Posted by Tattletech on Sep 30, 2009 in Cable
, IPTV World
AsiaMedia Journal reported this week that HBO Asia went HD. This makes HBO Asia the first regional movie channel to broadcast in HD. On Thursday, October 1, HBO will be available in HD to subscribers in Singapore and the Philippines, and in Hong Kong from 6 October and plans to roll out more countries before the year ends.
And via BroadbandTV, UPC Romania will officially launch its HD cable product also starting on October 1. To make it work, they called out the expensive big guns — Cisco, Thomson and Pace to deliver the first five channels including Pro TV HD, TVR HD, Eurosport HD, History HD and Fashion TV. History and Fashion, together at last… in HD.
Another IBC, another Hot Men of IBC. Ok, we know that Telco stuff can get a bit dry, that is why we always do this list year after year. And you know, it’s oddly not the ladies that ask for it, it’s all those guys out there that wonder if they will make the list this year. So, for 2009, we present the ultimate list for Telco and IPTV and the seven men that made the days go by a little easier…. And remember, there is no ranking, it’s just in alphabetical order so there is no fighting.
Marcus Bristav, Dreampark — Many of the Dreampark Dream team has made the list but this year, we walked into a conference room and there he was. Sitting there, just smiling at us. A Chief Architect by trade with charming and witty banter at every turn. The blue eyes, the trendy yet oddly attractive mostly shaved beard and his ability to give everyone a hard time with a smile on his face won us over.
Lucien Burm, FdForward. Ok, he technically isn’t in the IPTV business but he was at the show and how can you ignore those eyes? Plus, he is an old school gentleman… offering you his jacket, getting you a glass of wine (at an after party and generally just being smart and a fantastic dresser. We added Lucien because he is always one of the good guys, oh and did we mention those eyes?
Adrien Clidiere, consultant, interactive video applications, mobile & IPTV – We first met Adrien last year at IBC at the Envivio stand where he was entertaining us with great stories about back end technology but in a good way. Then he divulged that he was French, Breton actually which made us really perk up. He can talk to you about anything from philosophy to code to comedy to world politics. He’s the sexiest engineer we have ever encountered.
Kevin Conner, Axicom - He first made our list at his very first show at the IPTV World Forum and again last year at IBC 2008 and this year he continues his winning streak. He showed up at our IBC Drink party and we no longer has the power of speech. On the last day of the show, he came rushing in past us, stopped to say hello, gave us a peck on the cheek — all in a white t-shirt and Armani dress pants running for his jacket. We liked that. Here’s to the hottest PR guy in the universe. Oh and we might add that he is sings in a band, Witness to the Beard.
Ignacious Garcia-Legaz, CEO, Free2B.com - Ignacious channeled Javier Bardem right from the start. He showed up at ink’s IBC Drink Mixer with some friends from Concurrent and that was it — we were pouring sangria for him every 25 seconds. That accent, that suit, that smile and those stories of warm and sunny places had us giggling like school girls.
Justin Lebbon, Videonet – You know that guy that dresses in jeans and a tshirt plus a hoodie with Chucks that you think is really alluringly cute? And then the next time you see him he’s in a Zegna with a martini in his hand? Yea well, that is Justin. The hair, the eyes, the smile, the hilarious conversation are just part of the equation. His ability to completely transform from the skateboard dude to Zegna model is enough for us. Check please.
Jonah from Ericsson – We don’t even know his last name. He blew out of our life as fast as he came into it. But know this — He had Daniel Craig dashing good looks, drives a Porsche (we didn’t see it but we believe him) was charming, funny, engaging with a barbed wit and impeccably dressed with a pair of “I can’t take my eyes off his shoes” shoes. Should we say anymore?
Posted by Tattletech on Sep 8, 2009 in Conferences
, IBC 09
, IPTV World
Operators want to keep viewers at the TV. They don’t want them wandering off back to the Web and messing around with this free for all content that you can get anytime anywhere. So this means companies like Verimatrix have got to give the operators a tool to protect content and yet get as much of that content out to consumers and keep them right in front of the TV where they belong.
According to Yoav Schreiber, senior analyst, Digital Media Infrastructure at Current Analysis, the consumer appetite for content anytime and anywhere is evident in the growth of online and mobile video consumption, which is supplementing traditional TV viewership. And to respond to evolving consumer viewing behavior, operators and content owners need the flexibility to introduce and deliver protected premium video applications and services across both managed and unmanaged networks.
This is where Verimatrix comes in. They have evolved security architecture to meet these emerging demands which in the end lets operators increase revenue streams and retain subscribers. That’s a happy ecosystem.
