Out of all the press releases and communications we have received from PR firms for SCTE Cable-Tec Expo this year, there is one clear winner in the manners, meaningful, relevant, professional, helpful, considerate catagory (I bet you didn’t even know that existed) that would be Motorola‘s PR firm for SCTE which is Ms. Beth Hespe from Garfield Group Public Relations. She channels old school protocol with new school methods – messages, timeliness, fresh writing and most of all it actually feels like she likes what she does for Motorola. Her pitches are straight to the point and not invasive and she provides context, meaningful context that is missing from just about all the releases we have seen. Not once did she send us five releases all in a row with no introduction or context (like Bob Gold PR) nor did she tell us we could include this in all the show dailies if we wanted to (yes someone actually said that) Thanks Beth for bringing credit to the profession. And to Motorola for hiring them.
I must say, I was drawn to the 3D TV Pavilion sponsored by CableLabs at SCTE. CableLabs has partnered with some of the leading consumer electronics manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic to show some really fun 3D TV demonstrations (some in mini theaters).
I sat through the mini theater presentation by Sony and the home theater experience from Panasonic, both of which impressed me. I found the Panasonic HD Theater to be a little less choppy than the Sony one (although I’m always a fan of watching the New England Patriots in 3D, hello Tom Brady!) The consensus of some others that were also in my demonstrations was that Panasonic had a smoother 3D experience.
The pavilion also shows demonstrations of 3D over broadcast and 3D from a Blu-Ray. The demonstration of 3D video signals delivered over a single channel from an actual operating cable TV system is the first of its kind to show this. Also, it doesn’t use colored 3D glasses, instead this system works with a new generation of 3D-ready TVs using polarized glasses to bring the realism of the theater-like 3D to the home.
Of course to get this at home you’ll have to buy a 3D TV. There were 3D TV sets on display from Hyundai IT, LG Electronics and Sony but additional work needs to be done before this is all ready to use at home. CableLabs says that they expect deployment of 3D TV will be in response to demand by subscribers and will depend upon the availability of the new 3D-ready TVs in the market. – AC
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Not only are the profits of Motorola up and they are seeing a third quarter profit, but at SCTE Expo this year they unveiled a new all digital STB that is designed to help cable operators migrate to an all digital network and accelerate delivery of the much beloved personal media experiences and multi-room DVR capabilities.
According to Larry Robinson, who has the longest title we have ever seen, (VP and general manager, America’s Digital STB, Motorola Home and Networks Mobility) Motorola’s innovation is driven by the evolving needs of our customers, and this new digital set-top is no exception.
We will spare you the technical details but what this new STB actually means to the consumer is that you will be more likely to get advanced features/services from your cable operator because of the flexibility of this STB. In the end you might not think much about the STB, but it (and the software inside of it) really does dictate the features you get through your TV and all those cool things you say you want (a personal media experience, sound, networking options) when you are with your friends. – JLH
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- Cable Lobbyists Side With MPAA On Getting Permission To Break Your TV (techdirt.com)
In June this year, Cablevision prevailed in a three-year legal with CNN and other major studios. The Supreme Court decided not to review the case and Cablevision’s remote-storage DVR was deemed not in violation of copyrights. Since the ruling was made, technology vendors and operators have been working hard to deploy a network DVR system.
The Cablevision technology is based on storing content on the network service instead of in the home, so if 1000 people want to record NBC’s The Office, those will each be stored at the network facility to set aside sufficient dedicated server space to make individual copies of shows. The studios thought that this remote storage violate copyright limitations. But since the Supreme Court disagreed, the door has been opened for Network DVRs. And we don’t mind, anything to make it easier for us to watch out favorite shows at home, especially without having to delete older ones or record over other episodes, makes us happy!
SeaChange has jumped on the Network DVR train and is highlighting the RS-DVR system at SCTE in response to the demand for time-shifted TV (Yes! We demand it!). SeaChange is allowing operators to deliver DVR functionality without deploying expensive DVR set top boxes that incorporate hard drives. It also provides the household with a multi-room DVR without the need for in-home wiring, saving tons of money compared to traditional set top DVR rollouts. The company says that their RS-DVR is ready for operators to use today.
