OTT & Multiscreen • Digital Video Series • 10 • Turning Piratez into Consumers, III

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, III, title, web)

 Freedom vs. Control

The Internet’s openness has resulted in its greatest success and arguably its darkest failures. The ideology of Internet Freedom[1] has its values routed in capitalism – where markets are free, and the government doesn’t have control over them[2]. On the flip side, a regulated Internet fuels fears of totalitarianism – where the state holds total authority over a society[3]. Needless to say, the issues surrounding net neutrality[4] verses internet governance[5] are sensitive, and have remained a heated topic for many years.

Proponents of net neutrality want to maintain the internet as “freedom of expression[6]. Their guiding principle is an internet where ISP’s or governments treat all data equal on the Internet.

Those that support internet governance want the ability to block, speed-up, or slow-down traffic at their own discretion. This would equalize the playing field of ISPs and entertainment providers, because ISPs would have more control over what is being sent over their network. Proponents of internet governance argue that data ‘control’ would guarantee quality of service, and would help to address the growing threat of piracy, because P2P protocols and other methods used to pirate content would be filtered (which is a politically correct way of saying “blocked”). In this scenario, a provider could drop all P2P packets, working off the assumption that all P2P traffic is pirated content. But this could adversely affect legitimate services such as Skype, which uses P2P technology[7].

Another concern is that if the internet became regulated, this could lead to a premium charges on content such as video streaming, communications, or gaming – services that either need a lot of bandwidth, or require minimum latency. An ISP could potentially discriminate against any communication protocol, user, or company, with full impunity. The danger is compounded when governance favors one user or competitor over another, or discriminates any combination of, content, websites, platforms, or applications. For these reasons internet governance is largely viewed as a hindrance to future innovation and competition. And that brings us full circle to capitalist ideals.

Several attempts to regulating the internet have been attempted in recent years. Notable initiatives include:

  • PIPA[8] – A bill introduced on the 12th of May 2011, designed to empower copyright owners to go after perpetrators which have infringed on copy written materials such as illegal sales, counterfeit goods, or anti-digital rights management. This is especially targeted to those registered outside of the USA.
  • SOPA[9] – This bill was introduced on the 26th of October 2011. It would allow the U.S. Department of Justice or copyright holders, to “seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement”
  • ACTA[10] – This agreement was signed by 31 states as well as the European Union on 4th of February 2013. The goal is to establish an international legal framework for targeting copyright infringement on the Internet, medicine and other counterfeit products.

There is a common thread in these initiatives. They all attempt to police the internet – mainly in jurisdictions outside of the USA. There is mounting pressure from the US government, the entertainment industry, and consumer goods companies to crack down on copyright infringement.

Entertainment vs. the Internet

Twenty years ago internet bandwidth wasn’t high enough to stream video in real time. But the 2000’s changed that. As throughput increased companies began to emerge and offer entertainment streaming services for music, video, and gaming. Initially this was for low quality content, but consumers didn’t seem to mind. By the end of the decade, high definition video could be streamed in many countries around the world. As the internet primed itself for high definition, ISPs began to argue with entertainment companies[11] running OTT. An OTT service effectively bypasses the traditional broadcast television transmission by offering content via the internet (Figure i and Figure ii). The center of this conflict was based on the sudden increase in bandwidth. Usage would increase ten-fold or even higher because of video. Because of this internet governance debate intensified. Network providers argued, “Your video is costing us a lot of money in upgrading our infrastructure. You need to pay extra for that content, or we’ll have to filter it.” These are known as paid-prioritization agreements or charging special fees for Internet fast lanes.

Figure i – TV Broadcast service

Figure i – TV Broadcast service

Figure ii – TV Broadcast compared to Over the Top services

Figure ii – TV Broadcast compared to Over the Top services

 

The ISP business model is disrupted directly by entertainment providers for the following reason: The entertainment providers running Over the Top Content[12] (OTT) services responded with, “You can’t govern the internet, and regulate our traffic. By filtering our traffic you discriminating against us, and that is against net neutrality.”

