+ All Categories
Home > Documents > Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative,...

Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative,...

Date post: 21-Aug-2020
Upload: others
View: 1 times
Download: 0 times
Share this document with a friend
jan/feb 2013 Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source DVB-NGH OTT vs payTV regulation Middle East market focus Ka-band in Europe www.csimagazine.com
Page 1: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

jan/feb 2013

Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source





T v

s pa








t m


t foc



nd in










Page 2: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

ConferenceAd.indd 1 15/02/2013 16:06:53

Page 3: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by


12 Analyst cornerAll-OTT isn’t an option so channels need to find the right balance between streaming and broadcasting

14 OTT vs payTV regulationIs it time new rules were created that reflect a chang-ing TV landscape?

18 Ka-bandA look at the applications and market opportunities in Europe as it gains in popularity

22 Middle East market focusOperators have to overcome limited broadband infra-structure and widespread access to free and illegal broadcasting to bring OTT to the region

26 ViewpointAggregating second screen experiences as part of a top-level TV platform application for broadcasters

27 Conference reviewHighlights and the main talking points of CSI’s first conference on TV accessibility services

34 COVER STORY: Cable gateways and the RDKBy promising to significantly shorten development cycles for next-gen cable STBs, the RDK initiative also has broader implications for cable in an IP world

36 DVB-NGHWe explore the business case of the DVB’s new stand-ard. Also, an expert gives his thoughts on page 40

48 Q&A: Dr Leonardo ChiariglioneThe MPEG co-founder on the technology’s future, HEVC, 3D and why the industry should be less selfish

49 Events diaryDetails of all the key events taking place in 2013

EditorGoran Nastic

Commercial managerTiro Bestonso

Design and productionMatt Mills (Manager)Jason TuckerMatleena Lilja-PellingKeem Chung

Regular contributorsAdrian Pennington, Philip Hunter, David Adams, Stephen Cousins,

CirculationJoel Whitefoot (Manager) AccountsMarilou Tait, Lynta Kamaray

Editorialtel +44(0)20 7562 2401fax +44(0)20 7374 [email protected]

Advertisingtel +44(0)20 7562 2427fax +44(0)20 7374 [email protected]

Subscriptionstel +44 (0)20 7562 2420fax +44 (0)20 7374 [email protected] www.csimagazine.com

Subscription ratesPer year: Europe £88; UK £68; Rest of World £98. Cheques payable to Perspective Publishing Limited and addressed to the Circulation Department Printed by Buxton Press

Managing DirectorJohn WoodsPublishing DirectorMark EvansISSN 1467-5935

Perspective Publishing3 London Wall BuildingsLondonEC2M 5PDwww.perspectivepublishing.com

Editor’s report:Out with the old and in with the new... Just as 2012 closed on something of a bang with the announcement that Arris would acquire the Motorola Home business unit for $2.35 billion (a move that admittedly didn’t come as a shock to most), so 2013 started with the news of even greater magnitude in the service provider space in the form of Liberty Global’s purchase of Virgin Media. The move has historic precedence as Liberty has attempted it in the past,

and while it is by far the biggest story of the year, many analysts are questioning the impact it will have on both Virgin and the payTV market in the UK. For Liberty, this latest consolidation creates further econo-mies of scale and makes it the world’s largest cable service provider, ahead of Comcast, which for its part remains one of the most progressive operators on the planet. The most recent manifestation of this is the company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic

CSI is audited by ABC







jan/feb 2013

Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source


T s




te in










thecover.indd 2 15/02/2013 14:26:34

Page 4: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by


in North Hall:

CONFERENCES April 6–11, 2013 / EXHIBITS April 8–11Las Vegas Convention Center / Las Vegas, Nevada USA

Use Code PA10

It’s all about ME, and how the Mobile Experience is energizing the transformation of Media & Entertainment. Second screens and Social TV are enhancing television with interactive content and applications. Broadcasters and new services alike are making more programming available, fueling the fl ight from appointment-based viewing.

From collaboration to connectivity, continue your evolution at NAB Show® with technologies to Meet Expectations for OTT delivery of dynamic content that thrives in Multiple Environments. It’s a Marketplace Energized…addressing broadband challenges related to the distribution of online video and streaming media, including solutions to harness big data and capitalize on the cloud. Give yourself something to smile about. Register today!

Page 5: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

Sky gains 25,000 OTT subs

BskyB added 25,000 subscribers

to its new Now TV streaming

service, which accounted for half

of the company’s total customer

adds in Q4 2012. The over-the-

top service (OTT) should gain in

popularity as Sky plans to launch

sport on Now TV later this year,

following beta testing which

started in December. When Sky

Sports is made available on the

platform, probably by early

summer, customers will be able to

have unlimited access to all six

Sky Sports channels for a 24-hour

period for £9.99 each time. The

24-hour pass is the first time that

Sky Sports has been available

with no contract. The internet TV

service currently provides access

to Sky Movies.

Leading players in the Latin American

pay-TV industry have joined forces to

combat free-to-air piracy plaguing the


The newly created Alianza Contra

la Piratería de Televisión Paga

(Alliance Against Pay-TV Piracy) will

try tackle the illegal use of FTA

satellite receivers that decrypt pay

television signals, illegally and

without authorisation.

The Alianza brings together most

of the major players in the pay-TV

industry and creates a framework for

broader industry collaboration in the

fight against FTA piracy. PayTV

operators such as DirecTV,

Telefonica, SKY Brasil and VTR will

work with content owners including

Discovery, ESPN, FOX, HBO and

Globosat . Together, they aim to

support law enforcement actions

against FTA pirates, enhance public

awareness of FTA piracy, and

collaborate with anti-FTA initiatives

of country-specific pay-tv


The Alianza expands upon a

collaboration between DIRECTV

and NAGRA, a provider of security

solutions, which joined forces in

2010 to leverage each other’s anti-

piracy expertise and personnel to

combat FTA piracy in South

America. It hopes to provide updates

and results on the progress made at


According to estimates, piracy

accounts for up to 20% of the pay-TV

market in the region, with FTA

piracy being one of the principal

forms of piracy faced by the industry.

Since 2010, over 50 brands of pirated

FTAs have appeared on the market

in Latin America. FTA piracy

is driven by international

manufacturers of FTA receivers

and the organised networks that

distribute and support the use of

these receivers for unauthorised


LatinAm alliance tackles payTV piracy


Page 6: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

BT attracts 21,000 YouView subs

BT has added 21,000 customers

to its BT Vision IPTV service, of

which 60,000 have taken up a

YouView connected box, which

was launched by the telco last

July. In its last financial update,

BT said it had total of over

750,000 Vision subscribers,

which represent some 12% of the

company’s broadband user base.

At last count, rival ISP Talk Talk

had installed 29,000 YouView

boxes. Both service providers

offer the boxes for free as part of

their broadband bundles.

Connected TV metadata

Red Bee Media will provide

metadata services for Samsung’s

new range of Smart TVs across

13 European markets under a

new multi-year deal. Red Bee will

provide EPG content to power

content discovery for over 2,500

channels in 23 languages in

territories such as the UK,

France, Germany, the

Netherlands and the Nordic

region to make TV content easily

searchable, and includes

customised recommendations

and voice navigation. The

agreement marks a wider shift in

focus by Samsung and other

smart TV manufacturers from

purely content to the overall user


Telenor’s new CEO

Morten Tengs has been named as

the new CEO at Telenor Satellite

Broadcasting (TSBc), succeeding

Cato Halsaa who retires this

summer after a long spell at the

Nordic operator. Tengs comes

from Telenor’s regional office in

Bangkok, where he was senior VP

for Asia, in Bangkok. He has

been with the Group since 1995

and has held a number of

executive positions.

06 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


Japan plans first UHDTV broadcast as HEVC is standardisedThe Japanese government is

planning the world’s first ultra-high

definition TV broadcasts as early as

the middle of next year, in time for

the football World Cup. The news

comes as the HEVC compression

standard was officially approved by

the ITU last week, which is expected

to drive UHDTV, as well as over-the-

top video delivery.

The broadcast launch of the

Japanese service is roughly two

years ahead of schedule, according

to The Telegraph, citing a report in

the local Asahi newspaper. The

programmes will begin from

communications satellites to

coincide with the Brazil world cup,

followed by satellite broadcasting

and ground digital broadcasting.

Japan’s Ministry of Internal

Affairs and Communications had

initially aimed to start the 4K TV

service in 2016, but that has been

brought forward to July 2014 for the

football world cup final. Japan now

plans to launch 8K TV broadcast in


UHDTV, also known as 4K, offers

definition four times higher than that

of current high definition TV. The

technology was one of the main

talking point at this year’s CES show,

where all major TV manufacturers

showed capable models.

The BBC and Sky have

undertaken trials of sporting events,

including the Olympics and football

from Arsenal’s Emirates stadium,

although with no commercial

services announced so far. Satellite

operator Eutelsat recently launched a

dedicated ultra HD demo channel for


Meanwhile, the International

Telecommunications Union officially

approved High Efficiency Video

Coding (HEVC), also known as

H.265, which is expected to boost

adoption of UHDTV and higher-

resolution video in mobile devices as

it uses only half the bit rate of


As expected, the standard was

ratified at a meeting in Geneva on 25

January. ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has

agreed first-stage approval (consent)

of the standard known formally as

Recommendation ITU-T H.265 or

ISO/IEC 23008-2. It is the product

of collaboration between the ITU

Video Coding Experts Group

(VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving

Picture Experts Group (MPEG).


Collaborative Team on Video Coding

(JCT-VC) will continue work on a

range of extensions to HEVC,

including support for 12-bit video,

4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma formats, as

well as the progression of HEVC

towards scalable video coding.

Audio loudness gains ground in EuropeBelgium’s VRT has become the

latest public broadcaster to embrace

the EBU’s R 128 Loudness


The Flemish language

broadcaster join’s the country’s

French speaking services in

adopting the standard, which

prevents the fluctuations in volume

when changing channels or across

content such as ad breaks on the

same channel.

It means the Loudness

Recommendation is gaining in

traction throughout Europe, with

R 128 now in force in France,

Germany, Austria, Switzerland,

the Netherlands, the Spanish

Autonomous Community of

Catalonia and now the whole

of Belgium, Broadcast Engineer


The technology standard involves

adjusting audio levels against

averages rather than peaks by using

loudness meters instead of traditional

peak meters.

Meanwhile, Spain’s national

broadcaster TVE recently made a

significant investment in Jünger

Audio’s loudness control technology,

which it is using to normalise the

audio across a number of its

television channels.

TVE has been using Jünger

technology since 2003, but during

2012 it actively embraced HD

broadcasting and as a result

upgraded its B40 and B46 processors

to incorporate SDI boards, making

them more compatible with existing

Dolby products.

Page 7: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Exhibition and Congressfor Broadband, Cable & Satellite

4 –6 June 2013Cologne/Germany





•New: ConnectedHomeSummit

Europe‘sleading Business Platform for Broad- band and Content for more than

10 years

ANGAServicesGmbH,Nibelungenweg2,50996Köln /Germany

Tel.+49221/998081-0,[email protected],www.angacom.de Kindlysupportedby

Untitled-5 1 11/02/2013 12:54:01

Page 8: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

Orange blocking OTT traffic

France Telecom-Orange is

reportedly restricting bandwidth

for online video services in

France. FT-Orange is limiting

OTT services such as YouTube as

part of a peering dispute with

Google and its internet backbone

provider Cogent Communications

according to press reports, which

suggest that the telco wants

Cogent to pay for the additional

traffic being generated by

streaming video services. It is

understood its decision to charge

for access has been backed up by

the French competition watchdog

Autorite de la Concurrence.

Nevion/T-VIPS merge

Scandinavian media transport

specialists Nevion and T-VIPS

have completed their merger,

which first surfaced last year,

under the Nevion name. The new

company will prepare customers

for the next generation of media

transport from acquisition to the

home, including integrated

solutions for managed media

services over IP, optical and

terrestrial networks. CEO Geir

Bryn-Jensen will continue to lead

the team while former T-VIPS

CEO Johnny Dolvik joins as

chief strategy officer.

SkyD, Deutsche deal

Deutsche Telekom will for the

first time feed in the programme

packages of Sky Deutschland for

its Entertain IPTV customers to

expand its sports offer. The

agreement starts in time for the

2013/14 football Bundesliga

season. Rights also including the

Champions League, Europa

League, as well as tennis and golf

content. Sky Film, Sky Welt and

Sky HD channels are also being

added to the Entertain platform,

running until mid-2017.

08 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


YouTube to launch payTV offerYouTube is ramping up its

proposition with plans to offers

some subscription based channels in

the second quarter of this year.

The company has invited a small

number of content producers to

submit proposals for channels that

would charge $1-$5 per month,

according to a report in the FT.

YouTube,which has until now

relied entirely on advertising, plans

to take about 45 per cent of

subscription revenues for itself and

give the rest to the channel producer.

It has in recent times begun an

original content initiative at a $100

million investment cost to help

attract users and advertisers,

including the launch of European


MondoMedia, a group that

produces off-beat adult cartoons, was

the most popular channel on

YouTube in one week in January with

6m views and has been seen 1.4bn

times since inception, said FT.

“We have long maintained that

different content requires different

types of payment models,” a

YouTube spokesperson was quoted

as saying. “There are a lot of our

content creators that think they

would benefit from subscriptions,

so we’re looking at that.”

The move would put the Google-

owned site into direct competition

with cable and satellite, as well as

streaming services such as Netflix

and Hulu.

First TV White Space equipmentA Japanese consortium has

developed the first prototypes of

base station and CPE based on the

IEEE 802.22 standard operating in

TV White Spaces.

The products for Wireless Regional

Area Network in the 470 MHz -710

MHz frequency range will provide

broadband wireless access to

underserved and unserved regional

areas around the world.

The National Institute of

Information and Communications

Technology (NICT), together

with Hitachi Kokusai Electric

and ISB, also aim to bring

reliable backup broadband

communications in emergency,

which will follow the worldwide

trend of promoting the TV white

spaces - the spectrum previously

used by analogue television -

for wireless communication


Regulators in Japan, the UK

and US among others have

initiated opening up these white

spaces to wireless communication

systems for efficient reuse of the

unused TV spectrum, which is

based on non-interfering with

broadcast incumbents’ operation.

The 802.22-2011standard was

published by the IEEE 802.22

Working Group for TVWS broad-

band wireless access to regional

areas where it is most needed and

where the TV spectrum is least

used. The IEEE 802.22 systems

offer around ten times the coverage

of Wi-Fi as well as enable to

provide reliable backup broadband

communications in emergency,

according to the group.

The three partners said they

will work closely with WhiteSpace

Alliance (WSA) to provide solutions

for worldwide markets.

Amazon launches cloud transcoding backhaulAmazon Web Services has launched

a new cloud video service aimed at

customers who want to convert video

into formats optimised to play on a

variety of devices.

The elastic transcoder solution

has the rise in video streaming

firmly in mind which the company

believes is easier and cheaper to do

in the cloud.

The new AWS service pricing

model is based on customers pay-

ing for what you use, rather than

signing up for a monthly service

package. Amazon is offering 20 min-

utes of free video to customers per

month. After that, customers are

charged between $0.015 and $0.036

per minute of video, with the price

varying based on the quality of video

and regions the video will be trans-


Meanwhile, upLynk has emerged

from stealth mode with the release of

an adaptive streaming platform that

it claims solves many of the problems

associated with current approaches

to multi-screen encoding.

The solution, HD Adaptive

Streaming, encodes video content in

the cloud using a single, non-proprie-

tary adaptive format that enables

video to play on all major platforms

and devices, eliminating the need to

encode a video multiple times or

repackage on the fly. ABC is already

using it for multi-screen delivery.

Page 9: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Driving Technology ForwardThe New Technology Agenda provides a comprehensive discussion and networking

opportunity to global technology professionals. Focused on bringing together industry

leaders to look at key technology trends and the market impact of these technologies over

the next five to ten years, this one day conference interrogates the business strategies that

will test the technologies of the future.

Register now - Save 15% and get the early bird registration

Early bird fee: £375+VAT(expires 1 March)

Standard fee: £445+VAT

t +44 207 424 2888

e [email protected]

w www.screendigest.com/events/sites/technologyevent/registration

IHS Electronics & Media Events

The New Technology Agenda16 April 2013 | British Museum, London

Programme highlights:

• Fireside chat discussion about User Interfaces• Panel session: Learn about what CTO’s want• Panel session: Multimedia Home Gateways and advanced user experiences• Panel session: The Future of Screens• Panel session: Codecs and distribution

Confirmed SpeakersFIRESIDE CHAT: Mycal Elliott, Senior Manager, User Experience, ROVI CORPORATIONJames Caselton, Head of Product and Partner Marketing, DOLBYVassilis Seferidis, Director, European Business, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICSThomas Wrede, Vice President, Reception Systems, SES ASTRASpeaker TBC, NDSSpeaker TBC, ERICSSONSpeaker TBC, CISCO

Untitled-1 1 18/02/2013 16:02:21

Page 10: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

Tablet TV to explode

According to new research from

TDG, 58 billion hours of TV and

video will be viewed on tablets in

2017, equal to 10% of all current

TV, video, and OTT

consumption, driving significant

changes in the business landscape

for television and online video.

TDG estimates that 65% of US

households will own tablets at the

end of 2017 and the average

number of tablets per household

will more than double from

current levels.

OTT for Vietnamese expats

VTC Digilink, part of Vietnamese

telco and media company VTC,

is teaming with China’s PPTV to

provide a global online TV

service that will serve an

estimated five million Vietnamese

immigrants worldwide. The

service package will include HD

TV channels and VoD content on

a subscription basis. It will be

hosted on the newly launched

PPTV Asian TV Networks

(ATN), a global over-the-top TV

cloud built on top of Microsoft

Windows Azure services.

