The Online Reporter

Research, Trends and Insight into the Digital Media, Consumer Electronics & Broadband Industries on the Verge of Landing the World’s Largest Home Network Order: China

- Mainland China & Taiwan ‘Harmonize’ on as Their Wireline Home Network Technology
– Chinese Backers Include China Telecom, China Mobile, Huawei, ZTE and Xingtera
Mainland China and Taiwan have “harmonized on as their ‘smart home’ wireline home network technology,” according to the HomeGrid Forum. It said Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) played a leading role in the effort.

The announcement must be a shock to backers of HomePlug and MoCA, which until now have had 100% of the wireline home networking market — not including wireline Ethernet that dominates in offices rather than homes.

The significance of the announcement cannot be downplayed.

For years detractors have pooh-poohed, including whether it’s even needed and whether its developers could ever get it to work and get it to market at competitive prices.

The announcement will re-energize makers of chips and boxes and re-invigorate them in their efforts to get the world’s telcos on board the train. The Chinese goliaths backing include the countries two dominant telcos China Telecom and China Mobile, its two largest telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE plus the chipmaker Xingtera.

China is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar government-mandated effort to deploy the world’s most modern broadband and home networks. If the two Chinese telcos follow through and deploy networking throughout their footprints, it will make China the world’s largest market of home networking gear and chips.

The technology does what MoCA and HomePlug do separately: it operates over both powerline and coaxial cable. It’s also been designed to operate over the existing copper telephone wires that are in most residences although at much slower speeds.

HomeGrid said mainland China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Taiwan’s SINOCON Industrial Standards Foundation have been meeting for years about harmonizing technology under the banner of the “Cross-Strait Forum on Information Industry and Technology Standards.” See:

Their most recent decision is that is to be the standard for wireline home networks for both mainland China and Taiwan.

The move towards technology harmonization by mainland China and the independent republic of Taiwan, which China still claims, has greater political implications than can be reported on here.

At the most recent meeting, Taiwan’s III led a delegation of executives of Taiwanese companies involved in smart home devices, home networks and their components:
Allion Test Labs VP Lai Junheng
Metanoia Communications president Wu Jiande
III director general Dr Ko Hsien-Tang

Executives from the much better-known China-based companies that attended are:
China Telecom
China Mobile

There’s another twist to the Chinese broadband/home networking market as a result of China having millions of MDUs and few standalone houses. Typically broadband is installed to the basement or outside the MDU. Then another wireline technology is used from there to each residence, which we called BAN for building-area-network. A separate in-residence home network that connects to the BAN usually includes Wi-Fi for mobile devices and a wireline network for pay TV. Wi-Fi that’s used in MDUs is said to be hampered in its performance by the many other nearby Wi-Fi routers.

So, if has won the in-residence race, there’s still an opening for other wireline technologies in the broadband-to-residence (BAN) market…



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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES on the Verge of Landing the World’s Largest Home Network Order: China

Qualcomm Makes the Case for TV via LTE Broadcast

Correction: Google Didn’t Buy Twitch, Amazon Did!



Best Buy CEO Predicts Surge in Sales of UHD TVs

NanoTech’s 4K Studios Produces Original UHD Content

No New UHD Content on Netflix

Samsung Strikes on 2 More Fronts in Its UHD Efforts

Videocon Joins India’s UHD TV Market

Samsung’s UHD TVs Have the Best Upconversion

A New UltraFlix 1.2 & More UHD Content Released

Chunghwa Telecom Trials UHD On Demand



Pay TV Providers Focus on Streaming for Younger Audiences in US

Incumbents Launch Pay TV Services Over-the-Top to Compete with Netflix

Broadcasters Finally Leveraging Hulu with Exclusive Digital Premieres

A Streaming Video Service Appears in Africa

Opinions Diverge on Emmys Upset

Who Can Keep Up with TV Anymore?

Go’ Sure Is in Vogue in OTT



ADTRAN’s Gear Gets Fiber to MDUs

Will Cablecos Deploy Fiber Networks, Too?



