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.
If IBC 2010 was lackluster then IBC 2011 was a damp squib. There was no real hype, no buzz and certainly no crowd pullers. In 2007 the Rugby World Cup was on and many, many stands took advantage, using it as their crowd puller. This year it hardly featured and those that had it saw fairly meager gatherings. As we are right in the middle of a totally disrupted market many Companies had their principal offerings hidden in private rooms or on stands that needed invitation to view. The rest was HD viewing and fancy remote controls. This tells me that there is flux and change coming but the industry does not know in which direction it will eventually head. As with 3DTV and 3D UIs it was all proven to be a flop over the year. 3DTV is and in my opinion will never be mainstream viewing for another decade or more. So will the ‘TabletTV’ and this ‘Whole-Home-Solution’ with Gateway be the answer or will the “under $100” STBs still be the Broadcaster & Operators mantra when push comes to shove in an economic downturn? Will the CE manufacturers falter in the Connected TV space? Will the Regulators wake-up and see that TV is in a fragmented mess across Europe and react accordingly?
There were no answers at IBC 2011 and the last two years have shown that we are a ship looking for a port! It turns out that Convergence = Divergence. There are still no answers as to what is the real future of Digital Television Broadcasting, only many more questions?