BCE, Take Media To The Next Level

Live stream and manage your OTT platforms

Discover BCE’s online video solutions for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organizers and sport and cultural events.

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Live streaming massive events such as Tomorrowland and the fashion weeks, BCE has acquired a leading position on the market with a solid player, multiple features and global delivery.

Thanks to BCE’s Online Video Platform (OVP) and services, the customer can create video platforms (VoD, Replay, PayTV, etc.), manage and distribute its content, monitor and analyze its audience.

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Produce and broadcast with StudioTalk

StudioTalk is an all-in-one solution to produce shows, manage content, add special effects, control sets and broadcast your programs on any existing platform. Experience live production and 360° distribution through an easy touch interface and powerful system.

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StudioTalk touchscreen interface
  • Thanks to an intuitive Graphic User Interface and a touchscreen, the customers are able to control cameras, feeds and studio sets.
  • An automated mode can let StudioTalk work on its own to ensure seamless production and broadcast.
  • An advanced Content Management System is built-in and can easily be connected to your workflow.
  • Encrypt the content with BCE DRM.
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StudioTalk at RTS

Itstored, BCE’s cloud backup and storage solution

With S3 (Simple Storage Service) protocol being a worldwide standard, BCE ensures the protection of the files as well as its immediate availability as itstored is directly connected to the customer workflow.

  • The customer can perform unlimited actions on your content with a single, flat rate
  • Thanks to BCE’s bandwidth, The customer can access your content at any time
  • With more than 22 PB, the customer can backup all its content
  • The content can be stored on two redundant datacenters

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Discover as well BCE’s recent system integration projects for Groupe M6, BNJ, RTS and Antenne Reunion, the remastering of Baywatch for Fremantle, BCE’s DRM services and our 4K Broadcast services of Altice and Luxe.tv.

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GatesAir and Pinnacle Communications Accelerate Nigerian Digital Switchover Initiative

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, and channel partner Pinnacle Communications Limited have completed the plan for phase two of a multi-stage digital TV (DTV)  transition in Nigeria. Having covered 100 percent of the Abuja municipality, the second phase will extend coverage to 95 percent of the population in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.

The DVB-T2 system today delivers 30 national and up to six local channels of high-quality news, information and entertainment to FCT residents – as many as 200 free over-the-air channels are anticipated – with GatesAir high-efficiency ULXTE liquid-cooled transmitters powering all over-the-air DTV content delivery. Comprehensive national coverage will eventually reach more than 50 million viewing homes and approximately 170 million people in 36 Nigerian states and the FCT, with a complete national digital switchover targeted for December 2021.

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GatesAir CEO Bruce Swail demonstrates a GatesAir transmitter to Pinnacle Communications’ Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General Chris Jemitola, at the Quincy manufacturing center during the delegation tour.

As the licensed signal distributor for Nigeria, Pinnacle Communications is working diligently to plan future expansions of the service. This includes the rollout of low-power transmitters and gap fillers to fill out the terrestrial black spots in the FCT region and Kaduna state before moving onto other states. Pinnacle Communications will leverage GatesAir’s expanded range of lower power systems, which GatesAir took ownership of following its recent acquisition of ONEtastic.

“We have invested exclusively in GatesAir TV, AM and FM transmitters since 1998 because of their high quality and unmatched resilience, and will continue to do so because their range of high-efficiency transmission solutions will address low-power requirements,” said Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Communications. “GatesAir also continues to impress with accelerated deliveries for our most important projects. We have deployed GatesAir transmitters for several locations with emergency turnarounds, and those plug-and-play installations remain reliably operational today.”

GatesAir remains the leading supplier for DTV transitions in Africa. In addition to Nigeria, GatesAir has supported challenging DTV transitions in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. The scale of the Nigerian digital switchover is perhaps the most impressive, as an overwhelming majority of the expansive Nigerian population relies exclusively on free, over-the-air TV. It is estimated that about five percent of households in Nigeria receive television from PayTV services.

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GatesAir CEO Bruce Swail offers a local gift to Pinnacle Communications’ Chairman and CEO Sir Lucky Omoluwa following a partnership signing.

