The Online Reporter

Research, Trends and Insight into the Digital Media, Consumer Electronics & Broadband Industries

Comcast Aims to Bring Web Video to the TV Set

And More Online Video Partners for NBCU

Comcast will debut a Web video portal in the coming weeks, according to reports.

Rumors have surfaced over the last month that Comcast was developing a short-form video portal that would aggregate online video from a variety of digital publishers.

The portal, which is to be called “Watchable,” will be available to anyone and everyone with an Internet connection as an ad-supported OTT service.

Xfinity

“Watchable” content will also appear on Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes as an on-demand channel.

 

Comcast is the latest pay TV service provider to explore online video. Verizon is gearing up to launch its mobile-centric short-form OTT service, Go90, after acquiring online video platform AOL; AT&T, meanwhile, is actively building up an online video network via its joint venture with The Chernin Group, called Ellation.

According to reports, Comcast will be offering content creators and publishers 70% of the revenue generated from ads that run against the videos. That’s a significant benefit to content creators who receive 55% of ad revenue on their videos on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, and will likely help Comcast sign up content partners.

Comcast is in talks with a number of online video publishers, including Vice Media, YouTube MCN AwesomenessTV, The Onion, MCN Fullscreen, Vox Media and BuzzFeed. According to reports, none of the content that’ll be made available on Watchable will be exclusive to the platform.

Analysts have already declared the service dead on arrival: the content isn’t exclusive, and fans of Web video are likely already consuming that content the way they want to – ie on mobile devices or laptops; and Comcast isn’t exactly an expert in the field of Internet video services.

However, there’s something to be said for Comcast beginning to integrate Web video onto its TV service. Dish Network has begun doing something similar with its Sling TV service, which has two Web video channels integrated into the EPG; Dish has also begun putting the Web-centric music video app Vevo on its Hopper STBs.

There is anecdotal evidence that TV viewers actually do want to consume playlists of short-form video on TV sets: last year, Liberty Global’s UPC Hungary added YouTube apps to its STBs and found its subscribers spending on average 45 minutes per session watching short-form video on the platform.

Sources have indicated the Watchable on-demand channel will have a particularly sleek interface on the X1 platform, where viewers will be able to watch curated video feeds on the big TV screen. For Comcast, it might be important enough to keep its subscribers using its STB and interface for as long as possible. By offering Web video on the set-top, perhaps those subs who are likely to switch inputs or even devices to find something to watch will be more likely to stay put on the X1 platform.

And Comcast may in the future bundle Watchable with its Internet TV service “Stream,” a new service that will offer live streaming of over-the-air antenna TV across devices. Comcast seems to…

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Future of Broadband Is Multi-Gig Services

Comcast was the first to announce a multi-gigabit per second service.

It released a splashy press release earlier this year to announce its 2 Gbps service, available in only one market, and for $200 per month.

It’s not something anyone would pay for yet, and there’s a big emphasis on the “yet.”

640px-Fiber_Splice_Lab

The roll out of gigabit services has quickened in pace in the US over the last 12 months.

 

ADTRAN, which makes network gear for telcos, cablecos and fibercos, recently announced it has enabled 1 Gbps services in over 200 communities in the US, about four months ahead of schedule. All of those deployments were FTTH deployments.

We are just now beginning to enter the era of gigabit broadband. There are limited applications today that can even fully leverage the 1 Gbps speeds – though that may not be true for much longer – and most communities in the US don’t have access to 1 Gbps services, though the number of communities that do have access is growing very quickly.

“If you look at the long-term trajectory, we’re really talking about gigabit services being mainstream by 2020,” said Kevin Schneider, CTO of ADTRAN, speaking at a press event. “They’re gathering steam now, there are many people in the country that can get it today.”

Companies like ADTRAN and perhaps their service provider clients are already looking at what comes next.

Consensus is that everyone will move to all-fiber networks in this next phase of broadband deployment; the race is on between telcos, cablecos and fibercos in deploying the fastest speeds in areas where there’s competition, while squeezing as much speed out of the older networks where there isn’t much competition.

“GPON is working just fine delivering gigabit services today,” Schneider said. “We anticipate it will be able to deliver gigabit residential services through 2020 at a minimum. But people want more.”