At IBC, Hall 5 Stand #B45. Verimatrix is showing off its Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) 3.0 core architecture. Essentially, VCAS 3.0 enables pay-TV operators to offer a more extensive set of service offerings, helping operators attract and retain subscribers who want information and entertainment options in the living room and beyond. — JLH
Posted by Tattletech on Sep 8, 2009 in Conferences
, IBC 09
, IPTV World
NDS has gotten everyone all worked up. Usually it’s because of their IBC party which you have to sign your life away to get an invite, but this year it’s because of this science fiction, big brother like video (hit play) that has been circulating. They say they will tell us tomorrow, 9 September, but we have to wonder, what could it possible be that they would put so much into this promotional campaign, and remember they are not a consumer based technology, they are completely back end. We all know that NDS is a powerhouse of technology and deep down I admit it’s nice to see the lavish spending of yesteryear on fun campaigns like this, but I doubt that it will be anything earth shattering, but more of a cross over to web 2.0 and the innovative technologies we are seeing on that side of the tech fence. Stay tuned! – JLH
Posted by Tattletech on Sep 8, 2009 in IBC 09
, IPTV World
, Web 2.0 stuff
As we get closer to IBC 2009 on Friday, we are seeing telling signs that traditional and legacy IPTV companies that paved the way nearly a decade ago for IPTV, are at it again. We are beginning to see technology from companies like OpenTV, ActiveVideo Networks and NDS that speak Web 2.0 infuse their technology with social media elements, interactive and user generated content, widgets, etc. This means operators are now (or still) looking for ways to keep consumers at their TVs and we will see more and more deployments with these social media elements.
Tracy Geist, senior VP, Biz Dev, talks about the closing the gap between TV and the Web.
She says that it’s a dynamic market for digital TV operators right now who need to introduce new services while keeping the service on and smoothly running. The growing competition, new content platforms embraced by viewers, and technological advancements, all drive the introduction of new services, which transform traditional TV viewing into an interactive social experience. These new services focus on creating a whole experience for viewers, such as enabling them to browse through video titles and pick content based on suggestions, recommendations, key-words or related topics across multiple resources.
Geist says that our entertainment at home is no longer ‘one way’. We have all gotten used to searching and sharing content with family and friends through the Web. Users today are looking for the same experience when they retrieve content via the TV at home.
“If I just finished watching Nigella Lawson’s program, I want to be able to let my friends know in real time that Nigella is making the best Chocolate Mousse tonight through messaging or recommending the program or even get the recipe to make it myself,” said Geist. ”This is just one example of what next generation TV should easily enable as it becomes an extension to the lives of those who watch it.”
According to Geist, operators already have the infrastructure to allow access to resources that would enable this functionality. What is needed on top of this infrastructure is the next gen digital TV platform that would enable those advanced services and bridge the gap between TV and the Internet, providing a unified and seamless viewing experience to the user, while allowing operators to cost-effectively differentiate their offering and remain ahead of the game.
For a full view of Tracy’s thoughts and other news on IPTV, visit Videonet.
In our ongoing search for dynamic and unique CEO’s we had the great pleasure of meeting Areti last December at the European Venture Summit in Dusseldorf. We got to juggle oranges with her and she and I raced together on the last day catch our trains out of Dusseldorf. We immediately were drawn to the way she commanded a room and how she got up in front of a panel of judges and said she wasn’t here to ask for any money right. We thought that was flat out the boldest move we had ever seen from an entrepreneur. We liked her unique approach to fundraising and views on how to play the start up game, we also liked her because she was one of the few women (the only Greek woman we know of) heading a tech company in the Euro start up scene. We know that you will be seeing more of her because she has the rare combination of a true leader and entrepreneur – guts and determination to win no matter what. In this interview, Areti talks about making a true mobile 3.0 environment, her work at the 2004 Olympics in Greece and her thoughts on being a female CEO. We give you Areti Kampyli, CEO, Yasmo Live.
Tattletech: We like the cool sound of Yasmo Live – we can see where the Live part comes in, but where did you get Yasmo from? Is that a childhood nickname perhaps, or something (or someone) completely different?
Arety Kampyli: Introducing our services, we welcome a new era in real world interactions through our mobile phones; we introduce a revolutionary marriage between our digital and physical entities! So we salute our revived mobile phones, we say hello mobile, only in Greek; yassou in Greek means hello and yassou+mobile makes our Yasmo. To sustain its Greek origin, we work hard for our Yasmo to be received by our international audience like anything associated with Greece, from the sun and the food to the everlasting cultural concepts.