“The Nigerian digital switchover will be the largest initiative of its kind in Africa, not to mention Europe, when it reaches its conclusion,” said Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “Upon completion, the immense scale of this system will serve as an impressive blueprint for any broadcaster strategizing a complex, national DTV transition. We are proud to be associated with a such a challenging and rewarding project taking shape in the heart of Africa, with the entirety of the system built and developed by Nigerians.”

GatesAir welcomed Pinnacle’s executive team to its Quincy, Illinois manufacturing center in late August. The visit included a facility tour and overview of GatesAir’s next-generation transmitter designs, which will at once improve coverage, enhance signal quality, and reduce operating costs – notably, energy bills and systems maintenance – over the lifetime of the system. Pinnacle Communications Limited Executive Director, Dipo Onifade; Lead Broadcast Technical Consultant, Yomi Bolarinwa; and Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General (RTD) Chris Jemitola were among those joining Sir Lucky Omoluwa for the visit. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore and top executives from the Quincy Chamber of Commerce were on hand to receive the delegation.

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Pinnacle Communications and GatesAir executives from L to R: Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General Chris Jemitola (Pinnacle); CEO Bruce Swail (GatesAir); Chairman and CEO Sir Lucky Omoluwa (Pinnacle); Lead Broadcast Technical Consultant, Yomi Bolarinwa (Pinnacle); Executive Director, Dipo Onifade (Pinnacle); Managing Director, EMEA and India, Andy McClelland (GatesAir); President and Managing Director, International, Rich Redmond (GatesAir).

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OTT Platform Providers Continue APAC Growth

By Jean Christophe Jubin, VP Sales APAC at Viaccess-Orca.

Few regions of the world have shown so much consistent growth in so many industries as APAC. Even if you take the economic powerhouse of China out of the equation, there is a constant increase in almost all metrics across the board as the region’s diverse economies continue to heat up. And the broadcast industry is no exception.

APAC is a large and diverse region, with notable differences between the many countries. Notable differences also exist within individual countries, especially between rural and urban populations and the infrastructure that serves them. Yet in survey after survey and report after report, the common denominator is of growth. From the vast economies of China and India, through the fragmented SE Asian market, to the developed and mature markets of Japan, Korea and Singapore and on to ANZ, more consumers are demanding more video.

According to analysis from Media Partners Asia (MPA), the Asia Pacific online video sector will double in size by 2024. The region’s online video advertising and subscription revenue will expand from $26 billion in 2019 to $52 billion in 2024, an annual growth rate of 15%. So, what is driving this expansion? And how do operators ensure they are a part of it?

Factors in OTT video services growth

Identifying the different reasons for the growth across the region is not an easy task due to the sheer diversity exhibited. Nevertheless, the interlocking three factors of an improving digital infrastructure, an increase in paid for local services, (either SVOD or Pay-TV), and the fact that the big international services such as Netflix are also increasing their attempts at localization are all at play to varying degrees.

Improving infrastructure

The infrastructure picture is, of course not consistent across the region, with some countries such as South Korea far ahead of the global curve, and several others lagging behind. Ironically, one of the factors driving OTT uptake has been the slow pace of infrastructure investment in rolling out Digital Terrestrial Television across the region.Ovum estimates that a 59% digital TV penetration at the end of 2014 will increase to 88% by the end of 2020, a transition that the IABM characterizes as ‘alarmingly low’, while at the same time admitting that both MENA and LATAM are at similar points.

“The lack of DTT progress can hinder the ability of traditional broadcasters, especially public broadcasters, to compete effectively in current media markets,” the IABM continues.

With the linked issue of a transition to HD also taking place at the same time, the assumption is that consumers are being driven towards OTT services as they offer a wider range of content functionality, and superior picture quality.

As we’ve highlighted in LATAM, there is a direct link between broadband provision and OTT demand, with operators often using OTT solutions as differentiators when they launch into increasingly crowded markets. The Netflix ISP Speed Index for April 2019 highlights the uneven nature of the provision, however; the Philippines has the lowest average connection speed at 2.57Mbps, while Hong Kong leads the field of countries with 4.08Mbps. By way of comparison, the company lists the USA at 4.19Mbps.

