobile and the launching of new companies developing new video content “made for mobile”. The Council also highlighted the stress placed on networks by live events, especially sporting occasions, such as Russia 2018. Here data consumption during a match was found to be double the data consumed during the “busy hour” for the remainder of the year.
John Giere, President and CEO of Openwave Mobility said: “When 4G was launched, it was all about mobility and connectivity. 4G provided the impetus for companies like Uber, Waze and Spotify. 5G will have far more data intensive services that operators may struggle to grapple with. For example, Augmented Reality can be 33x more data intensive than 480p video, and once 5G comes to the fore, it is expected that OTT services will have more subscribers than pay TV customers.”
Openwave Mobility launched the Council for mobile operators to determine strategies to manage video on 4G and 5G networks. Industry analysts from ABI Research, Analysis Mason and Strategy Analytics held interactive roundtables on 5G, NFV and the RAN.
The Apple TV App, pre-installed on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, bundles the content of media libraries and streaming services and is designed to make it easier for users to access their preferred video content from different providers.
Arte content was already available via the Arte app via iOS and Android as well as the distribution channels Smart TV, HbbTV, Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV in addition to the Arte media library (www.arte.tv).
The Arte content can be found in the Apple TV App via the search function or with the help of Siri. To increase visibility, selected Arte content is also highlighted in various categories on the app’s homepage. To play the videos, users are redirected to the Arte app. Since the application is synchronised across the different Apple devices, users can seamlessly continue watching videos started at home on the go. Favourite films and documentaries can also be shared with friends directly from the app.
The Arte content in the Apple TV App is initially only available for users in Germany and France. The availability and highlighting of content subtitled in English, Spanish, Italian and Polish in other countries will take place at a later date.
[WATCH VIDEO] Switzerland’s largest cable operator UPC will introduce the new Ultra HD/4K-capable digital receiver UPC TV Box on October 4, 2018.
The device, which replaces the current Horizon series, is designed as a multiscreen platform combining linear TV channels, on-demand services and mobile television.
At the heart of the new user interface is a self-learning voice control system. The box also features personal recommendations based on the user’s viewing habits.
The basic TV package comprises over 240 channels including exclusive sports channel MySports One. Netflix, YouTube and Sky Sport are integrated as apps. The offer can be expanded to almost 500 TV channels through additional options.
Using the UPC TV app, viewers can seamlessly switch back and forth between the TV set, smartphone and tablet and continue watching the currently running TV programme.
The cloud storage offers space for 2,000 hours of recordings – regardless of the quality (SD/HD/4K). Other functions include 7-day replay, live pause, forward and rewind as well as a video-on-demand service.
Its video library contains over 20,000 hours of art and documentary films, serials and entertainment shows produced by the media group. Viewers using the app can watch live broadcasts of the group’s seven channels – 1+1 International, 1+1, 2+2, Tet, PliusPlius, Bigudi and Unina TV – as well as ZIK, UA: First, Public TV, Channel 24 and Channel 8, which are produced by broadcasting partners.
Furthermore, subscribers to the Bezlim Video package offered by the mobile operator Kyivstar will have free access to the app and not be charged for data.
Commenting on the development, Anna Tkachenko, director of pay-per-direction at 1+1 Media, said: “We see increased consumption of content on mobile devices, so we want to develop monetisation of this type of platform. So far, we are working on an advertising model, but in the near future we will launch a paid subscription. It is important for us to give our viewers the choice and convenient format of content fees. So in the future, this product will have two models of monetisation – advertising and paid subscription. If our calculations work, then next year we will release a version for smartphones with IOS”.
Andorra Telecom, the national telco of the Principality of Andorra, has opted for a remote control developed by Austrian company Ruwido to enhance the user experience.
The remote control was especially tailored to the needs of the user interface of Andorra Telecom in terms of key mapping, printing and look and feel, enabling seamless interaction.
Bluetooth over the air update support ensures that users always have high quality control and navigation capabilities.
“We’re committed to delivering next-generation IPTV services for our customers, and that includes how they interact with their favourite content,” said Carles Casadevall, B2C Marketing Manager, Andorra Telecom. “By partnering with Ruwido we’re enabling Andorra’s citizens to easily connect to and enjoy TV services.”
Andorra Telecom is the company exclusively providig universal public telecommunications service to the Principality of Andorra including IPTV, broadband and LTE mobile services for consumers and enterprises.
The M7 TV app enables users of webOS-based LG TV sets to access linear and non-linear TV content in HD quality through a central user interface and without the need of a set-top-box. Furthermore, it offers interactive features such as live restart, pause TV and access to media libraries as well as digital services like cloud recording and an electronic programme guide (EPG).
The M7 app will be available on all LG TV sets starting from 2015 (webOS 3.0). In addition to accessing entertainment and digital services on the TV screen, M7 also provides access to these services via an app on mobile devices, enabling a seamless viewing experience when switching between the various screens.
The TV app cooperation between M7 and LG will kick off in Germany where M7 recently launched Diveo as a new TV consumer brand, targeting around 18 million DTH satellite households through Astra (19.2° East), enriching the linear TV offering with a range of interactive and multiscreen features. Cooperations in other M7 markets will follow shortly and will include various co-marketing activities, according to the platform operator.
“We are delighted about the cooperation with such an experienced, innovative and market leading player like LG, recognising the potential of the integrated M7 smart TV application at this early stage. With the M7 CI+ module integrated in the TV set, LG TV users will benefit from an even wider range of exciting TV viewing functions,” said Hans Troelstra, CEO of M7 Group.
The agreement with LG follows the integration of the M7 TV app into Samsung smart TV sets announced in May 2018.
