Digital Trends Video Opinions • Why Does My 4K Video Suck?

I have a confession to make – I’m a high definition snob. I only watch movies in 1080p[1].  I could care less if a movie is available – shudder – in standard definition (SD). As far as I’m concerned, the movie doesn’t exist, until it’s in 1080p (excluding cinema releases, of course). Many friends think that I’m a hopeless geek to impose such ridiculous restrictions on a movie experience. For some colleagues it’s more important to watch the release as quickly as possible, then to worry about quality. Am I narrow minded? Is my quest to have a cinema experience overrated? Who even notices those compression artifacts[2], mosquito noise[3], or frame tearing[4], anyway?

When Blu-Ray first came out I recall friends telling me how they were disappointed by HD video. They couldn’t tell the difference from the DVD version. I anticipate the same response as we transition to Ultra HD[5] (UHD). History is destined to repeat itself as we venture into more pixels and bigger TVs.

Consumers face a perception verses reality battle regarding image quality. It’s all about how we perceive new technology. In other words, the eyes may see better quality, but the brain is not recognizing the higher resolution. I attribute this to any combination of factors. Anything along this supply chain from creation to consumption can adversely affect video quality:

Figure i – The 4K Video Supply Chain

Figure i – The 4K Video Supply Chain

  1. Creation • The cameras used in production may not have been the analogue equivalent of HD.  Possibly the lenses were poor quality or old film stock was used. Ÿ Maybe the content was filmed with digital cameras that did not have HD sensors.
  2. Source Ÿ• Maybe the source material wasn’t HD. Even if the content was broadcast on an HD channel, the content itself may have been SD and was unconverted[6] (i.e. up-scaled) to HD.
  3. Digitization • This is where film or video tapes are converted to a digital format. Possibly the source content was not digitized properly from the master film reels. For example, Super 16mm film has the grain resolution to achieve a 1080p analog to digital conversion[7].  A digital conversion service may have used SD (576p PAL or 480p NTSC) conversion on the film stock. •  Maybe a copy was digitized and the master (aka. mezzanine file[8]) wasn’t used at all.  Once the film is digitized then software is used to correct color, exposure, and audio/video synchronization. In addition, scratches, dust and film damage is digitally removed from each frame. For some Hollywood movies this takes months of effort. Some early Blu-Ray releases received bad reviews because the digital cleaning process resulted in complete removal of film grain – an aspect of movies that gives that venerable cinema feel. The digitization process has since improved to maintain the visual experience intended by the director.
  4. Encoding Ÿ• The source content may not have been encoded properly, resulting in a substandard video transfer. Typically the analog (film) to digital (file) conversion is uncompressed.Each HD frame scanned to a file would typically occupy  6.2MBytes[9]. Taking these frames and streaming them uncompressed at 23.976 fps (frames per second, typical for a Hollywood movie) would stream at 1.2 Gbps (gigabits per second). This is much too large for consumer devices, so the file needs to be compressed down to a reasonable file size. That’s where H.264[10] and the newer H.265[11] video compression standards come in. These codecs compress an HD movie down to a 4-6Mbps[12] when used in an internet streaming service.  That’s a reduction of 200:1!
  5. Transcoding • Once a video has been encoded, then it can be transcoded into other formats or bitrates. If a good quality master wasn’t used in this process, then the result is GIGO (garbage in garbage out). If the video was transcoded several times before it reaches the viewer, then image quality would have degraded at each transcoding step. In the early days of H.264 encoding, engineers were not versed in all the encoding intricacies, which resulted in a sub-optimal video outputs. This same learning curve is beginning again with H.265.
  6. ‘Supply • There are many intermediaries taking content from one provider and handing it over to another. This applies to both broadcast television as well as internet delivery. Hardware, software, and interconnections anywhere along this ‘supply chain’ can compromise the quality of the signal. Over the internet this involves any combination of routers, switches, firewalls, cabling, streaming or caching servers.
  7. ’Delivery • The delivery mechanism of the Internet, Over the Air[13] (OTA) broadcast, Cable, or Satellite, may have deteriorated the signal due to congestion, latency, dropped packets, interference, or lack of quality of service (QoS) contingencies. Don’t expect the same qualify from a streaming service, compared to Blu-Ray.  Streaming services use much lower bitrates when transferring HD quality (typically up to 4Mbps for 720p or 6Mbps for 1080p), whereas Blu-Ray will use well over 16Mbps.
  8. “Screen Ÿ• The consumer may not have a TV that is good enough to see the improved resolution of HD or 4K. TV’s with less than 30” diagonal were too small to showcase HD. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) were a complete waste of time when showcasing HD. Likewise, it will be hard to see the advantages of 4K video when viewed on screens smaller than 42”, unless the viewer is sitting right in front of the screen. The distance of the viewer from the screen has an effect on video quality. The 2 foot computer experience can afford smaller pixels and screen, compared to TV’s 10 foot TV viewing. As the person sits farther from the screen then pixels begin to blend together, and the advantage of higher pixel densities are lost.
  9. ”Viewer • Maybe the audience member doesn’t have 20/20 vision?
  10. •Bias Ÿ• This is often overlooked when evaluating something new. There is an inherent bias of each viewer when experiencing something that they have never seen before. Did the person hope for the video to be better, before they saw it for the first time? Were they indifferent? Maybe they were part of a grumpy generation that could care less? Pre-established bias plays a role in how we react to new technology. Understanding these biases in advance helps to filter the opinion of others.