Advanced satellite planned

Eutelsat will deploy a new

generation of advanced functions,

starting with the Eutelsat 8 West

B bird due for launch in 2015.

Benefits include mitigating the

effects of interference by

increasing control over uplink

frequencies to a satellite,

increasing the number of active

channels by optimising a satellite

payload’s use of the electrical

power generated by its solar

panels, and expanding options for

repositioning satellites with

frequency agile command

receivers, which will improve

coordination with other satellite


10 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


Costs a “growing concern” for multichannel operators Rising sports costs are not the only

reason for rising multichannel bills,

according to analysis by SNL

Kagan, which fears some worrying

times ahead for multichannel


Channels growth and growing

retransmission fees are both

weighing on the bottom line. By

2018, SNL estimates retrans will be

costing cable operators $4.90 per

sub per month (wholesale, not

what the consumer is paying),

which is almost on par with

ESPN’s licence fee of $5.13 in 2012.

As the table shows, operators in

1995 were delivering around 26

channels and paying about $7 per

sub per month in licence fees. By

2012, the number of channels had

grown to an average of 95 and the

associated costs to $34.

The average cost of a sports

channel has grown at a CAGR of

3.5% over the past decade, compared

to a 2.9% CAGR for all channels.

However, the five- and seven-year

CAGRs are actually smaller in sports

than the overall growth. Overall

then, costs are a growing concern

for multichannel operators.

Back in 1995, we estimate that

cable operators were getting a margin

of 76.3%, which has shrunk to below

50% in 2012.

SNL further points out that

average programming costs for the

top four operators grew at 4x the rate

of video ARPU in Q3 2012, a trend

that will continue, which is why Time

Warner Cable and others are looking

at dropping channels.

• In Europe, Belgian operator

Belgacom is dropping German public

broadcasters ARD and ZDF from its

IPTV service package over failure to

agree carriage fees. According to the

operator, the broadcasters were

demanding EUR1 million for

distribution of their channels over

the network, while Belgacom was

only offering €500,000, a gap too big

to come to agreement. Belgacom will

now start to carry the German RTL

channel instead over the space

vacated by ARD and ZDF in the

latest of such disputes in the region.

Cisco looks to the cloud with Videoscape UnityCisco has enhanced its core

Videoscape multi-screen platform by

adding a number of components that

were gained through the acquisition

of NDS last year.

The new release, called

Videoscape Unity, was unveiled at

the CES show and uses the power

of the cloud to deliver content to

managed and unmanaged devices

in a consistent way. It allows

for the ability to deliver more

advanced features such as

personalisation and integration

with social networks.

Also supported is multi-screen

cloud digital video recorder (DVR),

which Cisco expects to become a big

deal starting this year. The company

will be trialling the technology with

leading customers in EMEA in the

first half of 2013, with commercial

availability to following by year-end,

according to Nick Thexton, CTO of

Cisco’s Service Provider Video

Technology Group. Thexton expects

the cloud based deployments around

Videoscape Unity functionality to

increase throughout the next 12

months, although he was quick to

point out the firm belief that the set-

top box/home gateway were not

going away any time soon (indeed

part of the bundle is a new hybrid

QAM/IP video gateway for

transcoding and distributing content

to IP devices inside the home).

On a wider level, Thexton argued

that the flexibility and open

standards will differentiate the end-

to-end solution from competitors

such as Microsoft and other smaller


Cisco is also looking at how these

offers can be hosted as a service.

Programming Cost Analysis For Cable MSOs, 1995-2012

1995 201215 YearCAGR‘98-’12

10 YearCAGR‘03-’12

7 YearCAGR’06-’12

5 YearCAGR‘08-’12

Cable video ARPU ($) 28.85 71.45 5.1 4.4 4.0 3.9

Cable retrans. costs/sub ($) 0.00 2.00 - - 81.2 69.1

Cable net prog.cost/sub ($) 6.83 33.78 8.9 8.0 7.9 7.4

Total cablenet& retrans/sub ($) 6.83 35.78 9.3 8.7 8.9 8.7

COGS (%) 23.7 50.1 4.0 4.1 4.7 4.6

Margin (%) 76.3 49.9 (2.3) (2.9) (3.5) (3.8)

Retrans % of Cable ARPU (%) 0.0 2.8 - - 74.2 62.7

Cablenet % of Cable ARPU (%) 23.7 47.3 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.4

© 2013 SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, estimates. All rights reserved.

Page 11: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

Netflix vs LoveFilm

Netflix has more TV shows and

series, while LoveFilm has a

better film selection according to

Oric. Netflix had 925 TV seasons

compared with LoveFilm’s 589,

of which 210 were available

across both services. LoveFilm,

on the other hand, offers 3,284

film titles compared with 1,668 at

Netflix. There were 260 movies

available across both, as the two

providers fight for the OTT video

land grab in the UK. In the US,

Netflix has a catalogue of 14,142

titles, while Amazon Instant

Prime offers its customers 13,185

subscription streaming films.

10m UHDTV homes by 2016

Ultra High Definition TV sets

will be installed in nearly 10m

households worldwide by 2016

and 130 million by 2020,

according to Strategy Analytics.

Global annual sales of UHD TVs

will first break through the one

million barrier in 2015 and by

2020 they will exceed 50 million

units. While most early TV sets

will be priced at more than

$10,000, prices will fall below

$2,000 within the next five years,

dominated by 60-100” displays.

Smart home nodes on the up

Almost 150m smart home nodes,

mainly focused on energy

management applications, will be

shipped between 2010 and 2017,

according to IMS Research. This

includes a range of devices from

HVAC controls, such as smart

thermostats and radiator controls,

to energy measurement devices

such as smart plugs and in-home

displays. Home monitoring and

security applications will drive

the second highest proportion of

node shipments. Systems that

consolidate these applications

will drive the market longer-term.


100m smart TVs in use globallyThere are now more than one hundred

million smart TVs installed in homes

worldwide, according to Strategy

Analytics. By the end of 2012, the

global installed base of smart TVs had

reached 104 million.

In leading markets like the US

household penetration now exceeds

20%, although Strategy Analytics

predicts that annual smart TV sales

in China will exceed those of the US

this year and will grow to more than

twice the size of the US market in

2017, driven by the cost advantage of

ARM and Android and the abundant

content on the Android ecosystem

allowing Chinese TV manufacturers

to offer affordable but compelling

smart TV products. Chinese TV

manufacturers like Hisense, TCL and

Skyworth are embracing Android,

the analysts noted.

Smart TV technology is now

included in an ever increasing

number of flat panel TVs, as the

production cost of smart TVs is only

marginally higher than non-smart


China to lead 4K×2K TV adoptionMore than half a million 4K×2K TVs

are forecast to ship worldwide this

year, growing to more than seven

million by 2016, according to NPD


China is forecast to lead in

demand for 4K×2K TVs, with

shipments forecast to grow from

333,000 in 2013 to more than 2.6

million in 2016. The highest 4K×2K

adoption is expected in China, Japan

and Western Europe, as these regions

typically prefer the latest highly-

featured products. North America is

forecast to follow, with just over 2

million forecast to ship in 2016.

Sony, LG, Samsung, and Sharp

are all moving forward with this

technology, as are other Japanese

and leading Chinese brands. Initial

efforts in test broadcasting and

standardisation are also underway,

noted NPD.

“The efforts throughout the supply

chain for 4K×2K have begun to

align,” said Paul Gray, Director of

TV Electronics Research. “Panel

makers are producing 4K×2K screen

sizes ranging from 50-110”, and

there is also a push to increase TV

content. The availability of content

is key to consumer adoption of

4K×2K TVs, and TV manufacturers

are anxious to prevent any potential

delays that could stall adoption, as

was the case with 3DTVs.”

While several announcements

about proprietary 4K×2K

streaming and download services

were made at CES, satellite and

cable services from established

providers will take some time.

UHD will be only a niche for satelliteDespite much hype, ultra HD

channels represent only a niche

opportunity for satellite companies,

according to a new report from NSR,

looking to add a dose of realism.

The analysts expect just 15

channels demanded by the global

cable TV, IPTV and DTH industries

combined in 2015. The satellite side

of the market is forecast to reach

$412 million in 2025 from an $8.2

million revenue base in 2015.

Early offshoots come from TV

manufacturers and cameras, as well

as a Eutelsat’s launch of a dedicated

UltraHD channel to benefit the

broadcasting chain. But an uncertain

return on investment (ROI) will

contribute to a slow adoption of the

new video format by the payTV

industry, NSR said, adding that it is

content owners and service providers

that will have to take on the risk

associated with driving the market.

“At this stage of the market cycle,

there does not seem to be enough

impetus towards substantial

investments,” said report author Jose

Del Rosario.

While the market should begin to

grow at higher levels, the

percentage of ultraHD channels

compared to SD and HD channels

will remain very small, with

minimal impact in revenues and

channel carriage.

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 11

Smart TV Installed Base Forecast: Selected Countries in 2012

Smart TV Installed Base by Country(Millions of Units)


Japan 21.1

United States 15.8

China 13.8

Germany 7.1

UK 6.8

France 4.2

South Korea 3.5

Russia 3.1

Italy 2.9

Spain 2.7

Source: Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service, December 2012

Page 12: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Terrestrial broadcast is

expensive. Very expensive.

For channels, satellite

transmission is a relatively

minor cost relative to the

total cost base of the

business, but a 24-hour

Freeview slot on the UK terrestrial network is

many millions. And do we even need a terrestrial

broadcast network? Some recent reports have

suggested that terrestrial broadcast in the UK be

scrapped, replaced by multicast streaming

(effectively broadcast over IP) and the spectrum

used for other (even more lucrative) purposes.

National IP multicast has yet to become an

option in the UK, but OTT Unicast streaming is

already well established. I have previously (in CSI

November-December) highlighted the issues of

scaling Unicast delivery to platform levels.

But an analysis of individual channels based on

their actual viewer consumption, paints a different

at the single channel level. Indeed, half the

channels rated by BARB in the UK could today

fulfil actual viewing demand using unicast OTT

streaming at a lower cost base than using satellite,

let alone terrestrial. And many more are close to

the inflection point where streaming would

become cheaper. Of the 192-BARB rated

channels, only 58 are above a threshold of 1.5

times the cost of satellite broadcast to switch to

OTT alone. Meaning that on a purely individual

basis for the low-to mid consumption UK

channels a switch to OTT-only could become an

option in the longer term.

It would be safe to conclude, further, that the

majority of channels not rated by BARB

(generally lower viewership operations) would

also save by using Unicast.

By extension, then, paying the considerable

additional cost for a terrestrial slot must tip the

balance even further in favour of streaming? Well,

no. In fact the complete opposite is true: The

considerable additional cost of terrestrial

transmission does not tip the balance in favour of

OTT because the viewing uplift and vastly

increased consumption driven by a terrestrial feed

mean fulfilling real demand becomes more

challenging for Unicast.

The cost/benefit of terrestrial broadcast

remains extremely favourable. Channels are in the

business of getting watched by as many people as

possible. Their dual income streams of carriage

and advertising both rely on maximum reach.

Analysis of the 35 BARB-rated channels

that also have terrestrial carriage shows that

to deliver the actual programming consumed

on a weekly basis via OTT would be more

expensive for 27 of the 35 channels assuming

an SD feed and for 22 of the 35 channels

assuming a more expensive HD feed. There’s

a little chicken and egg question here: Is it the

terrestrial broadcast that creates the viewer

uplift or is it the existing consumption pattern

that makes terrestrial broadcast justifiable?

The evidence suggests a good dose of the

uplift is caused by the shift to terrestrial.

Channels that have gone

from satellite only

broadcast to a Freeview

slot see a big uplift to

viewing. And just as for

platforms scaling for OTT

delivery, for large consumption channels the

economics of OTT streaming remain highly

unfavourable. In some cases the cost of OTT

streaming being hundreds of times more than

broadcast on satellite.

Because they’re worth it

So terrestrial most certainly still has its place.

Like all of the finer things in life, it may be

expensive, but for most channels that take the

plunge, it’s usually worth it.

Even the low-view channels where, nominally,

streaming would represent a big saving over

satellite broadcast could not, today, switch to

streaming only. The reality remains that OTT

costs are not substitutive and will remain

incremental on broadcast costs for the near to

medium term. The burden placed by the need to

meet increasing OTT demand on larger-

consumption channels, which must maintain fixed

broadcast costs, is thus potentially onerous.

But in burden lies opportunity. The future

broadcast business model is likely to bundle

Unicast delivery with some form or linear

broadcast delivery, increasingly likely to include

an IP multicast component. Finding the balance

in that provision will be key for distribution

platforms in coming years.

Terrestrial TV in the multi-channel futureMost channels are close to a point where moving to streaming would be cheaper but going all-OTT is not an option. Rather, it will be about finding the right balance

Guy Bisson is research director, television, at IHS Screen Digest. In this regular column, he gives CSI readers exclusive insight from the

company’s channel strategies service

Analyst corner

12 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Page 13: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by


“If you’re in the cable business in Europe, you needto be at Cable Congress. Simple as that. It's the onetime each year when our entire industry gets together.I always come away energized and focused.”

Mike Fries, President & Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Global

5-7th March 2013, The Lancaster Hotel, London

Cable Congress is recognised as the leading eventdedicated to the cable and media industries in Europe. In2012, the congress attracted a record number of over 850senior-ranking delegates from over 35 countries. Followingthe spectacular success of Cable Congress 2012, we aredelighted to announce the new dates for 2013: 5 – 7th Marchat The Lancaster Hotel in London.

Organised by Cable Europe, Cable Congress is the opportunityfor industry decision makers to connect and debate the latestdevelopments and discussion points in the fields of strategy,investment, technology, marketing, content and regulation.

As organisers of the premierindustry event, we focus on news& views that affect everyoneoperating in the cable, technology,content and new media industries.

Check out the NEW Cable Congress Blog! Scan the QR code

CC2013_revised image ad 8/11/12 08:54 Page 1

Page 14: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Attempts to control

the use of online

technologies can seem

doomed to failure. Yet

calls for increased

regulation of online,

over-the-top (OTT) TV

services may well be heard on a regular basis from

now on, in various different markets around the

world. And while it is true that governments or

regulators attempting to control the internet risk

looking repressive and/or foolish, as well as

impotent, there may be good reasons to try to

construct new rules, or to adapt existing

regulations, in recognition of the way TV

consumption is changing.

Research released by Accenture in late 2012

highlighted the sorts of changes taking place in

the US and the UK. About half of those

questioned (50% in the US and 48% in the UK)

for Accenture’s Pulse of Media Consumer Survey

said they regularly watch OTT content via

broadband on TV screens. The trend is

particularly pronounced among younger people:

82% of US consumers aged 18 to 24 and 75% in

the UK watch some OTT content; and for 60% of

this age group (54% in the UK) OTT content

makes up at least a quarter of all video watched.

Subscription volumes for OTT services are now

comparable to those for satellite TV in these

markets. In the US 27% subscribe to OTT services

compared to 28% for satellite. In the UK the same

figures are 26 and 30%. It is true that some of the

OTT services in question are provided by long

established broadcasters, including satellite

providers like Sky in the UK, but the point is the

speed with which consumers have embraced OTT.

The last time Accenture asked the same questions,

in March 2011, the headline figure for OTT

viewing was just 8%.

The OTT players are not about to inherit the

earth: lots of people watching TV via the internet

isn’t necessarily terrible news for broadcasters, if

they have successful online services of their own;

or for content owners (including many

broadcasters), who can generate revenue through

licensing content to the OTT service providers.

Some OTT players may also find it difficult to

sustain themselves in the longer term. Netflix has

endured a difficult period in market cap terms,

tumbling from $15 billion in July 2011 to $3.3

billion in October 2012: squeezed by higher

licensing fees from content producers who see

Netflix undermining revenues from pay TV deals;

and by competition from other

streaming service providers

and from incumbent


Cable Europe believes that the market should

drive commercial negotiations that will no doubt

continue to take place as the competitive forces

evolve. “Our position is simple: OTT services can

complement the current cable offer. Several cable

operators have integrated OTT services into their

own platform in order to provide customers with

the variety of video entertainment that they

expect. Even competing Video on Demand

services have sometimes been integrated on the

cable television platform,” a Cable Europe

spokesman told CSI.

Even so, in some countries broadcasters are

asking whether the OTT services against which

they compete ought to be subject to the same

regulatory conditions as those under which they


“A lot of broadcasters have to make

investments based on regulations and I’m sure

there are going to be places where people say ‘we

need to start standardising these things’,” says

Kay Johansson, chief technology officer at

technology specialist MobiTV.

But would a regulator level the playing field by

introducing new regulations applying to OTT

services, or by loosening regulations that apply to

the incumbents? Either way, the net effect can be

a stifling of competition by handing an advantage

to whoever has the deepest pockets.

In practice, regulators, governments,

broadcasters, telcos and other interested parties

will act differently in different places, influenced

by factors including the nature of the broadcasting

landscape and the political environment.

Piracy may be an important driver. In

Singapore, proliferation of relatively cheap IPTV

equipment has led to an explosion in illegal OTT

services offering access to pirated content. On the

other hand, the development of legal OTT

services could reduce the profitability of piracy. If

so, market forces solve the initial problem, but

Is it about time new rules were created that reflect a changing TV landscape, asks David Adams

14 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

PayTV vs OTT regulation

A level regulatory playing field?

Page 15: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

who provides the OTT services and thus gets the

commercial benefit?

