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MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

After what happened last year with MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [this same blog, ]. The last 10 years’ strategy was incredible!

MediaTek - The Next 10 years Enablement NOWEnablement is the crucial differentiator for MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy, as much as it was for the one in the last 10 years. Therefore it will be presented in details below as follows:

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market (MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)
I/2. MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements
I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

II/1. CrossMount: “Whatever DLNA can plus a lot more”
II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT
II/3. LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform for WiFi enabled IoT

MWC 2015: MediaTek LinkIt Dev Platforms for Wearables & IoT – Weather Station & Smart Light Demos

MediaTek Labs technical expert Philip Handschin introduces us to two demonstrations based on LinkIt™ development platforms:
-Weather Station uses a LinkIt ONE development board to gather temperature, humidity and pressure data from several sensors. The data is then uploaded to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox where it’s displayed in graphical form.
-Smart Light uses a LinkIt Connect 7681 development board. It receives instructions over a Wi-Fi connection, from a smartphone app, to control the color of an LED light bulb.

II/4. MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT
II/5. MediaTek Ventures Logo: to enable a new generation of world-class companies

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoCs for Android Wear and Android based wearables

Before these details let’s however understand the strategic reasoning for all that!
March 5, 2015: MediaTek CMO Johan Lodenius* at MWC 2015

MediaTek appoints Johan Lodenius as its new Chief Marketing Officer [press release, Dec 20, 2012]

MediaTek's Brand New World - The Big Picture -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Device Evolution -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Business Evolution -- MWC2015MediaTek's Brand New World -- MWC2015

MediaTek - Enabling a Brand New World

Next here is also a historical perspective (as per my blog) on MediaTek progress so far:
– First I would recommend to read the “White-box (Shanzhai) vendors” and “MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem” parts in the Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! Feb 21, 2011 post of mine in order to understand the recipe for its last 10 years success ⇒ Johan Lodenius NOW:
MediaTek was the pioneer of manufacturable reference design
– Then it is worth to take a look at the following posts directly related to MediaTek if you want to understand the further evolution of the company’s formula of success :

MediaTek on Experiencing the Cloud

#2 Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 (The MT6588 was later renamed MT6589). On the chart below of the “Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors Q4’09-Q4’14” by Statista it is quite well visible the effect of MT6575 (see from Q3’12 on) as this enabled a huge number of 3d Tier or no-name companies, predominantly from China to enter the smartphone market quickly and extremely competitively (and Nokia’s new strategy to fail as well)
Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors 4Q09-4Q14 by Statista#6 MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake)
#13 MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up
#16 UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
#24 Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
#42 MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
#67 MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
#93 Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012
#128 MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China
#205 Now in China and coming to India: 4G LTE True Octa-core™premium superphones based on 32-bit MediaTek MT6595 SoC with upto 20% more performance, and upto 20% less power consumption via its CorePilot™ technology
#237 Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience
#281 ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips

As an alternative I can recommend here the February 2, 2015 presentation by Grant Kuo, Managing Director, MediaTek India on the IESA Vision Summit 2015 event in India:

– MediaTek Journey Since 1997
→ Accent on the turnkey handset solution: 200 eng. ⇒ 30-40 eng., time-to-market down to 4 months
→ Resulting in MediaTek share with local brands in India of 70% by 2014
 The Next Big Business after Mobile
 Partnering for New Business Opportunity
 Innovations & Democratization
→ Everyday Genius and Super-Mid Market

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market
(MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)

July 15, 2013:
Technology Spotlight: Making the big.LITTLE difference

MediaTek 2014 Market PerformanceNo matter where the mobile world takes us, MediaTek is always at the forefront, ensuring that the latest technologies from our partners are optimized for every mobile eventuality.

To maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture, MediaTek has delivered the world’s first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the MT8135 – with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), featuring MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology.

ARM big.LITTLE™ is the pairing of two high performance CPUs, with two power efficient CPUs, on a single SoC. MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology uses HMP to dynamically assign software tasks to the most appropriate CPU or combination of CPUs according to the task workload, therefore maximizing the device’s performance and power efficiency.

In our recently produced whitepaper, we discussed the advantages of HMP over alternative forms of big.LITTLE™ architecture, and noted that while – HMP overcomes the limitations of other big.LITTLE™ architectures, MediaTek’s CorePilot™ maximizes the performance and power-saving potential of HMP with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

To learn more, please download MediaTek’s CorePilot™ whitepaper.

Leader in HMP

As a founding member of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, MediaTek actively shapes the future of heterogeneous computing.

HSA Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium of SoC and software vendors, OEMs and academia.

July 15, 2013:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology [whitepaper]

Delivering extreme compute performance with maximum power efficiency

In July 2013, MediaTek delivered the industry’s first mobile system on a chip with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing. The MT8135 chipset for Android tablets features CorePilot technology that maximizes performance and power saving with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • ARM big.LITTLE Architecture
  • big.LITTLE Implementation Models
  • Cluster Migration
  • CPU Migration
  • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
  • MediaTek CorePilot Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology
  • Interactive Power Management
  • Adaptive Thermal Management
  • Scheduler Algorithms
  • The MediaTek HMP Scheduler
  • The RT Scheduler
  • Task Scheduling & Performance
  • CPU-Intensive Benchmarks
  • Web Browsing
  • Task Scheduling & Power Efficiency
  • SUMMARY

Oct 29, 2013:
CorePilot Task Scheduling & Performance

Mobile SoCs have a limited power consumption budget.

  • With ARM big.LITTLE, SoC platforms are capable of asymmetric computing where by tasks can be allocated to CPU cores in line with their processing needs.
  • From the three available software models for configuring big.LITTLE SoC platforms, Heterogeneous Multi-Processing offers the best performance.
  • MediaTek CorePilot technology is designed to deliver the maximum compute performance from big.LITTLE mobile SoC platforms with low power consumption.
  • The MediaTek CorePilot MT8135 chipset for Android is the industry’s first Heterogeneous Multi-Processing implementation.
  • MediaTek leads in the heterogeneous computing space and will release further CorePilot innovations in 2014.
(*) The #1 market position in Digital TVs is the result of the acquisition of the MStar Semiconductor in 2012.

Feb 9, 2015 by Bidness Etc:
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) To Lose Market Share: UBS

UBS expects Mediatek to gain at Qualcomm’s expense this year

Eric Chen, Sunny Lin, and Samson Hung, analysts at UBS, suggest that Mediatek will control 46% of the 4G smartphone market in China in 2015. Last year the company had a 30% market share. Low-end customers, as well as high-end clients that are switching to Mediatek MT6795 from Snapdragon 800 will help Mediatek advance.

“We believe clients for MT6795 include Sony, LGE, HTC, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, TCL, and Lenovo, among others. With its design win of over 10 models, we anticipate Mediatek will ship 2m units per month in Q215 and 4m units per month in H215. That indicates revenue will reach 14% in Q215 and 21% in H215, up from 3% in Q115,” reads the report.UBS also said that Mediatek will witness a 20% increase in its revenue and report 48% in gross margin in 2015. Earnings are forecasted to grow 21%.

“We forecast MT6752/MT6732 shipments (mainly at MT6752 of US$18-20) to reach 3m units per month in Q215, up from 1.5m units per month in Q115,” read the report*.

My insert here the Sony Xperia E4g [based on MT6732] – Well-priced LTE-Smartphone Hands On at MWC 2015 by Mobilegeeks.de
* From another excerpt of the UBS report: “In the mid-end, UBS believes China’s largest smartphone manufacturers from LenovoGroup (992.HK) to Huawei will switch from Qualcomm’s MSM 8939 [Snapdragon 615] to Mediatek’s MT 6752 because of Qualcomm’s “inferior design.” ” 

Further below in the section I/2. there will be an image enhancement demonstration with an MT6752-based Lenovo A936 smartphone, actually a typical “lower end super-mid” device sold in China since December just for ¥998 ($160) — for 33% lower price than the mid-point for the super-mid market indicated a year ago by MediaTek (see the very first image in this post).

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek 64-bit LTE Octa-Core Smartphone Reference Design “In Shezhen MediaTek showed off their new Smartphone Reference Design for their LTE Octa-Core line up. The MT6595 and MT6795 are both high end processors capable of taking on Qualcomm in terms of benchmarks at a budget price.

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek: How They Came To Take on Qualcomm?

Brief content: When I found out about the MediaTek press conference, I immediately picked up a ticket and planned to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities on earth, Shenzhen. MediaTek is one of the fastet growing companies in mobile. But where exactly did this Taiwanese company come from?
Back in 1997 MediaTek was spun off from United Micro Electronics Corporation which was Taiwan’s first semi conductor company back in 1980 and started out making chipsets for home entertainment centers and optical drives. In 2004 they entered the mobile phone market with a different approach, instead of just selling SoCs they sold complete packages, a chip with an operating system all ready baked on, they were selling reference designs.
This cut entire heavily manned teams out of the process and more importantly reduced barriers for entry, small companies sold phones under their own brand. This is why most people have never heard of MediaTek, they merely enabled the success of others. Particularly in emerging markets like China.
With Feature phones peaking in 2012 and Smartphones finally taking over the top spot in 2013, they had to move on, it took them longer then they should have, regardless, they are here now. MediaTek is applying the same strategy for dominating the Feature Phone market to low and mid range Smartphones. They are already in bed with all the significant emerging market players like ZTE, Huawei & Alcatel. And getting manufacturers on your side works for gaining market share when carriers don’t have much control. Unsubsidized handsets make people purchase more affordable devices.
Despite its enormous success in the category where the next Billion handsets are going to be sold, they have yet to make a name for themselves in the West. Fair enough, being known for cheap handsets will create challengers to entering the high end market. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming out with the world first 4G LTE Octa core processor. And they even set up shop in Qualcomm’s backyard by opening an office in San Deigo. Which is a pretty big statement, especially when you take into consideration that MediaTek is bigger than Broadcom & Nvidia.
But as they push into the US, Qualcomm seeks to gain a foothold in China. So let’s take a closer look at that because this race has less to do with SoC’s than it does with LTE. MediaTek’s Octa-core processor with LTE put Qualcomm on alert because they always had to lead when it came to LTE. I found some stats on Android Authority from Strategy Analytics in Q3 2013 66% of their cellular revenue came from LTE, which MediaTek claimed second place at 12%, and Intel in third with 7%. Qualcomm even has a realtionship with China Mobile to get their LTE devices into the hands of its local market.

Even still, it is a numbers game and if MediaTek’s SoC performance is at the same level as Qualcomm’s mid range SoC offering but at a lower price, it won’t take MediaTek to catch up. But even on a more base level, let me tell you about a meeting that I had in Shenzhen with Gionee I asked about developing on Qualcomm vs MediaTek. They said, MediaTek will get back to you within the hour, Qualcomm will get back to you the next day, and when I mentioned Intel they just laughed.

Consumers might find it frustrating that MediaTek takes a little longer to come out with the latest version of Android, but the reason is that they are doing all the work for their partners. When you’re competing with a company that understand customer service better than anyone else right now, it’s going to be hard not to see them as a real threat.

MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.

In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.

“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”

“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.

The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.

In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”

“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.

The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December* has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

* MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

See also: Imagination Welcomes MediaTek’s Innovation in True Heterogeneous Multi-Processing With New SoC Featuring PowerVR Series6 GPU [press release, Aug 28, 2013]

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 11 February, 2014 – MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
  • Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
  • ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
  • Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics
  • Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
  • DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems

  • World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
  • Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
  • 20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac

  • Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
  • Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
  • Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC

  • Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
  • Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

Sept 21, 2014:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Technology

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Launches 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE Smartphone SoC with World’s First 2K Display Support

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 15, 2014 – MediaTek today announced MT6795, the 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE smartphone System on Chip (SoC) with the world’s first 2K display support. This is MediaTek’s flagship smartphone SoC designed to empower high-end device makers to leap into the Android™ 64-bit era.

The MT6795 is currently set to be the first 64-bit, LTE, True Octa-core SoC targeting the premium segment, with speed of up to 2.2GHz, to hit the market. The SoC features MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology providing world-class multi-processor performance and thermal control, as well as dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone.

The high-performance SoC also satisfies the multimedia requirements of even the most demanding users, featuring multimedia subsystems that support many technologies never before possible or seen in a smartphone, including support for 120Hz displays and the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second (fps) 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos.

With the launch of MT6795, MediaTek is accelerating the global transition to LTE and creating opportunities for device makers to gain first-mover advantage with top-of-the-line devices in the 64-bit Android device market. Coupled with 4G LTE support, MT6795 completes MediaTek’s 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio: MT6795 for power users, MT6752 for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry level users. This extensive portfolio allows everyone to embrace the improved speed from 4G LTE and parallel computing capability from CorePilot and 64-bit processors.

Key features of MT6795:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC* with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560×1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek has once again demonstrated leading engineering capabilities by delivering breakthrough technology and time-to-market advantage that enable limitless opportunities for our partners and end users, while setting the bar even higher for our competition,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.  “With a complete and inclusive 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio, we are firmly on track to lead the industry in delivering premium mobile user experiences for years to come.”

MT6795-powered devices will be commercially available by the end of 2014.

*  Instead of a heterogeneous multi-processing architecture, the MT6795 features eight identical Cortex-A53 cores. 4xA53 + 4xA57 big.LITTLE was unofficially before.
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek Launches MT6735Mainstream WorldModeSmartphone Platform

By adding CDMA2000, MediaTek accomplishes WorldMode modem capability in a single platform and meets wireless operator requirements globally; putting advanced yet affordable smartphones into the hands of consumers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 15 October, 2014 – MediaTek today announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC), MT6735, incorporating the modem and RF needs of wireless operators globally.  By offering a unified mobile platform, MediaTek is enabling its customers to develop on the MT6735 and sell mobile devices globally, thereby creating significant R&D cost savings and economies of scale in manufacturing.  The MT6735 builds upon MediaTek’s existing line-up of mainstream LTE platforms by adding the critical WorldMode modem capability.

The MT6735 incorporates four 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 processors, delivering significantly higher performance than Cortex-A7 for a premium mobile computing experience, driving greater choice of smart devices at affordable prices for consumers. As projected, MediaTek sees a continued consolidation of smartphones into a very large mid-range, termed by MediaTek as the “Super-mid market”.

“The MT6735 is a breakthrough product from MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP and General Manager of Wireless Communication at MediaTek. “With CDMA2000, we offer global reach, driving high performance technology into the hands of users everywhere. We also strongly believe that as LTE becomes mainstream in all markets, the processing power must be consistently high to ensure the best possible user experience. That’s why 64-bit CPUs and CorePilotTM technology are standard features across all of our LTE solutions.”

“MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best, fully-connected user experiences do not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to creating powerful devices that accelerate the transformation of the global market and strive to put high-quality technology in the hands of everyone.”

The MT6735 platform includes:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor control system, providing a performance boost for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1280×720 resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

MT6735 is sampling to early customers in Q4, 2014, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

March 4, 2015:
LTE WorldMode with MediaTek MT6735 and MT6753, now ready for the USA market and worldwide!

ARMdevices.net (Charbax): MediaTek now supports worldwide LTE with the 64bit MT6735 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and the 64bit MT6753 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53. This is LTE Cat4, they claim to be 10-15% faster in single SIM mode and 20-30% faster with dual-sim support compared to perhaps a Qualcomm LTE Worldmode. They also claim to use less power than competitor for standby, 3G and LTE mode. Many LTE Telcos around the world have already certified support for these new MediaTek LTE parts, with support on Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T. This LTE Worldmode processor is a big deal for MediaTek as it opens up the USA market for them, where MediaTek previously didn’t have much support for American telecoms as MediaTek’s previous 3G and LTE solutions mainly was working outside of the USA.

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Releases the MT6753: A WorldMode 64-bit Octa-core Smartphone SoC

Complete with integrated CDMA2000 technology that looks to meet the needs of the high-end smartphone market worldwide 

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the release of the MT6753, a 64-bit Octa-core mobile system-on-chip (SoC) with support for WorldMode modem capability. Coupled with the previously announced MT6735 quad-core SoC, the new MT6753 is designed with high performance features for an ever more demanding mid-range market.

Reinforcing MediaTek’s commitment to driving the latest technology to customers across the world, the MT6753 SoC will be offered at a price that creates strong value for customers, especially as it comes with integrated CDMA2000 to ensure compatibility in every market. The eight ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors and Mali-T720 GPU helps to ensure customers can meet graphic-heavy multimedia requirements while also maintaining battery efficiency for high-end devices.

“The launch of the MT6753 again demonstrates MediaTek’s desire to offer more power and choice to our 4G LTE product line, while also giving customers worldwide greater diversity and flexibility in their product layouts”, said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President at MediaTek.

The MT6753, which is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones, also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way. MT6753 is sampling to customers now, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

Key Features of MT6753 include:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Octa-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor technology, providing a perfect balance of performance and power for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 16MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1920×1080 60fps resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

January 2015: MediaTek leaked smartphone roadmap (note the MT67xx scheduled for 4Q 2015 and using 20nm technology, as well that the new smartphone SoCs, except the very entry 3G with Cortex-A7, are based on Cortex-A53 cores while still using 28nm)
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek leaked smartphone SoC roadmap -- Jan-2015
The availability dates shown above are for the first commercial devices!

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into MediaTek Helio Logo(starting with the MT6795 now denominated as Helio X10), after the Greek word for sun, “helios”:

March 12, 2015:
MediaTek Helio explained by CMO Johan Lodenius at MWC 2015

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into Helio

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek SVP Jeffrey Ju introducing the new Helio branding for premium (P) and extreme (X) performance segments of the smartphone SoCs at MWC 2015


I/2. Then continues with the presentation of MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements (click on the links to watch the related brief videos):
MiraVision picture quality enhancement
SmartScreen as “the best viewing experience across extreme lighting conditions”
120Hz LCD display technology for a whole new experience (vs. the current 60Hz used by everyone)
– Super-SlowMotion, meaning 1/16 speed 480fps video playback (world’s first)
Instant Focus, meaning phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) technology on mobile devices cameras
– preliminary information on the new high-end Helio SoC with the new Cortex-A72 relying on 20nm technology, MiraVision Plus and their 3d genaration modem in 2nd half of 2015 (so it is quite likely the MT67xx mentioned in the above roadmap)

Note that 3d party companies are providing additional imaging enhancements to the device manufacturers, like the ones demonstrated by ArcSoft for the Lenovo Golden Warrior Note 8 TD-LTE (A936) at MWC 2015. Designed with Chinese (TD) and global market capabilities in mind, and available there from Dec’14 for ¥998 ($160) it is based on the MT6752 octacore which is providing the ARM Mali™-T760 GPU. ArcSoft is exploiting the GPU Compute capabilities for the additional imaging features shown in the video below:


I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

MediaTek To Redefine the Android Tablet Industry with world-first ARM® Cortex®-A72-based tablet SoC – MT8173

Revolutionary new 64-bit ARM processor ramps up tablet performance and battery life for heavy content Android users

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek today announced the first tablet system-on-chip (SoC) in a family that features an ARM® Cortex®-A72 processor, the industry’s highest-performing mobile CPU. The Quad-core MT8173 is designed to maximize the benefits of the new processor and greatly increase tablet performance, while extending battery life to ensure a premium tablet experience. The MT8173 meets the growing demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming by everyday mobile computing device users.

The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit Multi-core big.LITTLE architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs, extending performance and power efficiency further. MT8173 boasts a six-fold  increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot® 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU. The SoC also ensures the ultimate in display clarity and motion fluency on 120Hz display, promising smooth scrolling with crystal clarity as compared to a normal 60Hz display.

“MT8173 highlights the significant shift in how mobile devices, such as Android tablets, are used and, with the combination of ARM’s latest technology, we are delivering a platform that answers the growing demand for improved mobile multimedia performance and power usage.  By presenting CPU specs that outperform any other device currently on the market, we are bringing PC-like performance to tablet form factor, reinforcing MediaTek’s continued commitment to deliver premium technology to everyone across the globe.” said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President of MediaTek.

“MediaTek has been a strong adopter of ARM big.LITTLE processing architecture, extending it with CorePilot, to deliver extreme performance, while maintaining power efficiency,” said Noel Hurley, General Manager, CPU group, ARM. “Decisively and quickly incorporating the second-generation of our 64-bit technology into a market-ready product, underscores the partnership between ARM and MediaTek.”

The MT8173 platform features:

True Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz

  • Features ARM Cortex®-A72 and ARM Cortex®-A53 64-bit CPU
  • Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • Performance of up to 2.4GHz

Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU

  • Supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL for future applications
  • Delivers 350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s performance
  • Provides uncompromised user experience for WQXGA display at 60fps

Comprehensive Multimedia Features

  • 120Hz mobile display
  • Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • WQXGA display support with TV-grade picture quality enhancement
  • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects

Security hardware accelerator

  • Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP
  • HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

MT8173 is available for customers now, and will be featured in the first commercial tablets in second half of this year. MT8173 is being demonstrated at 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 

MediaTek CorePilot 2.0 technology

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek CTO Kevin Jou on CorePilot 2.0 at MWC 2015


Then continues with the presentation of the new:
– MT8173 with the world’s first Cortex-A72 in the “big” role
– worldmode modem technology with LTE category 6

CrossMount technology as the “not yet another DLNA solution, as it does whatever DLNA can plus a lot more


II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

Feb 27, 2015:
II/1. CrossMount
Unite your devices: Open up new possibilities

Technology makes it easy to share the things we love, but only when we use it in a certain way.

Making a video call just needs a smartphone with a camera, for instance, but what if you want to talk using the big screen on your HDTV? And what happens when you want to watch video from your set-top IPTV box on your tablet when you’re lying in bed — and use your smartwatch as a remote control?

With technology playing an increasingly important part in our lives, these are the kind of problems we can expect to face every day. And they’re the kind of problems MediaTek solves with CrossMount.

MediaTek CrossMount is a new standard for sharing hardware and software resources between a whole host of consumer electronics.

Based on the UPnP protocol, CrossMount connects compatible devices wirelessly, using either a home Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Direct connection, to allow one to seamlessly access the features of another.

So you can start watching streaming video on the living room TV, for example, then switch it to your tablet when you move to another room, or use your TV’s speakers for a hands-free phone call with your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

The CrossMount Alliance for MediaTek partners, customers and developers makes developing CrossMount applications as easy as possible, many brands and developers are already on board.

CrossMount will be available in late 2015 for MediaTek-based Android devices

MediaTek Introduces a New Convergence Standard for Cross-device Sharing with CrossMount

Fast and easy sharing of content, hardware and software resources enable multiple devices to combine and act together as a single, more powerful device

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015– MediaTek today announced CrossMount – a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open and simple-to-implement technology for the wide ecosystem of MediaTek customers and partners that opens the possibilities for multiple devices effectively working as one or sharing applications and hardware resources.

CrossMount defines its service mounting standard based on UPnP protocol, and can be implemented primarily in Android and Linux as well as other platforms. CrossMount works through simple discovery, pairing, authorization and use between devices of both hardware and software resources across smartphones, tablets and TVs. Communication between devices is achieved directly between devices via home gateways (Wireless LAN) or peer to peer (Wi-Fi Direct). Discovery and sharing are granted through an easy software implementation that allows all Wi-Fi capable devices to share resources without the need for cloud servers.

“Consumers have adopted a wide array of Internet-connected devices at home, in schools and workplaces, CrossMount sets the new standard for easy cross-device interaction and resource sharing.  We are particularly keen to open up this innovation to our wide ecosystem of customers and partners around the world, unleashing their imagination to create new immersive experiences that further enrich peoples’ lives” said, Joe Chen, Senior Vice President, MediaTek.

With CrossMount enabled devices, for example, viewers can simply pair their TV sound to their smartphone earphones or use their smartphone microphone as a voice controller to search content on their smart TV.  This is a breakthrough in user experience as the CrossMount standard means several devices can act as one together rather than simply share content.

“CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry”, added Joe Chen. “CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.”

To further drive the adoption of CrossMount as an industry standard, MediaTek is establishing the CrossMount Alliance to bring its wide ecosystem of partners and customers together and explore new possibilities to drive the technology forward. CrossMount will be open for developers to further expand the ability for innovative and new applications to be created, potentially changing the way we use and share devices and content. Chang-hong, Hisense, Lenovo and TCL are the first MediaTek customers to support CrossMount.

CrossMount will be made available to MediaTek customers and partners in the third quarter for Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products, with devices expected on the market by end of this year.


II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT

March 20, 2015: MediaTek Labs – IoT Lab at 4YFN Barcelona

See how MediaTek Labs supported the winning team, Playdrop, who took advantage of the MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board to build an innovative water monitoring and control system prototype. Playdrop was just one of the competitors at IoT Lab, where developers from all over the world formed new teams and had less than two days to ideate, create business cases and working prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
You can also hear from VP of MediaTek Labs, Marc Naddell, about how our development platforms will be supporting more developers on their journey into Wearables and IoT devices.

To find out more about MediaTek Labs & our offerings:
LinkIt ONE development platform: http://labs.mediatek.com/one
MediaTek Cloud Sandbox: http://labs.mediatek.com/sandbox
Get the tools you need to build your own Wearables and IoT devices, register now:http://labs.mediatek.com/register

Feb 18, 2015: What is MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform?

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development platform enables you to design and prototype Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, using hardware and an API that are similar to those offered for Arduino boards.

The platform is based around the world’s smallest commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) for Wearables, MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This SoC works with MediaTek’s energy efficient Wi-Fi and GNSS companion chipsets also. This means you can easily create devices that connect to other smart devices or directly to cloud applications and services.

To make it easy to prototype Wearables and IoT devices and their applications, the platform delivers:

  • The LinkIt ONE Software Development Kit (SDK) for the creation of apps for LinkIt ONE devices. This SDK integrates with the Arduino software to deliver an API and development process that will be instantly familiar.
  • The LinkIt ONE Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for prototyping devices. Based on a MediaTek hardware reference design, the HDK delivers the LinkIt ONE development board from Seeed Studio.

Key features of LinkIt ONE development platform:

  • Optimized performance and power consumption to offer consumers appealing, functional Wearables and IoT devices
  • Based on MediaTek Aster (MT2502) SoC, offering comprehensive communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC Audio, as well as Wi-Fi and GNSS (hardware dependent)
  • Delivers an API, to access key features of the Aster SoC, that is similar to that for Arduino; enabling existing Arduino apps to be quickly ported and new apps created with ease
  • LinkIt ONE developer board from partner Seeed Studio with similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO enabling a wide range of peripheral and circuits to be connected to the board
  • LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino) offering instant familiarity to Arduino developers and a easy to learn toolset for beginners

LinkIt ONE SDK                                                      LinkIt ONE HDK

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform

LinkIt ONE architecture

Running on top of the Aster (MT2502) and, where used, its companion GNSS and Wi-Fi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE developer platform is based on an RTOS kernel. On top of this kernel is a set of drivers, middleware and protocol stacks that expose the features of the chipsets to a Framework. A run-time Environment then provides services to the Arduino porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for Arduino. The API is used to develop Arduino Sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino).

MediaTek LinkIt ONE architecture*MT3332 (GPS) and MT5931 (WiFi) are optional

Hardware core: Aster (MT2502)

The hardware core for LinkIt ONE development platform is MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This chipset also works with our Wi-Fi and GNSS chips, offering high performance and low power consumption to Wearables and IoT devices.

MediaTek Aster (MT2502)Aster’s highly integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) design avoids the need for multiple chips, meaning smaller devices and reduced costs for device creators, as well as eliminating the need for compatibility tests.

With Aster, it’s now easier and cheaper for device manufacturers and the maker community to produce desirable, functional wearable products.

Key features

  • The smallest commercial System-on-Chip (5.4mm*6.2mm) currently on the market
  • CPU core: ARM7 EJ-S 260MHz
  • Memory: 4MB RAM, 4MB Flash
  • PAN: Dual Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) and 4.0 (GATT)
  • WAN: GSM and GPRS modem
  • Power: PMU and charger functions, low power mode with sensor hub function
  • Multimedia: Audio (list formats), video (list formats), camera (list formats/resolutions)
  • Interfaces: External ports for LCD, camera, I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, and more

MediaTek Aster (MT2502) vs the competition

Get started with the LinkIt ONE development platform

Nov 12, 2014: MediaTek Labs – LinkIt workshop presentation


MediaTek Labs technical expert Pablo (Yuhsian) Sun provides an overview of the LinkIt Development Platform, in this presentation recorded at XDA:DevCon. Pablo describes what LinkIt is and discusses why its capabilities — such as support for Wi-Fi, SMS, Groove peripherals, and more — make it the ideal, cost effective tool for prototyping wearable and IoT devices. He also covers the LinkIt ONE board, offering an in-depth look at its hardware, introduced the APIs, and shows you how software is developed with Ardunio and the LinkIt SDK. Link to additional resources are also provided. If you haven’t used the LinkIt development platform, this video provides you with all the basics to get started.