AirTies Monitors & Unclogs the Home’s Wi-Fi Network



AT&T Beefs Up Wi-Fi at Stadium



TiVo Combines OTA & OTT in a $50 DVR

Amazon Has its Own Tivo-based Cord-Cutter Bundle

Table TV & Its Free OTA TV Is Going into Bay Area Test



Why Apple Should Launch a Bigger iPad Consumers gravitate to the biggest



OTT Streaming Is the Spark that Lights UHD’s Uptake

More on Netflix Subscribers in Its Non-Domestic Market

Samsung, LG Turn Aggressive in UHD TV Market

Sky+ Viewers Connect to the Web for New Features

Beamly’s Second Screen Audience Has Grown 350%



Intel Was Right: Part 3

It’s Not Internet TV’

Shelly Palmer on the New World Order of Pay TV

24/7 Experiences Are Importance for Second Screen Apps

Steve Wozniak: Wearables Are a Hard Sell

Today’s Shoots Use 4K Cameras

Netflix Gets NBC’s The Blacklist’ Ahead of Anyone Else

Motive Signs Tablet Deal with Twin Peak

The Shift to UHD Will Be Gradual, Says ARRIS

UHD seems poised to become the dominant video technology, as HD has become. That means every home will need, in addition to UHD TVs, one or more new STBs for pay TV. That is indeed a very, very big market even if it takes a decade. Those STBs will have other new technologies such as HEVC, HDMI 2.0 and new version of Wi-Fi.

ARRIS is very optimistic about the UHD market, according to Engineering Fellow Sean McCarthy and VP of product management Kevin Wirick, speaking to The Online Reporter in a telephone interview this week, but ARRIS doesn’t think the UHD era will arrive as quickly as some think. It will be a more gradual shift than HD.

“UHD is going to be a big deal, but it’s different from the big deal HD was,” McCarthy said. “It’s not all going to happen next year. I think UHD will happen gradually over many, many years, in different phases.”

McCarthy said the same is true for switching over to the new codec H.265, also known as HEVC, which is imperative for UHD content. “We’re still in the process of changing to HEVC,” he said. “We’re just now at the point where the connectivity in the home and the displays are capable of trying out UHD TV.”

ARRIS would not provide specific information but the two made clear that ARRIS is going at full speed developing technologies and products for UHD. ARRIS previewed a UHD-capable STB at this year’s The Cable Show and we expect it’ll soon start announcing more.

Typically, pay TV companies, wanting to be very careful before making a footprint-wide product deployment, take six to 18 months to test and select a new STB. If that holds true for UHD STBs, that would put deployment by pay TV companies to late 2015 or even 2016.

They said there are multiple “flavors” of UHD, unlike HD which was a fixed standard. “UHD is a toolkit, where HD is a specification,” McCarthy said. “It’s increased resolution, which everyone has been focusing on, but it also includes higher frame rates, wider color gamuts, wider contrast range and higher bit-precision. I think each one of those is going to be a tool, rather than a necessity, in television.”

For example, makers of dramas may want to use UHD’s wider color range for a specific series or movie. Broadcasters of sporting events will want to use the higher frames per second that UHD allows. That explains why the BBC, and no doubt others, found that UHD sporting events take up more bandwidth.

Current UHD TV sets that are available to consumers offer higher resolution 4K displays that support faster frame rates, but don’t yet support any of the other aspects of UHD, such as that wider color gamut. There are technologies in development to enhance the UHD displays, but they’re not yet commercially available at a price point that makes sense for most consumers.

“The only thing that’s in question is how quickly can the display physics [ie TV sets] morph to support that wide color range, and the high color and high connectivity,” McCarthy said.

Even without the enhanced color and contrast, there is still an incentive for consumers to purchase a UHD 4K TV set today (or during this holiday season) and see benefits in doing so: the picture quality of HD content on a UHD set is remarkably better than it is on HD TV sets.

“I would describe a 4K TV as a better HD TV; it does a great job of displaying HD content,” McCarthy said. Of course, it can also display the limited UHD content currently available and make it look really good.

McCarthy and Wirick said …

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Fuhu Offers Big Tablets for Children to Watch Video On

Children use tablets like personal TV sets, which is why California-based Fuhu has launched a large-screened, education tablet targeted toward children.

Android-based Nabi Big Tab HD tablets come with 20- or 24-inch screens; they have Nvidia Tegra 4 processors and 16GB of storage. The tablets will be available in the States in the fall, at Costco and Toys ‘R Us, retailing at a pricey $449 for the 20-inch, and $549 for the 24-inch.

The tablets come with a number of board-game style apps such as Candyland and chess, a series of videos and books for “storytime,” and cartoon content from Disney and Cartoon Network. There are time and parental controls, and even a chore list tool!

Fuhu focuses on educational apps and tablets. It has also launched a Nabi Dream Tab tablet with DreamWorks Animation.

