Premium content services and media tech solutions firm Vubiquity used IBC 2017 to announce a new partnership with Nokia, one that has the companies debuting a new Time-Shift as a Service (T-SaaS) offering.
Powered by Nokia’s Velocix media delivery platform, the Vubiquity service is a hosted SaaS solution that offers operator-licensed premium time-shifted content for OTT service providers, giving companies the ability to offer time-shifted TV functionality on top of existing IPTV and cable offerings.
For the service, Nokia’s Cloud DVR Origin Services and Video Recording Manager archive and secure more than 700 live premium channels, while the Velocix CDN and edge caches provide scale and multi-tenancy for network operators. Nokia will provide data collection for real-time analytics as well. Meanwhile, Vubiquity will handle content and metadata management, rights management, and delivery to the end device.
“Consumers have a wide range of choices for entertainment today with dynamic capabilities to enhance their viewing experience,” said Ira Dworkin, EVP of product and technology for Vubiquity. “T-SaaS brings a unique cloud- based services capability and gives more and more video distributors the ability to rapidly expand customer-facing features with low capex. By offering additional services for convenient viewing, more video distributors can retain loyal subscribers by upgrading quickly.”
Paul Larbey, head of Nokia’s IP video business for Nokia, added: “With consumer demand for advanced DVR functionality on every screen, Vubiquity’s Time-Shift as-a-Service gives video distribution partners the ability to offer a more fully personalized viewing experience in a quicker timeframe. We are delighted to join forces with Vubiquity as it allows us to open the doors for creative content distribution.”
In other news at IBC from members of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA):
My Eye Media
Quality assurance, technical analysis and digital content testing specialist My Eye Media announced an alliance with end-to-end quality assurance and testing service Eurofins Digital Testing. The partnership has My Eye Media’s digital Storefront Testing and Online Retail Monitoring (STORM) platform integrated with Eurofins’ TestWizard test automation suite, with the end result geared toward studios, programmers, broadcasters and operators.
“Eurofins Digital Testing is a recognized, global leader in testing and quality assurance for the premium video market, and we’re very proud to be working together to create solutions that better serve our customers and this dynamic market,” said Michael Kadenacy, CEO and founder of My Eye Media. “The combination of our STORM system and Eurofins’ TestWizard platform will enable media and entertainment companies to ensure a quality experience across an ever-expanding number of screens and devices.”
My Eye Media’s STORM platform gives studios and content owners the ability to check the accuracy of listings across platforms while Eurofins’ TestWizard touts its ability to reduce time spent on manual tests, by providing automation.
“My Eye Media is a pioneer in addressing the technical intricacies required for testing digital motion picture content,” said Johan Craeybeckx, business line director for Eurofins Digital Testing International. “We’re very pleased to work together on new ways to meet the evolving needs of studios, cable and satellite operators, and content owners around the world.”
Digital platform security company Irdeto used IBC 2017 to announce it’s been selected by Indian pay TV and OTT content distribution platform company Tata Sky, with Tata Sky looking to Irdeto to enhance its end-to-end solution for OTT services.
Irdeto’s OTT offerings help simplify the operations and workflow of multiple digital rights management (DRM) systems, and better manage large libraries of media assets. Irdeto aims to enable Tata Sky to re-launch its service, and more easily adapt their service and business model to changing demands.
“To take advantage of the growing trend of consumption of video on-the-go, in India, it is important for us to offer our customers the best user experience on their devices. This means a high quality, multi-lingual viewing experience of live channels and on-demand content with superior navigation within a reliable and scalable service,” said Pallavi Puri, chief commercial officer for Tata Sky.
“We are confident that we can deliver the best Tata Sky OTT experience to our customers quickly with the help of Irdeto’s solutions, expertise and support. Irdeto’s long-standing presence in India is also a testament to their strong commitment in helping the industry mature and develop.”
The first phase of Tata Sky-Irdeto project has been launched with Android devices, with the Tata Sky OTT service new hitting PCs and iOS devices.
“There is a tremendous growth opportunity for OTT services in India, which brings about fierce competition in the industry. As such, it is crucial for operators like Tata Sky to have the freedom to innovate and the confidence to take risks and be in control of their future,” said Bengt Jonsson, SVP of sales and services for Irdeto. “This will be our first time working with Tata Sky and we are heavily invested in helping them meet their business goals. We can offload the complexity of managing security, fragmented technologies and backend workflow for them, and enable them to focus on delivering value to their customers.”
Professional media player and metadata solutions firm GrayMeta announced a new partnership with video artificial intelligence (AI) company Valossa at IBC. The deal has Valossa’s Core API will be integrated into the GrayMeta Platform, “enabling organizations to unify disparate platforms and services to quickly leverage the power of artificial intelligence via one platform and API to find and use assets,” the companies said in a statement.
The joint solution will offer up enhanced contextual content searches for customers who own and produce large volumes of video.
“We are focused on delivering enhanced, intelligent metadata solutions that leverage powerful machine learning and AI technology, and delivering to a wide range of customers worldwide,” said John Motz, CTO of GrayMeta. “We now feel that we are providing more value to our customers, who are creating and storing massive amounts of video that needs to be classified for ready access at any time.”
Mika Rautiainen, co-founder and CEO, Valossa, added: “Video service and software market has been the focus since our founding, and we see great opportunities for video intelligence both in the cloud, and on-premise. Together, with GrayMeta, we can deliver a simple and efficient way for customers to use AI to articulate video content characteristics.”
At IBC, IBM announced a new deal with video capture hardware and software firm Telestream, offering up a new Aspera-powered solution or live-capture media processing: Telestream Vantage.
