Snakes & Ladders

The PayTV Cable Market in Europe is confusing ‘Product’ with’ Bespoke Product’.   MSOs are talking retail models – That is they want a ‘Produc’t for their network;  ‘off-the-shelf’ with a roadmap and versioning, no longer accepting that they must design a Product & Service (NRE) to fit their often unique needs.   They are demanding off-the-shelf whilst discussing vertical idealism and control.  It has to be like this and cost that and we would like to change this and change that and we are not paying for it!   This is contradictory, difficult to obtain, leading to business issues and delays…huge delays.  Product is sold in Retail and has a RRP (Recommended Retail Price), determined on complexity, volume, BOM (Bill of Materials), BOS (Bill of Software) the sales Margin, distribution area etc.

They DigitalTV industry wants the PayTV STB to perform like a Ferrari however it should cost no more than a 2CV.   It has to be loaded with software features and not any old software it must be the latest and greatest hyped software.  It has to be fully loaded to work in a multi-room, multi-device world so we can move from room to room and have our TV show follow our movements.  We cannot just accept watching a TV show we have to talk to other people about it whilst we are watching it.  We have to share it with the world as they share it with us!  We have to be able to program the box when we are shopping or at work because the fear of not having that TV show is so great we have created  multi-millions of dollars worth of software to permit that feature, however we cannot charge for it.  Costs have to go down whilst features go up!  It seems that we crave TV on all devices so much that it seems that the TV industry is on a TV Everywhere drug fueled binge.

Whilst this happens the industry is playing Snakes and Ladders;  Features are added and taken away as the game moves ahead.   When delays appear they re-engineer and when new ideas pop up they add features.  Launches are delayed as we slide down the slippery snake.

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