It’s as though all planets need to align before we can enjoy 4K video. This is certainly the case with many technological breakthroughs. Equipment, technologies and processes along the entire supply change needs to be upgraded to ensure an optimal viewing experience.

In the case of 4K, some people will simply not perceive the higher resolution – at least not initially. Even if the technology from source to viewer has the ability to showcase 4K, some won’t immediately see an improvement in quality. When I displayed Blu-ray content for the first time on my monitor, I couldn’t immediately see the benefits. My personal bias was to rant about how amazing the video was to my friends, because I wanted it to be better – but deep inside I was underwhelmed. It took me a few weeks of consistently watching HD before I acclimate to the resolution. As my brain started to adjust to the additional pixels, and sharper picture, it wasn’t until I looked back at standard definition that I realized how my perception had changed.

My 4K video doesn’t actually suck – mainly because I don’t have a 4K TV yet.  But I loved what I saw when 4K and UHD was showcased at a number of Media and Entertainment exhibitions these past two years[14]. That may have been my internal bias talking, of course.

Each generation has incrementally higher expectations on new technology. It’s funny to think that maybe my kids will one day say, “Dad, this 4K video sucks. Don’t you have the movie in 8K?”. The grumpy generation would be quick to react, “When I was your age…”.  In the meantime, I can’t wait to be a 2160p[15] snob.

• Synopsis

Is perception also reality for 4K video? Would you recognize 4K quality when you see it for the first time? What ultimately effects video quality, and how do we perceive these incremental improvements? This article explores the challenges that the industry faces in delivering 4K UHD video to the masses, and the bias that consumers face when a new technology enters the market.

• About Gabriel Dusil

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)Gabriel Dusil was recently the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity with a mandate to advance the company’s portfolio into next generation solutions and expand the company’s global presence. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Online Video Solutions, Cloud Computing, Security as a Service (SaaS), Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

• Tags

Ÿ4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, H.264, H.265, HEVC, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi + screen, Multiscreen, New Media, Online Video, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition

• Resources

[1] 1080p, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1080p

[2] Compression artifacts, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact

[3] Mosquito Noise, pcmag.com, http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/55914/mosquito-noise

[4] Screen Tearing, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_tearing

[5] Ultra HD, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-definition_television

[6] Video scaler, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_scaler

[7] Resolution of Super 16mm film, cinematechnic.com, http://www.cinematechnic.com/super_16mm/resolution_of_super_16mm.html

[8] What is Encoding and Transcoding?, By Jan Ozer, 20 April 2011, streamingmedia.com, http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/What-Is-…/What-is-Encoding-and-Transcoding-75025.aspx

[9] (1920×1080 pixels x 24 bits of color per pixel)/8bits per byte = 6.2MB (mega bytes)

[10] H.264, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC

[11] H.265, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

[12] Mbps, Mega bits per second.

[13] Over the Air, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-air_programming

[14] NAB ’14, http://www.nabshow.com/, IBC ’14, http://www.ibc.org/

[15] 2160p, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2160p

Family • Photo Restoration • 3 • Taci • 2014 December

• Family Photo Restoration • Taci

• Introduction from my Mom, Eva Dusil • Editing by Gabriel Dusil • 2014 October

• I met Vašek when I was 21 years old, in my freshman year of veterinary studies. Vašek was in his fifth year at the same university. Without my knowledge my brother Csaba, who trained with Vašek in judo, suggested that he ask me out. At the beginning of the 1966 Christmas holidays Vašek came to our apartment and asked if I would go with him to a New Years celebration. At the time I wasn’t very impressed by him, but I had no other plans, so I said yes. Between Christmas and New Years we went out a couple of times. It was an exciting time for me because it was my first time going to a restaurant. Our New Years celebration began at Dom umenia in Košice. Vašek’s two brothers, and their spouses joined us. It was like a triple-date. We had a great time at the New Years party. Then we went to Slávia, a famous restaurant in Kosice, in those days. Vašek was very entertaining and funny – pretending to film our date. By that time I had fell in love with him.

• Four years after we emigrated, we bought our own veterinary clinic. It was a big achievement considering we didn’t even know a word of English when we first arrived in Canada. Vašek loved veterinary medicine, and was an excellent surgeon.  He was very much liked by our clients.

• Vašek was also a very good handyman – constantly busy building and improving things around the house. He enjoyed travelling, and seeing the world. Even with our tight finances it was important for Vašek to see the world. He would say,”They can take your ‘things’, but they can’t take what you have experienced”.  The comment partly came from his deep seated resentment of the communist regime, which confiscated all private property in 1948.

• Vašek also found a lot of fulfillment from sports. He enjoyed competing and teaching judo. He played soccer regularly with his Czech and Slovak friends, and hockey throughout the 70’s with his fellow veterinarians. He was competitive and ambitious, but would never boast about his success. The happiest moment in his life was when you and your sister were born.

