The Online Reporter

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

Even the Olympics Will Have an OTT Service

-Could Appear in 2015

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has approved plans to launch a streaming “Olympic Channel” OTT service next year. The announcement comes after the Committee launched a feasibility study in August which ultimately decided the service would be beneficial to the IOC and the progress of the Olympic Games.

The OTT service, which will be run by the Olympic Broadcasting Service, will facilitate exposure of the sports and athletes between games with international coverage of sporting events. It will also offer highlights and clips from the games and from the 40,000 hours worth of archive footage available. IOC president Thomas Bach is hoping an online channel will help build up interest in the games from young viewers.

“The positioning has to be about what Olympism is,” said Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC TV and marketing services, earlier this year, in an interview with Sports Business Daily. Lumme said the OTT service won’t just be a sports video service. “It’s sports. It’s education. It’s kids. It’s history. There’s a rich seam of different types of things it can be, and that’s what makes us convinced it can be a success.”

He added that launching a streaming video service was “not hugely revolutionary but is reflective of the broadcast market.”

There’s no word yet about monetization on the channel, whether that be via sponsorships, advertising or subscription fees. The IOC did clarify that the service will be complementary to the rights licenses already in place.

The service will cost €490 million ($609 million) per year to run, according to the Committee, which estimated it would take seven years to break even on the streaming channel.

The Olympic Channel is part of the “Olympic Agenda 2020” recommendations put forth this week at the most recent IOC session meeting.

And…
Here’s an opportunity for an ambitious OTT service to start offering live and recorded sports globally. The Olympics online channel could be offered exclusively to pay TV companies but, pray tell, what are young viewers using to watch on most often? OTT delivered content on a mobile device! And, OTT is instantly global. Put it on the Net and the whole world can watch. The IOC could do it themselves or it could work with an Internet powerhouse such as Google, Yahoo or AOL. The Olympics don’t quite seem Netflix’s cup of tea — but it might be ESPN’s, a majority of which is owned by Disney, which also owns the US’s national ABC TV network.

The Online Reporter has always said that the way to start a live sports service on the Net is initially to offer minor events intermixed with studio-based shows and archived material, which is how the highly successful ESPN got started.

Going after the Super Bowl or World Cup right off the bat would be a mistake — too costly to pry away from pay TV, although a company such as Google has the money to buy the rights for showing on YouTube…

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Lantiq Develops Wireline Broadband for the 4b People Who Have None

- Its Low-cost Vinax dp Provides 300 Mbps over 200 Meters of Phone Wires
– Paves the Way for G.fast

The Roman emperor Julius Caesar said, “All Gaul is divided into three parts.” Were he surveying the global broadband industry today, he might say, “All residences are divided into three parts — fast broadband, slow broadband and no broadband.”

Chipmaker Lantiq uses numbers from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Akamai to show that 10% of the world’s residences have broadband speeds of 10 Mbps or higher, 30% have speeds of 1 to 10 Mbps and 60% have zilch — no broadband whatsoever. That’s no way to sell a movie or TV show when 60% of the world’s population can’t watch it over an Internet connection and another 30% can’t watch it in glorious 4K.

Lantiq says it has a solution that’s not nearly as expensive to deploy as FTTH or G.fast and it is available now. It’s an FTTdp technology, like G.fast, called Vinax dp. Telcos install a distribution point within 200 meters of the home, connect it to a fiber from the central office and to the existing copper phone wire to the residence and voila! 200 Mbps down and 100 Mbps up. It uses an ITU standard called G.993.2 Annex P, which has been available for years so there’s no developing a new standard and subsequent certifications and testing.

There are two markets that Vinax dp is aimed at, one being the “broadband have nots.” Lantiq says: “There are over 4 billion people who have no broadband at all. It is incredibly important to get these 4 billion connected. Vinax dp is an incredible attractive technology for that scenario. It is cheap, easy to install and very effective.” In this scenario, Lantiq’s multi-port solution will be used – 8 ports delivering 150 Mbps.

The other market is with Lantiq’s single-port solution. One box connects to one subscriber and delivers aggregated rates of 300 Mbps (200 down, 100 up). It’s an easy-to-deploy yet is a premium service for customers. There are millions of consumers in developed countries that would like to have 200 Mbps available from someone in addition to the cableco.

