4k Live Sport Demand Gains Momentum

Originally viewed as a vehicle for the streaming of VOD content, 4k is rapidly becoming the medium of choice for discerning viewers of live sports action.

Recent examples involve a number of NHL (hockey) and basketball games in 4K live streaming, as well as English Premier League (EPL) also starting to stream live matches in the Ultra HD format.

Further evidence of the growing momentum for live sports 4K is found on a recent Net Insight announcement. The company has been selected by a leading global service provider for a new arena contribution network. Net Insight’s media transport solution will connect 20 stadiums over optical fiber to enable 4k and HD broadcasts.

You can read more about this announcement here.

Summer Fun Gadgets to Keep you Cool!

Summer is here! It’s time for BBQs, lazing on hot days and weekends, taking a dip in the pool and meeting up with friends. It’s chill time… or is it?

Will you be able to turn off, shut down, log out and take a digital detox? It’s possible you don’t wan to. Or – maybe your work-life balance scale is too heavily tipped in the direction of the office.

Whatever your circumstances or preferences this summer – there are plenty of fun gizmos around that can help you beat the heat – and the occasional shower of rain or wave – and even some that can keep you connected if you just have to take that call.

Here are our three of favorites:

  • For the ‘ultimate shut out’, the waterproofed iPod shuffle swim kit keeps your music playing to a depth of 210 feet. No one is going to ring your bell and get you on the phone down there – even if you could hear it!
  • Can’t leave the phone more that arms reach away? Nervous that there’s no power outlet on the beach? What you need is The EchoCharge+! It even comes with a flashlight for any of you avid hikers out there!
  • What do the theme from Endless Summer, Wipe Out and Soul Limbo all have in common? They’re all beach tunes and benefit from a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Take a gander at a few options
  • Why not commemorate all of the good times this summer? Or maybe just those selfies by the pool. Check out the Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer.

Do you own any of these, or would you pick some up to get the season started? Is there anything you would add to this collection? Let us know.

Geo-Blocking Attacked on All Sides

It is a given, that when a market is nascent, any kind of obstacle can be a serious barrier to wider adoption of the product or service.

Take OTT and VoD for example. Many people, for an insignificant monthly sum, subscribe to a live sports service. Last month, one of our VisiTechians was vacationing in Tenerife and decided to watch some UK Premier League Soccer. Except, he couldn’t. He was blocked due to his location.

This got our curiosity going, so we did some research on geo-blocking. One thing we learned was that almost a quarter (23%) of Internet users in Germany wanted to watch videos on the net, which turned out to be inaccessible due to geo-blocking. In Germany alone there are around 25 million Internet users, or nearly one in two, that watch video on the Internet.

Two thirds (66%) of the geo-blocked internet users wanted to watch movies, almost half of them (47%) music videos. An additional 10% tried to access entertainment programmes, 8% sports and 7% a series.

Don’t think this is a big deal? Well, actually, it is. With more than 500 million people in Europe, that is a BIG market being geo-blocked! Content owners are being deprived of satisfied users and, more importantly, substantial revenues.

There are a lot of issues in play here – mostly political and financial. It’s all about making content pay its way in each of the EU member states. And then there are the copyright laws….

Some would say that geo-blocking is a minefield built on quicksand. Others would say that the growing OTT/VOD market is being artificially and unnecessarily held back.

What would you say? Have you ever been geo-blocked? Let us know your thoughts.

Tech Ideas to Help You Celebrate 4th July

Here at VisiTech PR, we enjoy gathering friends and family for some grilling and fun on 4th of July. Being the geek as we are, we’ve put together our 2016 tech guide that will help you throw a great 4th of July party:

  • Master the grill: controlling the grill temperature and multitasking between flipping burgers and brats is no easy feat. With iGrill, a Bluetooth remote grilling thermometer to make sure the food is just right
  • Do it in style: this “tactical” chef’s apron has storage to support everything from your smartphone, barbecue spices to even a beer
  • Have your own Indoor firework display: will the weather be bad or are you nowhere near a good firework display party? No problem, this indoor lightshow launcher the party is guaranteed
  • Stargaze with authority: fireworks are great but there’s a vast universe out there waiting to be explored. With these 10 Free Astronomy Apps for Stargazing you can tell Venus from Alpha Centuri

How is tech going to help you celebrate this 4th of July?

Flagship LATAM Media Show ABTA Back in Sao Paulo 29 June

ABTA, the leading event for Latin America’s pay-TV, broadband and media markets, is now in its 24th year and will once again focus on innovation in video services, new technologies, on-demand content distribution platforms such as IPTV and OTT as well as distribution of linear, non-linear and high-definition content.