 

• Technical Notes

• Many will consider the following photo restoration methodology overkill • and maybe it’s my anal retentive nature • In any event, all photos are scanned at 1200 dpi (dots per inch), and 16 bit color depth per channel.  Each file size amounts to between 200 to 800 MB per TIFF file.  This is done so that there will be a lasting digital archive of our family history. I firmly believe that what is considered excessive today, will be insufficient when viewed decades from now.  Already our imprint on society is being stored exclusively in a digital format. The physical presence of our lives disintegrates with time.  In a few short generations, the lives that we had will be viewed only on computers, and the photo albums that survive will be relegated to the museum.

 

• 1965 • Košice, Slovakia • Vaclav Dusil & Pepo Vosecky

 2 minutes 53 seconds

65 - Košice · Vaclav Dusil & Pepo Vosecky

65 – Košice · Vaclav Dusil & Pepo Vosecky

 

• Pepo was one of my dad’s best friends.  He was like an uncle to me, and his son Tommy is like my brother.  To this day I will never forget the time that Pepo was over during one of our family parties. I was around eleven years old.  Pepo was an awesome chef, starting Pepo’s Bistro in the 80’s with his wife, Vlasta.  On one visit to our house he made the the most amazing lamb chops. I distinctly remember him pouring beer in the frying pan over and over again. I watched his passion for cooking, as he made our dinner.  To this day nothing has come close to those lamb chops.

 

• 1967 • Košice, Slovakia • Pepo Vosecky, Eva Kendeova, Vaclav Dusil

 2 minutes 55 seconds

67 - Košice · Pepo Vosecky, Eva Kendeova, Vaclav Dusil

67 – Košice · Pepo Vosecky, Eva Kendeova, Vaclav Dusil

 

• 1967 February • Košice • Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Ceremony from Veterinary Medicine)

 • 6 minutes 38 seconds

 

67.Feb - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Ceremony from Veterinary Medicine)

67.Feb – Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Ceremony from Veterinary Medicine)

67.Feb - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Certificate for Veterinary Medicine)

67.Feb – Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Certificate for Veterinary Medicine)

• Postscript from my Mom • 2014 October • Your father was the only one in his class to finish with honors, which meant that he received a red diploma. It was quite an achievement. By the time he graduated, his two brothers had also graduated with honors, so it was very important for him. There was a lot of competition between the brothers.

 

 • 4 minutes 4 seconds

67.Feb - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation photo from Veterinary Medicine, sako)

67.Feb – Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation photo from Veterinary Medicine, sako)

67.Feb - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation photo from Veterinary Medicine)

67.Feb – Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation photo from Veterinary Medicine)

 

67.Apr.9 - Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Veterinary Medicine, invitation)

67.Apr.9 – Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Veterinary Medicine, invitation)

 

• Postscript from my Mom • 2014 October • This is Taci’s announcement of his graduation as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (MVDr.). This was a good example of his modesty, because he doesn’t even mention in the invitation that he graduated with honors (i.e. designated by the red diploma shown below).

 

67.Apr.9 - Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Veterinary Medicine, Honors Diploma, Czech)

67.Apr.9 – Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Veterinary Medicine, Honors Diploma, Czech)

 

• 1967 • Hlučίn, Czech Republic • Military Service

67 - Hlučίn · Vaclav Dusil (military service)

67 – Hlučίn · Vaclav Dusil (military service)

 

• 1968 • Košice, Slovakia • Chairman of Internal Medicine, University of Košice

 • 3 minutes 22 seconds

 

68 - Košice · Vaclav Dusil w. chairman of department of internal medicine, University of Košice

68 – Košice · Vaclav Dusil with the Chairman of Internal Medicine, University of Košice

 

 • Tags

Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Attila Kende, Csaba Kende, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusil Family, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Erika Dusil, Eva Dusil, Gabriel Dusil, Ivan Spisak, Iveta Kende, Juraj Bialko, Karol Dusil, Kende Family, Ladislav Kende, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Maria Dusilova, Michal Jr, Michal Korytko, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pepo Vesecky, Robert Dusil, Robert Dusil sr., Slavo Sykorsky, Stefan Kende, Vaclav Dusil, Valeria Kendeova, Vera Kendeova


 

67.Feb - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Graduation Ceremony from Veterinary Medicine, thumbnail)

Martial Arts • Photo Restoration • 2 • Košice Judo • 2014 November

• Digital Photo Restoration • Košice Judo

• My father, Vaclav (Vašek) Dusil started training judo in 1958, when he was 16.  His older brother started in 1959. The youngest of the three started in early 1960.  My dad and his older brother were the stars of Košice men’s judo throughout the 60’s, although his younger brother won junior regional titles in both 1961 and 1962. My uncle admitted that he was never as good as his two older brothers, but was a reasonably good coach, and a good organizer. This is one of the reasons why my dad gave him the task of coaching the women’s team in late 1961, when the previous coach, Juraj Mazanek went off to complete his military service. My uncle was also the president of the club from 1962 to 1968, and therefore took care of most of the bureaucracy.

