Com Hem deploys ground-breaking hybrid Android TV STB based on 3READY Operator Tier

3 Screen Solutions (3SS), leading provider of customized software solutions and services for multiscreen digital entertainment, announces that Sweden’s largest cable operator Com Hem Group selected the 3READY Android TV™ Client with custom launcher to power its new Android TV UHD-4K Hybrid STB, the Com Hem TV Hub.

Now live, Com Hem TV Hub is the world’s first major Android N deployment based on Android TV Operator Tier providing a fully customized experience with integrated Google TV services. The accomplishment is more remarkable in that separately branded Android TV UHD-4K user experiences were enabled for subscribers on Com Hem’s two technologically discrete and separately branded services, Com Hem Play and Boxer. Com Hem Play broadcasts via DVB-C (cable), IPTV and OTT with Boxer transmitting in DVB-T (terrestrial TV) and OTT. With a phased rollout, the 3READY-enriched STB is being deployed to serve Com Hem Group’s combined 1.4 million Swedish subscriber households.

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The two Com Hem systems run in parallel with a high degree of efficiency thanks to 3READY’s ability to seamlessly incorporate and apply customization to services, including different content configuration, user features and branding. Com Hem and Boxer subscriber bases will benefit from immersive, easy-to-search UI/UX’s, and a brand-specific custom launcher.

“The project progressed towards deployment and launch, the 3SS team powerfully demonstrated their software engineering excellence, deep understanding of distribution networks, and their design creativity as they helped bring all these elements together, delivering both game-changing efficiencies and next-generation viewing experiences,” commented Com Hem Group CTO Thomas Helbo.

Agile Development

3SS delivered the project with maximum efficiency and speed, in rigorous compliance with SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), the increasingly popular and practical experience-based software development framework designed to accelerate and optimize system deployments. In the run-up to launch, 3SS chaired regular workshops which helped Com Hem engineers build closer relationships with technology partners, facilitating interactive information exchange. Rigorously organized project update sessions ensured all stakeholders were kept abreast of status of all objectives and detailed roadmap of deliverables.

Sitting at the hub of the system architecture, 3READY will support the rollout of future service enhancements including UHD channels as they are added to the Com Hem Group’s service offerings.

Trailblazing New UI And EPG Says Goodbye To The TV Guide

The new Com Hem platform delivers a simple and truly intuitive experience as well as discovery of all content types including Live TV, Catch-up, SVOD, TVOD and content of partners including Netflix, SVT and TV4 under one umbrella

Complexity is reduced and discoverability in enhanced via a new Remote-Control concept with state-of-the-art design combined with a trailblazing new UI and EPG which says goodbye to the traditional TV Guide.

In a brand-new viewing experience, Com Hem has banished the TV Guide grid and numbered channel listings, while redefining zapping. Ultra-intuitive navigation makes live channel surfing a more visual experience. Super-smooth scrolling immediately shows what’s playing now, what is available from the past seven days of broadcasts, and enables impulse selection and instant start of catch-up content.

3SS engineered 3READY to have a high level of automation, including the ability to perform systematic A/B testing. This enables the operator to experiment, for example to speedily test via a subset of subscribers, effectively creating a focus group, whether a new feature will be popular with viewers.

 

“The combination of innovations made possible by 3READY, and the many appealing features of today’s Android TV, is a game-changer which we believe is enabling Com Hem to set a new benchmark in digital entertainment,” he added.

The 3READY-enhanced Android TV solution complies with the latest Android TV Operator Tier guidelines and features of Android N. Com Hem subscribers now benefit from an array of special features alongside Google’s rich Android TV feature set.

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Akamai Announces New Enhancements

Akamai Technologies, Inc. announced significant enhancements that are designed to improve website, app, and network security without compromising the performance of digital applications.

With these additions, Akamai’s cloud delivery platform is architected to serve as a crucial foundation for digital business, with security and agile deployment capabilities supporting digital transformation, next-generation network architectures, and increasingly popular DevOps workflows.