MediaTek Launches LinkIt™ Platform for Wearables and Internet of Things

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – June 3, 2014 – MediaTek today announced LinkIt™, a development platform built to accelerate the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster System on Chip (SoC), the smallest wearable SoC currently on the market. The MediaTek Aster SoC is designed to enable the developer community to create a broad range of affordable wearable and IoT products and solutions, for the billions of consumers in the rising Super-mid market to realize their potential as Everyday Geniuses.

Key features of MediaTek Aster and LinkIt:

  • MediaTek Aster, the smallest SoC in a package size of 5.4×6.2mm specifically designed for wearable devices.
  • LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster SoC and is a developer platform supported by reference designs that enable creation of various form factors, functionalities, and internet connected services.
  • Synergies between microprocessor unit and communication modules, facilitating development and saving time in new device creation.
  • Modularity in software architecture provides developers with high degree of flexibility.
  • Supports over-the-air (OTA) updates for apps, algorithms and drivers which enable “push and install” software stack (named MediaTek Capsule) from phones or computers to devices built with MediaTek Aster.
  • Plug-in software development kit (SDK) for Arduino and VisualStudio. Support for Eclipse is planned for Q4 this year.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) based on LinkIt board by third party.

“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.  “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”

Eric Li, Vice President, China’s Internet giant said, “Baidu provides a wealth of services for its users on our Internet portal, and our offerings will enable MediaTek-powered devices to do much more than they already can. The IoT is inter-connecting devices, and we’re connecting people with information via such devices. Our partnership with MediaTek will bring both of us closer to our respective goals.”

Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Gameloft, another one of MediaTek’s ecosystem partners, said, “The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before. We are pleased to be a partner of MediaTek, who is enabling the wearable devices future for us to continuously bring innovative games to gamers around the world.”

The launch of LinkIt is a part of MediaTek’s wider initiative for the developer community called MediaTek Labs™ which will officially launch later this year. MediaTek Labs will stimulate and support the creation of wearable devices and IoT applications based on the LinkIt platform. Developers and device makers who are interested in joining the MediaTek Labs program are invited to email labs-registration@mediatek.com to receive a notification once the program launches. For more information and ongoing updates, please go to http://labs.mediatek.com.

Oct 30, 2014:
LinkIt ONE Plus Version from SeedStudio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html)


Jan 3, 2015:
II/3. What is MediaTek LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform?

There is an increasing trend towards connecting every imaginable electrical or electronic device found in the home. For many of these applications developers simply want to add the ability to remotely control a device — turn on a table lamp, adjust the temperature setting of an air-conditioner or unlock a door. This is where the MediaTek MT7681 comes in.

MediaTek MT7681

MediaTek MT7681 is a compact Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) for IoT devices with embedded TCP/IP stack. By adding the MT7681 to an IoT device it can connect to other smart devices or to cloud applications and services. Connectivity on the MT7681 is achieved using Wi-Fi in either Wi-Fi station or access point (AP) mode.

In Wi-Fi station mode, MT7681 connects to a wireless AP and can then communicate with web services or cloud servers. A typical use of this option would be to enable a user to control the heating in their home from a home automation website.

To simplify the connection of an MT7681 chip to a wireless AP in Wi-Fi station mode, the MediaTek Smart Connection APIs are provided. These APIs enable a smart device app to remotely provision a MT7681 chip with AP details (SSID, authentication mode and password).

In AP mode, an MT7681 chip acts as an AP, enabling other wireless devices to connect to it directly. Using this mode, for example, the developer of a smart light bulb could offer users a smartphone application that enables bulbs to be controlled from within the home.

To control the device an MT7681 is incorporated into, the chip provides five GPIO pins and one UART port. In addition PWM is supported in software, for applications such as LED dimming.

MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform

To enable developers and makers to take advantage of the features of the MT7681, MediaTek Labs offers the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform, consisting of an SDK, HDK and related documentation.

For software development MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 SDK is provided for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Andes Development Kit, the SDK enables developers to create firmware to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.

For IoT device prototyping, the LinkIt Connect 7681 development board is provided. The development board consists of a LinkIt Connect 7681 module, micro-USB port and pins for each of the I/O interfaces of the MT7681 chip. This enables you to quickly connect external hardware and peripherals to create device prototypes. The LinkIt Connect 7681 module, which measures just 15x18mm, is designed to easily mount on a PCB as part of production versions of an IoT device.

Key Features of MT7681

  • Wi-Fi station and access point (AP) modes
  • 802.11 b/g/n (in station mode) and 802.11 b/g (in AP mode)
  • Smart connection APIs to easily create Android or iOS apps to provision a device with wireless AP settings
  • TCP/IP stack
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation
  • Software PWM emulation for LED dimming
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation

Jan 15, 2015:
II/4. Join MediaTek Labs

MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT

Get the tools and resources you and your company need to go from idea to prototype to product.

Register now to get access to:

  • MediaTek SDKs
  • MediaTek hardware reference designs
  • Comment posting in our active developer forum
  • Private messaging with other MediaTek Labs members
  • Our solutions catalog, where you can share your project privately with MediaTek to unlock our support and matchmaking services

MediaTek Labs gives you the help you need to develop innovative hardware and software based on MediaTek products. From smart light bulbs, to the next-generation fitness tracker and the exciting world of the smartwatch, you can make your journey with our help.

As a registered Labs member you’ll be able to put your project in front of our business development team, who’ll help you find the partners you need to get you on the road to success. We’re here to help guide you through the exciting possibilities offered by the next wave in developer opportunities: Wearables and IoT.

MediaTek Labs is free to join:

Register today!

About MediaTek Labs

MediaTek is a young and entrepreneurial company that has grown quickly into a market leader. We identify with creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, and recognize the benefits of building an ecosystem that fosters your talents and your efforts to innovate.

MediaTek Labs is the developer hub for all our products. It builds on our track record for delivering industry-leading reference designs that offer the shortest time-to-market for our extensive customer and partner base.

MediaTek Launches Labs Developer Program to Jumpstart Wearable and IoT Device Creation

Unveils LinkIt™ platform; simplifies the development of hardware and software for developers, designers and makers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on theMediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware.  LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

  • System-on-Chip (SoC)MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
  • LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:

  • Comprehensive business and technology overviews
  • A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
  • Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.

Mar 2, 2015:
MediaTek Labs Partner Connect

Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices.

To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help find you the partners you need to make your idea a reality. The program includes some of the world’s best EMS, OEM and ODM companies, as well as distributors of MediaTek products and suppliers of device components. But the real benefit comes from our MediaTek Labs experts, who will work with you to match your requirements with the right partner or partners.

Getting started is simple. Once you have registered your company on MediaTek Labs, submit your Wearables or IoT project to our confidential device Devices Catalog. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the development process — perhaps you have an early prototype running on a LinkIt development board or have full CAD and BOM for your product — our experts can help. Simply select the “Seeking Partner” option when you submit your device for review by MediaTek Labs and, once approved, one of our partner managers will review your requirements and get to work finding the right partners for you.

Designers and developers

Our design partners can assist with specific expertise in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer aided design (CAD), industrial design, regulatory compliance testing, software and more. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise to assist with a single aspect of your project or want a turnkey solution that delivers the vision of your prototype directly to manufacturing, these partners can help.

Manufacturers

From the late stages of development, where you need batches of production prototypes, through low volume pilot runs for consumer testing and marketing, to full production these partners can help. From your designs they’re able to turn your Wearables or IoT idea into a commercial consumer or enterprise product. They’ll do this employing the latest in manufacturing technology, from flexible facilities that can adapt to your needs as you find success in the market.

MediaTek distributors

If you have your own manufacturing facilities or partner and are looking to source MediaTek chipset modules in volumes beyond retail, these partners will be able to help you. In addition to providing for your volume requirements, they’ll also provide additional technical information and support to ensure you make optimal use of MediaTek chipsets in your product and manufacturing process.

Component suppliers

This group of partners will be able to assist you from prototype to production: from selecting the components for your pre-production prototypes through to production run quantities of specific components. Batteries, sensors, screens and much more can be supplied by these partners, from evaluation batches to production quantities delivered to your manufacturing facility or manufacturing partner.

MediaTek Labs Launches New Partner Program to Help Bring Wearables and IoT Devices to Market Faster

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect provides matchmaking for developers and partners in support of MediaTek LinkIt™

SPAIN, Barcelona March02, 2015 – As part of its global developer initiative, MediaTek today announced MediaTek Labs Partner Connect at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new supply chain partner program will help developers of Wearables and IoT devices design and launch their products based on MediaTek LinkIt by matching them with members of MediaTek’s extensive network of partners.

Today’s launch complements existing development platform offerings from MediaTek Labs and aims to reduce time to market for developers of new Wearables and IoT devices:

  • MediaTek LinkIt is a portfolio of development platforms – currently consisting of MediaTek LinkIt ONE and MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681– for Wearables and IoT, offering a broad range of connectivity options and the software and hardware development kits (SDKs, HDKs from Seeed Studio and Modules from AcSiP) needed for makers to create their own devices powered by MediaTek chipsets.
  • MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (also launched today) is a complimentary cloud-based IoT platform and playground to store, display and remotely access IoT device data during prototyping.
  • MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will assist registered developers of MediaTek Labs in finding appropriate supply chain partners to help with design, development and manufacturing, sourcing of MediaTek chipset based modules and other key components. MediaTek ODM partners have available off-the-shelf reference designs to rapidly serve developers with different design capabilities.

“Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help developers find the partners they need to make their ideas a reality”.

To gain access to Partner Connect matchmaking services, Labs member companies submit their Wearables or IoT projects to the Labs confidential Device Solutions Catalog and select the “Seeking Partner” option. MediaTek Labs will then help evaluate the business case and technical feasibility of the device, and, once vetted and approved, a partner manager will get to work finding the right partners in MediaTek’s network.

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect is the latest initiative to expand the company’s 17-year legacy of working closely across a wide ecosystem of TV, phone, tablet, navigation, router, gaming and multimedia customers. Over the years, MediaTek has provided efficient, turnkey solutions that give these clients a cost-effective and rapid time to market for their new devices and has taken many start-ups from humble beginnings to established, global enterprises. Now MediaTek is extending partner network to developers and makers in the Wearables and IoT space through MediaTek Labs Partner Connect.

To hear more about MediaTek Labs and see live demos of its unique offerings for developers, visit MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21. To learn more about MediaTek Labs Partner Connect, visit http://labs.mediatek.com/partners.

Mar 2, 2015:
Introduction to MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

When prototyping Wearables and IoT devices, you may want to collect, sort and visualize the data captured by your prototype. You may also want to test how your device could be controlled remotely and make these features available to testers and collaborators.

To save you from having to find and pay for cloud services, MediaTek Cloud Sandbox offers you a free service that you can use to quickly prototype your planned cloud implementation.

Using a RESTful API you collect data from your devices, which you can view in a powerful web-based dashboard. The dashboard offers a range of display and graphing options. Then you can control your Wearables and IoT devices by issuing commands from the dashboard. In addition, a complementary smartphone app lets you review collected data and control your devices from anywhere.

Key Features

  • Define Wearables and IoT prototype device data and other properties
  • Define data types such as geo-location, temperature, humidity and more
  • Create multiple devices from one profile
  • Push and Pull data between a device and the sandbox using a RESTful API
  • Remotely control devices using states, such as switch-state and more
  • Visualize data graphically
  • Receive notifications when data are collected or changed
  • Manage and control remotely, using the complementary mobile app
  • Create reports about prototypes and collected data
  • Perform FOTA firmware updates
  • Control access to data and devices with granular security control
  • Includes full API reference, FAQ and set of tutorials

Access MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

MediaTek Labs Helps Simplify Wearables and IoT Development with Free Cloud Service

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox accelerates device prototyping by offering developers a complimentary cloud service to host prototype-device data

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 2, 2015 – MediaTek Labs, today announced general availability of its new Cloud Sandbox data platform to better help developers bring their ideas to life for the Internet of Things (IoT). The new service, which is free to all registered MediaTek Labs members globally, offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping.

“MediaTek recognizes the importance of a cloud-based IoT platform and playground to service developers and makers who are prototyping wearable or IoT devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “With this complimentary offering from MediaTek Labs, IoT developers no longer need to set up and manage their own web server or source third-party cloud platform services. Instead they can focus on their IoT device prototyping and value proposition, accelerating the time from solution ideation to prototype and proof-of-concept”.

A considerable challenge for developers in the early stages of device creation is not only the management of large amounts of data but also a convenient and simple way to visualize the data and demo prototypes to collaborators. MediaTek Cloud Sandbox helps solve this with a variety of invaluable features , including:

  • Data storage and visual charting
  • Data monitoring with notifications
  • Device remote control
  • Firmware upgrades over-the-air (FOTA)
  • RESTful API support, TCP socket connection
  • Web or mobile app based access

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS) will be on display in MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 – with three compelling demonstrations, including:

  1. Wine Brewer – A MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board implementation that won first prize in ITRI Mobilehero 2014 competition in Taiwan.
  2. Weather Station – A LinkIt ONE development board implementation that gathers and pushes real-time temperature, humidity and pressure data to MCS, and is able to have its fan controlled from MCS and the MCS companion mobile app.
  3. MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 demo – A LinkIt Connect 7681 development board implementation and its companion mobile app to demonstrate real-time LED color control.

MediaTek Labs was launched in September 2014 and continues to provide developers, makers and service providers with SDKs, HDKs and documentation, as well as technical and business support. To learn more about MediaTek Cloud Sandbox and get access , visit http://labs.mediatek.com/mcs .


MediaTek Ventures Logo
II/5. MediaTek Ventures launches to enable a new generation of world-class companies

MediaTek Allocates US$300m to Invest in New Business Opportunities

SPAIN, Barcelona March1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the launch of MediaTek Ventures – a new strategic investment arm within the company.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek Ventures will initially invest in startups in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America, with a US$300m reserve.

MediaTek Ventures will actively invest into innovative startups in semiconductor-system-and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around MediaTek’s corporate objectives in communication, computing, online media and analytics.  Investments will include all stages of funding with a disciplinary approach focused on value creation.  Through MediaTek Ventures, the company is seeking to extend its 17 year heritage of innovation to the broader electronics value-chain, diversify product solutions, and monetize opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world’s biggest problems”, said David Ku, Chief Financial Officer, MediaTek.

Further details on the company’s investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015.

Entities interested in investment by MediaTek should send proposals to: ventures@mediatek.com. For more information, please visit www.mediatekventures.com.

March 5, 2015: MediaTek CFO David Ku on MediaTek Ventures at MWC 2015

MediaTek Ventures - Mission and current investment amount

MediaTek Investment Focus

MediaTek Cross-Platform Synergy and User Experience

MediaTek Geographic Focus

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoC for Android Wear and Android based standalone wearables

Note that this initiative is also for the standalone Android based wearables (i.e. working with no reliance on an Android based smarthone) as shown by the new production line of MediaTek’s lead and pilot partner Burg Wearables: Android 4.4 based Smart 3G & WiFi WatchPhones of 55g weight (and up), 10mm depth (and up) [this same blog, March 15, 2015]

Charbax: Best of MWC: MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch and Smart Glass!!

MediaTek launches their MT2601 Android Wear ready (soon) Smartwatch platform, and also they show off their Kopin micro LCD Smart Glass solution on MediaTek Aster MT2502. In my opinion, these are the best looking Smartwatch and Smartglass at Mobile World Congress 2015. The Smartwatch that MediaTek is showing is designed by GoerTek and it runs Android 4.4 for now but Android 5.0 with Android Wear UI is coming soon for the MT2601 platform according to MediaTek. MediaTek MT2502 is running an ARM11 core to run the MediaTek LinkIt OS while MediaTek MT2601 is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 to run a full Android Lollipop with Android Wear soon supported! This is perhaps the optimal low cost Smartwatch and Smart Glass solution for the market, finally available from MediaTek, with soon to come Lollipop thus Android Wear supported.

Specs of the GoerTek MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch:
– 1.5” circular TFT LCD 320×320
– IPX7 waterproofing
– BT/BLE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G cellular supported
– Android 4.4 OS (Lollipop Android Wear soon!)
– PPG heart-rate sensing
– Built-in microphone and speaker

Remark: This GoerTek smartwatch uses the same MediaTek technology than the WatchPhones from Burg Wearables. The software technology is however quite better on the latter ones.

MediaTek Introduces MT2601 in Support of Google’s Android Wear Software

Higher energy efficiency and reduced component count of MT2601 in relation to competition translate into significant cost, size and usage time benefits

Las Vegas – Jan. 6, 2015 – MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its MT2601 System on Chip (SoC) for wearable devices based on Google’s Android Wear software. By enabling Android Wear on MT2601, MediaTek is offering a comprehensive platform solution for device makers to implement their own hardware and software, and introduces a multitude of possibilities in Android Wear devices for the fast-growing consumer class globally.

The MT2601 packs a robust set of features in its small size with 41.5 percent fewer components and lower current consumption when compared with other chipsets in the market. Its design advantages translate into lower bill of materials (BoM) costs, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) size and longer battery life, which in turn yield fashionable wearable devices with long usage times and affordable prices.

The MT2601 includes 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7, ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, and supports qHD display resolution. The MT2601 interfaces with a whole host of external sensors and the wireless connectivity SoC MT6630 for Bluetooth – all in a PCBA footprint of less than 480 mm2. This small PCB size meets the design requirements of the widest variety of wearable devices in sports and fitness, location tracking, and various other categories. MediaTek is a strong supporter of Android Wear and will continue to evolve MT2601 to align with the Android Wear road map.

“The MT2601 has an incredibly small die size and is highly optimized for cost and power performance. The platform solution, comprised of MT2601 integrated with Android Wear software, will fuel the maker revolution and empower the application developer community worldwide to create a broad range of innovative applications and services,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.

The MT2601 is in mass production now and ready for inclusion in Android Wear devices.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 25 February, 2014 – Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

Then there is a MediaTek Protea platform for Android based wearables:

For mobile networking the optional parts of the Protea have the following characteristics:
– 2G Quad Band GSM (900/1800/850/1900)
– 3G Mono Band WCDMA (2100 or 1900) GPRS, EDGE, HSDAP, HSDAP+


Potential generic tags when clustered (selected ones are in blue):

#1 CLUSTER:
strategy: 671,000,000
business development“: 164,000,000
time to market“:  70,200,000
ecosystem: 53,200,000
marketing strategy“: 34,500,000
business strategy“: 25,800,000
rebranding: 6,750,000
strategy development“: 5,720,000
market strategy“: 1,430,000
developer program“: 751,000
strategic investment“: 609,000
corporate objectives” 526,000
partner ecosystem“: 397,000
design partners“: 439,000
supply chain partners“: 331,000
investment focus“: 364,000
reduce time to market“: 305,000
business development strategy“: 417,000
strategy development process“: 268,000
ecosystem partners“: 177,000
innovative startups“: 159,000
enable entrepreneurs“: 39,300
semiconductor market“: 244,000
smartphone strategy“: 77,700
strategic reasoning” 58,200
semiconductor vendors“: 49,000
SoC market“: 28,800
chip strategy“: 17,000
SoC vendors“: 11,300
“semiconductor strategy”: 9,280
“SoC strategy”: 4,330
“fabless strategy”: 3,840
“MediaTek strategy”: 616

#2 CLUSTER:
SoC: 238,000,000
quad-core“: 60,700,000
octa-core“: 2,660,000
smartphone chip“: 207,000
mobile SoC“: 63,400
smartphone SoC“: 43,700
SoC family“: 35,500
tablet SoC“: 23,500
SoC market“: 28,700
smartphone SoC market“: 14,200
SoC vendors“: 11,300
system on a chip“: 733,000
system on chip“: 625,000
fabless semiconductor“: 323,000
“fabless semiconductor vendors”: 4,890

#3 CLUSTER:
smartphone market“: 964,000
“phone market”: 632,000
“high-end”: 159,000,000
high-end market“: 425,000
LTE-Smartphone“: 605,000
“high-end phone”: 221,000
high-end smartphone“: 444,000
high-end smartphone market“: 67,900
“premium phone”: 356,000
premium smartphone“: 348,000
“premium smartphones”: 94,400
premium market“: 467,000
superphone: 435,000
superphones: 264,000
“superphone market”: 4,640
super-mid“: 177,000
“super-mid market”: 5610
“super mid-range”: 5570
mid-range“: 61,000,000
mid-range smartphone“: 400,000
“mid-range smartphones”: 153,000
“mid-range market”: 89,500
mid range smartphones: 2,460,000
best mid range android phone: 15,800,000
android phone“: 30,200,000
android smartphone“: 13,800,000

#4 CLUSTER:
tablets: 578,000,000
Android tablet“: 22,200,000
Android tablets“: 15,100,000
tablet market“: 919,000
premium tablet“: 152,000
high-end tablet“: 111,000
tablet chips“: 26,000
“high-end tablet market”: 8,450
“premium tablet market”: 8,050

#5 CLUSTER:
64-bit“: 135,000,000
forefront of technology“: 8,740,000
“64-bit computing”: 411,000
extreme performance“: 630,000
CPU+GPU“: 1,010,000
heterogeneous computing“: 312,000
“Heterogeneous System Architecture”: 60,100
“Heterogeneous Multi-Processing”: 42,800
“heterogeneous computing with OpenCL”: 15,400
big.LITTLE“: 863,000
“ARM big.LITTLE”: 95,800
“big.LITTLE Architecture”: 22,400
“big.LITTLE computing”: 18,400
“big.LITTLE cluster”: 16,600
multi-core processing“: 153,000
GPU compute“: 92,300
display technology“: 1,070,000
HDTV: 84,200,000
“power efficiency”: 819,000
premium mobile computing“: 762,000
“premium mobile computing experience”: 17,800
LTE: 170,000,000
“LTE World Mode”: 3,220
“LTE WorldMode”: 2,280
“LTE with CDMA”: 3,660
integrated CDMA2000“: 13,400
development platform“: 928,000
reference design“: 940,000
cloud computing“: 114,000,000

Enhanced cloud-based content delivery services to anyone, on any device – from Microsoft (Microsoft Azure Media Services) and its solution partners

Microsoft Azure Media Services – MAMS
(pre April 2, 2014: Windows Azure Media Services – WAMS)

A general introduction (when it was still called WAMS, corrected below):
TV Connect 2014: Martin Wahl, Principal Program Manager, Windows Microsoft Azure Media Services [IPTVWorldSeries YouTube channel, March 26, 2014]

Microsoft’s Martin Wahl discusses the intersection between broadcasting and the cloud at TV Connect 2014.

Microsoft Azure Media Services Announces Enhanced Capabilities & New Partnerships at 2014 NAB [by Vibhor_Kapoor on Windows Azure MSDN Blog, April 7, 2014]

Our customers and partners have been building solutions with Microsoft Azure Media Services since its general availability in January 2013, leveraging cloud capabilities in media processing and delivery. Today, we are pleased to announce exciting new partnerships, customers, and capabilities at the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas that further support our vision to deliver any media on virtually any device, anywhere.

New Capabilities:   We are excited to announce the following capabilities in a limited public preview that will further enrich the end-to-end, ready-to-use video workflow for encoding, packaging and distribution of live and on-demand content.

  • Live Streaming:  Building on the success of live streaming the 2014 Winter Olympics to millions of customers in 22 countries, we will soon be opening up the underlying technology that made this possible in preview to our customers. Media Services customers will have access to the tools and services needed to handle everything from ingest to processing, and distribution of on-demand video content or streaming live events at Olympic scale, to nearly any device. 
  • Secure Delivery Service: Media Services is also pleased to announce the preview of a secure delivery service that enables customers to protect their content during upload, while at rest in storage, and during playback, using either Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) or AES encryption.
  • Office 365 Video Portal: We’re also very excited about a new Office 365 video experience for enterprise customers that we announced at the SharePoint Conference 2014. The Office 365 Video experience offers secure, cloud-based video upload, storage and optimized playback for businesses, all powered by Azure Media Services. To learn more about it, clickhere.

New Customer & Partner Wins:  The integration of third party technologies, breadth of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem and customer momentum makes Media Services a strong choice for organizations looking to move to the cloud for processing anddistribution of media content. We are pleased to announce the following partnerships and customers: 

  • Ooyala Partnership: We’re very excited about our recently announced strategic relationship with Ooyala, a leading online video platform.  Combining Microsoft’s strengths in video infrastructure, encoding, packaging and streaming with Ooyala’s SaaS-based content management, analytics and monetization gives customers the ability to  solve for the challenges of multi-screen services efficiently and reliably. Learn more about the partnership in Ooyala’s press release.
  • iStreamPlanet Partnership:  We’re proud to offer the same live streaming platform that delivered the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi by introducing live video services from iStreamPlanet, powered by Aventus, in the Azure Store.  Customers will be able to choose from packages tailored for recurring live events, ad hoc live events, and live linear streaming channels with fast, high quality, and reliable live ingest and transcoding.  The offering will be available in  Q2 2014.
  • blinkbox Customer Win: blinkbox, a leading UK movie and TV Streaming Service, is taking advantage of Microsoft Azure to expand its business and deliver more content to more customers, with outstanding reliability and quality.  Learn more about it here.
  • FansChoice.tv Customer Win: Fans Choice.tv, a video content site from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Pro, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Pro and NASCAR gives race fans anywhere access to premium race video content via the web, tablets, smartphones and PCs.  Using Microsoft Azure Media Services, the website live streams various events across several different racing series not covered by broadcast television. Learn more about it here.

To learn more about these announcements and for additional details on several other exciting updates, please visit John Deutscher’s blog.

To learn how you can leverage Media Services for your video-on-demand, live streaming, and enterprise video projects, please contact us at mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com and visit www.azure.com/media

I would briefly characterize here the new Ooyala relationship as it is quite exemplary:

Ooyala today announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft Corp. to help develop, promote and accelerate the deployment of next-generation IP video services utilizing Microsoft Azure Media Services (Media Services) in conjunction with Ooyala’s SaaS-based video distribution, analytics and monetization technology. Ooyala also formed a global sales and marketing alliance with Microsoft, which is designed to drive standardization of new personalized TV services for broadcasters and operators around the world.

Through this partnership, Ooyala becomes a preferred online video provider for Microsoft and Microsoft becomes Ooyala’s preferred public cloud provider.

From Ooyala and Microsoft Announce Partnership for IP Video Services [Streaming Media Magazine, March 31, 2014]

especially because its long-time Ooyala on AWS – Customer Success Story [Amazon Web Services YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Find out how Ooyala scales up to 5 times its normal size to power online content for ESPN, Bloomberg and other customers using AWS.

as well as its value proposition as presented in Ooyala Brand Essence Video [Magnet Media, Inc. YouTube channel, Dec 17, 2013]

Ooyala wanted an animated video that shows how its platform can help brands see increased audience engagement with their online videos thanks to Ooyala’s superior speed, compatibility with multiple devices, and data analysis. Additionally, Ooyala wanted the video to introduce a new look that would define the company’s brand and stand out as unique. To reach these goals, Magnet started from scratch to create something totally different from other videos. Several of Magnet’s designers used Ooyala’s colors and fonts to draft concepts, and worked closely with Ooyala to select a design that best fit the brand. Everything else was an original creation by Magnet Media, including the music and animation. The video focuses on the key features of Ooyala’s platform, and how it is a superior video service for driving viewers and engagement. The client was thrilled with the final product, and has expressed interest in working with Magnet again on future video projects.

also as a year ago Ooyala already explained why live video is killing online (also need to know: 25% of the world’s online video traffic is analyzed by Ooyala) Sean Knapp Interview, NAB 2013, StreamingMedia.com [Streaming Media YouTube channel, May 6, 2013]

While short-form video once defined the world of online video, that world is changing. During the recent NAB conference, we spoke to Sean Knapp, Ooyala’s executive vice president and chief product officer, about why live video is taking off online

plus they were one of leading companies discussing on a UK panel what distribution models exist for professional content creators, and how best to leverage them:
Reinventing Distribution: Ooyala, Viki & Base79 – MIPCube 2013 [mipmarkets YouTube channel, April 10, 2013]

Distribution today can happen anywhere — and often spontaneously. The trick isn’t to let the winds blow your content where they will, but to approach distribution paths strategically. Join us to discuss what distribution models exist for professional content creators, and how best to leverage them. Moderator: Mike Dicks, Descience, UK, @mikedicks Speakers Neil Berry, Vice President, EMEA, Ooyala, USA Razmig Hovaghimian, CEO and Co-Founder, Viki, USA @Razmig7 Ashley MacKenzie, Founder & CEO, Base79, UK

there is an introduction of their companies by each of the panelists in the following order:
1. Ooyala, USA (… was started by some “refugees” from Google:
watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF7XibwA1Z4)
2. Base79, UK (distribute content primarily on YouTube platform:
read http://www.base79.com/about-us/ or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Tra5nBbms)
3. Viki, USA (distributing video shows worldwide by bringing down language barriers, for 156 different languages: read http://www.viki.com/about or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVH–bLiVZ8)
till [13:30], and then comes the discussion part.