TT: We think this is a REALLY cool service to be able to use, and one that is very useful. With your background in advertising and marketing, you must have attended more than your share of large meetings and conferences – did the idea for this spring from your own experiences looking for contacts in person at events?
AK: Well I have to be completely honest with you; the incident that initiated the idea was one of a quite ‘social nature’. I was walking on a rather empty street in London, one morning, when a guy across the street caught my eye. Our eyes met a couple of times in the beginning and then kept on exchanging looks until we were out of each other’s sight. Neither of us had the courage to introduce ourselves, possibly missing out on a great opportunity. Still on the same street, walking to the Tube station, I thought to myself ‘how would I ever be able to get hold of this person again? How could I receive a piece of information about him via a magic device that would be activated by the random incident of finding myself in his vicinity?’ And that was it; eureka! The answer was simple; this wicked device exists and it has undoubtedly become the digital extension of our existence; it is our mobile phone. And the hypothesis was obvious; ‘what if we used our mobile phones to receive information about people in our vicinity?’ The very next morning I went to a conference and the idea was officially formed. I always got frustrated at conferences where it was impossible to put faces to the endless attendee lists and ended up never finding the ones that I really wanted to meet.
Trying to resolve this problem and having had the revelation from the day before fresh in my mind, Yasmo Live- a birth child with no name at the time- was officially conceived. Yasmo Live is a mobile communications system that enables event attendees to locate the people they are eager to network with, around them, by seeing their picture-based profile on their mobile phone. Delegates will no longer need to exchange business cards, wonder about their fellow attendees prior to an event or remember what and who they have to follow up with after an event. Yasmo Live allows them to network with their fellow participants online prior to the event, view and search on their phones for anyone they wish to meet, as they physically walk through them, and take notes to follow up with after the event, which are automatically stored on their online account along with all of their activity during the event. Yasmo Live revolutionises real world interactions by extending ourselves through an omnipresent digital device and there is no better place to initiate such technology than professional gatherings.
TT: Being a female entrepreneur in a sea of men can be very challenging. Do you find that type of gender imbalance to be a problem or is it more of an advantage to you?
AK: Your question is absolutely spot-on! A few months back I was selected to present at one of the mini seedcamp conferences in Ljubljana. Prior to the event the organisers distributed an electronic ‘lookbook’ as they called it, which contained pictures of the presenters and a short description of their companies. There were 20 presenting companies with the majority of them managed by a team of three men and few of them by two. Not only was I the only woman, but I was on my own as well!
Yes, it was absolutely challenging and it is challenging every time, but not in an intimidating way, quite the opposite I would say; being one of few female entrepreneurs at conferences I feel that I represent the female sex and therefore act empowered by a silent undertaking to prove women’s exceptional capabilities to a world dominated by men. And it does work to my advantage in two ways: First of all, I bear the burden of proving myself to be equally good as men and in doing so I tend to stretch my entrepreneurial qualities to a higher level every time. Secondly, when you present to an audience that is ‘programmed’ to have low expectations of you and you manage to surprise them, you and therefore your company are automatically valued a million times higher than any man whose good performance is taken for granted. It is like betting very little on a horse that you consider to be weak and it manages to outdo the best bets. And this is exactly the ethos of the company; we don’t take anything for granted and we work hard to constantly optimise our product by listening to the needs of our target audience in a woman’s caring way.
TT: The success of Yasmo Live seems like it would depend very heavily on the number of people willing to volunteer their personal information and photos to help increase the usability of the application. How many users do you have currently, and what plans do you have to drive more people to use it?
AK: We are launching our free beta testing trials at conferences in September/October. Our website’s development will be fully completed by end of September, at which time the application testing will also be done. Nevertheless, we’ve had the pleasure to have a few subscribers since May and an interest to be partially bought by a company, who is the global market leader in the prepaid international calling card market. Being contacted with such an offer by a well established company in the mobile industry, even before launching, is undoubtedly a great omen for Yasmo Live’s future success!
The way our business model has been constructed gives a clear answer to your question; when an event attendee registers online for an event, he gets directed-right after registration- to yasmolive.com. He creates a short profile with a picture, his name, company and position (basically the information that he shared with the event organiser) and gets access to the profiles of his fellow registered participants with whom he can network prior to the event.
Yasmo Live is not targeting the end user directly but the event organisers whose aim-being affiliated with our company- is to make sure that all of their subscribed participants take advantage of our services prior to, during and after their events. Deploying Yasmo Live’s services, event organisers: (i) promote their forthcoming events to prospective delegates, (ii) offer them pre-networking services prior to every event, (iii) differentiate their events by offering a radically new and compelling method for targeted networking and (iv) extend their networking offering beyond the time limited experience of the conference; the delegates’ activity during an event is automatically stored on their account on yasmolive.com where they can follow up with all of their contacts. Event participants that are Yasmo Live users will be able to view only their fellow participants’ profiles rather than all of our subscribed users. Therefore, the information that they upload on our website is exactly what is shown at the event’s attendees list.