Subscribers of ISP services typically pay a flat monthly fee for their internet connection, regardless of how much they download. OTT providers also generate revenue through monthly subscriptions. The difference is in the infrastructure cost between these two business models: As subscriber counts increases, an OTT hosting platform has the luxury of expanding their back-end proportionally. For example, if the OTT provider doubles their subscriber base, they have the revenue surplus to justify doubling their infrastructure capacity. Imagine a community of 20 ISP subscribers using an average of 1Mbps of traffic per month (20Mbps in total for the community). If that community simultaneously signs up to an OTT service then each user increases their usage to 10Mbps per month, that’s 200Mbps that now needs to be supported by the ISP. In other words, the ISP needs their infrastructure to support ten times more capacity, but none of those subscribers are paying more for their internet connection.

With cord cutters[13] it gets even worse (i.e. those that have cancelled their pay-TV service). According to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report[14], cord cutters “consume on average 212GB a month, more than seven times the usage of a typical ISP subscriber” (Figure iii).

This is further complicated by the fact that ISPs typically over-provision (or over-subscribe) their networks to save on infrastructure costs[15]. An often quoted figure is 20:1 for ADSL, and can be as high as 50:1 for satellite connections. In the first example, over-provisioning works on the premise that an average subscriber will only use 5% of their bandwidth over the course of one month. Even though all subscribers are told that they have 10Mbps of available bandwidth, the ISP will provision for the 0.5Mbps, which is the average. If 20 subscribers share that connection in a community, then the ISP only needs to accommodate for an average of 10Mbps for the entire community (0.5Mbps x 20 users). This saves tremendously on infrastructure costs. But if all of those subscribers sign up for OTT, then bandwidth usage skyrockets and bottlenecks results in a disappointing quality of service (QoS).

Figure iii – Internet Usage by Region

Figure iii – Internet Usage by Region

 

The OTT provider happily collects monthly revenue for 20 new subscribers, but the ISPs now has to accommodate for the increased capacity, without any incremental revenue. Since this is a subscription service, the annuity revenue model results in relatively predicable forecasting. OTT Infrastructure managers can track the trajectory of subscriber growth to their expanding back-end. ISPs don’t have that same transparency in terms of which subscribers who will sign up for an OTT service.

Subscribers that sign up for OTT can easily jump from single digit gigabytes one month, to double digit gigabytes the next (see Figure iii). On a grander scale, when hundreds of thousands of subscribers sign up for OTT, there is an exponential burden on the ISP’s backbone.

Internet providers have the inconvenience of upgrading their infrastructure as OTT providers become more successful. Canadian ISP’s anticipated this dilemma by implementing a bandwidth usage cap. In 2012, four months after Netflix launched services in Canada; several ISP’s capped their internet services between 15GB and 25GB per month, prompting complaints from Netflix executives[16]. These bandwidth caps restrict downloading to just a handful of movies per month – effectively neutering Netflix’s entry into the country.

Netflix users watched over 5.1 billion hours of video per month in Q4 2014, tripling their usage compared to three years ago.[17]

In February of 2015 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)[18] voted in favor of a strong net neutrality rule. In other words paid-prioritization agreements are no longer allowed. This prevents ISPs from collecting payments from web companies from delivering their entertainment content using paid fast lanes.[19]

 

Stay Tuned for Part IV, & V

  • In Part IV we will gauge the health of the entertainment industry by breaking down the revenue forecasts of the music, film, TV, and gaming industries, in light of internet piracy.
  • In Part V of this series we will propose solutions to reducing internet piracy from the vantage point of a subscriber wish-list.

Synopsis

VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I

IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II

X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, III

Content Protection is a risk-to-cost balance. At the moment, the cost of piracy is low and the risk is low. There are no silver bullets to solving piracy, but steps can be taken to reduce levels to something more acceptable. It is untrue that everyone who pirates would be unwilling to buy the product legally. It is equally evident that every pirated copy does not represent a lost sale. If the risk is too high and the cost is set correctly, then fewer people will steal content. This paper explores how piracy has evolved over the past decades, and investigates issues surrounding copyright infringement in the entertainment industry.

