OTT & Multiscreen • Digital Video • 1-12 • Complete Series

In this post please find links to the entire OTT & Multiscreen Digital Video Series.  If you click on the thumbnail, then it will open the PDF article (for subsequent download). If you click on the link below the thumbnail it will be redirect you to the original web article.

I. Consumption is Personal

  • Broadcast providers had a relatively difficult task in understanding their audience, in the days of linear television. In the absence of the internet, adjusting to subscriber behavior was slow, in comparison to the real-time nature of internet video. Today online video providers have the ability to experience 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 accompanying changes in advertising expenditure. In the global nature of internet video, these online services will need to optimize accordingly to capitalize on these market opportunities.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (I. Consumption Is Personal, v2.4, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/02/28/consumption-is-personal/

 

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 patterns. In this paper we will discuss these changes in buying behavior, and identify the turning-point when all this started to accelerate.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (II. Granularity of Choice, v2.5, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/04/01/granularity-of-choice/

 

III. Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience

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

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (III. Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience, v2.4, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/04/22/benchmarking-the-video-experience/

 

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 useful to watch is now securely 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.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (IV. Search & Discovery is a Journey, v2.3, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/05/13/Search-and-Discovery-Is-a-Journey-not-a-Destination/

 

V. Multiscreen Solutions for the Digital Generation

  • Broadcast, 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 the 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.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (V. Multiscreen Solutions for the Digital Generation, v2.4, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/06/24/multiscreen-solutions-for-the-digital-generation/

 

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 technology is considered far from consumer reach, if at all necessary. In fact, 4K is right around the corner, and will creep into the mind-share of consumer wish-lists by the end of this decade. From movies filmed in 4K, to archive titles scanned in UHD, there is a library of content just waiting to be released. Furthermore, today’s infrastructure is 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.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (VI. Building a Case for 4K, Ultra High Definition Video, v2.4, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/07/15/building-a-case-for-4K-ultra-high-definition-video/

 

VII. Are You Ready For Social TV?

  • Social TV brings viewers to content via effective brand management and social networking. Users recommend content as they consume it – Consumers actively follow what others are watching – Trends drive viewers to subject matters of related interests. Integration of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks become a natural part of the program creation and 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, and corporate culture preventing broadcasters from evolving to a New Media world.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (VII. Are You Ready For Social TV, v4.7, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/08/12/are-you-ready-for-social-tv/

 

VIII.-X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I, II,  III, IV, & V

  • Content Protection is a risk-to-cost balance. At the moment, the cost or piracy is low, the risk is low, and the enforcement is not ubiquitous. There is no silver bullet to solving piracy, but steps can be taken to reduce their levels to something more acceptable. It is untrue that everyone who pirated would refuse to buy a product legally. It is equally untrue that every pirated copy represented a lost sale at full download price. If the risk is too high, and the cost is low enough, then less people would pirate content. This paper explores how piracy has evolved over the past few decades, and discusses the issues around copyright infringement in the entertainment industry, and proposed steps to convert Piratez into consumers.

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I, v1.9, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2013/10/25/turning-piratez-into-consumers-i/

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II, v2.0, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2014/07/15/turning-piratez-into-consumers-ii/

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, III, v1.6, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2015/05/12/turning-piratez-into-consumers-iii/

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (XI. Turning Piratez into Consumers, IV, v1.6, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2015/05/26/turning-piratez-into-consumers-iv/

Portfolio - OTT & Multiscreen (XII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, V, v2.1, thumbnail)

https://dusil.com/2015/09/22/turning-piratez-into-consumers-v/

 

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 4 • Corporate Services Overview ’14

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Corporate Services Overview

• Here is the forth presentation from our ’14 seminar series.

• In this presentation we provide an overview of Visual Unity Global and our service portfolio. This year our marketing department stepped-up its game yet again, and completely redesigned our corporate presentation for 2014, to better communicate our stellar capabilities of the vuMedia™ platform, and adjacent services.