Details of the Microsoft NAB 2014 announcement

NAB 2014 Announcements from Media Services [‘The (unofficial) Guide to Azure Media’, April 7, 2014]

By John Deutscher, Principal Program Manager Lead, @johndeu

We are unveiling several exciting updates to Microsoft Azure Media Services at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention today, all consistent with Media Service’s broader vision of helping media developers build end-to-end media workflows and reduce the costs associated with integrating multiple products and providers. This includes key new services like Live, Content Protection and Key Delivery, and enhancements to our encoder’s capabilities and support for popular streaming formats. We are also working on improving the integration of CMS’s with Media Services by offering low-cost open source solutions along with more complex integrations with industry leading OTT providers.

Here are some of the highlights of what our team has been working on for NAB this year:

Live Streaming Preview

Building on the success of live streaming the 2014 Winter Olympics to millions of customers in 22 countries, we will soon be opening up the underlying technology that made this possible in preview to our customers.

All Media Services customers will have access to the tools and services needed to handle everything from ingest to processing, and distribution of on-demand video content or streaming live events at Olympic scale, to nearly any device.

If you’re interested in previewing our live services contact us at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

On-Demand Encoding and Streaming

image

Secure Delivery Service Preview

We are introducing a new secure delivery service that enables customers to protect their content during upload, while at rest in storage, and during playback, using either Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) or AES 128 encryption. This feature allows you to serve both encrypted HLS and Smooth Streaming to your client devices. In addition, we are announcing the preview release of our PlayReady License delivery service. Using this new service you can configure and deliver PlayReady licenses to your client applications directly from a Microsoft Azure platform service.

image

For more details on the new PlayReady service and AES dynamic encryption with Azure Media Services, please read Mingfei Yan’s latest blog post here.

If you’re interested in previewing our secure delivery services contact us at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

Office 365 Video Portal

Just a few weeks back at the SharePoint conference we introduced a new Office 365 video experience for enterprise customers – offering secure, cloud-based video upload, storage and optimized playback all powered by Media Services. This new service leverages the power of Azure Media Services encoding, streaming, and security services to provide an enterprise grade solution with the power of Office 365 in the cloud and on client devices. Learn more about how this awesome new solution can work for your organization here.

From that:

  • Office 365 Video Portal. Today, Microsoft previewed the new Office 365 Video Portal to support upload, storage and discovery of videos in a secure manner. Businesses will be able to categorize videos into channels for specific business needs and stream them on mobile devices, with all of the video compression, optimization and rendering work done by Office 365.

Two New Data Centers in Japan

Our platform team opened two new data centers for Media Services last month for our Japanese customers: Japan-West and Japan-East. We are all very excited about this new region and are looking forward to working with our new customers in Japan.

MPEG-DASH for On-Demand Streaming is now GA

Our streaming server team continues to invest in MPEG-DASH across both On-Demand and Live scenarios. Last year we launched our On-Demand DASH preview and contributed reference streams to the DASH-IF site — these enable player development across the ecosystem. We are actively working with contributors (including Microsoft Open Technologies) to the DASH-IF JavaScript player to ensure interoperability of Live streams produced in Media Services with the DASH.js player framework.

We are happy to announce that our MPEG-DASH support for on-demand streaming through our streaming origin services is now GA. It is included in the cost of an Origin reserved unit. Live streaming with MPEG-DASH is still in private preview and available only to Live preview customers at this time.

Contact us if you are interested in testing MPEG-DASH live streaming at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

Grass Valley® HQ/HQX Digital Intermediate File Support

The encoder team added built-in support for sourcing from Grass Valley’s HQ Codec/HQX Codec. This opens up a new door for high-quality digital intermediate ingest into Media Services. The higher quality source files from Grass Valley’s HQ and HQX codecs provides the ability to encode without significant quality loss at high-speed and with low CPU usage.

The HQX format supports compression ranges from 25:1 to 2:1 and bitrates from 45 Mb/s down to 7.8Mb/s. In addition, the codec supports 10 bit color depth and 4:2:2 YCbCr chroma. Grass Valley Edius users can now upload and encode AVI files with the codec for encoding  and stream them for multi-device distribution via HLS, MPEG-DASH, and Smooth Streaming.

To read more details about the benefits of the Grass Valley HQ/HQX digital intermediate format download the application note here.

Apple HLS version 3 Support for Improved Backwards Compatibility

Responding to customer demand, our streaming server team added support for the older HLS version 3 draft specification to our Dynamic Packaging feature. Previously we only supported the newer un-muxed HLS version 4 specification. Multi-language support was the primary motivation behind choosing HLS v4 two years ago for our service. At that time, Android was seeing a lot of active development and with its largely international customer base, it was assumed that Android would adopt HLS v4 for these multi-lingual markets. Unfortunately that is not what happened.

We listened to customer feedback that a lot of older devices had not moved to the newer Apple drafts including some Smart TV’s, JWPlayer, and Android.  This feature of the streaming origin server now provides backward compatibility to older Android devices, version 4.2.2 to present, as well as the ability to reach older connected TVs and set-top boxes. In addition, we have added the ability to select audio languages when streaming HLS v3 using Azure Media Services — despite limitations in the original specification. To use HLS v3 in production today, simply modify and add a “–v3″ to the end of your streaming manifest URL for HLS:

*.ism/manifest(format=m3u8-aapl-v3)

This will mux the default audio language into the video. For more details on how to handle multi-language muxing with HLSv3, read the MSDN forum post with details from Nick Drouin here.

New Content Management Integration with Orchard CMS

Microsoft Open Technologies is announcing a new module for the open source Orchard content management system (CMS) which provides a convenient user interface for managing Azure Media Services content. Now users can store, encode, manage and view videos using Media Services natively in Orchard.  Multiple input and output formats are supported including adaptive bitrate streams. The included custom video player framework, can automatically select the ideal playback option including Flash, DASH.js and Silverlight, allowing users to preview their content. The integration of Azure Media Services and Orchard makes it easy to build powerful and scalable video content management solution on Microsoft Azure. Features of the new module include:

  • Uploading a single video and automatically encoding in multiple formats
  • Support for dynamic bitrate output formats (Apple HLS and MPEG-DASH)
  • Comprehensive access policies
  • Scheduled publication of video assets
  • Built-in player that automatically selects the optimal playback client

image

Getting Started with Orchard and Media Services

There are several ways to set up a site based off of Orchard CMS ranging from the very simple (Azure Web Sites Gallery) to the more complex, but very flexible, building from source code. The modules user guide describes five different ways of enabling these features. The user guide also clearly documents how to configure the module to use your Media Services subscription (if you don’t have a subscription yet you can try things out with a free $200 credit trial subscription) This module is part of the official Orchard project, if you have feature requests, bug reports or better yet documentation and/or code contributions please head on over to the Orchard project.

To get more details on the new module for Media Services, check out the Open Tech project here.

Dolby® Digital Plus Encoding Now Available

Our encoder team is also excited to announce that the Azure Media Encoder is now certified for Dolby® Digital Plus encoding. With the proliferation of devices that consume media, there is an increasing need for customers to offer superior audio quality to their users and deliver premium content with 5.1 surround sound. Using Media Services, HD programming with high quality multi-channel surround sound is now possible across different platforms, including Windows 8, Xbox, mobile devices and more.

Dolby® Digital Plus, or Enhanced AC-3 (E-AC-3), is an advanced surround sound audio codec designed for high quality audio. Dolby Digital Plus is based on core Dolby Digital technologies, an established standard for cinema, broadcast, and home theater surround sound. Start delivering a first-class media experience to your users today.

For more details on using Dolby Digital Plus encoding with Microsoft Azure Media Services, check out this article.

Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering Support

The Azure Media Encoder team is also announcing support for Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering. Viewers adjust the volume control based on the loudness of dialogue, and do not adjust again for typical variations in programs, such as quiet sections without dialogue or brief high-loudness scenes like explosions. Their biggest complaint is when the dialogue level changes drastically from one video to another. Broadcasters and content producers use Dolby® Professional Loudness solutions to help ensure consistent audio loudness levels.

The Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering solution combines the use of standards-based loudness estimation algorithms with Dolby® Dialogue Intelligence™ technology. Supported algorithms are those most prominently in use worldwide: Leq(A), ITU-R BS.1770-1, ITU-R BS.1770-2, and EBU R 128.

With the integration of this technology in Azure Media Encoder, you can now ensure that your Dolby® Digital Plus encodes have the correct setting for Dialog Normalization, and ensure a consistent playback experience for your customers. Start delivering a first-class media experience to your users today. For more details on using Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering with Azure Media Services, check out this article.

Clients

OSMF Player Beta with MPEG-DASH Support

The Media Services client team is  announcing a beta version of a Flash based OSMF plugin with MPEG-DASH support. Using the OSMF plugin, you can add both Smooth Streaming and on-demand MPEG-DASH (beta) content playback capabilities to existing OSMF and Strobe Media Playback players and furthermore build rich media experiences for Adobe Flash Player endpoints using Media Services. The player does not yet support live streaming of DASH content, but we are working on that too. Download the new player plugin here.

image

Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows Phone 8.1

Our client team also updated the Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows Phone 8.1 to align with the announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 at the //Build/ conference. This release includes the same feature set as the Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows 8/8.1 and also uses the same API which will help unifying development efforts across Windows, Windows Phone and XBOX ONE applications For more details check out Cenk Dingiloglu’s blog post here.

Microsoft Smooth Streaming Client SDK 2.5 with MPEG-DASH Support

The PlayReady team, working in conjunction with the Media Services team announced the availability of the Microsoft Smooth Streaming Client 2.5 with MPEG DASH support. This release adds the ability to parse and play MPEG DASH manifests in the Smooth Streaming Media Engine (SSME) to provide a Windows7/Windows8 and MacOS solution using MPEG DASH for on-demand streaming scenarios. Developers that wish to move content libraries to MPEG-DASH now have the option of using DASH in places where Silverlight is supported.

The existing SSME object model forms the basis of DASH support in the SSME. For example, DASH concepts like Adaptation Sets and Representations have been mapped to their logical counterpart in the SSME. Also, Adaptation Sets are exposed as Smooth Streams and Representations are exposed as Smooth Tracks. Existing Track selection and restriction APIs can be expected to function identically for Smooth and DASH content. In most other respects, DASH support is transparent to the user and a programmer who has worked with the SSME APIs can expect the same developer experience when working with DASH content. Download the new player SDK here. For more details check out Cenk Dingiloglu’s blog posthere.

That’s all of the updates from the engineering team for NAB. The business team also has a lot of exciting partnership announcements and customer case studies to talk about as well. I’ll be updating the blog after NAB with announcements and links to more details.

Announcing PlayReady as a service and AES dynamic encryption with Azure Media Services [Mingfei Yan site, April 6, 2014]

Azure Media Services is getting a big update this week in NABShow 2014. Now you have more options to secure your media delivery – by using AES clear key dynamic encryption or Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM). This feature allows you to serve both encrypted HLS and Smooth Streaming to your client devices.

AES Clear Key Dynamic Encryption Feature explained

Now Azure Media Services allow you to deliver Http-Live-Streaming (HLS) and Smooth Streams encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) (using 128-bit encryption keys). Media Services also provides the key delivery service that delivers encryption keys to authorized users. The diagram below demonstrate how this feature works.

image

Firstly of all, similar to dynamic packaging, you bring in multi-bitrate Mp4 or Smooth Streaming video file. If you want for Media Services to encrypt an asset, you need to associate an encryption key with an asset and also configure authorization policies for the key, After that, Media Services origin server will dynamically encrypt HLS or Smooth Streaming stream with AES encryption algorithm. When a stream is requested by a “player”, Media Services uses the specified key to dynamically encrypt your content using AES encryption. To decrypt the stream, the “player” will request the key from the key delivery service. To decide whether or not the user is authorized to get the key, the service evaluates the authorization policies that you specified for the key. We provides three options: Token-based authentication, IP-based authentication and open. If you choose Token-based authentication, usually you will integrate the token issue progress into your own authentication system. Therefore, only authorized player could obtain a valid token from your Authentication system, and our key service will validate the token and issue AES key for the player to decrypt the stream.

Which client platform and devices support AES decryption?

AES decryption is a open algorithm that everyone could implement after downloading the stream. We have implement AES decryptor as plugin into the following Platform:

  • Flash OSMF plugin to decrypt AES encrypted smooth streaming
  • Windows 8 cache plugin to decrypt AES encrypted smooth streaming

For iOS, it natively supports AES encrypted HLS stream decryption. We will provide sample code for handling the Key request.

Who should use AES dynamic encryption?

AES dynamic encrypts on-the-wire communication using the widely-known symmetric AES encryption algorithm. Therefore, this would prevent man-in-the-middle attack, if someone eavesdrops the communication, he won’t get any useful information. However, the AES key considers in the “clear” on client devices. Therefore, it requires you to trust your client. For instance, enterprise videos could be a good use case. Usually employees are bounded by employee agreement of not to distribute their training videos. Hence, enterprise just needs to prevent outsider grabbing the video through traffic. Last month, Office 365 launched a video portal based on SharePoint for enterprise to share knowledge. All videos are using AES dynamic encryption and streamed out through Azure Media Services.

PlayReady as a Service feature explained

Azure Media Services provides a Microsoft PlayReady license delivery service. PlayReady is a full-featured content access protection technology developed my Microsoft that uses Digital Rights Management (DRM). It protects a content media stream during playback by using a license server that provides the decryption key needed to decrypt the media stream. For more information, see Microsoft PlayReady. This diagram below shows how this works in details:

image

Firstly, you need to pre-encrypt Smooth Streaming file with PlayReady License, by providing us License Acquisition URL, Key ID and Content Key. You could follow this MSDN article to use Azure Media Encryptor to encrypt the Smooth Streaming file. As a output, you could further package the encrypted Smooth Streaming into HLS and DASH (See how here). You could also define how the license could be authorized to your user. Similar to AES dynamic encryption, we enable Token/IP/Open authentication service.

When a user tries to watch PlayReady protected content, the client player application requests the content from Azure Media Services. Azure Media Services then redirects the client to an Azure Media Services PlayReady licensing server that authenticates and authorizes the user’s access to the content. The client can then download and decrypt the content. Azure Media Services enables content providers to configure license delivery policy for each client.

Which platform/devices that PlayReady SDK covers?

Azure Media Services can be used to encode, download, or stream Smooth Streaming or MPEG DASH content encrypted with PlayReady. For consuming PlayReady encrypted content, client SDKs and the PlayReady Porting Kit are available under commercial licensing terms. (PlayReady clients for Windows 8.1 Store Apps can be built using the free SDK located HERE). These client-side SDKs are not part of this preview.

Who should use PlayReady content protection? 

Both PlayReady and AES encrypts the stream over the wire, so it prevents man-in-the-middle attack. However, on the device side, when you use PlayReady, the decryption of the stream happens in a secure DRM environment, which is in a lower stack of the operating system. Therefore, neither the key nor the content would be exposed in clear. If you have primium content and you need to prevent piracy, Digital Right Management(DRM) such as PlayReady is definitely the way to go. Plus, PlayReady allows you to define a comprehensive licensing agreement, such as how many times user get to watch the content, how long the content is available to the user and etc.

How do I get access to these services?

Currently, we are running both AES dynamic encryption and PlayReady service as private preview. We are working on get the services out of the door for preview soon. If you are interested in trying the service out, please email mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com and copy me yanmf@microsoft.com.

FansChoice.tv and Ooyala choose Microsoft to help them deliver content to anyone, on any device [The Official Microsoft Blog, April 7, 2014]

The following post is from Susan Hauser, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft.

On Monday at the 2014 NAB Show exhibition, Microsoft is showing the latest technology innovations for the broadcast media industry. We are also sharing how customers and partners like FansChoice.tvand Ooyala are reaching thousands of viewers with Microsoft technology. Monday’s announcements are part of our ongoing commitment to enable a wide variety of broadcasters to reach more customers using technologies that are secure, easy to use and cost-effective. You will also see us announce the new Microsoft Azure Media Services capabilities and Skype’s new integrated solution for broadcasters “Skype TX”.

Microsoft Azure Media Services

With Microsoft Azure Media Services, broadcasters can focus on content and leave the delivery to us.

FansChoice.tv, a collaboration between American Motorcyclist Association Pro, International Motor Sports Association and NASCAR, turned to Microsoft Azure to quickly build and launch a new live stream-capable website featuring the ability to stream live races and offer access to a library of exciting on-demand racing content. This provided fans at home access to an array of content not covered by broadcast television, via the Web, tablets, smartphones and PCs.

Ooyala also announced a new strategic relationship with Microsoft to develop, promote and accelerate the deployment of next-generation IP video services utilizing Media Services in conjunction with Ooyala’s Web-based video distribution, analytics and monetization technology. Combining Microsoft’s investments in video infrastructure, encoding, packaging and streaming with Ooyala’s strengths in content management, analytics and monetization provides customers with all the elements they need for online video development.

As broadcasters look to the cloud to accelerate the delivery of premium content, security is a key consideration. Microsoft is deeply committed to security and, in support of those efforts, is offering a new license delivery service that allows customers to apply Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or PlayReady encryption to help protect and secure their video content.

Media Services was built to meet the demands of every broadcaster, so organizations of any size, from NBC Sports to United Kingdom-based blinkbox, have access to a powerful and scalable cloud platform that grows with their business. A recent example is the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, which were delivered to audiences in 22 countries across four continents by broadcasters using Media Services to provide high definition live coverage of every event.

Skype

On Monday, we are announcing a new solution available in the coming year for broadcasters, Skype TX, which can make any location in the world a professional studio. Skype TX is studio-grade software that delivers high-quality audio and video output to improve broadcast and media programming to people around the world. Skype TX includes call handling management for multiple, simultaneous Skype calls on one management interface, is free of audio and visual distractions such as call notifications and ads, and maintains HD-SDI Video output and input essential for broadcasters. This improved offering is a result of the recent Skype acquisition of long-time broadcast partner Cat and Mouse. We encourage you to visit www.skypeinmedia.com for more information on how Skype TX can enrich your broadcast and media programming.

My insert here: StudioTech NAB 2014 – 9: Skype TX (the first interview given at NAB!) [StudioTech TV YouTube channel, April 7, 2014]

Videos from the NAB Show 2014 in Las Vegas. Skype TX solution for broadcasters – a hardware and software solution with HD and SDI support.

End of the insert

Providing the Platform for the New Media Model

Over the past decade, cloud computing changed the media landscape immeasurably, offering nearly any media company new delivery options to extend their content to more people.

Consumers’ options have multiplied as well; the convergence of online, digital content and the myriad of new form factors have created new expectations. Customers can watch what they want, when they want, where they want on screen sizes from 3 inches to 80 inches and everywhere in between. Broadcasters need a solution that delivers on all fronts.

With Microsoft’s cloud-based offerings, media companies can grow advertising and paid subscription revenues by extending the reach of their digital distribution capabilities and their brand, as well as launching new channels and services more quickly. They also have control over broadcast quality and the customer experience to create an offering that is consistent with their brand.

With products like Skype TX, Microsoft also empowers content development collaboration between journalists and creative staff. In short, Microsoft is providing the tools that help broadcasters achieve their multi-screen broadcasting goals in a profitable, efficient and timely way. We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with these organizations to help them reimagine their business and to be a part of this year’s event.

Microsoft and media companies bring content to the masses at the National Association of Broadcasters Show [press alert, April 7, 2014]

Microsoft will showcase its latest broadcast technology solutions that help deliver a connected experience that is secured, seamless and differentiated at industry-leading event.

Where: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show

Las Vegas Convention Center

3150 Paradise Road

Las Vegas, NV 89109

When: April 7–10, 2014

What: Microsoft Corp. will showcase the latest devices and services that help media companies bring their content and business into the cloud with robust security and deliver quality content to their customers from virtually anywhere. Microsoft Azure will announce new customer wins and Media Services’ capabilities, while Skype will introduce a new studio-grade hardware and software solution for broadcasters, expected to be available early next year. At the Microsoft booth, #SL 5110, attendants will demonstrate how the Microsoft platform, along with its partner ecosystem, is serving media customers through the cloud, tools and devices. Some of the many partners that will be in the booth include:

  • Axinom – Cross-platform media solutions. Axinom is a leading digital solutions provider serving the world’s major brands in the media and entertainment industry. Axinom’s OTT portfolio features content management (CMS), digital rights management (DRM) and pre-built reference applications for on-demand, live event and live linear content. The company provides customers with an out-of-the-box solution for the entire workflow, from video acquisition right down to delivery to various devices. Axinom OTT is tightly interoperable with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Media Services, offering the flexibility, scalability and reliability of a cloud-based solution. It utilizes Microsoft PlayReady DRM, HTML5 and native technologies, and supports HLS, Smooth Streaming and MPEG-DASH streaming. At the NAB Show, the Axinom team will be presenting a new video streaming showcase running on HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox One, set-top box (STB) and smart TV. While demonstrating the whole end-to-end video workflow in real time, Axinom will give an insight into the next generation of OTT video, ensuring impressive results and short time to market.

  • Decentrix Inc. – BIAnalytix™ Media Business Intelligence (MBI™), maximizing ad sales revenue. Decentrix helps media, entertainment, telecommunications and ad agencies aggregate key audience, inventory and revenue information to support, secure and enhance new evolving advertising sales models. Decentrix provides powerful analytics to allow business users to become data-driven decision-makers. Attendees are encouraged to visit the Decentrix kiosk at the Microsoft booth to see demos of Decentrix’s core BIAnalytix and MobileMBI solutions that allow clients the ability to fast track their enterprise data strategies.

  • deltatre – Diva, the world’s greatest player. Diva is the ultimate live and on-demand sports video player that creates a unique and immersive viewing experience for fans — while it also helps content owners monetize their properties across platforms. Diva combines live video with sports data, social and editorial content in a single graphic interface, giving end users the best of engagement and transforming them into active viewers. Content owners can maximize the value of their digital rights with a concrete return on investment. At the Microsoft booth, deltatre will re-create the drama that captivated the audiences during Sochi 2014 with Diva and live demos from the Winter Games.

  • KORE Software – KORE MediaPitch™, extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM for media and entertainment. KORE is the market leader in business management software for the media, entertainment and sports industries. KORE MediaPitch is an additive to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and transforms it into a CRM-based media and sponsorship sales, analysis and proposal tool, which consolidates all existing inventory into one view (traditional media, digital, sponsorship, hospitality, etc.) across multiple sales divisions to drive sales, streamline operations and increase profits. Benefits for media companies include margin optimization, inventory visibility and management, proposal generation, forecasting, dynamic rate cards, and increased productivity. Leading global media, entertainment and sports organizations utilize KORE. A presentation and demo of KORE MediaPitch will be available in the Microsoft booth.

Other News:

Who:

(Available for interviews)

  • Bob De Haven, General Manager, Worldwide Communications & Media at Microsoft

  • Tony Emerson, Managing Director, Worldwide Media & Cable at Microsoft

More Details: More information is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/industry/communications-and-media/media-and-cable/events/nabshow/default.aspx#fbid=95r9qrqPb9F.

For the latest NAB news, links and photos, follow @MSFTenterprise, @MSFT4Work, @Azure and@Skype on Twitter.

Amazon joined the OTT TV, gaming console and entertainment race with its Fire TV

Gary Busey Meets Amazon Fire TV [amazon YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

Introducing Amazon Fire TV, http://amzn.to/1pRjlgP, the streaming media player that listens to Gary Busey. Gary likes to talk to things, but gets frustrated when high tech things don’t listen. Luckily, Amazon Fire TV listens to Gary and finds all the movies and TV shows he wants to watch. Amazon Fire TV has voice search that actually works. #AmazonFireTV

Amazon unveils the FireTV [CNETTV YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

The $99 FireTV plays Amazon on-demand streaming content, adds voice search, and plays games.

with no big stock market enthusiasm (I would say “business as usual” reaction):
image

Analyst commentary: Amazon Unveils Video-Streaming Device ‘Fire TV’ [WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

Amazon.com Inc. on Wednesday unveiled a new set-top box to stream video and other media to television sets, an ambitious move by the retail giant to break into the living room. TECHnalysis Research founder Bob O’Donnell joins Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

Introducing Amazon Fire TV: The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and More on Your Big-Screen TV [Amazon press release, April 2, 2014]

Powerful performance with 3x the processing power, 4x the memory, dedicated GPU, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi

Say it, watch it—use voice search to instantly find movies, TV shows, and more

New ASAP feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play

Huge, open ecosystem of entertainment—choose from over 200,000 movies and TV episodes

Plus, Fire TV comes with access to games from EA, Disney, Gameloft, Mojang, 2K, Amazon Game Studios, and more

My insert here: Amazon announces Fire TV, its own set top box: 90 Seconds on The Verge [The Verge YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

Amazon announces Fire TV, its own set own set top box that plays movies, TV, music, games, and more. http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5573818/amazon-announces-fire-tv

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 2, 2014– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Kindle revolutionized reading by making it possible to think of a book and be reading it in less than 60 seconds. Kindle Fire put the world’s largest selection of movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines in the palm of your hand. In each case, Amazonintegrates the hardware, software, and the content into an easy-to-use, seamless, end-to-end service for customers. Today, Amazon is excited to unveil its newest innovation—Fire TV, a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Fire TV also brings photos, music, and games to the living room. Meet Amazon Fire TV at www.amazon.com/FireTV.

image

“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”

Related information:
Prime (+Netflix comparison): Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]
1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
5. OTT (Over-the-top content)
within the Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 3, 2014] which also contains:
6.   Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7.   Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8.   Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices
Amazon’s move into overall leadership: Kindle Fire HDX with Snapdragon 800, “revolutionary on-device tech support” (Mayday), enterprise and productivity capable Fire OS 3.0 forked from Android 4.2.2 etc. PLUS a significantly enhanced, new Kindle Fire HD for a much lower, $139 price [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 27, 2013]

My insert here: Hands On with Amazon Fire TV [TechCrunch YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

Jordan takes us through an unboxing of the new set top box by Amazon called the Fire TV. Take a look at the hardware itself and also the user interface and media library features.

Amazon Fire TV features:

  • Voice search that actually works—simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into the remote, and you’re done. No more hunting and pecking in an alphabet grid.
  • All the content—instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, YouTube, and more, plus the largest selection of videos for rent and purchase—over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video. Plus, listen to music with Amazon MP3, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.
  • Powerful performance in a tiny form factor—quad-core processor with over 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, a dedicated GPU, plus 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3 for exceptional speed and fluidity. Delivers stunning 1080p HD video and immersive Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. All of this comes in an incredibly small package—Fire TV is 0.7” thin and comes with a simple and sleek remote control with a built-in microphone.
  • Simple and easy to use—arrives pre-registered so you can start watching immediately out of the box.
  • An exclusive new feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you even hit play—instant start.
  • High-quality, low-cost gaming—games like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. The average price of paid games on Fire TV is $1.85. Play using your Fire TV remote, the Fire TV app for smartphones and tablets, or the optional Fire game controller.
  • Amazon FreeTime revolutionizes parental controls—parents can choose what their kids see and set time limits for types of content and times of day—no more negotiating for one more show before bedtime. Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
  • X-Ray for movies, TV shows, and music—see information about cast and crew, trivia, goofs, and synchronized lyrics.
  • See all of your photos and personal videos come alive on your big-screen TV—seamless integration with Amazon’s Cloud Drive.

Simple and Easy to Use, with Powerful Performance

Powerful Quad-Core Processor and Graphics Engine

Fire TV features a world-class quad-core processor with 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, and a dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine that processes 57 billion floating point instructions per second, for lightning-fast graphics and excellent fluidity. Fire TV comes with 2GB of memory, 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, so content loads faster and games run smoother.

New Amazon Fire TV powered by Snapdragon 600 processor [Qualcomm Snapdragon Blog, April 2, 2014]
Amongst popcorn aromas and home-theatre decor, today, Amazon announced Fire TV: a streaming set top box that aims to deliver just about every video streaming service in a compact, powerful package.
Addressing the media at today’s announcement in New York, Amazon.com’s Peter Larsen, Vice President of Kindle, identified three problems with today’s internet-enabled set-top boxes—search, performance, and a closed ecosystem—and detailed how Fire TV solves them.
Granted, search and content ecosystems are well within the purview of Amazon. But performance? That’s where Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors come in.
Sporting a Snapdragon 600 processor with quad-core CPU, the Fire TV has all the base capabilities you expect from a device that lives in your living room: Full HD 1080p streaming video, 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and a lighting-fast, ultra-stable dual-antenna Wi-Fi connection.
With three times the processing power of other set-top boxes, the Fire TV features silky-smooth menu navigation and content browsing. And utilizing the additional performance on tap, Amazon have introduced ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), which automatically predicts, buffers, and stores the shows you want to watch—all you need to do is hit play, and they instantly start.
But this is Amazon, the everything store. And the Fire TV is the everything box.
Foremost of which is the new voice search. Just press a button on your remote, and the Fire TV can find John Malkovich’s entire body of work at the utterance of his name, or get Team Umizoomi up and streaming almost as fast as you children can yell “Umizoomi.”
In addition to the massive library of movies and TV shows available through just about every video streaming service on the planet; the dedicated Qualcomm Adreno GPU opens up the Fire TV to the gaming world. Available today are staples such Minecraft, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14 and more than 100 other games. In addition, the GPU will power Amazon’s first foray into video games: Sev Zero.
Additionally there’s Second Screen—allowing users to mirror music, movies, and photos from their Kindle Fire HDX (also powered by Snapdragon processors) to their TV. And unlike the set-top boxes that came before, Fire TV will feature X-Ray: A second screen experience, powered by IMDb, that provides viewers with relevant information—such as cast and crew bios, soundtrack credits, trivia, character backstories, and more—as their movie or show plays. Currently, X-Ray is available for Kindle Fire HDX users, with support for iPhone and iPad later this year.
Amazon’s Fire TV is available now for $99.