Adding to the bandwidth demand is the rise of mixed-use developments, and growing desire among service providers to converge residential services with business services. “You consume a PON very quickly,” he said, in those types of settings.

The big question, Schneider said, is where is it going to go, and how fast will we get there? “Is it going to continue with this 45-50% CAGR in service [speeds]?” he asked. The 1 Gbps service is something of a milestone, and Schneider indicated what happens beyond that threshold is up for debate.

“We’ve got a really unique situation, we’ve now maxed out the LAN speed,” he said. “You can’t get a LAN right now for any affordable amount of money that runs faster than 1 Gbps.” Schneider pointed to 802.11 ac, “which ultimately should allow use to break through the 1 Gbps throughput level,” and the upcoming standard 802.3bz, which is underway in the IEEE…

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Blu-ray Version of 4K Streams Will Impact the Industry

Three questions confront the OTT industry — and broadband service providers also:

1. How much bandwidth will be required to stream the upcoming Blu-ray implementation of 4K?

That is the “fully loaded” 4K that will come on the new 4K Blu-ray discs that, along with new 4K Blu-ray players, are expected to available for this year’s holiday shopping season.

4K streams are currently only the “basic” 4K and require anywhere from 5 Mbps to 25 Mbps depending on which OTT service you ask.

Netflix, the most popular 4K OTT site, says 20 Mbps. Its Web site says, “To get the highest quality Netflix experience in Ultra HD 4K, we recommend available bandwidth of at least 20 Mbps. This provides enough throughput for the stream, which is about 16Mbps, plus headroom for service variability.”

Amazon says at least 15 Mbps is needed for 4K streams from its Prime service. Both stream the “basic” version of 4K.

2. How much more bandwidth will be needed for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) that are not in the “basic” 4K?

3. Will Western Digital‘s Vidity compatibility be necessary for OTT services that download 4K videos that have been downloaded to a user’s local storage?

We asked Aaron Taylor, EVP of sales and marketing at UltraFlix’s owner NanoTech. Here is a compilation of our questions and his answers.

The Online Reporter: When do you plan to stream Blu-ray quality 4K? How much bandwidth does it take?
Taylor: This year. 50 Mbps.

TOR: How much more bandwidth is needed for 4K with HDR than from “plain” 4K?
Taylor: 10-15% more bandwidth for HDR.

TOR: What do you think about Vidity? We just bought a Western Digital Vidity box, the My Passport Cinema 4K
Taylor: “TBD.”

As you can see, Taylor gives direct and terse answers. We take the “TBD” to mean NanoTech is still studying and evaluating Vidity, waiting…

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Viewers Won’t Be Bingeing on Hulu’s New Series

Hulu isn’t going to let viewers stream as many episodes of its new original programs as they want to, a method of TV series consumption that has become popular thanks to Netflix and Amazon.

Instead, Hulu announced this week it will replicate the linear TV model of releasing one new episode each week on its OTT service, which is both ad-supported and subscription-based.

So why is Hulu bucking the OTT trend? It could be that its original shows aren’t getting enough attention. “We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s SVP and head of content, speaking at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. “We value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television.”

Netflix couple

Hulu is attempting to buck the binge-viewing trend

 

It’s unclear what Hulu is hoping to gain from a traditional TV release model.

While viewers love to binge watch entire seasons of their favorite TV shows, having full seasons available on demand helps viewers catch up and stay caught up on a TV series throughout the season, as appointment viewing is no longer the mode of video consumption for most viewers. That’s why NBC experimented with an on-demand release of the first season of its new series “Aquarius,” a model it plans to replicate for the second season.

Networks don’t like the binge-model release because it cuts into the linear TV ratings – which neither Hulu nor its owners NBC, Fox and Disney have to worry about for Hulu’s original series.

At the TCA event, Erwich noted that a weekly release model helps to build anticipation for the next episode, but it may also give modern viewers who are now faced with more premium content options than ever just enough time to forget about a Hulu series.

Erwich added that by…

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Here Comes 4K Blu-ray in Time for the Holiday Shopping Season

– Significantly Improved Picture Quality over Basic 4K
– Throughput to the TV over HDMI-2 Will Be 108 Mbps

This article appeared in Faultline

With 4K TVs nearing price parity with 1080p HD TVs, the next differentiator will be UHD – a format that adds more detail to the video than 4K, which only increases the resolution.