• Video Presentation

• 13 minutes 44 seconds

• Download the Original PowerPoint Slides

Management – Gabriel Dusil (training, #4, Corporate Overview ’14, v6.6).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, BroadcastLinear, Connected TV, Digital Video, Dusil, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, Granularity of Choice, Linear Broadcast, Linear Television, Linear TV, linear tv + market, linear tv consumption vs ott, linear tv definition, linear tv rights, linear tv transmission rights, linear tv wiki, MSSMulti-screen, Multiscreen, Multiscreen System Integrator, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, OVPRecommendation, Search + Discovery, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Visual Unity, Visual Unity Global, vuClient, vuContent, vuEasy, vuIngest, vuMedia, vuMobile, vuMultiscreen, vuProtect, vuStats

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 3 • The Future of Over the Top Video Services

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• The Future of Over the Top Video Services

• This presentation discusses how OTT continues to evolve.  This is presented in the context of how technology and consumer behavior is shaping OTT,  such as content discovery services, and social networking.  We conclude by presenting a vision of where OTT could potentially take digital video, into the future.

• Video Presentation

• 12 minutes 24 seconds

• Download the Original PowerPoint Slides

Management – Gabriel Dusil (training, #3, The Future of OTT, v3.9}.pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, BroadcastLinear, Connected TV, Digital Video, Dusil, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, Granularity of Choice, Linear Broadcast, Linear Television, Linear TV, linear tv + market, linear tv consumption vs ott, linear tv definition, linear tv rights, linear tv transmission rights, linear tv wiki, MSSMulti-screen, Multiscreen, Multiscreen System Integrator, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, OVPRecommendation, Search + Discovery, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Visual Unity, Visual Unity Global, vuClient, vuContent, vuEasy, vuIngest, vuMedia, vuMobile, vuMultiscreen, vuProtect, vuStats

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 2 • Origins of Over the Top Video Services

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Origins of Over the Top Video Services

• This is the second presentation from our 2014 seminar series.

• To better understand where we are going, it helps to know where we came from.  This presentation investigates when OTT video services began to emerge, and the market landscape that made it happen.  We also look at how different regions around the world will be implementing OTT, based on their infrastructure capabilities, and where they reside in the OTT adoption curve.

• Video Presentation

• 22 minutes 10 seconds

• Download the Original PowerPoint Slides

Management – Gabriel Dusil (training, #2, Origins of Over the Top Video Services).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, BroadcastLinear, Connected TV, Digital Video, Dusil, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, Granularity of Choice, Linear Broadcast, Linear Television, Linear TV, linear tv + market, linear tv consumption vs ott, linear tv definition, linear tv rights, linear tv transmission rights, linear tv wiki, MSSMulti-screen, Multiscreen, Multiscreen System Integrator, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, OVPRecommendation, Search + Discovery, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Visual Unity, Visual Unity Global, vuClient, vuContent, vuEasy, vuIngest, vuMedia, vuMobile, vuMultiscreen, vuProtect, vuStats

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 1 • Setting the Stage for Over the Top Video Services

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Setting the Stage for Over the Top Video Services

• This is the first presentation from a series of seminars we recorded throughout 2014.

• This presentation sets the ground work for the terminology surrounding OTT & Multiscreen services, and sets the stage for future presentations that will explore the digital video landscape and corporate portfolio of Visual Unity Global.

• Video Presentation

• 12 minutes 29 seconds

• Download the Original PowerPoint Slides

Management – Gabriel Dusil (Setting the OTT Stage, v3.9}.pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, BroadcastLinear, Connected TV, Digital Video, Dusil, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, Granularity of Choice, Linear Broadcast, Linear Television, Linear TV, linear tv + market, linear tv consumption vs ott, linear tv definition, linear tv rights, linear tv transmission rights, linear tv wiki, MSSMulti-screen, Multiscreen, Multiscreen System Integrator, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, OVPRecommendation, Search + Discovery, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Visual Unity, Visual Unity Global, vuClient, vuContent, vuEasy, vuIngest, vuMedia, vuMobile, vuMultiscreen, vuProtect, vuStats

OTT & Multiscreen • Digital Video Series • 3 • Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience

Graphic - Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience (title)
Creating a compelling and engaging video experience has been an ongoing mission for content owners and distributors; Whether it was the introduction of CinemaScope[1] in 1953 to stifle the onslaught of color TV[2], or the introduction of 3D films[3] in the 50’s, the 80’s, and its subsequent re-introduction in 2009 with the launch of Avatar[4], to 4K Ultra high definition (UHD[5]) TV, and retina[6] quality video. In every way, gauging video quality has been a subjective exercise for consumers and experts alike.