Streams in High Definition 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound

With dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, Fire TV streams in up to full-HD 1080p and supports HDMI and optical audio-out, enabling up to 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

Simple and Easy to Use

Fire TV comes automatically pre-registered so you can immediately get started. No complicated set-up, no hassle—just plug it in and start watching. All of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, as well as personalized recommendations and your Watchlist, will be there waiting for you when you turn on Fire TV.

Designed to Disappear

Fire TV is designed to disappear. It is 0.7” thin, so it is easy to hide, and is silent even when running the most demanding applications.

Fire TV Remote

Fire TV’s remote is small, simple, and intuitive, with familiar controls. Search, browse, play, pause, and add titles to your Watchlist with ease. The Fire TV remote uses Bluetooth so there is no “line of sight” required, which means no reaching or struggling to aim your signal at a tiny target—store your Fire TV in a cabinet or behind the TV.

Voice Search that Actually Works

Gone are the days of searching for a movie or TV show by left-left-down-right-ing through an on-screen alphabet grid using your remote. Simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, genre, app, or game into the remote, and the results will appear instantly. Voice search leverages the search data and expertise of Amazon.com and IMDb, and is optimized to understand Amazon’s video, app, and game catalog.

The Best Video Experience

Movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and More

Fire TV comes with instant access to all of the most popular subscription video services, including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, VEVO, SHOWTIME, Crackle, YouTube, and more, with additional services like WWE Network, MLB.TV, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH ABC, and Twitch coming soon.

Prime Instant Video, with Exclusives and Original Shows

Fire TV is seamlessly integrated with Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s subscription streaming service. With tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, Prime Instant Video is the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for thousands of hours of video, including shows like Downton Abbey, The Americans, Workaholics, Justified, 24, Hannibal, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and more. Prime Instant Video also includes shows from Amazon Studios, the original TV production arm of Amazon, such as Alpha House from Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, which debuted last year and quickly became the most watched show on Amazon since its release. Alpha House is now in production for its second season, and Amazon recently greenlighted six new shows, including The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent, which will be available starting later this year.

The Largest Selection of Videos for Rent or Purchase

Rent or purchase over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video, which has the world’s largest selection of videos to rent or buy, including new releases and blockbusters. Amazon is the only nationwide video service that offers rental and purchase, as well as a subscription streaming service, so you can find everything you want in one place—catch up on past seasons of popular TV shows with Prime Instant Video before purchasing the most recent episode of the show as it’s released.

Find the Lowest Price—Even if it’s Not from Amazon

Just like on Amazon.com, Fire TV integrates viewing options on a single page so you can always choose the lowest price. This is available starting with Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Prime Instant Video, and will expand to other content providers so you’ll see all of your options in one place.

ASAP

You shouldn’t have to wait 10 seconds for a video to buffer after you press “Play”—it should start immediately. Based on your Watchlist and recommendations, the new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play. This feature is smart—it is personalized based on your viewing habits and adapts as those habits change. The caching predictions get better over time, so ASAP will continuously improve as you use Fire TV.

Fling TV Shows and Movies with Second Screen

Fling Amazon TV shows and movies from your phone or tablet to your Fire TV using Second Screen. This turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your phone or tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more, while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available on Kindle Fire HDX and will be available later this year from your iPhone or iPad. You can also wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV with Kindle Fire, as well as other Miracast-enabled phones or tablets starting later this year. Fire TV supports standards like DIAL, so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.

X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows, Powered by IMDb

Using Second Screen on your Fire HDX and later this year on your iPhone or iPad, you can see X-Ray information as your movie or TV show plays on Fire TV. With X-Ray you can see information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of all music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is exclusive to Amazon and is powered by IMDb.

Amazon FreeTime—Revolutionary Parental Controls

Now you don’t have to worry about what your kids are watching on the TV—with FreeTime, a parent creates profiles for each child and selects the content they can see. Parents can create time limits based on type of content or time of day. When in FreeTime, the background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design. Kids only see titles that have been selected by their parents for them, and those who can’t yet read can navigate visually to content based on favorite characters or topics—for example “Dora the Explorer,” “Princesses,” or “Thomas and Friends.” Parents who have already set up profiles and approved content on Kindle Fire tablets will find the settings are automatically synchronized on Fire TV, making it simple and seamless to get started.

Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed just for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows. FreeTime Unlimited is available for Prime members to enjoy for a monthly price of $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family. Customers who are not yet Prime members can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for a monthly price of $4.99 per child or$9.99 per family. Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited will be available on Fire TV starting next month.

Your Photos on the Big Screen

Fire TV makes it easy to view your photos and personal videos on your TV. You can set up and play slide shows, find specific photos, and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV within seconds.

Music in Your Living Room

Music from Pandora, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, and More

With Fire TV, you can listen to music from popular streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, and watch music videos from VEVO. Starting next month, you can also listen to your full collection of music through Amazon Cloud Player. Simply upload your music or purchase from Amazon and it will be stored automatically in your Cloud Player and available on Fire TV as well as on your phone or tablet.

X-Ray for Music

Lyrics display and scroll line-by-line automatically as the song plays, so you can follow along with songs. X-Ray for Music will be available starting next month.

Bonus—Great Games at Low Prices

Games from Top Developers

Amazon worked with game developers like EA, Disney, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Telltale, Mojang, 2K, and Sega to bring their games to Fire TV. Games available starting today include customer favorites like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. Over 100 games are available starting today and optimized for Fire TV, with thousands of additional games coming next month with the Fire TV app, which brings controls for touch-enabled games. These are great games for such a small box and at such surprisingly low prices—the average price of paid games is $1.85.

Fire TV also comes with access to Sev Zero, a new game built exclusively for Fire TV by Amazon Game Studios. Sev Zero is $6.99 and is available for free when you purchase the Fire game controller. Learn more: www.amazon.com/pr/SevZero.

Fire TV runs the latest version of Fire OS “Mojito,” which is based on Android, so it’s simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV.

Choose How to Play—Remote, Game Controller, or App

In addition to using the Fire TV remote and the Fire TV app available starting next month, you can also choose the Amazon Fire game controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming with dual analog sticks and a complete assortment of controls. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller pairs with Fire TV via Bluetooth. The Fire game controller also intelligently manages power by automatically going to sleep when not in use, and waking at a touch of a button, so you get up to 55 hours of gaming on a pair of AA batteries. You can pair multiple game controllers with a Fire TV so the whole family can play together in the same room. The integrated GameCircle button gives you instant access to leaderboards, achievements and friends with a simple touch of a button from any GameCircle enabled game. The Fire game controller can also be used as a remote, with fast forward, rewind, play and pause, so you can control all your movies and music on Fire TV. The Fire game controller is available today for $39.99, and comes with a free copy of Sev Zero and 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for purchasing games.

The Features You Expect from Amazon

Fire TV is not a gadget—it’s a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon, including:

  • WhispersyncAmazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your Kindle Fire or iPhone, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your Fire TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.
  • Watch on over 300 devices—When you buy a movie or TV show on Amazon, you can watch it on over 300 devices.
  • Worry-Free Archive—Automatically backs up your Amazon digital content in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your collection.
  • Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service—When a customer shops on Amazon, buys a Fire TV, or buys digital content from Amazon, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world class customer service. Customers with a Kindle Fire HDX can also use the Mayday button to receive free, live, on-device tech support.
  • Free Month of Amazon Prime—Amazon continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring Prime members new movies, TV shows, and books to enjoy at no additional cost. Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video. Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.

Pricing & Availability

Fire TV is available starting today for just $99—order at www.amazon.com/FireTV.

Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.

Images of Fire TV are available at www.amazon.com/pr/devicesandcontent.

Snapdragon 600 processor specs [Qualcomm product page, March 25, 2014]

image

CPU

28nm LP quad core Krait 300 CPU at up to 1.9GHz per core

LP-DDR3 memory for high performance and low latency

GPU

Speed enhanced Adreno 320 GPU delivers over 300% increase in graphics processing performance1

Support for advanced graphic and compute APIs, including OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX, OpenCL, Renderscript Compute and FlexRender™2

Power Management

Energy efficient LP process and dynamic GPU clock and voltage scaling

Asynchronous Multi-Processing (aSMP) dynamic CPU power control for power-optimized performance

Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0 integrated for up to 40% faster battery charging

DSP

Hexagon, QDSP6

Hexagon DSP enables ultra-low power operation for a variety of applications like music playback, enhanced audio effects, computer vision processing and still and video image enhancements

USB

USB 2.0

Bluetooth

BT4.0 + Integrated digital core

Display

Enjoy your photos, videos and games on large, high-resolution display devices (up to 2048×1536) and even on 1080p external displays

WiFi

802.11ac3 Wi-Fi for peak Wi-Fi performance + Integrated digital core3

Publicly demonstrated to 280 Mbps UDP

GPS

IZAT™ location technology features GNSS for accurate auto and pedestrian navigation and Indoor Location capabilities for advanced location-based services

Video/Audio

Capture and playback video at 1080p HD

HD multichannel sound with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus

Camera

Up to 21 Megapixel, stereoscopic 3D

Take high-resolution, 3D photos with 21 Megapixel stereoscopic camera support

Process Technology

28nm LP

1 Compared to its predecessor, Adreno 305

2 FlexRender is designed to help the Adreno GPU boost speed and save power by dynamically switching between drawing pixels in direct or deferred rendering mode

3 Available only in select processors

Snapdragon 600 processors include the following part numbers: 8064T, 8064M

Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox

This is my finding as an update to the one of a year ago in “Microsoft entertainment as an affordable premium offering to be built on the basis of the Xbox console and Xbox LIVE services [Feb 13, 2013] OR create interactive content as a premium offering together with partners using Kinect technology as a starter OR moving Microsoft Xbox 360 to ‘entertainment console’ OR leaving the good quality commodities to others and going for a premium brand with Xbox as well”.

One cannot understand the Microsoft solution without first looking at:

  1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
  2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
  3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
  4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
  5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

Then the Microsoft solution could be presented as follows:

6.   Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7.   Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8.   Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Before all that, however, we should also understand a key trend that the Installed Base of Internet-Connected Video Devices to Exceed Global Population in 2017 [iSuppli press release, Oct 8, 2013] which is also showing the immense difficulty for the Microsoft effort:

More than 8 billion Internet-connected video devices will be installed worldwide in 2017, exceeding the population of the planet, according to research from  the Broadband Technology Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

The installed base of video-enabled devices that are connected to the Internet—a category that includes diverse product such as tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, smartphones, connected set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and PCs—will expand to 8.2 billion units in 2017. This will represent a nearly 90 percent increase from 4.3 billion in 2013, as presented in the attached figure.

With the world’s population amounting to 7.4 billion people in 2017, this means that there will be 1.1 Internet-connected video devices installed for each global citizen.

image

“On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017—a major milestone for the electronics market,” said Merrick Kingston, senior analyst, Broadband Technology, at IHS. “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”
Asia-Pacific gets connected
The number of connected devices in the mature North American and Western European regions will grow at a relatively modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent from 2013 to 2017.
In contrast, Asia-Pacific will expand at 20 percent during the same period. Driven largely by Chinese demand, Asia-Pacific will add 1.9 billion connected devices to the global installed base between 2013 and 2017.
On the other end of the regional spectrum, sub-Saharan Africa will contribute 145 million net additions to the total installed base during the next four years.

Challenges and opportunities

In order to cash in on this massive growth in Internet-connected devices, media companies across the operator, broadcast, consumer electronics manufacturing and over-the-top (OTT) businesses have embraced Internet protocol (IP) video distribution. Big names making a foray into IP video include HBO, Microsoft, DirecTV and Netflix.

However, all of these companies face a major challenge: how to wrap consumers into their ecosystems, given the proliferation of platforms, high switching costs and strong incentives for consumers to stay with their existing services.

Back in 2005, PCs comprised 93 percent of all connected devices. By the end of 2017, the base of connected devices will diversify dramatically, with PCs comprising only 23 percent of the connected installed base. Other devices will account for the rest of the market, including smart TVs at 5 percent, consoles  at 2 percent, and smartphones and tablets collectively representing 67 percent.
“Addressing the full breadth of the device landscape, and recuperating the development cost of doing so, will pose a major challenge for a number of media firms,” Kingston added.

1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)

Let’s start with a list of cable and satellite video providers in the U.S.:

image
The chart is from Would a DirecTV-DISH Merger Still Make a New Pay-TV Media Monopoly?
[24/7 Wall St., Oct 10, 2013]. Note that Newco is the DirectTV-DISH merged company
just imagined by the article
. The actual Top 5 companies represented 75.4% of the U.S.
cable and satellite video subscribers: 35.6% satellite (newco) and 39.8% cable.
Relative to that Verizon FIOS video IPTV had 4.7M subscribers and
AT&T U-verse [IP]TV 4.5M by the end of Q4’12 (see below).

See also (in order to understand the challenges cable operators are facing everywhere):
TWC rebuffs Charter’s latest takeover bid [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 14, 2014] with “The saga to create the nation’s second largest cable operation is moving into a new phase … With so many sharks circling TWC, IHS believes that it will be a matter of not if but when TWC accepts a bid.”
Time Warner Cable prepares for its business future [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 8, 2013] with “TWC and other cable operators are in the unenviable position of seeing their primary product, pay TV video, declining. Coupled with encroachment from IPTV, and potential upstart OTT technologies, cable operators are pushing to grow other business lines. … Staying ahead of the technological curve is a problem for all pay TV operators, and cable more than IPTV, with Satellite experiencing the worst of it.
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.

Cable takes the fight to OTT [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 28, 2013]

After years of subscriber losses, Comcast announced on October 25, 2013, the first widespread test of a cable network lite bundle, the combination high-speed data (HSD) and broadcast basic video and premium channel. The trial is slated to run a minimum of one year, the operator plans to have stepped increases in the starter $49.99 per month price at 6 months ($60-$70) and again at one year ($70+).
This is not the first such offering however. In August of 2013 Time Warner Cable (TWC) initiated a similar promotion targeted at transitioning college students back toward video products, including HBO and HSD. TWC partnered with nine colleges in this limited trial, again the term is likely to run for a year or less. TWC is charging $79.99 per month for one year, but did not list a non-promotional price.
In the following analysis IHS makes two assumptions: 1) That cord-cutting and cord-never households will likely buy HSD from pay TV providers, and that it will skew toward higher speed tiers. 2) The price for bundled 25-30Mbit is ~$55 and unbundled ~$60.
Our take
The fact that the business of pay TV is  changing is no longer in doubt, but the business has insulated itself well and is preparing to weather the storm. Comcast and TWC are not the first to experiment with new offerings, Cox recently concluded its flareWatch trial, the first pay TV OTT trial. The difference between the Cox effort and Comcast and TWC is that the two latter companies have price efficiencies working  on their side.
That’s not to say that IHS believes that the Cox trial was ended because of price, more likely Cox received valuable customer feedback and experience. The Comcast and TWC deals are predicated on completely different foundations. Both offerings provide significant perceived value, and combined monetary value to subscribers.
Both deals compare to a HSD and Netflix and/or Hulu+ plan. The Netflix/Hulu+ plan will likely cost $68 to $76 depending upon HSD tier and number of OTT subscriptions, compared with Comcast’s year one monthly average of $60 and TWC’s $70. Another significant point of difference is the depth of offering.
Both pay TV providers share four common features, 25-30Mbit HSD, local broadcast channels, HBO, HBO GOComcast also includes StreamPix (Library title Subscription VOD). IHS believes that both Comcast and TWC are at a minimum matching Netflix on a like-for-like price content offering when considering HSD and HBO versus HSD and Netflix/Hulu+. The addition of broadcast local channels as well as SVOD in the case of Comcast, signal that cable is not going to give up the fight.

2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)

Then, according to Worldwide pay-TV Subscribers to Exceed 1.1 Billion in 2019 with Increasing IPTV Market Share [ABI Research, Jan 22, 2014]

imageWorldwide pay-TV market reached 903.3 million subscribers in 2013, generating $249.8 billion in service revenue. IPTV operators enjoyed significant growth (18.5% YoY) in 2013 to 92 million subscribers with a total of $37.2 billion in service revenue.
“Increasing FTTH [Fiber To The Home] subscriber base and bundled subscriber base of telcos are boosting the IPTV market. ABI Research forecasts that the IPTV subscriber base will grow to 161 million subscribers in 2019 accounting for 15% of overall pay-TV market,” comments Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
The global terrestrial TV market reached 9.5 million subscribers at the end of 2013. A declining pay DTT subscriber base in Italy and Spain had an impact on the overall Western European DTT market which dropped around 5% in 2013. Unlike Western Europe, the DTT market in Africa grew a remarkable 45% to 2.1 million subscribers in 2013. “As African countries start to switch over to digital, digital terrestrial TV has become an affordable alternative to satellite TV service in the region. ABI Research forecasts that Africa will have over 4.8 million DTT subscribers in 2019,” adds Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
DirecTV maintains its largest market share in terms of pay-TV service revenue. The company had around 20.2 million subscribers in the US with an ARPU above $102 by the end of 3Q-2013. Globally, the pay-TV market is expected to grow to 1.1 billion subscribers with $320.3 billion in service revenue in 2019.

3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)

Or a broader view representing all other segments of the TV market as well:
Global TV market revenue to grow at a steady pace: up 23% by 2018
[DigiWorld by IDATE blog, Jan 30, 2014] by Florence Le Borgne
Head of the TV & Digital content Practice, IDATE.

At a time when video has become pervasive across all of our screens, most national TV markets are losing steam: shrinking viewership and pressure on advertising markets, especially in Europe. Although pay-TV seems to be holding its own, the fast-growing popularity of OTT offerings is shaking up the traditional pay-TV model, while the demise of physical media is virtually a foregone conclusion.
If the decline of physical media now seems inevitable, television still has a chance to reinvent itself in a way that takes into account changes in viewer behaviour and competition from new online vendors.
Accessing TV
According to IDATE, the number of TV households worldwide will reach 1.675 billion in 2018 (+9.6% in 5 years), with the number of digital TV households worldwide being 1.542 billion in 2018, which translates into 92% of TV households
  • Cable will the remain the chief access channel (592.3 million households in 2018) but will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV which will account for 32.9% and 10.9% of TV households, respectively, at the end of 2018.
  • Despite the development of hybrid TV solutions, terrestrial TV should continue its decline on the first TV set and drop down to number three spot by 2018, with roughly 21% share of the global market.
  • The development of hybrid solutions that combine live programming on broadcast networks (terrestrial and DTH) and OTT video services over the open Web is a key variable in the future development of the various TV access modes, and may well shake up current trends.
TV: top money-maker
Breakdown of audiovisual market revenue in 2013

image 

TV revenue
According to IDATE, the global TV industry’s revenue will come to €374.8 billion in 2013 and €459.2 billion in 2018.
  • Pay-TV revenue will grow by 21.3% between 2013 and 2018, or by an average 3.9% annually, to reach €220.2 billion in 2018.
  • Ad revenue will enjoy even stronger growth of 27.3% between 2013 and 2018, to reach €201.1 billion in 2018.
  • Public financing/licensing fees will continue to increase significantly (+7.7% in 5 years) to reach nearly €38 billion in 2018.
Video revenue
According to IDATE, physical media sales will total €16.3 billion in 2018, when video on demand (VoD) revenue will reach €35.4 billion in 2018, which is 90% more than in 2013.
  • This means that the global market will have shrunk to more than a quarter of what it was in 2013 (-27.2%).
  • Blu-ray will be the most common format and help temper plummeting physical media sales.
  • OTT video will continue to be the biggest earner, generating 51% of total revenue.
  • VoD will still be the dominant model on managed networks. It will generate €6.9 billion in 2018 versus €2.3 billion for subscription video on demand (S-VoD).
American OTT video providers’ footprint in Europe as of 31 December 2013
image
Source: IDATE, December 2013
American OTT vendors already have a solid foothold in Europe
Netflix is already present in seven European countries: Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The service had 1.6 million subscribers in the UK and Ireland at the end of 2013.
  • LoveFilm was reporting 1.9 million subscribers in the UK and Germany at the end of 2013.
  • At the end of 2013, iTunes’ VoD rental service was available in close to 110 countries, and permanent downloads in 14 countries, chiefly in North America and Europe.
More information on TV and new video services market report & database

UK Video Rental Market Plunges in 2013 as Half of Country’s Blockbuster Stores Close [IHS iSuppli press release, April 23, 2013]

The market for Blu-ray (BD) and DVD rental in the United Kingdom is expected to plunge by 22 percent in 2013, as half the country’s Blockbuster video stores shut down in a restructuring initiated by the company’s new management.
The U.K. market for physical-video rental will drop to £202 million in 2013, down £57 million, or 22 percent from £259 million in 2012, according to a newly updated forecast from IHS (NYSE: IHS) . While the market is generally on the decline, 2013 will bring the sharpest predicted annual decrease for the 11-year period from 2007 through 2017.

image

By the end of 2013, only 264 Blockbuster stores will be open in the country, down 50 percent from 530 in 2012. Blockbuster is the largest video rental chain in the country.
“The year 2013 is set to become a watershed for the U.K. video rental market as a result of the wholesale closure of Blockbuster UK stores,” said Tony Gunnarsson, senior video analyst at IHS. “The massive downturn in the store-based video rental market represents a significant loss to the video market and will result in a major decline and radical transformation of the U.K. video market overall. From 2013 on, the U.K. physical-video rental business increasingly will be dominated by online rent-by-mail subscription services.”
Both DVD and BD transactions are due to decrease across the store-based sector this year. DVD rentals will fall by a steep 53.2 percent to 15.4 million. BD is set to drop by an even larger 61.3 percent to 2.8 million respectively.
Blockbuster gets busted up
After filing for administration in January 2013, Blockbuster’s administrators Deloitte announced two separate rounds of store closures, including some 224 sites. In February 2013, supermarket chain Morrisons purchased 49 of these former Blockbuster stores in its drive to increase its store presence in southeast England.
Out of the remaining Blockbuster stores, Gordon Brothers acquired a total of 264 locations, including a number of Blockbuster outlets earmarked for closure that will now remain open.
Pay-TV killed the video store
In 2012, rental stores were responsible for 41.3 percent of the video rental market based on consumer spending. In the latest forecast for 2013, however, the store-based sector is now projected to generate just 24.7 percent of the overall market. This tilts the market toward the online sector, which will see its share of market increase massively from 58.7 percent in 2012 to 75.3 percent this year.
At the same time, the lost rental business won’t result in customers that used to rent at Blockbusters automatically signing up to become rent-by-mail customers with online providers, IHS believes. Rather, those customers are more likely to turn to a host of other video platforms, primarily pay-TV services.
Video rental market winds down
In the longer view, the U.K. rental market will return to a normal trend of decline after 2013, with spending on renting physical video shrinking at an annual rate of under 5 percent until 2017. By then, the retreat in spending is expected to be slightly more negative at 7 percent.

4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular

As far as the U.S. is concerned AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video are the leading IPTV services by far*, having 5.5 million and 5.3 million subscribers respectively, which is 11.7% of the above 92 million subscribers number by ABI Research:

image* The next service provider, CenturyLink “Ended the quarter with 149,000 CenturyLink® PrismTM TV subscribers, an increase of approximately 17,000 subscribers in third quarter 2013” according to its Q3 203 report [Nov 6, 2013]. CenturyLink only entered five U.S. markets after acquiring Embarq (2009) and Qwest (2010). In fact no other U.S. providers are in the Top 20 globally according to SNL Kagan Reports World’S 20 Largest IPTV Operators Served 83% of Global IPTV Households at End-2012 [June 6, 2013]. More:
– China’s leading telcos– China Telecom and China Unicom– serve an estimated 30% of the global IPTV subscriber base.
– Asian telcos accounted for 49.2% of the top 20’s IPTV subscribers in 2012, reflecting the region’s large market size and limited telco competition.
– France — the second-largest IPTV market by subscribers after China — is home to four operators ranked among the global top 20. [
Note that among Top 5 are Iliad and France Telecom. Iliad’s Freebox TV offering proposes a broad selection of TV channels (over 450, of which more than 200 are included in the basic package), as well as numerous audiovisual services, such as catch-up TV (with 45 channels available on Freebox Replay), and a wide video-on-demand offering. It was actually the largest IPTV deployment in the world with 2.4 million IPTV-enabled customers as of end 2007 (see here).]
– Nine operators out of 20 are located in Western Europe and seven in Asia
.

U-verse® Drives Wireline Consumer Growth and Broadband Gains

  • Wireline consumer revenue growth of 2.9 percent versus the year-earlier period
  • Total U-verse revenues, including business, up 27.9 percent year over year, now a $13 billion annualized revenue stream
  • 10.7 million total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) in service:
    • 630,000 high speed Internet subscriber net adds; record annual net adds of 2.7 million
    • 194,000 U-verse TV subscribers added, lowest churn in product history
  • Continued U-verse broadband gains in the business customer segment, up 78,000, nearly doubling year-ago net adds
  • Strategic business services growth accelerates with revenues up 17.4 percent year over year, now more than 25 percent of wireline business revenues

Record-Low U-verse TV Churn. Total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) reached 10.7 million in the fourth quarter. U-verse TV had the lowest-ever churn in its history. U-verse TV added 194,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter with an increase of 924,000 for the full year to reach 5.5 million in service. AT&T has more pay TV subscribers than any other telecommunications company.

U-verse TV penetration of customer locations continues to grow and was at 21 percent at the end of the fourth quarter.

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Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

In FiOS video we added 92,000 new subscribers in the quarter. Total FiOS videos customers reached 5.3 million, representing 35% penetration.

As far as the OnCue acquisition [from Intel, i.e. the Intel Media operation], look, the focus here is really to accelerate the availability of the next-generation IP video service which we will integrate into the FiOS video service. And really what we are trying to do is differentiate this even more so with fiber to the home versus others with the TV offerings and reducing the deployment costs. And this really accelerates us from if we were trying to build IP TV versus buying the IP TV technology.

From an FiOS customer perspective, we expect the benefits that they will have more elegant search and discovery activity and cost stream ease of use. But also keep in mind, with the acquisition of Verizon Wireless and becoming 100% ownership of that we also plan to take that platform and integrate it more deeply with our Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. So that really was the strategy behind this.

As far as would we enable this platform to take us over the top, obviously we have our video digital media services that we have been working on for 2.5 years. We’ve just made two acquisitions related to that platform. So, look, we are positioning ourselves strategically to be in a position to competitively compete around the whole mobile first world and video, so I think that is where we are.

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Pay-TV Operators Can Stave Off OTT Threat with Multiscreen and CDN Investments [iSuppli press release, April 17, 2013]

Despite the dire competitive threat posed by over-the-top (OTT) services, pay-TV operators can thrive by investing in additional service offerings that should include multiscreen services to more than make up for the erosion in their customer base, according to the IHS Screen Digest TV Intelligence Service from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

Speaking here today at the IHS PEVE Entertainment 2013 Conference, Guy Bisson, research director for television at IHS, noted that although European cable operators have lost 1.4 million households, they have gained 17.8 more revenue-generating units (RGUs), during the five-year period from 2007 through 2012.

While cable operators in Europe and other regions are expected to lose more households in the coming years, RGUs will continue to increase, driving revenue growth for the industry. The below figure presents the IHS history and forecast of cable households and RGUs for the 27 countries of the European Union.

5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

OTT and IPTV Integration Increasingly Popular [Pyramid Points, Nov 27, 2012]

How do you plan to spend your evening most times when you order a pizza? You’re very likely to watch a video.
In the UK, Domino’s Pizza Group saw the value of over-the-top (OTT) online video to boost customer loyalty, and back in October launched the Domino’s Pizza Box Office video streaming offer. Customers order a pizza and get a download code to stream a movie at home. This is just another example of how OTT is revolutionizing the way video content is delivered to consumers: Today almost anyone can become a content provider.
Exhibit: Evolving video delivery environment and video platforms
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Source: Pyramid Research

Many operators see the proliferation of OTT as a threat to their established IPTV business models. They fear that OTT will subvert their role in the pay-TV value chain and cannibalize revenue. We’ve found, however, that the opposite is just as likely to be true. In our new report, “OTT Growth Sparks Innovation Multiscreen Video Business Models,” we argue that OTT is serving as an innovation stimulus for the pay-TV market, pushing telcos to enhance their IPTV services with more screens. We also find that an increasing number of operators, alongside their managed IPTV services, are directly entering into non-managed OTT environments. This means that more operators are using the open Internet to offer video services to potentially any consumer with a broadband connectivity, being their existing customers or not.