Lantiq uses as one example India where there are 250 million households (compared to about 100 million or so each in the US and Europe) but only 13 million wireline broadband connections. There are 850 million mobile phone users in India but as those phones become more sophisticated, they cannot even download upgrades from their slow mobile networks or watch high quality video streams. Lantiq gave as an example of the slow cellular network people having to catch a bus to go to a distant location that has a Wi-Fi hotspot to download a 700MB upgrade.

The giant Indian conglomerate ($67 billion in annual revenue) Reliance Industries (not to be confused with Reliance Communications, has scoped out the situation and wants to create a “Digital India” where in 3 to 5 years about 120 million residences would have 100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up. It budgeted $14 billion to build the national network. It has already spent between $8 billion and $10 billion building 800,000 kilometers (480,000 miles) of inter- and intra-city fiber network, set up an intercontinental undersea fiber network. Reliance has over 2,000 retail outlets.

Lantiq said it has talked with 23 telcos that have plans for FTTdp deployments as opposed to FTTH deployments. The 23 have to choose between the new and as yet not fully tested G.fast broadband technology and an FTTdp technology based on the proven VDSL. There is nothing proprietary about Lantiq’s Vinax dp. It uses only technologies based on ITU standards.

Vinax dp has several main attractions:
– Vinax dp chips are smaller than any other FTTdp chips so Vinax dp boxes can be quite small and easier to install.
– The chips are in a weatherproof housing and operate in a wide temperature range (industrial temperature range of -40 to +85°C) so they can be installed anywhere — on utility poles or in basements.
– The chips use very little electricity and so can be powered by a modem/gateway in the residence. The power feeder is customer-self-installed, either as a separate adapter to be used with an existing VDSL modem/gateway or embedded in a new one.
– Vinax dp uses industry standard and proven GPON (fiber) and VDSL2 technology.
– Perhaps most importantly, Vinax dp boxes are much less expensive than alternatives. It’s difficult to accurately estimate equipment costs for every circumstance, but Lantiq said Vinax dp costs are about one-tenth the cost of G.fast, which admittedly has higher speeds.
– Not only are Vinax dp chips inexpensive, the accompanying VDSL products have become “dirt cheap” after years of being in production.
– The network architecture that Vinax dp uses makes it easy to upgrade later on to G.fast and its fiber-like speeds.
– Most modems that have been shipped in the last year or so are compatible with Vinax dp and support the 200/100 Mbps speeds. Older modems are compatible with Vinax dp but would provide slower speeds even when connected to a Vinax dp distribution point. Newer modems and gateways have profile 30 technology, which allows 200 Mbps down and 100 Mbps up. Older modems and gateways have profile 17 technology which provides a maximum of 100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up.

For developing nations there is no question that Vinax dp makes sense because of its low-costs and use of readily available and inexpensive VDSL components.

The Haves
The questions that telcos in developed nations will have to ask are:
– Assuming they have not decided to deploy FTTH, do they provide 200/100 Mbps now or do they dare wait for and spend the additional money for G.fast?
– Do they risk losing their top-paying subscribers to the cableco? If they increase the speeds they offer, they may be able to charge only a small amount more, if any, but if they lose that subscriber, they lose $25 to $50 a month of very profitable revenue.

As bandwidth hungry as UHD and cloud-based applications are, it’s hard to make the case for needing more than 200 Mbps for the foreseeable future. Netflix has increased its recommendations for UHD to 25 Mbps per stream. Not many homes are going to have multiple UHD TVs in the next few years although additional bandwidth is needed for all the other fixed and mobile devices in the home. Here are the recommendations of Netflix, the world’s largest subscription pay OTT service:
3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality

These are per stream so if a home has a UHD TV, a couple of HD TVs and there are several tablets or smartphones in use, the recommended bandwidth could be upwards of 50 or more Mbps.

On the assumption that most every first world residence will soon have subscriptions to one or more OTT services and have one of more UHD sets plus several HD sets and mobile devices, the mass market for broadband is speeds of 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

All Broadband Is Local
We recently published comparisons between AT&T and Cox cable in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Keep in mind that Cox recently doubled speeds at no additional costs to its subscribers. Here is the comparison:

San Jose:
Comcast 50 Mbps $67/month
AT&T 18 Mbps $61/month

Baton Rouge:
Cox broadband only:
50 Mbps down $49.99/month
100 Mbps down $59.99/month
150 Mbps down $79.99/month

AT&T broadband only:
45 Mbps $64.95/month
Note: AT&T also offers slower speeds. It does not offer faster speeds.