Armed with a new logo for the discs with the 4K Blu-ray format, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has confirmed that it will begin licensing its new UHD format at the end of August.

The backwards-compatible Blu-ray 4K format will actually provide more of the new ITU’s UHD standard, unlike the 4K format that differs only from 1080 HD in its higher resolution.

UHD trumps 4K with an increased color range (Rec. 2020 instead of Rec. 709), higher frame rate (up to 60fps), and three versions of HDR (high dynamic range) technology – from Dolby, Technicolor and the SMPTE. Object-based sound is also supported, but not mandatory, from Dolby’s Atmos and DTS’s DTS:X.

There still isn’t a TV set on the market that can reproduce the entirety of the Rec. 2020 color space.

rec2020

The Rec 2020 color space: first consumer-ready panels due soon

 

Currently, the only such capable panels are found in reference monitors, which have five-figure price tags. However, recent conversations suggest that IFA, in Berlin next month, will see the first consumer-ready Rec. 2020 compatible panels make their appearance, on the back of quantum dot technology.

The big giveaway on TVs as to whether they’ll be able to support the new Blu-ray format is the presence of a HDMI 2.0 port – as only that connector (aside from the most recent DisplayPort) is capable of the raw throughput needed for the format.

Currently, it looks like only a few 2014 models from Sony and Panasonic and newer premium 2015 TVs from these two and the likes of Samsung will be compatible.

WikiLeaks documents suggest that the throughput of the new dual-layer UHD Blu-ray discs will be 108 Mbps, with the triple-layer discs reaching 128 Mbps – in HEVC. Compared with the 17 Mbps HEVC that Netflix requires for regular 4K content (with no HDR) and you understand why a UHD title is a long way away from being suitable to be streamed OTT. That Netflix stream would deliver around 15GB of video in a two hour session; less than 25% of the smallest UHD Blu-ray.

The source of the leak was Sony, reinforcing its stellar security reputation, and an image contained within the leak seems to prove that only HDMI 2.0 will support HDR. The diagram shows full 1090p HD plus HDR and UHD plus HDR being pushed down a HDMI 2.0 cable to a TV – while those same formats are scaled down to SD and full HD respectively to fit on a HDMI 1.4 TV, regardless of whether they have HDR or not on the original full HD or UHD file.

4K shares the 3840x2160p resolution with UHD, but that’s its only upgrade. Aside from this, the signal remains unchanged, and there are lots of tests out there that show that you produce better pictures with better pixels – not simply more of them.

Consequently, the actual increased data that will be found in the signal between the UHD Blu-ray players and the TVs will have extra color space, HDR and frame rate data that won’t be found in a regular Blu-ray of the same content.

This is where the improved picture quality stems from.

Not that the CEA has done a very good job of making that clear to consumers. It has decided that any product that can produce a 3840x2160p image using a digital input can badge itself as 4K Ultra HD on its packaging, which will undoubtedly lead to situations where consumers purchase one of these new Blu-ray players and a TV that says UHD on it only to find that they can’t enjoy the suggested (perhaps promised) increase in picture quality that the UHD moniker would imply.

“Ultra HD Blu-ray enables the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable experience that will set the standard for Ultra HD entertainment, the same way that Blu-ray set the standard for high definition viewing,” said Victor Matsuda, the chair of the BDA’s Promotions Committee. “With the commencement of licensing we would anticipate product announcements from various companies as we approach the 2015 holiday season.”

Takeaways
Rider Research makes two points:

Movies on Blu-ray 4K discs may retail for almost as much as current Blu-ray players, which …

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European Telcos Will Face 1 Gbps Broadband from Liberty Global in 2016

Telcos had better get ready to compete against cablecos offering 1 Gbps broadband in 2016 and at very affordable monthly rates.

Liberty Global, the largest cableco outside the United States, is testing the next generation DOCSIS 3.1 broadband technology in its labs, will conduct field tests in early 2016 and plans to begin deployments shortly thereafter, according to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries speaking about the company’s quarterly financial report. Liberty Global mainly operates in Europe yet also has a Latin American operation.