Today’s modern enterprise organization is operating within a digital landscape full of risk and uncertainty. To maintain productivity, security and competitive differentiation, organizations must take steps to evolve their overarching network architecture.

“Akamai has spent the last twenty years building and improving the largest, most reliable cloud delivery infrastructure on the market,” said Ashutosh Kulkarni, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Web Security and Performance, Akamai. “We understand that our customers are operating in an increasingly competitive, fast-moving digital environment. To help them drive differentiation and value with their customers, the Akamai platform is providing automation, tools and technology to securely move more applications to the cloud, streamline the delivery of seamless web and mobile experiences, and improve developer agility without compromising security or quality across hybrid environments.”

New Enhancements to Combat Security Risks, Including Those From Bots

As businesses move their digital operations to the cloud, systems are exposed to the risk of DDoS attacks, application-level attacks, and the increasing number of threats posed by bots. Akamai’s 2017 State of the Internet Security Report found that more than 40 percent of online login attempts are malicious, and the Ponemon Institute reports breaches based on this attack vector can, on average, cost a digital business $60 million a year.

New enhancements to the Akamai platform are designed to manage the growing challenge posed by bots and mitigate the threats posed by credential abuse. Akamai Bot Manager has added capabilities to protect apps and APIs, including a client SDK for mobile applications. For larger botnets that threaten to overwhelm organizations’ apps and infrastructure through volumetric DDoS attacks, Akamai is deploying additional capacity to its scrubbing centers to mitigate the ever-growing volume of DDoS attacks that have been threatening digital businesses.” Akamai offers secure browsing and support for HTTPS everywhere with TLS 1.3 and unparalleled visibility into evolving threats and threat actors via enhanced security analytics.

Secure access in a Zero Trust era

As the traditional corporate security perimeter dissolves and enterprise applications move to the cloud, secure unified access and single sign-on have become an imperative. Akamai’s Enterprise Application Access is designed to enable IT and security teams to move towards a Zero Trust security architecture, while simplifying secure access and reducing the attack surface associated with cloud migration, the dissolving corporate perimeter, and an increasingly mobile workforce.

Fast, secure web and mobile experiences

According to data from Akamai’s Retail Performance Report, a two-second delay in web page load time increases bounce rates by 103 percent, and 53 percent of mobile browsers will leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load.

As application architectures evolve and digital applications become more complex, it is increasingly challenging for businesses to ensure consistently high customer experiences. Akamai’s newly-deployed features have enhanced its platform’s ability to monitor, optimize, and validate application performance with the addition of perceived performance, page construction, and application delivery metrics to its mPulse real user monitoring solution.

Once issues are identified, features inherent to several solutions are designed to ensure the integrity of application engagement and experience, including: the script management and resource optimization features of the Ion acceleration solution, digital asset optimization capabilities and support for the Brotli compression algorithm, Image Manager optimization, and network optimization capabilities in an enhanced mobile application performance SDK.

“Customer experience is critical for our business and we are excited to be working with Akamai to understand how web performance is impacting and driving our key business metrics across our many global sites,” said John Paris, Service Manager, Skyscanner. “We can now monitor and optimize the digital experience using actionable insights from mPulse RUM that help us prioritize fixes and enhancements that will deliver the most business impact.”

The intersection of DevOps and Security: DevSecOps

Additional new platform features address the need for infusing security into DevOps, as more enterprises work to find that balance between accelerated development cycles and the mindset that “security is everybody’s responsibility”. Akamai has added support for scripting to automate application security using its flagship web application firewall, Kona Site Defender, as well as improved management and versioning support for API protection. In addition, the Akamai API Gateway provides an integrated solution architected to accelerate, secure, and manage APIs, including the ability to expose, authenticate, and manage access to APIs to maximize revenue and prevent misuse and abuse.

