Sign Up for Weekly Blog Updates
* = required field
John Solit

@johnsolit

May 6, 2015


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

At INTX Four FCC Commissioners Tackle Top Telecom Topics

@johnsolit

May 6, 2015

Together with NCTA Executive Vice President James Assey, the four FCC Commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, Mignon Clyburn, Ajit Pai, and Mike O’Rielly, sat down and candidly discussed some critical telecom topics of the day here at INTX.

Rosenworcel said early, “The American Internet economy is the envy of the world, built on a foundation of openness.” And though she was supportive earlier this year of the FCC’s move to re-classify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, she was quick to note the complicated nature of the solution. Rosenworcel said at one point, “Lawyers and legislators alike will be busy.”

More notably critical of the Title II reclassification, Pai expressed deeper concern with new the regulatory model. He said rather than being governed by “engineers and technologists, the Internet will be managed by lawyers and lobbyists.”

The discussion moved onto more than just Title II and net neutrality. Commissioners found common ground in supporting programs that make broadband available to rural regions and underprivileged families. Pai recognized the leadership of the cable industry in delivering the Internet through programs like Connect to Compete which offer reduced prices for broadband and computers to qualifying families. Rosenworcel and O’Rielly also talked about their shared vision of the need for more Wi-Fi spectrum.

The four commissioners noted the importance and lasting role of private companies in maintaining and evolving the Internet. On building the Internet’s valuable infrastructure, Rosenworcel said, “When it comes to deployment of infrastructure, its very clear to me that the private sector leads the way.”

All commissioners noted the role the cable industry has played in building America’s broadband networks.

NCTA

May 6, 2015


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

From Imagine Park: The Future of Better TV

May 6, 2015

Today, live from Imagine Park, there was no shortage of exciting discussion around continued enhancements to the consumer viewing experience. A roster of guest speakers at the session “Better TV: At the Intersection of UltraHD & OTT” took the audience through a series of intriguing technology demonstrations and a glimpse of the very near future of TV.

The quality of TV content is constantly getting better

While video and images on 4K television sets already look stunning, we heard from leading solutions experts – like Technicolor, Philips and Dolby – who are leveraging HDR and other enhancements to make your favorite shows look more crisp, clear and smooth than you’ve seen before. Of course gorgeous content looks the best when produced with cutting edge technology. But you can expect to see HDR content coming out later this year not just for 4K sets, but also optimized for standard HD. Technologies are working hard not to overwhelm the eye, but to enhance the luminosity of every image.

A sports fan’s dream

Tech firm, NeuLion, is doing amazing things in the sports content space by bringing never-before-seen fluidity and detail to game footage. Sports viewing is being taken to a whole new level when the experience is paired with highly customizable features such as camera angles and audio tracks. NeuLin even offers a live timeline feature that allows users to jump to key moments in the game, like scores, hits, and, for hockey fans, brawls on the ice. This year, NeuLion will be one of the primary companies bringing true 4K experiences to sports fans.

The Internet and TV continue to collide

As a tech company, Wurl, an Internet content aggregator, has a core technology offering that’s all about making the connection; Wurl is working to bridge the divide between the cable box and the web. Watching the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on-demand? Wurl will serve up curated, high-quality, relevant clips of additional content from sites like WIRED – cued up via web, and watchable right through your cable box in a frictionless experience. Their ‘zero click discovery’ solution seamlessly surfaces relevant supplemental content like trailers, interviews with the director, behind the scenes footage and more, for the shows and movies you love.

When you consider the possibilities presented, it feels safe to say that the second half of 2015 will be a very exciting time for TV viewers!

