TV Middleware – The long and winding road.


cogs

The digital TV middleware/OS market has been in full and continued development since the early 1990s. For the last 28 years, the TV receiver software (digital) has remained a fundamental building block or foundation stone of Advanced Television Services. Middleware/OS continues to evoke strong opinion and is a much-maligned. Despite this, it remains firmly ensconced in the digital TV business, forming part of the DNA that is interactive digital television, whether we like it or not.

BTW: There is very little that has not already been tried in the TV domain and not a lot of ‘new’ inventions when it comes to the world of TV.

e.g. Voice made its debut back in the early 2000s. We laughed at it back then; now it is a must-have technology in a very packed content world. Gesture control came and went and now, according to many TV experts, it’s going to be micro-gesture going forward. There was face recognition capability, widgets, and Social Media on TV and good old 3D! Well, let’s not go there …

Along the digital TV software journey, there is one constant = the infamous middleware/OS, and we have seen many solutions come and go, with the resurrection of some technology blocks that were once tried, disliked and considered not fit for purpose. These solutions have a new lease on life now that the STB/CPE products have much faster chipsets and huge memory capability. Not to mention that the transmission medium, which has developed at an equally impressive rate allowing for the offsetting of services in a client-server arrangement. Flash, HTML, JavaScript, and Java are examples of once used, refused only to see a re-introduction into the TV landscape. Back in the 90s, a company called Liberate (part of Oracle) (Liberate Technologies: Taking Strange to New Levels, 2009) had championed an early web-like solution, only to see very expensive, clunky, slow, STBs that led to extremely dissatisfied customers. Flash for the STB/CPE came and went. We had Java as part of Open Standard initiatives right across the TV landscape but back then it didn’t manage to make enough headway to stick. Java is once again back under the umbrella of Android, with their 4th or 5th time out of the middleware/OS starting blocks. The finish line is a long way off before there can be a single winner declared. This is truly a long and winding road.

Here is a long and incomplete list:

  • powerTV
  • OpenTV Core
  • MediaHighway
  • MicrosoftTV
  • Liberate
  • NDS core
  • MHEG
  • DAVIC (MHEG + Java)
  • MHP
  • OCAP
  • ACAP
  • MHP-GEM
  • ARIB B23
  • JavaTV
  • EBIF
  • GINGA-J
  • ON-RAMP to OCAP
  • Various flavours of Linux Distee
  1. OpenTV 5
  2. Frog by Wyplay
  3. Espial
  4. Alticast
  • Boxee TV
  • Horizon TV
  • InView
  • Oregan
  • WebOS
  • Tizen
  • iOS
  • Tivo
  • FireTV
  • Roku Brightscript
  • Google TV
  • Android AOSP
  • RDK
  • Android TV
  • ATSC3.0

So what else do we have in store for the STB/CPE as we blend Broadcast & Internet and look to create new and exciting services for a future generation? Who knows where the digital TV middleware/OS industry will finally settle.

I just cancelled HULU


I just cancelled Hulu because the interface annoyed me and the content that appeared in my ‘TV Feed’ was not doing it for me. The Handmaiden’s tale was all that was of interest. However, this title is not worth 45 dollars a month.

We are being subjected to the BEST TV CONTENT we have ever had and the WORST TV Experience we have ever had.

Now I am having to Content Stack, Search and be on top of all the different content that is all over the place and that has become very tedious. The cognitive burden that the TV industry has put on me the consumer is really a sad indictment of the belief that we all actually know what we want to watch. We may do but we also need to know where to find it as it is generally spread on different services that require a subscription and a device. As far as silos are concerned – algorithms deciding on my content line-up has highlighted that my ‘TV Feed’ became very boring. Same-Same but really just the same.

TV is actually pushing people away. That is an odd way of doing business.

 

 

 

New Book Now Available


Social Media Psychobabble – Stop Feeding the Beast is now available to order.

It can be bought through www.socialmediapsychobabble.com, which takes you to Amazon UK, Germany and USA.