(On the picture Frits van Ravensteijn, LG Director Consumer Electronics Benelux, Andrei Noppe, M7 EVP Technical Operations,. Bill Wijdeveld M7 VP Business Development and Jay Koo, LG Director HE Content Business Development)
German technology company Rohde & Schwarz has initiated the world’s first dynamic single-frequency network (SFN) with FeMBMS signals in the lab.
The trial takes place within the framework of the 5G Today research project and in cooperation with the Institute for Communications Technology of the Braunschweig Technical University.
LTE Broadcast, also known as Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (FeMBMS), was specified in 3GPP Release 14 in mid-2017. The upgraded standard defines new options for broadcasting to LTE-enabled mobile user equipment such as smartphones and tablets. For the first time, it allows high power high tower (HPHT) applications in downlink only mode.
The new features make it possible to utilise the full signal bandwidth for multicast/broadcast applications. Moreover, 3GPP Release 14 defines an extended cyclic prefix (corresponding to the guard interval in DVB-T/T2) and modes to enable operation without SIM cards, which is necessary for the broadcast application.
The Rohde & Schwarz FeMBMS transmission addresses broadcast applications for video and IP data in HPHT topologies with bandwidths of 5 MHz and 10 MHz. With the trial set-up, the company wants to demonstrate the potential held by 5G Broadcast for applications such as TV services delivered to mobile user equipment and connected cars, and for IoT applications.
Like all SFN networks, the Rohde & Schwarz LTE Broadcast SFN network requires synchronisation information, which is made available to each FeMBMS transmitter via the M1 application protocol. The sync information is generated by an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and completed by an incoming IP-based video data stream, which is either generated or encoded and multiplexed by a headend. SYNC timestamps are inserted into the data stream to generate the M1 user plane data. This data is routed via IP networks to the FeMBMS transmitters, which transmit the signal simultaneously. The FeMBMS signal is received by a software defined radio (SDR).
Currently, a major European 5G field trial is being established in Germany as part of the 5G Today Bavarian research project. Under the leadership of the Institute for Broadcast Technology (IRT), project partners Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz are investigating large-scale TV broadcast transmissions in FeMBMS mode over 5G Broadcast networks. The project is supported by Telefónica Germany and Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), the Bavarian affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD. BR is providing two HPHT sites near Munich for the field trial.
There are a total of three packs – Cosmote TV GO Documentaries, Cinema and Sports, costing €5, €10 and €25 a month respectively, with customers opting for two or more qualifying for a discount of €2 a month for each additional pack.
Cosmote TV GO Documentaries consists of 13 channels, including the proprietary Cosmote History HD, while Cosmote TV GO Sport also offers 13 channels, nine of which are proprietary.
Cosmote TV GO can be accessed on any fixed or mobile network, including devices without a SIM card, on all mobile devices in Greece and the EU.
At the same time, more than one programme can be watched in separate devices simultaneously.
Aside from 45 digital channels, Cosmote TV GO gives access to all Cosmote TV on demand services.
CBC, the technical services subsidiary of German broadcast group Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, has selected the HTML5 web player and SDKs from US online video technology provider Bitmovin.
CBC is using the solutions across RTL’s multiple web, mobile and online platforms to increase the reach of the content beyond TV screens. Bitmovin’s player provides CBC with a single solution for all platforms, reducing the time-consuming custom development for each web browser, Android or Apple device, according to the company.
Based on an API approach, the player also offers a number of features that can be selected and adjusted to its needs including custom user interfaces, digital rights management (DRM) support for premium, encrypted content, integration of Bitmovin Analytics to monitor performance and full-feature advertising support, allowing CBC to place targeted commercials in all OTT products.
“Today’s consumers want to watch content not only on TV screens, but also on mobile devices. We needed a solution that enables us to deliver a broadcast quality of experience for premium content and commercials, without compromising on content protection features,” said Andreas Schmeiler, head of software development, online services at CBC. “Bitmovin’s feature-rich player provides the backbone to our custom video players and saves us from major investment into building our own solutions.”
Stefan Lederer, CEO at Bitmovin, added: “Our mission is to solve complex video problems, and we have designed our player with compatibility and efficiency in mind. Compromising on quality of experience is not an option for online video, and we are proud that CBC made its decision for Bitmovin.”
The Russian telco MTS and online video service Megogo have launched a new joint TV and movie offer.
Costing R20 (€0.27) a day in a single subscription and with no charge for internet data, it gives mobile users access to 130 Russian and foreign TV channels, as well as 8,000 films, serials and cartoons in HD quality.
Commenting on the development, Maxim Laptev, the director of the MTS products and partnerships department, said: “Cooperation with online theatres and the promotion of legal content is an important part of the strategy for the development of mobile TV. Users no longer want to choose between TV channels and films, it is more convenient for them to receive high-grade quality content on a single subscription and not to overpay. We are happy to provide such an opportunity together with our partners.”
Viktor Chenakov, Megogo’s general director in Russia, added: “The partnership between Megogo and MTS is a collaborative effort aimed at giving the viewer the most convenient way to watch TV and movies in a single subscription. Last year MTS TV subscribers got an opportunity to evaluate the catalogue of Megogo films. But we do not stand still and our new offer will significantly expand the audience of both services, giving our customers a large selection of excellent video and TV content at a good price with the possibility of a daily payment”.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, MTS and Megogo entered into a partnership in September 2016.
European culture channel ARTE has added an offline mode to its smartphone/tablet app.
With the update of the iOS and Android apps, ARTE content can now also be watched without an internet connection, for example while driving on holiday.
The offline function is available in all six language versions of the ARTE app (German, French, English, Spanish, Polish, Italian).
Programmes that can be viewed in offline mode are indicated by a new button. By clicking on them, they become available offline for 72 hours.