 Graphic - Benchmarking the Video Experience (i. Calculating Qf)

Figure i - Visual Representation of calculating Qf

Figure i – Visual Representation of calculating Qf

Beyond the signal to noise ratio (SNR[7]) measurement used to compare different compression ratios or codecs, in many cases only a trained eye would notice errors such as compression artifacts[8], screen tearing[9], or telecine judder[10] – unless they were persistent.

A modest metric to assess a video file’s compression density is the Quality factor (Qf[11]). In fact, the name is misleading since it is not actually a measure of quality, but an indication of video compression using three parameters: bitrate, the number of pixels in the frame, and the overall frame-rate of the video. Qf is essentially a measure of, “the amount of data allocated to each pixel in the video” [12]. This metric doesn’t take into account the type of compression profile used, the number of passes originally utilized in the encoding process[13], or any tweaks implemented by the encoding engineer to optimize the video quality. So Qf, or compression density, is just a baseline guide for an administrator that is responsible for transcoding or managing large video libraries.

The accompanying table shows a comparison of Qf using nominal figures for DVD, Blu-Ray and the recently ratified H.265 codec (aka. High Efficiency Video Coding, HEVC[14]). As the compression standard used for encoding the video improves, this corresponds to a reduced Qf.

Although Qf may be considered an inaccurate measure of video compression quality, where it becomes valuable is during the video encoding[15] or transcoding[16] stage – especially when multiple videos are required for processing, and an administrator has the option to choose consistency in the profile used and all related sub-parameters. Choosing a single Qf in this case will ensure global uniformity of compression density across the entire library. There are several internet forum discussions on the optimum quality that should be used for encoding (or an ideal Qf). Realistically, every video has its own unique and optimum settings. Finding this balance for each individual video would be impractical. For this reason, grouping video libraries by genre, or content type, then using a Qf for each group is a more reasonable compromise. For instance, corporate presentations, news casts, medical procedures – basically any type of recording with a lot of static images – could be compressed with the same Qf. The corresponding file for these videos could be as small as 1/20th the size of a typical Blu-Ray movie, with no perceivable loss in video quality.

Table I - Comparing Qf for MPEG2, H.264 & H.265[17]

Table I – Comparing Qf for MPEG2, H.264 & H.265[17]

As shown in the table, the Qf metric is useful in showing that a 1080p movie using the MPEG2 codec (aka. H.262 under the ITU definition) at 16.7GB (Gigabytes[18]) of storage (with a Qf = 0.33), compares equally to 10GB using H.264 (Qf = 0.20). Or in the case of H.265 a file size of 6GB (Qf = .6) again maintains the same quality. This is because each of these codecs significantly improves the efficiency on the previous one, while maintaining the same level of perceived video quality.

Figure ii - Visual representation of Video Compression standards & relative bandwidth requirements[19]

Figure ii – Visual representation of Video Compression standards & relative bandwidth requirements[19]

Ascertaining a video’s compression density can be achieved using MediaInfo[20], an open-source software package. This utility is an excellent resource in determining the formatting and structure of a given video file. MediaInfo displays a plethora of metadata and related details of the media content in a well laid-out overview. This includes granular structure of the audio, video, and subtitles of a movie. The layout of the data can even be customized using HTML and entire directories can be exported as part of a media library workflow. It’s an indispensable resource for content owners and subscribers that are managing large multimedia databases.

Figure iii - Snapshot of MediaInfo showing a video's Structural Metadata

Figure iii – Snapshot of MediaInfo showing a video’s Structural Metadata

The H.264 codec (MPEG 4 AVC[21], or Microsoft’s own VC1[22]) improved on the efficiency of MPEG2[23] codec, developed in 1995, by around 40% to 50%. Although H.264 was created in 1998 it didn’t reach mainstream until Blu-Ray was officially launched in 2006. The H.265 standard, currently promises a similar 35% to 50% improvement in efficiency[24]. So when MPEG2 needs 10Mbps to transmit a video, an H.264 codec could send the same file, in the same quality at 6Mbps. H.265 can achieve the same at 3.6Mbps. The trade-off in using H.265 is two to ten times higher computational power over H.264 for encoding. So expect video encoding to take up to ten times longer to encode when using today’s processor. Thankfully devices will need only a two to three times increase in CPU strength to decode the video.