The neutrality issue

The OTT regulation debate could be seen as just

one aspect of bigger, on-going questions about

who controls the internet. One of the most

important principles underpinning the way the

online world works today is the principle of net

neutrality, under which ISPs and other actors on

the network should treat all data on the internet

equally, rather than imposing tiered costs or

constraints on different users, content types,

applications, equipment used and so on. But if net

neutrality is not enshrined in law and a particular

ISP happens to be in a position to impact the

efficacy of a service which competes with one of

its own services, why, in this vicious, dog-eat-dog

capitalist world would it resist the temptation to

do so?

Even if no-one is actively seeking to behave

unethically, there is certainly potential for

commercial disputes to be expressed in this way.

In January, France Telecom-Orange was found to

be limiting bandwidth for OTT services including

YouTube as a direct result of a financial dispute

with (YouTube owner) Google’s internet

backbone service provider Cogent


Reports suggest that the telco wants Cogent to

pay for the additional traffic being generated by

streaming video services, and it has resulted in the

French competition watchdog Autorite de la

Concurrence becoming involved. ‘We need to ask

serious questions about how Web companies can

put some money into networks,’ technology

minister Fleur Pellerin was quoted in Bloomberg,

in what is likely to be a sensitive issue on national

and regional level that is unlikely to go away.

Conflicts could even emerge within a single

company. Bram Tullemans, project leader for

broadband technology and online services in the

innovation department of the European

Broadcasting Union (EBU), gives a hypothetical

example: a cable company which also acts as a

Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider. The

CDN part of the company will want to offer a

good service to customers, possibly including

OTT service providers, but the part of the

company selling its own cable TV services will not

want the OTT service to be too successful – and

nor will the part of the company which sells

transit services, revenues for which may be

undercut by the private peering often used to view

OTT content.

Whether a dispute is within or between

companies, one problem is that net neutrality

does not cover quality of service, says Tullemans.

He believes that the principles which underpin

what a CDN ought to do, or the way a cacheing

service could be used to guarantee quality of

service, may both be threatened by this kind of

dispute. “So net neutrality is very important,” he

says. “The internet should be a distributed thing

which isn’t owned by anybody, but in reality

access to it is always owned by someone. So the

access provider is the gatekeeper and this role is

not fully defined yet. Net neutrality will give us

some pointers, but it still doesn’t say anything

about the quality of service this gatekeeper is

going to deliver.”

Net neutrality is now partly acknowledged as at

least a desirable principle in EU law and has been

discussed by lawmakers in a number of territories,

including the US. There are some concerns about

how it might be used, including a fear that it may

give ISPs a commercial motive to monitor the

nature of traffic more closely, with possible

implications for privacy, to discover which types

of traffic offer most commercial gain. The

Netherlands has introduced net neutrality laws,

ratified in May 2012, now coming into effect and

it will be interesting to see what happens when

these are tested by events. Meanwhile, it has been

interesting to observe the way Netflix has

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 15

PayTV vs OTT regulation

“Net neutrality will give us some pointers, but it still doesn’t say anything about the quality of service this gatekeeper is going to deliver.”

Page 16: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

transferred ever more of its international traffic

onto its own CDN, Open Connect, over the past

year. Open Connect now handles most Netflix

video in Europe, Canada and Latin America and

a growing proportion of its US traffic.

Could competition effectively police the

gatekeepers? Tullemans is not so sure. “That is

very complicated with tripleplay-type offerings,”

he says. “Also, you may be in an area where there

is not much competition. And if there are

problems will the end user know whose fault it is?

“If you leave things to the open market and you

have gatekeeping companies functioning not only

as access providers but also as content providers

and network owners, then there will be conflicts

of interest. The question is if net neutrality will

really help. But if you want to protect the internet

as an open distributed environment you need

specific regulation to protect it. If you don’t it

will be like a cabling network, with people

renting a collection of specific services selected

by the provider.”

The shape of things to come

Where is fresh regulation going to come from?

Exactly what the EU might attempt to do in this

area in future is not yet clear, despite the 2011

Green Paper on the possible creation of a digital

single market for the online distribution of audio-

visual works.

In the US, the debate is already underway:

arguments were rehearsed in September, when the

Advisory Committee to

the Congressional Internet Caucus, an NGO,

held a panel for Congressional staffers and

speakers spoke for and against cutting regulation.

The issue is likely to be debated by Congress itself

at some stage.

In many, perhaps most markets, the shape of

existing regulations will complicate attempts at

reform. For example, in Israel, as Ido Wiesenberg,

co-founder and vice-president of business

development at Tvinci, explains cable and satellite

TV providers need to pay millions of dollars in

order to operate legally and are required to

commit to a degree of local production once

their services acquire a certain percentage of

market share in the country. Yet mobile operators

are free to launch OTT services without any

similar constraints.

“Soon there will be a couple of new pay TV

providers, with a set top box and both VoD and

linear channels,” says Wiesenberg. “The existing

price of pay TV subscriptions is quite high, so the

government want to allow this. They want new

competitors to get in and so they want less

regulation. But they do also want to protect

existing pay TV providers.”

In Asia, the TV industry association CASBAA

published a report considering the OTT

regulation challenge in 2012. This highlighted

some key issues affecting markets in this region,

including the large number of offshore OTT

platforms. It suggests that increased access to

legitimate OTT services such as (or similar to)

Netflix or Hulu might reduce piracy in markets

like Singapore, but recommends that incumbent

operators seek to develop effective responses to

new entrants.

In the end, two apparently contradictory forces

are each likely to have at least as important an

impact on the TV landscape in every market as

attempts at regulation: increased competition; and

a need for companies to cooperate.

“I’m not sure some of these regulatory bodies

can regulate the internet,” says MobiTV’s

Johansson. “If you look at the big trends, social

media, things like the second screen: those

developments should open up chances for new

players. All these trends are going to have to drive

some kind of change in regulations, because these

are things consumers want to use. But can you

regulate them?

“I personally think this is going to play out

with some new regulations on the OTT guys and

more relaxed regulations on the [incumbent

operators]. The big question is how you get more

competition. In many European markets it’s hard

to compete. So I really hope the regulations will

open things up.”

Tomas Petru, president of the technology

company Visual Unity, is sure legislation and

regulation will continue to lag behind technical

developments, meaning, given the international

nature of the internet, that it will be impossible to

stop some OTT services appearing from less

stringently regulated sources. “But I hope the

internet will stay a global environment,” he says,

“and that regulation will be enforced by general

law, common sense and general business rules.”

Indeed, unless some technology company really

is able to set itself up as a one-stop-shop for

anyone’s internet requirements, from the

backbone, carrier and CDN services to the

content itself – and that doesn’t seem very likely –

these companies will need to work together to

provide consumer services. New entrants, and

even technology giants like Apple, will need to

work alongside broadcasters nd content owners.

And regulators seeking to regulate OTT, or to

loosen existing regulations for broadcasters will

need to draw on a deep well of common sense, for

the common commercial good – and for the good

of the consumer too.

16 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

“The big question is how you get more competition. In many European markets it’s hard to compete.”

PayTV vs OTT regulation

Page 18: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Like oil, satellite transmission

capacity is a finite resource, but

with seemingly endless means

for finding a little bit more by

digging deeper. Or, in the case

of satellite, by reaching out to

ever higher frequencies.

The Ka-band is the latest such iteration in the

26.5–40 GHz range, but already the industry is

looking ahead to the Q and V bands in the 40

GHz to 80 GHz range to meet future demands for

even greater bandwidth. For now though the

major satellite platform providers, Eutelat,

Inmarsat, Spacecom, Intelsat and SES, are

focusing on Ka to stay competitive with fixed

broadband networks and at the same time meet

increasing demands for capacity from their

customers. The latter now includes not just

broadband providers and of course the usual

suspects such as the marine sector that have no

other option, but also increasingly broadcasters.

“Major broadcast networks are very interested

as this gives them access to more capacity at

lower cost than the traditional Ku-band,” says Ali

Zarkesh, business development director at

broadcast contribution vendor Vislink. This

argument though has yet to carry much weight in

Europe, where there is still sufficient capacity for

broadcast in the Ku-band.

“Currently there seems to be enough capacity

to serve DTH with Ku-Band, especially after

analogue transmission has been shut down,”

argues Gerhard Mocker, head of satellite

communication technologies at German vendor

of RF (Radio Frequency) products for Work

Microwave. Mocker adds that the huge legacy

base of installed Ku-band dishes that cannot

readily be upgraded to receive Ka-band downlink

signals could hinder migration to Ka-band by

European DTH operators, although the move to

ultra HD may change this.

It is a very different story in the US, where the

two leading DTH operators DirecTV and Dish

Network have been transmitting channels over

Ka-band for several years. But this was for a

reason specific to the US market, which is the

regulatory requirement for

DTH operators to carry local

channels for every designated

region, and there are 210 of

these as defined by Nielsen,

the media measurement company that audits TV

viewing in the US. Called Designated Market

Areas (DMAs) these are smaller than US states,

typically comprising a group of counties and

serving them all via a single satellite footprint

would impose a very high bandwidth cost per

subscriber as some of the channels have relatively

small audiences.

However, with Ka-band satellite platform

operators have brought in spot beam technology,

focusing signals into smaller beams covering just

tens or hundreds of kilometres, rather than the

thousands of kilometres embracing whole

continents of broad beam transmission using the

Ku- and C-bands. Spot beam is not exclusive to

Ka-band, but is less costly to deploy at the higher

frequencies, and has been enabled by

corresponding technical developments in reflector

antenna technology, with the arrival of lightweight

larger reflector dishes six to 30 metres in

diameter, capable of shaping multiple spot beams

more accurately.

Most existing Ku- and C-band satellites have

small antenna reflectors only around two to three

metres across, constrained by the launch vehicle’s

packaging and capable only of focusing broad

beams over large geographical areas. The term

High Throughput Satellite (HTS) was introduced

to embrace these related developments in launch

packaging, reflector technology, and Ka-band.

Different regions, different drivers

In the US DirecTV and Dish Network lapped up

spot beam Ka-band technology to meet their local

channel service obligations affordably, reusing the

same frequencies across multiple spot beams to

serve the different DMAs. However, in Europe

this particular driver does not exist for DTH

because most countries have only a few regions

rather than 210. It is then more cost effective, at

least for now, to deliver all local programming to

all subscribers via broad beam satellites rather

than invest specifically in spot beam systems for

that purpose.

18 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Satellite’s new horizonKa-band

The Ka-band is generating much enthusiasm as services are introduced in Europe. Philip Hunter looks at the applications and market opportunities

Page 19: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

In Europe there is though growing momentum

behind Ka-band spot beam technology for high

speed broadband, an area where until recently

satellite has been almost out of the game, except

for reaching very remote or otherwise

unreachable targets such as ships. But spot

beams bring a huge gain in efficiency that is

enabling satellite to close the gap and become

competitive with terrestrial broadband in less

remote areas, even city suburbs, beyond the

direct reach of fibre.

Spot beams bring two advantages here. Firstly,

by dividing a region up into multiple spots, the

satellite’s overall energy can be focused into the

beams serving more populous areas, rather than

wasting it on, say, deserts or oceans where there

are very few transceivers on the ground.

Secondly, the ability to reuse frequencies

multiple times makes it possible for a satellite to

serve a significant number of individual

broadband subscribers, each of which consumes

bandwidth both upstream and downstream, unlike

say DTH where the signal is beamed to

everybody. In principle a satellite with 20 spots

can serve 20 times as many subscribers as an

equivalent system with just one beam.

Crucially this effective capacity gain also gives

more scope for increasing the bit rate to come

closer to fixed broadband values, in return for a

smaller expansion in user numbers. This is

extending the reach of high speed broadband to

new areas, enabling European governments to

fulfill their commitments to meet set targets for

bit rates in more remote areas that will not be

served by fibre for many years.

“Our Tooway satellite broadband service is

helping to bridge the Digital Divide by providing

download speeds of up to 20 Mbps and upload

speeds of up to 6 Mbps to consumers across

Europe and the Mediterranean Basin in areas

where it is geographically or economically

impossible or inefficient to reach millions

of users,” notes Steve Petrie, UK

commercial director for Eutelast’s Tooway.

As these tend to be actual rather than merely

headline speeds they are sufficient to deliver one

or two channels of HD video alongside the usual

internet applications.

There are two distinct markets for satellite

broadband, the unserved, and the underserved,

according to Patrick French, senior analyst and

head of the Singapore office at Northern Sky

Research (NSR), a specialist in satellite industry

analysis. “The unserved are those in remote areas

who don’t have any alternative, while the

underserved are those who perhaps pay for 4-6

Mbps per month from their broadband provider

but in reality get 500 Kbps,” says French. The

undeserved market is the larger, including people

in many suburban communities with access to

DSL broadband services but too far from the

exchange to get high enough bit rates for OTT

TV, who would jump at the prospect of 20 Mbps

over satellite.

“Depending on which analyst you believe, there

are ten to 20 million households in Europe that

do not have access to ADSL broadband services

or the equivalent, or that only get lower quality

ADSL service,” says French.

There is though one negative factor for Ka-

band, which is rain fade, given that

electromagnetic radiation in the Ka-band range is

absorbed to a greater extent by water. This was

thought to favour broadband and on-demand

video, which could tolerate the delay associated

with resending IP packets dropped because of

signal loss in heavy rain, at the expense of linear

broadcast. But as we have seen this has not

stopped DirecTV or Dish Network in the US,

some parts of which, especially in the south east

of the country, can experience rains of great

intensity. This leads French to dismiss the rain

fade issue altogether. “I think that’s just

ignorance,” he says. “Physically, yes, the Ka-band

is more susceptible to rain fade, but it just means

you need a dish that’s the same size as a Ku dish

to compensate, rather than a smaller dish.”

Increasingly it will not even be necessary to

give up the saving in dish size, as other

developments are reducing the impact of rain

fade, according to David Hartshorn, secretary

general of GVF (Global VSAT Forum), the

satellite industry body. “The industry has been

working hard to ensure any possible rain

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 19

“The industry has been working hard to ensure any possible rain fade has minimal effect.”


Page 20: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

attenuation has minimal effect on the service

being provided,” notes Hartshorn.

There are two main mitigation techniques, one

being site diversity, where typically the operator

will ensure there are uplinks in geographically

diverse locations. This naturally means that if one

site is being impacted by heavy rain, they can

simply switch to another site. This is not a new

approach, and indeed has been applied with good

effect for decades. The second technique is

adaptive coding modulation operating at the

modulator end by working out the whole picture,

even where there may be some information

missing. Hartshorn insists that these techniques

had eliminated significant degradation or signal

loss over Ka-band in the event of heavy rain.

Hartshorn also contended that there was no

longer any distinction between TV and broadband

in any case, with quality of service requirements

converging between the two. “Internet or TV –

what is the difference? Increasingly internet is the

TV,” he points out. “There is an expectation that

the satellite industry will begin delivering both

consumer and enterprise services through satellite


Towards Q- and V-bands

While consumer broadband, TV, and mobility are

the obvious applications for Ka-band, there is one

other area of huge potential in cellular backhaul

for mobile telephony services, given the

proliferation of traffic generated by emerging 4G/

LTE networks.

Many cell sites around the world, especially

emerging markets in Africa and Latin America

but also remoter parts of Europe, are beyond the

reach of fixed broadband infrastructure. Satellite

is therefore an obvious candidate, but with one

big hurdle that has to be overcome, according to

Doron Elinov, VP Strategic Accounts at Israeli-

based VSAT equipment maker Gilat Satellite. This

is that many countries require their cellular traffic

to be terminated for entry into the global internet

within their territory. This would mean that the

gateway connecting the satellite’s communications

with the internet would have to reside in the same

country, which is often not the case for Ka-band

satellites at present. “If this can be solved, then

the internet portion of cell backhaul has great

potential,” said Elinov.

Another emerging area without any such

problem is remote video contribution, extending

the range of places from which high quality

pictures can be obtained, especially valuable for

news gathering. “Our NewsSpotter uses

professional-grade KA-SAT terminals for video

contribution from crews in the field to a

broadcaster’s master control room,” says

Eutelsat’s Petrie. “Using standard IP routing, the

service is capable of transmitting at speeds of up

to 20Mbps via KA-SAT and its dedicated ground

network fibre infrastructure.”

While this ability to support transmission

speeds of 20 Mbps is keeping satellite competitive

at present, the industry will have to make further

advances to meet future demand for ever greater

throughput, for example to support ultra HD. As

this time approaches Ka-band capacity will

become exhausted, and this will also erode one of

its present advantages, which is relative immunity

from interference. This is largely a function of the

relatively low population of Ka-band satellites at

present, but this will change. The industry will

respond by moving up to even higher frequencies,

according to Elinov. “We expect to go to Q- and

V-band, and reach 100 Mbps,” he says.

This will also involve even smaller spot beams

capable of serving yet smaller local markets with

high quality of service. So for the foreseeable

future the whole HTS movement involving ever

higher frequencies and smaller spot beams looks

like ensuring satellite communications will retain

a major role in broadband and TV Everywhere.

In the longer term though as scope for

recruiting ever higher frequencies is exhausted

and fibre eventually reaches almost all

households, at least in more developed countries,

satellite communications may be relegated to

more niche markets such as mobility.

20 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


“There are two distinct markets for satellite broadband, the unserved, and the underserved.”