 

 

I Went Off Line By Accident


I went offline by accident.  Lost 2 months (And nobody noticed – Not even me LOL!) (Busy getting settled in to my new abode).

My Website Domain Name was not renewed as I did not receive the renewal notice – I moved countries and therefore lost a ‘country-tied’ email. (.ch) – A lesson learnt. Stay generic and it will not happen (Unless you plan to stay in a country forever.) Luckily I was able to renew … my 85 days redemption period had not passed.

Video Wars – Amazon in YouTube Blackout


Needless to say there are spats in the Broadcast world when there are negotiations for carriage fees. We have channel blackouts regularly announced, which often get resolved when both parties come to an agreement.

As the world of Internet based TV solutions trundles ever onwards a spat has happened between two of the giants. There will be an agreement eventually but it is funny to see that they are just recreating what happens in the land of Broadcast.

Amazon in Youtube Blackout

 

PLEASE STOP PREDICTING THE DEMISE OF TRADITIONAL TV – IT’S BORING!


tvoldHere we go again! … Old TV versus New TV … Because you can open a TV channel on the Internet you can make money and therefore traditional TV is dead!  Since the AWS announcement certain ‘TV Experts’ have declared it so.  There are so few people in the world that can predict the future (i.e. ZERO) but there are people who can look at the past and the present and then extrapolate ideas of how things MIGHT work out: Seldom are any of them right.

By the way, notwithstanding the progress of video content over the Internet (OTT) there is an abundance of closures:

Fullscreen, Afrostream, Sportflix, Go90, Vessel, SeeSo, Redbox Instant, Xbox Entertainment Studios, Samsung Video & Media Hub, Stickam, Flickr Video, Metacafe, Justin.tv, Veoh, Blip.tv, vidiLife

Can you make money in OTT Shelly Palmer? – You make it sound so easy … (Why not try starting a video business and see how it goes).  It’s OK here is someone who has done it: This is a real OTT story Afrostream Closes – This is an amazing insight into the $$$$$$$ that are needed to survive and it openly describes the full impact of what it takes.

If  a 2% Churn rate is an issue for a Pay-TV provider why is the following statistic not an issue to the on-line video businesses?

“OTT Churn Rates Pass 50%”

We do not know how this industry will pan out. Fragmentation, Churn, Net Neutrality, Content Investment and the Pay-TV businesses not just rolling over and dying is some, but not all of the things to be considered when predicting the future of TV … And touting Statistics does not make you an expert…

‘LinkedIn Layabouts’


LinkedIn a place where people believe that they are successful if they post pictures of themselves in wittily worded T-Shirts that garner toe-curling, boot-licking sychophantic responses from their admirers.  Go back to Facebook Pleeeeeze!

LinkedIn is also awash with people offering their ‘expert advice’ on things that are nonsensical, idiotic, meaningless and/or ‘bleeding obvious.’

LinkedIn is now becoming the singular place for B2B marketing where people publish beautiful success stories … and this is simply because it does not cost anything to do so.

Where is all of this heading? Who the hell knows! It is not really working for me. There is almost no ROI!

Here is a gem from a TV pundit whose post that went something like this:

“56% of people talk to other people about brands while watching OTT TV”

OH YEAH! AND?

I suppose that this random and rather bizarre title and topic is such an important statistic that ALL brands (who are reading this kind of headline) will now seek out to advertise on OTT TV?

Another free advert from a Social Media Marketer looking for customers by launching this:

” All of our social media management packages are less than $200 per month. Very affordable for start-ups and small businesses!”

WOOHOO! LETS ALL RUSH TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS.

In a nutshell … I am NOTconfused by the purpose of LinkedIn since its inception but a lot of people are! … But so are they on Facebook and other Social Media tools.

Rant over …

Bon Nuit!

 

 

Social Media Psychobabble


SMSBBOOKCOVERI have  just published my book on the subject of the WWW and the meaningless drivel machine that is Social Media and it’s How-To friend and the over-used Content Marketing parasites.

If you hate Social Media you’ll love the book! If you love Social Media you’ll hate the book!