•  In 1962, six months after my uncle took over the task of coaching the women’s team, one of the judoka, Julia Tothova won her first gold medal for Košice, at the Czechoslovakian Championships. The following year she also won gold at the the International judo tournament in Bratislava.  This event was attended by Austrian, Italian, and Czechoslovak competitors. Julia beat the reigning Austrian champion in the finals, which became a mini-public relations sensation in their home town. Košice was an eastern Slovakian town that was considered a relative backwater compared to Prague or Bratislava. It was their women’s judo team who mostly made the headlines in Košice in the 60’s. From 1962 to 1969 they won no less than 12 individual Czechoslovakian titles plus an unofficial team title. Due to their success the club also received increased funding for the whole judo team, from the Lokomotiva Kosice “brass”. My dad won a bronze medal in the Czechoslovakian Junior Championships in 1960, which according to my uncle, should be considered at least an equivalent achievement to Julia’s gold, due to the higher level of competition on the men’s side.

 

• A Note to the Reader

• All photos in this blog can be downloaded by just clicking on them.  The images will open in a new tab in your browser, where you can then save them to your computer.  If you want an even higher quality version (if you want a high resolution print for example) then let me know, as I have the original uncompressed Tiffs.

• If you have anecdotal information related to any photos in this blog, then please send me the details, and I would be happy to add your postscript below the photos.  Just send me an email or post your comments at the end of this blog.

 

• 1961 July • Janošikova Bašta, Slovakia • Judo Team Hike

60.Jul - Jánošíky · Csaba Kende, Darina Poprenakova, Karel Dusil, x, x, x, Zuzka Dusil, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil

60.Jul – Jánošíky · Csaba Kende, Darina Poprenakova, Karol Dusil, x, x, x, Zuzana Dusil, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil

• This photo was taken of the Kosice Judo team during a hike in Janosikova Basta, around 20km northwest of Košice.

 

• 1961 • Košice, Slovakia • Vaclav Dusil

4 minutes 52 seconds

61 - Košice · Vaclav Dusil jumping over Sano Drabcak, Vojtech Agyagos and Juraj Bialko (restored)

61 – Košice · Vaclav Dusil jumping over Sano Drabcak, Vojtech Agyagos and Juraj Bialko (restored)

 

• This photo was taken inside our the training facility. Juraj Bialko won the junior championship (under 18) Eastern Slovakian Regionals in 1961 together with my uncle, Ivan Spisak and Robert Pinter.  • Sano (Alexander) Drabcak worked as a waiter when the Russians invaded on the 21st of August 1968 (just before you were born). Within hours the stores were stripped of all groceries. The only items available were spirits and wine.  My uncle had nothing for his baby daughter except for sweet tea. Two days after invasion he went to Sano in desperation, and asked for liter of milk for his baby.  Sano gave him one. A week later the food supply returned to normal. Some acts of compassion are never forgotten.

• Postscript from me • 2014 October • Of the judo photos that I have restored so far, this is my favorite.  It’s my dad in action, so-to-speak.  I love his expression, together with Vojtech’s reaction, just as my dad leaps over his back. The press photographer captured the moment perfectly.

 

• 1961 • Košice, Slovakia • Lokomotiva Košice Judo Team

4 minutes 30 seconds

61 - Košice · Berco Allman, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Joe Nalevanko (East Slovak Region Judo Champions, restored #e)

61 – Košice · Berco Allman, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Joe Nalevanko (East Slovak Region Judo Champions, restored #e)

 

• Top row – Juraj Mazanek, Miro Brozek • Standing – Vaclav Dusil, Dusan Halasz, Igor Fridrich, Csaba Kende, Jozef Arvay • Kneeling – Adolf Kostrian, Pepo Vosecky, Jozko Lemak, Jozef Grusecky

• This photo taken inside the judo training facility.  Miro Brozek was the president of the men’s judo club for many years after we emigrated to Canada in 1969.  Miro was also one of the many attendees to Csaba Kende’s 80th birthday. The men and women’s teams separated as part of Csaba Kende’s reorganisation of the club in the early 1970’s. Jozko frequently visited my dad frequently during our early years in Canada.

 

• 1961 • Košice, Slovakia • Eastern Slovakia Regional Senior Champions

6 minutes 38 seconds

 

61 - Košice · Berco Allman, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Joe Nalevanko (East Slovak Region Judo Champions)

61 – Košice · Berco Allman, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Joe Nalevanko (East Slovak Region Judo Champions)

 

• Berco Allman won gold in heavy weight (80+ kg) and Joe Nalevanko won gold in light weight for Slavia Košice (-63kg). Robert Dusil won gold in middle weight (-80kg), Vašek Dusil won gold in welter weight (-70kg), for Lokomotíva Košice. This photo was taken in front of the building which housed a room with soft wrestling mats. This is where the judoka (Judo students) also trained. The building was torn down many years ago.

• Postscript from me • 2014 October • Growing up I saw my dad’s medals, displayed on the wall, on a purple velvet covered plaque. I remember asking him one day, what his medals were for – I must have been six or seven years old.  He told me that he won them in judo competitions.  But he didn’t say much more than that.  Only 40 years later can I truly appreciate my dad’s accomplishments.