OTT in emerging markets: Challenges and opportunities
Operators are warming up to the idea of launching their own OTT services, especially in emerging markets. While IPTV remains a premium service, which requires subscribers to purchase more expensive bundles, OTT is more flexible and only requires a good broadband connection. This means that in the more price-sensitive markets, where there is still strong demand for online video, OTT is becoming an attractive option for users. Besides, OTT services are typically delivered over a wide range of screens and at different price points, including smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, making them more accessible to different consumer profiles.
In Colombia, for example, ETB has announced that it will shortly launch an OTT service to complement its upcoming IPTV deployment. In Mexico, the OTT service provided by fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) operator Totalplay, dubbed Totalmovie, has rapidly become the main competitor to Netflix. It offers video content in Mexico alongside the operators’ IPTV platform and across Latin America by using third-party operator infrastructure. As of October, it had 1.9m registered users and 5m unique monthly visitors.
We expect to see more Latin American operators launching OTT services. The second largest regional group, Telefonica, is considering positioning OTT commercial offers in several countries. The decision between managed (IPTV) or unmanaged video delivery (OTT) ultimately depends on each country’s infrastructure, competitive environment and operator position. Telefonica has, however, confirmed that there are already ongoing OTT initiatives outside Spain.
In Turkey, TTNET, the ISP of fixed-line incumbent Turk Telekom, has already been quite successful in combining its IPTV and OTT offerings. TTNET wants to add value to the bundles, which in turns helps increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. This is crucial in preventing the decline of Turk Telekom’s fixed-line base. While IPTV is positioned as a premium service, OTT is priced very competitively. As of August this year, TTNET had over 1.2m OTT and 150,000 IPTV subscriptions.
OTT can provide significant benefits to operators. In the case of TTNET, positioning OTT alongside IPTV is encouraging consumers to break through their broadband allowances, thus creating the need to migrate to higher-value packages. In the case of Totalplay in Mexico, OTT is contributing to the monetization of the operator’s superfast fiber-based network. For both operators, using third-party infrastructure breaks the link between content delivery and network management.

The outlook is positive

In the near future, we expect to see significant revenue-generating opportunities associated with VoD, catch-up TV, and targeted advertising, especially when telcos can integrate their OTT and IPTV offerings with interactive and social media functions.

Using the open Internet for content delivery, however, has its downsides. The main shortcoming with OTT is that the operator is not in control of quality of service (QoS). Especially in emerging markets, quality of service and network speeds vary wildly from country to country, making it challenging to ensure the same quality of experience (QoE) that can be guaranteed through a managed IPTV network. Another challenge for operators is securing in-demand content for OTT platforms. Without doubt content is king, but content is also costly. Unless they are backed by multimedia and broadcasting groups, operators tend to be the weak link in the content production and delivery value chain. But that is a challenge with IPTV too.

All in all, if telcos are serious about developing a pay-TV offering that can resonate with the demand for multiple viewing platforms at different price levels, they need to seriously consider the opportunity of complementing IPTV platforms with OTT.

— Daniele Tricarico, Analyst

More information from Pyramid Research:
Is the Arab World Ready for OTT Video? [Sept 13, 2013]
CDNs Offer New OTT Revenue Hope [Feb 20, 2013]
Chinese Regulator Opens Up to MVNOs [mobile virtual network operators] [March 15, 2013]

Finally here is a list of Top 10 Online Streaming Video Services [tom’sGUIDE, Jan 1, 2014] in the U.S. in order to understand the state-of-the-art of OTT video services:

Digital video options

Streaming video has just about displaced the DVD on the list of home entertainment options, and it may supersede cable and broadcast TV in the near future. Every modern computer has access to streaming video services, as do most game consoles and mobile devices, and even a growing proportion of televisions. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet or expand your streaming horizons, check out 10 of the best services for watching movies, TV, music videos, Web shows and more.

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Netflix

Netflix is the most popular video streaming service out there, and with good reason. The service is available on just about every platform, including computers, game consoles, set-top boxes and mobile devices, and it hosts movies and TV shows to accommodate every taste. From hit films like “The Avengers” to every “Star Trek” TV series to original programming like “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix’s variety of content is unparalleled. You can even share an account among five different users to keep recommendations and viewing habits separate. Netflix costs $8 per month.

Inserts of mine:
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.
Netflix passes 38m paying ‘streaming’ subscribers [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 22, 2013] with:

Netflix’s total number of paid streaming subscribers increased by 2.4m over the quarter, to reach 29.9m subscribers in the United States and 8.1m subscribers internationally. The international streaming service saw a larger than expected increase of free trialists to 1.1m driven by Latin America and the September launch of the service in the Netherlands.
The third quarter of 2013 is a significant milestone for Netflix, as the quarter in which the Netflix US streaming subscriber count pulled even with the US subscriber count of pay TV giant HBO. The company ended the quarter just shy of 30 million streaming subscribers with estimates for HBO at roughly the same level.
The comparison with HBO is the most appropriate for companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu‘s subscription service, rather than with the pay TV operators. Netflix, as well as Hulu Plus and Amazon, are acting as premium channels in investing in acquired and original content and following in HBO’s early-1990s footsteps. Despite the investment Netflix has made in its own original programming, the company has reported that a greater percentage of overall viewing on the platform is of previous-season TV episodes and catalogue movies. Netflix indicates that it plans to double its investment in original content in 2014, although this will still represent less than 10per cent of global content expenditure.
Netflix’s international business remained a loss-making venture as the company struggles to gain profitability without scale and without a legacy high margin physical business. Whereas in the US the company initially bundled its streaming proposition with disc rentals add value to the physical subscription Netflix has not had a preexisting business from which to launch a digital subscription internationally. At present, the international ventures are subsidized by domestic market return and with ongoing market expansions planned by Netflix; IHS does not expect this to change in the mid-term.

End od my inserts for Netflix

Hulu Plus

If you want to catch TV shows almost as soon as they air, Hulu Plus may be right for you. This streaming service hosts a plethora of TV shows and movies. Whether you want to watch “Leverage,” “Family Guy” or “Spongebob Squarepants,” Hulu generally posts new episodes within days of their airing on TV. Hulu Plus costs $8 per month (with some shows available only on computers for free), and provides past seasons of shows along with Hulu’s original programs. It is available on computers, game consoles, streaming boxes and mobiles.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime Instant Video is a streaming service that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription. In addition to offering free shipping on Amazon orders and free Kindle books to borrow, Amazon Prime allows subscribers to access approximately 40,000 movies and TV shows. In addition to unlimited streaming offerings, users can rent and buy other TV shows and movies a la carte. This makes Amazon Instant Video a good choice for watching newer movies before they touch down on unlimited streaming services like Netflix. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year.

See also: Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]

M-Go

If you’re not interested in paying a monthly fee for your streaming video content, M-Go might be up your alley. M-Go, which is the default streaming service on Roku boxes and also available on computers and mobile devices, allows you to rent and buy TV shows and movies. Prices range from $2 for individual TV episodes to $20 for HD movie purchases. M-Go excels in offering both HD and SD versions of content, making it an attractive choice if you want a one-off rental.

Blip

Watching big-budget movies and TV is all well and good, but for curated, original Web shows from charismatic creators, nothing fits the bill like Blip. Think of Blip as a more curated, creator-friendly version of YouTube. Individuals create and upload original series, ranging from comedy to reviews to funny pet videos, and Blip ensures that the content has professional production values and that new entries are added regularly. All content on Blip is free, and you can access it via your computer, mobile device or Xbox 360.

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Vevo

MTV hasn’t played music videos since the ’90s, but the medium is not dead just yet. Vevo hosts the latest music videos from artists ranging from Katy Perry to Old Crow Medicine Show, but audiophiles would be wise to stick around for its scads of original content. Users can access biographies, retrospectives, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews about their favorite musicians, and curated playlists for both individual artists and entire genres. Vevo is free, and available on computers, mobile devices, Rokus, Apple TVs and Xbox 360s.

MLB.TV

If you’re a baseball fan, you’re in luck: Major League Baseball‘s streaming service is one of the best in professional sports. MLB.TV allows viewers to watch most games during the regular MLB season. (Postseason games are available through the Postseason.TV service at additional cost.) Fans can watch both home and away games from anywhere in the world. Stat junkies can examine each pitch as it happens and compare their fantasy teams in real time. MLB.TV costs $130 per year and is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes, Xbox 360s and PS3s.

Crackle

If you crave pop cinema, Crackle could be the best thing to happen to your TV since afternoon basic cable. The Crackle service offers a rotating selection of a few hundred movies and TV shows, including “Ghostbusters,” “The Cable Guy” and “The Shield.” Crackle also creates and hosts original content, ranging from espionage thriller serials to “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” starring Jerry Seinfeld. Crackle is free (though you’ll have to watch some commercials) and available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and game consoles.

Twitch

Watching other people play video games is, surprisingly, almost as much fun as playing yourself — sometimes more so, if you have a good host. Twitch is a platform for gamers to livestream their play sessions. You can find streams of everything from “League of Legends” to “Minecraft.” Whether you want to see tutorials, speed runs or popular Web personalities’ reviews, Twitch has you covered. The service is free, both to watch and to stream your own sessions. Twitch is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and PS4s.

YouTube

The biggest video streaming service online is just about unbeatable when it comes to variety of content. YouTube is the go-to site to upload short videos: cats, clips from your favorite TV programs, cats, original Web shows, cats, movie trailers, cats and more. The service will be one of the first to support content for the higher-resolution 4K TVs. If you’re looking to watch short-form videos, this is the place to start. YouTube is free and available on just about every device with a screen and an Internet connection.

Discovery to take majority control of Eurosport [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 22, 2014]

Discovery Communications has agreed to take a controlling interest in Eurosport International, the pan-European sports channel, from its partner TF1 Group [of France]. … Discovery, which primarily operates a portfolio of factual channels in Europe, has branched out in recent years with the acquisitions of SBS Nordic in Scandinavia and Italy’s Switchover Media. It now has the option to acquire 100% of Eurosport International and could also increase its interest in Eurosport France, though TF1 expects to retain its 80% interest until at least 1 January 2015.
The US group‘s move to take control of Eurosport is, as the company noted yesterday, taking place a year sooner than originally planned. While sports is clearly a new playing field for Discovery, the male-skewing profile of Eurosport is a good fit with its factual channel brands, offering possibilities for combining advertising and network sales. To date, co-operation has focused on markets where Eurosport is not present, notably the US and China. In the US, Discovery has been showcasing Eurosport rally and superbike programming on its Velocity channel.
A further move into the US appears unlikely given the presence of ESPN and powerful rivals like Fox Sports, NBC Sports and CBS. Fox Sports in particular has recently made strong moves into the international market place. Outside the US, Eurosport successfully occupies a niche where it is not competing with premium pay operators like BSkyB, Canal Plus and Sky Italia for high cost events like league football, but instead focuses on lower profile events where rights are often shared with local free-to-air broadcasters.
The main uncertainty over Eurosport’s change of ownership surrounds its content supply from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which provides hundreds of hours of events like cycling, grand slam tennis, winter sports and athletics. TF1 is an EBU member, but with Discovery holding the reins, this arrangement will almost certainly have to be renegotiated, with possible implications for Eurosport’s cost base. Even now, there appears to be room for improvement: Discovery’s operating margin for its international operations was 44% in 2012, compared to a slender 14% for Eurosport International.

Sky sees future in OTT as upsell becomes focus [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, July 26, 2013]

Sky [more precisely BSkyB] added more Now TV customers in the quarter to end June 2013 than new satellite customers and is increasingly pushing OTT access and connected devices as the core of its future growth strategy. In calendar second quarter (Sky’s fiscal Q4), the pay TV provider added 34,000 new TV customers to reach 10.442m and said the ‘bulk’ of TV growth came from OTT service Now TV. Organic growth for broadband stood at 119,000 (25 per cent more than BT added in the same quarter) with a further 400,000 added through the acquisition of O2’s UK broadband operations to reach 4.9m. Telephony grew 140,000 organically with 153,000 coming from O2 to reach 4.5m. The number of HD subscribers grew 117,000 to reach 4.789m or 46 per cent of the TV base, with 2.7m HD boxes connected to broadband. Annualised ARPU hit £577 up £29 in the year.
Sky said that its future strategy would focus on becoming the centre of the connected home across a range of content windows that would increasingly include DVD window for paid on-demand and movie retail as well as the traditional subscription window. The move comes on the back of impressive figures for on-demand and OTT content subscription with a three fold increase in Sky Store (on-demand) revenue and 166,000 customers paying £5 a month for the Sky Go Extra service that allows content download to mobile devices. Sky said that, on average, Sky homes have seven connected devices and that content access inside and outside the home was increasingly important to its offer. The operator said it had concluded four new studio deals with a wider range of rights to service this market and would prioritise getting its customer base connected. The new Sky HD box now comes with built in Wi-Fi and a new low-cost wireless connector is being made available. Sky also released a new Now TV box priced at £9.99 when a Now TV subscription is taken, the device also enables Smart TV functionality and is targeted at the 13m Freeview [a free-to-air digital terrestrial television service in UK, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV,Channel 4, BSkyB and transmitter operator Arqiva] homes who don’t currently subscribe to Sky services.
Our take
The latest move is interesting in that is represents a significant vote of confidence in both the incremental revenue that can be derived from OTT services and the potential to tap an entirely new customer base in the form of ‘dip-in’ Now TV users. While this goes hand in hand with an increased investment in original content and channels as well as sports rights to support the core service, it is clear that Sky sees the most upside in incremental revenue driven by OTT rather than strong additional growth in traditional satellite pay TV customers. With broadband and telephony being an increasingly important area of revenue growth, the connected device/OTT space becomes the next area for up-sell, meaning that the so-called ‘multi-product strategy’ becomes central. While none of the services require a tie-in to Sky’s own broadband, it is this very area that BT has chosen to attack with its bold move into sport. The free access to BT’s suite of new sports channels with a BT broadband 12 month contract means that not only could there be a subset of Sky TV customers who will migrate to BT broadband, but a further segment of existing BT customers who will not be available to Sky for triple-play up-sell. To date there has been no evidence that’s BT’s strategy is paying off (net TV additions for BT were roughly flat in the quarter to end June 2013). But BT says it believes this will change when the channels launch.
Sky’s strategy, then, is to fall back on its traditional strengths centred on content, but to do this in a way that embraces new forms of distribution and leverages the power of its existing customer relationships. Headroom for growth remains strong: despite triple-play penetration reaching 35 per cent among the Sky customer base, two-thirds of Sky customers have yet to take a broadband offer. With Sky out-performing the market in broadband net adds, this area is likely to ensure continued strong revenue and ARPU growth. But two areas of risk remain. If the majority of TV growth comes from Now TV, Sky will have to deal with an increasingly large segment of TV customers who are not tied into a contract and who are relatively low value in terms of ARPU. As this segment scales, clearly this could lead to large and seasonal fluctuations in churn and ARPU. The second area of risk is related: cannibalisation. While this is a risk that Sky is well aware of and keeping close tabs on, the renewed connected home push risks accelerating the transition to a more transient customer base.

UK TV viewing is about connection, says Ofcom report [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Aug 1, 2013]

The home entertainment experience is becoming increasingly connected with multi-tasking central to the enjoyment of TV content, according to the latest Communications Market Report from UK regulator Ofcom. According to the findings, there has been a huge increase in the devices that people take to the living room. On average, each UK household owns three different types on Internet-enabled device. The biggest growth over the last year in take-up of services and devices has been on the number of tablets and smart-phones. Thanks to the device mix, 22 per cent of people in the living room watching screens other than the main TV most of the time.
The main TV set remains important. Ninety-one per cent of UK population tune into the main TV set weekly up from 88 per cent in 2002, with viewers on average watching four hours a day in 2012 compared to 3.6 hours in 2006. Although the report finds that people gather around the TV in the living room, there has been a decline in the number of children with TVs in their bedroom; 52 per cent of UK children now have a TV set in their bedrooms which represents a 17 per cent decline over the last six years, mainly related to the increase number of tablets and Internet connected devices.
Average media household spend has increased in the last year to £113.51 a month after many years of decline. The biggest increase has been on mobile services (£46.73 a month) and fixed internet (£11.91 a month) and the biggest decrease has been on fixed voice (down £22.48 versus one year ago to £21.61 in 2012). TV spend has been stable over the last five years at between £28-£29 a month.
Our take

Ofcom figures reflect what IHS Screen Digest has long noted: live linear TV is not dead.

According to Ofcom, time-shifted viewing represents just 10 per cent of the total and hasn’t changed much over the last years despite the huge increase in DVR ownership. According to BARB figures DVR has grown from 18 per cent in 2007 to 55 per cent in 2010 and 67 per cent in 2012. Despite this, growth in time-shifted viewing has been only moderate up from six per cent four years ago. 
More than half of UK adults are regular media multi taskers, they ‘stack’ or ‘mesh’while watching TV weekly, with tablet owners more likely to multi-task than average. Almost one in four UK adults made direct communication with friends and family about the programs as they watching (media meshing) and half of UK adults conduct other activities while they are watching TV on a weekly basis (media staking).
The increase in tablet owners has also changed consumer viewing behaviour with VOD requests coming from tablets increasing from three per cent in 2011 to 12 per cent in 2012. More than 56 per cent of tablet owners used them to watch TV and 57 per cent of those watched linear TV on the tablet.

Ofcom also found that, when it comes to the much-hyped area of social TV, it is news, reality shows and sport events that are engaging viewers through social media, but the knock-on effect is that consumers want to watch these shows live in order to engage socially, providing another boost for linear TV.

TV Everywhere Spreads Among US Television and Cable Networks; NBCUniversal Leads [IHS iSuppli press release, Oct 18, 2013]

NBCUniversal leads the US TV Everywhere (TVE) effort in providing access to TV content on second screens like smartphones and tablets, while EPIX and HBO share the distinction of supporting TVE on more second-screen devices than any other premium or basic cable network, according to a new report from the TV Intelligence Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

From Wikipedia: TV Everywhere (also sometimes known as authenticated streaming)[1] refers to a model wherein television providers and broadcasters, particularly cable channels, allow their subscribers to access their respective content on digital platforms, including video on demand and live streaming of the channels themselves. TV Everywhere systems utilize user accounts provided by the television provider—which are used to verify whether the user is a subscriber to a particular channel, thus allowing or denying access to the content. The U.S. provider Time Warner Cable first introduced the concept in 2009; in 2010, many television providers and broadcasters began to roll out TV Everywhere services for their subscribers, including major networks such as ESPN, HBO,NBC (particularly for its Olympics coverage).
NBCUniversal provides TVE in 15 of its 18 channels, or 83 percent of the studio’s total stable of cable and broadcast networks to pay-TV subscribers willing to authenticate on second-screen devices. Meanwhile, EPIX and HBO have been at the forefront of the TVE experience, with both very willing to embrace new technologies and offering significant amounts of content on their apps and portals.
EPIX first kicked off the TVE phenomena in October 2009, formed by partners Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate after their failed renewal with Showtime HBO followed suit in February 2010 with the launch of its web portal and how has a vast TVE library online, even though it does not yet offer live linear streaming.

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HBO, along with Cinemax and BTN2Go, are the only three networks to have TV Everywhere authentication agreements with all major US pay TV operators.
For its part, Showtime is the only premium network offering live linear streaming through TV Everywhere. The company is also allowing for authentication outside of the home, a feature likely to expand to other basic and premium cable networks as TVE continues to evolve.
The last premium channel group to the party is Liberty’s STARZ. STARZ and Encore launched TV Everywhere services in October of 2012, but are still missing authentication deals with both Comcast and DISH Network.
One entity so far remains the lone hold-out among the major channel groups not providing any TV Everywhere content—Discovery Communications. But that will change as Discovery is expected to finally jump into the fray in the near to midterm time frame. It will likely become critical to offer similar services, IHS believes, as TVE access becomes more central to the future of US pay TV video.
Solving the cord-cutting problem before it gathers steam
All major pay-TV operators to date have implemented some form of the TVE service, although sometimes in very limited form, via either live linear streaming or video on demand (VoD). But while the streaming of live linear network feeds is largely relegated to in-home use, video on demand (VoD) is a significant out-of-home TVE product.
VoD streaming channels, at 73 including cable, premium and broadcast, far outnumber the channels offering live streaming, at 31, as shown in the attached figure. NBCUniversal, the TVE leader, has 15 VoD channels and five live streaming channels, followed by Time Warner with nine VoD channels and three live streaming channels.
“TV Everywhere has been developed as a collective strategy by both pay-TV operators and TV content owners to enhance the traditional linear TV proposition, so that secondary screens like tablets and smartphones can be used to view TV content in addition to the primary screen,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for U.S. cable networks at IHS. “And in spite of the differences in strategy, all TVE products have one thing in common: They allow for current pay-TV video subscribers to authenticate and consume on secondary screens a significant amount of content that they purchase as part of their normal pay-TV video subscriptions.”
TVE is one approach that pay-TV operators and network owners are using to stem the tide of cord-cutting among cable subscribers before the number of defections become significant. In many cases, cable subscribers are finding themselves increasingly tempted to end their subscriptions—either because of high costs or because of other alternatives now available, such as over-the-top (OTT) alternatives like Netflix. In the second quarter of 2013 alone IHS estimates that the pay-TV business shed 352,000 subscribers, mostly to seasonality, but some elements of cord-cutting are likely to have been present as well. To be sure, the combined price of $28 (Netflix, Hulu Plus and Aereo) may be more appealing to consumers than the $80+ average revenue per user that IHS estimates pay-TV video customers will pony up for service in 2013.
Through TVE, both pay-TV operators and network owners hope to add new functionality and interactivity to the television viewing experience. And by partnering with pay-TV operators, content owners like the broadcast networks hope they can continue to solidify their hold on the distribution of premium television content.
Device compatibility extending beyond iOS and Android
TV Everywhere is also evolving beyond Apple iOS and Android, the two platforms on which TVE apps first appeared. Now, TVE apps from networks are becoming available and are being deployed across a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs; video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox; Amazon’s Kindle Fire; Blu-ray players; and digital media products such as Roku and Apple TV.
Adoption of TVE initiatives by the major channels is a reaction to the changing landscape of TV viewers in the country, Brannon noted. And as it continues to grow in awareness and popularity, TV Everywhere will remain a central focus for pay-TV operators.

6. Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox

From Worldwide launch of Xbox One sparks global celebration for a new generation in games and entertainment [Microsoft press release, Nov 21, 2013]

Xbox One’s innovative architecture means you no longer have to choose between your games and entertainment. Get multiplayer alerts while you watch TV, and keep watching TV while you play. Snap your NFL fantasy football stats next to the game. Jump instantly from a game to TV, movies, fitness, music, sports, the Internet and Skype video chat with the sound of your voice. With Xbox One, you never have to stop playing to talk to a friend, surf the Web or watch live TV. You also have access to a new generation of TV experiences, and starting in the U.S. and coming to many markets soon, OneGuide will allow you to access your favorite shows, channels, apps or games with the Bing natural language voice search.

Xbox One Live TV, Xbox Fitness with Yusuf Mehdi [scarlettgarden YouTube channel, Oct 27, 2013]

Here’s an Xbox Wire interview with Yusuf Mehdi regarding live TV on the Xbox with instant switching and Xbox experiences tailored to the gamer profile

From Xbox One: Your Top Questions Answered [May, 2013]

Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US). The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available.

The TWC Case:

This deal, which will bring more live channels than any other experience on Xbox 360, will offer Time Warner Cable [TWC] subscribers with an Xbox Live Gold membership the ability to watch their favorite shows from right from their Xbox 360 — including favorites like AMC, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV and more. And unlike any other platform, you’ll be able to control your entertainment using your voice via Kinect for Xbox 360.
I’m excited to announce, alongside our good friends at Time Warner Cable, that the TWC TV app has launched on Xbox 360 today, delivering up to 300 of the most popular TV channels to Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also TWC subscribers.
At Xbox, our vision has always been to provide all the entertainment people want in one place, putting the best in TV, movies, music and sports right next to your favorite games. Like Xbox 360, Xbox One will be the best place in your house for gaming, apps and TV and we can’t wait to show you more on that soon. Today, we’re thrilled to expand our growing entertainment app portfolio of more than 130 voice-controlled apps on Xbox 360 with the addition of TWC TV. TWC customers, thank you for your support and welcome to the Xbox family.
When we launched the TWC TV app on Xbox 360 in August, we promised we were hard at work with our partners at Time Warner Cable to bring you Video On Demand and just in time for the holidays, we’re delivering. Starting today, Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also Time Warner Cable subscribers can now get On Demand content right on their Xbox 360 in addition to the nearly 300 channels of live TV that the TWC TV on Xbox 360 app already offers. And don’t forget that with Kinect for Xbox 360, the app lets you control your favorite shows using voice and gestures so you can kick back, remote-free.
The update also includes an exclusive “share” feature that allows you to send messages to other Xbox Live members that are TWC TV customers while channel surfing. With the TWC TV app, you’ll have access to more than 5,000 On Demand choices and in-app messaging. Look for the update today or download the app now!

With an unexperienced person: Hands-on video: The Xbox One as a media device [gigaom YouTube channel, Nov 19, 2013]

The Xbox One promises to combine state-of-the-art video gaming with live TV and streaming apps. Check out or hands-on video for a closer look at the device’s entertainment offerings.

First Wave of TV & Entertainment Apps Coming to Xbox One Unveiled [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

Offering more entertainment options has always been important to Xbox fans. For years, we’ve been working with leading entertainment brands and TV providers to offer our customers a wide variety of live and on-demand entertainment. Today we unveiled the complete Xbox One experience – showcasing how Xbox One delivers the best games and multiplayer features, along with your favorite movies, music, sports and live TV experiences – all in one place.

“We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer. “Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”

In addition to delivering live TV in every market where Xbox One will be sold, we are also bringing premium, voice and gesture controlled TV and entertainment apps specifically designed for your living room. These apps have been built from the ground up uniquely for Xbox One and are designed to harness the power of the all-in-one platform.  For example, Xbox One is empowering partners to bring media achievements and exclusive Snap experiences, as well as many other things to entertainment apps, offering everybody the opportunity to achieve badges or rewards for the media they consume in addition to gaming.

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Something truly unique we’re doing with Xbox One is bringing together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen. Xbox One is also the only games and entertainment system that enables HDMI pass through. You can create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide – the Xbox One electronic program guide – so you can quickly and easily choose what you want to watch, whether it’s a TV channel like CBS, NBC or ESPN, or something inside an app like Xbox Video, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One. You can even add your personal photos and videos from the SkyDrive app to your OneGuide Favorites.

Additionally, a Bing search for TV, movies, games, or music scans across all apps to find exactly what you’re looking for, instead of having to hunt through each app individually. For the first time, you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

Today, we’re announcing the very first wave of some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment rolling out on Xbox One in the 13 launch markets between Nov. 22 at launch and spring 2014:

Australia

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Network Ten’s tenplay
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • TED
  • Twitch

Austria

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Brazil

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Muu
  • Netflix
  • Saraiva Player
  • Sky Online
  • SporTV
  • TED
  • Telecine
  • Twitch
  • Vivo Play

Canada

  • CinemaNow
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Rogers Anyplace TV
  • Sportsnet
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch

France

  • 6Play
  • Canal+/CanalSat
  • France 2,3,4,5
  • La TV d’Orange
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • MyTF1
  • MYTF1VOD
  • SFR TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Germany

  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Watchever
  • Zattoo

Ireland

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Italy

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Premium Play
  • TED
  • Twitch

Mexico

  • Clarovideo
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Televisa
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • TV Azteca
  • Twitch
  • Veo

New Zealand

  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Quickflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Spain

  • Eurosport
  • Gol Televisión
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • RTVE
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv
  • Zattoo

United Kingdom

  • 4oD
  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • blinkbox
  • Crackle
  • Demand 5
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv

United States

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • The CW
  • ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FXNOW
  • HBO GO (coming soon)
  • Hulu Plus
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Target Ticket
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch
  • Univision Deportes
  • Verizon FiOS TV
  • VUDU

The list above* is just the first wave of third-party apps that are coming to Xbox One over the course of the next few months.  We will continue to announce more apps coming to the platform and both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 entertainment app portfolios will continue to grow weekly.
*Xbox LIVE Gold membership required

In addition to the entertainment apps coming from partners, in every market Xbox One will also feature:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Skype
  • SkyDrive
  • Upload

With games, multiplayer gaming, live TV and the best entertainment apps, Xbox One is the most complete entertainment system.

Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

With highly experienced users: Xbox One All-in-One Demo with Yusuf Mehdi and Marc Whitten [xbox YouTube channel, Nov 8, 2013]

Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi walk through a comprehensive demo of Xbox One, including instant switching, biometric sign-in, Live TV, Skype, game DVR, OneGuide and more.

