Cloud STB with Bob Pank


Bob Pank# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
It’s like trying to get to Heathrow in time for your flight. Many of us have to go there by road and the journey will involve travelling on the UK’s busiest motorways. Even outside rush hour the journey may be quick, or not so quick or a real nightmare. This is a bit like live streaming video on the Internet. Yes, we’ve probably all used at least one of the main channel catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and itvPLAYER, and at certain times of the day, mainly in the evenings when everyone wants to watch or use the Internet, it gets slow and stops, just like the motorways.
These players rely on continuous live streaming video via the Internet. My personal experience is that, although the connection can fly at 5Mbps at the right time of day, it usually does not manage to cope with streaming a TV programme without a few freezes, or a message saying ‘insufficient bandwidth’, or some such. Being two miles from the exchange means that I cannot expect more speed until we get a fibre connection, for which BT has no plans. And, like most consumers, the connection slows down when the number of users on line goes up. That’s reality.
By the way, BT says that 15 million homes and business in the UK, more than half of all premises, can now have access to ‘superfast’ fibre broadband. That will rise to 19 million (two thirds of the UK’s total) early in 2014. Lucky them! Why not just byte the bullet and provide universal superfast access? It would be a boon for everyone, including business, and be a lot faster, probably cheaper and may well generate more benefits, than HS2!
So I was somewhat surprised to read about a Swedish broadcaster, Magine, building a ‘cloud TV’ service. Magine is a cable broadcaster and has just started its cloud TV service in Sweden. It is seeking deals to extend its service into more European countries. I recall that, some time ago, Sweden decided to offer fibre to the home for everyone. So, maybe it will always be fast enough for everyone in the country to join in. This type of service effectively virtualises the set-top box by moving it into the cloud – so that’s one thing customers don’t have to buy. However they do need a suitable connected computer at the consumer’s site. This may be in a smart TV, tablet or smartphone. Then you might think, ‘I don’t have a smart TV and the other screens are going to be too small for my home viewing so why don’t I just get a set-top box with a built-in recorder?’
Mattias Hjelmstedt, Founder of Magine poses an interesting question. “If television was invented this year, how would it look?” Good question! There is the existing legacy of recently installed, and very effective technologies that deliver digital TV to homes, and the STBs and TVs to view it. Are we are about to see the beginnings of a huge change where superfast broadband renders that obsolete? It will be interesting to see how successful this service is. Maybe it will be more attractive to mobile phone and tablet users. Perhaps the internet providers will baulk at the volume of data and start charging extra. Also the cloud STB TV service does rock the asymmetry between the broadcaster’s and the viewer’s equipment, as the latter would need a computer to work with the cloud service. That does not affect tablet and smartphone users but the necessary smart TV sets are sold at significant premium to normal TVs.
We have not heard the last of this idea and some more schemes will be rolled out. Already smart TV set-makers are getting involved with Samsung working with some cloud services and LG setting up its own LG Cloud service, first in the USA, South Korea and Russia and now in South Africa and soon 40 more countries. This allows users of LG CINEMA 3D smart TV sets to directly receive streaming content.
As it happens this ‘cloudy set-top box’ topic came up at the recent Connected TV Summit in London where the opinions divided between the TV operators and the telecoms companies. What a surprise! The former were generally supporting the status quo, while the telecoms people were keen on virtualising the STB. But it is still very convenient and reassuring to have the media stored in-house or fed live over-the-air by DVB, and not having to rely on the highly variable state of my live internet connection to enjoy a whole programme without fear of, or actual, interruption. There are other concerns such as possible latency when controlling a virtual STB. Overall the telecoms companies have a big job to do to persuade me to think otherwise. If they want to run, first they must learn to walk. And in my book that means superfast broadband for all!