 

• 1961 • Prague, Czech Republic • Lokomotiva Košice Judo Team

61 - Prague · Sano Drabcak, Dusan Halasz, Karel Dusil, Juraj Bialko, Robert Dusil, Ivan Spisak, Vaclav Dusil

61 – Prague · Sano Drabcak, Dusan Halasz, Karol Dusil, Juraj Bialko, Robert Dusil, Ivan Spisak, Vaclav Dusil

 

• 1961 • Košice, Slovakia • Slovak Judo Team

61 - Kosice · Csaba Kende, Edo Novak,  Nyarjas, Dusan Halasz, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Igor Fridrich

61 – Kosice · Csaba Kende, Edo Novak, Nyarjas, Dusan Halasz, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil, Igor Fridrich

 

Article, Ve'lká cena Košíce v Judo

Article, Ve’lká cena Košíce v Judo

 

• Publications & Documents

Article -Tentoraz aj v absolútnej

Article -Tentoraz aj v absolútnej

 

Article - Judisti v Brne na výbornú

Article – Judisti v Brne na výbornú

 

64.Oct.19 - Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Judo Papers, Czech)

64.Oct.19 – Košice · Document, Vaclav Dusil (Judo Papers, Czech)

 

Tags

Adolf Kostrian, Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Berco Allman, Csaba Kende, Czechoslovakia, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusan Halasz, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Gabriel Dusil, Igor Fridrich, Ivan Spisak, Janosik Bastam, Joe Nalevanko, Jozef Arvay, Jozef Grusecky, Jozko Lemak, Julia Tothova, Juraj Bialko, Juraj Mazanek, Karol Dusil, Košice, Ladislav Kende, Michal Korytko, Miro Brozek, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pepo Vosecky, Robert Dusil, Sano Drabcak, Slavo Sykorsky, Slovak Judo, Vaclav Dusil, Vašek Dusil, Vojtech Agyagos, Zuzka Dusil

 


 

63 - Košice · Vaclav Dusil (Regional Senior Championship, thumbnail)

Gabriel Dusil • Social Networking • dusil.com passes 10,000 views!

In the big scheme of things 10,000 blog views isn’t that much. But it is still a milestone I am happy to achieve nonetheless, since starting my blog 18 month ago.  I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a snapshot of how this social networking initiative is going.  Thanks for reading my blog. It’s my creative outlet, digital resume, and portfolio – all wrapped in one. So here are some screen captures of my various social networking dashboards. Enjoy!

WordPress.com

Portfolio - Social Networking Dashboard (WordPress, 14.Nov.10)

Portfolio – Social Networking Dashboard (WordPress, 14.Nov.10)

 

LinkedIn.com

Portfolio - Social Networking Dashboard (LinkedIn, 14.Nov.10)

Portfolio – Social Networking Dashboard (LinkedIn, 14.Nov.10)

 

Slideshare.net

Portfolio - Social Networking Dashboard (slideshare, 14.Nov.10)

Portfolio – Social Networking Dashboard (slideshare, 14.Nov.10)

 


Portfolio - Microsoft Windows 7, icons (14.Nov.10)

Portfolio - Google Chrome, icons (14.Nov.10)

OTT & Multiscreen • Developing OTT for the Emerging Markets, II

Graphic - Digital Trends Video Opinions (header #2, web)

The observations in Part I of this article, “Developing OTT for the Emerging Markets“, outline specific challenges to entertainment providers in developing markets. But the weakness in capital in the emerging markets is somewhat offset by the strength in being able to peer into the future, by observing what the USA is doing today. This helps local players to assess what will come to their market several years from now and essentially creates a leap-frog effect for ambitious companies wanting to adopt the latest OTT solutions. Rather than wait 4+ years to adopt the latest OTT solutions, they can implement a service today, in parallel to their American counterparts.

Figure iii – Average Bandwidth Forecast by Region

Figure iii – Average Bandwidth Forecast by Region

Much of the adoption curve across the globe is driven by the behavior of local subscribers, as well as the adoption curve of new technologies in these regions. Here are a few areas where emerging markets differ from developed markets:

  • In the west, consumers are enticed by the introduction of 4K Ultra High Definition TV. But in developing markets, service providers just want to ensure that their standard definition content (SD @ 528 lines) is served to their consumers in the best quality possible. In some cases, an even lower resolution is offered, such as 288 lines or even 144 lines, requiring limited bandwidth transmissions and mobile devices (Figure iii).
  • 2nd screen and TV everywhere continues to be a hot topic in the west. In many emerging markets the second screen is, in fact, their primary screen. Mobile devices in emerging markets are used as a primary screen for voice, messaging, video, music, content, news, and even banking.
  • In some emerging markets the penetration of smartphone devices is relatively low. A device such as the iPhone is considered a luxury item. With some markets lacking a well-established middle class, the iPhone becomes the Prada of the mobile market, left to the top percentile of society. In the west, the iPhone is another high-end smartphone, but in developing markets the iPhone helps define one’s identity. This has allowed some of the lower cost Android manufacturers to gain market share.
  • HTML5[ix] and responsive design[x] may be at the top of the agenda in web design, but the emerging markets’ focus on serving video content to a much wider range of feature phones does not support advanced web features. There are thousands of feature phones that have limited video capabilities. Smartphone penetration is low, although gaining market share rapidly, but there is a concerted effort to support video to a wider range of legacy devices.
  • In the west, pay TV providers concern themselves with a growing number of cord cutters and cord shavers. In fact, some emerging markets have a large population of cord-nevers, where the market penetration of pay-TV is much lower (Figure iv). For example, the sub-Saharan region has less than 8% market penetration in pay-TV. Even though this market is expected to double by 2020, their market penetration still won’t come close to many developed countries[xi]. It is also possible that if a country misses the adoption curve of pay-TV, then they may prefer to use the Internet as their primary source of entertainment[xii]. This will further limit the penetration of pay-TV subscribers.
  • The west obsesses about BIG data. Many clients in the west have several years of experience in OTT services, so their focus changes from “We need to make sure the service works”, to “How do we increase our average revenue per user (ARPU)?” Reaching this goal results in focusing on collecting, correlating and analyzing more and more data. Emerging markets, on the other hand, don’t yet have a BIG data frenzy. It’s about basic reporting on what the service provider is selling, who is consuming their content, and which devices are displaying their video. Reporting is seen as providing the basic data needed to measure the success of an OTT service. It’s not yet treated as a complex analytics engine that will generate a higher ARPU[xiii]. Emerging markets are still building their first OTT service, or just investigating its commercial viability. OTT v2.0 features like complex analytics and recommendation engines will come in due course.
Figure iv – Pay-TV Average Revenue Per User (Bubble size represents the relative number of household with PayTV)

Figure iv – Pay-TV Average Revenue Per User
(Bubble size represents the relative number of household with PayTV), Sources: iDate, Ofcom, & Wikipedia

Often conversations around entertainment and the Internet lead to, “trading analog dollars with digital pennies”, an analogy popularized by Jeff Zucker, head of NBC Universal[xv]. In the context of this discussion, however, a far closer truth would be broadcast dollars vs. OTT pennies. But in developing markets there are no dollars to be earned since their Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is a fraction of that in the west (Figure iv)[xvi]. On the other hand, OTT pennies can be generated by high subscriber volume since many developing regions have a sizable consumer market. The selling strategy in these regions is less about increasing ARPU and more about generating a subscriber footprint reflecting orders of magnitude higher than can be achieved in the west.Possibly the most challenging issue for emerging markets is the accessibility of premium western content. 90% of American premium content is owned by nine majors in the USA: Disney, Fox, Time Warner, Comcast/NBC Universal, CBS, Viacom, Discovery, Scripps and AMC. These companies spend over 45 billion US$ on this content per year according to Todd Juengerfrom Bernstein Research[xiv]. Service providers in developing markets simply don’t have the capital to purchase these libraries. At best they can afford a tiny fraction of titles for commercial availability to local subscribers. Plan B is to consolidate content from local studios and producers. This focuses their library of titles on entertainment from regional content owners and delivering culturally diverse content that is much more affordable.

As digital video continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, I’m inclined to believe that western companies are more educated about the cultural, political, and economic dynamics of international expansion. For the entertainment community, it may be the case of realizing that earning 100 pennies is far more practical than trying to generate every single dollar.

• Synopsis

In the digital era of the 21st century, ‘emerging markets’ have evolved into what we now call ‘developing markets’. If companies in the west are considered the adults of the business world, then developing markets are still at the adolescent stage. A developing market at least acknowledges that the emerging markets have entered their next growth phase. As digital video and entertainment proliferates around the world, the tide is not rising for everyone at the same pace. Developing markets still have to overcome obstacles in adopting streaming solutions due to cultural, technological, and financial challenges. This article has taken a look at some of the differences between developed and developing markets in the adoption of Over the Top solutions (OTT) and digital streaming. By examining some of these, we can help them mature into healthy and robust teenagers.

• About Gabriel Dusil

Ÿ• Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)Gabriel Dusil was recently the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity Global, and a member of the core management team that successfully secured 7.2m US$ in series “A” funding for the company in 2014. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Online Video Solutions, Cloud Computing, Security as a Service (SaaS), Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

• Tags

Ÿ4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, H.265, HEVC, Internet Piracy, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, New Media, Online Video, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search & Discovery, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity, emerging markets, developing markets, developed markets.

• References

[i] Internet Traffic, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_traffic & Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast (’13)

[ii] Cisco, Visual Networking Index (VNI), http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/index.html

[iii] YouTube, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube

[iv] Skype, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype

[v] 50 million concurrent users online!, by Jean Mercier, http://skypenumerology.blogspot.cz/2013/01/50-million-concurrent-users-online.html

[vi] Blu-Ray, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray

[vii] Apple iPhone, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone

[viii] Sandvine – Global Internet Phenomena Report (1H ‘13)

[ix] HTML5, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5

[x] Responsive Web Design, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design

[xi] “Sub-Saharan Africa pay-TV numbers to double by 2020”, by Jim O’Neill, Ooyala VideoMind, http://videomind.ooyala.com/blog/sub-saharan-africa-pay-tv-numbers-double-2020

[xii] A similar trend occurred in the payment industry over the years. Markets that introduced a check-based payment system in the 80’s migrated to credit cards in the 90’s and then to debit cards in the 00’s. In the USA, where checks were introduced, that method of payment is still used to this day. But markets in Europe that missed the boat with checks flourished with credit cards. Emerging markets, on the other hand, missed the boat with credit cards and went straight to debit cards. Furthermore, many of the smaller emerging markets still remain a cash-based purchasing society.