Fries said, “We’re testing EuroDOCSIS 3.1 right now and should begin commercial deployment next year. We feel great about our ability to extend our speed leadership with EuroDOCSIS 3.1.”

bio-fries-2015

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries: promising affordable 1 Gbps broadband at affordable rates

 

Three factors should scare telcos:
1. Liberty Global plans to expand its footprint so that its network passes more homes, making its service available to even more residences.

2. Liberty Global has already ordered the gear it will need and is readying its network to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 Fries said the company will have more than 40% of its footprint in the UK and Germany ready for 3.1 by the end of this year — 2015 — and about 80% of its footprint ready for 3.1 over the next three years.

3. DOCSIS 3.1 is a low-cost solution. Fries called it “cost-effective and scalable” and estimated the company could install 1 Gbps service to its existing broadband subscribers at a cost of €20 ($22) per home, not including the consumer premises equipment (CPE) — the gateway, router, modem — that goes in the residence. It is unclear whether Fries meant a one-time installation cost of €20 per residence plus the CPE or a continuing monthly cost of €20 per residence. If it is indeed a one-time cost, it’ll give cablecos another leg up on the telcos.

Fries also made a reference to “up to 10 Gbps in the future,” which send another warning to the telcos against whom it competes.

Currently Liberty Global’s network passes nearly 52 million homes in 12 European countries. It already has 16.4 million broadband subscribers.

Its 3.0 DOCSIS network offers 200 Mbps downloads in 11 of the 12 European markets where it operates.

In addition, Fries said, Liberty Global has launched a 500 Mbps service in Switzerland and plans to offer that speed to “the vast majority of our footprint.”

Addressing the UK broadband market, which is becoming one of the most competitive in the world, Fries said that under the company’s €3 billion ($3.3 billion) “Project Lightning,” program in the UK, the company’s Virgin Media plans to increase its footprint by up to 4 million homes and businesses. By 2020, he said, its UK network will pass about 17 million premises, which is two-thirds of the UK. Under Project Lightning, Virgin Media expects to extend its network to 10 more towns and cities in the second half of the year before accelerating in 2016.

As proof of the company’s build-out program, Fries said that over the first half of the year, Virgin Media extended its network past an additional 80,000 residences and laid the groundwork to accelerate new build-outs in major conurbations such as “Northern Powerhouse” cities like Manchester, where it’ll pass 150,000 more homes and in Leeds with 80,000 more homes.

Broadband is Liberty Global’s primary growth engine — it’s adding broadband subscribers at a rapid rate, 905,000 in 2014 including 242,000 in Q4 — but like most cablecos, it’s losing pay TV subscribers —223,000 in 2014 including 35,000 in Q4. At year end its broadband penetration rate of homes passed was 34%, which seems a very low number considering the company’s faster broadband compared to telcos. The company even called it “our superior broadband speeds.” A 60% share in broadband of homes passed would seem to be attainable with an aggressive marketing strategy — why hide its light under a basket?

Fries said, “We’re on target with internal penetration forecasts. And this is just the beginning. Lightning will launch in ten more towns and cities in the second half and will ramp materially in 2016.” He also said the company would expand its Wi-Fi network to 10 million locations by the end of 2015.

Liberty Global also added 597,000 fixed line telephony subscribers in 2014 including 145,000 in Q4. It’s a truly remarkable growth in fixed line telephony considering the dominance that mobile phones have attained — and it’ll certainly taper off, if not decline, as homes abandon their wireline telephone service.

And…
Where is all this headed, because there is no doubt that broadband is the most important service that phone and cable TV companies provide? The shift from linear, ad-supported pay TV to OTT services has become so obvious that even the financial community has recently noticed…

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 942

– The main news last week was about the beginning of the decline in linear, ad-supported pay TV.

– This week it is about homes getting 1 Gbps broadband, which enables OTT services to stream multiple, simultaneous videos, including 4K videos.

– Liberty Global, the world’s largest cableco outside the States, Broadcom, ADTRAN, Bell Canada and Verizon made 1 Gbps announcements.

