IBC 2014 News Roundup III

Another Round Of News Snippets From The Amsterdam Gathering
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While many get ready for some R&R this weekend, thousands of video industry people will be burning it on both ends in Amsterdam as the confab continues to roll on.

Here’s a looks at what else is making news there. Check out our earlier IBC news roundups here and here.

-TiVo’s shot at achieving global domination is well underway. The DVR and video software company said it’s expanding its European footprint to include sales, marketing and account management staff offices in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain, noting that they’ll be dedicated to personalized video products – a move that happens to come on the heels of TiVo's acquisition of Digitasmiths. TiVo, which already working with Com Hem in Sweden, Ono in Spain and Virgin Media in the U.K., isn't saying how many staffers will be based at these expanded international posts, but the company employs 635 people worldwide today. So we reckon that the number we were looking for is something less than 635.

-Alcatel-Lucent said it’s working on a new architecture that will help pay TV providers store a customer’s favorite TV shows in the cloud at low cost while also maintaining compliance with content rights and copyright laws. Under U.S. rules, cloud DVRs must make a private copy for each recording request made by a given household -- horribly inefficient from a storage standpoint when compared to areas of the world that alllow multiple subscribers to stream off of the same recorded copy. Alcatel-Lucent said will be getting around this via a “virtual private copy architecture” that combines a tiered storage system with its Velocix Content Delivery Network (CDN), claiming that the approach can reduce storage costs by up to 75%. The company is developing a prototype of the architecture and expects it to be ready for trials in mid-2015, followed by commercial availability toward the end of next year.

-SeaChange International is demoing a new platform that integrates Freesat’s next-gen Freetime service with SeaChange’s multiscreen Adrenalin video backoffice platform. They’re pitching the combo, which includes a catch-up and recommendation engine,  to IPTV, satellite, cable and terrestrial operators. Freesat, a joint venture of the U.K.’s ITV and the BBC, is a subscription-free service with more than 200 channels, plus on-demand, that’s in over 1.85 million homes. 

-Envivio has shed more light on the tech partners who are tied into Nuage, its new multiscreen video platform. They include Microsoft (content protection), Adobe Primetime (video playback, authentication, DRM, and ad insertion/decisioning), Dolby (audio processing), and 1 Mainstream (automated video app platform).

-Brightcove has unveiled Brightcove Perform, a video playback system for multiscreen video that supports management APIs and its “HTML5-first” Brightcove Player. As the performance of Perform goes, the company is making the lofty claim that it can load up to 70% than competitive players, including YouTube’s. That player will also be available soon as part of the company’s flagship Video Cloud online video platform.

-Verimatrix said Swisscom has selected its Video Content Authority System (VCAS) to secure the operator’s new TV 2.0 service, which runs on an Android-powered set-top and marks Swisscom’s move away from Mediaroom, the former Microsoft IPTV platform that is now part of Ericsson. Swisscom TV 2.0 supports live TV and a seven-day replay service for 250 channels.

-EchoStar is using IBC to offer a sneak peak at a  home automation and security platform that will feature “do-it-yourself” installation and enable the control of thermostats, security cameras, door sensors, lights, doorbells and switches. EchoStar said the new product is expected to debut in “various territories” in early 2015.

-Second-screen specialist Visiware said its Sync2TV platform reaches more than 50 million users, with 500,000 of them “engaged” with several single TV shows. Visiware said it’s working with several producers and networks, including Disney, Embassy Row, Endemol, ESPN, NBC Universal, the NFL, ITV, M6, Sony, and TF1, among others.

-Harmonic has released its Polaris playout management suite of tools and integrated them with its Spectrum media server family. Harmonic also unveiled new multiscreen packaging and origination capabilities for its VOS software-based media processing platform that adds  packaging-on-the-fly and low-latency origin server capabilities that were originally developed for its ProMedia multiscreen applications. Sky Italia is one the first customers to deploy the VOS platform for its broadcast and multiscreen services.

-Speaking of Sky Italia, it has also deployed Imagine Communications’ Magellan SDN Orchestrator, a distribution system for both ASI and IP transport streams across broadcast routers and commercial IP switches that’s tied into a common software-defined network infrastructure

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