Page 21: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Integrating Media to Monetisethe Multiplatform Environment

NOW in its 9th Year

Learn from over 260 SpeakersIncluding Connected Entertainment Innovators...

w w w . t v c o n n e c t e v e n t . c o m

The World's Leading Event On Connected Entertainment

Pascal De Mul, Global Head of PlatformPartnerships, Spotify

Bob Zitter,CTO and EVP, HBO

Jeff Weber, President, Content andAdvertising, AT&T

Richard Hilleman,Chief Creative Officer,Electronic Arts

Ibrahim Gedeon,CTO, Telus

Francisco Varela,Global Director ofPlatform Partnerships, YouTube

Michael LaJoie,EVP and CTO,Time Warner Cable

Haggai Barel,Deputy CEO, Viaccess-Orca

Ted Hsuing, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei

Alex Green,Director TV, BT

Daniel Danker,General Manager, iPlayer,BBC

Young Lee,Senior Vice President TV,Korea Telecom

Connected InnovationTheatre

CxO Level Keynote Sessions

Interactive Panel Sessions

3 New Tracks - Experience,Monetise and Deliver

TV CONNECT INDUSTRY AWARDSOne Mayfair20th March 2013 - 7:30pm


Philip O’FerrallSVP, DigitalViacom InternationalMedia Networks (VIMN)



Formerlyknown as:

19th - 21st March 2013 Olympia, London

New for 2013



TV Connect Global Events@tvconnectevent #tvconnect TV Connect TV Connect Global Events

Diamond Sponsor Badges and Lanyard Sponsor

Consultancy Sponsor Executive BriefingSponsor

Silver Sponsors Produced by:

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Connected InnovationTheatre Sponsors

Thought Leadership Partner

Gold Panel Sponsors

11832 TV Connect Advert for CSI_Layout 1 14/02/2013 12:07 Page 1

Page 22: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

The recent turmoil that has

engulfed the Middle East

highlights an urgent need for

social and political reform,

but it has shown no signs of

holding back the payTV

market, which is expected to

grow to 15.8 million subscribers by 2017, up from

around ten million in Q1 2012, according to

statistics from Informa. That’s respectable growth

for a market that had a total 92.1 million TV

households at the end of 2011, and it highlights

the potential growth that still exists for forward

thinking TV service providers.

According to SNL Kagan, DTH penetration is

in the high 90s in almost all territories. IPTV is

the second biggest platform but still only tiny (in

single figures) for a handful of countries.

Mirroring the expansion of many European

payTV operators, the region’s biggest players are

extending the reach of managed services by

adding in the flexibility of over-the-top (OTT)

delivery, supported by improved broadband

infrastructures, in some areas, and interest from a

‘tech savvy’ youthful demographic keen to access

content on a range of multi-screen devices.

Overall, OTT is a good strong prospect in the

region if broadband speeds and connections

improve, reckons Kagan.

A flurry of OTT activity has included the

recent launch of Abu Dhabi-based telco Etisalat’s

pan-regional services. Bahrain’s incumbent

Batelco launched its own IPTV service in 2011,

having migrated its fixed infrastructure to an

IP-based network. And fellow telco Atyaf also

recently launched a multi-screen OTT TV service

across the Middle East, providing over 130 linear

channels and VoD content for delivery to iOS,

connected TV sets, PCs, Android devices.

Despite the many advantages, the Middle East

and North Africa (MENA) market is not without

its challenges. The Arab world is served by around

500 free to air (FTA) satellite channels, which are

currently viewed by almost half of TV households.

Content piracy is also rife and many FTA viewers

also illegally access subscription-only channels.

Regulatory issues continue to pose problems for

the TV sector and the close relationship between

the state and many broadcasters is often seen as

having a negative effect. Meanwhile, some media

legislation is outdated and considered by many

unable to address recent developments such as

digital TV, the internet, mobile and IPTV.

But the region needn’t be seen as an expensive

experiment with limited returns, explains John

Illingworth, sales director for the Middle East at

content security, management and delivery Irdeto:

“Infrastructure investment across the Middle East

is strong, which means the deployment of highly

scalable OTT services in the most populous

regions can leverage existing


The market demand is there,

the technology is available,

content rights are gradually

being expanded to include

IP-based distribution: we are at

the edge of a perfect storm where OTT and multi-

screen services in the Middle East will drive new

revenues and exciting, engaging consumer

experiences,” he says.

TV and broadband snapshot

The MENA region has traditionally been the

mainstay of satellite television and some homes,

particularly in Gulf States, either have two dishes

or a dual LNB (amplifier) designed to take signals

from two satellites.

The payTV operators Orbit Communications,

Arab Radio & Television (ART) and Showtime

Arabia have dominated the pay TV sector since

the mid-1990s. In 2009, Showtime and Orbit

merged to create the Orbit Showtime Network

(OSN), which provides around 100 television

channels and is the largest operator outside of

Turkey and Israel. (But payTV has struggled in

the past and analysts at Kagan believe even post-

merger that OSN will face similar challenges.)

Turkish service Digiturk is the MENA region’s

largest overall payTV operator. Al Jazeera Sports

and Abu Dhabi Media Company are also

significant players, having invested heavily in

acquiring premium sports content for their pay

TV channels, sport being the most sought after

genre for local audiences.

Fixed broadband penetration in the MENA

region remains low, at less than 5% of the

population on average, with uptake hampered by

poor fixed infrastructure. IPTV has therefore been

restricted as high quality video services require a

fast and stable connection.

That situation looks set to change though, says

Milya Timergaleyeva, vice president of market

strategy for Oregan Networks, which has been

working with Batelco to implement its BlackBox

video service designed to deliver advanced IPTV

Can pay TV operators overcome limited broadband infrastructure and widespread access to free and illegal broadcasting to bring OTT to the Middle East? Stephen Cousins reports

22 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Middle East TV focus

At the edge of a perfect storm?





















di A























Fixed Broadband Household Penetration by Market, 2012, (%)

© 2013 SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, from company data. All rights reserved.

Page 23: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

and web features via a high speed fibre optic

backbone: “Many countries are now rapidly

building out internet backbone infrastructure

capable of delivering video. One of the main traits

of the market is that these networks are brand

new and have high capacity bandwidth, making

them the ideal highway for live multicast video,”

she says.

But progress is being held back in countries

like Dubai, where charges by network operators

have become prohibitively expensive. Currently,

1MB of connectivity in Dubai costs around $200-

1000 per month, compared to just $1 per month

in the US. “There is a monopoly of providers who

make more money selling expensive infrastructure

to a small number of clients. They need to change

their approach and realise that opening up to

more customers at cheaper rates is a better means

of securing higher and more stable revenue, lets

hope it goes this way in future,” says Tomas Petru,

owner of broadcast and multiscreen systems

integrator Visual Unity.

Tech-savvy Israel was one of the early adopters

of VoD and, as a result, OTT implementation has

been less disruptive for its pay TV operators than

some other markets. Satellite operator Yes, which

accounts for one third of the country’s pay TV

subscribers, runs a VoD service that integrates

OTT with DVR and HD technology. The firm’s

subscribers access internet-based services through

an open standard Android-based set-top box

designed to stream video and other personalized

content from the web onto home TV screens.

The local broadcasters, Keshet, Reshet and

Channel 10 all offer comprehensive, internet-

based OTT programming.

Ahead on smartphones and tablets

The widespread adoption of smartphones across

the MENA region will be a major factor to fuel

demand for paid OTT services. According to

Google’s annual Mobile Planet smartphone study,

conducted with Ipsos MediaCT, the United Arab

Emirates has one of the highest smartphone

penetration rates in the world, with 62% of mobile

phone users owning smartphones, compared to

just 44% in the US.

The study found that MENA smartphone users

are actively using their phones to shop, with 41%

of users in Egypt and 39% in the UAE having

made a purchase on their smart phones,

compared to 35% of Americans. OTT video

services are also very popular with the young and

tech-savvy demographic who tend to spend more

of their disposable income on new

communication types, which gives the services a

strong chance of success.

As consumer demand grows, and adoption of

mobile and tablet devices increases, consumers

are increasingly keen to find and consume

content, says Irdeto’s Illingworth: “We are now

seeing a growing ambition to mirror linear

satellite programming across different devices, as

well as to provide catch-up content and premium

on-demand content such as films and major TV


“I’ve noticed widespread interest in OTT video

content on these devices, which is powering

demand for paid services in the Middle East,”

adds Visual Unity’s Petru. “Most of the middle

class workforce have smart phones and even poor

workers use banking services on smartphones to

send money home to support their families.

Unlike a TV, the devices can’t be easily stolen and

can be bought relatively cheaply. We have been

working with a broadcast company in the

Philippines that’s aiming to set up an OTT video

service, accessible on smartphones, targeting

expats working in the Middle East,” he says.

Tools for two-screen viewing with payTV are

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 23

Middle East TV focus

Page 24: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

becoming mainstream in Israel, fuelled in part by

the nation’s love of Facebook, with residents

spending more minutes per month on the social

networking site than any country in the world,

according to digital business analyst Comscore.

“To show how pioneering Israel is, in November,

Yes released an augmented reality-based mobile

app for iOS and Android that adds interactivity

and gameplay to their flagship TV series Living in

LaLa Land,” says Levi Shapiro, strategy

consultant and professor of communications at

Media Innovation Lab. He adds that, despite

being a very small market with roughly 1.2 million

PayTV homes and only two players (cable

operator, Hot, and satellite operator, YES),

technologies tend to be deployed in Israel

relatively early compared to the largest global

multi-channel operators.

Beware broadcasting restrictions

Television piracy is endemic in the Middle East

and tackling it will be intrinsic to growing

subscribers in the region. It is estimated that 58%

of people are engaging in illegal downloading and

copying of fresh content.

Illegal satellite STBs that can receive a payTV

service without a subscription are also widespread

and the region has a historic lethargy to taking

action against their import and usage. Cable theft

is a particular problem in Lebanon and Egypt,

with TV households in Lebanon paying $123

million a year to pirate operators. The practice is

so widespread that some people are often not

aware they are paying pirates for

their cable connection.

“To stamp out this problem

channel owners such as Al Jazeera

are now turning to card-pairing

technologies, forcing users of illegal receiving

devices to purchase new devices and legitimate

subscriptions if they wish to continue viewing live

broadcast payTV channels,” said Oregan

Networks’ Timergaleyeva.

Operators planning to enter the region should

also be made aware of the broadcasting

restrictions imposed by most Arabic countries.

What is considered adult content differs greatly

from country to country and is generally much

more strict than in Europe. Limitations are also

placed on certain political opinions, which

requires more compliance checks. “Clients we

work with often ask a delay to broadcast to enable

them to switch off the sound or image if

necessary. Even one complaint from a customer

to the local regulator can mean a programme has

to be shut down,” says Visual Unity’s Petru.

A smoother path towards popularising pay TV

and associated OTT services in MENA could

come through the widespread use of harmonising

technologies such as Hybrid Broadband Broadcast

Television (HbbTV).

In September last year, Orange and Arabsat

agreed to work with France Telecom subsidiary

GlobeCast to expand France 24’s HbbTV service

to the Middle East.

The project trial will enable satellite TV viewers

in the region to use their connected televisions to

interact with France 24’s linear and non-linear

content, which utilises a combination of

traditional broadcast delivery and CDNs. The aim

is to see if HbbTV enhances the quality of users’

viewing experience with a view to combining

traditional broadcast delivery with CDNs.

In the Middle East, as in the rest of the world,

leading TV operators are coming to realise that

the best strategy to gain subscribers and increase

their revenue is to combine the security of

managed IPTV with the flexibility and

adaptability of OTT delivery. Dubai’s incumbent

Etisalat, for example, provides both an IPTV

service for high-end fibre customers and an OTT

offering for its lower ARPU users. Underpinning

this, however, is substantial local investment in

related technology and infrastructure, which is

not currently available in all MENA countries.

The black market for illegal TV consumption is

also holding back pay TV’s progress and,

combined with a large young population used to

gaining free access to internet video, could enable

the standalone OTT model to overtake structured

services. The Middle East is a region of many

contradictions, but whatever the future brings, the

revolution will certainly be televised.

24 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Middle East TV focus

2010 2011 2012

Broadband DSL households (000) 5,301 5,885 6,465

Broadband cable households (000) 752 768 788

Broadband fiber households (000) 259 482 703

Broadband fixed wireless households (000) 499 630 745

Broadband satellite households (000) 33 37 40

Other broadband households (000) 12 14 12

Total broadband households (000) 6,859 7,814 8,753

Broadband households/total households % 17.9% 20.0% 22.1%

Middle East Fixed Broadband Market

© 2013 SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, from company data. All rights reserved.

Page 26: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Second screen companion

applications provide real

strategic value to the TV

business, equally as

important for engaging

viewers while a show is on

the air as building and

maintaining interest when a show is off the air.

As content becomes more internet connected,

second screen companion experiences are emerging

to provide an enhanced, more complete, more

interactive and more engaging TV experience. They

provide better promotional responses, higher brand

and content engagement, increased loyalty and

more effective harnessing of social media to

promote content.

There is a natural hierarchy of content in

broadcast: Item > Series > Brand > Channel >

Platform. Each level of this hierarchy, from a

lower-level programme to high-level TV platform

aggregation provides a unique opportunity for

engagement with viewers via companion apps.

A growing number of broadcasters have already

launched companion apps at programme level to

supplement viewers with extra content that is

synchronised to what’s occurring on the TV.

Polls, exclusive photos, videos, facts and games

intend to engage with viewers already using a

second screen while watching TV.

Towards an aggregated app

Channel 4’s Million Pound Drop, which features

a compelling content experience that enables

viewers to play along live with the show, apply to

be a contestant and connect with peers on social

media, is a great case study for a lower-level

programme app. Most individual shows however

don’t have such an obvious second screen

engagement opportunity. Potentially though, a

channel can offer its own ‘Channel’ level app

which aggregates content across multiple

programmes. Alone these programmes may not

justify an individual app, but in aggregation offer

a worthwhile experience to the viewer.

This can then be aggregated again to a

collection of channels as part of a TV platform

app, potentially as a natural extension of an EPG

app which interacts with the Set-top box (see

Sky+ and Zeebox for examples). However at the

moment these top-level apps, while having

breadth, are lacking any depth of content.

The most holistic and compelling companion

proposition would be a ‘best of both worlds’

solution which has both the depth of content at

programme level with the breadth of content at a

platform or multi-channel level. Using the

hierarchy described above to create such a

solution sounds like a challenge, but it could

easily work.

As we’ve seen, programme makers and

broadcasters have already started investing in the

development of individual programme apps so it’s

not a huge stretch for them to expand that

proposition and aggregate these into a broader

channel proposition. For example, Channel 4

could create a single companion app that

aggregates the content and features from its

programme apps like Million Pound Drop. MTV

has already been ambitious on this front and

launched WatchWith, a companion app that

supports its entire primetime line-up.

Alternatively, a multi-channel app which

integrates lower-level programme apps into a

broader cross-channel proposition would also

work. For example, a platform like Virgin TiVo

could aggregate individual programme apps from

a number of its channels into one cross-channel

offering, a ‘portal’ through which the lower-level

apps are accessed. It could also then include

intelligent content discovery, interactive

advertising or remote control features that work

across all the channels.

This aggregation could easily be achieved

through two possible levels of technical

integration. By simply presenting a frame in the

platform or channel app that points to the

programme app’s content using URLs; or with the

provision of the data and images from the

programme app as a feed to the higher-level app

(XML-based) which then pulls the content in.

One of the biggest challenges with this concept

however is the alignment of standards and the

approach across multiple broadcast companies to

make this work. Having been involved in a

number of cross-broadcaster initiates (ie, Project

Kangaroo) I am all too familiar with the

challenges of this. However, if properly sponsored

by one or two key lead organisations (think

YouView) it is not impossible and the benefits

for the customer and opportunity to promote

content consumption would certainly make it

worth the effort.

This is obviously a simplistic view of quite a

sophisticated approach and quite a few details

would need to be worked through both as a

proposition and technical solution, but it does

allow for a single solution to work for all with

minimal duplication of effort and more

importantly minimal duplication of cost.

However you approach it one thing’s for sure,

the potential for companion apps for all levels of

the content hierarchy is enormous and having a

big TV screen with interactive capabilities is

changing the way people consume content.

Tom Cape is CEO at Capablue

Second screen success: the content hierarchyTom Cape discusses how broadcasters can take the next step to embrace the second screen opportunity on a wider platform level


26 January-Feburary 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Item Series Brand Channel Platform

Page 27: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by







TV Accessibility conferenceIn association withSilver Sponsor:Gold Sponsors:

Page 28: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

TV accessibility services, which

include but are not limited to

subtitling, signing and audio

description, have historically

threaded a fine line between a

must-have and a nice-to-have.

Increasing pressure from

lobby groups combined with a realisation from the

industry that there is a market opportunity to be

tapped have combined to drive the agenda to

greater prominence.

Millions of people just in Europe are affected

by some form of visual or hearing impairment,

making these offerings a strategic priority for

broadcasters and other companies in the TV value

chain. One estimate shows that 16 % of the adult

Europeans have health problems that make the

consumption of broadcast programmes difficult

or impossible. As CSI’s conference discovered

during the day, the fact that certain sections of

this community have a sizeable disposable income

also makes for a strong business case to embrace

these services.

Extending these services to new on-demand

(VoD and catch-up) and connected platforms is a

key challenge for the industry going forward, one

that this conference specifically looked to address,

both in the UK and an international level.

The one-day event was held in association with

the Digital TV Group (DTG) at London’s British

Film Institute (BFI) in December, attracting some

of the key decision makers and opinion formers in

this space, including the likes of Ofcom,

Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD),

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB),

Age UK, Panasonic, British Sign Language

Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), BskyB, BBC, Virgin

Media, EBU, Channel 4, Swiss Txt, World Blind

Union, Digital Accessibility Centre, Sony, DVB

and HbbTV, which is being rolled out in millions

of connected devices across Europe. The event

was sponsored by Red Bee Media, Deluxe, Ivona

(now owned by Amazon) and Screen Systems.