[xiii] Average revenue per user, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average_revenue_per_user

[xiv] “Pay-TV Prices Are at the Breaking Point — And They’re Only Going to Get Worse”, by Todd Spangler, Variety.com, http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/pay-tv-prices-are-at-the-breaking-point-and-theyre-only-going-to-get-worse-1200886691/

[xv] Trading Analog Dollars For Digital Pennies, by Zemanta, http://avc.com/2008/11/trading-analog/

[xvi] Consolidated figures for Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_households, Ofcom, and iDate, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr13/international/icmr-3.23

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OTT & Multiscreen • Developing OTT for the Emerging Markets, I

Graphic - Digital Trends Video Opinions (header #2, web)

 

Back in 1998, when I worked for Motorola, the company invited staff to join a corporate briefing on the status and future of the company. I was based in Prague at the time, and this was the first call of its type that I had the privilege of attending. There were literally thousands of people on this call, representing countries from around the world. After listening to our corporate executives talk about their vision of the future, one of the senior executives said something that caught my attention. He said (I’m paraphrasing as it’s been a while), “We plan to give special attention to emerging markets. We see a lot of opportunities in these regions and want to capitalize on their rapid growth potential. Specifically, we see states such as Idaho as an emerging market and we want to focus some of our efforts there…”

What? Idaho, an emerging market? Suddenly the reality of my role, working out of the humble Prague office located on the other side of the world, slapped me in the face. Even though I was responsible for marketing across over 25 countries in Central & Eastern Europe, it seemed that we weren’t even on HQ’s geographic radar.

I would like to provide some perspective on what are the true emerging markets in the entertainment industry – specifically in regards to video streaming. Fifteen years have passed since that call, and much of my time has been spent with one leg in western markets and the other in emerging markets. Holding dual citizenship as a Canadian and Slovak, I always felt I had solid footing in both cultures.

Figure i – Global Internet Traffic vs. Digital Video Milestones

Figure i – Global Internet Traffic vs. Digital Video Milestones, Sources: Cisco & Wikipedia

Digital video has arrived in a big way and is maturing rapidly across the globe[i]. Figure i shows the accelerated growth of internet traffic, of which approximately 70% will be video by 2016 according to Cisco’s VNI[ii] report. For nearly a decade consumers have enjoyed video streaming on their computers and more recently on their mobile devices. Even though this change occurred quickly, it has also been taken for granted. We expect high quality video streaming; that our Skype calls will work; we even assume that video will be served to our mobile devices. So, here is a quick reminder of what we didn’t have ten years ago:

  • We didn’t have YouTube, which launched in February 2005[iii].
  • Consumers were still calling long distance – Skype launched on the 29th of August 2003[iv] and reached its first 10 million concurrent users in 2007[v]
  • Blu-Ray discs had yet to be introduced, with the first titles being released on the 20th of June 2006[vi]
  • Even the iPhone began shipping as early as six years ago, on the 29th of June 2007[vii]

These products and services have become so essential to our lives it’s as if we’ve had them forever. But not everyone around the world has been enjoying entertainment at an even pace.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) maturity varies greatly outside of the developed market. The availability and quality of video streaming, communications, and mobility fluctuates depending on a given developing region. For example, the past decade has shown that the USA leads in the adoption of streaming video solutions, including its offspring Over the Top Content (OTT). Several of the first movers in OTT services who entered the market include Brightcove (est. 2004), Ooyala (est. 2007), and Kaltura (est. 2006). In addition, western subscribers consume more digital video than any other region around the work – in excess of 45GB of traffic per month. In fact, according to the latest report from Sandvine[viii], 32% of downstream traffic in the USA in 2013 can be attributed to Netflix alone. But in Europe, Canada and parts of Asia, these second-tier regions trail several years behind the USA in the adoption of OTT and video streaming services (Figure ii). European consumers, for example, consume a third of traffic compared to their American counterparts: 13GB per month. This is partially attributed to the limited supply of OTT services outside the United States.

Figure ii - OTT Evolution - Geographic Distribution

Figure ii – OTT Evolution – Geographic Distribution

The third tier in this assessment is that of emerging markets. These regions are at least four years behind the USA. This lag is significant on several fronts. First of all, from a competitive perspective, as the Internet is borderless, western companies are entering emerging markets before the local players have the knowledge, time or capital to build a service themselves. Secondly, early adopters from the west have first-move advantage to create an early footprint of global subscribers since they already have a platform and seed capital to expand to international markets. Western competitors wanting to establish a larger subscriber footprint in the east secure additional capital to buy expensive premium content. This footprint is easier to extend over the Internet where borders can be easily crossed. In contrast, broadcasters are typically restricted by geography due to regulation and the limitations of their physical infrastructure.