The new H.265 standard ushers in multiple levels of cost savings. At a storage level, costs saving of 40% would be significant for video libraries hosted in any cloud. Content hosting facilities or CDNs (content delivery networks[25]) are costly endeavor at the moment, for many clients. It may be argued that storage costs are a commodity, but when media libraries are measured in Petabytes[26] then these capital cost savings help the bottom line by using newer and more efficient codecs. Also, bandwidth costs will play an important role in further savings. Many online video platforms charge subscribers for the number of gigabytes leaving their facilities. Halving those costs by using H.265 would have a significant impact on monthly operational costs. On the flip side, video processing costs will increase in the short term, due to stronger and more expensive CPU power needed at both the encoding and decoding stages. Existing hardware will likely be used to encode H.265 in the short term, at the expense of time. But dedicated hardware will be needed for any extensive transcoding exercises, or real-time transcoding services.

Subscription-based internet services significantly compress their video content compared to their Blu-Ray counterparts. It’s a practical trade-off between video quality and bandwidth savings. But the quality of video only becomes a factor on certain consumer devices which can show the deficiencies of a highly compressed video. For example, a 60” (inches diagonal) plasma screen has the resolution to reveal a codec’s compression artifacts, but for a TV less than 40”, these artifacts would be hardly noticeable to the average consumer. For the most part, a 1080p title is barely distinguishable in quality to 720p on even a medium-sized television. Likewise, for many views watching on a majority of mobile device, high resolution content is both overkill and costly.

For those with bandwidth caps, subscribers are charged for all streaming data reaching their smartphone, whether they experience the highest quality video or not. Any video data sent exceeding the capability of a consumer device is a waste of money

Graphic - Benchmarking the Video Experience (iii.a. If H.265 lives up to its hype, then it is destined to be the de facto encoding standard for digital video)

At the moment video playback on mobile devices still poses a challenge for high definition. Thanks to multi-core processing on smartphones consumers are on the brink of having enough power to play full HD video, and can even run other processor intensive tasks in the background. Although quad-core[28] processors such as the Cortex A15 from ARM[29] and nVidia’s Tegra 4[30] (also based on the ARM architecture) have the ability to play some 1080p video, they will still struggle to play a wide library of full HD content without requiring some level of transcoding to lower profiles. 2013 is ushering in a wide range of handsets claiming 1080p support from HTC, Huawei, Sony, Samsung, and ZTE[31]. Multicore GPU and CPU running at ultra-low power requirements are asserting mobile devices as a viable platform for 1080p.

In the meantime, the resilience of H.264 and H.265 is in their use of encoding profiles (eg. baseline, main, or high and all associated sub-levels). The use of different profiles ensures that the best quality video experience is delivered within the limitations of the device playing the video. Low profile’s such as baseline require minimal processing power but do not efficiently compress the video. High profile modes are highly efficient and squeeze video file size as small as possible. Thus bandwidth is used efficiently, but requires higher processing power of the end-device to decode the video. Although the latest Apple iOS[32] devices support high profile, most smartphones still use lower profiles to ensure wider device compatibility. In the interim, internet video providers continue to encode titles into multiple profiles to suit a wide range of subscriber devices, accommodate their limitations in decoding capabilities, and maximize each individual viewing experience.

Higher profiles in H.265 will also have an effect on consumer electronics (CE[33]) equipment. Current iterations of these appliances are not equipped to handle the required processing demands of H.265. The next generation Home Theater PC (HTPC[34]), Set Top Box (STB[35]), or Media Player[36], will require upgrades their processing engines to accommodate these next generation codecs. Lab testing is still required to showcase that next generation computer processors will have the ability to decode H.265 at higher bit depth (eg. 10 bit), and resolutions as high as 4K resolutions. Some estimates state that 4K using H.265 will require 80 time more horsepower compared to HD using H.264[45].