So, consumers ask: why should I pay AT&T $64.95 for 45 Mbps when I can get 50 Mbps from Cox for only $49.99 a month or 100 Mbps for $59.99 per month?

Vinax dp’s 200 Mbps download speeds are looking pretty appealing, aren’t they if you are an AT&T broadband customer. AT&T cannot offer 100 Mbps at any price because its network is out-of-date. And AT&T said it will not commit to any new broadband upgrades until the FCC sorts out the future rules in Net Neutrality.

More Choices
Telcos have more choices today than a few years ago. Until vectoring came along last year, telcos had only two choices: all-fiber or stand pat. Verizon went all-fiber in about 70% of its footprint as did some smaller telcos and local utilities. The other telcos have watched as cablecos have taken their profitable broadband subscribers.

The French regulatory agency, which has been pushing all-fiber network architecture, has recently acknowledged that 10-20% of residences cannot be connected directly to fiber. It now allows telcos to use FTTdp in areas where it is hard to deploy FTTH such as where there are ancient buildings and streets. Maybe other countries and all telcos should do the same.

Several makers of telco gear have selected Lantiq’s Vinax dp chips for their future requirements. They don’t usually do that unless they have interested customers.

In short, Lantiq asks, “Why wait?
– Single-port 300 Mbps-class (Profile 30a) products are available from Aethra, Alcatel-Lucent, Gemtek, T&W and ZTE
– Multi port 150 Mbps-class …

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 908

TOR908front

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Broadband Forum, CEA Tie UHD TVs and G.fast Together

Online Content Lures Kids from TV

Sckipio Raises $17m for Its G.fast Efforts

UHD

Amazon Launches Its UHD Service (Finally)

UHD Fallacy Number 1: UHD TVs Won’t Sell Until There’s UHD Content

93% Who See a UHD TV Are Impressed

Vimeo Now Offering Downloads in 4K Resolution

Who’d Have Thought? Five Samsung UHD TVs under $1,700

4K Service Roll Out Will Be Staggered

Amazon Offers 5 UHD Movies with Some Samsung TVs

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

OTT

Content Owners Debate the Transition to Internet TV

Even the Olympics Will Have an OTT Service

Sainsbury’s Launches Movie Download App to Roku

Service Providers Increase Speeds of Netflix Streams

A Movie for Everyone in List of 95 Best Films on Netflix

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

Who Will Buy CollegeHumor?

An Amazon Pilot Heads to TV

Netflix Is Ready to Push Content Offerings to the Next Level

Netflix Is Ready to Push Content Offerings to the Next Level

French Broadcaster Is Now Streaming Live on YouTube

NBC Cashes In on Niche OTT Services

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

BROADBAND BEAT

Lantiq Develops Wireline Broadband for the 4b People Who Have None

How Much Bandwidth Do UHD Streams Need?

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

Motive’s TabletTV Launches in UK

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

TVs Down; Broadband Up

A Quarter of US Homes Own a Smart TV

A Quarter of New Cableco Subs Want Broadband-Only Services in the States

Ofcom Sees Growth in Broadband TV’ in UK

What’s New? Cox Beats AT&T Badly in Broadband Speeds

DIGI GRAMS

CBS: Netflix Doesn’t Have Magic Formula for Success

Online Video has Changed What Viewers Want to See

Netflix’s Sarandos: Ratings Don’t Measure Success

Video Is the Next Selfie’

Vizio TVs Available in Canada & Mexico

Best Buy Matches Amazon’s Free Shipping

Vizio Uses HD to Show How Much Better UHD Is

Every Movie Ever Made, Anytime Day or Night

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4K UHD TV Sets May Tempt Subscribers to Cut the Cord

What’s to be said about the rapid decline in prices of 4K UHD sets from name brand set makers, especially sets from Samsung, the world’s largest maker of TVs?

Looming behind Samsung, LG and others are the Chinese makers of TV sets who are beginning to flex their muscles outside of China.

The Chinese companies are helped in their efforts to reduce costs because China is still the world’s largest UHD market and the greater the volume the lower the manufacturing costs.

The regional US retailer HH Gregg confirmed in its Sunday newspaper flyer what we reported last week:

Samsung UHD TVs

Screen size        Price
Flat screens

40 inches          $598
50 inches          $798
55 inches          $1,198

Curved screens

55 inches          $1,298
65 inches          $1,998

Any price below $1,000 is certainly a mass market price and anything under $2,000 is certain to attract much of the mass market buyers.

