We have left France! This is for several reasons. Work has taken us back into the land of Fondu and Cuckoo Clocks. It is for fiscal benefits as well. We had the option to stay and work in France but ultimately the system is so complex that it was not worth the effort to organise. As the French bureaucracy, that we never mastered, blunders along, the ever increasing taxes that destroy entrepreneurship are something that we hope to see the government address before we return. We want to return because we love the country. So for now we will yodel along the highways and byways of the Canton of Vaud safe in the knowledge that what we get at the end of the month is ours to play with. Tax at source is a great way to ensure the government gets its coffers filled and minimizes tax fraud.
We will start to discover the gastronomy of Switzerland and report back with our findings. Keep your eyes peeled for us wont you?
The end of the cable set-top box? Yes, Comcast says
Back in January 2008 Comcast CEO Brian Roberts predicted that by the end of the year, and I share the quote. “Virtually the entire cable industry will support Tru2way,” an “open cable” platform rendering the box moot.
Now I have understood that there is another Iinitiative that actually started in 2009, which is in full hype mode in 2013 called RDK which is designed to make STBs Faster to port and more flexible. I guess USA Cable still needs STBs after all Brian?
Oh we are a fickle industry!
Having seen the superb 4K Ultra HD UI Experience from Nagra the answer is YES, YES, YES! It was quite spectacular and what I would want in my home. Wow!
I sincerely hope that Forbes does not punish me for ‘giving’ this to my readers.
This is something I learnt at IBC 2013. “DON’T SHOW WE WHAT IT IS MADE OF – SHOW ME WHAT IT CAN DO FOR MY BUSINESS”. So yes at IBC I was awaiting the hype and the buzz of RDK and 4K. Respectively one is a new ‘Middleware’ that is touted as the next big thing for the Cable industry with Open Source and Shared Source being bandied about, the other is a new Transmission level above HD called Ultra HD (4K). Supposedly RDK is to make it cheaper and faster for the operators to deploy STBs. RDK was designed in 2009 and it was a damp squib at IBC. UltraHD needs no explanation it had WOW factor!
On the RDK side the show was so disappointing that I was disappointed myself. There was simply nothing shown as to what these ‘amazing’ RDK components allow you to do or why this particular flavour makes TV any better than it is with similar components of equal or better capability (Open Source or not).
When you try to move Middleware mountains you need to make sure that it doesn’t take all your effort in tuning the engine when at the end the tyres are flat. RDK will potentially be the next middleware ‘White Elephant’ after MHP.
Those who saw the Nagra OpenTV 5 Ultra HD demo at IBC will concur that they most certainly have have pole-position.
The Open-Standard Interactive TV Industry Industry Mocked in an Infographic
Thank You Nigel, I have been saying just the same but with a less eloquent style.
Originally posted on Decipher 'Off Air':
Nigel Walley – 2nd April
I have finally recovered after AdWeek. I went to four conferences and followed two more on Twitter, which was over-kill. As I sat in the final conference, my over-riding thought was how those of us in new media have yet to make the case for a central role for the web and social media in marketing budgets. It was like 2003 all over again. There were some truly dreadful presentations from new media types, but the area that bothered me most was the perpetual over-claiming for the role of Twitter around TV.
I am a massive Twitter fan and probably count as a ‘super-user’. I am also a massive fan of broadcast TV. I like the story that they are somehow mutually beneficial, however it appears to have spun out of control. It has leapt from an observation of concurrent use, to an implication of symbiotic dependence, to the point where now Twitter are peddling the line that not only do they influence TV audiences, but that a brand advertiser can get material benefits from co-ordinating Twitter campaigns with TV ad spots. The only problem is that there is no data to back any of this up. Or if anything, the data disproves it.
The marriage of many parties in the Interactive TV systems has always been the Achilles heel for a fully integrated homogenous interactive environment. We have had other pre-2nd screen (i.e. 2nd-Window) systems since the 1990s that have suffered from the same issues described in this article cited below. Programme/TV Show/Film producers (Pre-Production and Post Production) are still unable to have a “write-once” for a “read-anywhere” business plan due to competing (proprietary/standardised) technologies that are all designed for the same job of Value Added Services. There were, and still are, proprietary and standardised CMS systems available but that still did not answer the age old problem of incompatibility across broadcasters, operators selection of technology in the global TV eco-systems. The DVB Consortium made something that tried to answer this early on with something called DVB-PCF (Transcoding across different VAS systems) which the BBC worked heavily on. It never saw the light of day.
Creating and franchising an interactive TV show using a SocialTV / Companion Screen technology and single back-office system is seen as a pre-requisite in the conquering of this Value Added Service arena. E.g. The popular reality show ‘The Voice’ out of Holland was successful using Social TV (VAS by Ex-Machina I believe) but this cannot be sold worldwide “as-a-package” into Belgium, UK, LATAM, USA for example for the simple reason of techno-political-business reasons. This oft then leads to Buisness Plan ROI questions as per all interactive TV systems including the BBC’s Red-Button initiative, which has been heavily scaled back in recent years.
So we see that 2nd Screen technology technology fragmentation is the same issue as in ALL previous Interactive TV middleware attempts over the last 20 years. Then add to this new Non-TV Technologies (i.e. designed for the Internet all trying to latch on to the TV eco-system). Fragmentation and Fit-For-Purpose is an issue that also dogs the new TV eco-system. Different Social TV and Companion Screen offerings now numbers in their 30s with Civolution, Egonocast, Ex-Machina, Shazam, WyWy, ZeeBox etc. integrating on-screen, 2nd-window, off-programme and full dual-screen synchronisation.
There are lots of other things that are around in the new world of TV Tech – the failed 3DTV and now UHDTV and 4K etc. that are at least keeping us occupied along with Multi-Screen, DRM, CAS, PayTV, OTT and so on and so forth…
I was so incenced by a news story today that I am compelled to write about it. It starts with two famous French footballers, Monsieurs Ribery and Benzema, who paid to have sex with a young girl who is purported to have been 16 years old at the time. That for me, in its purest form, is reprehensible but it is not the reason I had to write. It is the secondary result of the whole sordid affair that guiles me.
There will be a court case for these ‘stars’ that are unfortunately idols in many a young man’s eyes. They will not even be present. Clearly punishment, if found guilty of a crime, would be correct as a strong message needs to be sent out to those fans who put these men on a pedestal. Just because you are famous and paid a lot of money does not mean that you are untouchable.
However the worst part of this whole affair is that the apparent ‘victim’ Zahia Dehar has become the muse of Karl Lagerfeld and launched a lingerie line. I have just witnessed her, during the news story, parading on a catwalk with her breasts bared, apparently a superstar of the fashion world sub-culture! What lessons are we giving our youngsters here? Karl Lagerfeld is as guilty as the footballers for exploiting her new found fame. What a shameless, twisted society we live in.
What about the poor students of fashion? People who strive to be in a cutthroat business who have attended university, studying hard to gain their qualifications. Youngsters who aspire to be recognised by their hard work, talent and effort. No that means very little. In modern day society you just fast track by fucking a famous footballer to get famous!