It’s full of Beastly Facts, Use Cases and Stories that highlights the rubbish people spout … of which, I am oft accused of. #LOL

There is a website dedicated to it http://www.socialmediapsychobabble.com where I will blog and add more stories and psychobabble as I come across it.

 

Now Available for purchase at:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Social-Media-Psychobabble-Feeding-Beast/dp/1539639290

Germany – https://www.amazon.de/Social-Media-Psychobabble-Feeding-Beast/dp/1539639290

USA – https://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Psychobabble-Feeding-Beast/dp/1539639290

Working With The Churlish


churlish

This is not a race or an animal for those of you who are not native English speakers this is a word that describes certain people who have a very nasty demeanor about them. They act in a mean-spirited and surly way. Maybe you know one or two? I do.

 

A churlish person is difficult to work or deal with and it is in their nature to try to score points against those they dislike. It often manifests itself in their verbal interaction and in their correspondence. They are unpleasant, mean and deliberately discourteous.

Mean-spiritedness with petty and ungracious actions towards people has no place in the office, but sadly there are those who make it their purpose in life to be like this.

If you are a victim and are affected by churlish behavior it might make life unpleasant at times, especially if you are in a direct working relationship with them.  The churlish like to focus on those individuals they dislike and part of the armory they possess is the sad act of mobbing or bullying.  Stand above it.

 

Here is an article from Harvard on the subject: https://hbr.org/2014/10/how-to-deal-with-a-mean-colleague.

The best advice is to realize that you should not take the blame and you can stand up to them – it is a well-known fact that churlish bullies pick targets that are highly skilled and well-liked.

Social Media Bitchiness


There is a sickness in the world and it is called Social Media … Actually Social Media is OK, it is the nasty folk that hide behind it which is the real problem.  Even something as trite as trying to get a book publisher turned into a recent bitch fest.

Austin Macauley is a Publishing House that still accepts unsolicited manuscripts so naively I sent something in, thinking why not? The book I have written is a little quirky and all about Social Media; All the BAD that it has created. I did not expect a positive response from AM but one (naively) always hopes for a positive reaction.  Even a positive-negative response is a step in the right direction for any author.  Months on and a follow-up email to them went without response.  For some reason (a sixth sense) I got a little suspicious and thought maybe this is a scam…p.s. the book (if it ever publishes) will explain my paranoia.

Looking around on-line I came across this: The Writers Workshop and an article by Harry Bingham who was questioning the methods of AM the Publisher…intimating that they are in reality a Vanity Publishers as they ask you to pay to have your book published.

Having tweeted this story on my Twitter account AM’s Social Media Manager decided they didn’t like what they read and responded immediately.  Their SM dashboard had obviously flashed up a signal that criticism was being levied at them. I was slightly incensed that they were rapid enough to write to me on Social Media but had not responded to my other more inquisitive correspondence about my manuscript via their website.

I sensed that the Harry Bingham story and my subsequent Tweet had hit a raw nerve … and suddenly this came through: … ‘we sent you an email but it didn’t get through.’ Ermmm! Email that does not get through … not in 2017 to a very simple address … I was not convinced!  Then I suddenly received, ‘with no problem’, the standard blah blah blah your book does not meet the criteria of our reading list etc. No thank you! Fair enough I thought!

Meanwhile the Social Media conversation was ongoing.  In the thread the following was said:

@AustinMacauley It took Social Media accusations of skulduggery to get a response – I need to burn the book hahaha! Vanity be thy name!

This was swiftly followed by a BITCHY message that is glowing in sarcasm and has ‘fuck-you’s’ all over it.

@ASChaigneau We are very sorry that our email did not get through the first time round, but are very glad that you’ve seen it now.

Oooooohhhhh How beautifully crafted is that Tweet – English wordsmithery at its best. Worthy of a Book Publisher hahaha n’est ce pa?  How subtle is that ‘go fuck yourself’ message. #LOL (Normally water of a duck’s back but I will not let this one go. It is perfect for the next book…to be continued)