Tags: iss078 | cloud stb | bt connection | storage | iplayer | on demand | itv player | connected tv summit | stb | dvb | Bob Pank#
Contributing Author Bob Pank#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

    Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

  • All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

    All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

  • Object based Storage Solution from Object Matrix at IBC 2017

    Object based Storage Solution from Object Matrix at IBC 2017

  • Glyph External Storage including the Studio and Atom raid at IBC 2017

    Glyph External Storage including the Studio and Atom raid at IBC 2017

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • Storage DNA at BVE 2016

    Storage DNA at BVE 2016

  • Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

    Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

    GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

    Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2013

    SGL at NAB 2013

  • Object Matrix at BVE 2013

    Object Matrix at BVE 2013

  • Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

    Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • Nexsan at NAB 2012

    Nexsan at NAB 2012

  • Arkivum at BVE 2012

    Arkivum at BVE 2012

  • Facilis at BVE 2012

    Facilis at BVE 2012

  • Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

    Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

    Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

  • ATTO Technology at IBC2011

    ATTO Technology at IBC2011

  • Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

    Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

    Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

  • Pixel Power at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2013

    Pixel Power at NAB 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2014

    Pixel Power at NAB 2014

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

    WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

  • Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

    Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

  • S and T at IBC2011

    S and T at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • StorageDNA LIVE at BVE 2016

    StorageDNA LIVE at BVE 2016


Articles
TV Futures - The Shadowing Experience
Daniel Jones My name is Daniel Jones, and it is no accident that I’m currently studying BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting at the University of Portsmouth. Since completing GSCE media studies I have been constantly questioning what I watch with questions such as, “Wow, how was that filmed?” or “That looks amazing, I wonder how long that took?” It should come as no surprise that I made it a big focus of mine to get myself some real work experience to give myself some answers to these production questions.
Tags: iss136 | portsmouth university | runner | student | education | training | Daniel Jones
Contributing Author Daniel Jones Click to read or download PDF
BSC Expo 2019 Report
Paul MacKenzie BSC Expo returned to the Battersea Evolution on Friday February 1st and Saturday 2nd. It is a busy and friendly event though this year in need of some temperature control: exhibitors around the entrance area were uncomfortably aware of the wintry conditions outside and the main hall was in need of cooling.
Tags: iss136 | bsc | cinematography | canon | c700 | c200 | cartoni | holdan | blackmagic | peli | panasonic | sennheiser | sony | fs5 | teradek | viten | flowtech | Paul MacKenzie
Contributing Author Paul MacKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Living LIVE at BVE with Ross Video
Jon Pratchett KitPlus’ Jon Pratchett chats to Stuart Russell, Ross Video, in the BVE studio. Covering customer partnerships and loyalty, pain points, growth, industry trends, pace of IP adoption, 12g SDI technologies, UHD / HDR, 8k, AI and we try to get a hint of new products on the horizon...
Tags: iss136 | ross video | 12g sdi | uhd | hdr | ip | bve 2019 | bvexpo | Jon Pratchett
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett Click to read or download PDF
4k and HDR Wireless Camera Transmitters
David Edwards Across the globe, live events represented over 50 percent of the most watched TV programs last year. However, big budget episodic shows are impacting live TV and the way viewers want to see their content. Viewers are demanding the same quality of production for live event broadcasts as they see in pre-recorded TV series and films. Producers of live content are looking to new, immersive and cinematic mobile camera views to better achieve these results. This presents a challenge to live production teams as these new camera views and angles must match the quality of the rest of the production -  the demand for mobility means that the cameras need to be wireless.
Tags: iss136 | wireless | hdr | 4k | transmitter | bandwidth | imt vislink | hcam | David Edwards
Contributing Author David Edwards Click to read or download PDF
Sennheiser Memory Mic User Review
Dr Anthony Willman The Sennheiser Memory mic, adding to the new generation of semi-professional equipment that is helping the need for high quality audio in parallel markets that until now, did not have the budgets to achieve ‘great’ results.
Tags: iss136 | sennheiser | memory mic | doctor | audio recorder | Dr Anthony Willman
Contributing Author Dr Anthony Willman Click to read or download PDF