 

7 Key Numbers

40% the approximate amount that Samsung’s UHD TVs have declined in price since their launch this summer.
150,000 the approximate number of fewer people that had a subscription to a pay TV service at the end of Q3
70,000 the approximate number of antennae that Antennas Direct sold in Q3

Samsung has served notice to LG and Vizio that it intends to capture more than its share of the UHD market. For example, at the entrance to Walmart’s Sam’s Club on Black Friday, a Samsung UHD set greeted visitors, not a Vizio as might have been expected.

The increased popularity of UHD sets, brought about by the rapid decline in prices, may lure some to shave or even cut the cord to their pay TV service.

As mass market priced UHD TVs attract an increasing numbers of buyers, the demand for 4K content will accelerate — even though many UHD sets do an excellent job of up-scaling lesser resolutions.

Frequent users of Netflix and other OTT services may begin thinking about shaving the cord if not cutting it completely.

The only places that 4K content is available today are Netflix, NanoTech’s UltraFlix and M-GO.

Amazon has been promising to offer 4K content and currently says by year-end.

DirecTV said it will start with some pay-to-view shows by year end and live linear TV in 2015.

Comcast is reportedly talking with Samsung about putting a Netflix-like OTT icon for 4K shows on Samsung UHD sets.

The second most significant number we have seen recently, in addition to the price decrease in UHD TVs, is the 150,000 pay TV subscribers that cut the cord in Q3 2014. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s a trend or a blip when Q4’s numbers become available.

The next most interesting number is the 70,000 antennae that Antennas Direct said it sold, perhaps not coincidentally, in Q3. It’s another sign of cord cutting, but it’s too early to tell whether the number is a one-off blip or the start of a trend.

What is certain is that consumers who buy UHD sets will look to OTT services as their best sources. When watching content from an OTT services, viewers are not watching the ads on pay TV…

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The Power & Reach of Free TV Draws a Crowd for TVfreedom.org

- Antennae Reinvented

Consumers lined up a week last Saturday in Washington, DC to get one of 1,000 free TV antennas that will let them watch all the local stations for free. Some waited in line for as long as six hours. Once the giveaway started, it only took an hour for all the antennae to be given away. See the waiting line at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytnGij-3oOA

The event was the first of 25 “Broadcast TV Liberation” events sponsored by antenna maker Antennas Direct, LG (which gave away a 42-inch HD TV) and the association of local TV channels called TVfreedom.org.

TVfreedom.org said the event result in “cord-cutting consumers liberated from pay TV.

The events’ purpose is to “help educate Americans on the convenience, affordability and choice of free antenna TV” and TVfreedom.org called it “an overwhelming success.”

Antennas Direct’s founder and president, Richard Schneider said, “Today we witnessed the tangible proof of the growing demand for free broadcast TV among American families. The free digital antenna giveaway was a worthy centerpiece of our year-long tour and we look forward to liberating more families in cities across America through the power of free and local broadcast TV.”

Schneider said the company has given away more than 1,500 digital TV antennae over the past two and a half years— mostly in mid-sized markets. The giveaway site in Washington DC, the largest market so far, was the open-air Eastern Market, which has dozens of open-air food and craft stands and draws thousands.

TVfreedom spokesman Robert C Kenny said, “The power and reach of free, local broadcast television was on full display. Hundreds of DC residents learned they can save hard-earned money by switching to a broadcast television option that is free of charge and offers the best picture quality with a multiplicity of program options.” The picture-quality reference is to local stations broadcasting in full 1080p…

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Samsung Adds NanoTech’s UltraFlix 4K Service

It’s still somewhat shocking to realize that all the 4K content in the world is only available over the Net — not from a pay TV service or on a Blu-ray disc.

Samsung is the latest company to add the icon for NanoTech’s UltraFlix 4K streaming service to its UHD TV sets. No net-top box needed! Samsung is said to have about 50% of the US UHD TV market.

On November 26, Samsung added the UltraFlix icon to all 2014 and 2015 models and most 2013 models in North America and Europe. Samsung UHD TV owners will be able to access more than 500 hours of “pristine 4K Ultra HD PPV movies, concerts, TV shows and special events, including 100 hours of dazzling free content.”

NanoTech says its HEVC software achieves up to 50% better compression than the traditional H.264 compression technology.

NanoTech’s EVP of sales and marketing Andy Taylor said, “Samsung is the leader in TV technology, so we are excited to launch the UltraFlix streaming service on their complete….