To further compensate for the vast differences in mobile coverage, and best-effort internet communications, Over the Top (OTT)[37] providers, and Online Video Providers (OVP)[38] are offering advanced video optimization features such as Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (ABS)[39]. This is a solution to optimize video quality sent in real-time. Protocols such as Apple’s HLS[40], and more recently MPEG-DASH[41] have been developed to provide a universal approach to implementing adaptive bitrates.

The need for Adaptive Bitrate Streaming and related techniques is just a stop-gap requirement. As quality of service improves and bandwidth speeds increase, the need for optimization techniques will diminish. In some regions these techniques may completely disappear. Certainly, during the days of the analog modem, bandwidth was at a premium, so compression techniques and sophisticated error correction methods were used to maximize data throughput while also saving costs for the last-mile[42]. As bandwidth increased, these line adaption features were no longer deemed necessary. Similarly, the need for bandwidth optimization techniques will be diluted in regions where mobile 4G LTE[43] (Long-Term Evolution) will become ubiquitous. Speeds will become so reliable that even the internet’s best-effort[44] will be sufficient to deliver multiple 4K videos, in real time, to any device.

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 TV brings 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.

    VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers

    IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I

    IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II

    X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, III

    XI. Turning Piratez into Consumers, IV

    XII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, V

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.

About the Author

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).

All Rights Reserved

©2013, 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.

References


[2] Color television, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_TV

[5] Ultra high definition television, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_High_Definition_Television

[8] Compression artifact, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact

[9] Screen tearing, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_tearing

[11] Originally used in Gordian Knot, http://sourceforge.net/projects/gordianknot/, an open source project for encoding videos into DivX and XviD formats. This software is no long being developed.

[12] “The Secret to Encoding High Quality Web Video: Tutorial”, by Jan Ozer, ReelSEO.com, http://www.reelseo.com/secret-encoding-web-video/

[13] With multi-pass encoding, the encoder becomes aware that some static parts of the video can be encoded with lower bitrates compared to complex scenes requiring higher bitrates. This knowledge encodes the video more efficiently, but requires higher processing resources and time to complete the task.

[14] High Efficiency Video Coding, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.265

[15] Data compression – Video, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_encoding#Video

[17] This table shows the typical frame size for MPEG2, H.264 and H.265. For consistency and for the sake of comparison, a frame aspect ratio of 16:9 is shown. The Cinemascope[17] frame size of 2.39:1 or 2.35:1 would further alter the figures. The table also does not take into account the audio channel, which roughly amounts to a 10% increase in bitrate and file size (when a similar quality codex are used in each instance). Also not under consideration is a pixel bit depth higher than 8, such as in professional video recording, and common frame rates of 25, 29.97, 30 or 50fps are not considered.

[19] In the context of this article, ½HD is referred to as 1280×720 resolution.

[24] Studies have shown a 39-44% improvement in efficiency over H.264. Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), “Comparison of Compression Performance of HEVC Working Draft 4 with AVC High Profile”

[25] Content Delivery Network, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_Delivery_Network

[27]If H.265 lives up to its hype, then it is destined to be the de facto encoding standard for digital video.”

[28] Multi-core processor, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-core_processor

[31] “Top 5 smartphones with 1080p displays”, by Jacqueline Seng, cnet, http://asia.cnet.com/top-5-smartphones-with-1080p-displays-62220194.htm

[33] Consumer electronics, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_electronics

[34] Home theater PC, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTPC

[37] Over the Top content, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content

[39] Adaptive bitrate streaming, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_bitrate_streaming

[40] HTTP Live Streaming, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_Live_Streaming

[41] Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Adaptive_Streaming_over_HTTP

[44] Best-effort delivery, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best-effort

[45] “HEVC Update, Beyond the Main Profile”, Matthew Goldman, Ericsson Television, 26th February, 2013

OTT & Multiscreen • Evolution of Online Media

12.Oct.18 - Visual Unity Opening Day, Prague (Evolution of Online Video, title)

Synopsis

Various industry players are working feverishly to engage customers through online video so that content is available anywhere, anytime, and on any device.  Migration to multiscreen video consumption requires thought leadership and forward-thinking partnerships, to help clients keep pace with the rapid march of technology.  vuEasy™ is a new solution that opens doors to a wide range of companies waiting for an ideal Cloud-based service to monetize their past, present and future content.  Monetization is not just about selling content – it is about building business awareness and a communication strategy around a brand. With vuEasy™, Visual Unity enables an eMarketplace so that businesses can converge in a single cloud service and convert their multimedia assets into revenue.