SeaChange is also sponsoring the Green Pavilion at SCTE Expo, along with nine other companies at SCTE who are getting green. SCTE is shining the spotlight on promoting energy efficient technologies with eh the Green Pavilion, featuring pods with energy management solutions from qualified exhibitors that will improve corporate bottom line and preserve energy resources. It’s about time a trade show makes an efforts to be a little greener. In order to be part of the Green Pavilion, a company has to focus on at least one of three specific areas: powering improvements for facilities and plant, fleet enhancements involving smart routing, and operational upgrades and improvements.
There are a number of things that SCTE has done to make this pavilion “greener” including, creating the booths with recycled and recyclable materials, low energy LED lights to light the pavilion, carpet made with 70% recycled material, 82% reduction in booth shipping weight, and less promotional handouts. Cheers to that SCTE! We hope this becomes a trend with other trade show events, and the trade show waste starts to lessen in the future. — AC (photos to come)
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This recent story in Mashable entitled 10 Small Business Marketing tips is well written, informative and well darn right adorable. But we are not really sure that a small business actually has the resources and bandwidth to pull that off. Most small businesses can barely get their branding right and now they have to worry about FourSquare? We will spare you the read by listing the 10 tips below, but you can click the link if you want more elaborate details, maybe there should be how to staff /fund and provide the resources to execute these 10 small business marketing tips.
2.Twitter (well it depends, are you a tax accountant? probably not)
3. Company Blog
5. Participate on other blogs
6. Mobile social networks and other local stratgies (note that already we aren’t using location based services anymore)
7. Comments and conversations about your company
8. Multimedia (aka YouTube, but please don’t make a cheesy home made video)
9. Maintain brand consistency (across all of these marketing tips/tools? at a small business?)
10. (our favorite) Leverage combinations of social media tools
*insert sarcasm* as you read this whole piece.
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At SCTE Cable-Tec 2009 we don’t really get to see sexy tech stuff since its all sort of block and tackle technology, but thank goodness for Harmonic who is showcasing its technology and how it enables TV Everywhere. Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) will feature its unique and comprehensive portfolio of solutions that enable cable operators to deliver an expanding range of advanced video services. At SCTE, you can see demos of Harmonic’s MediaPrism™ suite of tools for converged video delivery to any device, the Electra® 8000 encoder’s superior quality 4:1 HD or 18:1 SD MPEG-2
compression, ACE™ any-to-any high quality transcoding technology, fiber-deep HFC access
solutions and integrated audio level adjustment. Harmonic will also feature a live technology demonstration of its exciting HectoQAM™ edge processing technology currently in development, feeding video streams directly to Harmonic’s SUPRALink™ 1550 nm DWDM transport system for ultra-efficient delivery across the HFC network. – AC
Want to read about how spam comment protection is being used by digital media to increase user engagement? Here is a great example of how The Industry Standard tackled their problem and used Mollom to stop comment spam to increase user engagement.
The online media industry continues to face readership and revenue challenges. The online media are burdened with the task of not only providing the content but gaining more user interaction in the form of reader comments. Comments by readers are beneficial to sites because they show created readership and mean more eyeballs to that particular page or article. More eyeballs means greater opportunity to sell ads and the more ads that are sold, the more revenue that site makes from the content it generates.
When you want to be relevant to readers and advertisers, you want to offer relevant content that is on topic. You want meaningful comments and conversation where possible. What you don’t want is comments that are crude, insensitive and not relevant to the content created, you don’t want spam as comments.
The Industry Standard is a news and analysis site about technologies such as online collaboration and social networking tools that are not changing people’s lives, but also the way in which they do business. Based in San Francisco, the Industry Standard is popular with online readers all over the country.
The Industry Standard had site re-launch in 2008 with the goal of engaging with new readers and encouraging them to contribute comments and content. They also wanted to allow readers to comment anonymously, something that most news sites do not do. The Industry Standard felt that anonymity gave readers more freedom to express their comments, and would encourage more frequent and detailed commentary while expanding traffic and tying the publication into the many other online conversations taking place around technology.