“We have wondered out loud why no one yet in the US has thought to release a device that puts an HD antenna alongside an NTB …


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The Case for Wireline Home Networks

The Case for Wireline Home Networks
-    In the Digital Homes of the Future

By Charles Hall

We’re a firm believer that every home that’s over about 1,500 square feet in size or that has solid walls needs both a wireline and a Wi-Fi network. A technology such as NVoy that helps devices find the best path for content and data is a boon to the consumer whose networks are increasingly bogged down by multiple streams of videos and will soon carry multiple streams of UHD entertainment and educational videos plus data from the Internet-of-Things and personal health care devices.

It’s not sufficient these days just to have faster broadband — I pay for 50 Mbps and actually get about 30 Mbps on average. Most home’s internal network cannot match the higher broadband speeds that are now available. When you have fast broadband and slow networking in the home, it’s like pouring something through a funnel.

My home may be an anomaly, but one of the best things that ever happened was when the first installer I hired showed up with a roll of Ethernet cable and a box of Ethernet connectors. A single Wi-Fi router, even one with the latest 11ac chips, will not provide the bandwidth needed in every room and on the patio. In the beginning, I did all the connections in my house but after a few years that become too complicated.

The installer I hired immediately started installing Ethernet cable to connect every main room in the house to the router that connects to the broadband service’s modem. The rule of thumb is to put an Ethernet outlet next to every coaxial outlet where a TV can be plugged-in.

Wi-Fi is of course mandatory for wireless devices like smartphones and tablets, but Wi-Fi would be overwhelmed by my five TVs — three of which need a permanent network connection and by an Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, TiVo, Blu-ray player and an LG Upgrader net-top box. That’s not counting Logitech’s Google TV, which I once mistakenly purchased but it is not currently connected.

There are also three Onkyo surround sound systems, one for the new UHD TV, one in the master bedroom and one for the whole home sound system that’s connected to a pair of speakers in three rooms and the patio. The newest one, a UHD/4K compatible unit, needs a permanent Internet connection to access Internet radio stations and do software upgrades.

The growth of my networked devices over the years has prompted me to buy, over time, switches for the router/modem, the bedroom and the living room. Had I known then what I know now I would have put a 16 port Ethernet switch by the router/modem instead of an 8-port model and 8 port switches instead of 4-port switches in the living room and master bedroom. Like money, you can never have too many Ethernet ports and too much bandwidth.

Ethernet wireline was installed because MoCA and HomePlug were not then available at retail and was only a glint in an engineer’s brain. I have not tried the souped-up Wi-Fi that uses chips from Celeno and Quantenna because they are not available at retail.

A coax network connects all my TV sets and TiVo, so technically speaking, my house has three networks: Ethernet, coax and Wi-Fi. It’s 2014, after all, and the world of entertainment has gone Internet — soon to be followed by education, health care, the Internet-of-Things plus personal monitoring and home surveillance.

It’s true that because of my work at The Online Reporter, my home is a bit of an oddity but only by being a bit ahead of where most homes will be in a few years. I’ll bet that by the end of the decade most middle-class homes and above will be more like mine than not. I know that when I show off my network and devices to guests, most say that is exactly what they want. And most installers that come to connect a new device, such as the recently purchased UHD set, look relieved to find it’s easily connected to a wireline Ethernet network. In fact, many installers say that most of the problems they have when installing comes from having only Wi-Fi available, even if is the new 11ac version of Wi-Fi, which I also have. In fact, because of the layout and construction of my home, three Wi-Fi routers were needed, one of which has the 11ac version of Wi-Fi.

A wireline network also means never having to say you’re sorry on a tech support phone call. The first thing most tech support people ask when you call about a problem is whether you’re using Wi-Fi.

You can’t beat wireline for home networking and as the home’s backbone for Wi-Fi.

Wireline Networking Is as Good as Advertised

By Charles Hall

More readers emailed than usual about last week’s article “The Case for Wireline Home Networks.” From repeated personal experiences, I can say that equipment installers and tech support people love to hear the words, “There’s a wired connection there for that that’s connected to the broadband modem.” I have zero bandwidth problems, except occasionally to the house — even though I’m paying for 50 Mbps — but never in the house. I know because of ASSIA’s Cloudcheck iPad app, which measures both broadband and home networking speeds. Once you have a UHD TV, the first thing you do when you sit down to watch some entertaining TV is to look for UHD shows. The wireline network means always having the bandwidth to stream multiple UHD videos.