From Xbox One: The Complete All-in-One Games and Entertainment System [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

As we head toward Nov. 22, we’re showcasing the all-in-one capabilities of Xbox One. This is the real Xbox One in action. Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Yusuf Mehdi, and Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten show the best of Xbox One in this new video. And, you can see 10 of our favorite new features below.
#1 – Unleashing the Power of Your Voice
A simple voice command turns on your Xbox One, your TV, your set-top box and your AV system because Kinect for Xbox One is an Infra-Red blaster. And when you say “Xbox On,” your game is always ready to resume from wherever you left off. You can start playing your favorite game, find your favorite show, change channels, turn up the TV volume and more – with the sound of your voice, powered by Bing voice recognition technology.  Just say “Xbox, go to ESPN” and your TV will change directly to the ESPN channel. Or, “Xbox, go to Hulu Plus,” “Xbox, Volume Up,” “Xbox, Mute,” “Xbox, go to Music” – it’s simple. Kinect “talks to” your TV, set-top box and AV receiver, making it easier than ever to navigate entertainment in your living room.
#2 – Biometric Sign In
#3 – Instant Resume and Instant Switching
We’ve talked about instant switching before, but now you can see it for yourself in action. The video showcases how quickly you can jump from one experience to another and right back where you left off. You can literally jump from a game to live TV, music, movies, sports, Web sites and back again in seconds, just by using your voice.
#4 – Watch Live TV via Xbox One
Xbox One lets you watch live TV from your HDMI-compatible cable or satellite box, making it easy to switch from games to live TV – all with the sound of your voice, and without having to switch TV inputs. No more multiple remotes, missed multiplayer matches while you’re watching TV, or frustrating delays. Just connect your set top box to your Xbox One and you can watch live TV through your Xbox One.
#5 – Get a Multiplayer Invite, while you are Watching a movie or live TV
#6 – Game DVR and Upload Studio Let You Record and Share Your Greatest Moments
#7 – Do Two Things at Once
You can also choose to snap two experiences together – so you can play a game while you watch TV or listen to Xbox Music. Or, watch the big NFL game while you manage your fantasy football team. For gamers, snapping Machinima opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Just by saying “Xbox, Snap Machinima,” the Machinima app will be snapped next to “Dead Rising 3” or your favorite game, and walk-throughs, game reviews, help videos and more will appear.
#8 – Skype on the Big Screen, With Groups and Free Long Distance
Skype is amazing on Xbox One, offering the only big screen experience with Group Video Chat with up to four people. Kinect is the only camera in the world that will follow the caller and pan and zoom automatically as if you had your own camera man. You can talk with your friends while surfing the Web or checking the latest stats of a sports team. And have full 1080p video calls for one-to-one chats on your TV. 1
1 For 1080p video call, both users must have compatible HD displays, web cams, messaging clients, and broadband internet.

#9 – OneGuide Delivers Personalized Guide to TV, Apps and More

Xbox One has its own TV listings guide that can be navigated with your voice. Say “Xbox, what’s on Discovery Channel?” and boom, there you have the list of shows.  Call out your favorite TV show by name and start watching it instantly.  And, Xbox One is the only system that brings together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen.  Create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide, so you can easily choose what you want to watch – whether it’s on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One app. For the first time you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

#10 – Xbox SmartGlass Enhances Gaming in New Way

Microsoft Is Changing the Game for Sports Fans [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Sept 3, 2013]

Whether it’s in the living room or on the playing field, Microsoft and products like Xbox, Surface, and Windows 8 are impacting the way we experience our favorite sports.
In May, Microsoft announced a multi-year, landmark partnership with the NFL. For the Xbox community, this means exclusive interactive NFL experiences for fans at home, found only on Xbox One starting this November. Today, we’re excited to share more details about this partnership and the game changing NFL experiences for Xbox One and Surface. We are also pleased to introduce NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone which are available for download today.
Also making headlines today is the confirmation and details around the all-new ESPN application for Xbox One. Leveraging the unique platform capabilities of Xbox One, sports fans will now have control of the live programming, highlights, stats and more across ESPN like never before. 
The NFL on Xbox One and Surface 
Tailored for you, the NFL on Xbox One will deliver the best of the NFL, in a way that will completely reimagine the way you experience football from the comfort of your home.  Only Xbox One can bring interactivity to live games, stats, scores, highlights and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team all together on the best screen in the house – your TV. Xbox One will personalize your NFL experience, for your team, with the best content the NFL has to offer including NFL.com, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone.  Whether you’re watching the game or not, Xbox One makes it easy to keep tabs on the league with Snap mode. You can watch live TV, play games, or watch movies, while simultaneously tracking your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, or checking in for the latest scores and stats. 
While you’re watching at home, Surface technology is in the stadium, on the sidelines to help protect your favorite players.  Teams and trainers will implement use of the X2 concussion testing application this season to quickly diagnose potential player concussions immediately after leaving the playing field with the help of Surface tablets, helping quickly determine if they can get back in the game or call it a day.
ESPN on Xbox One We are also excited to announce ESPN on Xbox One, which builds on our innovations with ESPN on Xbox 360, and provides you with the best of ESPN networks and web content personalized just for you.  Featuring deeper sports content personalization, ESPN on Xbox One gives you immediate access to the teams and sports you care about most.  With WatchESPN, ESPN.com, and ESPN3 video content, you get the best highlights, live events and on-demand sports in full screen mode.  Additionally, you will receive personalized scores and stats in Snap mode from the most popular sports.
NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 
Beginning today, NFL.com Fantasy Football is now available on Xbox 360, offering a whole new way to track your team and leagues on the best screen in your house – your TV. This destination is tailored just for you and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, and is easy to jump into and simple to use. The Xbox 360 app brings you an endless playlist of Fantasy Football highlights, Fantasy analysis, stats, scores and standings about your NFL.com Fantasy Football team and leagues, making sure you don’t miss a thing. Consumers can head to NFL.com today to sign up for a league and get in the game before kick off on September 5th.
And, with the new NFL.com Fantasy Football apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, you can keep tabs on your team and leagues on your tablet, PC, and mobile device as well.
Download NFL.com Fantasy Football for Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone today, and stay tuned for game changing experiences on Xbox One this November.

7. Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios

Best Advice: Nancy Tellem [Fortune Magazine YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2013]

Nancy Tellem is the entertainment and digital media president of Microsoft.

Faces to Watch in 2014: Digital media | Nancy Tellem, Mike Hopkins, Issa Rae [Los Angeles Times, Dec 27, 2013]

A big year is coming up for game designers Ryan and Amy Green and Ruben Farrus, plus Microsoft’s Nancy Tellem, Hulu’s Mike Hopkins and Web writer-actress Issa Rae.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Nancy Tellem | Microsoft’s president of entertainment and digital media

The veteran CBS television executive had her work cut out when she joined Microsoft Corp. in 2012 to launch a Santa Monica studio to create original content.

Long fascinated with changes in consumer behavior, Tellem is now playing an important role in determining what appeals to younger consumers accustomed to getting their entertainment on multiple screens. She is trying to build on the momentum that Microsoft has achieved by encouraging millions of consumers to consider the Xbox more than just a video game console. Xbox users spend more than half of their time online listening to music and streaming movies, TV shows and exploring other entertainment options. Microsoft wants to build a trove of exclusive content to differentiate its game system from the rival Sony PlayStation.

Microsoft’s slate of new shows designed to appeal to the digitally connected generation is expected to launch in the first half of 2014. Microsoft also brought Tellem on board to make inroads with Hollywood’s creative community. One of the first projects she announced was a live-action TV series, produced by Steven Spielberg, based on the “Halo” game franchise for Xbox Live, a feature that enables gamers to play against online opponents.

Tellem was trained as a lawyer and worked her way up the ranks in business affairs at Lorimar, Warner Bros. and then CBS. At the broadcast network, Tellem was a key executive in the development of new shows, including the hit reality show “Survivor.” She was one of the TV industry’s first female entertainment presidents.

— Meg James

Mike Hopkins | Hulu chief executive

Issa Rae | Actress-writer-director
… 

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a “Game of Thrones”  [The Wrap YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2013]

TheWrap’s keynote speaker at its fourth annual Power Women Breakfast (Oct 30, 2013) says Microsoft’s new studio has the ambition and the means to create landmark programming

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a ‘Game of Thrones’ (Video) [TheWrap, Oct 30, 2013]

Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s new president of entertainment and digital media, said on Wednesday she has the means and the ambition to make a “Game of Thrones”-like series for the new studio backed by the technology giant.

“I have the ambition” to make a show as grand as “Game of Thrones,” said the former president of CBS entertainment at TheWrap‘s Power Women Breakfast at the Montage in Beverly Hills.

That, to me, was greatest testament to how wonderful television can be and how engrossed people are and committed – and it was a social experience,” she said.

And, she said smiling, Microsoft’s budget was “enough for me to do my job, let’s just say.”

Not being bound by the constraints of a 22-episode season or even show length and with the technology to engage the viewer through the Xbox platform allows Tellem and her team to “focus on the content itself” and then way viewers canshare that experience.”

Tellem said she expects that Microsoft will begin rolling out its new shows — which will range from sports programs to scripted series — as soon as the spring. She says they have not decided whether to release the episodes over time or put them all out at once, like Netflix.

Asked about binge viewing, Tellem said she was not sure if Microsoft would release all its content at once, observing that interactivity was more the distinctive purview of Microsoft.

Xbox One Reveal: Halo TV and NFL [xbox YouTube channel, May 23, 2013]

Nancy Tellem’s Xbox Entertainment Studios announcements of Halo TV with 343 Industries and Steven Spielberg and NFL from Xbox One Reveal Press Briefing.

From Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system [press release, May 21, 2013]

Blockbuster titles, Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, and exclusive agreements with the NFL transform games, TV and entertainment for the 21st century living room.

“Halo” television series. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

RTS Cambridge Convention 2013: Xbox One – From Gaming to Content [Royal Television Society, Sept 12, 2013]

Created for gaming, the Xbox One is the latest challenger to old-fashioned telly, but, said Microsoft entertainment and digital media president Nancy Tellem, it is not the final nail in the TV industry’s coffin.

“It’s an augmentation,” she argued. “Right now, [TV] is in a renaissance period — what Xbox offers is a different TV experience.” 

Since joining Microsoft from CBS a year ago, Tellem has been spearheading the software giant’s move into TV, delivered via its Xbox One gaming console.

Interactivity among its current 76 million connected console users would be the key to Xbox One’s success. “It isn’t just delivering content. It really offers an immersive experience,” she said.

The session was chaired by Matt Frei from Channel 4 News, who said that he enjoyed being a “passive” consumer of TV. To laughter from the audience, Tellem replied: “Xbox addresses the next generation.”  

Tellem identified sport, live events and scripted entertainment as genres particularly suited to Xbox One. Mentioning Game of Thrones as the type of complex drama suited to the console, she claimed: “You can give a much richer understanding of the characters and their history.”

Tellem is in discussions with studios and talent about commissions, which she hopes to announce in a few weeks. Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that a TV show based on the Halo game, with the involvement of Steven Spielberg, was in the pipeline.

She also countered a suggestion from the audience that Xbox One’s programming would be geared at 18-year-old boys. Tellum said that her ambition was to reach out beyond traditional gamers, adding that 40% of its platform users were female, with most of the audience between 18 and 40. 

My mission it to transform it into an entertainment service,” she said, which would include music, film and sport as well as games. “It’s a simple offering that can access all your entertainment needs.”

Before joining Microsoft, Tellem had worked at the US network CBS for a decade and a half, latterly as senior adviser to chief executive Leslie Moonves.

Xbox Entertainment Studios to Debut Documentary Series Exclusively on Xbox in 2014 [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 19, 2013]

First Documentary Explores the Fabled Atari Mystery

Today, Xbox Entertainment Studios announced an original documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014. Xbox will produce the series with two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man and Man on Wire) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s 30 Days and PBS’s American High) through their new multi-platform media company, Lightbox

“Our collaboration with Xbox offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a unique series of films around the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the digital age,” said Simon Chinn. “Our goal is to produce a series of compelling and entertaining docs which will deploy all the narrative techniques of Simon’s and my previous work. It’s particularly exciting to be partnering with filmmakers like Zak Penn who come to this process from other filmmaking disciplines and who will bring their own distinctive creative vision to this,” added Jonathan Chinn.

“Jonathan and Simon Chinn are the perfect team to spearhead this series for Xbox. They are consummate story tellers and they plan to match their creative sensibility with the best talent in the industry,” commented Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem. “These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day.”

The first film in the groundbreaking series investigates the events surrounding the great video game burial of 1983. The Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the video game “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the middle of the night in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Fuel Entertainment, an innovator in cross-platform content development, secured the exclusive rights to excavate the Atari landfill and approached Xbox. Lightbox will document the dig, which is planned for early next year.

Filmmaker and avid gamer Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers, Incident at Loch Ness) will direct. This episode will not only document the excavation, it will also place the urban legend of the burial in the context of the precipitous rise and fall of Atari itself.

“When Simon and Jonathan Chinn approached me about this story, I knew it would be something important and fascinating,” said Penn. “I wasn’t expecting to be handed the opportunity to uncover one of the most controversial mysteries of gaming lore.”

Shooting begins in January. The series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014 and will be available globally in all markets where Xbox Live is supported.

8. Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Xbox Music + Video apps for Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone Central YouTube channel, Dec 18, 2013]

On December 18th, Microsoft released two new apps for Windows Phone 8: Xbox Music and Xbox Video. We give a tour of both apps and show off some of their features on a Lumia 1520. More info: http://www.wpcentral.com/xbox-music-and-video-app-tour

Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8 Walkthrough [Pocketnow YouTube channel, Dec 19, 2013]

Microsoft finally released the Xbox Video application for Windows Phone 8. We go hands-on with the new application in this walkthrough video, and discover all its features and missing functionality. See more at Pocketnow: http://pocketnow.com/2013/12/19/xbox-video-for-windows-phone

New Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps Available for Windows Phone 8 Customers [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 18, 2013]

It’s a big day for Windows Phone 8 customers. New apps for Xbox Video and Xbox Music are becoming available today in the Windows Phone store.

Xbox Video Comes to Windows Phone

Today, Xbox Video launches on Windows Phone 8, so now you can truly take your movies and TV shows with you wherever you go. Stream from the cloud or download your favorite movie or TV episodes to your phone to watch them offline. You can rent or buy the newest hit movies or search for classics from the massive catalog with the only app that lets you download movies and TV episodes right to your Windows Phone 8. You’ll even get Rotten Tomatoes ratings and Metacritic scores right on your phone.

Xbox Video on Windows Phone 8 also delivers countless TV shows. With a Season Pass, brand new episodes are automatically added to your collection so you don’t miss a beat from your favorite new shows. Or catch up with every episode from past seasons and relive the glory days of your favorite shows from years past.

With Xbox Video, your collection follows you from screen to screen in the cloud. For example, you can buy and start a movie or TV show from XboxVideo.com or Xbox Video on a Windows 8.1 tablet, and continue watching on your Xbox One, Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 8. And with Xbox SmartGlass, you get a richer viewing experience that isn’t found anywhere else. Xbox SmartGlass integrated with Xbox Video for Xbox One and Xbox 360 offers second-screen experiences with bonus content and exclusive extras, serves as a remote control, and gives you new ways to interact with whatever you’re watching.

Xbox Video is a free download in the Windows Phone Store today, and don’t forget to check out our new Web store at XboxVideo.com

A Peek at the New Xbox Music for Windows Phone

Also releasing today is a new Xbox Music preview app. This early-access app gives Xbox Music Pass users a look into the new music experience on Windows Phone 8.¹ Stream millions of songs from your phone or download the ones you want for offline listening. Create playlists that sync across your devices. Play songs from your personal music collection alongside your Xbox Music Pass content. It’s the best way to experience all the music you love on your Windows Phone.

The Xbox Music Preview is available in all 22 markets where Xbox Music is available today and can be found in the Windows Phone Store. The full release will roll out in 2014. Xbox Music is available today on Windows Phone, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8/8.1, online at Music.Xbox.com and iOS and Android devices.

¹ Xbox Music Pass required to use the app. Compatible devices and internet required. Data charges apply. See Xbox.com/music.

Xbox Music For Android Review [Mikey Capoccia YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013]

In todays video I will be reviewing the Xbox Music application for Android

Microsoft launches Xbox Music across iOS and Android, adds free streaming on the Web [press release, Sept 8, 2013]

Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it.

Nearing its one-year anniversary, Microsoft Corp.’s all-in-one music service, Xbox Music, continues making strides to deliver all the music people want, wherever they want it played. Today, Microsoft announced its plans to bring Xbox Music to iOS and Android devices, as well as free streaming on Xbox Music via the Web.[1]

Accessing music across all the different devices people interact with has become complicated. People today use PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and TVs to access different music services that don’t connect with one another. Xbox Music is designed to solve this common problem by combining the best of all music offerings with free streaming on the Web and on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, Internet radio, subscription (called Xbox Music Pass), and download-to-own options.[2] With today’s news, access to Xbox Music grows to include iOS and Android devices, as well as a free Web-based interface on computers.

“Xbox Music now, more than ever, powers music experiences between Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, and now iOS, Android and the Web,” said Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music. “We’re also excited to connect artists with their fans on the most anticipated consumer product of the year when Xbox One launches Nov. 22.”

Expanding the Xbox Music family of devices

Starting today, your Xbox Music Pass brings the catalog of music to iOS and Android devices. Get unlimited access to the songs and artists you want at any time with playback across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox console for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Add a song to your collection on your Xbox, and you’ll also have that song on your iOS, Android or Windows 8 device on the go or at the office. Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.

With the addition of free streaming on the Web, enjoy on-demand access to 30 million songs globally for free on the Xbox Music Web player at http://music.xbox.com or through the Xbox Music app on all Windows 8 tablets and PCs. Discovering and enjoying free music is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting “play.” Songs are instantly available to stream at no cost and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.[1]

Continued innovation

Xbox Music will continue to grow and evolve over the coming months. Microsoft will add Radio to the free Web player, a quick and dynamic way to personalize your collection, discover new favorites, and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favorite artists. With unlimited skips and a view of the full recommended music stream, Radio puts you in control of your Internet radio experience.[1]

Xbox Music will grow on Windows 8 when it adds the anticipated new Web Playlist tool this fall. The tool scans all the artists and music available on a given Web page and creates a custom playlist of all that music. Think about the Web page of your favorite radio station, or an upcoming music festival, and all the bands and songs included on that Web page. Web Playlist identifies all that music and creates an instant, custom playlist inside Xbox Music with the simple touch of a button. Web Playlist along with Windows 8.1 will be released Oct. 17.

In the coming months, additional updates for iOS and Android platforms will become available, including an offline mode that lets you save your music to your device for playback without an Internet or data connection.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of movies, TV, music and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Live, the world’s premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

[1] Free streaming available only on the Web and devices running Windows 8 or later. Limited hours of free streaming after six months; unlimited with paid subscription. Coming later this fall: artist-based Radio on Android, iOS and the Web.
[2] Xbox Music Pass is streaming only on Xbox consoles, Android, iOS and the Web. Applicable taxes extra. On Xbox consoles, Xbox Music requires an Xbox Music Pass and an Xbox Live Gold membership (both sold separately). Download music on up to four devices. Some Xbox Music content may not be available via Xbox Music Pass, and may vary over time and by region. Coming later this fall: Xbox music download-to-own on Android and iOS, and playlists and song sync on Windows Phone 8. See http://www.xbox.com/music.
For details, please visit http://news.xbox.com.
For assets, please visit http://news.xbox.com/media.

Xiaomi announcements: from Mi3 to Xiaomi TV

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An Official Video of the MI3 & MITV Launch Event (with English & Chinese subtitles). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR REAL UNDERSTANDING OF XIAOMI!)

Read before: Assesment of the Xiaomi phenomenon before the global storm is starting on Sept 5 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 30, 2013]
Watch before: Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Takes on Apple in China [Bloomberg TV, Sept 6, 2013] Xiaomi CEO and Founder Lei Jun discusses the company’s growth and competition with Apple on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” image
Read after: Exclusive: Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Really Left Google [AllTingsD, Sept 12, 2013] … “There is no question the phone business is very low margin today, but they want to get to a place where they can sell the device at cost and then sell high-margin services to make that phone experience even better,” said Barra. … “The aspiration for the founders is that Xiaomi will become a global company that happens to be in China,” he said. “If I do my job right, in a few years, the world will be talking about Xiaomi in the same way that they talk about Google and Apple today.”

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Introducing Xiaomi MIUI MI3 (3D) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013]

Check this thread for Xiaomi New Product Convention 2013http://en.miui.com/thread-7486-1-1.html (Live)

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Xiaomi2 hours ago

ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone#

  • Dual Platform – Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processors (1.8GHz A15 + A15) with 72 GeForce GPU cores + Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (8974AB quad-core 2.3GHz + 28nm HPM)). MiPhone 3’s overall performance increased 40% (compare to MiPhone 2S).
  • Screen – Sharp and LG 5-inch 1080P IPS display with ultra-sensitive touch. It works even when your figures are wet. You can set to recognize your figures even wearing gloves;
  • Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM+16GB eMMC4.5 flash
  • Battery – 3050mAh battery;
  • Camera – SONY 13 MP Exmor RS CMOS back camera, 2MP BSI front camera
  • Supports NFC & 2.4/5G WiFi

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XiaomiYesterday

ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone

  • Size: 114mm×72mm×8.1mm, weight: only 145g;
  • Six official colors;
  • Camera comes with Intelligent beauty corrector. It can also identify age and gender.
  • The GPS can preserve the satellite trajectory for 7 days.
  • Immersion vibration function with situational vibrate mode.
  • Price – USD$327 for 16GB; USD$408 for 64GB.

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Nvidia has recently started receiving orders for its Tegra 4 processor, and in addition to the recently launched Mi3 smartphone from China-based vendor Xiaomi, Nvidia has also landed orders for Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT as well as Asustek, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard (HP) tablets, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The Mi3 is the first smartphone to adopt the Tegra 4 processor.
Nvidia is also supplying its Tegra 4 to Asustek for its 10-inch New Transformer Pad tablet, HP for its 10-inch Slatebook 10 x2 and Toshiba for its 10-inch Excite Pro. Nvidia is reportedly also considering releasing an own-brand tablet.
Nvidia has also been aggressively promoting its Shield gaming device, trying to compete against the 3DS and PS Vita with a price of US$299.

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Photos Taken by Xiaomi MI3 (HD) 小米手机随手拍 (高清) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 6, 2013], watch in either 720p or 1080p HD, and you could even watch in the original HD

MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.1, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 20 million users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

Immersion Enters Multi-Year License Agreement With Xiaomi [press release, Sept 5, 2013]

Recently announced Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is the first to launch with advanced tactile effects
SHANGHAI & SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced that it has entered into a broad multi-year licensing arrangement with Xiaomi, one of the fastest growing smartphone makers in China, and that the recently released Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone uses Immersion’s TouchSense® technology to add new dimension of engagement in Xiaomi’s popular MIUI interface. Users can experience Immersion technology in two new downloadable tactile themes available in the MIUI storefront, as well as the crisp, intuitive tactile effects integrated throughout the Mi3 user interface and Tool applications. The Mi3 is Xiaomi’s first smartphone to come to market under the new license agreement between Xiaomi and Immersion, which covers Immersion’s Basic Haptics IP and select TouchSense and Integrator software solutions.
“We are pleased to work closely with Xiaomi to design tactile effects that create a rich user experience and deliver a distinctive and branded feel to MIUI, Xiaomi’s custom Android interface,” explains Dennis Sheehan, Immersion’s Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Xiaomi is our first direct mobile OEM licensee in China, and this relationship further validates the value of our IP portfolio and software solutions. With Xiaomi’s focus on design and innovation, we’re looking forward to collaborating in the future to bring advanced tactile experiences to mobile users in China.”
The Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is available in China online at www.xiaomi.com.

Mi3 users who want to experience tactile effects have many options:

    • Users can select which strength of tactile effects they experience throughout the handset by customizing the vibration settings menu, found in the Settings/Sound menu

    • Mi3 Tool apps, including Compass, Calculator, Clock, Torch & Recorder include customized haptic effects to create a more intuitive user interface

    • The Iron Man and Gun MIUI themes are enhanced with realistic tactile effects, and are available for download from the MIUI Themes app.

      “The Xiaomi Mi3 was designed to be easy to use, personalized and cutting-edge. The addition of haptics seamlessly extends these values to the consumer through the sense of touch,” explains Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi. “Immersion’s technology and expertise allows us to create a one-of-a-kind user experience that engages the sense of touch and complements our visual and audio design.”
      For more information on Immersion’s TouchSense technology and Integrator platform, visit http://www.immersion.com/markets/mobile/index.html.
      About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
      Founded in 1993, Immersion (NASDAQ: IMMR) is the leading innovator in haptics, or tactile effects; the company’s touch feedback solutions deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using Immersion’s high-fidelity haptic systems, partners can transform user experiences with unique and customizable touch feedback effects; excite the senses in games, videos and music; restore “mechanical” feel by providing intuitive and unmistakable confirmation; improve safety by overcoming distractions while driving or performing a medical procedure; and expand usability when audio and visual feedback are ineffective. Immersion’s TouchSense technology provides haptics in mobile phone, automotive, gaming, medical and consumer electronics products from world-class companies. With over 1,300 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries, Immersion helps bring the digital universe to life. Hear what we have to say at blog.immersion.com.
      About Xiaomi (www.xiaomi.com)
      Xiaomi is a mobile internet company dedicated to creating the ultimate user experience through its overall portfolio of products including Xiaomi phones, a series of high-performance smartphones; MIUI, a customized UI based on Android; and internet service, such as MiTalk, app store, and game center. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi is headquartered in Beijing, China and has over 3,000 employees.

      Xiaomi2 hours ago

      ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
      #MIUI V5 and MiCloud Service#

      Hi to all MIFans!

      -What do you like the most about MIUI? What is your wish list?
      Today, we have over 20 million MIUI users around the world! MIUI team works hard to deliver updates each week. Until today, we have delivered 27 updates for MIUI V5.

      -MiCloud Service
      More than 10.5 million registered users uploading 11 million photos daily to our MiCloud. With MiCloud service, you can sync contacts, messages, settings, photos and videos etc. to our cloud. Feel free to delete and leave enough space for your phone to do more!

      -Share Photo Album and Edit Together
      MIUI V5 added an amazing feature. It allows you to share photo albums and invite people to edit those albums with you. You can simply invite people through texts or generate QR codes for them to scan.

      -Share Public WiFi Access
      Tired of asking for password to access public WiFi? MIUI V5 allows people to share access! Just one setting or simply generate and scan a QR code, you can soon be connected.

      -Send Large File
      Have you experienced problems sending huge files like movies using your phone? With our MIUI V5 new system app, you can send huge files without concerns.

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      Xiaomi TV Eyes On – GizChina [Gizchina YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013]

      We got some eye’s on time with the new Android Xiaomi TV yesterday in Beijing. The 47-inch smart TV is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset, features and LG/Samsung 3D display and has the narrowest borders we have seen of any TV to date!

      Introducing Xiaomi MIUI MiTV (HD) 小米电视 (高清) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013], watch in either 720p or 1080p HD, and you could turn on even the 3D

      MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.1, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 20 million users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

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      Xiaomiabout an hour ago

      ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event] Surprise! Xiaomi 47 inch 3D Smart TV Only USD$490

      -47 inch Polarization 3D HD LCD from LG/Samsung;

      -1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor MPQ8064 for TV , 2GB RAM /8GB flash memory ;

      -TV remote with only 11 buttons, easy to use;

      -Supports dual-band WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0;

      -Run MIUI TV customized version, it is really smart!

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      5G WiFi with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac Miracast™ from Broadcom for streaming content to UHD (4K) TVs as well

      If one has $17K to spend on LG’s 84LM960V UHD (4K) TV already equipped with Broadcom’s BCM43526 chip for 5G WiFi/IEEE 802.11ac transceiver functions, as well as some more for a ’2013 vintage’, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ capable, Android 4.2 smartphone having, for example, Broadcom’s BCM4335 chip for 5G WiFi™ 802.11ac among others (like the new HTC One to be available in March, or LG’s own ‘next generation’ device), then one can already have LG Ultra HD Streaming [TheVerge YouTube channel, Feb 25, 2013]:

      LG is demonstrating its wireless Ultra HD transmission technology this week at Mobile World Congress. At the company’s booth I got a chance to walk through a gaming demo on an [LG] Android device that was displaying at 1080p on the phone, upscaling to 4K on the TV. The technology works by connecting over Wi-Fi and using the Miracast peer-to-peer wireless screencast standard, allowing you to simply stream what you’re seeing on the phone to a TV. The streaming was fairly smooth, but panning did cause some frame rate drops occasionally. I noticed that LG is keeping the phone brightness low on its own Android devices for this demo to ensure they don’t overheat, so it’s clear this is an early demo. Nevertheless, if LG and others can bring this technology to the masses in 1080p Android phones, then we’re looking at a future where a phone or tablet could truly be an all round gaming device that connects up to your TV.

