NAB Show

NAB 2017: News Briefs I

News from Verimatrix, VDMS, IBM, Ericsson, Imagine Communications, The Weather Channel and Harmonic 4/24/2017 12:01 PM Eastern

The National Association of Broadcasters’ annual confab is getting underway this week in Las Vegas. Here’s a snapshot of tech-oriented announcements from the event.

Full Coverage of NAB 2017

-Verimatrix said Cincinnati Bell has broadened its deployment of the vendor’s Video Content Authority System (VCAS) to support over-the-top video of its streaming app, Watch Fioptics. The app, a complementary offering to Cincinnati Bell Fioptics subs, delivers video to multiple devices, starting with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Roku players and Roku TVs and other streaming platforms are on the roadmap. Verimatrix said VCAS for Internet TV enhances the basic HLS security model, with capabilities that support subscription and transaction-based pay-TV services, and provides and upgrade path to MPEG-DASH delivery.

-Ericsson has introduced a content discovery ecosystem that involves a handful of partners with access to a data and imagery, including poster art, clips, trailers, ratings, cast and crew info, and episodic information. The ecosystem, preintegrated with Ericsson’s cloud-based MediaFirst multiscreen video platform, includes ColorTV (universal search and deep linking), the Internet Video Archive (has a video library integrated with images and metadata from more than 1,000 rights holders), and XroadMedia (data enrichment, content discovery, recommendation and targeting services). Ericsson said it’s also adding enhanced caption data via its Access Services business.

-Separately, Ericsson and Inspur Software Group have announced a multi-year strategic deal to bring next-gen TV services to China that will feature Ericsson’s MediaFirst solution. Shandong Cable Network is on board with the program and is setting plans to offer a new live and on-demand multiscreen service to 20 million subscribers in 17 cities across the Shandong Province.

-Verizon Digital Media Services, Verizon’s cloud video unit, and Dolby Laboratories said encoding and playback of Dolby Audio will now be integrated into the VDMS platform. They said Dolby Audio will be available as an additional feature of the Uplynk Video Streaming service, paving the way for enhanced stereo and multichannel audio. The integration also allows for compatibility with several streaming platforms, including the Roku 4, PlayStation, Xbox, Microsoft Windows 10 OS, and devices using Apple iOS, tvOS and MacOS.

-IBM introduced a cloud-based Content Enrichment service for media and entertainment companies that taps into the cognitive capabilities of Watson, the company’s A.I. platform, to offer a deep analysis of video and extract metadata such as keywords, concepts, visual imagery and emotional context. IBM said the offering enables more personalized and engaging consumer experiences amid fast-changing viewer habits. IBM said its new Content Enrichment service will become available later this year, and follows recent work with the U.S. Open to convert commentary to text and the Tribeca Film Festival, whereby a competition is letting participants submit ideas on how they would apply Watson to storytelling mediums that include film, video, Web content, gaming and virtual reality.

-Imagine Communications said it will unveil a suite of products targeted at ATSC 3.0, a next-gen transmission standard that will enable broadcasters to support a variety of devices and to introduce an array of next-gen capabilities, including advanced advertising. In partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG), Imagine said it will showcase its ability to offer broadcasters a comprehensive ATSC 3.0-optimized solution portfolio. Imagine said it has been a “close contributor” to Sinclair’s NextGen TV project, its ATSC 3.0-focused initiative.

-The University of Oklahoma, AT&T and The Weather Channel have collaborated to equip several of OU’s Advanced Radar Research Center’s mobile research trucks with enhanced severe weather technology. These enhanced trucks will soon have cameras capable of streaming live video and near real-time radar data during severe weather events, they said. The project will support near real-time data from the field to the National Weather Center and forecasters nationwide, offer live streaming of video during severe storms, and aim to supply deeper understanding of severe storms.

-Triveni Digital has partnered with Verance Corporation to integrate Verance Aspect, an audio watermarking solution for the ATSC 3.0 television standard, with Triveni’s StreamScope MT-50 video, audio, and metadata monitoring and analysis system. Fox's WOFL in Orlando becomes the first station to conduct a test of StreamScope integrated with Aspect, they said.

-Ericsson, Sony Electronics, and Triveni Digital will team up to demonstrate an end-to-end ATSC 3.0 workflow for individualized ad insertion using ATSC 3.0 signaling, The demo will take place at the "NextGen TV Hub" during the 2017 NAB Show in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center. During the demo, the companies will present a mix of live and pre-recorded content encoded and packaged in real time in HEVC and ROUTE/DASH transport by Ericsson's MediaFirst Encoding Live and MediaFirst Packaging platforms, and Triveni Digital's ROUTE server.

-Harmonic said it will demo a mix of solutions for OTT delivery that enables optimization for bandwidth and delivers low latencies for SD, HD and UHD video that is offered live, on-demand, or in a time-shifted fashion. Harmonic said its demo will show a streaming workflow that matches the latency of live broadcast, noting that OTT live TV is usually delayed 30 to 60 seconds behind a traditional live TV feed. Harmonic said its low-latency streaming workflow is made possible by a combination of packaging content in the new Common Media Application Format (CMAF) and HTTP chunked transfer encoding.

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