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Wuaki.TV Joins Netflix, M-Go and UltraFlix in Streaming 4K Video

-OTT Providers in Race to Offer 4K Titles around the World
-Meanwhile, UHD TV Set Sales Continue to Increase

More UHD content will be available to stream in parts of Europe by the year-end. European transactional OTT service Wuaki.TV is the latest OTT service to join the 4K arms race.

It will offer 4K UHD titles as of Dec 1. The 4K titles will first appear in Germany and France. The company said it hopes to add 4K titles to its service in Italy in the following weeks, and is currently in negotiations with content owners to offer 4K titles in the UK and Spain.

“More and more of our customers are beginning to demand movies in 4K, as TVs with the technology become commonplace in the home,” said Jordi Miró, chief technology officer at Wuaki.TV. “We expect 4K will become increasingly popular towards the end of the year and into 2015, as consumers in Europe buy new TVs around Christmas time, upgrade to smart TVs, and 4K prices begin to drop as more devices come to the market. We’ll be ready for this when it happens so, as soon as a 4K TV is plugged in for the first time, everyone will have access to a quality catalogue of on-demand 4K content from Wuaki.TV.”

Wuaki.TV is currently available on smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Panasonic. It first demo’d its 4K streaming at the IFA show in Berlin earlier this year on Samsung and LG sets, so it’s unclear if Panasonic TVs will get the UHD library initially. At the time, Miró described the addition of 4K titles as “one of our most important and relevant strategic moves for Wuaki.TV.” The company hasn’t yet said what minimum broadband speed it will require for streaming the 4K titles, nor did it specify which titles it would offer in UHD resolution.

Wuaki.TV, which is owned by Japanese online retailer Rakuten, spent most of 2014 expanding across Europe. The service is now available in four countries: Spain, Germany, France and the UK, with a launch in Italy expected in the coming months. It plans to launch in another 11 countries by the end of the 2015.

OTT Services Are First to Market in UHD

All other sources of UHD content are available only online. They include NanoTech’s UltraFlix, a pay-per-view and ad-supported streaming OTT service, the first dedicated 4K streaming service. UltraFlix has a library of around 500 hours worth of UHD content, ranging from films to documentaries to music concerts and sports programs. The UltraFlix UHD service is available on Nuvola net-top boxes, as well as via an app on Vizio and Samsung UHD TV sets.
Earlier this month, we reported the Technicolor and DreamWorks joint OTT venture, called M-GO, has begun offering UHD content for purchase or rental via its transactional OTT service.

“As technology continues to advance M-GO is convinced that the next ‘living room’ TV you buy will be a UHD TV, and the company is developing its content to align with that vision of the future,” the company told The Online Reporter. M-GO’s current library of UHD content is only available on Samsung UHD TV sets.

Netflix continues to add UHD titles monthly to its library. It has also expanded the device reach of its UHD service. Earlier this month, Netflix added its 4K library to Panasonic’s AX802 UHD smart TVs. Netflix requires a 25 Mbps broadband connection to stream UHD titles without interruption, and new subscribers will pay $11.99 per month to access the titles, as opposed to the $8.99 monthly price for regular HD titles.

Amazon is also bringing 4K titles to its subscription streaming service, Amazon Prime. Amazon plans to release its originals “Transparent” Alpha House” and the upcoming “Mozart in the Jungle” in 4K resolution for its viewers by the end of the year, along with the Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett live concert “Cheek to Cheek.” Amazon said it won’t charge extra for access to UHD titles. “We’re confident that offering Ultra HD content, whether it’s a TV series or a film, will help create the ultimate viewing experience and can’t wait to start making it available this year,” said Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon.

Only a Few Pay TV Providers Are Launching 4K Services

A handful of pay TV providers around the world have also begun releasing UHD content.

In the States, the satco pay TV provider DirecTV will offer a handful of UHD titles in its on-demand library, available on select Samsung UHD TV sets. DirecTV will offer 20 titles, including the “Star Trek” from 2009, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Forrest Gump,” “Coral Reef Adventure” and “The Ultimate Wave Tahiti.”

In Germany, Sky Deutschland will broadcast live coverage of a concert in 4K resolution next month. The broadcast will appear on German TV from Fanta 4’s December 20th concert in Stuttgart’s Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle. According to the release, the concert will be broadcast in 4K resolution to “select homes” as well as pubs and bars, via the Sky Sports pay TV channel. The concerts and behind-the-scenes footage, all filmed in 4K, will be released later in cinema theaters in Germany.