Quality at scale for OTT Content and Advertising

Akamai continues to focus on bringing the quality, performance and reliability of traditional broadcast television to the Internet, while protecting pay-TV and OTT service providers, broadcasters and consumers from a growing number of cyber threats. Recent innovations in streaming media delivery, monetization and security include: Media Services Live, featuring liveOrigin™ functionality, which significantly drives down latency while maintaining exceptional video quality; its Broadcast Operations Control Center real-time monitoring and issue detection service; Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) capabilities to help scale addressable advertising; and security solutions designed to help ensure service and content availability.

“Building trust is at the core of Akamai’s offerings. Not only trust that we are delivering the highest possible performance for web or media content, but also that the content is secure against theft and disruption,” said Rick McConnell, President & General Manager, Web Division at Akamai. “As our customers digitally transform their businesses and meet the demands of their users for rich, high-quality content, Akamai is committed to helping them deliver an exceptional and secure experience.”

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Malaysia’s TV3 selects Jünger Audio Processing

Junger Audio has helped Malaysian television viewers to experience the benefits of digital television after ‘Anugerah Juara Lagu’, one of the country’s most popular shows, was broadcast live in Dolby 5.1 surround sound for the first time in its long history.

Junger Audio has helped Malaysian television viewers to experience the benefits of digital television after Anugerah Juara Lagu, one of the country’s most popular shows, was broadcast live in Dolby 5.1 surround sound for the first time in its long history.

Anugerah Juara Lagu (AJL) is an annual music competition that has been running on Malaysia’s TV3 channel since 1986. Public votes held every month via the Muzik Muzik programme determine the fate of various musical and lyrical compositions that have been entered in the competition. Those with the most votes eventually make it to the semi-finals where a judging panel selects the 12 best songs to take part in the finals. What makes AJL unique is that the competition honours the composers and lyricists of the songs rather than the performing artistes.

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Muhammad Nur Azrin – Senior Audio Director, Dr. Ahmad Zaki – Group General Manager Engineering, David Chan and Azhar Abdul Latiff – JAAS

This year’s final took place at the Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur and was broadcast by TV3 via the MYTV digital TV platform, which is set to handle all of Malaysia’s freeview transmissions once the country moves over to digital broadcasting.

The plan to switch to digital broadcasting is tentatively scheduled for later this year, which is why TV3 wanted to run a live trial on the MYTV DVB-T2 platform. Choosing a high profile show like AJL was a brave strategy as the programme regularly pulls in audiences of over five million viewers, therefore it was imperative that all the equipment used had to be extremely reliable.

Junger Audio’s distributor JAA Systems worked closely with TV3’s parent company Media Prima Berhad to ensure that the right dynamic processing units were selected for the trial.

David Chan, head of JAA Systems, says: “During the contribution stage, we deployed a Junger Audio C8000 frame with a C8492B SDI interface, a Dolby E encoding card and Junger Audio’s proprietary Level Magic technology, which was used to control loudness and ensure that audiences received the highest possible audio quality.”

All of the programme material was sent to TV3’s MCR via a DSNG link and the 5.1+2 audio produced at the event was sent though in the Dolby E format. Once at the MCR, TV3’s own C8000 frame was used to decode the Dolby E signal into a multichannel audio stream, which was passed through the MCR for further processing.

Prior to transmission, the multichannel audio was encoded to Dolby Digital Plus using a Junger Audio DAP 8 TAP (Television Audio Processor). It was then sent to MYTV for myFreeview transmission and viewers were able to experience native 5.1 surround sound produced locally on supported IDTVs and DVB-T2 decoders. Junger Audio’s DAP8 TAP units were also used in TV3’s MCR to upmix 5.1 content so that viewers without multichannel audio could experience continuous surround sound in HDTV.

Imaliana Muzni, Broadcast System Engineer at Media Prima Berhad, says: “This is the first time we have broadcast a live programme of this magnitude on the MYTV DVB-T2 platform and it was a success. Thanks to the help we received from JAA Systems, Junger Audio and Dolby, we were able to test the upmix and native 5.1 production for TV3’s HD channel. It has been a great learning experience throughout the process, from production to delivery to MYTV.”