The Netflix figures are, of course, merely a measure of prime time Netflix performance on particular ISPs, and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across any specific ISP network. So, while of limited use in general, in the context of delivering video to consumers they are very important. And it is worth pointing out that Netflix recommends 5.0Mbps as a minimum for HD streaming.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the focus in the region — and especially given its geographic spread and the difficulties of laying physical cable — is currently on mobile broadband. Indeed, in many countries, mobile has overtaken fixed broadband as the primary means of internet access. This is only going to accelerate as 5G deployment starts to ramp up.

This mobile first approach has implications for operators, who need to ensure their OTT offerings are tailored as such. This is not only in terms of content and UI either, but also when it comes to payment models, which tend to be undeveloped in many countries. As a result we are seeing a lot of partnering between OTT providers and existing telecom and Pay-TV operators, who have already carved out models that work well in low income markets with poor credit penetration. Indeed, Netflix is trialling a low-cost, mobile-only subscription plan in India that brings its historically high and globally set price more in line with the local market.

Increasing localization

The importance of local content can be seen by the importance that the global players place on it. Netflix was present in the APAC region a year before its global launch in January 2016, establishing bridgeheads in ANZ and Japan. As the IABM’s latest Media Technology Demand Driversreport for the region points out, usually Netflix offers around 20% of local programming, either made specifically or licensed. When it launched in Japan it pushed this figure up to 40%, plus entered a deal with telco and internet giant SoftBank to offer its customers easy ways to pay for a subscription.

The IABM says that “Netflix has replicated this strategy across the whole region by entering agreements with local companies producing local content.”

This though is not a new strategy. Netflix has been increasingly internationalizing for nearly two years.Ampere Analysis  says that 30% of Netflix Originals were non-English language in min-2017. By the time we got to Q4 2018, the company was producing new content in 25 countries, with 133 titles originating outside of North America and 36% of its originals were non-English. APAC’s contribution, primarily from India and Japan, is illustrated below.

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Amazon Prime Video has also been aggressive in this field, with 70% of its content in India and Japan local. It has also launched its streaming service free to Prime customers.

Given that governments are starting to legislate to ensure local content on streaming services (the European Union specifies 30%, Mexico is seriously considering it) and given the advantage that local content has to local audiences, we expect to see more local production ramp up in APAC and other areas. For local operators, some of whom may already have extensive locally produced content libraries, the importance of local content represents a significant opportunity to engage viewers with new OTT offerings. They may not be able to outgun Netflix when it comes to sheer numbers of subscribers, but the comparative success of operators such as iflix in Malaysia, which is aiming to quadruple its commissioning slate by 2019, HOOQ, and Viu already shows that there is definitely room in the market.

OTT Platform Providers in APAC – The Challenges

There are of course, plenty of challenges in the region too. Piracy in APAC is something we’ve written about many times before, with headline figures such as the fact that up to 45% of consumers in Thailand are using a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and illegal content. Nevertheless, the industry is fighting back, and initiatives such as our new Anti-Piracy Center are providing valuable tools in the battle to protect content.

As a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence report points out, there is also probably too great an emphasis on AVOD at the moment throughout APAC, which detracts from any future SVOD growth. AVOD remains an important component of OTT growth overall, especially given its role in raising awareness of the services available and encouraging viewers to seek legal sources for premium content.

It is also worth pointing out that the rate of growth is starting to slow too as the market matures. This is going to mean operators will have to be rigorous in the planning and execution of their services. But, while growth might be slowing, revenues will still be on the rise for the next forecast period and, hopefully, beyond.

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GatesAir Expands EMEA Sales Force with Appointment of Alexander Kurz

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, continues to bolster its EMEA sales team with appointment of broadcast industry veteran Alexander Kurz. Reporting to Andy McClelland, Managing Director, EMEA and India, Kurz will work closely with the broader EMEA sales and business development team to increase market share and raise brand awareness in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region. He will also cover most European countries and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries south and east to the Ukrainian and Russian borders.

Kurz brings more than 20 years of industry experience to his new role, with extensive expertise guiding customers through digital TV transitions. He joins GatesAir from NeuLion, where he helped over-the-air broadcasters and PayTV providers distribute and monetize OTT content to complement existing TV services. Kurz also has more than 15 years of experience in the test and measurement field with Ineoquest and Tektronix, where he regularly supplied customized quality assurance solutions for DTV headend and transmission systems.