TTS and the EPG issue

The day started with a keynote from Kevin Carey,

chair of the technical committee at the World

Blind Union, who questioned what lessons have

been learned in the move to digital television.

Carey lamented a missed opportunity with the

UK’s Communications Act of 2003, which didn’t

clearly enough specify the accessibility of

electronic programme guides (EPGs), for which

he admitted the RNIB as a lobbyist had to take

take a considerable degree of responsibility.

“There is after all not much point on insisting on

audio described programmes if the consumer

can’t locate the channel,” he said.

The schedule for the digital switchover had

already been set out by the time the EPG issue

had fully surfaced (the DSO incidentally was

completed in the UK last summer).

Nevertheless, Carey did acknowledge the Act

as a “landmark in the story of accessible

television” because it enshrined in law under the

auspices of Ofcom the right of people with visual

and hearing disabilities to gain access to a defined

quantity of programmes through the additional

services of subtitling, signing and audio


Carey called for end-to-end

solutions in this space, arguing

that organisations such as

RNIB should not emphasise

one aspect of accessibility over

another. In spite of

protestations to the contrary, he further argued,

“if something is not legislated and/or regulated

clearly and specifically, nothing happens”

although this was called to question and a point

of much debate over the course of the day.

Carey’s message was echoed by Peter Bourton,

head of content policy at Ofcom, who outlined

how the regulator was not only moving beyond

quantity and towards quality of access services

provision, but also that one of its two main

priorities this year is helping visually impaired

users get more benefit from EPGs.

In the UK, the amount of access services has

been addressed and the country is widely regarded

as the leader in the field. Subtitling is available on

over 70 linear channels, with over 80% of that

content subtitled, while audio description is

available on every platform with standard

equipment, according to Bourton. At the time of

the Communications Act barely ten years ago,

subtitling was confined to a few digital channels

and audio description was virtually non-existent,

he noted. While some 20% of content is audio

described on the most popular cannels, which is

above current target levels, the labour intensive

nature of providing it means it remains a big

challenge going forward (more on this issue can

be seen online at www.csimagazine.com/csi/


In terms of better access for visually impaired

viewers, Bourton highlighted promising

developments in text-to-speech (TTS) technology,

which was introduced some 30 years ago but still

leaves room for improvement in quality. The

challenge is now to harness these for the benefit

Access all areasCSI hosted its first conference on TV accessibility in December, which found that despite progress being made in the last few years there is still much work to be done

Conference review

28 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

In association withSilver Sponsor:Gold Sponsors:

Page 29: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Conference review

of this group, many of who have watched

television for years before losing some or all of

their vision.

Bourton said Ofcom wants to encourage more

and better TTS solutions and also wants to see

them integrated into mainstream equipment,

without a mark-up on prices.

Accessible devices are often more expensive

and, according to the chair of the DTG

Accessibility Group, the biggest issue it has is

working towards a common experience and he

hopes commercial opportunities can be opened if

manufacturers can be persuaded to implement

basic features (an overview of the DTG’s work

around access services can be seen on page 32).

Indeed, Ofcom has started discussions with

platform providers, including Virgin Media, Sky

and BT Vision, in order to work with them to get

this technology available in the next generation of

products and services.

TTS and associated technologies were

demonstrated later, with a presentation given by

Panasonic on its voice guidance TTS system,

designed for the UK market but now being taken

internationally. Panasonic first introduced the

so-called ‘Talking TVs’, which support TTS

technology and were designed for the UK market

with input from the RNIB, this Spring inside 30

models of plasma and LCD televisions. The

company now intends to add TTS as a standard

feature on all its TV products going forward,

according to Mark Vasey senior manager at the

company’s IPTV and DTV solution centre.

The Talking TVs feature the use of assistive

voice that aids with programme description,

navigation, search and discovery, without

additional hardware or software (more

information is at www.csimagazine.com/csi/


Polish solutions provider Ivona also showcased

the capability of its TTS solution, with

applications ranging from VoD and screen readers

to second screen and even smart ATMs. The

company, established in 2004, claims to be the

leader in its local market and has set in sights on

international expansion with plans to create

‘Ivona voices’ in multiple languages, including

those as difficult as Welsh, which it demonstrated

at the event.

Ivona has partnered with VoiceBox, which

developed an app similar to Siri, and worked with

ex-Paralympian Ian Sharpe, who uses its

technology in his proprietary HTML5-based

Talking TV guide.

Significantly, Sharpe argued his solution

highlights the difference between usability and

disability and that blind people should be more

involved in the design phase of the UIs and not

just the testing phase. “We should make EPGs

with everyone in mind rather than treat

accessibility as a bolt-on.”

The business case: to regulate or not to


Sharpe also argued there is a lucrative business

case to be found in this market, based on an

estimated spending power of people with

disabilities to be in the region of £192 ($250bn).

“There’s a massive commercial opportunity for

those who get it right and even better if you get it

right first. You’ll get what in marketing terms I

think is called an advantage to capture this

market. Disabled people are not used to having

their issues taken seriously. So if you take their

issues seriously, they’ll continue to stay with you

and spend with you,” he said.

The subject of business models was central to a

mid-afternoon panel, during which David

Padmore, executive team member at Red Bee

Media, wanted to debunk a little of the myth that

these services are very costly to produce, noting

they have come down enormously in price over

the last decade as the volume of has grown.

Another important point he made was that

broadcasters are beginning to recognise the value-

add these services provide, beyond pure

accessibility. These include uncovering

programme material within archives for clip-based

programmes, whether it’s for compliance

purposes for example.

“I am not sure the business model of the

understanding of the value that can be derived

from those access services, I don’t think that is

fully understood. The model works but it’s not

really understood,” Padmore pointed out.

One point that was made by the panel was that

rather than trying to construct complicated

interventions to force people into action it would

be more beneficial to figure out incentives for

compliance. In other words a carrots rather than

sticks approach.

“We have an ageing population and an

expectation that sight and hearing impairment

will become more commonplace and therefore it’s

just sound business to make sure that you are

catering for the needs of that audience,” explained

David Mortimer, head of digital inclusion, Age


The other point made by Gareth Ford

Williams, acting head of usability and accessibility

at the BBC, is that the provision of these services

comes down to a sense of trust between PSBs and

TV viewers. The corporation is also bound by the

BBC Trust to take a holistic approach to business,

he noted.

It was generally accepted that legislation is

tremendously useful, as long as the requirements

sensible and agreed by all stakeholders.

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 29

In association withSilver Sponsor:Gold Sponsors:

Page 30: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Towards connected devices

The wide gulf that exists between linear broadcast

and connected services is a case in point.

UK on-demand co-regulator ATVOD is

working with interests groups and the industry to

reduce technical barriers related to rolling out

access services onto these platforms in order to

bridge this gap.

ATVOD’s duties require it to “encourage”

service providers to ensure that their services are

progressively made more accessible to people with

disabilities relating to sight and/or hearing,

although it has no power to compel. To this end,

it has developed and published best practice

guidelines for subtitling, signing and audio

description on VoD services.

Its second annual survey on the provision of

access services on VoD platforms, released in late

November, shed light on the current market state

(see http://www.csimagazine.com/csi/Taking-

access-services-onto-connected-platforms.php for

detailed findings).

ATVOD chief executive Pete Johnson

cautioned delegates that provision varies widely

across platforms, a point picked up by Ian

Mecklenburgh, Virgin Media’s director of

consumer platforms, whereby the cable operator

has no control over the catch-up TV environments

when consumers go into the different catch-up

players on its platforms.

While encouraging, all this of course points to

the scale of the challenge going forward. It is also

a source of great frustration to users want to see

the same content across platforms but are met

with either patchy or non-existent offerings in the

over-the-top and wider multi-screen space.

One of the biggest problems is that it’s

impossible to simply re-use linear programme

assets onto new services, while Johnson also

identified capacity issues (especially for signed

and audio described programmes) as well as a

lack of a common standard for subtitle files. This

lack of standardisation is a particularly big issue

that Johnson thinks ATVOD can help improve.

Although this should resolve some of the

issues, it’s the lack of “joined up thinking” that’s

missing here, according to Claude Le Guyader,

business development manager at Deluxe Media.

“It’s not a particular will against providing the

service, it’s just who is in charge of making sure

it’s available,” she said, noting it has implications

for moving those access files from the cinema

release through DVD, and onto TV and new

emerging connected devices.

Again, how much this can be solved by

legisaltion on an EU-level was a moot point. On

the one hand, Dr Jonathan Hassell, a thought-

leader in Accessibility & Inclusion, at Hassell

Inclusion, pointed out that the European

Commission is in fact considering a European

accessibility act. The details of the act are sketchy,

but it is believed to be quite encompassing, said

Hassell, including ICT, devices, and the Web.

On the other, WBU’s Carey noted earlier in the

day that the largest technology companies

operating in the EU currently are either Japanese

or American, making the impact of such

regulation arguable.

“Service providers have a really difficult

challenge, because we’re operating in a framework

of other people’s technology. You do feel like you

are spinning plates continuously when you are

trying to support all these different types of

service on all this different types of platforms,”

bemoaned BBC’s Williams.

But finding creative solutions between

hardware, software and services is a must, as

some of the results that have been borne out of

partnerships between manufacturers and charities

such as RNIB.

Ian Sharpe had identified smart TVs, which are

increasingly connected to the internet, as a huge

opportunity that he is excited about, and there is

also hope that emerge of so-called second screen

devices can alleviate the situation, so it is not all

doom and gloom then.

These are still quite early days in the

consumption of TV beyond the main set and it

will be very interesting to see what progress has

been made on the connected front in 2013.

CSI would like to thank all our sponsors as without

them the conference would not have been possible. A

follow-up event on this topic will be held towards the

end of the year in London, with exact date and

location to be announced.

Conference review

30 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

In association withSilver Sponsor:Gold Sponsors:

Page 31: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Untitled-1 1 10/9/2012 2:33:49 PM

Page 32: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

The UK is a leader in digital

TV accessibility. UK

broadcasters are required to

provide high quality access

services - to date 100% of the

BBC’s output on all of its

seven main TV channels is

subtitled with ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5

providing subtitles for all programmes on their

main channels, and all UK public service

broadcasters have audio description available on at

least 20% of programmes. The UK also has a high

number of accessible TV devices such as the

‘talking’ televisions, set-top boxes and recorders

from manufacturers such as Panasonic and

TVonics and developed in partnership with the

RNIB charity, and Freeview recorders from

Humax and Panasonic which can record subtitles

on programmes.

Usability has been a critical feature of UK

digital television since its launch in the early

1990s at which time the Government published a

Digital Action Plan which included clarification

to be provided around the use of digital TV

products in the home environment. The Digital

TV Group (DTG), the industry association for

digital TV in the UK, has been committed to

ensuring digital TV products and services are

accessible to all since its inception. In support of

the Digital Action Plan, the DTG established a

Domestic Systems Group to explore the

interconnection of devices and aerial systems. It

also discussed and agreed the specification for

Text to Speech before it was submitted to Digital

Europe for international standardisation.

Later the group narrowed its focus to look at

the usability features of digital receivers and

subsequently produced the U-Book: the usability

guideline document for television accessibility in

2011, which is publicly available via the DTG

website. Further refocusing then took place and

the group morphed into the Accessibility Group

tasked with adding accessibility guidelines such as

subtitle creation and display, audio description

and text-to-speech conversion, to the U-Book.

The usability guidelines are intended to

assist receiver manufacturers and detail issues

that could potentially affect the usability of a

product (eg remote control design, packaging,

user manuals), whereas the accessibility guidelines

are of more interest to service providers. The

group also has a mandate to increase the

awareness of accessibility issues in TV services

through the dissemination of information to those

involved in the creation of content, its broadcast

and reception.

Alongside this, key

accessibility features have been

specified in the D-Book, the

technical specification for

digital terrestrial television,

since the first edition was published in 1997. The

DTG has successfully identified and documented

the best practice for subtitling, audio description

and remote controls on the current DTT platform.

Working with ATVOD

Over the last few years we have seen the

integration of TV services and web-based

content and it is essential that, in the development

of new types of services, accessibility is not

compromised. The Accessibility Group is now

monitoring the accessibility of services delivered

via connected TV platforms and has established a

liaison with ATVOD for this purpose.

An updated version of the U-Book which will

contain accessibility requirements for connected

TV services and the usability of connected

receivers as well as an updated subtitle chapter

will be published in early 2013.

Membership of the Accessibility Group is open

to all DTG member organisations and currently

includes key representatives from manufacturers,

broadcasters and charities. If you would like to

participate in the DTG’s work on accessibility

please contact Hannah Langston hlangston@dtg.


Coming to a TV near youThe DTG is updating the U-Book to encompass accessibility requirements for connected TV services and receivers, while an updated subtitle chapter will be published in early 2013

Guest column

Simon Gauntlett is technology director at the DTG, the industry association for DTV in the UK. This is the latest in a line of regular guest columns to

provide CSI readers with updates on the DTG’s initiatives and activities.

32 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Page 33: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 33

Cable gateways

Source codeComcast’s Reference Design Kit (RDK) promises to breathe new life into cable by making it more nimble and flexible, particularly with the evolution towards more advanced STB gateways, discovers Goran Nastic

Seasoned observers of the

cable industry will be

aware of the pedestrian

pace at which things

move. As the rest of the

world keenly looks to

adopt HEVC for, initially,

over-the-top services, there are still huge islands of

cable equipment that are yet to even transition

beyond MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. The convergence of

sectors, services and media – and more

specifically of TV and internet - has thrown

cable’s more conservative tendencies into sharper

focus, especially when compared to the fast

moving and dynamic CE world.

So Comcast thought it would do something

about it. The largest cable operator in the US, and

one the most progressive cable companies in the

world, decided to release a Reference

Development Kit (RDK), which provides a single

software platform that shortens development

cycles and creates economies of scale for cable

CPE. The RDK is essentially a pre-integrated

software bundle that creates a common

framework for powering IP or hybrid set-top boxes

and gateway devices. The objective is to have a

collaborative, open source-like initiative in the

cable space, much as is found with the Android

community on the handset side.

Underpinning it is a growing acceptance that,

much as with the mobile industry itself (and

incidentally smart TVs), it is no longer about the

device itself. Innovation is becoming increasingly

software-based while a hardware-centric view of

the world is seen as outdated. Comcast saw the

benefits of other vendors and operators adding to

the RDK code base community going forward,

the idea being that with PVRs becoming a

commodity it makes more sense to compete on a

service rather than platform level.

Additionally, major roadmap additions can be

developed by the contributors to the code base.

Because of this, Comcast is currently providing all

the distribution and update services to maintain

the generic main line release of the RDK and to

help bring on new licensees, which are OEMs,

SoC makers and service providers. It allows for

innovation in the code base, particularly in the

application space where it can allow most focus of

time and resources on application development

and less time on the basic platform elements. To

this end, the company has built up quite an

impressive list of licensees (see table on page 35)

and the number is growing at a steady pace. This

should reduce the cost per device and increasing

price competition too.

“By having the industry collaborate in an open

source-like way for lower and middle layers of the

software stack in the long run should free up

more cycles for all of us to focus on higher

software layer, value-added features, services and

distributed applications as the connected home

evolves,” says Pascal Portelli, SVP at Technicolor

Connected Home, an RDK licensee.

It’s a huge amount of open source code – tens

of millions – but with a smaller subset of it the

focus of the RDK and the incremental

applications and services for cable solutions,

according to Charles

Cheevers, chief technical

officer for CPE products and

services at Arris, another

licensee that has added the

RDK platform to some of its

CPE solutions.

“It conceptually allows, for example, a single

DLNA implementation for all cable products,

which would then put the onus on the CE

companies to do interoperability with the cable

devices, not the current way – where each cable

device has to go through interop with all the CE

devices,” says Cheevers.

Moreover, he adds, it also allows cable to

leverage wider technology groups such as W3C to

push for support of functions that work better in

the STB/TV environment and that get the

HTML5 world aware of the requirement to have

support for cable solutions and security systems.

The message here from Comcast and the

industry at large is that STBs are here to stay,

albeit turning into advanced home gateways or

media servers, capable of supporting thin clients,

tablets and other screens in the home for IP

video. The RDK itself facilitates this architecture

with headed and headless versions of RDK

gateway code, as well as IP STB player code. A

further realisation is that, as cable moves to

IP-based gateways, these devices will have to be

refreshed more frequently than traditional STBs.

Component levels

RDK in itself is not a complete solution, but

rather a distribution of many platform elements

that allow for rapid application development. At

last year’s The Cable Show in Boston, Comcast’s

Steve Reynolds, senior VP of CPE and home

networking, summarised the thinking behind it.

“The typical set-top box development cycle was

taking about 24 months when we launched this

project, and that’s just a long time to go through

the whole process of building the box, building

the software, and getting everything up and

running. So we had this notion of building a

reference design for software that would bring all

of the modules together in a pre-integrated kit,

where we could take that kit and work directly

with the SoC manufacturers to get the RDK up

“There will be operators who don’t have experience defining products so closely that they end up putting together RDKs that look more like glorified RFPs.”

Page 34: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

and running on those chip platforms before they

even started building the box around that chip,”

said Reynolds.

Comcast thinks that the RDK will help reduce

cable’s two-year STB cycles to around 12 months

and perhaps even shorter.

In short, the driver is to innovate, develop, and

deploy much faster that what has historically been

possible with proprietary software stacks. In the

past, development, bug triage, and bug fixing has

proven difficult and slow, as everyone holds on to

their software in a closed way, impeding progress

between engineers in different locations from

different companies, with one engineer not able to

see the same source code as another engineer,

according to Technicolor’s Portelli.