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Cox: Wi-Fi & Connected Homes Are the Future

Privately held pay TV service Cox Communications’ president Pat Esser told Reuters this week that Cox is not interested in acquiring or merging with a mobile TV service such as T-Mobile USA or another cable TV service as Comcast is attempting to do with Time Warner Cable.

Pat Esser---headshot-formal-2012

Cox president, Pat Esser

Asked whether Cox might once again become a publicly held company, Esser said, “I would never say we’ll never be public in the future. But right now where the family is at, they like being private. We have a very, very healthy balance sheet, we have a lot of capacity and we can do most of that inside of our current balance sheet and still remain private.”

Perhaps the most important point he made from a subscriber’s viewpoint is that he sees the company’s future in Wi-Fi offerings and connectivity services, such as home security.

As to the importance of Wi-Fi to its subscribers, Esser said, “Wireless use of broadband is growing but it’s not through traditional cellular services, it’s Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is exploding. Wi-Fi is the future. Connected homes are the future.”

Both Wi-Fi and connectivity require large, fast wireline broadband networks and except where a telco has deployed FTTH, the cable TV companies have and will continue to have the best broadband networks in terms of speed and capacity. However, telcos are catching up. In the States, Verizon has been offering fiber in 70% of its wireline network. AT&T, CenturyLink and many smaller telcos have accelerated their deployments of all fiber networks. Some local utility companies have also been deploying all-fiber networks. In Mississippi, local cellular service C Spire has committed to building a FTTH network throughout the state, which sounds like a very ambitious and expensive effort.

Then there’s Google Fiber, which is slowly spreading.

Makers of FTTH technology such as ADTRAN have developed less expensive equipment for FTTH deployments, as the president of AT&T has publicly acknowledged. Additionally, makers of trench digging equipment have developed products that make installing fiber easier and less expensive.

The point being that Cox and other US cablecos may not have their broadband superiority for long unless they too keep deploying new broadband technologies such as DOCSIS 3.1. Telcos fully realize that broadband is “where the money is.” In fact, the AT&T president said on announcing it intended to acquire DirecTV that AT&T is not a pay TV company, explaining that it only offers pay TV so subscribers can bundle it with its broadband service — which we translated as “to keep the cable TV company out of the house.”

We also saw that an ADTRAN announcement this week listed cable TV companies as possible purchasers of some its FTTH gear. It said: “ADTRAN delivers a Gigabit services architecture that offers service providers of all types — including utilities, municipalities and cable MSOs — unprecedented flexibility, scalability and performance as they look to migrate from FTTN or DOCSIS or deploy greenfield FTTH infrastructures.”

Comcast is deploying an…

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Roku-based TVs from TCL & Hisense Are Ultra-Cheap, Not Ultra HD

- Another Barrier that Sales of UHD Sets Must Overcome
- What Will Apple Do?

Hisense and TCL will this fall each start shipping a line of low-cost 1080p HD sets with Roku’s proven and successful net-top box technology built-in. They are not UHD sets.

Make or buy is the question that makers of hardware have asked for years. That’s true for the smart TV technology that goes into TV sets; Sony, Samsung and LG have developed (made) their own. LG went so far as to buy a failed software division called WebOS from HP to control its smart TV destination.

Google tried and failed once at developing smart TV technology — the infamous Google TV — and is trying again with one called Android TV. It, like Roku, wants to supply its smart TV technology to makers of TV sets —— and other devices such as NTBs.

The Roku technology is a different kettle of fish from Android TV because its technology is proven. It has an estimated 44% of US NTB sales compared to 26% for Apple, according to Parks Associates. Roku has a couple of features that provide its unique selling points. Most importantly, it has lots of OTT sources — over 1,700 at last count — including all the popular ones such as Netflix plus many specialty sources.

The Roku technology also integrates local TV channels. When an over-the-air antenna is plugged in, Roku looks for local channels that can be received and creates an “Antenna” list for them to be selected in addition to its many OTT services.

There is no “input” or “source” button on the Roku-based TV sets’ remotes because all devices, such as a Blu-ray players are icons on the sets’ home screens. It’s a feature that Samsung has on its newest UHD sets although a source button on the remote functions as it does on other TV sets.

Both companies’ Roku-based TV sets have dual band Wi-Fi.

TCL and Hisense are also different. Both are based in China and manufacture TV sets on a grand scale and so can price their sets low. TCL is the world’s third-largest maker of TV sets and Hisense is the sixth.

Hisense does not set retail prices of its TVs but expects the Roku-based sets to sell for less than a comparable separate TV and Roku box. The Hisense sets are expected to start shipping in September.

