HITS

CES 2019: MESA Members to Be Out in Force in Vegas

By Jeff Berman & Chris Tribbey –

The Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) is again expected to be well-represented at CES in January. Several MESA members will be exhibiting once again and/or speaking in keynotes and conference sessions about subjects including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV.

AI and 5G are expected to be among the technologies with the strongest presence at CES overall, along with the latest advancements in 4K and 8K Ultra High-Def (UHD) TVs, analysts and executives from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which produces the annual tech show in Las Vegas, recently said at the annual CES Unveiled New York event.

In addition to being touted by several MESA members, AI will likely be incorporated in an increased number of smart speakers, appliances and other products introduced at CES by companies including LG Electronics and Samsung.

AI is also expected to be a major theme discussed in keynotes given by I.P. Park, LG president and CTO, Jan. 7, and Ginni Rometty, CEO and president of MESA member IBM, Jan. 8.

Hans Vestberg, CEO of MESA member Verizon Digital Media Services parent company Verizon, meanwhile, is returning to the CES keynote stage Jan. 8, after taking part in a keynote on 5G at the 2018 CES. A key theme of his presentation is expected to be 5G.

Several companies exhibited at CES Unveiled to provide a taste of what CES attendees will see in January. They included MESA member Sony, which touted the latest version of its Aibo robotic dog that incorporates AI.

Here’s a rundown on what some of MESA’s members said they plan to focus on and spotlight at CES this time:

Adobe

Adobe will be exhibiting at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas hotel, at the Wynn Encore Hospitality Suites, Encore 24, and at Sands Expo, Tech West, Level 2, Booth #41917, as part of the Z-Wave Alliance Smart Home exhibit. Its Adobe Media & Entertainment division will also be exhibiting at the Aria Hospitality Suites, Aria 106.

Amazon Web Services/AWS Elemental

AWS and AWS Elemental reps will be on hand at CES with Amazon’s various services located at multiple Vegas locations, including the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands, and the Venetian.

Comcast Technology Solutions

Comcast Technology Solutions will be attending CES as part of its parent company, with locations at both the Venetian and Palazzo towers.

Dolby

Dolby’s “Dolby Experience” at CES 2019 is by invitation only, with the company showing off its latest audio, video, and voice technologies that help transform entertainment and communications in mobile devices, the cinema, at home, and at work. The company will be at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.

Eurofins

At CES, Eurofins Digital Testing will be touting its 4K HDR Ultra HD logo, which Turkey-based TV maker Vestel recently said it was committed to using.

In announcing the deal with Vestel recently, Eurofins said its certification and logo scheme will make it easy for consumers to identify Vestel TVs that have been tested to receive High Dynamic Range (HDR), UHD and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) content from broadcast and broadband sources, as well as HDMI.

The Eurofins 4K HDR Ultra HD logo is the only scheme available in the market today that identifies devices that have been tested to receive HDR, UHD and WCG content over broadcast, broadband and HDMI. As such, the logo meets the needs of broadcasters and service providers offering such content to viewers over the air or internet, or via HDMI from other compliant devices, according to the company.

The Eurofins logo references open standards, such as those from DVB and HbbTV, to encourage interoperability and fills a gap not addressed by other schemes currently available, it said. The logo will be visible on applicable 2019 models from Vestel and Toshiba. Hisense, LG and Panasonic also use the Eurofins 4K HDR Ultra HD logo for their products, Eurofins said. Eurofins will be holding meetings at CES at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.

Gracenote

At CES 2019, Gracenote will show off new initiatives across its personalization, video, music, sports, auto and connectivity businesses, including dynamic ad insertion capabilities on smart TVs, content discovery and engagement offerings, intelligent music data, live sports data integrations, smart radio solutions for the connected car and streaming video performance measurement. The company will be exhibiting in the Gracenote Lounge at the Aria Hospitality Suites, level 3, Primrose 1.

IBM

IBM will “showcase how the latest advancements in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are drastically changing business and society for good,” the company said.

IBM will kick off CES with Ginni Rometty, its CEO and chairman, delivering the Tuesday morning opening keynote (Tuesday, Jan. 8, 8:30-10:00 a.m. PT, Venetian Level 5, Palazzo Ballroom) “discussing how IBM technology is changing the world today, while also laying the groundwork for changing consumers’ lives tomorrow through cutting edge research and innovation,” the company said.

Several IBM executives and researchers will also be on hand for visual demonstrations and meetings at its CES booth (LVCC Central #14028). Key topics IBM will focus on are: AI, blockchain and quantum computing, it said. With AI, the company will be touting Watson “use cases across multiple industries, and how we are advancing the technology to address areas like bias, as well as advance the language capabilities,” the company said.

Pointing out that blockchain is “no longer just for the cryptocurrency space,” IBM said it’s “applying its leading blockchain technology to new applications like the food supply chain, and empowering new standards for trust and transparency.” And the company will discuss how IBM is also “leading the way in transforming quantum computing from theory to reality,” it said.