“Technicolor applauds Comcast for starting the

RDK initiative. It is bold, it is ambitious. We can

only perceive this as a necessary and interesting

part of what has today become an inefficient way

to make our products,” he says.

The RDK stack includes the CableLabs

reference implementation for tru2way middleware.

It also supports optional, proprietary elements,

including Adobe’s Flash engine and the Microsoft

PlayReady DRM. Open-source components of the

RDK include GStreamer, QT and WebKit, which

are execution environments that can be tailored to

each MSO. The point is that the RDK has the

ability to support multiple execution

environments, which allow cable operators

develop their own guides and specific

applications, including UI experiences based on

open technologies like HTML5 and Javascript.

Operators thus have freedom to experiment with

new product offerings and can use their own web

developer resources to create and deploy features

more rapidly.

Arris’s Cheevers notes there is presently a lot

of activity around evaluating the RDK for delivery

of new services, one of the key areas being the

introduction of HTML5 user experience using the

RDK distribution to support the frameworks

required for HTML5 applications.

This makes the RDK is as relevant to operators

worldwide and not bound to any North American

standards. In terms of standardisation, it is

expected that Cable Labs will take up certain

components and look after those going forward.

EuroCableLabs likewise is known to be following

developments and sees the benefits in promoting

the RDK to its operator community members for

cross-pollination, although the group did not

respond to CSI’s questions in time for this feature.

According to Cheevers, there are specific

requirements that a European operator needs to

be able to support including DVB-SI or a

replacement solution, teletext, picture-in-picture,

as well as support for application level

functionality such as the integration of CI+

solutions and HbbTV will have to be integrated

into European products based on RDK.

“As with all shared source initiatives it makes

more sense for some of these features to be

developed once and added to a generic Euro

release to be leveraged by all European operators

and vendors supplying solutions,” says Cheevers.

Global gateways

While the OCAP and Tru2way initiatives in North

America may not have reached critical mass, the

feeling is that RDK already has the backing of a

large enough ecosystem for it to succeed.

Operators around the world are said to be

showing an interest in deploying RDK-based

products, with the first rollouts expected by the

end of this year, or early 2014. For its part,

Comcast has rolled out the RDK-based X1

platform in seven markets as of February and

plans to deploy the boxes, initially the Pace

manufactured XG1 HD-DVR, to the majority of

its footprint this year.

Interestingly, Liberty Global, which recently

launched its own Horizon TV gateway platform, is

an early licensee. As with other MSOs on board it

remains to be seen what plans the world’s largest

cable operator has in mind, but Liberty knows

better than most the pain and expense (the costs

involved an eight-figure dollar sum) it takes to

launch a complex gateway, having suffered

multiple delays since the project was first

publically announced in March 2010 at the Cable

Congress conference.

“In hindsight, I am so glad neither I nor

NDS knew how hard it was going to be

because we probably wouldn’t have started

the project. It’s sometimes better to not

know, take the plunge and then go on the

journey, which has been an emotional roller

coaster for a number of us,” said Liberty

CTO Balan Nair to a gathering of press and

analysts at Horizon’s official unveiling at IBC last

year. Horizon has since attracted 100,000

subscribers in The Netherlands and 20,000 since

it launched in Switzerland in January, with

Germany and other markets to follow, and Liberty

sees it as a key weapon for winning and retaining

customers, as well as coverting analogue ones to

digital TV.

Indeed, Virgin Media, soon to be taken over by

Liberty, issued its own rallying cry back in 2009,

when it warned that cable has to get its act

together. “We’re colliding with CE. We need

scale,” said Kevin Baughan, at the time the

cablenet’s director of technical strategy.

“A common approach is needed with quality

and robustness of the device, but with flexibility

on top. The creative industry needs to be able to

let rip with the technology. We should also be

able to use common APIs using GEM as a basis.

If we end up with five different designs of how to

use this then no-one succeeds because the market

fragments so we have to find ways of working

together,” he said, in what is very much a

prophetic echo of the logic behind the RDK.

Virgin now uses the TiVo platform (so do

Spain’s Ono and Com Hem in Sweden), leading

to questions what the future holds for its product

partner once it becomes part of Liberty. As with

the offerings on show at CES this year by

Comcast, Dish and Verizon, the Horizon box,

made by Samsung and based on a modified

version of the Snowflake UI from NDS (now

owned by Cisco), features six-tuners while TiVo

was once famously described by Liberty

executives as a ‘quarter step’ towards STB media

servers. But perhaps of greater significance is the

strategic priority that cable operators are finally

placing on gateway devices as the enabler for

controlling the digital connected home.

A new MSO-vendor dynamic

At a high level, the RDK could also turn into a

cable CPE equivalent of the converged multi-

service access platform (CMAP) – a Comcast-led

initiative that removes silos on the headend side -

because the operator is taking a leading role in

defining what its networks should look like.

As Infonetics Research analyst Jeff Heynen

notes, in the past cable operators would let

CableLabs define the products and run the

standardisation and testing efforts. Now, it is the

MSOs themselves that are defining the products,

34 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Cable gateways

The Pace made Comcast xfinity box

Page 35: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

which are then standardised by CableLabs (and


“I think we’ll continue to see operators being

more assertive and public about defining the

equipment they want in their networks. At the

end of the day, it’s about cost reduction and

supply-chain management,” says Heynen.

So it’s no surprise that European are following

what Comcast is doing with respect to the RDK

and CMAP, as both solve similar issues faced by

European cable operators. It’s a very different

approach to developing video and converged

solutions for the home, where the MSO in many

cases is a co-development partner rather than just

the end customer. But Heynen sounds a note of

caution in some operators going down this route.

“There will be operators who don’t have

experience defining products so closely that they

end up putting together RDKs that look more like

glorified RFPs. Historically, operators have relied

on vendors providing some idea of what their

capabilities are. With an RDK, the operator is

defining everything,” points out Heynen.

That sort of symbiotic relationship from the

past changes, which could lead to operators’

timelines actually getting longer rather than

shorter, warns Heynen.

Cheevers at Arris thinks a scenario will emerge

where larger MSOs potentially do some

development themselves or fund the development

of specific components or features. They may also

contract a separate integration test and

certification company to validate the development

work done by the prime hardware and RDK

software vendor. He thinks smaller operators will

more than likely take an RDK-based solution as a

turnkey solution and won’t have the same

resources to invest in changing or adding to the

solution themselves.

Test and integration work

RDK is consequently fostering some new players

in the market offering services to integrate and

test RDK solutions, as well as offer control plane

solutions for RDK-based CPE devices.

One company positioning itself as a

consultancy and systems integrator in the RDK

space is Ireland-based S3 Group, which became a

licensee in May 2012 on the back of much

interest from its operator customers who want to

migrate towards next-generation STBs.

“There is momentum behind but nothing is

easy in life. It all sounds great but then not

everybody has the exact same requirements, and

that’s where the challenges of test and integration

come in,” says Philip Brennan, VP of S3 Group’s

TV technology business.

Regarding migration, operators need to decide

how much of their logic will be cloud-based, as

the application layer will likely interact with the

head-end much more than the current generation

of STBs, according to Brennan.

S3 Group is also working directly with

Comcast on improving or increasing the test

coverage of the RDK, because as the initiative

broadens in scope there is a need for new

documentation and new specifications that the

Irish software house is helping with. “The idea is

that as it is pushed out, there will be test

frameworks that will become part of it, so you can

test particular or integrated components,” he says.

As with all shared source initiatives, the feeling

is the RDK will succeed or fail by its adoption.

The challenge will be to prevent ‘forking’ which

fragments the energy behind the initiative, with

people and companies going in different

directions, notes Technicolor’s Portelli.

“Care has to be taken on this because there are

thousands of details in each of our network

service providers’ systems that make each one like

a fingerprint – unique; keeping the industry

moving in a way where our individual energies are

feeding the collective whole will be delicate, but

there certainly is a path to success,” he says.

Whether the middleware business changes as a

result and pure middleware solutions potentially

shift to be RDK based or RDK leveraged

solutions remains to be seen, as does how MSOs

will go about embracing its various components.

The early signs are promising and, at the very

least, Comcast is committed to the initiative and

will make it work for its requirements.

The RDK has visibly generated a great deal of

positive attention and it will be interesting to

track how its future evolution and timeline

compare to that of CMAP on the network side.

Used together in the right way they are capable of

keeping cable competitive in a new era where IP –

and all that entails - is the name of the game.

Cable gateways

Table: Some known RDK licensees



Charter Communications

Time Warner Cable

Liberty Global

Rogers Communications



Evolution Digital







Think Analytics

S3 Group

Source: Comcast Cable

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 35

Page 36: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

The DVB completed its Next

Generation Handheld

specification in late October,

bringing in advanced

modulation and coding

technologies designed to

future proof broadcast to

handheld and mobile devices.

The standards body will be hoping for success

this time around after the failure of most first

generation efforts, including its own DVB-H

(handheld) standard, introduced in 2004.

Kay Johansson, CTO at IPTV solutions

provider MobiTV, suggests that DVB-NGH has

a much higher probability of success than its

predecessor, because it has the backing of both

broadcasters and content providers. “However, it

is hard to say what the impact on the market will

be. We will have to wait on user consumption to

ascertain whether DVB-NGH will only be used

for live programming, and how easy it will be to

get chipsets into the devices,” he says.

Barry Flynn, principal consultant at

Farncombe thinks the case for DVB-NGH still

needs to be proven – and to a large extent

depends on whether the mobile operators can be

persuaded to play ball.

The rationale for DVB-NGH, according to

the DVB’s executive director, Peter Siebert,

was to ‘provide the most robust and spectrum

efficient mobile broadcast standard by adopting

state-of-the-art technology.’ Robustness and

spectral efficiency were identified as necessary

preconditions for it to work.

In addition, says Siebert, a good business case

and market players willing to invest in such a

technology are required.

“The offload of content

of mass demand from

mobile communication

networks, and point-to-point

connections, to broadcast

overlay networks is one of the

most promising scenarios,”

he says.

NGH is based on the DVB-

T2 terrestrial specification. T2

has enabled a time division

multiplex (TDM) that allows

for the provision of different

types of transmission frames on the same RF

channel. On that basis T2 and NGH frames can

be transmitted together for addressing different

receiver types. This flexibility, says the DVB, is

one of the main advantages of the new terrestrial

DVB standards.

The standard incorporates technologies to

boost data rates and improve resilience against

transmission errors, including Time Frequency

Slicing (TFS), with a single tuner, non-uniform

constellations, improved error-correcting LDPC

codes, more efficient time interleaving and

individual robustness of the service components

(eg video and audio) also enabling the application

of Scalable Video Coding (SVC) and Multiview

Video Coding.

The new DVB-NGH standard stands a better chance of success than its predecessor, DVB-H, as it has the support of broadcasters and content providers. But the real question is whether a separate broadcast network is really required and how mobile operators will perceive it, says Adrian Pennington

36 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


Will MNOs come to the party?

DVB assumes that together with LTE for unicast and WiFi

for indoor, NGH will be the best technology for feeding

these mobile devices with the most popular content.

Page 37: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

The LDPC codes enable a message to be sent

over a noisy transmission channel. However, it has

yet to be fully adopted by broadcasters and there

are traditional error correction solutions that can

be just as efficient.

TFS allows multiple users with different

speed requirements access to a communications

resource in a manner that is cost effective over a

wide range of access speeds (it compensates for

different local field strength variations of the two

to six RF channels in use).

According to Johansson, “It enables you

to split up the spectrum and optimise system

utilisation, offering increased frequency diversity

and robustness.”

Another element of gain in NGH are

the non-uniform 64-QAM and 256-QAM

constellations, which are also not leading to

higher receiver complexity.

A MIMO first

However the main reason for gain, and the

technology attracting most interest from other

regional and terrestrial broadcast groups, is

MIMO (multiple input multiple output). The

wireless technology uses multiple transmitters

and receivers, essentially to widen the broadcast

‘pipe’, allowing more data to flow through at

a time.

According to Flynn, “MIMO is probably the

most significant technology introduced – it is in

fact the first time a digital TV broadcast standard

has deployed it. The use of multiple transmit and

receive aerials considerably increases throughput,

which will be further enhanced by the use of the

new HEVC video coding standard. That allows

you to allocate quite a lot of the bandwidth to

ensuring signal robustness, while still delivering

a lot of capacity for multiple high-quality

video channels.”

For MobiTV’s Johansson, MIMO is also a very

important improvement in DVB-NGH to enhance

the efficiency and flexibility of the spectrum: “By

increasing the number of antennas that can

improve receiving and transmitting on devices it

increases data throughput without requiring

additional bandwidth.

“As LTE is deployed across Europe, IP-based

technologies will play an important role in the

development of DVB-NGH,” he adds. “MIMO

and basic wireless technologies will help to

support mobile devices and basic mobile

reception and MIMO will also help with the

flexibility of the service.”

Designed for mobile

DVB-H was launched to provide linear broadcast

services such as TV and radio for handheld

devices, but since then significant changes have

taken place in the delivery and consumption of

multimedia content.

The DVB has consequently tried to address

and cater to mobile use cases, including on

demand TV and pushing downloads to local

memory, and is trying to create a standard so

that content providers do not have to rely on

live broadcasting all of the time.

“Over the last few years we have seen a

significant growth of tablet and smart phone

populations,” explains DVB’s Siebert. “These

devices are equipped with high resolutions

displays which are well suited for TV signals.”

The DVB assumes that together with LTE

for unicast and WiFi for indoor, NGH will be

the best technology for feeding these mobile

devices with the most popular content.

“Broadcast brings limited content to an

unlimited audience, mobile communication

unlimited content to a limited number of users,”

says Siebert. “So these two systems [LTE and

DVB-NGH] are perfectly complementary.”

The DVB suggests that NGH is better suited

to broadcast than 4G/LTE because of its larger

FFT sizes and ‘state-of-the-art error control

coding’. In addition, it says, significantly longer

guard intervals allows for larger SFN cells, which

allow for more efficient use of the spectrum.

“DVB-NGH provides higher spectrum

efficiency and robustness [over LTE],” says

Siebert, noting that one can adjust the parameter

settings more in one or the other direction. “DVB-

NGH is targeted at operators who only want to

offer mobile services – rather than broadcasters

who want to offer mobile broadcasts as an

additional service.”

In the latter instance, T2-Lite or a mobile-

configured DVB-T2 PLP would be used. The

standards body also believes mobile operators

with congested LTE/4G networks will require a

broadcast profile to relieve network congestion,

and that DVB-NGH provides a better solution

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 37


Terrestrial broadcast Access categories

Reception conditions (in the service area)

Full service (terminal) Max. Speed

Typical Service bit rate

Receiver Screen dimension Receiver Antenna/Power source

Portable access Indoor and Outdoor 0 to 15 km/hSDTV 4 to 1 Mbps (HDTV possible)

Portable set 5 to 19 inchWireless, Embedded antenna with external power source with internal backup

Slow mobile access Indoor and Outdoor 0 to 15 km/h Mobile TVTelco Handset 2,5 to 5 inch

Wireless, Embedded antenna with internal power source ( Battery)

Mobile vehicular access


15 to 350 km/h

Mobile TVTelco Handset 2,5 to 5 inch

Wireless, Embedded antenna with internal power source ( Battery)

Outdoor Mobile TV Fixed/Portable 5 to 19 inchVehicle mounted antenna with power from vehicle battery

Table 1: NGH TV service definition

“As LTE is deployed across Europe, IP-based technologies will play an important role in the develop-ment of DVB-NGH.”

Page 38: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

than LTE’s broadcast modes.

“The new standard’s future success will

depend on whether this scenario actually comes

to pass,” observes Flynn. “As well as on whether

subscribers are actually prepared to pay (enough)

for mobile broadcast services.”

According to Johansson, mobile operators

realise that multicast and broadcast can provide

a more efficient way to deliver content, “as

streaming media on a unicast connection can

often incur high bandwidth costs.

“With the development of LTE and IPv6, the

real question is if a separate broadcast network is

really required. The multicast or broadcast

approach is definitely the right method when it

comes to delivering popular live or linear


“4G/LTE’s enhanced Multimedia Broadcast

Multicast Service (eMBMS) has much shorter

intervals and targeted coverage but can be turned

on and off and used for other bi-lateral services,”

he says. “On the other hand, DVB-NGH is always

on and has much larger intervals and coverage.

Both have their own benefits, so it really is down

to how it will be used.

“For large data content, the diversity and the

usage patterns of when and where it’s watched,

and the way content is consumed today, makes

it difficult to apply these technologies and be

successful for VoD delivery,” Johansson observes.

There is another agenda too behind DVB-

NGH, which is to reach out to the other digital

terrestrial groups notably the ATSC. It has begun

work on its own third-generation specifications

ATSC 3.0, which will likely take support fixed

reception as well as mobile use cases.

“The current ATSC standard already includes

broadcast to mobile devices such as mobile

phones and tablets, and this will be an important

aspect of any new system,” states Jim Kutzner,

lead of the Next Generation Broadcast Television

planning team at the ATSC.

So would it be advantageous if DVB NGH

and ATSC 3.0 were aligned? “There would be

economies of scale if ATSC 3.0 is aligned with

NGH/T2 to allow for commons chipsets,” notes

Siebert. “We believe that the DVB technologies

mark the reference point for terrestrial

broadcasting standards. In so far alignment

seems likely.”

According to Johansson however, the only logic

to align these services would be to lower costs for

equipment manufacturing. “There is no reason for

the US to switch to DVB-NGH, as ATSC MH has

already been deployed.”