TCL’s Roku-based sets will sell for:
32-inch 32FS4610R with 720p $229
40-inch 40FS4610R with 1080p $329
48-inch 48FS4610R with 1080p $499
55-inch 55FS4610R with 1080p $649

Those are attractive prices for TVs that have Roku and its 1,500 sources of videos included. All four of the TCL HDTVs are available for pre-order now and are scheduled to ship by the end of September.

The low prices for these and other 1080p HD smarts TVs are one of the barriers that makers of UHD sets must overcome. It can only be overcome with lots of “must see” UHD content shows — preferably sports, but DirecTV said it may be 2016 before it can start broadcasts of “live TV” and the wireline pay TV services are not even talking. Currently, the only UHD suppliers are OTT services.

Haier, the third major Chinese maker of TV sets, has yet to be heard from as to whether or not it’ll embed the Roku technology.

The big disadvantage of building smart TV technology into the TV sets is that although you can add OTT services and update the software, the set makers cannot upgrade the hardware — say from H.264 decompression to HEVC or HDMI 1.4 to HDMI 2.0. That can only be done by replacing the TV. That means the new Roku-based sets from Hisense and TCL can never be UHD TVs.

However, you can’t fault TCL and Hisense for buying proven smart TV technology for their TVs instead of developing and maintaining their own, especially because they are far removed from the North American and European markets.

Neither Roku nor any other maker of NTBs and smart TVs except Apple can offer direct access to Apple’s very popular iTunes OTT service.

What we’re most interested in is when the China-based set makers will launch Roku-based UHD TV sets because surely those are coming.

What Will Apple Do?
All of which leads to the overwhelming question: What will Apple do? — with both its Apple TV NTB that has now reportedly fallen far into second place in market share to Roku’s NTB and faces an onslaught from other NTB technology such as Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s and TV sets that will have Google’s Android TV technology and also with Apple’s always imminent but never launched Apple TV set.

Apple is certainly not going to let a maker of TV sets embed Apple TV as Roku is doing with TCL and Hisense.

All we can say with some degree of certainty is that future Apple TV NTBs and Apple TV sets will have to be…


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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…


Roku-based TVs from TCL & Hisense Are Ultra-Cheap, Not Ultra HD

The Shift to UHD Will Be Gradual, Says ARRIS

Cox: Wi-Fi & Connected Homes Are the Future

Samsung Buys Large US Distributor of HVAC Products

TiVo Conducting Survey about OTA Antennae


This Week IN UHD Retail: Prices Hold Steady

‘Josey Wales’ in UHD Beats ‘Josey Wales’ in 1080p HD

Turkish TV Maker Offers UHD TV

Sharp Sponsors ‘Art of Amazing 4K Film Competition’

Looking for UHD Tablets

Samsung’s New UHD TVs Encounter Glitch with Netflix

Sports’ High Frame Rates in UHD Point to Satco Delivery


Comcast and FX Trialed a VoD Pre-Release for ‘The Bridge’

NimbleTV Expands Service to Chicago


Amazon Is Getting Better at Originals


AT&T Will Deliver 1 Gig Speeds in Texas, Florida and California

Broadband Rates Should Go Down, Not Up

Cincinnati Bell Promises1 Gbps While Local Gov’t Courts Google

Canby Telecom Goes FTTH in Portland, OR


Apple Reportedly Plans Reversible USB Cable for iPhone 6


Wireline Networking Is as Good as Advertised


AT&T Commits to LTE Broadcast for 2015

China Telecom Using LTE Broadcast for Youth Olympics


Microsoft Expands Xbox One TV Capabilities


Intel Was Right: Part 2

Want a Low-Priced Windows Laptop? HP Has One for $199

Apex’s $99 Android Tablet Gets a High Grade

Fuhu Offers Big Tablets for Children to Watch Video On


Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi Is in the Park


Cablecos Like Pay TV, Love Broadband

Prices of UHD Sets Are Changing Quickly

Netflix Is Beating Out Competition in UK, Netherlands

Live Video Streaming Online Jumps 200% in Q2 2014

SVoD, Ad-Supported OTT Revenue Will Double by 2019 in North America


Current Smart TVs Are Dysfunctional

OTT Will Overtake DVDs in Revenue Soon

Facts, Pseudo Facts, News Feeds and Jibber-Jabber

Amazon: We Don’t Focus on the Competition, Only the Content

Netflix: Paid Interconnection Deals Hurt Innovation Online

Broadcasters Need to Innovate to Stay Alive

Comcast Uses Blockbuster Defense in Merger Plea


ADTRAN’s Frequency Division Vectoring Will Help Telcos Migrate Faster to

ADTRAN has developed a technology called Frequency Division Vectoring (FDV), which will enable telcos to migrate to the upcoming from their existing VDSL2 vectored copper wire networks. can deliver speeds of up to 200 Mbps over copper wires, and the standard is currently being developed under the supervision of the telco’s ITU standards organization. ADTRAN already has some products in development and it plans to announce those products next year. Telco broadband providers that have invested in VDSL2 vectoring on their networks will eventually want to transition those networks to