As a result of the trial, Media Prima Berhad is now planning to permanently install Junger Audio D*AP8 TAP units at its TV3 facility, in readiness for the switch to digital broadcasting. JAA Systems is also experiencing plenty of interest in Junger Audio technology from other broadcasters in the region.

“As Malaysia embarks on the transition to Digital TV, this trial gave many viewers an opportunity to experience Dolby surround sound and see for themselves the benefits it brings to their viewing and listening enjoyment. Its success will encourage more live 5.1 transmissions and productions to be conducted by broadcasters. This trial also proves the Junger Audio is a great solution for Dolby upmixing and encoding, as well as audio level and loudness control.”

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WGBH Installs Customized MediaPulse System from Xytech

As original members of PBS and National Public Radio, WGBH Television and Radio of Boston have broadcast histories as storied as they are long.

When the broadcast operations needed a way to streamline their facilities management, it turned to Xytech’s MediaPulse for facility and asset management. Erik Nordin, technical project manager at WGBH, said the user-friendly features of MediaPulse Sky, the software’s web-based user interface, is what first drew the station to the software.

“We were an Enterprise client of Xytech’s for many years and had a long relationship with them. We decided it was time to take the next step in streamlining our facilities management,” Nordin said. “We chose to deploy MediaPulse within our instance with the Sky Web UI, letting us do zero-touch deployment, a heavy focus on mobile and no client installation. Those were really important features for us.”

Simplified Integration

WGBH also chose to deploy MediaPulse in its Creative department, an area requiring some of the same scheduling and billing needs as WGBH’s existing MediaPulse users. WGBH worked with Xytech’s Director of Product Integration and Workflow Automation, Tanmay Goel, leveraging the MediaPulse Development Platform to quickly create a customized solution.

“Our Creative department had a few challenges we felt we could address with MediaPulse Sky,” Nordin explained. “So, we worked with Goel and MediaPulse’s API structure to do some really fun things.”

Goel worked with WGBH’s team to roll out a custom configured front-end for its Creative users, letting them raise requests and scope out bodies of work. These requests are automatically converted to MediaPulse Work Orders so staff can schedule quickly and easily. The scheduled events are seamlessly processed into invoices significantly reducing the latency period. WGBH uses the MediaPulse Development Platform to take invoices and other financial transactions and post them into the station’s general ledger system.

“We are really pleased with where we are right now with MediaPulse Sky” Nordin said. “We enjoy working with Goel and our relationship with Xytech. When we tell them a direction we want to go, they work with us to create a solution to fit our needs.”

Agile Facilities Management

One feature set to catch WBGH’s attention was its speed to delivery with not only the station’s integration, but within MediaPulse as a whole.

“You can contemplate about your work, you can schedule it, you can create the items and deliver the invoices all at the user level,” Nordin said. “This enables us to move more quickly and efficiently as a business.”

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“We are excited about where we can take MediaPulse,” Nordin continued. “We are also excited about completing development on the API and even more, including further linking it with our financial systems.”

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Anevia acquires the video compression expert Keepixo

“We are delighted to announce this acquisition, which is consistent with our drive to provide a comprehensive range of solutions, from encoding through to broadcasting and storage. Keepixo shares our innovative ADN and its solutions feature the most advanced technologies in ultra HD and low-latency live broadcasting. This tie-up will strengthen our positioning at the heart of the OTT video value chain” says Damien Lucas, Anevia’s co-founder and CTO.

 

“We have been working together for the last 10 years and teaming up with Anevia was a natural step. Our complementary technologies will extend our range and enable us to offer a genuine end-to-end solution. We are proud to be joining Anevia. Together, we will be in a stronger position to meet our operator and broadcaster clients’ expectations and provide them with solutions for the entire OTT TV processing chain” adds Keepixo’s COO Jérôme Blanc.

Keepixo is a Grenoble-based company specializing in the development of video compression software for TV operators, to enable live or near-live broadcasts for multi-screen TV. Keepixo’s solutions have been sold to more than 150 clients worldwide, including 40 Tier-1 operators. In 2017, Keepixo recorded sales of €0.9m and had 14 employees, most of whom are based in Grenoble.

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