OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 1-12 • Complete Series

Web Seminar Series - Visual Unity Global (training, #12, Entertainment Streaming, title)

• OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar Series ’14 & ’15

• This post links to all presentations from our 2014 & 2015 Web Seminar series. Enjoy!

1 • Setting the Stage for Over the Top Video Services

Portfolio - Visual Unity Global (training, 14.Jun.10, #1, Setting the Stage for Over the Top Video Services)

• 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.

2 • Origins of Over the Top Video Services

Portfolio - Visual Unity Global (training, 14.Jun.10, #2, Origins of Over the Top Video Services)

• 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.

3 • The Future of Over the Top Video Services

Portfolio - Visual Unity Global (training, 14.Jun.10, #3, 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.

4 • Corporate Services Overview
Portfolio - Visual Unity Global (training, 14.Jun.10, #4, Corporate Services Overview)

• 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.

5-7 • Return On Investment for Video Streaming

Portfolio - Visual Unity Global (training, 14.Jun.10, #5, Return On Investment for Video Streaming)

• ŸInvesting in video streaming services requires a solid understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI) for such a platform. In this presentation we breakdown the value proposition of Over the Top content (OTT) platforms, used to generate new revenue streams from entertainment assets.  Understanding ROI, requires a breakdown of cost savings, new revenue streams, feature enhancements, and other intangible benefits. This web seminar looks into various aspects of content management, delivery and consumption, and how cloud-based services such as OTT not only generates new revenue streams, but also opens new doors to monetize entertainment libraries.

8-12 • Entertainment Streaming

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

• Building a new Video Streaming service starts by 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).

• 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

Digital Trends Video Opinions • The 5-Foot Viewing Experience is a Missed Opportunity

Graphic - Digital Trends Video Opinions (header #2, web) The entertainment and computing industries differ in what is referred to as the two foot verses ten foot experience[i]: Users that are two feet away are typing away at their keyboard in front of their computers. When they’re ten feet away they’re watching movies or television. What if there was a new type of experience, based on an evolved viewing habit? What about a lean-back-feet-up experience, where the viewer is five feet from the screen? There are a growing number of users watching entertainment from tablets, mobiles and computers. Some of those users don’t even have pay-TV anymore. They’re called cord-cutters[ii]. Display manufacturers haven’t yet targeted their products to fit the needs of these consumers. These are people that use their computer display as a TV, computer, and a communication platform – all in one. This is a missed opportunity. Let’s break down why. But before I get into it, let me explain my own setup. I don’t have a traditional living room where a TV sits at the epicenter and a sofa across from it. My living room consists of a computer and a monitor. It’s both my work place and my place of entertainment. I have a relatively large 30″ monitor, so watching movies ten feet away on the sofa isn’t too bad, but it’s not ideal. I want to upgrade. But the product that I’m looking for doesn’t exist. I’m looking for a display that accommodates a five foot experience – I want a 48” 4K monitor at 21:9 display aspect ratio[iii].

Why 4K?

Why should you invest in a 4K television if there’s no content? It’s the classic chicken and egg dilemma: Buy a 4K TV and wait for content, or wait for content first. Computer users don’t see it that way. They don’t see 4K technology as a TV, but as a monitor. So what’s the difference? If the display is a TV, then it’s an entertainment vehicle. When consumers buy a TV with new technology such as HD, 3D, or 4K, they expect to use those features immediately. In the mid-2000’s HD movies were promoted around the same time as HD televisions. Blu- ray discs began shipping in June 2006[iv], roughly the time that 1080p monitors were released. Despite only a few titles, there were enough of them to enticed early adopters. With 4K it’s different. There are no Blu-Ray 4K discs, there are no 4K movies for consumers, and TV stations aren’t broadcasting in 4K yet. Lacking content makes it seem like 4K has come to market too early. I write extensively about the readiness of 4K in, “Building a Case for 4K, Ultra High Definition Video” [https://dusil.com/2013/07/15/building-a-case-for-4k-ultra-high-definition-video/]. For an entertainment perspective the release of 4K TVs looks like an industry fail.