Luxoft

At CES, Luxoft — along with Amazon, HERE Technologies, LG and The Qt Company — will unveil its latest autonomous and connected mobility concepts, Luxoft said. Demonstrations at the show will include Luxoft’s Autonomous Mobility Concept Vehicle, cloud-based (virtual) validation of autonomous driving (AD) algorithms, the future of in-vehicle user experience including virtual reality and mobility services with blockchain, it said.

Luxoft and LG said ahead of CES that they partnered to help create the next generation webOS as part of a strategy to extend its capabilities and ecosystem into the automotive, robotics and smart home verticals. As part of a strategic partnership with LG to extend the capabilities and ecosystem of webOS into the automotive market, the two companies will introduce a forward-looking vision for autonomous and connected mobility at CES, they said.

Luxoft will lead the deployment of webOS Auto into level 2-5 autonomous vehicles, initially focusing on digital cockpit development, which includes infotainment, navigation and other features that are human-car interaction-centric, it said. Luxoft will help automakers and their suppliers leverage features enabled through webOS Auto to accelerate the deployment of converged auto systems including ADAS, 5G connectivity and in-vehicle entertainment systems, it said.

“We believe that customer experience is the new brand” and, at CES, “we will highlight key use-cases and technology platforms that we have co-created with our partners to spark discussions about how you can connect your customer to your brand,” Luxoft said.

“We’re excited to show how our customer-centric vision helps automakers provide personalized experiences in the car,” said Alwin Bakkenes, EVP of automotive at Luxoft. He added: “We would love to hear your thoughts about what the Mobility Revolution means to you and your business, and to discuss how we can support you on your journey.” To join Luxoft for an up close and personal hands-on experience at booth #3107 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, visit its Web site or email IR@luxoft.com to arrange a meeting with management.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure reps will be on hand as part of Microsoft’s larger CES 2019 delegation, accepting meetings by invitation only on the first floor of the Venetian.

NAGRA

At CES 2019, NAGRA, an independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, will demonstrate its latest technologies and solutions in end-to-end content value protection, active content monetization and smart business operations with a focus on cloud-based and “as-a-service” strategies for pay-TV service providers and content owners. Solutions will be on display at NAGRA’s new location in The Venetian Meeting Rooms, Level 4, Zeno 4609, from January 8-11.

“As we move into 2019, pay-TV service providers are uniquely positioned to create a truly unified experience by proactively blurring the lines between pay-TV and OTT to become the central gateway to all content that consumers love,” said Ivan Verbesselt, SVP Marketing, NAGRA. “At CES, we will showcase solutions that enable operators to be ‘smartly digital’ and effectively claim their new role as super-aggregators by ensuring an efficient on-boarding of OTT content, effective content value protection and an elegant data-driven approach to content discovery that actively drives service loyalty and monetization.”

NAGRA’s key themes, demonstrations and events at CES 2019 will include:

• Content Value Protection from Origin to Consumption featuring NAGRA’s new cloud-based Security Service Platform, cloud.SSP, a true multi-tenant solution that elastically scales and flexibly delivers the latest security technologies “as-a-service” to pay-TV operators; NAGRA’s comprehensive approach to Android TV security; cloud-based direct-to-TV security with TVkey Cloud, supported by TVkey 2.0; as well as the latest developments to defeat piracy through active security with anti-piracy services and forensic watermarking.

• Active Content Monetization for the OTT Era: the flexibility of OpenTV Suite allows operators to create an engaging user experience that actively drives consumer loyalty and content monetization. With scalable low-latency streaming technology, sports leagues and teams can now also deliver an immersive fan experience for sports OTT directly to consumers, worldwide to any device, including Android TV.

• Smart Business Operations with Data Analytics and AI: NAGRA Insight, an AI-driven, pay-TV data analytics platform enables service providers to make better business decisions to improve their bottom line, take control of the data they own and create personalized actions that drive monetization, along with subscriber value, content, quality of experience, and targeted advertising.

• Smart Home Security: NAGRA’s HomeScout, a cloud-based solution that monitors devices and IP traffic over the home network to ensure ongoing privacy, safety and smart parental controls, allows service providers to gain better insight into the home network and ensure that their subscribers get the best Smart Home and network access experience, leading to fewer service calls and lower churn.

• IoT Security: the Kudelski Group’s IoT Security Platform allows device manufacturers and service providers to secure the entire, end-to-end product lifecycle of their connected devices in order to create new business models and improve operational efficiency. The platform provisions and secures millions of devices with unique secrets to enable device security, data security (at rest and in motion) and access management, using simple APIs. Kudelski IoT will demonstrate a cellular-connected Smart Camera – protected end-to-end – as an example of the platform’s capabilities, leveraging technologies from ecosystem partners u-blox and SmarDTV Global.