 

TOR942cover

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

European Telcos Will Face 1 Gbps Broadband from Liberty Global in 2016

UltraFlix 4K OTT Service Adds HDR

Testing Speeds within the Home

Surprise! AT&T Moves toward DirecTV as Its Pay TV Service

 

DISRUPTIONS

Verizon Says Goodbye to 2-year Contracts & Termination Fees

Xiaomi’s $125 Smartphone Is the New Monster’

 

4K/UHD (ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION)

Here Comes 4K Blu-ray in Time for the Holiday Shopping Season

 

OTT SERVICES APPS AND SCREENS

OTT

DirecTV’s Q2 Subscriber Count Drops by 133,000

Netflix Renews 4K Sci-fi Thriller Sense 8′

NFL Extends, Expands Deal with Twitter

HBO Follows Netflix, Amazon in Children’s Content Acquisition

Singapore’s StarHub Widens Reach with Internet TV Service

Sony Expands Vue’ to 2 More Cities

OTT Isn’t ESPN’s Best Move

 

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

Viewers Won’t Be Bingeing on Hulu’s New Series

ITV, NBC Invest in Digital Content

People Watch 40 Years-Worth of Periscope Videos Daily

 

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

BROADBAND BEAT

Qualcomm’s Acquisition of Ikanos Is All about G.fast

Bell Canada Launches 1 GB Broadband

Verizon Successfully Tests Next-Generation Fiber Technology

ARRIS Results Reflect Broadband Growth & US Pay TV Saturation

ADTRAN: 200 Communities with 1 Gbps FTTH Service in US

Gateways Being Shipped with Broadcom’s Gigabit Broadband Technology

 

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Top Ten US Pay TV Companies Lost 400k Subscribers in Q2

Half of Internet Users Subscribe to OTT

Netflix, Amazon See Sub Gains in UK

60% of UK Viewers Stream TV

 

DIGI GRAMS

Western Digital’s 4K Player/Storage Is Available

Piermont Outdoor Speakers Hold Live Plants

Half of Hulu Plus Subscribers Canceled in Past 12 Months

ADTRAN Has Deployed Gigabit Broadband in 200 Communities

Dolby Atmos Is the 4K of Audio

IBC’s 4K 4Charity Fun Run

STMicroelectronics Launches DOCSIS 3.1 Chipset

Fries: Spending on Linear TV Will Decline

AMC: No Interest in Taking Flagship Channel OTT

 

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Orange to Test G.fast in Poland

Orange has said it will field trial G.fast technology in its operations in Poland by the end of 2015. It had successfully tested G.fast in its labs in July with a view to using it to provide 300 Mbps, HD pay TV and VoIP telephone service. It said, “The tests went well and we will soon begin preparations for the pilot.”

Orange’s G.fast trial will try to provide up to 500 Mbps broadband to subscribers in areas where its FTTH networks don’t reach.

DSC_0607_Polanie_Polish_Dance_Group

500 Mbps would have them dancing in the streets of Poland

 

Other telcos that have said they are testing/trialing G.fast are BT (which will conduct two G.fast trials this summer with a view to a nationwide rollout over the next decade), Telekom Austria, Saudi Telecom and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom.

Some think that most of the world’s telcos are at some stage of evaluating, testing or field trialing G.fast because of a) customer demand, b) much faster speeds being offered by cablecos and fibercos (like Alphabet Inc.‘s Google Fiber) and c) government regulatory organizations. The fact is that most telcos still only offer a maximum of 45 Mbps (14 to 18 Mbps in many cases) while nearly every cableco offers or is about to offer …

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20th Century Fox & ATEME Develop Technology to Distribute 4K with HDR

– Initial Use: Downloads from M-GO to Western Digital’s My Passport Cinema NTB
– Which Are Already Sold out at Western Digital & Amazon
– Can Also Be Used in OTT, 4K Blu-ray, Post-Production & Archiving

Evidence continues to pile up indicating that not only is 4K here to stay but that it will become as widespread as HD.

In the end, OTT services won’t be the only source of 4K content but they are also likely to continue to dominate the 4K market for the same reason they are booming in the SD/HD market: low cost, the convenience, quickness and ease of purchasing, instant delivery, the lack of commercials and you can watch them anytime, anywhere.

French technology company ATEME and Twentieth Century Fox studios have worked together to enhance ATEME’s TITAN Software Transcoder to enable the first ever distribution of 4K content with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for viewing movies and TV shows in the home in all their glorious 4K splendor.

wdfMP_Cinema

WD’s My Passport Cinema: includes 8 pre-loaded UHD 4K films

 

Its initial use is to download 4K films with HDR to a new 4K-purpose-built Western Digital 1 TB net-top box called My Passport Cinema that comes with eight UHD films including two that are free.