Ian Lamont, The Industry Standard’s managing editor, had experience managing online communities, and knew that the relaunched publication would need a comment filter that could encourage quality comments while sifting out spam and trolls.
According to Lamont, having anonymous comments is huge issue for The Industry Standard. “We really believe that most people don’t want to deal with the hassle of registration. Because we are relatively small, if we only had registered comments, there would be far less reader engagement on the site. As it is now, we can have dialogues with unregistered users, which is really important to building voice and an online identity.”
The Industry Standard turned to Mollom to help them remove the barrier to visitor participation, allowing readers to comment anonymously and eliminate spam vandalism. Since the re-launch in 2008, Mollom has blocked 800k spam messages in 539 days and blocked more than a thousand attempts a day with peaks up to several thousands a day.
“Our user engagement immediately went up after anonymous comments were enabled with Mollom,” said Lamont. “We were able to have many great discussion threads that otherwise would not have been possible.” To illustrate, here is an example of a discussion thread with anonymous comments: http://www.thestandard.com/predictions/oil-prices-spike-150-barrel-july
Mollom offers its services in tiers, with products targeted at small blogs, mid-sized sites, and large enterprise-level Web properties. Mollom Free, designed for small blogs and sites with small posting volumes, is provided free of charge to the Web community, while Mollom Plus and Mollom Premium are commercial services designed for sites with higher volumes and reliability requirements. More information about its service plans is available on Mollom’s website.
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Tattletech will be attending and bringing you the hottest and latest news from these upcoming shows:
If you wish to meet us at these events please let us know!
Ok so we decided to take a small detour and look at hotels and technology. Why? Well we travel a lot and have seen a lot of changes with in room entertainment. Not just near video on demand but how the consumer interacts with the TV and what services are available.
But this means hotel managment, typically not a technology driven crowd has to get on board too so we asked long time industry insider, Acentic who provides innovative in room entertainment technology for some of the largest hotel chains around the world, including the new Sofitel at Terminal 5 at Heathrow, what considerations should a hotel undertake to find the right in-room entertainment and hotel HSIA provider?
According to Acentic, it’s not easy for a hotel to know what they need and what their guests will demand from the in-room entertainment system,
But, there are some core elements that should be in place. Hoteliers should first and foremost look at what will entice their guests to return that is why they should make sure that the in-room system they chose works with the very latest in technology, specifically KISS technology for the guest.
Today’s sophisticated guests are demanding and they want the very best technology. They want the experience that they can’t get at home. When talking about technology the hotel managers should also make sure that their providers work with HD ready technology since no guest wants to watch TV in standard definition in their hotel room. All in all, hoteliers should check to see what range of technology options the in-room entertainment providers work with (what networks, TVs, services, servers, and content).
Acentic also suggests that hoteliers need to make sure that the guests get access to a wide range of content but with flexible payment options or bundles. But they should also make sure that there are flexible finance options for themselves with regards to paying the HSIA and In-room entertainment vendor. Next, if they represent a global hotel chain, they need to make sure that they work with people that are familiar with regulations and the inner workings of lots of different countries across EMEA.
One thing everyone agrees on is that a 24/7 help desk for both hotel and the guest is incredibly important. Nothing is worse than the in-room entertainment system or the HSIA going down in the middle of the night when the guest is watching TV, or trying to finish up some work for an early morning business meeting, and no one is available to help get it up and running.
And of course there is the ROI in all of this. It is important for the Hotel to be able to check the ROI easily. Acentic recommends an HSIA provider that has a smart-phone reporting tool that will allow the hotel manager to check HSIA revenue statistics on his or her way home for the night. Or to check network status or set up conference calls via the mobile, because the busy hoteliers and its management staff aren’t always at a computer and need to be able to get things done with their mobile devices on the road.
It sounds like a soap opera, but it’s just Italian TV politics. There has been a long ongoing sale in process of the Spanish DTH platform Digital+, now it seems they had to throw in some more booty to get it sold, the free-to-air channel Cuatro potentially a part of the package. According to a recent article (which is well worth a short read because it spells out who is in hot water with who) in BroadbandTV News, the Berlusconi owned Mediaset has been named by the Italian press as a potential suitor with Telefonica on board as a local partner.