Likely timeline

As the standard will be submitted to ETSI within

the first quarter of 2013 it is too early to state

when commercial devices may become available

but the DVB points out that “the advanced

technologies which comprise NGH will play a

role also in conjunction with development of

further terrestrial standards in other parts of

the world.”

Europe is the main opportunity for DVB-NGH

and it will be the first market to deploy the

technology. This is because the US and Korea

already have their own standards in place for the

transmission of digital television for handhelds.

However, general progression of DVB-NGH is

still probably a couple of years from now.

“We have to realise that eMBMS is driven

by the mobile industry – who control and build

the mobile devices,” says Johansson. “It will

be difficult to get DVB-NGH into these devices

unless it benefits the mobile industry in any way.

Broadcasters are essentially trying to put a

broadcast technology into a device and a market

segment that they cannot control. Technology is

changing dramatically as many technology

providers start to go over the top.”

The figure opposite illustrates the MIMO

advantage especially for higher SNRs. The DVB

explains: You can derive the gain by comparing the

SISO/SIMO curves with the MIMO curve for a

particular spectral efficiency. Note that MIMO is

part of the NGH terrestrial and hybrid MIMO

profiles, but not of the base (terrestrial) profile, ie its

implementation is not mandatory when adopting

NGH. MIMO comes with higher receiver complexity.

38 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


Channel capasity from BBC MIMO 2 x 2 model





y bi












0 5 10 1 5 20 2 5


“We will have to wait on user consumption to ascertain whether DVB-NGH will only be used for live programming, and how easy it will be to get chipsets into the devices.”

Page 39: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Keep ahead in this

Be a part of DVB World

For nearly 20 years, DVB and its standards have been at the forefront of digital TV. What technical and social developments can we expect in the near future and what will TV look like in another 20 years? The DVB World conference, exhibition and networking event is the biggest annual gathering dedicated to DVB standards, DVB related services and technology.The 2013 program promises to be better than ever and will

feature key industry figures and renowned experts in their field. Program topics will include: changes in media consumption technology and behavior; public and private broadcaster strategies; spectrum issues; OTT + CDN technology; LTE, mobile video; Second Screen technologies; Cloud TV; video coding and HEVC; UHDTV; 3DTV and of course updates on a multitude of DVB standards. More details can be found on the DVB World website.

Make it a Date!

March 11 - 13 | Madrid



Page 40: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

On 31 October 2012, the

DVB announced that it

had approved its new

standard for handheld

devices, DVB-NGH.

Based on the second-

generation terrestrial

standard DVB-T2, it contains a number of

innovative improvements and extensions designed

to facilitate the reception of broadcast content on

mobile and portable devices over the next decade.

It has been said that in order to understand the

future, you first need to understand the past, and

DVB-NGH’s history within DVB has been a long

and chequered one. It first emerged in 2006,

when Prof. Ulrich Reimers, who has recently

retired as chairman of the DVB Technical

Module, gave a presentation about the existing

mobile standard DVB-H, where he revealed that

“a study mission on a possible DVB-H2 system is

due to be started in 2007”.

However, the timetable for the creation of a

next-generation version of DVB’s mobile

broadcast standard was almost immediately

derailed by two developments: first, DVB had

already begun work on an upgrade to DVB-T

(known today as DVB-T2). Second, DVB had also

agreed to back Alcatel’s plans to develop a hybrid

satellite version of DVB-H (known as DVB-SH).

The issue with DVB-T2, as Reimers himself

explained to me at the time, was that at the

outset, no-one could be quite sure what kind of

standard it would become: at one extreme (which

UK DVB members were pushing for) it might be

an HD-centric broadcast standard; at the other

(which the German membership favoured) it

could emerge as focussed on mobile. If the latter

turned out to be the case, then the implication I

took from our conversation was that DVB-H2

might be redundant.

This shadow hung over DVB-H2 for several

years. The commercial requirements for DVB-T2

appeared to favour the UK position when they

appeared in April 2007, stating that the initial

purpose of the standard was “to facilitate the

successful launch of new terrestrial HDTV

services”. But the requirements still went on to

specify that DVB-T2 should be able to support

portable and mobile broadcast modes.

Thus, at IBC in September 2009, the newly-

appointed executive director of the DVB Project

Office, Peter Siebert, still thought it possible that

“maybe [DVB-NGH] is only DVB-T2. The

elements of DVB-T2 are a good candidate.”

The delay in nailing this issue down was

exacerbated by the emergence of a hybrid satellite

version of DVB-H (DVB-SH), which temporarily

diverted DVB’s standards-setting process. The

dramas afflicting DVB-SH – which involved

everything from disputed frequency allocations to

the launch of a crippled satellite – merit a

separate article in their own right. Suffice it to say

that DVB-SH never really took off.

This might have cleared the way for a renewed

push on DVB-NGH, but that didn’t happen – at

least not immediately. Instead, in July 2011, a

new version of the DVB-T2 specification was

published, which added a new profile “intended

to allow simpler receiver implementations for very

low capacity applications such as mobile


This was dubbed T2-Lite, with the previous

fixed DVB-T2 profile now renamed ‘T2-base’.

T2-Lite is limited to a maximum bit-rate of

4Mbps, whereas the full HD-centric T2-base

profile runs up to 48Mbps (in the UK, DVB-T2

uses around 40MBps for DTT HD). T2-Lite

also avoids processing- and memory-heavy

modes, allowing more efficient receiver designs

to be used, eg for a DVB-T2 tuner in a

smartphone or tablet.

It might have been expected

that T2-Lite’s arrival would

put paid to any further talk of

a separate second-generation mobile broadcast

standard. But at IBC 2012, the new DVB-NGH

standard featured prominently on DVB’s agenda,

and as expected it was approved at the end of

October – nearly seven years after it had first

been mooted.

What’s in the DVB-NGH standard?

Much of the history laid out in the previous

section finds echoes in the content of the DVB-

NGH specification. For a start, it is based on

DVB-T2 and heavily overlaps with it in technical

terms. It has a hybrid profile according to which

terrestrial and satellite transmission schemes can

be combined (as in DVB-SH); and it also contains

some of the extra forward-error correction

techniques T2-Lite deploys to enable additional


At IBC 2012, Siebert highlighted a number of

features that differentiate DVB-NGH clearly from

its predecessors. He emphasised its use of MIMO

(Multiple Input Multiple Output), noting that

NGH was the first broadcast standard in the

world to deploy the technology. MIMO makes use

of multiple antennas at both the transmitter and

receiver end to improve throughput, and was

considered but eventually rejected for DVB-T2

because it would have been incompatible with

existing fixed rooftop aerial installations

(obviously, this is not a concern in portable or

mobile devices).

In separate comments, Phil Laven, the DVB

Steering Board Chairman, indicated DVB-NGH

would use the new coding standard HEVC,

which would further enhance throughput.

At IBC, Ericsson claimed that lab results

suggested HEVC could deliver 40-50% and more

in bandwidth savings over current industry

video-coding norms such as H.264.

NGH would also allow video and audio

components to be individually allocated their own

robustness levels, noted Siebert. This would mean

that if the video component was temporarily lost

due to interference while on the move, the audio

information might still be retained.

The long and winding roadBarry Flynn traces the chequered past of DVB’s NGH standard and asks if it – like DVB-H – is doomed to fail

40 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

DVB-NGH: Comment

Page 41: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Other notable features DVB-NGH includes


• A silicon footprint nearly half that of DVB-

T2, made possible largely by memory

savings (for instance, time interleaving has

been enhanced in such a way that NGH

demodulators require only half of the

de-interleaving memory that T2 needs).

• The ability to insert local services into

large-area Single Frequency Networks

(SFNs) – SFNs are likely to be adopted for

NGH instead of Multiple Frequency

Networks, since they facilitate uninterrupted

broadcast reception when moving from cell

to cell.

• A wide array of other techniques which

improve coding rates and signal robustness

compared to DVB-T2.

T2-Lite and the business case for mobile


Based on early industry optimism about mobile

broadcasting, in 2005 Informa put out a forecast

that predicted the global number of DVB-H users

would be around 75 million by 2010. As we know,

this is not what happened…

Everyone now accepts that DVB-H – despite

support from the European Commission – has

failed. The reasons for this are complex, and

revolve around a number of factors, including

spectrum scarcity, the expense of building

dedicated mobile broadcast transmitter networks,

the lack of DVB-H handsets, and – last but not

least – consumers’ unwillingness to pay a high

enough price to receive the same terrestrial

broadcasts on mobile devices that they had

previously received for free on their living room

TV displays.

DVB-SH represented an attempt to address at

least one of these issues, namely the cost of

building a dedicated transmitter network in every

DVB-H territory. A single S-Band satellite could

deliver pan-European mobile broadcast coverage,

and local retransmissions using the terrestrial

component could piggy-back on existing 3G

networks. But that attempt – even though based

on an improved business model – has now

arguably collapsed, too.

Yet the historical timeline I have detailed here

shows a DVB undaunted by such failures. DVB-

SH was succeeded by T2-Lite, and T2-Lite has

now been followed by DVB-NGH. Are they, too,

doomed like their predecessors?

At IBC in September 2011, I had asked Laven

why he thought T2-Lite would succeed where

DVB-H (and DVB-SH) had failed. Laven made

two points. First, mobile operators would be

facing a serious problem with network congestion

if video consumption on mobile devices continued

to increase at current rates. Second, the new

stripped-down, rugged T2-Lite profile allowed the

technology to be easily tested in the marketplace,

because it could be integrated into a DVB-T2

multiplex without the need to build a dedicated

network. This had been demonstrated to be

technically possible and therefore potentially

made T2-Lite’s use much more cost-effective than

DVB-H – if only in terms of lowering the initial

entry bar.

This year, with the launch of DVB-NGH

looming, I asked Siebert why DVB felt the need

for two new mobile broadcast standards.

Siebert made an interesting distinction: DVB-

NGH (a temporary name, he hoped) was “the

solution for a person [ie an operator] who only

wants to do mobile”. T2-Lite, on the other hand,

was targeted at broadcasters already using or

committed to DVB-T2, but who also wanted to

provide a mobile broadcast service on their

existing networks.

Siebert went on to differentiate between two

use-cases for mobile TV: one where unicast video

– such as YouTube – was involved, where a

cellular model was optimal; and one where many

viewers want to consume video at the same time

(eg the Olympics, football games, etc), where a

broadcast model was required.

However, for mobile operators, the broadcast

modes available within the new LTE/4G standard

were not able to match what their DVB

equivalents could offer. “NGH could slot in to

[fill] the LTE gap,” he suggested.

Interestingly, both sets of comments suggest

that DVB’s thinking about mobile broadcasting is

shifting. DVB-NGH is there, in part, to help

mobile operators deal with a network congestion

issue caused by the explosion of video usage on

handheld devices, just as T2-Lite is. It’s not really

about broadcasters’ needs.

We have in fact, returned to the hybrid model

originally postulated for DVB-H, where a

handheld device would incorporate both a DVB-H

and a 3G tuner. This time, though, it would be

a mobile operator’s 4G/LTE handheld device

integrating a terrestrial tuner rather than the other

way around: the mobile operators being seen as

the prime movers rather than the broadcasters.

For a body with the word ‘broadcasting’ in its

title, this represents something of a departure.

Moreover, if the model is to work, it does rather

depend on the materialisation of the perceived

mobile network congestion issue. Unless that

happens, the mobile sector is unlikely to come

knocking at DVB-NGH’s door.

Barry was a consultant at Farncombe. He is now

director of Barry Flynn Communications.

DVB-NGH: Comment

www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 41

Page 42: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Ins and outsAppointments

42 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com

Welcome to the first in a series that will track executive changes taking place in the industry. This page will be updated every issue

Fox International Channels (FIC) has named Christian Brent as VP of research & strategy for Europe. Based in London, he will head the research team and all resources across Europe as well as working closely with local offices on their audience, affiliate and advertiser strategies. Brent comes from

BBC Worldwide Channels, where he was VP of strategy & audiences for seven years. Prior to that, he worked at O2 and Walt Disney,

where he spearheaded the channel’s launch in Latin America.

Christian Brent, FIC

Civolution has appointed ex-General Electric, Microsoft and Technicolor executive Dennis P Guiry as senior VP of worldwide sales to lead the growth of the company’s global sales. Based in Civolution’s New York office, Guiry will also strengthen the Dutch provider’s presence in North

America. Prior to joining Civolution, Guiry managed Technicolor’s North American sales division. Prior to that, he was a regional

director and client director at Microsoft.

Dennis Guiry, Civolution

Programmatic video advertising company Adap.tv has appointed Timothy R Morse to the newly created position of chief financial officer. Morse joins from Yahoo!, where he held the executive vice president and CFO positions from June 2009 to October 2012. Prior to Yahoo!, Morse was the CFO of Altera

Corporation (and GE Plastics, a unit of General Electric. As CFO of Adap.tv, Morse will be globally responsible for finance, M&A and

human resources.

Timothy Morse, Adap.tv

SeaChange International has appointed video and software engineering veteran George Kajos as general manager for its Platform business unit. Kajos will head the product development organisation that produces the Adrenalin video platform, the Nitro subscriber experience and other multi-screen software

products. He comes from Motorola, where he was director of engineering for video-on-demand products, and will report to CEO

Raghu Rau.

George Kajos, SeaChange

Multi-screen solutions provider RGB Networks has hired Scott Pranger as VP of global channels. Pranger is in charge of sales growth of the company’s TV Everywhere solutions globally by strengthening its relationships with the largest resellers and systems integrators serving the global cable and telecoms

markets. He comes to RGB from Envivio, where he was VP of global channels and led partnerships with key systems integrators and

technology partners worldwide.

Scott Pranger, RGB

Videoplaza, a London-based global sell-side ad management platform for video, has named Rags Gupta, part of the founding executive team of cloud content services provider Brightcove, as chief commercial officer, to support the company’s growth and product development plans. In two further

appointments, Maria Flores Portillo, formerly a Google executive, has assumed the role of VP of new business, while Jonas Flodh has

become VP, product.

Gupta, Videoplaza

Tim Thorsteinson has become Grass Valley’s new president and CEO, to lead the company through the next phase of its evolution. Thorsteinson has held numerous senior roles in the broadcast technology industry, including president of the Broadcast Communications division of Harris. Most recently, he

was president and CEO of Enablence Technologies. Alain Andreoli, who led the acquisition and separation of Grass Valley from

Technicolor, will leave the business at the end of January.

Tim Thorstein, Grass Valley

Entertainment broadcaster Modern Times Group has appointed Rikard Steiber to the new role of executive VP and chief digital officer with effect from 4 February. Steiber joins MTG from Google, where he has worked for six years and most recently as global marketing director for Google’s Mobile & Social

Advertising business. The company has also appointed Richard Beeston as VP of Finance from 11 March and promoted Matthew Hooper to

the new role of executive VP of group corporate communications.

Rikard Steiber, MTG

Page 43: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by










D-GSMMWC121087 CLFBPM 204x271-12.ai 1 12年11月9日 下午4:19

Untitled-1 1 11/13/2012 12:15:23 PM

Page 44: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

page forty five www.cable-satellite.comAwards 2013CSI magazine l AwardsAwards 2013

page forty four www.csimagazine.com

CSI magazine l Awards

CSI Awards 2013

Now open for entries!Deadline: 15 May 2013

CSI is delighted to announce that our 11th annual Awards are now open for entries! Established in 2003 the awards are among the most prestigious and competitive technology awards in the industry, designed to recognise and reward innovation and excellence in the cable, satellite, broadcast, IPTV, telco, internet/online/OTT video, mobile TV and associated sectors.

This year, we are introducing two brand NEW categories, firstly the ‘Best Ultra HD TV Technology

or project’ which is one of the hottest industry topics and promises to be around for years to come.

Also new this year is the ‘Best Contribution to TV Accessibility’ award, which aims to recognise developments in subtitling, audio description, text-to-speech and all other services and technologies that help improve the user experience for those with disabilities.

We look forward to receiving your entries!

There are 18 coveted Awards up for grabs this year and remember you are welcome to enter multiple categories.

1. Best outside broadcast or playout technology or service

2. Best digital video processing technology

3. Best cable or fibre contribution/distribution/ transmission solution

4. Best satellite contribution/distribution/transmission solution

5. Best monitoring or network management solution

6. Best customer premise technology

7. Best workflow/asset management/automation solution

8. Best content protection technology

9. Best content-on-demand solution

10. Best interactive TV technology or application

11. Best IPTV technology or service

12. Best mobile TV technology or service

13. Best HDTV technology or project

14. Best Web TV technology or service

15. Best Ultra HD TV Technology or project - NEW

16. Best TV Everywhere/multi-screen video

17. Best Social TV technology, service or application

18. Best Contribution to TV Accessibility - NEW

For Sponsorship opportunities contact:

Tiro Bestonso, Commercial ManagerTel: +44 (0)20 7562 2427Email: [email protected]

For judging or entry enquiries:

Goran Nastic, EditorTel: +44 (0)20 7562 2416Email: [email protected]

Categories open for entries:

ENTER NOW: www.csimagazine.com/awards

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in September 2013, Amsterdam.

Page 45: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

news in brief

AmberFin’s DPP call to arms

AmberFin has embarked on a

campaign aimed at promoting the

uptake of the Digital Production

Partnership (DPP) application

specifications for the adoption of

the MXF interchange format by

the UK broadcast industry. A

major technology contributor to

the DPP initiative, AmberFin is

the first vendor to introduce a

DPP specific media file

transcoder and ingest

workstation. In the UK, some

70% of internal transactions

within companies are file-based,

but only10-15% of inter-company

media transactions are file-based,

according to CTO Bruce Devlin.