More 4K films will be available from some OTT download services such as M-GO.

My Passport Cinema also has Netflix’s 4K app. However, all the UHD TVs that are currently compatible with the My Passport Cinema box already have Netflix’s 4K app.

The TITAN transcoder is multi-codec, format video transcoding software for use with live, OTT, mezzanine file, VoD, post-production, playout and archive applications.

The trade body Entertainment Merchant Association (EMA) defines a mezzanine file as “a digital master that is used to create copies of video for streaming or download. Online video services obtain the mezzanine file from the content producer and then individually manipulate it for streaming or downloading through their service.” EMA has defined a mezzanine file standard that all content makers and OTT services can use. Netflix, Rovi, YouTube and others have accepted the EMA standard for mezzanine files.

ATEME says that UHD with HDR will change the future of entertainment and that the new ATEME transcoding technology enables “stunning picture quality and true-to-life colors.”

Hanno Basse, who is CTO of Twentieth Century Fox and the president of the UHD Alliance, said, “Twentieth Century Fox has worked closely with ATEME to fine-tune the TITAN transcoder and add custom features. As the specifications and standards evolve ATEME’s flexibility in modifying and implementing new features, combined with TITAN’s high video quality, enabled Fox to be the first to market with a new viewing experience.”

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment said it had released on July 18, the films “The Maze Runner” and Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” in UHD with HDR. It has said its policy is to finish all future theatrical releases in Ultra HD, a major commitment to a new video format that indicates its research shows that 4K is the future.

 

The Vidity Factor

A check of 20th Century Fox’s online home entertainment store and a phone call to its online store, which sells movies on DVDs and Blu-ray discs, did not turn up the 4K version of either “The Maze Runner” or “Exodus: Gods and Kings” or any other films in UHD with HDR. Further research showed that the studio has preloaded two films in UHD with HDR Western Digital’s (WD) new $90 My Passport Cinema 4K Ultra HD movie drive and, at least initially, those will be playable in UHD only on some of Samsung’s 2014 and 2015 UHD TVs.

The WD device is built to specifications developed by Vidity, a consortium that’s backed by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Sandisk and WD. Users can download additional 4K titles from Vidity-compliant retailers such as M-Go.

When played on non-Vidity-compliant UHD TVs, the movies play in HD rather than 4K. See here for the list of Vidity compatible UHD TVs.

Consumers that buy the Western Digital movie drive get free access to preloaded copies of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “The Maze Runner.”

Once a user has authorized the purchase of a title, the My Passport Cinema Drive does not need to be connected to the Net when viewing the title. That means users can use the drive on any Vidity-compatible UHD TV, at home or elsewhere.

M-Go typically charges about $30 for a new release in 4K UHD.

The other six UHD movies on the WD drive must be purchased before they can be viewed. They are currently “X-Men: Days of the Future Past,” “The Wolverine,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Let’s Be Cops” and “The Other Woman.”

WD said it will add more UHD content and support more UHD TVs in the future. It also said the My Passport Cinema drive “delivers true 4K quality directly to your Vidity-enabled viewing device – no Internet-based video streaming.”

4K films that are downloaded rather than streamed should look better – although there might be a slight delay as the download builds a cache before playing starts.

The WD My Passport Cinema UHD movie storage drive has a 1-terabyte capacity and a list price of $89.99. Until June 30, 2016, Samsung will include it with the purchase of its top of the line, pricey UHD TVs: JS9000, JS9100 or JS9500 SUHD TV.

WD’s Web site said on August 5th, “Out of stock. Notify me when back in stock.” Amazon said the same but, unlike WD, Amazon allowed purchasers to order now for delivery when it gets some from WD – which we did.

 

Fostering the UHD Ecosystem

Danny Kaye, EVP of global research and technology strategy for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, said, “20th Century Fox remains committed to trying to foster the UHD ecosystem, given the opportunity to sell digital copies at a premium price. “The quality of the content as the demand for 4K Ultra HD content continues to increase and evolve, but also the ease of content acquisition and playback on next-generation TVs and other devices.”