Stay Tuned for Part II

In the second part of this article we will look into several areas where OTT deployments in the emerging markets differ from developed markets.

• Synopsis

In the digital era of the 21st century, ‘emerging markets’ have evolved into what we now call ‘developing markets’. If companies in the west are considered the adults of the business world, then developing markets are still at the adolescent stage. A developing market at least acknowledges that the emerging markets have entered their next growth phase. As digital video and entertainment proliferates around the world, the tide is not rising for everyone at the same pace. Developing markets still have to overcome obstacles in adopting streaming solutions due to cultural, technological, and financial challenges. This article has taken a look at some of the differences between developed and developing markets in the adoption of Over the Top solutions (OTT) and digital streaming. By examining some of these, we can help them mature into healthy and robust teenagers.

• About Gabriel Dusil

Ÿ• Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)Gabriel Dusil was recently the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity Global, and a member of the core management team that secured 7.2m US$ in series “A” funding for the company in 2014. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Online Video Solutions, Cloud Computing, Security as a Service (SaaS), Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

• Tags

Ÿ4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, H.265, HEVC, Internet Piracy, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, New Media, Online Video, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search & Discovery, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity, emerging markets, developing markets, developed markets.

• References

[i] Internet Traffic, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_traffic & Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast (’13)

[ii] Cisco, Visual Networking Index (VNI), http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/index.html

[iii] YouTube, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube

[iv] Skype, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype

[v] 50 million concurrent users online!, by Jean Mercier, http://skypenumerology.blogspot.cz/2013/01/50-million-concurrent-users-online.html

[vi] Blu-Ray, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray

[vii] Apple iPhone, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone

[viii] Sandvine – Global Internet Phenomena Report (1H ‘13)

[ix] HTML5, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5

[x] Responsive Web Design, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design

[xi] “Sub-Saharan Africa pay-TV numbers to double by 2020”, by Jim O’Neill, Ooyala VideoMind, http://videomind.ooyala.com/blog/sub-saharan-africa-pay-tv-numbers-double-2020

[xii] A similar trend occurred in the payment industry over the years. Markets that introduced a check-based payment system in the 80’s migrated to credit cards in the 90’s and then to debit cards in the 00’s. In the USA, where checks were introduced, that method of payment is still used to this day. But markets in Europe that missed the boat with checks flourished with credit cards. Emerging markets, on the other hand, missed the boat with credit cards and went straight to debit cards. Furthermore, many of the smaller emerging markets still remain a cash-based purchasing society.

[xiii] Average revenue per user, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average_revenue_per_user

[xiv] “Pay-TV Prices Are at the Breaking Point — And They’re Only Going to Get Worse”, by Todd Spangler, Variety.com, http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/pay-tv-prices-are-at-the-breaking-point-and-theyre-only-going-to-get-worse-1200886691/

[xv] Trading Analog Dollars For Digital Pennies, by Zemanta, http://avc.com/2008/11/trading-analog/

[xvi] Consolidated figures for Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_households, Ofcom, and iDate, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr13/international/icmr-3.23

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 1-7 • Complete Series

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (title)

In this post you get access to all seven white papers from this Q&A series on Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society. You also get one-click access to each original post. Enjoy!

• Synopsis

•  Understanding the entertainment market from ten thousand meters helps industry executives make strategic decisions. This leads to tactical initiatives that drive innovation, new services, and revenue growth. This Q&A series takes a top level view of today’s digital landscape and helps decision makers navigate through the latest technologies and trends in digital video. Gabriel Dusil, Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer from Visual Unity, discusses the ongoing developments in Over the Top (OTT) services, how these platforms are helping to shape today’s digital society, and addresses the evolving changes in consumer behavior. Topics include 2nd Screen, 4K Ultra High Definition video, H.265 HEVC, global challenges surrounding content distribution, and the future of OTT.

• Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society – Q&A Series

1. Is 2nd Screen a threat to broadcasters? What are the challenges for OTT moving forward?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part i, thumbnail)

 

2. How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part ii, thumbnail)

 

3. Is there a future for 4K video in broadcast?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part iii, thumbnail)

 

4. How is OTT evolving, and what’s in store for subscribers?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part iv, thumbnail)

 

5. How is digital video affecting global communications?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part v, thumbnail)

 

6. Transcoding Challenges with H.265 HEVC & 4K UHD.

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part vi, thumbnail)

7. What are some improvements that OTT can offer to Online Entertainment Services?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part vii, thumbnail)

• Tags

• 2nd Screen, 4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Entertainment, Gabriel Dusil, H.264, H.265, HEVC, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi screen, Multiscreen, New Media, Online Video, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, Television, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Video Streaming, Visual Unity Global

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Gabriel Dusil

Gabriel Dusil

• http://www.dusil.com • http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrieldusil • Gabriel Dusil was recently the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity, with a mandate to help expand the company's global presence. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University, in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Over the Top Content (OTT) Service, Cloud Computing, SaaS (Security as a Service), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

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