Figure i – Monitors are Windows to Applications

Figure i – Monitors are Windows to Applications & Services

On the flip side, computer enthusiasts strive for the fastest PCs, better efficiency and greater productivity. For these users a higher display resolution means more desktop real-estate – more windows, widgets and icons. Higher resolutions beyond HD – some that are as high as UHD resolutions – are found already in monitors, tablets and laptops. None of those consumers are complaining about content. If the display is a monitor, then the argument about content is moot. As a monitor, the display is an interface to social media, games, productivity, videos, music, and communications (see Figure i). The big picture (pun intended) is that the computer monitor provides a window to connectivity, interactivity and content – all in one.

Why 21:9?

Consumers have been primed for wider displays over many decades – from 4:3 in the middle of the last century, to the popularity of 16:9 at the tail end of the century. Wider screens eventually migrated from the cinema to the home. Today many movie lovers prefer the wider 21:9 screen[v] because it feels more immersive. With a large enough screen the movie begins to wrapping around the viewer[vi]. Samsung’s curve[vii] strategy in their larger flat screen displays capitalizes on that trend. For manufacturers, 21:9 is still quite new. Some displays are beginning to emerge at this aspect ratio, but haven’t yet grabbed enough consumer attention. This may be due to the fact that 21:9 is associated mainly with motion pictures. Case in point – In my video collection consists of around 40% of movies that were filmed at 2.35:1. 50% of them used 16:9 (or 1.85:1), and the remaining 10% – mainly older movies are in 4:3[viii]. So even in cinema, 21:9 doesn’t represent the overwhelming majority – at least in my collection. In television nearly all programs are filmed in 16:9 displays, so this aspect ratio will likely remain the dominant champion in display technology for the majority of consumers. A UHD screen has a resolution of 3840×2160 – also called 2160p screens (taken from the 1080p nomenclature of HD TVs). A 21:9 screens could use a resolution of 3840×1648 UHD[ix]. This would result in an aspect ratio of 2.33:1, so movies filmed in 2.35:1 CinemaScope[x], or 2.39:1 would fit nicely.

Why 5 Feet?

Selling the notion of a five foot experience requires an assessment of screen size verses viewing angle. There are varying opinions on what is considered comfortable to the viewer. SMPTE[xi] recommends no more than 30° horizontal from the viewer’s eyes to either side of the screen. Some retailers and manufacturers recommend anywhere between 28° and 36°[xii]. THX, on the other hand, considers a viewing angle as high as 40° (Figure ii).

Table 1 – Maximum Screen Size for a 40˚ Horizontal viewing angle

Table 1 – Maximum Screen Size for a 40˚ Horizontal viewing angle

When working two feet away on my 30” monitor, this results in a massive 55° viewing angle. I’m far exceeding the THX recommendation. But it’s not a problem. When I’m working on my computer my eyes are not trying to see the whole screen. I only need to focus on one desktop window at a time (such as when I’m typing this article). For computer users, their eyes only need to concentrate on the window that’s open, which only takes up part of the desktop. Therefore screen that exceeds the THX recommendation for home theatres, doesn’t apply to computer users. Still, it may explain why desktop display manufacturers are reluctant to make computer monitors larger than 34”. Table 1 shows the largest screen that could be accommodated if a 40° viewing angle is maintained at each distance. Leaning five feet back suggests a screen size of up to 48″. At 10 feet away, a much larger 95″ screen could grace the living room. Screen sizes are already approaching and surpassing 100”. Anything over 100″ are compelling for enthusiasts with larger living rooms or custom home theatres. 21:9 also helps with the vertical viewing angle. THX recommend that viewers should not tilt their eyes more than 15° from the horizontal[xiii]. As screens get larger, the vertically narrower 21:9 displays offers a more comfortable viewing angle.