 

‘A New Standard for Premium Video Quality’

Calling the ATEME technology “a new standard for premium video quality,” ATEME CEO Michel Artieres said, “Continuous investment in video compression research is in ATEME’s DNA. Our commitment to standardization bodies, as well as tight cooperation with our ecosystem partners, has positioned us as a trusted technology advisor to Fox Home Entertainment.”

Samsung used this year’s CES to announce the formation of an industry association called the UHD Alliance that will help establish standards for 4K content, terminology and how it’s delivered to the home. Media companies Disney, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Netflix and DirecTV have joined as have UHD setmakers Sony, LG and Panasonic  — in addition to Samsung. Technology companies Dolby and Technicolor are also members. Joining Samsung at the announcement were Mike Dunn, president of Fox Worldwide Home Entertainment and Ron Sanders, president of Warner Bros.

The UHD Alliance said its aim is “to create a unified criterion for premium UHD platforms, from devices to content including next generation features such as 4K resolution, High Dynamic Range [HDR], Wide Color Gamut, High Frame Rate and Immersive Audio.” All of those are significant enhancements that will serve to make 4K the dominant video standard for the next generation or two of viewers and their TV sets. The more that 4K is enhanced with such features…

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Wi-Fi Adapters Connect Desktop PC Where Powerline Adapters Fail

Rider Research administrator Brittany Demmon recently moved and found herself in a perfect situation to use a pair of powerline adapters to connect her desktop PC to the Net. Here’s an account of the travails that ensued.

By Brittany Demmon

Connecting my desktop PC to my in-home Wi-Fi Internet, both located in different rooms, was the obstacle that I faced.

I was given three different options to solve my connectivity dilemma: run an Ethernet cable across the apartment from my router to my PC, connect using the D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 Gigabit Starter Kit or use the Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter.

 

D-Link Powerline AV2 2000

The first device tested was the D-Link Powerline AV2 2000 adapter boasting “speeds up to 200 Mbps using HomePlug AV2 MIMO technology.”

I plugged each DHP-700 AV Powerline AV2 2000 Gigabit adapter into wall outlets in the desired locations, one near the router and one in another room near the computer. I held down the Simple Connect button on one of the adapters until the LED blinked then pressed the Simple Connect button on the other adapter waiting until the LED glowed bright green indicating a secure connection between the devices.

After establishing a connection between the devices using Ethernet cables, I connected one adapter to the router and the other adapter to the computer. Despite these efforts no home Powerline network was established. Even after numerous attempts I was not able to connect the desktop PC to the Internet using the powerline device.

 

Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

The next device tested was the Netgear N600 Wi-Fi USB Adapter with 802.11n Dual Band technology, which plugs into a PC’s USB port. Setting up this device required using the included resource CD to install Netgear genie on the PC, this process was simply following prompts and inserting the Wi-Fi USB adapter into the USB port when instructed to do so.

I joined the Wi-Fi network using Wi-Fi Protected Set-Up (WPS) that requires pressing the WPS button on the adapter until the LED blinks then pressing the WPS button on the Wi-Fi router within two minutes.

Connection with the Internet was not achieved using this method and after three failed attempts I consulted with a friend who is an IT professional. Within minutes he was able to connect the adapter to the network by simply starting the wireless zero configuration service that was not running before.

The PC is working flawlessly and I have yet to experience any Internet connectivity problems, the speed is satisfactory and the connection status is strong.

The success of the Wi-Fi adapter meant avoiding the hassle of running an Ethernet cable through the entire apartment but I asked the IT pro if there was a hidden fix for the Powerline adapter similar to the Wi-Fi adapter solution.

Unfortunately, he had no solution because the connection uses existing wiring in the home, opening up the possibility that there may be a problem with the internal wiring. After manipulating the variables to further test the Powerline adapters such as using different outlets, Ethernet cables and Ethernet ports in the router no connection to the network occurred.

Although there are other factors at work that could play into why the Powerline AV2 2000 adapter did not work, the ease of operation of the N600 Wi-Fi USB adapter gives it an advantage over the Powerline adapter and to put things more frankly, while the Powerline adapter was unsuccessful, the Wi-Fi adapter was successful at connecting PC to the Internet.

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