Read Additional Articles in this Series

I. Consumption is Personal

In the days of linear television, broadcasters had a difficult task in understanding their audience. Without a direct broadcasting and feedback mechanism like the Internet, gauging subscriber behavior was slow. Today, online video providers have the ability to conduct a one-to-one conversation with their audience. Viewing habits of consumers will continue to rapidly change in the next ten years. This will require changes in advertising expenditure and tactics.

II. Granularity of Choice

The evolution from traditional TV viewing to online video has been swift. This has significantly disrupted disc sales such as DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as cable and satellite TV subscriptions. With the newfound ability to consume content anytime, anywhere, and on any device, consumers are re-evaluating their spending habits. In this paper we will discuss these changes in buying behavior, and identify the turning point of these changes.

III. Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience

Transcoding large video libraries is a time consuming and expensive process. Maintaining consistency in video quality helps to ensure that storage costs and bandwidth are used efficiently. It is also important for video administrators to understand the types of devices receiving the video so that subscribers can enjoy an optimal viewing experience. This paper discusses the differences in quality in popular video codecs, including the recently ratified H.265 specification.

IV. Search & Discovery Is a Journey, not a Destination

Television subscribers have come a long way from the days of channel hopping. The arduous days of struggling to find something entertaining to watch are now behind us. As consumers look to the future, the ability to search for related interests and discover new interests is now established as common practice. This paper discusses the challenges that search and discovery engines face in refining their services in order to serve a truly global audience.

V. Multiscreen Solutions for the Digital Generation

Broadcasting, as a whole, is becoming less about big powerful hardware and more about software and services. As these players move to online video services, subscribers will benefit from the breadth of content they will provide to subscribers. As the world’s video content moves online, solution providers will contribute to the success of Internet video deployments. Support for future technologies such as 4K video, advancements in behavioral analytics, and accompanying processing and networking demands will follow. Migration to a multiscreen world requires thought leadership and forward-thinking partnerships to help clients keep pace with the rapid march of technology. This paper explores the challenges that solution providers will face in assisting curators of content to address their subscriber’s needs and changing market demands.

VI. Building a Case for 4K, Ultra High Definition Video

Ultra High Definition technology (UHD), or 4K, is the latest focus in the ecosystem of video consumption. For most consumers this advanced technology is considered out of their reach, if at all necessary. In actual fact, 4K is right around the corner and will be on consumer wish lists by the end of this decade. From movies filmed in 4K, to archive titles scanned in UHD, there is a tremendous library of content waiting to be released. Furthermore, today’s infrastructure is evolving and converging to meet the demands of 4K, including Internet bandwidth speeds, processing power, connectivity standards, and screen resolutions. This paper explores the next generation in video consumption and how 4K will stimulate the entertainment industry.

VII. Are You Ready For Social TV?

Social TVbrings viewers to content via effective brand management and social networking. Users recommend content as they consume it, consumers actively follow what others are watching, and trends drive viewers to subject matters of related interests. The integration of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks has become a natural part of program creation and the engagement of the viewing community. Social networks create an environment where broadcasters have unlimited power to work with niche groups without geographic limits. The only limitations are those dictated by content owners and their associated content rights, as well as those entrenched in corporate culture who are preventing broadcasters from evolving into a New Media world.

About the Author

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)Gabriel Dusil is 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).

All Rights Reserved

© 2015, All information in this document is the sole ownership of the author. This document and any of its parts should not be copied, stored in the document system or transferred in any way including, but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photographs, or any other record, or otherwise published or provided to the third party without previous express written consent of the author. Certain terms used in this document could be registered trademarks or business trademarks, which are in sole ownership of its owners.

Tags

ACTA, Adobe HDS, Apple HLS, Box Office Mojo, Broadcast, Connected TV, Copyright Infringement, cord cutters, cord nevers, cord shavers, cyber lockers, Digital Video, dusil.com, File Hosting Services, File Sharing, Gabriel Dusil, Global Internet Phenomena Report, IFPI, Informa, Informa Telecoms and Media, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Internet Governance, Internet Piracy, Internet Video, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Multiscreen, Napster, Net Neutrality, New Media, Online Video, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, P2P, Peer to Peer, PIPA, piracy, Piratez, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC, Sandvine, Skype, Smart TV, SOPA, The Numbers

