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June 13, 2013

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The telcos are with us! Guest post from Simon Twiston Davies

This one was buried in a useful pdf summary of the latest news on “managed” and “un-managed” pay TV operator networks: “Telcos have decided they need to be video service providers first and network operators second . . . “   So they finally get it!

In order to remain in business every Pay TV Operator or Video Service Provider (VSP) must now decide whether to remain a cable operator (no questions on “digital” these days), a satellite provider, a telco or a company that makes great TV available “Anywhere and At Once”. The customers want it now and by any means they care to mention.

But underlying that simple statement are a couple of additional big ticket items the VSPs must address: What kind of hybrid DVB+OTT platform needs to be deployed (managed and/or unmanaged)? along with which unicast Adaptive Bit Rate streaming should be chosen (increasingly to support sophisticated ad sales)? “Where you already find DVB+IP we will see the DVB+IP+OTT hybrid,” said the analyst in the excellent Videonet ( posting.

On the one hand, managed and unmanaged OTT content and apps can be delivered in to the set-top box (STB); on the other, consumers can now choose a Connected TV via an app instead.

“But first and foremost in ensuring a smooth migration, VSPs must consider the growth of their TV Everywhere service.”  That may be the most important message of all, we are told.

So it’s “TV Everywhere” first — and all else will follow. Maybe.

In Asia, things are not always that smooth as we battle to develop future-proof solutions for technology markets and media economies as diverse as Thailand, Vietnam, India and Cambodia alongside those in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.  And all of this needs to be done while avoiding bankruptcy for operators, vendors and integrators. China, of course, is also different.

To shed useful light on these issues, some of the smartest money in the Pay TV/VSP game will be taking their seats in Singapore on Wednesday morning next (June 19th) at a potentially fascinating “Multi-networks in the Real World” briefing in the stylish surroundings of architect Moshe Safdi’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Among those fronting for the show will be a range of tech-savvy CXOs drawn from Accedo, NXP, Dragongate, Tune Group and Verimatrix. SimonTD & Assocs  — that’s this writer — will chair the morning.

Issues on the table will include: The importance of single source Rights Management for Hybrid Networks; OTT revenue sharing through the Next Gen value chain; TV Everywhere deployment (so who has done it in Asia); ROI – when does it kick in? Ad insertion (so where are all those clever Ad salesmen?) And the centrality and vitality of Apps in the new value chain. Plus a new one: Using OTT for inflight entertainment delivery. And don’t forget still core concerns over content security (and flexibility), second screen revenue generation and revenue retention for all.

Breakfast briefings don’t have to be dull even if they are early in the day. Try this one.