Satcos SES in Brazil and Sky (formerly BSkyB) in the UK have also made statements about launching 4K video services. SES has launched a new satellite, reportedly in anticipation of delivering 4K services to subscribers. Sky has participated in a number of UHD broadcasts for special events, such as Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League tie with Olympiakos back in 2013.


4K Sales and Shipments Continue to Grow

4K deniers often point to a lack of UHD content as one of the reasons it’s still “too early” for 4K, but it looks like UHD content is becoming available in tandem with growth in 4K TV set sales.

Also out this week ….

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Is This the Future? Free Local TV Stations & Low Cost OTT Apps

- LG, Antennae Direct & Local Stations’ Association Spread the ‘Gospel of Free Broadcast TV’
– Add a Low-Cost TiVo DVR for $50 plus $14.99/Month
– Could This Combo Accelerate the Decline of Linear Pay TV?

Looking at the almost 150,000 fewer pay TV subscribers that Leichtman Research Group reported for 2014’s third quarter, we have to ask: in three years, how many residences will have a combination of free TV via antennae that receive 20-40 local TV stations plus several low-cost OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and the occasional movie rental or purchase from iTunes, Vudu or Amazon? Having cut the cord and watched only local OTA TV stations for six months, we always thought that there’d be a lot more cord-cutting if more consumers could see how many channels they could get for free with antennae and how good the video quality is. The combination of free TV from the local channels and low-cost OTT services is a powerful combination, especially when a DVR, also low cost, is added that records the local channels and has apps for most of the popular OTT services.

Antennas Direct, TVfreedom.org and LG will kick off a 25 city “Broadcast TV Liberation Tour” with 1,000 antennae being given away on Sunday, November 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. The tour’s objective is to show consumers the variety and video quality of local broadcast channels. See: http://www.tvfreedom.org/docs/antennaGiveaway.pdf

Antennas Direct says OTA broadcasts to antennae mean “No contracts, no commitments, no monthly fees…just free HDTV.”

The first 1,000 who attend the event will receive a free digital broadcast TV antenna (C2-V model) and will be able to enter a drawing for an LG 42-inch LED flat-panel HDTV.

TVfreedom’s members are mainly associations of local TV stations that the networks do not own. See: http://www.tvfreedom.org/members.php

Antennas Direct makes it own line of patented antennae. Its founder and president, Richard Schneider, started the business four years ago in his basement. He said his company “has sold more antennas in September this year than we did our first four years combined in business.” He added, “One of the fastest growing trends in video content right now is an increasing demand for free, high-definition broadcast television. We can’t wait to spread the gospel of free broadcast television across the country.”

The ClearStream 2V Long Range UHF/VHF Antenna that Antennas Direct
Is Giving Away on the Road Show

Antennas Direct’s $89.99 ClearStream 2V has a range of 50 miles and can be installed outdoors or indoors, such as in the attic. It’s a compact 20-inch x 12-inch (35-inch with raised dipoles for VHF signal reception). The company said, “No other antenna exists can rival its dual-band [UHF/VHF] performance” and it “offers the power and efficiency normally found in antennas up to 10 times its size.”

The Online Reporter asked Schneider how many antennae the company had sold in September. He said, “We shipped a little over 70,000 antennas in September. And yes there is a ‘wave’ for over-the-air. Our year-to-date units shipped are double versus 2013. There has been a growing demand for an alternative to pay TV, and digital over-the-air is a big part of that.”

Let’s see. During the third quarter the major US pay TV services lost almost 150,000 subscribers — an average of 50,000 a month — and Antennas Direct sold over 70,000 antennae in one month of the quarter. Perhaps there is a wave.

So much for Aereo!

The “cord never” crowd may not be buying antennae to watch the local TV stations but it’s certain that most “cord cutters” still want to get programs from the big four national TV networks, major sporting events plus local sports, news, traffic and weather — live TV. (Or, are they getting those on the Net?)

Most new TVs have an on-screen guide for local stations. However, one of the first things cord cutters will miss is a DVR and an advanced on-screen TV guide that lets them specify in advance to record a show or season of shows. The antenna tour could have invited TiVo, which has a DVR that is designed specifically for over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts including an on-screen TV guide and a unified search function that looks for programs that are broadcast, already recorded on the DVR or available on the most popular OTT services, not including iTunes and Vudu. It’s $49.99 with a one year commitment to TiVo’s service at $14.99 a month.