References

[1] Internet Freedom, U.S. State Department http://www.state.gov/e/eb/cip/netfreedom/index.htm

[2] Capitalism, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

[3] Totalitarianism, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

[4] net neutrality, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

[5] Internet Governance, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_governance

[6] Save the Internet, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Save_the_Internet

[7] “What is P2P communications, https://support.skype.com/en/faq/fa10983/what-are-p2p-communications

[8] Protect IP Act, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act

[9] Stop Online Piracy Act, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOPA

[10] Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACTA

[11] “Net Neutrality: A Catch 22?”, by Jyoti Pawar, 20 January 2015, Business World, http://www.businessworld.in/news/economy/net-neutrality-a-catch-22/1706892/page-1.html

[12] Over the Top Content, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content

[13] Cord Cutting, Techopedia, http://www.techopedia.com/definition/28547/cord-cutting

[14] Sandvine, Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H 2014, https://www.sandvine.com/downloads/general/global-internet-phenomena/2014/1h-2014-global-internet-phenomena-report.pdf

[15] “On Bandwidth and Backhaul Provisioning”, by by Mike Everest, 7 July 2009, Duxtel, http://shop.duxtel.com.au/article_info.php?articles_id=14

[16] “Netflix exec: Canada’s broadband caps “almost a human rights violation”, by Janko Roettgers, Gigaom, http://gigaom.com/2012/09/13/netflix-canada-caps-human-rights-violation/

[17] The Diffusion Group, tdg, http://tdgresearch.com/report/netflix-2014-domestic-dominance-international-escalation/

[18] FCC, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Federal_Communications_Commission

[19] “FCC Votes ‘Yes’ on Strongest Net-Neutrality Rules”, by Haley Sweetland Edwards, 26 February 2015, Time.com

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 12 • Entertainment Streaming, YouTube vs. OTT

• Entertainment Streaming Q&A

• Welcome to the twelfth and final web seminar in this series.  This presentation is also the final part of our “Entertainment Streaming Services – Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors and Strategies” series, focusing on summarizing the COBS analysis.  We also answer questions regarding YouTube as an OTT service, compared to using a “private” OTT platform.

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #12, Entertainment Streaming COBS)

• Synopsis

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: dusil.com

• Building a new Video Streaming service starts from understanding the market landscape. We’re all familiar with the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. But dissecting the challenges in the Video streaming industry is about understanding problems, before a solution can be formulated. Creating a gap-analysis is the next step in recognizing opportunities in this rapidly changing market space. Then, examining subscriber behavior ensures that we look through the lens of the consumer. Once those steps are completed, we can formulate a strategy to build an innovative and competitive video streaming service. This presentation takes a modern market approach for video streaming through an assessment of Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors, & Strategies (or COBS).

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #12, Entertainment Streaming COBS, title)

 

• Video Presentation

• 8 minutes 11 seconds

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, COBS, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, dusil.com, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Return On Investment, ROI, Search & Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, TCO, Television, total cost of ownership, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming


14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #12, Entertainment Streaming Q&A, Premiere Pro)

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 11 • Entertainment Streaming Strategies

• Entertainment Streaming Strategies

• Welcome to our eleventh web seminar.  This presentation is also the forth part of our “Entertainment Streaming Services – Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors and Strategies” series.  This installment focuses on Product Strategies for delivering OTT Services.

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #11, Entertainment Streaming Strategies)

• Synopsis

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: dusil.com

• Building a new Video Streaming service starts from understanding the market landscape. We’re all familiar with the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. But dissecting the challenges in the Video streaming industry is about understanding problems, before a solution can be formulated. Creating a gap-analysis is the next step in recognizing opportunities in this rapidly changing market space. Then, examining subscriber behavior ensures that we look through the lens of the consumer. Once those steps are completed, we can formulate a strategy to build an innovative and competitive video streaming service. This presentation takes a modern market approach for video streaming through an assessment of Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors, & Strategies (or COBS).