      A general UHD (4K) capability will come with smartphones having the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, as an example, when you will be able to play UHD (4K) video content on the smartphone and watch it in UHD (4K) on the UHD TV.

      [Recognition] Credible Praise for LG Ultra HD TV by the Experts [WHY LG TV BLOG, Feb 28, 2013]

      Best of Innovations 2013 – Video Display Category at CES 2013

      “The 84LM9600 is the world’s largest Ultra Definition (UD) 3D TV delivering immersive entertainment in stunning ultra-definition with a combination of CINEMA 3D technology and Smart TV features.”

      8/10 Rating by Digital Trends

      “Bottom line: Higher pixel density makes images on the screen look more like reality than TV. Scenes of the bright blue Mediterranean looked so convincing; it was hard not to want to jump right in. The stars in night skies looked much more like stars – tiny pinpoints of light – than a smattering of blurry white spots.”

      A Stellar Review from HDTV Solutions

      “The picture quality of the LG Ultra HD TV is definitely a major step up from the output of a high-end 1080p HDTV. The difference can be startling when playing 4K content. But even when comparing playback of Blu-rays, the LG’s upscaling to 4K is noticeably better.”

      Rated Excellent by AVForums

      “Once you throw in LG’s reference Smart TV platform, two remotes, Game Play, built-in WiFi, well designed menus and exceptional calibration controls, you start to see a TV that can almost justify its hefty price tag. The huge nature of the screen isn’t reflected in the other dimensions, with the surrounding bezel measuring 3cm at the top, 2.5cm at the sides and 4cm along the bottom. The entire chassis is only 4cm deep, which is remarkable when you consider the screen size and how much technology is crammed inside.”

      LG 84LM960V Ultra HD TV [LGBlogUK YouTube channel, Jan 3, 2013]

      LG 84 inch ULTRA HD TV presents a whole new level of picture quality, boasting a resolution four times higher than Full HD. Naturally, it is incredibly immersive, vivid and crisp, even when viewed from close distances. Ultra High Definition TV is the future of TV viewing and brings the cinema experience home.

      LG TO DEMONSTRATE WORLD’S FIRST WIRELESS ULTRA HD TRANSMISSION TECHNOLOGY AT MWC 2013 [LG Electronics press release, Feb 25, 2013]

      LG Electronics (LG) will showcase its industry-leading Wireless Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) Transmission technology for the first time at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. This exciting next generation mobile feature enables users to view games and other smartphone content on Ultra HD TVs in real time, via wireless data transfer.

      “Thanks to our innovative Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology, users can now enjoy their favorite mobile content on today’s most advanced Ultra HD TVs,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With the development of this cutting-edge technology, LG again confirms its industry leadership in the area of display and mobile convergence for a truly enjoyable viewing experience.”

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      Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology makes the delivery of smartphone multimedia content to TVs faster and smoother than previous mobile video compression and transfer systems. With minimal lag and data loss, LG’s next generation mobile feature performs this feat using ubiquitous WiFi connections. During transmission, multimedia content is automatically adjusted to match the receiving TV’s screen resolution, resulting in flawless visuals.

      What’s more, LG’s Wireless Ultra HD Transmission system consumes less than half the power of other similar transmission technologies. It achieves this by reducing the burden on the smartphone’s CPU and other hardware resources.

      [CES 2013] LG Ultra HD TV [ElectoTube YouTube channel by LG, Jan 9, 2013]

      Broadcom Powers First LG 5G WiFi Digital Televisions [Broadcom press release, Jan 7, 2013]

      Heads to CES with Growing 5G WiFi Ecosystem; Enables LG Consumers to Stream HD Video Wirelessly from Mobile Devices to the TV

      News Highlights:
      -LG Electronics to offer the industry’s first digital televisions powered by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi
      -New 5G WiFi digital televisions with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ enable consumers to escape the small screen and reliably stream HD-quality video onto larger displays
      -5G WiFi delivers dramatic capacity, range and power benefits

      2013 CES International —Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced LG Electronics has chosen Broadcom’s 5G WiFi technology, based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, for use in select 2013 LG digital TV models. By adopting Broadcom’s BCM43526, LG Electronics is the first to enable consumers to seamlessly stream and share high-resolution content between mobile devices and smart TVs. Learn how Broadcom® innovation is enabling the Connected Life at home, at work, and on-the-go at Broadcom@CES.

      “LG is leading the market with next-generation digital TV innovations that dramatically enhance the consumer’s viewing experience,” said Sangyeob Lee, LG Electronics Senior Director, TV Product Planning. “By adding 5G WiFi to our flagship Smart TV platforms, our customers will experience the fastest, most reliable wireless connectivity yet. Partnering with Broadcom allows us to raise the bar and be the first company to introduce the next generation of WiFi in our Smart TV platforms.”

      “Last year at CES 2012, Broadcom introduced the industry’s first 5G WiFi chips and committed to enabling the adoption of the technology across all wireless product segments,” said Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combo. “Today marks yet another important milestone — the industry’s first 5G WiFi Smart TV. We’re thrilled to partner with LG to further expand the ecosystem of 5G WiFi products available to consumers and continue to drive rapid adoption of the technology.”

      The increased reliance on wireless networks, the explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices are all putting stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks. As a result, consumers are prone to experience deteriorated performance such as choppy videos and slower load times, especially when streaming content from the cloud, smartphone or tablet to a digital TV. 5G WiFi dramatically improves home wireless range, providing higher-capacity video streaming, the ability to connect multiple devices to the network at the same time and broader coverage with fewer dead spots. It also reduces power consumption by up to 83 percent[1] in mobile devices, so consumers can go longer without having to plug in.

      The average U.S. household has nearly 4.8 devices connected to the network[2]. Yet, sharing content between these devices can be complicated — and sometimes impossible. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast addresses this issue by allowing users to easily stream content wirelessly between devices. By incorporating the BCM43526 and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast into its newest digital TV products, LG Electronics is ensuring consumers enjoy fast, reliable connectivity between multiple devices in multiple places throughout the home.

      Availability

      LG Electronics’ new line of 5G WiFi digital televisions will be available in 2013 in various markets.

      LG 4K 84-inch Ultra HD 3D LED HDTV: Abt Electronics [AbtElectronics YouTube channel, Jan 28, 2013]

      Buy now: LG 84″ Ultra HD 3D 4K LED HDTV–84LM9600 $16999.00 4K Resolution (3840×2160)/ Local Dimming/ Triple XD Engine/ TruMotion 240Hz/ Resolution Upscaler Plus/ 2D To 3D Conversion/ Dual Play Gaming/ Dual Core Processor/ Magic Remote Voice/ Infinite Surround Sound/ 10,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio/ Home Dashboard 2.0/ 3D World (3D Content Streaming)/ Web Browser/ Wi-Fi Built-In/ Built-In ATSC/NTSC/Clear QAM Tuner/ Includes Six 3D Glasses/ Black Finish http://www.abt.com/product/65819/LG-84LM9600.html

      Broadcom 5G WiFi Powers New HTC One Smartphone [Broadcom press release, Feb 25, 2013]

      Expands Ecosystem of 5G WiFi Products Available

      • HTC chooses Broadcom 5G WiFi technology in its newly launched HTC One smartphone
      • 5G WiFi delivers faster, more reliable wireless connectivity with significantly less battery drain

      Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced HTC has chosen Broadcom® 5G WiFi technology in its new flagship HTC One device. By adopting the BCM4335, HTC is delivering the speed, reliability and power benefits of 5G WiFi in its newest smartphone. Visit Broadcom @ Mobile World Congress for more news.

      “With the launch of the HTC One, we’re reinventing the mobile experience and setting a new standard for smartphones,” said Kouji Kodera, Chief Product Officer, HTC. “Our customers today are consuming more and more video on their mobile devices and expect a seamless streaming experience. Broadcom’s 5G WiFi delivers higher bandwidth and broader range so our customers experience the fastest, most reliable wireless connectivity yet — while also preserving battery power.”

      The explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices being used are putting stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks. As a result, consumers are prone to experience deteriorated performance such as choppy videos and slower load times, especially when streaming content to a smartphone. 5G WiFi, which is based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, improves the range of a wireless connection, providing higher-capacity video streaming, the ability to connect multiple devices to the network at the same time and broader coverage with fewer dead spots. Broadcom’s 5G WiFi also reduces power consumption by up to 83 percent[1] in mobile devices, so consumers can go longer without having to plug in.

      “Broadcom continues to lead the transition to the next generation of Wi-Fi across all product segments,” said Michael Hurlston, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Combos. “We’ve hit a major inflection point with 5G WiFi in mobile phones. Now consumers will be able to unlock the real benefits of the technology, especially when used with the many other 802.11ac products on the market today.”

      Availability
      The new HTC One powered by Broadcom 5G WiFi will be available globally through more than 185 mobile operators and major retailers in more than 80 regions and countries beginning in March. For more information on the HTC One, please visit the HTC Newsroom or Product Page.

      [1] 5GHz 802.11ac running at 80MHz bandwidth as compared to 2.4GHz 802.11n running at 20MHz

      From HTC One Specs [HTC microsite, Feb 19, 2013]

      CONNECTIVITY
      • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
      • NFC capable3
      • Compliant with Bluetooth 4.0
      • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
      • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n
      • DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer
      • Support consumer infrared remote control
      • micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)

      Broadcom CEO Talks 4K TV, 5G WiFi [TheStreetTV YouTube channel, Jan 9, 2013]

      Broadcom CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 29, 2013]

      Scott A. McGregor – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

      … We have been shipping our 5G WiFi combo to lead customers and expect the [first 5G WiFi] smartphones to launch in the coming weeks. …

      … I think the 5G WiFi will continue to grow significantly. That’s a new technology that has penetrated access points in 2012, and will roll out in the mobile handsets over the course of this year. That is likely to be the largest magnitude of the set. …

      Miracast™ Makes a Splash with Partners at Mobile World Congress [Broadcom Connected blog, Feb 25, 2013]

      The geek love for Wi-Fi Certified Miracast™, an innovative Wi-Fi standard that relies on a technology dubbed “wireless display mirroring,” seemed to be inevitable when we first started talking about it. The technology, which allows consumers to easily and seamlessly share media from one device to another over Wi-Fi, was designed for today’s multimedia lifestyles.

      The Miracast technology standard is built on the premise that users have a ton of content on their smartphones and laptops – photos, videos and games, to name a few – that they’d like to engage with over a large screen. But for users to seamlessly transfer that content, the technology standard must reside in both the device and the display.

      That’s where Broadcom comes into the game. Broadcom and its partners are looking to spur on Miracast adoption with software and hardware that aims to speed up the integration of Miracast into electronics, getting the technology to consumers faster.

      At Mobile World Congress today, Broadcom is highlighting recent Miracast partnerships with top tech players and retailers — including Google (in Android 4.2), Intel, Roku, NVIDIA, Best Buy Stores and more.

      Adoption is expected to pick up steam this year as Miracast shows up in PCs, smart TVs and gaming platforms worldwide, including products like the Nexus 4, some of LG Electronics’ TVs and Optimus G smartphones, Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone and others. Some 1.5 billion Miracast devices are expected to ship in 2016, according to ABI Research.

      Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ is appearing in a range of televisions, tablets, handsets and more. Miracast makes it easy to display applications or video content from one Wi-Fi device on another, even when the devices are different brands. http://www.wi-fi.org/miracast

      [Note the second demo at [1:07-2:08] which is by using an LG Optimus smartphone for wireless streaming.]

      Broadcom’s contribution to the Miracast ecosystem is in the form of a robust, complete software stack that allows smartphone, display, smart TV and set-top box makers to roll out  the technology in their newest products.

      Broadcom is also offering an off-the-shelf wireless dongle design that allows display makers to add Miracast to any device with an HDMI port — similar to the early products that helped bring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to personal computers before the now-standard technologies were embedded. Best Buy is already selling Miracast-enabled video receivers in its online under its Rocketfish brand, featuring Broadcom’s technology.

      Best Buy’s Rocketfish Miracast Video Receiver, Broadcom tech inside.

      The standard has been promoted by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Broadcom since last year. In September, the Wi-Fi Alliance handpicked Broadcom’s technology for its Miracast test bed. And Miracast-enabled devices were all over the show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, with somebig-name CE players throwing their weight behind the standard to continue to drive adoption momentum.

      Come by and see Miracast in action at:
      Hall 3 (Hybrid Hall) Booth #3C14 Fira de Barcelona Gran Via

      Not heading to Barcelona? Get the latest MWC newsfrom Broadcom and our partners by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and reading the blog.

      Broadcom Drives Wireless Media Sharing Across Consumer Electronics Ecosystem [Broadcom press release, Feb 25, 2013]

      Best Buy, NVIDIA and others adopt Broadcom Miracast™ solution

      • Broadcom is among first vendors to deliver end-to-end Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast solutions
      • Broadcom Miracast solution gains traction in PC, smart TV and gaming platforms   
      • Growth opportunity with more than 1.5 billion Miracast devices expected to ship in 20161
        Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced broad adoption of its Miracast solutions by industry leaders across a range of consumer electronics products. Visit Broadcom @ Mobile World Congress for more news.
        Broadcom offers the most complete Miracast software solution, enabling ultra low-latency gaming, 3D and 4K display formats and advanced content protection for reduced time-to-market across a broad and diverse set of platforms. Miracast, a Wi-Fi Alliance standard, transmits video over a robust wireless connection to allow consumers to stream movies, play games and access thousands of applications on a larger screen without delay or interruption.
        As a testament to its proven solutions, Broadcom Miracast-compatible devices are among the first to interoperate with wireless display on Nexus 4 as part of Android 4.2, Jelly Bean. Industry leaders, including LG Electronics and Nintendo, have selected Broadcom for its connectivity expertise and now have the ability to add Miracast capabilities to improve the experience of their users. Through strategic partnerships and product innovation, Broadcom is playing a pivotal role in delivering Miracast solutions to support a broad spectrum of consumer electronics products for immediate deployment.
        In addition to its Miracast software solution, Broadcom offers a portfolio of wireless HDMI dongle designs that includes its dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi device and high-performance media processor. This high-performance, USB-powered solution leverages 5GHz MIMO technology in a compact design that adds Miracast capabilities to existing consumer devices, simplifies upgrades and lowers total cost for OEMs.
        “Intel is excited to collaborate with Broadcom on their Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast HDMI dongle solutions. This collaboration enables consumers who have a PC, phone or a tablet featuring Intel® Wireless Display to enjoy their personal and online content on an even broader set of consumer devices,” saidKerry Forell, Intel WiDi Product Manager.
        Broadcom is extending its leadership as the first vendor to offer a wireless HDMI dongle design based on the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, further reducing latency and enabling simultaneous high-definition video streaming across multiple devices.
        A range of Broadcom Miracast solutions are currently in production with major technology manufacturers and retailers.
          • Best Buy’s Rocketfish Miracast dongle is currently available at retail locations
          • Miracast support for NVIDIA Tegra 4-powered devices will be available in Q2 2013
            For ongoing news, visit Broadcom’s Newsroom, read the B-Connected Blog, or visit Facebook or Twitter. And to stay connected, subscribe to Broadcom’s RSS Feed.
            Patrick McGinnis, Vice President, Best Buy Exclusive Brands
            “Best Buy is dedicated to delivering technology products that provide more choice, value and improved experiences for our customers. As a leader in Wi-Fi innovation, Broadcom is an ideal partner for Best Buy as we introduce our Rocketfish dongle with Miracast technology for a new viewing and entertainment solution.”
            Matt Wuebbling, Director, Tegra Product Marketing, NVIDIA
            “Pairing NVIDIA Tegra processors with Broadcom’s leading wireless solutions will allow consumers to share photos, stream HD movies and play amazing games on the big screen seamlessly. We’ve worked closely with Broadcom to bring this groundbreaking wireless display technology to market.”
            Edgar Figueroa, CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance
            “We congratulate Broadcom on its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast reference design as well as inclusion of its software in our test bed. Broadcom’s participation in the development of this program has been instrumental in the achievement of an industry-wide certification for this program.”
            Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group
            “As a leader across all segments of the Wi-Fi market, Broadcom is uniquely positioned to drive mass adoption of Miracast technology. The integration ofBroadcom’s solution into a broad-based foundation of devices from major consumer electronics vendors and retailers will allow consumers to simply and effortlessly share content across the continuously expanding environment of connected devices.”
            1 IHS iSuppli Research, Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ Press Release, September 12, 2012

            LG DWD-300 Miracast™ Certified Wireless HDMI® Adapter [trainofthoughtmkt YouTube channel, Feb 1, 2013]

            Check email, send a text, or use other apps, all while continuously playing a video or other content on a separate, larger screen with Dual Screen Dual Play. All you’ll need is the DWD-300 Miracast™ Certified Wireless HDMI® Adapter and a compatible smartphone.

            LG DWD-300 Wireless HDMI Adapter – LG Optimus G™ accessories from AT&T [AT&T, Jan 18, 2013]

            LG DWD-300 Wireless HDMI Adapter – LG Optimus G™

            Retail price     $99.00

            Overview

            The LG DWD-300 is a lightweight Miracast™ Certified wireless HDMI adapter that uses Wi-Fi technology. Use the DWD-300 as a wireless AV accessory for devices that support the Wi-Fi protocol.

            You can view your phone’s content on a larger screen via a convenient Wi-Fi connection. Simply attach, connect, and enjoy! Scroll through an album, share a presentation, or play a video for the whole family. Use Dual Screen Dual Play (if supported by your phone) to check your email, send a text, or use other apps on your phone while playing a video on the larger screen.

            LG CES 2013 Press Event First Look – OLED TV, Google TV, 4K TV, and More! [TechSmartt YouTube channel, Jan 7, 2013]

            LG held their Press Event today at CES 2013. Most of the things they were allegedly supposed to release were predicted, but they threw a few curve balls. For starters and featured before the event, was the OLED TV. The quality and thin qualities it portrays are stunning. Up next was the Ultra HDTV, which is in 4K resolution. It again looks stunning, and comes in various sizes. New technology arose from LG with the Laser TV projecting clear video at 100-inches. The Google TV LG is now featuring looks a lot cleaner, and can preview success for the company. Built into the small, QWERT-enabled keyboard is voice-recognition and Android capabilities. For LG this Press Event was a success, and 2013 looks to be a positive year for South Korean company. Stay tuned to TechSmartt for in-depth demos on all of LG’s products!

            Broadcom Unveils World’s First UltraHD TV Home Gateway Chip [Broadcom press release, Jan 8, 2013]

            Opens 2013 Consumer Electronics Show With Game Changer for Big Screen and Internet Video Delivery in the Home

            News Highlights:
            – Enables UltraHD (4Kx2K resolution) TV into the home for dramatically improved picture quality on big screens
            – Supports HEVC video coding standard; reduces video bandwidth usage by 50 percent
            – Simultaneously delivers four transcoded HD video streams over IP for content on any screen
            – Delivers unprecedented 21000 DMIPs of application performance while protecting high-value content with web domain security features

            Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced the world’s first Ultra High Definition Television (UltraHD TV) video decoder solution on the market. Learn how Broadcom® innovation is enabling the Connected Life at home, at work, and on-the-go at Broadcom@CES.
            The BCM7445 is the first step to delivering UltraHD TV into the home with the performance and picture quality needed for the evolution in multi-screen connected home entertainment. Broadcom’s 28 nanometer (nm) ARM-based BCM7445 UltraHD video decoder solution, serving as the primary gateway to the home, delivers more transcoding, CPU processing performance and home networking throughput to support a greater range of applications such as video-on-demand (VoD), gaming, social media and web store applications. 
            UltraHD TV technology, formerly known as 4K, marks a major innovation in HD resolution. UltraHD TV screens display four times the resolution of today’s 1080p60 displays. The delivery of UltraHD TV requires a more efficient compression codec made possible by the use of the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. HEVC speeds Internet video downloads giving operators and users the ability to download content such as movies in half the time and with higher quality video at 50 percent of the bit rate previously required.
            “The clarity and brilliance of UltraHD television is a significant step forward in viewing enjoyment and is the next true evolution in TV innovation,” said Dan Marotta, Broadcom’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Communications Group.”By integrating HEVC, Quad 1080p transcoding, quad-core CPU, gigabit networking speeds and web domain security, Broadcom is enabling a dramatic improvement in the TV viewing experience while making UltraHD video delivery economics work for service providers.”
            HEVC, which will be known as MPEG-H or H.265, will be required to broadcast UltraHD content, notably major sporting events and Hollywood content,” said Michael Inouye, Senior Analyst of TV and Video, ABI Research.  “Next generation user experience, including 80 inch and larger displays, will be improved by the adoption of UltraHD and HEVC. The efficiency of HEVC will also enable additional services including faster IP downloads and the provisioning of VoD services over wireless networks.”
            Key Features:
              • Based on 28 nm process technology, the BCM7445 features the new Brahma15 21,000 DMIP CPU, four 1080p30 real-time transcoders and HEVC compression that delivers resolution up to 4096x2160p60.
              • The BCM7445 also features web domain security, an industry leading hardware security oversight to separate Internet services from premium broadcast content. This protects critical core network functions from malware threats, paving the way for operators to securely converge and deliver pay-TV programming and open Internet applications to subscribers for a web-based TV experience.
                Brahma15 Application Processing
                The Brahma15 is a 21,000 DMIP Quad-core ARMv7-A instruction set compatible multiprocessor. 32KB instruction and 32KB data caches per processor are backed by a shared 2MB L2 cache and feed the multi-issue, out-of-order superscalar 15-stage plus write back pipeline of the Brahma15. A 32KB read-ahead cache between the L2 cache and the memory controllers provides 8KB of read latency reduction per processor. The Brahama15 supports the ARM Trust Zone® security architecture, software virtualization and hardware virtualization by core for complete security isolation. Each core individually supports single cycle ARM NEON 128- bit vectors for software based media processing applications. The entire architecture supports Broadcom’s Nexus and Trellis software interfaces ensuring a seamless continuation of the home gateway and client experience.
                Availability
                Samples of the BCM7445 UltraHD TV video decoder for the home are now available, with volume production expected in mid-2014. The BCM7445 will be demonstrated at Broadcom’s booth at 2013 CES International.

                Getting 4K with Broadcom’s HEVC Encoding – CES 2013 [TEKHD YouTube channel, Jan 11, 2013]

                Miracast™ Technology Brings Wireless Streaming to the Living Room [Broadcom Connected blog, Jan 3, 2013]

                Moving high-definition content from a small-screen device such as a smartphone or a tablet to a bigger screen, such as a TV or desktop computer, can be a challenge. But thanks to a technology standard that’s on the verge of going mainstream, those headaches are about to become a thing of the past.

                Meet Miracast™, a technology that CNET Australia has called “a near-perfect wireless streaming solution.” At next week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, expect to hear about a growing number of devices that are outfitted with Miracast, which is actually a Wi-Fi standard that relies on technology dubbed “wireless display mirroring.

                The idea is for consumers to stream content between Wi-Fi connected devices seamlessly, without an intermediate box such as a router or gateway. Think of Miracast as a seal of approval for electronics devices so that problems with compatibility and interoperability become a thing of the past.

                The standard has been promoted by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Broadcom for some time. In September, the Wi-Fi Alliance handpicked Broadcom’s technology for its Miracast test bed.

                And some big name CE players have already signaled their support for Miracast, including handset and TV makers Samsung and LG.  Embedded companies also have hopped on board, including Intel, Ralink, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Realtek and MediaTek.

                CES 2013 LogoCES 2013 is likely to be Miracast’s true coming-out party with the industry, with hundreds of Miracast-enabled products on the show floor. Miracast is one of the top trends forecast by Broadcom at our December “Geek Peek.”

                At the show today, Broadcom is announcing partnerships with top tech players and retailers —including Google (debuted in Android 4.2), Roku, NVidia, Best Buy and more—to promote Miracast’s adoption.

                Broadcom’s contribution to the Miracast ecosystem is in the form of a robust, complete software stack that allows smartphone, display, smart TV and set-top box makers to roll out technology in their newest products. To further accelerate the adoption, Broadcom is also offering an off-the-shelf wireless dongle design that allows display makers to add Miracast to any device with an HDMI port—similar to the early products that helped bring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to personal computers before the technologies were embedded

                Miracast is in its earliest stages of adoption. But, already, it’s prepared to meet the needs of next-generation home entertainment, including support for leading-edge 3D and Ultra HD display formats that allow seamless movie streaming, game play and access to thousands of apps—all over Wi-Fi.

                Just in Time for CES: Broadcom and Intel Team Up to Drive Wireless Display Adoption [Broadcom Connected blog, Jan 3, 2013]

                The volume of video being consumed over the Internet is growing at an exponential rate, representing about half of all global Internet traffic today and expected to reach 93 percent by 2015. At the same time, the number of devices consumers are using to watch video is also on the rise. Researchers estimate that approximately 4.8 devices are in an average U.S. household with a home network — nearly double from just four years ago.

                The challenge for consumers is how to share their content between devices. That’s where technologies such as Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi) come into play.

                Broadcom today became the first Wi-Fi silicon vendor with a license for Intel WiDi technology in PCs.  As part of this agreement, Broadcom will integrate Intel WiDi software onto its WLAN chips to help drive adoption of the technology in Ultrabook™ systems.  The multistream 2×2 Wi-Fi data rates in Broadcom’s chip coupled with Intel WiDi software will deliver a seamless, high-quality experience to users.

                Wi-Fi Display, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ and Intel WiDi are based on the same underlying technologies that allow you to do one very useful thing: easily stream content between two devices wirelessly. Those streams will become more commonplace this year as new standards for Wi-Fi-enabled devices eliminate interoperability and compatibility issues. Intel WiDi and industry standard Miracast are compatible technologies that improve the consumer experience for sharing video content between devices.

                Intel and its ecosystem partners have shipped more than 30 million Intel WiDi-capable notebooks. This agreement will help drive the proliferation of the technology across a much broader offering of notebook PCs. Learn more about Intel WiDi, or visit the Intel booth (Central Hall, Booth No. 7252) at the International Consumer Electronics Show, which is this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

                Broadcom Flames WiFi Display demo – Computex 2012 [FirstZoom YouTube channel, June 9, 2012]

                Sharing video content has become a daily event in many households, but many TV;s don’t have the ability to sync with handheld devices in any meaningful way to allow the media content to be streamed to the TV. That being said, TVs are expensive and most people will not buy a new tv simply to add this capability. Hence Flames, which allows devices to stream intelligently to your TV HDMI port via WiFi. The device is self contained with all the relevant software and hardware to enable your tv to become a multimedia hub immediately.

                5G W iFi Smartphone Technology [Broadcom whitepaper, July 2012]

                Mobile-to-Digital TV use cases are gaining traction as consumers begin using interactive gaming, streaming video, and remote control devices in a home. A key benefit is the ability to shift video from a small mobile screen to a larger one using peer-to-peer technologies like Wi-Fi Display and to support the increased throughput required for future video formats such as 2K4K (2048 × 4096 pixels) and 4K4K (4096 × 4096 pixels). With multiple high-resolution video devices connected to a digital TV, this presents a challenge for sustained WLAN throughput and range.

                5G WiFi provides a number of performance advantages compared to previous generations of Wi-Fi:

                • More than six times higher throughput than 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi devices
                • Significantly lower power consumption for a given data range
                • Improved range and elimination of fading by using antenna beamforming
                • Higher throughput at the same distance from an access point
                • Reduced interference from other wireless devices (uses 5 GHz frequency band)
                5G WiFi is not just a technology breakthrough — it enables new use cases and improves existing ones. In the previous generation of smartphones, high bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming are extremely limited due to low data rates. 5G WiFi breaks that barrier and allows media streaming from a handset to a digital television at data rates comparable to that supported by wired Ethernet connections. At the same time, 5G WiFi enables high-speed data and media synchronization, turning an hour-long backup process into a matter of minutes.
                5G WiFi also solves some of the longest-standing problems with Wi-Fi in smartphones. By reducing signal fading and lost connections, it significantly improves the Wi-Fi user experience. By reducing overall power consumption for large data transfers, it also extends battery life.
                In summary, 5G WiFi redefines the concept of a smartphone. Whereas today’s smartphone Wi-Fi users are limited to basic applications such as web browsing and e-mail, tomorrow’s 5G WiFi users will have a fullfeatured media center in their hands.

                Broadcom 5G WiFi solutions – Computex 2012 [FirstZoom YouTube channel, June 7, 2012]

                Dino from Broadcom introduced us to their new 5G WiFi router that was streaming simultaneously a total of four HD video streams, set up in the Computex arena, where WiFi was incredibly congested. 5G WiFi has amazing bandwidth and exceeds anything to be seen in 3G and 4G. The ramp up to 5G has started, with products from ASUS already, and by next year this time, 5G will be pretty common even in mobile devices.