NCTA

May 6, 2015


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

From INTX Talks: The Ballpark Goes Broadband

May 6, 2015

When you consider that most NFL stadiums are at least 22 years old, it should be no surprise to hear that many sports venues are in the process of receiving major digital overhauls to keep up with new technologies, the demand for connectivity everywhere and the current standards of the modern fan experience. That was the topic to talk about in today’s INTX Talk: The Ballpark Goes Broadband.
The San Francisco Giants were one of the first teams to incorporate Wi-Fi in their stadium. At first there was little use for it – very few of us were working from the game. But within a handful of years, the need for that Wi-Fi signal multiplied dramatically. Now fans expect to be able share their experiences in the form of pictures and videos with their personal networks. And the people behind the scenes at the stadium itself have needs as well, as they send live video feeds from one area of the facility to the other over the internal network. Kiss Cam anyone?
At live events, experience is everything. As people attend more and more sporting events, the game is becoming just one of many factors that stadiums must consider when it comes down to the overall experience for attendees. Technology providers and strategists are realizing that people are looking for an experience at a venue, not just the score or outcome of the game. More than ever, it is essential that venue operators understand and anticipate the needs of today’s tech-savvy fans. With every enhancement, the chances that a fan lingers at the stadium increases. Give them a reason to come early. Make sure fans are catching the action via livestream while waiting for a hot dog, and chances are they’ll get up out of their seats more often, and spend more time at the concessions.
And with all of this focus on technology, the need for increased bandwidth is always present as the amount of device usage at games increases. Recently, the Dallas Cowboys discovered that their fans were consuming record-breaking amounts of data at games – up to 6.2 terabytes! That’s a lot of selfies.
Of course with massive use of tech happening at live sporting events, there is a huge opportunity for stadiums to collect more and more fan data –  both to continue to optimize and enhance the live experience, but also to find additional revenue streams and opportunities to monetize various parts of the live experience and ultimately increase profitability.
These stadium technology strategists are ready to take us out to the ballgame, as long as we take our smartphones with us.


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Showtime, FX and AMC Execs on the Future of Programming at INTX

@juliannetwin

May 6, 2015

Three heads of the top cable networks this morning took the INTX stage alongside CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. Matt Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks & FX Productions, and Josh Sapan, President & CEO of AMC Networks all noted how the many record-breaking shows and diverse content push the limits of cable TV. Yet, these same companies are also faced with a shifting media landscape as talked about by cable operators in an earlier session today.

For Showtime’s Blank, “New distribution has always been critical – we intend to grow households and we need new ways to do that…there’s a lot of opportunity in a lot of different corners of the marketplace to grow Showtime.”

All three executives agreed that coming up with the best looking and most effective interface to display their content is key. According to Sapan, “Interfaces are not just face lifts they are fundamental…and if you combine that with the feeling that you can get what you want when you want it, I think your motivation increases and you actually consume potentially even more.”

Just like everything from taxi services to dinner reservations, cable networks are coming up with new excellent user interfaces that are consistent with the best out there.

All three also highlighted how the current model has improved the level of content for everyone. Live television, a thing seemingly of the past, is still a huge market for these networks. Sapan discussed the importance of binge watching and viewers experiencing a show alone on any device of their choice. But a huge part of these networks’ content is community, which you can only get from the live TV experience, Sapan said, “I think there’s actually an oddly bright future [for live television] that will be defined with greater specificity about what wins at a time slot.”

FX’s Landgraf explained that, “Television used to be somewhat disposable. It was made on some level for the night it went on the air. Now we make television and stories and we’re evaluating will this story still be relevant ten years from now or twenty years from now… It’s an asset that will continue to return from a financial standpoint for a long time. And that’s great, because essentially what that does is raise the creative bar. Whereas you might have asked yourself the question, will people watch this on a Sunday night? Now you ask yourself the question, can we imagine two people sitting in a room talking about this show ten years after it’s off our air? That’s a much better question to ask in terms of the quality.”

Today, consumers have a mix of live viewing, DVR time-lapse viewing, VOD, and mobile viewing through interfaces that are constantly evolving. “Our ability to use this technology to manage through these platforms creates tremendous value for subscribers,” Showtime’s Blank concluded.

Watch the full video of the programmers segment from the Wednesday General Session below:

John Solit

@johnsolit

May 6, 2015


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Providers Declare, "It's All About the Customer"

@johnsolit

May 6, 2015

CNBC’s Juila Boorstin had the unique opportunity this morning to sit on the General Session stage and get direct, unfiltered feedback from five cable provider CEOs. Cablevision’s James Dolan, Cox’s Pat Esser, Liberty Global’s Michael Fries, Time Warner Cable’s Rob Marcus and Charter’s Tom Rutledge all took a seat and fielded questions on how television…


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Previews Slick New X1 Features [VIDEO]

@juliannetwin

May 5, 2015

Comcast’s Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts unveiled a slew of new experiences and services for its XFINITY X1 Platform at the INTX General Session this morning. Roberts demonstrated the brand new voice controlled remote, showing the audience how you can find programming simply by speaking to your TV. You can search for fun facts or other…

John Solit

@johnsolit

May 5, 2015


INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

INTX Intersections Offer an Immersive Digital Experience

@johnsolit

May 5, 2015

Something unique is happening on in the INTX Marketplace floor. Rather than having rows of exhibitors like a traditional trade show, the INTX floor is separated into boulevards, each capped with an intersection featuring the hottest topics in media, entertainment, and the Internet. The first one you’ll see upon entering the show floor is NAVIGATION….