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #11, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, title)

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jun.10 – Visual Unity Global (training, #11, Entertainment Streaming Strategies).pptx

 

• Video Presentation

• 12 minutes 8 seconds

• Follow along with the video, by clicking through the slides here:

 

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, COBS, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, dusil.com, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Return On Investment, ROI, Search & Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, TCO, Television, total cost of ownership, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming


14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #11, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Premiere Pro)

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 10 • Entertainment Streaming Behaviors

 

Graphic - Dusil.com, web seminar, title

• Entertainment Streaming Behaviors

• Welcome to the ten installment in our web seminar series.  This presentation is also the third part of our “Entertainment Streaming Services – Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors and Strategies” series.  If you missed Part 1: Entertainment Streaming Challenges, you can find the presentation here.   If you missed Part 2: Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, you can find the presentation here. This part focuses on the User Behaviors in today’s digital entertainment services.

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #10, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors)

• Synopsis

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: dusil.com

• Building a new Video Streaming service starts from understanding the market landscape. We’re all familiar with the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. But dissecting the challenges in the Video streaming industry is about understanding problems, before a solution can be formulated. Creating a gap-analysis is the next step in recognizing opportunities in this rapidly changing market space. Then, examining subscriber behavior ensures that we look through the lens of the consumer. Once those steps are completed, we can formulate a strategy to build an innovative and competitive video streaming service. This presentation takes a modern market approach for video streaming through an assessment of Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors, & Strategies (or COBS).

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #10, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, title)

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jun.10 – Visual Unity Global (training, #10, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors).pptx

 

• Video Presentation

• 12 minutes 59 seconds

• Follow along with the video, by clicking through the slides here:

 

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, COBS, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, dusil.com, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Return On Investment, ROI, Search & Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, TCO, Television, total cost of ownership, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming


14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #10, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Premiere Pro)

Digital Trends Video Opinions • Whatever Happened to the HiFi Tower?

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

End of an Era

When I was a teenager, the crowning achievement of audio enthusiasts was to proudly display their HiFi system to their friends. The living room centerpiece was a HiFi tower, built from what are called separates – units manufactured as 19 inch appliances with a brushed aluminum façade. This was the 70s, and the HiFi tower consisted of an amplifier, radio tuner, tape player, and a turntable that took top position in the penthouse suite. For the baby boomer with higher disposable incomes, the tower may also exhibit a pre-amp, and maybe even an equalizer for good measure. In the 1982 the audio industry added a CD player[1], and the world was introduced to digital sound. Then in 1995 the DVD[2] player joined the portfolio, and digital video moved into the mainstream.

We were proud of our appliances and displayed them as beautiful fixtures in our living rooms. But by the mid-90’s the audio industry began to change. The emergence of the World Wide Web[3] (www) started to affect our entertainment habits. The MP3[4] format, an audio coding format for digital audio, was standardized in 1993 and soon became a tool that disrupted the audio industry. It allowed consumers to save music onto their computers at a fraction of the size, compared to CDs. Then, Peer to Peer[5] (P2P) networking was popularized by the notorious Napster[6] service, launched in 1999 allowing everyone to share their MP3 music libraries – albeit illegally. Music may have turned digital with the CD, but it also morphed from a physical product to a virtual one. When collections moved to hard drives the CD player began to lose its luster. By the end of the 20th century the portable media player[7] using hard drives or flash drives, began to emerge.

It wasn’t just the audio and video input sources that evolved. By the first decade of 2000, the output changed as well. Active speakers began to eat into the market share of passive speakers, lessening the need for an amplifier. Much of this was driven by the computer industry, where speakers would connect directly to the PC. The cornerstone of the HiFi tower was in jeopardy. But the consumer electronics industry seemingly compensated. They continued to improve on the design of the Class D amplifier[8], which was more power efficient, dissipated less heat, and cheaper to produce, than their Class A to C[9] counterparts. They also began to support video inputs. With video, this appliance evolved into the Audio-Visual Receiver[10]. This may have extended the validity of the amplifier, but in the 2000’s the HiFi tower began to lose many of its floors.