Figure ii – 2 foot, 5 foot, & 10 foot viewing experience

Figure ii – 2 foot, 5 foot, & 10 foot viewing experience

 

Wanting Verses Needing

If 21:9 takes off, it will likely remain a niche product. Even as a niche play, it’s still a great differentiator for display manufacturers. Companies such as Panasonic, Samsung and LG are getting squeezed on margins, as prices continue to decline. Even 4K displays will succumb to tight margins as the market matures. Inevitably the market will be taken over by manufactures that can tolerate thinner margins at the expense of higher volumes. The need to differentiate will be paramount. If manufacturers are listening, here are a few specifications for guidance:

  • LCD Technology: IPS (In Plane Switching)[xiv]
  • Bezel: none. Let’s finally get rid of it.
  • Resolution: 3840×1648
  • Integrated Speakers: NO! Enthusiasts what a separate surround sound audio experience.
  • Inputs: 4 x HDMI[xv]0, 1 x Display Port v1.3[xvi], 2x USB[xvii] 3.1, 1 x 1Gbps Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm TRRS audio jack[xviii], built in WiFi 802.11ad,ac,n,g,b,a[xix]
  • vsync: at least 240Hz
  • Wall Mounts: VESA 100mm, 200mm and 400mm mounts
  • 3D: No one cares anymore
  • Smart TV: Yes please.

There is a growing segment of society that watches all of their entertainment on their computer. These users are willing to invest in 4K without complaining about the lack of content. Regardless, 4K movies and TV shows will likely trickle to market as we approach the end of the decade. The entertainment industry already sits on a vast library of 4K movies that were digitized years ago, for their Blu-ray release. It’s just a matter of time before consumers get to experience them. In the meantime there’s no reason to wait.

• Synopsis

• Consumers complain that there is no content available to justify the purchase of a 4K TV. But many users already enjoy 4K on their tablets, computers and laptops. None of them are complaining. At 2 feet away 4K is a display, and at 10 feet away it’s a TV. What if there is a new viewing experience that converges 4K into a single gateway to everything that is gaming, entertainment and computing? There is a missed opportunity for screen manufacturers – It’s a 4K 21:9 monitor that addresses an evolved viewing experience. The 5 foot viewing experience is the next evolution in display technology.

• References

[i] 10 foot experience, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-foot_user_interface

[ii] Cord-cutting 101, http://www.digitaltrends.com/topic/cord-cutting-101/

[iii] Display aspect ratio, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_aspect_ratio

[iv] Blu-ray, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

[v] 21:9 aspect ratio, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21:9_aspect_ratio

[vi] “8K is not the future of TV. We think 21:9 Ultra Widescreen is instead. Here’s why… “, by David Shapton, Redsharknews.com, http://www.redsharknews.com/technology/item/1370-8k-is-not-the-future-of-tv-we-think-21-9-ultra-widescreen-is-instead

[vii] Samsung, http://www.samsung.com/us/video/uhd-tv

[viii] Aspect ratio (image), Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_%28image%29

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

[x] CinemaScope, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinemaScope

[xi] SMPTE, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Motion_Picture_and_Television_Engineers

[xii] Optimum HDTV viewing distance, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimum_HDTV_viewing_distance

[xiii] HDTV Set Up, THX, http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/

[xiv] “LCD Panel Technology: IPS, VA, PLS, AHVA & TN Monitors”, http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/lcd-panel-types.php

[xv] HDMI, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

[xvi] Display Port, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort

[xvii] USB, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB

[xviii] Audio jack, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_%28audio%29

[xix] 802.11, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11

• 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).

• Tags

•Ÿ 10 foot experience, 2 foot 10 foot, 2 foot experience, 21:9, 21:9 display, 40 degree viewing angle. 48″ + 21×9 + monitor, 48 inch display, 48″ + 21:9 + monitor, 48” display, 4K 21:9, 4K TV, Broadcast, CinemaScope, cord cutter, cord cutting, Digital Video, display aspect ratio, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, gabrieldusil.com, Internet Video, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Panasonic, Samsung, second screen, SMPTE, THX, THX viewing angle, UHD, Ultra HD, 48″ + 21×9 + display, 48″ + 21:9 + display, 48″ + 21×9 + TV, 48″ + 21:9 + TV

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

• Check 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)

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)