Up Front Costs $s
Antenna                    89.99
TiVo OTA DVR       49.99 optional for those wanting a DVR

Monthly Costs
TiVo service            14.99 optional for those wanting a DVR
Netflix                      8.99
Hulu Plus                7.99
Amazon Prime       8.25 99.99 a year including free shipping on thousands of items at Amazon.com
YouTube                 free

Plus the occasional purchase or rental from iTunes, M-Go, Vudu or Amazon
Many consumers will not subscribe to all three OTT services.

Consumers can register many…

 

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 905

 

TOR905front

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Is This the Future? Free Local TV Stations & Low Cost OTT Apps

Kaltura Sees Content Owners Look for OTT Opportunity Off YouTube’

UHD

Roku Adds NanoTech’s Iron Dragon TV Channel

DirecTV Names Its First UHD Titles

Best Buy Set to Sell Lots of UHD TVs in Q4

Best Buy’s UHD TV Efforts

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

OTT

Vimeo Funds Its First Original Series

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

BROADBAND BEAT

Comcast Wins the Speed Race over AT&T in South Bay

Broadband & Phone Services Costs Substantially Less in Toulouse, France than in North Oakland

Wave Offers 1 Gbps in Parts of Seattle

Cox Lights up Several Thousand Wi-Fi Hotspots

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

More on M-GO’s UHD Offering

Mobile Devices to Get USB that Streams 4K to a TV

Amazon: Fire TV Stick Is Sold Out!

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Will Broadband Networks Be Ready for 706m Internet TV Households by 2020?

Netflix Accounts for 35% of Wireline Broadband Traffic

Service Providers Add 700k in Broadband Subs, Lose 150k in Pay TV Subs

75% of NBC’s Gotham’ Audience Time-Shifted First Episode

YouTube Usage Spurs UPC Hungary to Roll out App to All STBs

OTT Services to Reach $10b in Revenue in 2018

DIGI GRAMS

UHD TVs to Help Best Buy’s Sales during Holidays

Intel Merging Mobile Processors Operation into PC Unit

Digital Screens Touts CDN in OTT Launch

Nielsen: Viewers of All Ages Are Leaving Traditional TV

The Bald-Faced Falsehood That Localism Is a Myth’

Network TV Could Get Smarter with New Nielsen Data on OTT Views

Netflix Launch Could Boost Awareness and Demand for Other Streaming Services

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Two 200+ Mbps Copper Technologies Available to Telcos

What telco with a copper-wire based broadband network wouldn’t love to be offering 200/100 Mbps down/up right now?

Cablecos’ DOCSIS broadband technology currently offers subscribers much faster speeds than the telcos’ xDSL copper wire speeds, which is helping cablecos take market share in the lucrative broadband market everywhere they compete against a telco’s copper wire networks. Many cablecos have begun increasing the speeds they offer to 100 Mbps and higher at no additional charge. Until recently, it appeared that telcos with copper wire networks had only these choices:

– Build all-fiber networks, a very expensive, disruptive and time consuming task but one that is certainly future proof.

– Deploy vectored VDSL2, which requires fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence, is available now and gets them into the 60 to 100 Mbps range, probably good enough for the “4K era” but not for the longer term.

– Quietly and over time exit the lucrative broadband service market as most of their subscribers switch to a cableco’s faster speeds — something that’s not likely.

– Wait until 2016/2017/2018 when they can start upgrading to G.fast networks that have gigabit potential. G.fast requires telcos to run fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence.

 

Vplus – filling gap between VDSL2 Vectoring and G.Fast

 

Telcos will soon have two copper wire broadband technologies that have the same physical architecture — fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence and the existing copper phone wires from there to inside the residence (no technician is needed to enter the residence):
Lantiq’s VDSL-based VINAX dp, which is available now
Alcatel-Lucent’s upcoming VDSL-based Vplus
G.fast from a number of chip and equipment makers with its 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps potential will be available in quantity in a year or so

There is a sizeable gap between the 80 to 100 Mbps capable vectored VDSL that’s shipping now and the 1 Gbps G.fast that’s coming in 2015/2016. The gaps exist in availability, speed and costs.

Chipmaker Lantiq and equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent have each developed technologies that cost less than G.fast to deploy and offer speeds of at least 200 Mbps…

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