The turntable almost disappeared once the CD began to reach critical mass. I trashed mine sometime around 1993. But vinyl[11] has had a resurgence of interest from die-hard fans that are convinced that records sounds better. My take on this passion is that vinyl enthusiasts are accustomed to the fidelity limitations that the media imposes on audio frequency and resolution. In fact, that ‘warm’ sound that is much loved, can be easily reproduced through digital filters (please, no nasty letters). Tape decks have long become occupants of landfill. I finally threw out mine out around 2005, even though I hadn’t used it for a decade. The graphic equalizer (or, more likely a parametric equalizer) may still be present in recording studios, but is predominantly a software feature in digital audio. In fact, today’s audio quality is so pristine that the consumer ‘want’ for an equalizer has virtually disappeared.

Most consumers can’t tell the difference between a 192kbps and a 320kbps MP3 track at 44.1KHz and 16bit resolution on a stereo channel[12]. Consider that Blu-Ray tracks can support up to 24.5Mbps, 96kHz, 24bit resolution on 7.1 channels. That’s 76 times more information delivered to your ears! The additional surround channels are apparent, but most consumers don’t hear the additional resolution. Regardless, the audio industry can’t stand still – it needs to evolve. As the video industry begins to standardize on 4K[13] UHD technology, audio giants such as DTS[14] and Dolby Laboratories[15] will need to step up their game and improve on their DTS-HD[16] and Dolby TrueHD[17] standards. Possibly Dolby Atmos[18] is the future, which currently supports up to 128 audio tracks and 64 speakers. But how this technology will fit into a home theater set-up remains an open question.

Black Boxes to Virtual Boxes

By 2006, the first Blu-Ray discs were released. It became a new floor in our tower. But many argue that it may be the last, in favor of internet streaming. Online video streaming services have had a negative effect on disc players. Consumers realized that access to a large library at a low monthly cost makes more sense than owning shelves of CDs, DVDs or Blu-Rays. Today’s internet has plenty of bandwidth to support video streaming. As long as subscribers can continue to easily access content through a cloud-based service, then there will be little desire for ownership.

Portfolio - Visual Unity, Digital Trends, What happened to the HiFi Tower (Some will thank computing for staged a coup d’état)

Has the 19″ appliance been replaced by software? The limitation of this audio black-box appliance is certainly apparent in today’s demanding multi-functional world. Today’s consumers expect some combination of Bluetooth, Wireline, WiFi, DLNA[20] connectivity, or Near Field Communication[21] (NFC) in their consumer electronics. For example, a disc player that can’t connect to the Internet has little value to a ‘Net savvy consumer. A console that doesn’t support multi-player gaming via the internet is boring.

Video, Audio, Communication is integral to today’s gamer. My kids connect to Skype and have group chats when playing DayZ[22], Minecraft[23], or World of Tanks[24]. They use LogMeIn Hamachi[25] to network their computers. They record their gaming experience with Camtasia Studio[26], and share it on their YouTube channel[27]. Many games aren’t even suitable for disc release. Assassins Creed Unity for example, is a 42GB download on Ubisoft’s Uplay[28]!

Millennial Entertainment

My audio-visual setup is quite unusual. I don’t have a living room in the traditional sense. My computer has evolved as the center of both my work and entertainment world. I sit two feet away when I need to type on the keyboard. Then move ten feet away to watch movies. My office is my living room, and visa-versa. I appreciate that this is not typical for the majority of households, but certainly some level of convergence is happening on a larger scale. TV’s are now Smart[29], and connected to the Internet. Computers, tablets and mobiles are being used to watch entertainment. Gaming consoles are used for social networking. Many consumers don’t realize that their Set-Top-Box[30] (STB) from their cable provider is a PC.

Where does that leave us? For starters, let’s accept that the beautiful HiFi tower, as we once knew it, has virtually disappeared. Millennials don’t even know what they look like. (Case in point: I mentioned to my 12 year old that I was writing a new article where I’ve mentioned him called, “Whatever Happened to the HiFi Tower?”, and the first thing he asked was, “What’s that?”). My tower was dismantled shortly before my kids were born. Even the receiver, once the cornerstone of my HiFi tower was shelved, in favor of active speakers.