Watch a video of the Presentation here:

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Management – Visual Unity (Master, v3.4, vuEasy).pptx

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OTT & Multiscreen • Digital Video Series • 2 • Granularity of Choice

Graphic - Granularity of Choice (title)
In the days when there were only a handful of channels, the ratio between useful and useless didn’t seem to matter – Especially when it was free and over the air (OTA[1]) content. But as Pay TV[2] came to market in the 90’s, consumers were presented with hundreds of channels and monthly fees. The gap between relevant and irrelevant widened significantly. Throughout this transition subscribers became used to the notion that, “buying the entire book store”, was necessary just to get a few books. It was a necessary evil for users to purchase more than they actually wanted to consume.  There was no other way to get access to the handful of channels that we really wanted to watch.

But in today’s internet world, consumers no longer need to buy the entire bookstore to get a few books. Consuming content is analogous to going to the library and only borrowing (i.e. viewing) what we want – then giving it back when we’re done. Accessibility to online content has removed the need to subscribe to more than we need to consume. Whether it’s head-end or long-tail[3] content, consumers only need to purchase and consume what they want, without any excess baggage and expense.

Figure i - The Long Tail of Internet Video Consumption

Figure i – The Long Tail of Internet Video Consumption

The frustration of having too many channels didn’t matter, as long as we could watch what we wanted. But the challenge for broadcasters was introducing their subscribers to mid-tail to long-tail content otherwise unnoticed by the casual viewer. Cable and satellite providers addressed these market challenges through the introduction of EPG (electronic programming guides), and DVR (digital video recorders or PVR, personal video recorders[4]). With these new set-top boxes (STB[5]), subscribers became untethered from the limitations of linear broadcast. Finally consumers could watch their programming whenever they wanted, the freedom to pause or rewind if they wanted…or, dare we mention – fast-forward through commercials – to the irritation of advertisers. Nevertheless, there was still a string tying the subscriber to linear TV since the digital video recorder needed to wait for the program to broadcast before it could be captured onto a set top box. A limitation that will always apply to live broadcast for that matter.

"I only watch four channels. Why do I need to pay for over 500"

With Over the Top content (OTT)[7], services such as Netflix[8] and Hulu[9], subscribers could finally disconnect themselves completely from linear television, and just download what they wanted (i.e. any content), when they wanted (i.e. any time). With Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007[10] and iPad in 2010[11], consumers became untethered from their living rooms and could watch videos on any device and ‘anywhere’.

"For subscribers that have Cut-the-cord ... broadcast television has become a frustrating experience"

With the growth of online video, a trend has also begun with subscriber’s cutting-the-cord[13]. This is a fairly recent phenomenon where consumers cancel their cable or satellite TV contracts, and exclusively use the internet for their viewing experience.  This may include a combination of OTT services, cloud-based subscription services, or any number of websites which serve internet video.  The accompanying chart shows that around 7% of global Pay TV subscribers have cut the cord, with another 8% proactively reducing their costs.  From this group, 56% that made the change were motivated by saving money, and another 42% weren’t watching enough television to justify the subscription cost.  Overall this decline may not seem alarming, but for cable and satellite providers with millions of subscriber, this amounts to sizable losses in annuity revenue streams. In the U.S. alone, over a two year period from the beginning of 2010 till the end of 2011, the cable TV industry lost 2.3 million subscribers[14], and this downward trend is continuing unabated. With an ARPU[15] (Average Revenue Per User) of $53 US per month[16], this amounts to a loss of over $1.4 billion US per year.  This decline doesn’t appear to be slowing any time soon.

Figure ii - Global Subscription Changes & Reasons for Reduced Spending

Figure ii – Global Subscription Changes & Reasons for Reduced Spending

In a world where Netflix offers an extensive movie library and Hulu offers the same for TV serials, then what is left for broadcaster’s to differentiate their offering? Currently this includes live sports and news events. These may be the traditional broadcaster’s last remaining holy grail – but for how long? Protecting their revenue streams has created a sense of urgency, more so than embracing new online revenue opportunities. It’s no mistake that most of the 2012 Olympics in London were only available via selected broadcasters world-wide[17].