The offering aims to enable broadcast production teams to work from remote locations on live video feeds, in near real time.
“This industry-leading technology integration between Telestream and Aspera enables high-speed delivery of media content over the public, unmanaged internet,” said Paul Turner, VP of enterprise products for Telestream. “The solution revolutionizes how media companies can approach production, capture and post-production workflows by giving them more flexibility in the location of hardware, software and personnel.”
Mike Flathers, CTO of IBM Aspera, added: “Demand for live content delivery is exploding, as are expectations around the quality of the viewer experience. Live video production teams have long been waiting for a cost-effective solution that would finally enable timely production workflows. We are excited about the possibilities Vantage powered by Aspera is opening up for event organizers and producers and content owners to connect with worldwide audiences in new innovative and immersive ways.”
Technology product and service provider NeuLion announced at IBC that its partnered up with Bulgarian broadcaster and digital media company NOVA Broadcasting Group (NOVA) to launch a new OTT service.
The new service — DIEMA XTRA PLAY — will offer live linear channels and live events to viewers on several devices, including online, iOS and Android devices, and Google Chromecast.
“We wanted to create an application where viewers can access and enjoy all our sports content in one place and in the best quality by fusing our world-class content with NeuLion’s world-class technology,” said Dimitar Radev, head of content distribution and new platforms for NOVA. “With a well-known, recognized leader in the industry like NeuLion, we trust that their technology offerings will not only deliver our content online to viewers, but expand our potential audience reach and grow our digital business exponentially.”
Roy Reichbach, president and CEO of NeuLion, added: “We are very excited to be partnering with NOVA to deliver their premium content over-the-top. As a top-tier sports and entertainment broadcaster in EMEA, NOVA adds strong value to our customer portfolio as we continue to expand our company’s scope worldwide.”
Content monetization specialist Source Digital used IBC to announce it’s been awarded a patent on a method of audio fingerprinting, one comprised of obtaining audio samples corresponding to certain characteristics within content.
Source believes the patented tech will allow it to discover new monetization strategies within the augmented reality and virtual reality, with the tech folded into the company’s SourceSync.io platform.
“When presented with the challenges and inadequacies with traditional methods of obtaining information from audio files at any moment in time, we knew that there was an opportunity to develop something new and intuitive for our customers that provides an unlimited library,” said Patrick Greene, chief software architect for Source Digital. “Developing the algorithm to achieve our goal was extremely fulfilling, as this patented technology is critical in revolutionizing the ability for people and companies to monetize content with brand and product integration, and changing the way we discover information.”
The new patented tech for audio fingerprinting will give users the ability to link unlabeled audio to corresponding container-based metadata, covering everything from artists or song names, pinpointing the moment within the content to its corresponding data.
NexGuard security technology has become the first forensic watermarking solution to be approved for use with the TVkey USB security dongle developed by NAGRA and Samsung, the companies announced Sept. 18.
TVkey plugs into the back of new Samsung TVs to allow users to watch pay-TV channels in 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) after a simple sign-up process with their pay-TV service providers, ensuring content protection without the need for a set-top box or second TV remote control, according to the TVkey website. It was introduced after the release of UHD Forum guidelines for implementing forensic watermarking and “fully meets increased Hollywood content protection requirements,” according to a news release.
TVkey is compatible with newer model Samsung TVs including 2015-2017 Samsung smart TVs and Samsung’s 2017 QLED TV lineup, the companies said.
The TVkey framework was “based on a NAGRA-designed root of trust that communicates securely” with the TVkey dongle and the TVkey chip in the Samsung TVs, the companies said. NexGuard watermarking will be integrated inside the TV itself and be controlled by the service provider via the TVkey dongle, they said. Both NexGuard and NAGRA are divisions of the Kudelski Group.
After the addition of forensic watermarking, TVkey now completely meets all requirements for Enhanced Content Protection specified by MovieLabs, the joint technology venture of the Hollywood studios that advises studios on topics including content protection, according to NAGRA, NexGuard and Samsung.
TiVo’s Cubi Solutions platform has been selected by Conax to be pre-integrated into the new Conax Arena flexible multiscreen hub, the companies said Sept. 18.
Conax, a provider of content and service protection for digital entertainment services, developed the Conax Arena multiscreen hub to offer operators the ability to deploy a flexible, pre-integrated solution that encompasses all the key components needed to launch a complete multiscreen offering, according to the company.
TiVo’s Cubi Solutions will be available to Conax Arena customers at launch, the companies said in a news release, but didn’t specify the exact timing.
Cubi Solutions include CubiTV, a hybrid entertainment discovery solution that unifies content, listings and recommendations from linear TV, video-on-demand (VOD) and over-the-top (OTT) sources, and CubiTV for Mobile, a multi-screen entertainment discovery solution that enables access to content across multiple platforms and is compatible with almost all Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, TiVo pointed out.
“TiVo’s collaboration with Conax shows how our product innovations are enabling technology partners and their operator customers to rapidly integrate the latest interactive broadcast technologies into their existing and new-to-market offerings,” Jakub Gorski, VP of Cubi Solutions at TiVo, said. He added: “TiVo’s Cubi Solutions make it easier for operators to ensure that their viewers find the content they’re looking for quickly and easily. Our latest research shows that 50 percent of viewers ‘strongly agree’ that, for the amount they pay for their TV service, it should be easier to find what they want to watch, reinforcing the importance of content discovery in today’s entertainment environment.”
— MESA technology reporter Jeff Berman contributed to this report