                Broadcom and 5G WiFi [Broadcom technology site, July 25, 2012]

                Broadcom Delivers 5G WiFi
                Broadcom Delivers 5G WiFi
                Broadcom’s mission as a global innovator is simple – Connect everything. As a leader in semiconductor solutions, Broadcom boasts that 99.98 percent of all Internet traffic crosses a Broadcom chip, across vast lineup of products. Broadcom is investing in the advancement of 5G WiFi, a platform for IEEE 802.11ac, the standard behind the next generation of Wi-Fi. Broadcom recognizes that each previous generation has come in at the right time to address an inflection point in consumer needs. 5G WiFi is no different. It is here as a panacea for the video challenge and represents the continued commitment by Broadcom and the industry to meet wireless needs in both homes and workplaces.
                Bringing 5G WiFi to Market
                Bringing 5G WiFi to Market
                Broadcom introduced its family of 5G WiFi chips for access points and PCs at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2012. Soon after, the world’s first 5G WiFi routers were unveiled by companies such as Netgear, Belkin and Buffalo Technologies, with others, such as ASUS and D-Link, soon following. At the Computex show in June 2012, ASUS announced the world’s first 5G WiFi laptop & motherboard, bringing the power of the next generation of Wi-Fi to the world of computing.
                In July 2012, Broadcom introduced the BCM4335, the industry’s first 5G WiFi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices. The new device extends Broadcom’s wireless connectivity leadership and establishes it as the first chip vendor to sample solutions based on the 802.11ac standard for every major Wi-Fi product segment. Smartphones and tablets powered by the new BCM4335, which are expected to hit shelves in Q1 2013, will allow consumers to reap the full benefits of 5G WiFi on both ends of the wireless connection.

                Broadcom Corporation_Unleashing the Power of the 5G WiFi Ecosystem [SUMMITFORUM2012 YouTube channel, June 18, 2012]

                Mr. Michael Hurlston Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Combo Connectivity Line of Business Broadcom Corporation

                Tenda leads China’s Gigabit Wireless Age [Tenda press release, Nov 20, 2012]

                Tenda ® (Shenzhen Tenda Technology Co., Ltd), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers and businesses, today announced the world’s fastest next-generation gigabit WiFi 802.11ac product series at the press conference jointly held with Broadcom®, the world’s leading chipmaker. Tenda, the first in China to launch the high-speed 802.11ac products, demonstrated its courageous commitment to leading innovation at the conference in the presence of over 130 guests from major news, media, government authorities and channels, etc.
                President and CEO of Tenda, Mr Dengping Quan, highlighted Tenda’s dedicated commitment to innovation and pioneers of the spirit of innovation. He said at the conference, the demand for high-performance routers operating in the less crowded 5 GHz band is growing significantly in China. By working with Broadcom, Tenda has consistently delivered an innovation pipeline of leading edge technologies designed to address the needs of today’s consumers in China. To improve and facilitate innovation processes, we spent huge sums of money to import IPD (Integrated Product Development), the most advanced product development process, from IBM and Agile IT systems from Oracle.
                Consistently investing in innovation and highly valuing the core technology, Tenda contributed a lot— the first to launch wireless terminal products, the first to introduce wireless 11n products in China, the first to launch portable wireless router and easy-to-install router, the first to…
                Marketing and Product Director Mr. Hongwei Wang from Tenda introduced the 11ac technology advantage: a remarkably higher transmission rate– up to 433Mbps for a single antenna, and up to 1300Mbps for 3 combined antennas; in the near future, multiple antennas operating in 160MHz will deliver speeds up to 3.47Gbps or even higher. Plus, the advantages of Tenda’s new products based on 11ac standards consist of faster throughput, higher capacity, stronger anti-jamming capability, fashion design and easy usage. Operating on 5G band, these Tenda new 5G WiFi products are designed to better meet the need of smart home entertainment center as well small and medium-sized enterprises, ideal for interference-free video streaming, including transmission from a router to TV device and between different devices.
                In 2007, Tenda pioneered to promote 11n products as replacement of the legacy 11g products. Now, Tenda has developed new 5G WiFi products that deliver the speed and reliability required for today’s evolving consumer needs. He gave details of Tenda new products at the conference and announced plans to upgrade the existing series routers to smart and easy to install routers (intelligently detect Internet connection type, intelligently diagnose network faults, intelligently connect to secondary uplink router), as well as to create the world’s most easy-to-install router. It also announced that Tenda will be the first to provide a free telephone service in the industry.
                Mr. Micheal Hurlson, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo described the cooperation with Tenda a win-win relationship and would deepen the strategic partnership. He said, Broadcom will keep its industry leadership and clearly focus on developing 5G WiFi chips. Chinese market is very important to Broadcom and Tenda is found unbelievable in terms of bringing new technology to market. Mr Dengping  Quan expressed that, Broadcom is an innovation leader in wireless field. Tenda will keep on close cooperation with Broadcom to bring the latest technologies into Chinese market.
                Broadcom’s 5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously. The increased speed enables consumers to download web content from a mobile device faster and quickly synch large files, such as videos. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode faster, which can result in significant power consumption advantages. Michael Hurlston, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo said, “China is rapidly emerging as a top consumer of IPTV services. As Chinese consumers turn to mobile devices to watch video over Wi-Fi, the need for an interference-free, clean wireless experience has become increasingly apparent. Tenda’s new 5G WiFi routers deliver the speed and reliability required for today’s evolving consumer needs.” He also predicted that by the year of 2014, 5G Wi-Fi technology will not only become standard on mobile terminals such as mobile phones tablet but also be widely incorporated into home appliances and medical equipment. Currently Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi chips has been applied in the field of routers, PC, tablet, phone, and more terminal devices equipped with 5G Wi-Fi technology are expected to be brought into ordinary people’s life by the end of the first quarter of next year.
                He also said that the broadcom technical advantages allow 5G Wi-Fi seamless roaming, remote control, situational awareness platform for applications such as home digital entertainment center. In order to allow better play 5G Wi-Fi charm, Broadcom also integrates other technologies such as NFC, Bluetooth, allowing better content sharing and multi-screen interaction.
                Mr Dengping Quan, President and CEO of Tenda, Mr Michael Hurlston, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo, Roundtable forum, Ms. Jackie Baon, Senior PL Manager of Mobile and Wireless, Dr. Jinqiao Chen, Secretary-General, Committee of Economic Experts of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, deputy chief engineer of Telecommunication Research Institute, Mr. Xiaoyong Liu, deputy chief engineer of the State Radio Monitoring Center Testing Center,  Mr. Li Chen, director of category management, Amazon (China), Mr. Ning Lu, Purchasing Director, Gome, and Mr Zixiang Zhang, President of Henan JHD Network Technology Co., Ltd. Etc joined a  splendid discussion at the roundtable forum.
                Below presents an overview of Tenda’s new 5G WiFi retail products including the W1800R, W80E and W900U.

                Tenda 5G WIFI [TendaSupport YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]

                Windows Azure Media Services OR Intel & Microsoft going together in the consumer space (again)?

                With Intel Media: 10-20 year leap in television this year [Feb 16, 2013] and Microsoft entertainment as an affordable premium offering to be built on the basis of the Xbox console and Xbox LIVE services [Feb 13, 2013] this is a highly probable assumption.

                There is other evidence as well. In fact plenty of them. Especially from Microsoft side:

                image

                The Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD) of Microsof is currently the place where all of Microsoft consumer-only activities are concentrated. EDD revenue, however, was 11% down for the latest quarter vs. that of a year ago. Moreover, it was just 17.6% of the overall Microsoft revenue vs. 20.3% in the quarter a year ago.

                In addition:
                – in Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $21.5 Billion in Second Quarter [Microsoft press  release, Jan 24, 2013] great progress was reported in the non-consumer segments of Microsoft:

                “Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.”
                The Windows Division posted revenue of $5.88 billion, a 24% increase from the prior year period. Adjusting for the net deferral of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer and the recognition of the previously deferred revenue from Windows 8 Pre-sales, Windows Division non-GAAP revenue increased 11% for the second quarter. Microsoft has sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.
                “We saw strong growth in our enterprise business driven by multi-year commitments to the Microsoft platform, which positions us well for long-term growth,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Multi-year licensing revenue grew double-digits across Windows, Server & Tools, and the Microsoft Business Division.”
                The Server & Tools business reported $5.19 billion of revenue, a 9% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit percentage revenue growth in SQL Server and System Center.
                “We see strong momentum in our enterprise business. With the launch of SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, we continue to see healthy growth in our data platform and infrastructure businesses and win share from our competitors,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “With the coming launch of the new Office, we will provide a cloud-enabled suite of products that will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility.”
                The Microsoft Business Division posted $5.69 billion of revenue, a 10% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-sales, Microsoft Business Division non-GAAP revenue increased 3% for the second quarter. Revenue from Microsoft’s productivity server offerings – collectively including Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange – continued double-digit percentage growth.

                – while Entertainment and Devices Division Performance and KPIs for Earnings Release FY13 Q2 [Microsoft Investor Relations, Jan 24, 2013] were reported as:

                Continued leadership position in console market

                • 5.9M consoles sold, down 28%
                • Halo 4 best-selling title of gaming franchise
                • Xbox LIVE members >40 million
                • Windows Phone sales were over 4 times greater than last year
                • 138 billion minutes of calls on Skype in quarter, up 59%

                EDD revenue decreased, primarily due to lower Xbox 360 platform revenue, offset in part by higher Windows Phone revenue. Xbox 360 platform revenue decreased $1.1 billion or 29%, due mainly to lower volumes of consoles sold and lower video game revenue, offset in part by higher Xbox LIVE revenue. We shipped 5.9 million Xbox 360 consoles during the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, compared with 8.2 million Xbox 360 consoles during the second quarter of fiscal year 2012. Video game revenue decreased, primarily due to $380 million of revenue deferred associated with the Video Game Deferral. Windows Phone revenue increased $546 million, including patent licensing revenue and increased sales of Windows Phone licenses.

                EDD operating income increased, due mainly to lower cost of revenue and sales and marketing expenses, offset in part by decreased revenue and increased research and development expenses. Cost of revenue decreased $544 million or 19%, mainly due to decreased sales of Xbox 360 consoles, offset in part by payments made to Nokia related to joint strategic initiatives and increased royalties on Xbox LIVE content and video games. Sales and marketing expenses decreased $92 million or 21%, primarily reflecting decreased Xbox 360 platform marketing. Research and development expenses increased $98 million or 25%, primarily reflecting higher headcount-related expenses.

                – and here we should consider the following Segment Information for the Entertainment & Devices Division excerpted on Feb 17, 2013:

                Entertainment and Devices Division (“EDD”) develops and markets products and services designed to entertain and connect people. EDD offerings include the Xbox 360 entertainment platform (which includes the Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment console, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360 video games, Xbox LIVE, and Xbox 360 accessories), Mediaroom (our Internet protocol television software), Skype, and Windows Phone, including related patent licensing revenue. We acquired Skype on October 13, 2011, and its results of operations from that date are reflected in our results.

                Note here the inclusion of Mediaroom (MS IPTV platform) into the portfolio which was not in the FY12 portfolio as per Microsoft 2012 Annual Report [Microsoft Investor Relations, Oct 9, 2012]. Mediaroom is described by the Microsoft Mediaroom Newsroom [excerpt as of Feb 17, 2013] as:

                Microsoft Mediaroom powers multi-screen entertainment services for consumers in partnership with operators. Visit: Mediaroom Website
                Microsoft Mediaroom is the world’s most deployed IPTV platform. Mediaroom-powered TV services are being offered by more than 40 of the world’s leading operators, delivering services to more than eleven million consumer households equaling more than 22 million set top boxes deployed throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Operator partners including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and TELUS are already giving their subscribers the freedom to watch TV how they want, while gaining the most innovative ways to reach them wherever they are.

                As another notable change according to Announcing the Windows 8 Editions [Building Windows 8 blog, April 16, 2012]

                Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.

                With further details provided in Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8 [Building Windows 8 blog, May 4, 2012]

                On the PC, … online sources [such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix] are growing much faster than DVD & broadcast TV consumption, which are in sharp decline (no matter how you measure—unique users, minutes, percentage of sources, etc.). Globally, DVD sales have declined significantly year over year and Blu-ray on PCs is losing momentum as well. Watching broadcast TV on PCs, while incredibly important for some of you, has also declined steadily. These traditional media playback scenarios, optical media and broadcast TV, require a specialized set of decoders (and hardware) that cost a significant amount in royalties. With these decoders built into most Windows 7 editions, the industry has faced those costs broadly, regardless of whether or not a given device includes an optical drive or TV tuner.
                Our partners have shared clear concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback, especially as Windows 8 enables an unprecedented variety of form factors. Windows has addressed these concerns in the past by limiting availability of these experiences to specialized “media” or “premium” editions. At the same time, we also heard clear feedback from customers and partners that led to our much simplified Windows 8 editions lineup.
                Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.

                image

                Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback.

                According to Should I Upgrade to Windows 8 Media Center? [About.com Guide, Nov 23, 2012]

                The short answer? No. As of this writing, Media Center 8 is an exact duplicate of Media Center 7. No new features, no improvements, nothing.

                So with Windows 8 Microsoft was clearly placing the bet on the on-line video!

                Then we should consider also that Microsoft was just Announcing Release of Windows Azure Media Services [Scott Guthrie’s blog, Jan 22, 2013] supporting Xbox and IPTV (?i.e. when instead of Mediaroom –I would assume [to be verified!]– the content comes to the IPTV set-top boxes from Windows Azure Media Services?) as well:

                image
                with the following conceptual functionality (“architecture”) inside: image

                What was announced is the V1 of the cloud-based variety of the overall Microsoft Media Platform (built on foundations of Windows Azure, Internet Information Services, Smooth Streaming and PlayReady) as defined in Microsoft Media Platform: Encoding and Serving Choices and Migration Considerations [Microsoft whitepaper, Jan 2, 2013] (corrections, emphases and additions are mine):

                Two Microsoft Media Platform Technologies are on-premises (that is, they run on servers placed directly in an enterprise), while the latest, Windows Azure Media Services, is cloud-based as part of Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform ( http://www.windowsazure.com/).

                On-premises media technologies:

                Cloud-based media technologies:

                The initial components of Windows Azure Media Services, including Ingest [Upload media], Encoding [encode assets using a range of standard codecs, including popular adaptive bitrate formats], Content Protection [store and deliver your content securely using Microsoft PlayReady DRM or Apple AES Encryption], and On-Demand [Streaming] [deliver a fast, smooth, and adaptive experience to users while leveraging format conversion on the fly], are available or shipping soon with this release. Advertising (Ad Insertion) is currently available through Client SDKs. Additional components, including Live Streaming and Analytics, will be rolled out as they become available. When all of the components are in place, Windows Azure Media Services will offer a complete end-to-end media services solution, including video ingest, encoding and conversion, content protection, on-demand streaming, live streaming, and analytics.

                The current environment for video streaming is experiencing new challenges. The video portion of Internet traffic today is significant and growing rapidly, as is the number of internet connected TVs and mobile devices. In this environment, video providers and broadcasters are switching to IP as the medium of choice to reach this wide diversity of endpoints.

                To address these challenges, Windows Azure Media Services is designed to become a one-stop platform for securely encoding, packaging, and delivering video content from Windows Azure or CDNs, thus offering the scalability and reach of the cloud.

                Some of advantages of migrating to Windows Azure Media Services are:

                • Windows Azure Media Services has the scalability and reliability of a cloud platform and can handle large bursts in demand for video applications.
                • It is widely available for a global audience and can use third-party CDNs like Akamai, Level3, or Limelight.
                • Windows Azure Media Services has cloud-based versions of familiar Microsoft Media Platform and media partner technologies.
                • As a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Windows Azure Media Services is faster, cheaper, and lowers risk:
                  • PaaS is faster because there is less work for developers. End-to-end solutions benefit from a single platform that solves integration issues. As a result, applications can go from idea to availability more quickly.
                  • PaaS is cheaper because it offers less administration and management overhead, and greater economies of scale: you pay only for what you use, and large capital outlays for media servers and network infrastructure can be replaced by the more efficient operating expenses of cloud computing.
                  • PaaS lowers risk. Because the platform does more for you, there are fewer opportunities for error.
                • Security Standards and Certifications: Windows Azure Media Services Security is working towards SOC2 (Service Organization Control 2) compliance and plans to complete a CDSA (Content Delivery and Security Association) certification process and an MPAA audit in 2013.

                Windows Azure Media Services have the flexibility and power to enable you to create whatever media services solution that you envision. Some key usage scenarios are:

                • Creating an end-to-end workflow in the cloud. For example, a content management service can use Windows Azure Media Services to process on-demand Smooth Streaming video and distribute it to a variety of mobile and desktop clients.
                • Developing hybrid workflows that incorporate pre-existing on-premises resources. For example, a video production house might upload its finished videos to Windows Azure Media Services for encoding into multiple formats, and then use the Windows Azure Media Services Origin Service and a third-party CDN to deliver video on demand.
                • Choosing to utilize built-in Media Services components, or mixing and matching your own custom components or components from third parties. Individual Windows Azure Media Services components can be called via standard REST APIs for easy integration with external applications and services.

                [see more detailed information in the whitepaper itself and in the announcement blog referred earlier]

                I should only highlight one particular additional feature with the V1 release from Announcing Release of Windows Azure Media Services [Scott Guthrie’s blog, Jan 22, 2013]

                … our on-demand streaming support also now gives you a cool new feature we call dynamic packaging.

                Traditionally, once content has been encoded, it needs to be packaged and stored for multiple targeted clients (iOS, XBox, PC, etc.).  This traditional packaging process converts multi-bitrate MP4 files into multi-bitrate HLS file-sets or multi-bitrate Smooth Streaming files.  This triples the storage requirements and adds significant processing cost and delay.
                With dynamic packaging, we now allow users to store a single file format and stream to many adaptive protocol formats automatically.  The packaging and conversion happens in real-time on the origin server which results in significant storage cost and time savings:

                image

                Today the source formats can be multi-bitrate MP4 or Smooth based, and these can be converted dynamically to either HLS or Smooth.  The pluggable nature of this architecture will allow us, over the next few months, to also add DASH Live Profile streaming of fragmented MP-4 segments using time-based indexing as well.  The support of HLS and the addition of DASH enables an ecosystem-friendly model based on common and standards-based streaming protocols, and ensures that you can target any type of device.

                ADDITIONAL MPEG DASH / MICROSOFT RELATED INFORMATION:
                Microsoft Announces Support for MPEG-DASH in Microsoft Media Platform [Microsoft Media Platform team blog, April 16, 2012]
                Alex Zambelli of Microsoft at Streaming Media West – held on Oct 30-31, 2012 [streamingmediavideo YouTube channel, published on Jan 2, 2013]

                Microsoft Sr. Tech Evangelist, Microsoft Media Platform discusses the ascendancy of MPEG DASH.

                as well as the quite universal aspect of multitargeting even in this V1:

                Consume

                Windows Azure Media Services provides a large set of client player SDKs for all major devices and platforms, and they let you not only reach any device with a format that’s best suited for that device – but also build a custom player experience that uniquely integrates into your product or service.

                Your users can consume media assets by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as Windows, iOS, XBox, etc.  At this time, we ship SDKs and player frameworks for:

                • Windows 8
                • iOS
                • Xbox
                • Flash Player (built using Adobe OSMF)
                • Silverlight
                • Windows Phone
                • Android
                • Embedded devices (Connected TV, IPTV)

                To complement all that here is a brief introduction into the whole Microsoft Media Platform (the on-premises varieties as well) followed in details with how HTML5 is fitting into that, from streamingmediavideo YouTube channel [May 9, 2012]:

                This session explores the role of HTML5 in the Microsoft Media Platform.

                In Streaming Servers 2012: New Features, New Opportunities [StreamingMedia.com, Oct 24, 2012] the latest features of the streaming server/platform solutions from Adobe, Anevia, CodeShop, Microsoft, and RealNetworks are overviewed, together with some upcoming features. This shows quite well how much the Microsoft Media Platform is advanced and hence could be the best platform for such an effort as that of Intel Media.

                There is a wortwhile comment as well from the same Microsoft specialist as already shown in the videos above:

                Alex Zambelli · Seattle, Washington

                Hi Tim,
                Just a few corrections: The latest version of IIS Media Services, known as IIS Media Services 5.0 Premium, targeting OTT linear TV scenarios is available exclusively to Mediaroom customers as part of Mediaroom Component Technologies.

                See also: How to Use Continuous Network DVR Feature in PlayReady Premium and IIS Media Services Premium? [PlayReady blog, Dec 29, 2012] “PlayReady 2.x Premium and IIS Media Services 5.0 Premium have enabled the following four key features which are needed for scalable live TV service:”

                This is showing that Mediaroom is using the latest technologies available in the Microsoft Media Platform along with Windows Azure Media Services.

                Finally Intel Media is heavily betting on the new H.265/HEVC standard. This is how the same Alex Zambelli (since January working for a premium video workflow services and products partner of Microsoft) is viewing this issue in his H.265/HEVC Ratification and 4K Video Streaming [Alex Zambelli’s Streaming Media Blog, Jan 28, 2013] post:

                The media world today is abuzz with news of H.265/HEVC approval by the ITU. In case you’ve been hiding from NAB/IBC/SM events for the past two years – or if you’re a WebM hermit – I will have you know that H.265 is the successor standard to H.264, aka MPEG-4 AVC. As was the case with its predecessor it is the product of years of collaboration between the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG). The new video coding standard is important because it promises bandwidth savings of about 40-45% for the same quality as H.264. In a world where video is increasingly being delivered over-the-top and bandwidth is not free – that kind of savings is a big deal.
                What most media reports seem to have focused on is the potential effect that H.265 will have on bringing us closer to 4K video resolution in OTT delivery. Most reports speculate that H.265 will allow 4K video to be delivered over the Internet at bit rates between 20 and 30 Mbps. In comparison, my friend Bob Cowherd recently theorized on his blog that 4K delivery using the current H.264 video standard would require about 45 Mbps to deliver 4K video OTT.
                While I think the relative difference between those two estimates is in the ballpark of the 40% bandwidth savings that H.265 promises, I actually think that both estimates are somewhat pessimistic. Given the current state of video streaming technology, I think we’ll actually be able to deliver 4K video at lower bit rates when the time comes for 4K streaming.
                A common mistake that most people dealing with lossy video compression seem to make is to assume that the ratio between bit rate (bps) and picture size (pixels/sec) remains proportional and fixed as the values of both axis change. I don’t think that’s the case. I believe that the relationship between bit rate and picture size is not linear, but closer to a power function that looks like this:

                image

                In other words, I believe that as the pixel count gets higher a DCT-based video codec requires fewer bits to maintain the same level of visual quality. Here’s why:
                1. The size of a 16×16 macroblock, which is the smallest unit of DCT-based compression used in contemporary codecs such as H.264 and VC-1, grows smaller relative to the total size of the video image as the image resolution grows higher. For example,  in a 320×180 video the 16×16 macroblock represents 0.444% of the total image size, whereas in a 1920×1080 video the 16×16 macroblock represents only 0.0123% of the total image. A badly compressed macroblock in a 320×180 frame would therefore be more objectionable than a badly compressed macroblock in a 1920×1080 frame.
                2. As many studies have shown, the law of diminishing returns applies to video/image resolution too. If you sit at a fixed distance from your video display device eventually you will no longer be able to distinguish the difference between 720p, 1080p and 4K resolutions due to your eye’s inability to resolve tiny pixels from a certain distance. Ipso facto, as the video resolution goes up your eyes become less likely to distinguish compression artifacts too – which means the video compression can afford to get sloppier.
                3. Historically the bit rates used for OTT video delivery and streaming have been much lower than those used in broadcasting, consumer electronics and physical media. For example, digital broadcast HDTV typically averages ~19 Mbps for video (in CBR mode), while most Blu-ray 1080p videos average ~15-20 Mbps (in 2-pass VBR mode). Those kinds of bit rates are possible because those delivery channels have the luxury of either dedicated bandwidth or high-capacity physical media. However, in the OTT and streaming world video bit rate has always been shortchanged in comparison. Most 720p30 video streaming today, whether live or on-demand, is encoded at average 2.5-3.5 Mbps (depending on complexity and frame rate). 1080p30 video, when available, is usually streamed at 5-6 Mbps. Whereas Blu-ray tries to give us movies at a quality level approaching visual transparency, streaming/OTT is completely driven by the economics of bandwidth and consequently only gives us video at the minimum bit rate required to make the video look generally acceptable (and worthy of its HD moniker). To put it bluntly, streaming video is not yet a videophile’s medium.
                So taking those factors into consideration, what kind of bandwidth should we expect for 4K video OTT delivery? If 1080p video is currently being widely streamed online using H.264 compression at 6 Mbps, then 4K (4096×2304) video could probably be delivered at bit rates around 18-20 Mbps using the same codec at similar quality levels. Again, remember, we’re not comparing Blu-ray quality levels here – we’re comparing 2013 OTT quality levels which are “good enough” but not ideal. If we switch from H.264 to H.265 compression we could probably expect OTT delivery of 4K video at bit rates closer to 12-15 Mbps(assuming H.265′s 40% efficiency improvements do indeed come true). I should note that those estimates are only applicable to 24-30 fps video. If the dream of 4K OTT video also carries an implication of high frame rates – e.g. 48 to 120 fps – then the bandwidth requirements would certainly go up accordingly too. But if the goal is simply to stream a 4K version of “Lawrence of Arabia” into your home at 24 fps, that dream might be closer to reality than you think.
                One last thing: In his report about H.265 Ryan Lawler writes that “nearly every video publisher has standardized [H.264] after the release of the iPad and several other connected devices. It seems crazy now, but once upon a time, Apple’s adoption of H.264 and insistence on HTML5-based video players was controversial – especially since most video before the iPad was encoded in VP6 to play through Adobe’s proprietary Flash player.” Not so fast, Ryan. While Apple does deserve credit for backing H.264 against alternatives, they were hardly the pioneers of H.264 web streaming. H.264 was already a mandatory part of the HD-DVD and Blu-ray specifications when those formats launched in 2006 as symbols of the new HD video movement. Adobe added H.264 support to Flash 9 (“Moviestar”) in December 2007. Microsoft added H.264 support to Silverlight 3 and Windows 7 in July 2009. The Apple iPad did not launch until April 2010, which was also the same month Steve Jobs posted his infamous “Thoughts on Flash” blog post. So while Apple certainly did contribute to H.264′s success, they were hardly the controversial H.264 advocate Ryan makes them out to be. H.264 was already widely accepted at that point and its success was simply a matter of time.

                More information:
                What Is HEVC (H.265)? [StreamingMedia.com, Feb 14, 2013]
                Episode 99 – Windows Azure Media Services General Availibility [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Jan 25, 2013]

                In this episode Nick Harris and Nate Totten are joined by Mingfei Yan Program Manager II on Windows Azure Media Services.  With Windows Azure Media Services reaching General Availability Mingfei joined us to demonstrate how you can use it to build great, extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device and in this particular demo shows off the portal, encoding and both a Windows Store app  and iOS device consuming encoded content.

                For more information visit the Windows Azure Media Services page to learn more about the capabilities, and visit the Windows Azure Media Service Dev Center for tutorials, how-to articles, blogs, and more information and get started building applications with it today!

                How to build customized Media Workflows using the Media Services .NET SDK – Part I [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Feb 5, 2013]

                In this two part video, Mingfei Yan will teach you how to use the Windows Azure Media Services .NET SDK to create your own media workflow including how to upload, encode, package and deliver your video assets.  In this part you will learn how to create media asset and upload a video file from local drive.

                After completing this part you can watch part II here. You can get started with Windows Azure Media Services today for free!

                How to build customized Media Workflows using the Media Services .NET SDK – Part II [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Feb 5, 2013]

                – IMPORTANT: Client Ecosystem for Windows Azure Media Services [Mingfei Yan blog, Jan 14, 2013]

                This blog gives an overview of what kind of client support Microsoft offers as part of Windows Azure media Services. On one side, you could create, manage, package and deliver media asset through Windows Azure media services. Many popular streaming formats are supported, such as Smooth Streaming, Http Llive Streaming and MPEG-dash. On the other hand, we provide various SDKs and frameworks for you to consume media asset by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as PC, XBox, mobile and etc.

                What is Windows Azure Media Services [Mingfei Yan blog, Aug 21, 2012]

                Introducing Microsoft Media Platform [Media & Entertainment Insights blog, April 12, 2011]
                Microsoft Media Platform – David Sayed interview [Quantel blog April 20, 2011]
                H2 2012 Media Platform Product Update Roundup [Alex Zambelli’s Streaming Media Blog, Nov 16, 2012]: “It’s been a busy summer with most of the team focused on Windows Azure Media Services, but I’d like to take a moment to highlight a few other Media Platform releases of the past few months:”
                Mediaroom 2.0 Unites Software and Cloud Services to Power New TV Experiences Across Three Screens [Media & Entertainment Insights blog, April 6, 2010]