This year the show is expecting more than 100 exhibitors and some 5,000 visitors from around the globe to converge on the Transamérica Expo Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The exhibition will be supported by a full three-day conference program featuring panel debates and keynote addresses from industry leaders.

Our top conference picks include:

  • Pay TV in a year of Olympics and challenges
  • User experience and digital services
  • Embracing the reality of on-demand content

Are you attending ABTA 2016? Share with us your thoughts on the key topics for this year’s event.

Cable Congress 2016 to Promote Disruption, Innovation and Engagement

Cable Congress 2016 will open its doors next week with a lot of changes from last year’s show. Reflecting an increased dynamism in the industry, each day of the event will be defined by a different keynote theme: Disruption, Innovation and Engagement.

The show is also placing emphasis on the networking opportunities presented to the expected 800 delegates. This includes the Congress Party along with roundtable debates and “speed networking” options, and the Cable Congress Gala Evening.

And when it comes to innovation, Cable Congress will also recognize the companies with the best and most innovative products at an award ceremony, as well as honour the dedication and contribution of an individual to the European cable industry.

Share with us what you want to see at the show this year.

Unifying Standards for Media Streaming Across Multiple Devices

The rapidly growing market for media streaming is throwing up many challenges for operators and content owners to deliver OTT TV across multiple application and streaming, particularly with content owners currently having to produce and store identical content in a slightly different formats.

A milestone has been reached in finding a solution following the recent meeting of the Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG) where a specification for the Common Media Application Format (CMAF) was agreed.

The new CMAF specification will eliminate that effort and at the same time improve overall interoperability and efficiency for content delivery networks (CDNs) with the ultimate result that viewers will enjoy an OTT even better experience.

The move to the new CMAF standard is anticipated to be swift as evidenced by leading industry players, including Edgeware, announcing support for the new format. You can read more here.

Father’s Day Gifts That Techie Dads Will Love

With under a week to go until Father’s Day, there is no shortage of suggestions and ideas for that ‘special’ gift. To inspire your shopping, our team has put together the ultimate tech gift guide.

  • For the ultra connected dad: this charging dock supports up to five devices – including smartphones and tablets
  • For the forgetful dad: the Bluetooth-enabled Tile pairs with your smartphone and reversely helps find misplaced items, including keychains
  • For the athletic dad: this fitness tracker maps routes and keeps track of activity statistics

What will you give your dad? Share your gift ideas with us below.

ANGA COM 2016 Closes Doors on Highly Successful Show

ANGA COM 2016, the Exhibition and Congress for Broadband, Cable & Satellite has closed its doors on yet another highly successful show – the 15th as Europe’s leading business platform for Broadband Operators and Content Providers.

For the 17,000 visitors ANGA COM’s Congress played host to 26 panel debates on topics such as Cloud TV, UHDTV, Internet of Things, 5G and WiFi and also featured a re-designed International Television and Broadband Summit. As well as the speaker program visitors were able to see product and application demonstrations spread over 27,000 square metres of exhibition space.

With the market in the middle of a technology transition, the key takeaways of the show included:

  • New opportunities for a market entry, to grow revenues and increase customer loyalty with compelling new services being launched.
  • New growth opportunities for pay-TV operators in Europe who are positioned to provide consumers with the services they want, anytime, and on any screen.
  • How to expand regional footprints and income streams.
  • ‘Cable Agenda 2018’ which provided insight on the future of the cable market.

Did you attend the show this year? Tell us what impacted you?

What to Expect at InfoComm 2016

The Internet of Things will make its presence felt at InfoComm 2016, June 4-10 in Las Vegas. Show organizers expect nearly 1,000 exhibitors, occupying more than 500,000 net square feet of show space, making it the largest AV tradeshow in North America. So what can you expect to see?

Well, it is clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) will figure highly and with Berg Insight predicting over 40 million smart homes in North America come 2020, InfoComm16 will include IoT themes in its ‘Super Tuesday’.

It’s a big show and to hone in on your key interests InfoComm16 has set up 10 Technology Pavilions to make it easier to navigate to where you want to be. These include Audio, Digital Signage, Drones and an Innovation Showcase.Speaking of drones, the show will have demo sessions that display the technology and commercial applications for drones.

Finally, check out the Education and Conference Schedules. InfoComm has always been big on education and 2016 has even more sessions on the latest industry trends featuring key speakers from the leading players.

What are you most excited about to see at the show? Leave us a comment below!