Figure iii - Decline in U.S. Cable TV Subscribers

Figure iii – Decline in U.S. Cable TV Subscribers

The Internet has significantly disrupted the traditional TV subscription model. Even if consumers still watch their television for live news and sports, for some it has become a medium for background noise within the confines of their living room. It’s a relaxing release from having to make a choice of what to watch. For others the autonomy to make content choices has widened, and the ability to granularity access that content also has.

The need to own content is also being diluted by accessibility. As service providers continue to consolidate libraries, extended their content rights, and provide multiple ways to consume content, the need for ownership is slipping from the minds of consumers. This may be partially the reason behind the dip in disc sales over the past few years.  According to Rentrak[18] and DEG[19], the decline in Blu-Ray and DVD disc sales is currently around 16% per year. Despite the growth in Blu-Ray disc revenue, this hasn’t offset the decline in DVD sales[20].

"Today we need to buy the whole store to get a few books"

"Tomorrow we will just get what we want to consume"

According to Rentrak, video sales continued to steadily rise until 2005, fueled in part through a combination of rental and sell-through revenue. The turning point of the video industry appears to be around 2006. This was the year when Blu-Ray was introduced. Around this time Internet speeds had finally caught up to the ability to deliver video in real time. Albeit, first in standard definition (SD). In the middle of the decade video streaming technologies such as Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)[22] took hold.  2006 was also the year when Google[27] purchased YouTube for 1.65 billion US$ – less than 18 months after it was founded.  On the 29th of June 2007 Apple begins shipping the first iPhone[25], which was instrumental in fueling the popularity of mobile video. Steve Jobs[26] certainly recognized that he could create unique products that where a culmination of multiple technological innovations.  Another critical milestone was the launch of FairPlay[28] DRM (Digital Rights Management) by Apple, and PlayReady[29] DRM from Microsoft in February 2007. This brought some comfort to movie studios that their titles will be secured when distributed online. During this time, the defining changes in consumer behaviour could be attributed to both an improvement in video quality, the introduction of 1080p televisions, and the growth of OTT services bringing low-cost or no cost video to the end-user.

Figure iv - Consumer Entertainment Spending in U.S. Homes

Figure iv – Consumer Entertainment Spending in U.S. Homes

The need for ownership is now outweighed by our ability to easily access online content. For instance, YouTube[33] is already seen as the most popular method of watching and listening to music videos[34]. Why purchase a CD when a high quality audio and video track of the artist is readily accessible online? And it’s free!  This has caused Generation X consumers to sit back and wonder how they managed to spend thousands of dollars in building massive disc collections. Especially when, in the case of a DVD – the movie is only watched once. The same applies to music CD’s that been played a handful of times. The concept of physical disc ownership is beginning to be an archaic concept.  CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray sales will continue to struggle amongst the rapid rise of internet-based video and music distribution[35].

Even though VoD (Video On Demand)[30], has slightly offset the decline in entertainment sales alone, overall the video disc rental industry is in a steady 2% decline per year. It has yet to be determined whether the global accessibility of legitimate internet video services,  the international expansion for content rights, and  4K UHD (Ultra High Definition)[31] will be able to reverse this trend. Certainly the revival of 3D[32] hasn’t managed to save the industry in these past few years.  In the meantime, it appears that this downward trend won’t be recovering any time soon.

Figure v - 2006: The Turning Point for Digital Video

Figure v – 2006: The Turning Point for Digital Video

Furthermore, physical collections are made obsolete through the re-release of titles at better qualities.  This cycle has been repeated as far back as the VHS transition to DVD, and again when DVD’s transitioned to Blu-Ray. The consumer frustration of replacing collections is apparent at every juncture.  Blu-Ray disc may certainly be the final physical medium for content distribution[36] but does not eliminate this cycle from repeating itself when 4K content is released. The technological innovations in bandwidth, processing power, and screen resolutions are certainly enabling video to be delivered with pristine quality video via the internet, without the need for disc storage.