Kurz sees tremendous opportunity for GatesAir to capture regional market share for TV and radio systems with its high-efficiency Maxiva and Flexiva transmitters, emphasizing the changing habits of video consumption and the staying power of radio as a medium.

“Many of these countries have moved from analog to DVB-T digital television, and we see enormous opportunity to transition these systems to the more bandwidth-efficient DVB-T2 standard,” said Kurz. “Such transitions are growing increasingly attractive to broadcasters in this region as more viewers cut the cord, and move to OTA and OTT for television. GatesAir has the ideal technology to transition our customers to DVB-T2 with incremental upgrades that prevent disruption to existing over-the-air operations, and deliver the improved bandwidth efficiency and performance capabilities that will enable richer, higher quality DTV services.”

Kurz adds that radio remains strong throughout the region, noting a healthy demand for renewed FM infrastructure and a desire to leverage IP networks for audio contribution and distribution.

“There is an FM radio in every household and new car, and we see burgeoning opportunities for DAB Radio driven by government mandates and a thirst for stronger audio services,” he said. “In addition, GatesAir’s Intraplex networking products will help broadcasters transition to IP-based transport methods, while retaining the resiliency and reliability of traditional transport and delivery methods.”

Kurz will also work closely with EMEA Business Development Manager Peter Timmons to support regional roadshows, customer visits and partner training sessions.

“Alexander’s depth of broadcast experience and regional knowledge, including strong customer relationships that he has solidified over more than two decades, makes him the ideal person to strengthen GatesAir’s visibility and market share in the DACH and eastern European regions,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are excited to welcome him to the team as we continue to expand our presence throughout EMEA and other international regions.”

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Universal Electronics unveils NEW line-up of Android TV compatible Remote Controls during IBC2018

Android TV is one of the fastest growing advanced home entertainment set-top systems for PayTV operators offering a hybrid content delivery platform and high-quality TV experience. Android TVs enables subscribers to enjoy multi-screen linear and OTT experiences, as well as access to an increasing number of apps and gaming services.

Universal Electronics is an early adopter of the Android TV ecosystem and one of the first to launch a compatible voice remote control tailored exclusively for the Google platform. As the market leader in voice remotes, UEI leverages its broad portfolio of control technologies to deliver an unparalleled entertainment control experience for Android TV users.

UEI’s Android TV remote control range is the broadest in the industry, offering control solutions from its basic OTT-centric voice controller, the UEI OLYMPUS platform, to the more feature rich UEI DENALI and UEI Everest platforms that offers comprehensive hybrid set-top box control, and the UEI INSINQ K2 remote with its differentiating design and full functionality.

Introducing the New UEI FUJI Android TV remote featuring Adaptive Control

Each remote control in the new line-up has been carefully crafted around UEI’s proprietary Designovation process, that is founded on the premise that real design opportunities are built at the intersection of user experience, consumer trends and innovative technology, which lies at the heart of UEI’s product vision. An example of UEI’s Designovation process at work is the new UEI FUJI product. A revolutionary remote control that optimizes user-engagement by blending intuitive software features into remote hardware to deliver a unique “Adaptive Control” system that automatically alters the remote control functionality to mimic on-screen activities.

The UEI FUJI Android TV remote control is both practical, featuring easy charging with a USB cable, and aesthetically pleasing, with soft fabrics to ensure it feels as good as it looks. Adaptive Control enables the users to hop effortlessly between Live TV and OTT streaming services and is fully compatible with Google Assistant, strengthening monetization opportunities while offering a plethora of new use cases for the connected home.

Kuldip Singh Johal, Vice President Sales – Subscription Broadcasting, said, “We are delighted to be able to demonstrate our growing range of Android TV remote control devices at IBC. I believe that the IBC audience will be energized when they experience the full potential of our market leading off-the-shelf Android TV platforms for the PayTV industry, particularly our new UEI FUJI device.

“All of our platforms are based on UEI’s foundational technologies,” added Johal. “Each platform supports QuickSet® Cloud, the world’s only automated discovery, set up and control software, which enables fast time to market for customers ready to embrace Android TV.”

You can see the latest product range and other UEI technology in action in Hall 1, stand C41 at IBC2018 from September 14-18, 2018.