Modern living rooms still have their appliances. Somewhere in the house is a WiFi router. The STB may sit beside a gaming console, and maybe a connected Blu-Ray player. A select few will have a media player, or a home theatre PC[31] (HTPC). But each one will have a different shape, size, and color. Nothing in this setup has the elegance of HiFi tower. Even though some manufacturers try to maintain the 19″ form factor, it doesn’t quite have the same ta’da’ enthusiasm from my youth. If a HiFi tower does exist, they are found in high-end home theatres, hidden behind walls, cabinets, or doors. A large number of living rooms need to also check the spouse-acceptance-factor[32] box. Only a privileged few are lucky to have their very own man cave[33].

Thanks for the Memories

Today’s digital society was elegantly summarized by Cory Bergman, from Lost Remote:

“Apps become the channels. Google and Apple
become the gateways, not the MVPDs. Screens become seamless.
DVRs become pointless. And the internet becomes the cable.”[34]

This touches on the sensitive topic of how the entertainment industry has succumbed to applications and the internet.

The excitement of the HiFi tower is now separated by a generation gap. For those that attended high school in the 70’s or 80’s, remember when you bought your first amplifier and the focal point of discussion with your buddies started at the back of the unit? The more connections the amplifier had the more beautiful it was. These days, showing all of your music and movies through the window of our computer monitor doesn’t quite have the same excitement as displaying hundreds of CD’s and DVD’s on a shelf beside a HiFi tower that is taller than a six year old. Such is progress. I may no longer re-live the enthusiasm of showing off my HiFi tower. But I’ll make that trade-off, if it means having my entertainment library accessible with only a few mouse clicks.

• Synopsis

Over the span of two decades entertainment has evolved from a physical to a virtual industry – From a black-box appliance, performing a specific task, to computing devices running applications that serve many functions. What happened to the prestige of the HiFi tower? Did it disappear and we didn’t even notice? This article explores how our world of entertainment has evolved, and what happened to that beautiful HiFi tower.

This article was originally published on redsharknews.com.

• About Gabriel Dusil

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

ŸGabriel Dusil, Smart TV, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, DTS-HD, Napster, Class D Amplifier, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Atmos, Digital Living Network Alliance, DLNA, Near Field Communication, NFC, DayZ, World of Tanks, Hamachi, Camtasia, UPlay, Wife acceptance factor, Spouse acceptance factor, P2P, Dusil.com

• Resources

[1] CD player, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_disc

[2] DVD, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD

[3] World Wide Web, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web

[4] MP3, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3

[5] P2P, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer

[6] Napster, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster

[7] Portable media player, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_media_player

[8] Class D Amplifier, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-D_amplifier

[9] Amplifier, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier

[10] Audio-Visual Receiver, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV_receiver

[11] Vinyl, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl

[12] “Audiophiles: Can humans hear a difference between low bitrate and high bitrate MP3s?”, by Eric Dykstra, http://www.quora.com/Audiophiles/Can-humans-hear-a-difference-between-low-bitrate-and-high-bitrate-MP3s

[13] 4K, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

[14] DTS, http://listen.dts.com/

[15] Dolby Digital, http://www.dolby.com/us/en/index.html

[16] DTS-HD, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

[17] Dolby TrueHD, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_TrueHD

[18] Dolby Digital Atmos, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Atmos

[19] “Some will thank computing for staged a coup d’état on the entertainment industry. Others will blame the internet for killing it.”

[20] Digital Living Network Alliance, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Living_Network_Alliance

[21] Near Field Communication, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication

[22] DayZ, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DayZ_%28video_game%29, http://dayzmod.com/

[23] Minecraft, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft, https://minecraft.net/

[24] World of Tanks, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Tanks, http://worldoftanks.com/

[25] LogMeIn Hamachi, Wikipedia, https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/download.aspx

[26] Camtasia Studio, http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

[27] YouTube Channels, https://www.youtube.com/channels

[28] UPlay, http://uplay.ubi.com/

[29] Smart TV, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_TV

[30] Set-Top-Box, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set-top_box

[31] Home theater PC, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_theater_PC

[32] Wife acceptance factor, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife_acceptance_factor

[33] man cave, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_cave

[34] “How Chromecast fundamentally changed how my family watches TV”, By Cory Bergman, Lost Remote, 3 September 2013, http://lostremote.com/how-chromecast-fundamentally-changed-how-my-family-watches-tv_b38639

 

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 9 • Entertainment Streaming Opportunities

• Entertainment Streaming Opportunities

• Welcome to our ninth web seminar.  This presentation is also the second part of the “Entertainment Streaming Services – Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors and Strategies” series.  If you missed the first part of this series, you can find the presentation here. This installment focuses on the Opportunities in delivering OTT Services.