“The Linear Schedule works because it takes choice away from people. They might be tired after a busy day, and they don’t want to think too hard about what they view. VoD takes a lot of thought processing”, (Complete quote) “Social media on TV? 'We are still learning'”, by Chris Forrester, IBC Daily, 9th Sep. 2012

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that the current high definition broadcasts are usually limited to 720p[38]. This is mainly due to preserving precious bandwidth, and also helps reduce transcoding time and storage costs in the back-end.  1080p[39] video double these resource requirements in all directions . High compression ratios also help to squeeze as much video as possible in today’s precious bandwidth. For the moment this ensures that Blu-Ray continues to maintain a significant lead at the high-end, maintaining stellar video quality at 1080p. In some cases Blu-Ray contains over ten times the video information of its downloadable or streaming counterpart. Blu-Ray’s bandwidth requirements of 25 to 50Mbps are simply not feasible for today’s average internet subscriber. So the lucrative 1080p market remains safely in the hands of Blu-Ray, for the time being.

“If the subscription fee is set correctly, consumers’ perception of being able to access any content outweighs the value of ownership”, “TV Anywhere: The Game Starts Now”, Simon Frost, Head of TV Marketing, Ericsson

Internet speeds are increasing, both for wireless and wireline, and online video providers are creeping into this market with their own 1080p offerings. By the time 4K disrupts the market within this decade, it is likely that technological innovation will converge to stream ultra-high resolutions in real-time – leading perhaps to the demise of disc sales.

 

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 TV brings 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.

    VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers

    IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I

    IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II

    X. Turning Piratez into Consumers, III

    XI. Turning Piratez into Consumers, IV

    XII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, V

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.

About the Author

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).

All Rights Reserved

©2013, 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.

References


[1] Over-the-air programming, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-air_programming

[4] Digital video recorder, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_video_recorder

[6] “I only watch four channels. Why do I need to pay for over 500?”

[7] Over-the-top content, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content

[12] “For subscribers that have Cut-the-cord … broadcast television has become a frustrating experience.”

[13] “Cord Cutting 101: Four Easy Steps to Cut the Cord” by Mike Flacy, Digital Trends, 2nd Jan. 2013, http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/cord-cutting-four-steps-to-cut-the-cord/

[14] “GOODBYE, CABLE TV: 2.3 Million Americans Have Pulled The Plug Since 2010”, by Jim Edwards, 12th Feb. 2012, Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/goodbye-cable-tv-23-million-americans-have-pulled-the-plug-since-2010-2012-2

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

[16] “Tapping Buyer Behavior To Capitalize on Next-Generation Video Opportunities”, Cisco, March 2012, http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/clmw/CLMW_Consumer-BB_SHORT.pdf

[17] List of 2012 Summer Olympics broadcasters, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2012_Summer_Olympics_broadcasters

[19] Digital Entertainment Group, DEG, http://degonline.org/

[20] “Year-End 2012 Home Entertainment Report”, Digital Entertainment Group

[21] “Today we need to buy the whole store to get a few books. Tomorrow we will just get what we want to consume.”

[24] Apple iTunes, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itunes

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

[28] Apple Fairplay, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay

[29] Microsoft PlayReady, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayReady

[34] “’Attention is the new money’: Why artists needs to look beyond YouTube”, By Mike Johns, http://www.iptv-news.com/2012/10/attention-is-the-new-money-why-artists-needs-to-look-beyond-youtube-2/

[35] “U.S. Consumer Home Entertainment Rental & Sell Through Spending”, Rentrak, http://www.rentrak.com

[36] “Video Format War: Blu-ray vs. Streaming”, by John Brandon, PC World, http://www.pcworld.com/article/241215/video_format_war_blu_ray_vs_streaming.html

[37] “The Linear Schedule works because it takes choice away from people. They might be tired after a busy day, and they don’t want to think too hard about what they view. VoD takes a lot of thought processing”, (Complete quote) “Social media on TV? ‘We are still learning’”, by Chris Forrester, IBC Daily, 9th Sep. 2012, http://www.ibc.org/page.cfm/Action=Library/libID=3/listID=4/libEntryID=609

[40] “If the subscription fee is set correctly, consumers’ perception of being able to access any content outweighs the value of ownership”, “TV Anywhere: The Game Starts Now”, Simon Frost, Head of TV Marketing, Ericsson, http://content.yudu.com/A1yak6/IBESept-Oct12/resources/44.htm