• The 2019 Variety Entertainment Summit at CES®2019: André Kudelski, Chairman & CEO of the Kudelski Group, will be a featured speaker of the 2019 Variety Entertainment Summit at CES®2019, in the opening panel “Audience Battle Royale – The Future of the TV Industry” on Wednesday, January 9 at 9 a.m. at C-Space in the Aria Hotel and Casino.

Ooyala

Before the show floor even opens for CES 2019, MESA president Guy Finley, Needham & Company’s Laura Martin, and Ooyala’s founder and CTO Belsasar Lepe and CEO Jonathan Huberman will host a newsmaker conversation exploring “The Business of Video: Insider Insights for Going Global.”

Running 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 at Piero’s Italian, 355 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas, the free event will look at how today’s relentless stream of content is creating a shift in the business of video, with spiraling content costs making ROI more difficult than ever.

In order to capture the attention of a global, organizations need to overcome the barriers of managing complex and fast-growing inventories of video and navigating evolving standards, devices and platforms.

Other topics to be discussed:

• Going Global: How do you go global? Don’t tastes and interests vary from culture to culture? How can services scale from a niche to Netflix? And how can sports grow in a global, on demand OTT-delivered world?

• The Cost of Content: Can spiraling content costs be recouped through the current SVOD model? How does it compare with the AVOD model? Is there a new model we haven’t seen yet, that better addresses the need to recoup costs – such as AT&T’s three-tiered streaming service offering?

• OTT Misconceptions: Only 33% of cord-cutters plan to use paid OTT services as a pay-tv substitute. What are the other 68% doing? What other misconceptions are prevalent about streaming services?

• Hyper-Local Content: Hyper-local content is becoming a new model in streaming strategies. This presents challenges for everyone from regional sports broadcasters to OTT giants. What does hyper-local mean for OTT, and how could that change the industry?

• Future Forecast: Not everyone will survive. Who will the winners be, and what will the next 5 years look like?

RSG Media

RSG Media will be presenting two new products at CES 2019-“Live Avails” & “Audience.” Live Avails answers the question,“What avails do I have, now?” It provides an instant, up-to-date catalog of all Avails. It is perfect for networks, MVPDs, studios, streaming services, distributors, and anyone looking to effectively manage content inventory. Sales, Programming, Acquisitions, and business & legal affairs groups are able to search avails quickly and easily, using Live Avails easy-to-read graphical visualization.

Live Avails is fast because it uses new “serverless architecture”. It works across every structured rights system, including Excel. It lets business automate rights compliance across every platform and markets to protect against infringement.

In addition to Live Avails, RSG Media will be showcasing Audience , a cloud-based AI Decision Making Platform that boasts a wide array of analytical applications for media companies to optimally manage and decode data to gain radical insights across their content, advertising and marketing inventories. RSG Audience is delivers business value through Data-Science-as-a-Service offerings.

With the rapid changing landscape of TV viewing, the competition to attract and retain viewers has intensified.Inundated by fragmented audiences across an ever-expanding list of viewing platforms, each catering personalized content and experiences; the benchmark for media companies to ‘understand’ audiences have become increasingly complex.

To schedule a demo of either Live Avails or Audience during CES, please contact Theodore X Garcia, EVP of Client Engagement: Theodore.Garcia@RSGMedia.com

Salesforce

Salesforce execs will be hosting invitation only meetings at its suite on the 30th floor of the Venetian Tower.

Sony

Sony’s annual CES press conference will be held Monday, Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. PT at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sony Booth #17300.

Technicolor

Technicolor ‘s Connected Home division — which engineers next-generation home network and video solutions that enable bandwidth intensive content to be distributed at gigabit speeds and enjoyed seamlessly regardless of place, device or time, in a context-aware environment — will be on hand, with executives holding meetings at the Venetian Tower.

ThinkAnalytics

“At CES 2019, ThinkAnalytics will be showing how its solutions understand metadata and viewer behavior to personalize the viewing experience and boost subscriber engagement,” the company said.

Consumers today are being “inundated with a choice of media and content,” the company said, adding: “To rise above this noise, every TV and video service has to work hard to get their audience’s attention. The key to winning this battle is personalizing the TV experience…. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and voice technology, ThinkAnalytics delivers impressive results for more than 80 video service providers” that serve 250 million subscribers.

“With viewers typically spending just seconds browsing dozens of programs before choosing to watch something or switching off, there’s a very small window to offer the right content,” ThinkAnalytics CEO Gabriel Berger, said, adding: “At CES, we will be sharing how studios, pay-TV providers, OTT players and broadcasters can join the engagement economy.”

ThinkAnalytics will be at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel, Suite 8 at the Wynn Encore Hospitality Suites.

TiVo

TiVo will be showing off its solutions — which help leading media companies make entertainment more discoverable, accessible, and monetizable — at the Aria. TiVo’s technology platforms, software, services, and licensable inventions simplify content discovery experiences and amplify the value of TV audiences by delivering targeted viewership data.

Wipro

Wipro, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, will be showcasing its latest offerings — covering cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies — at the Westgate.