ADTRAN’s FDV technology enables and vectored VDSL2 to co-exist on the same copper line, and deliver speeds. “Carriers that have deployed vectored VDSL2 have a pretty substantial investment in that network,” ADTRAN’s CTO Kevin Schneider said during an analyst event this week, which The Online Reporter attended. “As they contemplate moving to a fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) architecture, they need to understand a migration path from their VDSL2 technology to the”

Telcos are interested in deploying fiber to the building and leveraging the copper wires that are already in place inside the buildings, because taking out the copper wires and installing fiber in the building is very, very expensive, disruptive and time consuming.

In an FTTB architecture, the cabinet launch point for vectored VDSL2 typically is around 200 meters from the building. The cabinet must be located right next to the building, because can only deliver those higher speeds over spans of 250 meters or less. Telcos won’t want to rip out all of the vectored VDSL2 they’ve put in to replace with, and they’re not particularly interested in maintaining two cabinet as launch points – the vectored VDSL2 cabinet and then another cabinet closer to the building.

Problems also arise when the two technologies co-exist on the same line. “Typically, is defined to operate from 2 to 106 MHz; however, when it has to co-exist with the VDSL2, we end up with crosstalk,” Schneider said, because VDSL operates in the lower frequencies, up to 17 Mhz. There is crosstalk between the two technologies in those lower frequencies, which degrades the speeds and performances of the two technologies.

“The way to remedy that is to vacate that spectrum in, in a VDSL2 compatible mode,” Schneider said. “So, performance won’t be as fast as it would be if we didn’t have to deal with the compatibility of VDSL.”

The solution ADTRAN has developed is to add…

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TV Set Makers Are Bypassing Pay TV & Adding OTT-Delivered “TV Channels”

This week we begin tracking another emerging trend: traditional pay TV channels being threatened by the apps that TV set makers are adding in their quest for a cut of the revenues of over-the-top services and to increase the availability of UHD content. Makers of UHD sets are driven by consumer demand for more UHD content, especially now that sales of UHD sets are a) declining in price faster than many expected, which is causing b) sales of UHD sets to increase faster than expected. For verification, ask any sales rep in an electronics store.

Currently, only Netflix offers UHD content that can be viewed on any brand of UHD TV (but not on every UHD set as we learned this week). The catch is that Netflix currently has only 10 pieces of UHD content but four are video-candy pieces that are intended to show off what native UHD content can look like — there’s not even any narration as a documentary might have. That leaves only six pieces of shows and movies. Fortunately, one is “Breaking Bad” and its 63 episodes and the other is the entire second season “House of Cards,” a US version of the BBC series from the year 1990.

One indication of this emerging trend is that Sony and Samsung have already begun assembling and offering libraries of UHD shows, a few free ones but mostly purchased. Samsung has contracted out the management of its library to a company called Deluxe and Sony’s TV division has probably assigned operation of its UHD library to a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

However, Sony and Samsung’s UHD libraries can only be viewed on their UHD TVs: Sony’s on-Sony TV and Samsung’s on Samsung TVs. That leaves other UHD makers such as LG, Vizio, Haier, Hisense, TCL and Seiki out in the cold. We have heard as yet unconfirmed reports that LG, Vizio and Seiki as well as Sony and Samsung are already in negotiations for UHD content that can be delivered over broadband via apps on their UHD TV sets Doing that means UHD set makers don’t have to wait for pay TV services to get their act together and start offering UHD channels. DirecTV has said that although it may rent/sell UHD shows on its VoD service this year, it could be 2016 before it can offer “live” TV channels. In the meantime the only source for UHD content is OTT services.

When pay TV subscribers are watching the UHD on a UHD OTT service, they are not watching the ads on traditional pay TV channels, which is very costly to owners of pay TV channels and to pay TV services.

If UHD set makers want to sell more UHD TVs by increasing the amount of available UHD content, they’ll have to do it over-the-top with…

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