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Broadcast Engineering tells us that Virgin Media, the main cable operator in the UK, will migrate all pay-TV services, not just internet delivered TV,

By PETER WHITE

Published: 5 May, 2011

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Broadcast Engineering tells us that Virgin Media, the main cable operator in the UK, will migrate all pay-TV services, not just internet delivered TV, to its custom built TiVo box. It will also move outside of its cable footprint to offer TV on other broadband systems including British Telecom and Sky TV. Advertising for the service will start to appear later in 2011. One of the biggest problems is the time it takes to train consumers on using the box. Deployments are running at 1,000 a day and will reach 300,000 by the end of 2011, broadcast engineering writes.

Cablevision, the cableco operating in and around New York, has always been strong on its triple play pricing being the first to offer a $99 triple play in the US. Now it is offering a new triple play called Ultimate with faster internet speeds at 50 Mbps, 275 TV channels, VoD and an advanced wireless N router bundled in. It’s Optimum Link software will let customers to display PC images and sounds on their TV sets without any additional equipment. The price is still close to $99 a month at $99.80.

At Anga Cable this week SeaChange International was showing its Andrenalin multi-screen back office for operators including a new tablet TV experience. Andrenalin includes social media integrated with on-demand services running on Apple iPad, the idea seems to be to watch the same VoD program at the same time and talk to each other over social networks while you’re doing, to create a “watching party.” All this links into the web-based SeaChange Business Management Suite, which helps the operator to manage offers and catalogs. The system comes with HbbTV capabilities for multi-screen VoD services.

NDS at Anga Cable this week in Germany was showing VoD over HbbTV using its Service Delivery Platform (SDP), which marries OTT with traditional TV. NDS draws video off the internet for companion devices like Tablets, but does it from a unified server so that the system knows what you are watching on the TV and on the tablet and can tie the two up and offer extra features. NDS also showed off its InfiniteTV Exchange (ITXG), an impressive B2B internet content marketplace that ties content owners up with platform operators and offers them (so far) 150,000 hours of content, some of it from mainstream studios, and facilitates EDI style business deals online. NDS was also showing a Unified Home Gateway built by acquisition Jungo.

Four major new partners have considerably beefed up the Advanced Advertising Media Project (AAMP) with new members joining including Disney owned national broadcaster ABC, Comcast’s recently acquired studio NBC, CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and Intel. The association was created in March to measure the effect of advanced interactive advertising on viewing in free VOD streams. AAMP now has 14 members that all have a vested interest in accelerating the monetization of VOD content. The other heavyweights are A&E TV, CBS, Comcast, Digitas, Discovery, NDS and Rainbow Media. First research findings are due out soon.

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