Our strategy is to provide Yasmo Live at conferences for free, for the first two months after our launch, in order to enable our product optimisation but most importantly to get event attendees ‘hooked on’ a revolutionary and most anticipated service so as to make Yasmo Live an inseparable offering provided to the delegates by the event organisers.
TT: It sounds like you were heavily involved with the broadcasting of the Athens Olympics in 2004. Did you have the chance to meet any of the competing athletes there, or was it work, work, work?
AK: Athens Olympics 2004 was by far one of the best experiences in my life. We had the most fulfilling fun; we worked 12 hours a day and then danced until dawn every night! Journalists, cameramen, athlete — everyone felt part of a race with no national origin, no borders, no distinctions; the Olympics were the festivity of a most unified world, who allowed every medal, every victory to be patriotic and international at the same time! Working at the aquatics I had the chance to meet Michael Phelps and see him win his six gold medals. And of course we lived the absolute moment of overflowing pride when our country-Greece- won the gold medal in synchronised diving.
The Olympics in Athens were the best team work that Greece can portray; it was a personal bet for each one of us that could only be won if the whole nation worked together. Every single one of us worshipped our mission as the creators of the Olympic idea, as the owners of the Olympic values. Creating the same ethos in our company is our goal and a defining factor for its success. Every single one of us, from the partners and the directors to the employees, will consider Yasmo Live to be their own birth child, they will consider themselves to be co-owners of the Yasmo idea and as such there will be no distinction between the company’s success and our personal one. No technology can work on its own, no Olympic stadium has any value without its athletes’ or its audience’s applause and Yasmo Live is and will be the passion and devotion of its people in exactly the same way!
TT: Yasmo Live sounds like the ultimate bridge between online contacts and real world interaction with those contacts. Where do you envision it going – what looks like success to you for Yasmo Live?
AK: Yasmo Live constitutes a long-anticipated networking solution in the conference and exhibition arena. The introduction of such a revolutionary solution epitomises exactly this; the convergence of our real and virtual worlds. It enables the formation of ‘digital entities’ in physical spaces! For the first time ever we are able to search for people as we physically walk through them.
We use a search engine that is still digital, only the keywords that activate it are the physical entities around us! As revolutionary as this may sound, we didn’t really re-invent the wheel, we just contributed to the natural progression towards a Mobile 3.0 environment. When we were first introduced to Web 1.0 we would just consume information from acknowledged electronic sources, then Web 2.0 gave us the power to act as one of them, generating content as well consuming user generated content respectively.
Our mobile phones also enable us to do the above with the advantage of both generating and consuming this type of content as it happens; we can be the first reporter at a demonstration just by uploading an amateur video, we can receive information on the nearest restaurant and the best offers at a supermarket, we can see where our friends are without the need of a post code. But mobile is not only local, it is first and foremost personal, it is the extension of ourselves, it is maybe the most important piece of garment we own as most of us ‘have felt absolutely naked’ when we had to live a day or two without our phone. We feel naked without our phone, or even without the internet, because we feel deprived of the ability to reach out to our friends, family or even an extended audience that is not in our vicinity.
But what if we reversed this model? What happens when we need to reach out to people nearby? What if we need to contact the people around us when we don’t know them? And this is where Yasmo Live comes in to initiate the concept that our mobiles do not substitute someone’s physical presence but rather enhance face to face interactions. This concept can be applied everywhere, to both professional and social gatherings.
Once Yasmo Live establishes a foothold in the conference and events market the company’s first level of success will be to scale up the product in the social networking market -airport and hotel lounges, universities, large businesses, concerts, festivals, cafeterias, clubs-. Yasmo Live’s ultimate success could be signified by the extension of the use of mobile profiling data for the detection of lost living beings and objects around us (as analysed in our patent) and the list is endless upon that. As long as Yasmo Live is firmly grounded upon an establishing ’mobile self’, success can come from an infinite number of applications. Taking this into consideration, I absolutely concur with Mc Luhan’s (a fixture in media discourse) theory that ‘the medium is the message’; if it wasn’t for the medium’s mobility-as its defining characteristic- the mobile phone would never constitute the ‘digital replica’ of our physical existence. It would have never introduced a previously unthinkable business and social lifestyle; it would have never given birth to Yasmo Live!