The challenge, as has been the

case so far, is communicating the

benefits of digital file-based

operation to broadcasters and


User experience in France

French telco Bouygues Telecom

is deploying an advanced content

discovery solution that enables

semantic search and browsing by

mood. The service, based on

technology from software vendor

Jinni, will be offered in French

and includes discovery of both

international and local French

TV series and movies. The Jinni

technology, which features

natural language understanding

(NLU) capabilities, will be first

introduced with an integrated

second screen tablet app. Rival

France Telecom, meanwhile, will

deploy set-top boxes that allow

subscribers to use gesture

controls to navigate

programming. Orange will offer

the gesture controls with its new

Livebox Play TV set-top, which

comes with a remote control that

contains motion sensors, using

SmartMotion Server from Movea,

beginning in February.

46 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com


DTV gathers pace in Sub-SaharaJust over a third of homes

in Sub-Saharan Africa

received digital TV at

the end of last year,

according to Digital TV

Research, which forecasts

the transition to be

complete within five years.

Some 35% of TV

households, or 14.0

million homes, in the

region took DTV signals

by end-2012, and digital

penetration will grow

to over 95% by 2018

to 49.0 million

households, Digital

TV Research data



Tanzania, Uganda

and Zambia look set to

be the lead markets with

full digital transition expected

to be complete by end-2015.

Two-thirds of television

homes will take DTT (pay and

free-to-air combined) in 2018, up

from only 11.7% last year. In total,

Sub-Saharan Africa will have 33.8

million DTT homes by 2018 –

25.7 million FTA and 8.0

million pay – up from

4.6 million

in 2012.

There were 7.36

million pay-DTH

subscribers at end-

2012, with the total

expected to rise to

11.27 million in 2018.

Of the 9.26 million

pay TV subscribers at

end-2012, 79% were for


Tooway simplifies broadband offerEutelsat’s Tooway satellite

broadband service is

introducing new usage

and pricing options

designed to boost uptake.

New and updated

packages, called Tooway

S, M, L and XL, are

being rolled out with a

key driver being a more

simplified choice,

according to Steve Petrie,

the UK commercial

director for Tooway.

An entry level 2Mbps

downlink/1Mbs uplink

option is being

introduced on the back

of customer demand,

Petrie explained. The

four other packages have

been consolidated into

one speed – 20Mbps

down vs 8Mbs up - with

recommended retail

prices ranging from

£29.99 to £74.99

depending on monthly

consumption volumes,

which range from 10GB

to a true unlimited

service called Tooway

Absolute – a first for satellite,

claimed Petrie. Customers

subscribing to the L and XL service

will also be entitled to uncapped

data usage overnight.

A pre-pay offer in the manner that

rival Avanti Communications offers

may be an option in the future.

“The main focus for consumer

services, and business services to a

certain extent, is overcoming the

digital divide in the UK and

Europe”, Petrie told CSI. “It’s really

about offering the broadband have-

nots something that’s comparable to

what you can get in cities and towns,

and in some cases even better. We’re

looking to compliment ADSL and

fibre and bring equivalent services to

the countryside and remote areas.”

An Ofcom report released at the

end of last year which estimates

there to be some 10% of UK

consumer and business connections,

equating to over three million

premises, that are unable to receive

speeds of over 2Mbps

broadband, and a further

1.3% of postcodes can’t get

any broadband at all. This is mainly

in remote and rural areas although it

does affect some suburbs too.

Overall, up to 30 million homes in

the footprint of the Ka-Sat satellite

are still waiting for quality broadband

connectivity, according to numbers

from Eutelsat.

Tooway was launched around 18

months ago, delivered via Eutelsat’s

Ka-Sat high-throughput satellite that

has a total capacity of 90Gbps. The

satellite is also used to provide the

NewsSpotter SNG service and more

recently in-flight connectivity.

Petrie is optimistic that the rollout

of Ka-band services will finally help

get the message across that satellite

broadband is a viable means of

catering for unserved and

underserved markets. “I’ve been very

actively lobbying government,

regional bodies, BDUK officials and

the public sector and word is getting

out there. There is a lot of education

to be done. Satellite has in the past

been large and expensive but with

the Ka-sat it has

taken us massive

steps in what can

be done via

satellite, which is

now an accepted

part of the

broadband mix.”

Page 46: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

ConferenceAd.indd 1 15/02/2013 16:59:16

Page 47: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

GN: Can you tell me a

little bit about yourself

and your background?

LC: My background is in

electronic engineering,

and I received a PhD

from the Tokyo

University of Electric

Engineering. I was at

Telecom Italia for many

years and while there

started the MPEG

initiative that, well, has changed the world


GN: Can you tell me a little more about the MPEG

Group and how it came about?

LC: That was in the late 1980s when digital

technologies were ready for a mass market. There

had been two or three decades of researching

digital video and audio and it was about time to

get standards so that a market could be created

and facilitated. That was the main driver for me to

establish the MPEG Group. We developed

standards for CDs, MP3, DAB, mobile video, file

formats for multimedia... the list goes on.

GN: What keeps you occupied at the moment?

LC: I have a start-up company that is engaged in

an idea that has been inspired by my work in

MPEG, essentially an alternative to current

services on the Web where you upload the

content and it is no longer yours. The system,

which can be found at wim.tv, enables users to

upload content but to remain the owners of that

content, we take the revenue share.

GN: And what can we expect from the MPEG

Group going forward?

LC: We are about 500 people meeting every three

months and producing standards one after the

other. In development and due for ratification in

Geneva on 25 January is the latest video

compression standard, called high efficiency

video coding (HEVC). The industry is eagerly

waiting for it to be formerly approved because you

will be able to squeeze at least twice the content

as with MPEG-4 using the same bandwidth. This

will create new opportunities such as ultra HD.

We are also working on a standard for 3D TV

because if you don’t have the technology set right

it’s very unlikely you will succeed. So MPEG will

do its share of the work by developing very

powerful ways of compressing video scenes so you

will be able to navigate the 3D scenes and

synthesise views at the receiver side. We have a

large number of people working on this as it’s a

real challenge on the technical front.

Another standard is called MPEG Media

Transport (MT), which is about proving the

technology so that the service provider can exploit

the second screen better than is possible today

and create user experiences around it. It will be

another year before we conclude the work.

Others involve a standard form of creating user

profiles and information preservation so that it is

stored and archived in a way that it can be re-used

in 50 years’ time regardless of technology


GN: What kind of work are you doing around

DASH, which is a hot topic?

LC: The technology is very powerful and doesn’t

require any infrastructure change. The issue is

how you overcome the viscosity of some

entrenched technologies. Everyone use their own

technology and if the industry converges to

DASH the multi-device situation will become

much simpler. Some potential difficulty does exist

however between the protocols below DASH,

which have to be made compatible as part of the

whole stack.

GN: How can ultra HD avoid some of the mistakes

made by 3D?

LC: The story is complex but it’s clear that a few

years back the industry saw the opportunity to sell

more devices and a new experience so they

rushed to introduce 3D functionality. But the

point is that today you need glasses which are an

obstacle to broad diffusion of equipment. What

we are doing is something that will be more

exploitable when there will be new display

technologies that don’t require glasses. It’s a

complex technology but it’s coming of age and

it won’t force users to change their habits.

I think MPEG by its nature has to anticipate

the future.

GN: Is there anything that particularly excites

taking place at the moment?

LC: Almost every day you find fascinating news

so it’s very hard to express a preference!

GN: Finally, is there anything you’d like to see

happen or change within the industry?

LC: Yes, it’s less selfishness making decisions that

impact the future of the market. 3D is a case in

point in fact. The industry rushed too early just to

be first in deploying 3D cameras and displays but

by doing that in an uncoordinated fashion and

with some level of incompatibility they have

maybe not killed but certainly delayed its success.

This is one example but my recommendation

would be just rely more on standards because this

way you can refine the technology and better

understand what the user needs. When you

introduce a service or product you will be more

confident it will be for the benefit of yourself and

also the industry at large.


48 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com












Goran Nastic speaks to Dr Leonardo Chiariglione, who was recently awarded the prestigious Faraday Medal from the IET in recognition of his pioneering contribution to MPEG, about the technology’s future in a period of unprecedented change in the industry.

Those interested in keeping up with the latest

MPEG standards and upcoming work can go to

the official website at mpeg.chiariglione.org

Keeping one step ahead

Page 48: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Events diary 2013

www.csimagazine.com January-February201349

Date Name Location Website

February 25-28 Mobile World Congress Barcelona www.mobileworldcongress.com

February 25-27 Smart Energy Summit Texas www.parksassociates.com/events

February 26-28 BVE London http://www.bvexpo.com/

March 5-7 Cable Congress London www.cablecongress.com

March 11-13 DVB World Madrid www.dvbworld.org

March 12-14 CABSAT Dubai www.cabsat.com/

March 18-19 Social Media World Forum London http://www.socialmedia-forum.com/

March 18-21 Satellite 2013 Washington DC http://www.satellitetoday.com/satellite2013/

March 19-21 TV Connect London http://www.tvconnectevent.com/

March 21-23 CCBN Beijing www.ccbn.tv

April 6-11 NAB Las Vegas www.nabshow.com

April 8-11 MIP TV Cannes http://www.miptv.com/

April 16-17 PEVE Entertainment London http://www.screendigest.com/events/peve

April 25-26 FTDigital Media London www.ft-live.com

May 21-22 Social TV World Summit London http://socialtvworldsummit.com/

May 22-23 Connected TV World Summit London http://www.connectedtvsummit.com/

May 2 DTG Summit London www.dtg.org.uk/dtg/summit.php

June 4-6 ANGA Com Cologne http://www.angacom.de

June 13 CSI Home Gateways Summit London www.csimagazine.com/conference

June 18-21 BroadcastAsia Singapore www.broadcast-asia.com

September 12-17 IBC Amsterdam www.ibc.org

September 18-20 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Orlando http://expo.scte.org

September 19-20 CTAM Europe Barcelona http://www.ctameurope.com/Event/86

October 1-3 CDN World Summit London http://cdnworldsummit.com/June 12-13 CDN

December TBC TV accessibility London www.csimagazine.com/conference

Page 49: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

To advertise contact Tiro Bestonso +44 (0)20 7562 2427 [email protected]

Business DirecTory

ATX Networks designs, manufactures, markets and delivers a broad range of products to the global cable television industry. Other sectors served include hospitality, education, institutional, government and health care.

A broad range of digital video products including digital signage & content streaming, bulk content transition, multichannel encoding, encoding & transcoding, RF & optical transmission, RF filters, transmitters/receivers, headend and MDU amplifiers, node segmentation, node/amp upgrades, monitor/control equipment, pads/EQs, drop amps, digital voice switches, and connectors.

VISLINK plc is a global business, strategically focussed on providing secure communication technologies to customers in our chosen markets. We have three international business units organised to serve our customers in Broadcast, Surveillance, and the related Services markets. Our world renowned brands of ADVENT, GIGAWAVE, LINK, MRC and PMR lead the way with award winning products including IP gateways, microwave radio, satellite transmission and wireless cameras.With offices in the UK, USA, Dubai, South Africa and Singapore, and dedicated sales and engineering teams, VISLINK has the experience and expertise to deliver the most comprehensive solutions for today’s challenges.

Irdeto empowers companies to protect and monetize their digital assets and maximize return on content with innovative and reliable software technologies end-to-end solution and services. The company’s products include conditional access, digital rights management, business support systems, set-top box software solutions and, through its Cloakware subsidiary, software and datacenter security. More than 400 customers worldwide trust Irdeto to secure delivery of their valuable content across digital broadcast, IP, Mobile, enterprise and government networks. Irdeto solutions currently enable simple to advanced business models on more than one billion devices and applications.

For more information, please visit www.irdeto.com.

ADB designs, manufactures and deploys solutions to distribute pay-TV and multimedia services to the connected home, for all types of networks, providing an amazing user experience.

ADB believes in a future where multi-media content will come from multiple sources and seamlessly move between multiple screens and devices, at the user’s preference. The Company has delivered over 30 million consumer premise devices to a global customer base. ADB’s innovations and software expertise have been recognized by numerous industry awards.

Taurus Avenue 105, 2132 LS HoofddorpThe NetherlandsTel: +31 23 556 22 22 Fax: +31 23 556 22 40 Email: [email protected] Web: www.irdeto.com

Address: 27 Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP2 7DE, UKPhone: +44 (0)14 42 43 13 00 Fax: +44 (0) 14 42 43 13 01Website: www.vislink.com Email: [email protected]

Rödelheimer Landstrasse 75-85, 60487 Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland Tel: +49-17-1998-3676Email: [email protected]: www.atxnetworks.com

Advanced Digital Broadcast S.A. Avenue de Tournay 7, CH-1292 Chambesy, Geneva, Switzerland Tel: +41 22 799 0799 Fax: +41 22 799 0790 Web: www.adbglobal.com

NDS, now part of Cisco, creates the technologies and applications that enable pay-TV operators

to securely deliver digital content to TV STBs (set-top boxes), DVRs (digital video recorders),

PCs, mobiles and other multimedia devices. Over 90 of the world’s leading pay-TV platforms

rely on NDS solutions to protect and enhance their business.

NDS Group Ltd, One London Road, Staines, Middlesex TW18 4EX Tel +44 (0)178 484 8500 Fax +44 (0)178 484 8600Web: www.nds.com Email: [email protected]

Page 50: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

50 January-February 2013 www.csimagazine.com www.csimagazine.com January-February 2013 51

To advertise contact Tiro Bestonso +44 (0)20 7562 2427 [email protected]

Business DirecTory

Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. Intelsat supplies video, data and voice connectivity for leading media and communications companies, Internet Service Providers and government organizations. Intelsat’s valuable regional video neighborhoods deliver more television channels than any other system. Intelsat’s terrestrial network of eight strategically-located teleports and over 36,000 miles of leased fiber complements a global satellite fleet of more than 50 satellites, covering 99% of the world’s population. Intelsat utilizes a fully integrated satellite operations model, enabling global delivery from a single platform. With Intelsat, communications with your customers are closer, by far.

Bridge Technologies designs, develops, and manufactures advanced analysis, measurement, and monitoring solutions for the digital media, broadcast and telecommunications industries.

The award-winning VideoBRIDGE series provides an advanced platform for converging TV services employing stream-based IP packets and all other Digital TV interfaces within DVB and ATSC for Cable, Terrestrial and Satellite. Compatible with all major industrial standards such as MPEG-2, h.264/AVC, HTTP based streaming and ETSI TR 101 290, the VideoBRIDGE series offers a complete end-to-end system for the continuous quality assurance of media services.

The Humax range of award-winning digital TV set-top boxes and recorders for Freeview and Freesat has a product to suit any TV viewer. Feature rich and technologically advanced, yet intuitive and easy to use, the Humax range offers the ultimate way to enjoy multi-channel, subscription-free digital TV, from high definition (HD) and on-demand content, to recording features and multi-media services.

Verimatrix specializes in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-screen digital TV services for more than 500 operators around the globe. The award-winning and independently audited Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) and ViewRight® solutions offer an innovative approach for cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV operators to cost-effectively extend their networks and enable new business models. As the recognized leader in software-based security solutions for premier service providers, Verimatrix has pioneered the 3-Dimensional Security approach that offers flexible layers of protection techniques to address evolving business needs and revenue threats. Maintaining close relationships with major studios, broadcasters, industry organizations, and its unmatched partner ecosystem enables Verimatrix to provide a unique perspective on digital TV business issues beyond content security as operators seek to deliver compelling new services. www.verimatrix.com

EchoStar Europe is dedicated to enabling digital entertainment providers to optimise revenues by delivering added-value connected device solutions, services and applications. Through a comprehensive product range, including STBs, DVRs, home networking and TV anywhere technology, our solutions enable the provision of state-of-the-art and cost effective entertainment services.

Headquartered in the UK, EchoStar Europe comprises a number of business units and is affiliated with EchoStar Technologies, a subsidiary of the publicly traded EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS).

6825 Flanders Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USATel: +1-858-677-7800 Fax: +1-858-677-7804Web: www.verimatrix.com

Humax Electronics Co., Ltd, The Mille Building (8th Floor), 1000 Great West Road, Brentford, London TW8 9HHWeb: www.humaxdigital.com

Sandakerveien 24c, Building D5NO-0473 OsloTel: +47 22 38 51 00 Office Switchboard Tel: +47 22 38 51 01 Office Fax Web: www.bridgetech.tv

3400 International Drive, NW, Washington D.C. 20008 USATel: +1 202 944 6800 Fax: +1 202 944 7898Web: www.intelsat.com

Beckside Design Centre, Millennium Business Park, Station Road, Steeton, Keighley BD20 6QW, United Kingdom Tel: +44 1535 659000 Fax: +44 1535 659100Web: www.echostar.com

Page 51: Comcast RDK: Cable goes open source - CSI Magazine · 2013. 3. 7. · company’s RDK initiative, the significance of which is analysed on page 34. Goran Nastic CSI is audited by

Unlock the full potential for your content.When it comes to reaching new audiences, there’s no better partner than Intelsat.

Our exclusive Video Neighborhoods and MCPC platforms launch your channels on

the dedicated media satellites that are most in demand among top international

programmers worldwide. Intelsat has leading neighborhoods service in every region,

for a truly global solution. You’ll cost-effectively increase your visibility among cable

systems and DTH platforms while reaching the greatest number of homes.

Meet with Intelsat during CABSAT 2013 at Hall 1, Stand C1-10.

Visit www.intelsat.com or contact us at [email protected] for details.

Your Key to the Best Video Neighborhoods

6679-CSI.indd 1 2/14/2013 3:47:28 PM