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #9, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities)

• Synopsis

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: dusil.com.  In case you’re interested, I also run a separate personal blog at gabrieldusil.com.

• Building a new Video Streaming service starts from understanding the market landscape. We’re all familiar with the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. But dissecting challenges in the Video streaming industry is about understanding the problems, before a solution can be formulated. Creating a gap-analysis is the next step in recognizing opportunities in this rapidly changing market space. Then, examining subscriber behavior ensures that we look through the lens of the consumer. Once those steps are completed, we can formulate a strategy to build an innovative and competitive video streaming service. This presentation takes a modern market approach for video streaming through an assessment of Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors, & Strategies (or COBS).

14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #9, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, title)

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jun.10 – Visual Unity Global (training, #9, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities).pptx

 

• Watch the Video Presentation here:

• 7 minutes 9 seconds

• Follow along with the video, by clicking through the slides here:

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, COBS, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, dusil.com, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Return On Investment, ROI, Search & Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, TCO, Television, total cost of ownership, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming

 


14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #9, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Premiere Pro)

Gabriel Dusil • Social Networking • Announcing the launch of gabrieldusil.com!

• Many of you have suggested that I split my professional content from the personal stuff, so I finally got around to it. I’m happy to announce the launch of my new personal blog, gabrieldusil.com.

Home - Social Networking, header (gabrieldusil.com signature)

My personal blog will focus on tags related to:

  • Family Legacy • Mamička • Taci • Googičko • Gabičko
  • Photo Restoration • Digital Restoration • Photo Repair • Historical Photography
  • Martial Arts • MMA • Mixed Martial Arts • Kick boxing • Karate • Self Defense
  • Fitness • Strength & Conditioning • Circuit Training • Aerobic • Anaerobic

Here are links to recent posts in my personal blog:

Home - Social Networking, header(Google+ header)

The professional blog, dusil.com, will continue to focus on the following tags:

  • OTT • Over the Top Content • OVP • Online Video Platform • VoD • On Demand
  • Broadcast • Television • Multiscreen • Smart TV • Social TV • 4K • UHD • UltraHD
  • Connected TV • TV Everywhere • TV Anywhere • Digital Video • Streaming

Here are links to recent posts in my professional blog:

Enjoy!

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal, Gab)

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 8 • Entertainment Streaming Challenges

Graphic - Dusil.com, web seminar, title

• Entertainment Streaming Challenges

• Welcome to our eighth web seminar.  This presentation is also the first part of our “Entertainment Streaming Services – Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors and Strategies” series.  In this installment we focus on the Challenges of delivering OTT Services. 14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #8, Entertainment Streaming Challenges)

• Synopsis

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: www.dusil.com • Building a new Video Streaming service starts from understanding the market landscape. We’re all familiar with the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. But dissecting the challenges in the Video streaming industry is about understanding problems, before a solution can be formulated. Creating a gap-analysis is the next step in recognizing opportunities in this rapidly changing market space. Then, examining subscriber behavior ensures that we look through the lens of the consumer. Once those steps are completed, we can formulate a strategy to build an innovative and competitive video streaming service. This presentation takes a modern market approach for video streaming through an assessment of Challenges, Opportunities, Behaviors, & Strategies (or COBS). 14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #8, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, title)

• Video Presentation

• 9 minutes 6 seconds

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jun.10 – Visual Unity Global (training, #8, Entertainment Streaming Challenges).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, COBS, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, dusil.com, Entertainment Streaming Behaviors, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Entertainment Streaming Opportunities, Entertainment Streaming Strategies, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Return On Investment, ROI, Search & Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, TCO, Television, total cost of ownership, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming


14.Jun.10 - Visual Unity Global (training, #8, Entertainment Streaming Challenges, Premiere Pro)

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