BBC News app reaches smart televisions 17 June 2011 BBC News has developed an application for internet-connected televisions to complement its 24-hour television news channel and web site. Initially available free of charge on Samsung Smart TVs through their apps store, it will later become accessible on a range of connected devices and displays, with an international version to include advertising. The television app accompanies news applications previously made available for smartphones and tablets. It will soon be joined by a global version of the iPlayer, initially available on the iPad in Europe for a monthly fee.

“Internet-connected TV is developing as a medium and presents an exciting and engaging complement to our existing TV services,” explained Phil Fearnley, the general manager for news and knowledge in the BBC future media department. “Looking forward, we are particularly interested in creating seamless, personalised, and location-aware experiences of BBC News across all connected devices — mobiles, tablets, computers and TVs.”

“Although the connected TV market is still in its infancy and the medium is not yet a mainstream proposition, our plan is to build on this initial launch with Samsung and we’re looking to work with other manufacturers to bring our product to their platforms as quickly as possible — technically, as it’s built in HTML, it can be repurposed simply for a wide range of different operating systems and devices.”

seems that there is something else that can outnumber the population other than cockroaches – mainly broadband enabled devices. According to a recent research conducted by tech titan, Cisco, in four years time there will be twice as much internet connected devices as the current number of Earth’s population.

Cisco said that we should expect 15bn smarties, laptops, tablets and PCs among other web-reading devices by 2015.

In addition, the firm’s Visual Networking Index forecast has predicted that by the time this year ends, the number of networked devices will outweigh the number of people on the planet.

Cisco’s Suraj Shetty was reported as saying:

“All this is putting a lot of pressure on the internet and the next generation internet faces issues handling not just the proliferation of these devices but how they are going to grow and be intelligent enough to be connected to you.”

The tech firm also said that while the world is running out of IPV4 addresses, the answer lies within IPV6 – the testing of which is to commence next week and other giants will join in such as Google and Facebook, among others.

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Samsung to plug Five On Demand into IPTVs Catch-up channel coming

By Hard RegGet more from this author

11th May 2011 11:11 GMT

Samsung is to add telly channel Five's catch-up service to its new HDTV-hosted IPTV platform, Smart TV.

Smart TV, introduced earlier this year and building on last year's Samsung IPTV interface, Internet@TV, already presents catch-up and on-demand services BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm, Blinkbox and PictureBox.

It also connects to all the other usual suspects: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Samsung didn't say when Five On Demand will arrive on Smart TV. The firm sells seven telly lines with Smart TV on board. It's not clear if the service will also appear on older Intenet@TV sets. ®

BT to embrace IPTV as it upgrades broadband network to multicast
BT's network about to become very video-friendly

By FaultlineGet more from this author

Posted in Telecoms, 30th May 2011 08:00 GMT

Business Solo: the phone plan that gives you more

British Telecom will change the bulk of its broadband network to use multicast routers as from next year – this will mean that full IPTV services, using quality of service protocols, could then be launched for the first time on the BT network.

BT has always said that it didn't see the point of building out its network with multicast routers, which would have meant replacing its entire network, because of the strength of Freeview in the UK, the free-to-air DVB-T broadcast network. This is why it has no IPTV linear TV service, and instead relies on internet delivered VoD, offering mostly movies and catch up on its BT Vision service. BT Vision devices also have DVB-T tuners so they can receive Freeview on the same device.

But at the Connected TV Summit in London last week Steve White, head of information systems and technology for IPTV at BT, said that the BT network was being upgraded to multicast to allow full IPTV. When asked why, White said: "It's too expensive renting DVB-T multiplex space to deliver Sky Sports to BT Vision customers, so we want to send it multicast."

A multicast network uses a Type D internet addressing system whereby content is sent from one point in a network to another, and any branch along the way can opt to also access that address, or not. It is the basis of the Internet Group Management Protocol and is the basis of modern IPTV systems and saves a huge amount of bandwidth, because each TV channel only has to be sent around a city fiber network once, not as multiple unicast copies. Most public broadband networks across Europe do not cater for multicast, except where they have been specifically upgraded for IPTV.

Last year BT and other UK broadcasters were given the rights to a fair market price for re-broadcasting a number of BSkyB channels, and these were immediately added to BT Vision. But White says that sending over the internet without full quality of service protection as an adaptive stream would not have been good enough, so BT rented a TV channel on one of the UK DVB-T multiplexes which drive Freeview.

Now the telecommunications giant sees a way to get back the millions it costs to rent a channel and instead run the service over its own network. Such a public multicast service could lead to more channels being launched in that way, and White confirmed, "BT Wholesale will certainly resell the multicast capability."

That would mean an almost unlimited number of IPTV TV channels could be launched through BT, all of them with a signal good enough to show on a connected TV screen, indistinguishable from broadcast TV quality, up to HD and beyond. Believers in adaptive streaming may think this is unnecessary, but the difference in quality and reliability is likely to be noticed.

BT has already launched its own CDN called Wholesale Content Connect, and can use this to either to protect its own network from video stream workloads, but also to offer as a service for video partners, to put video assets out at the edge of its network so that when HD video is streamed, it is only over very short distances, not much more than from your local phone exchange. The combination of the two, the multicast routers and the CDN, will make BTs network very video friendly.

One application might work well for YouView partners that are supporting the new set-top box due next year. They could use the BT multicast network to deliver whole TV channels which need high definition and use the CDN to distribute VoD streams.

Copyright © 2011, Faultline

Orange deploys POF for Home Networking

By Goran Nastic

Chip maker Firecomms has said its OptoLock Plastic Optical Fibre (POF) transceiver are being used as a component of Orange’s FTTH-based home networking solution being deployed by the French telco. Orange is deploying POF in the home to reduce installation times and guarantee network reliability, with field results performed by the operator showing high end-user satisfaction ratings.

According to Firecomms, the ready-to-install fibre-optic kit enables Orange customers and installers to connect a TV or computer within a high-speed home network in minutes, minimising the visual impact of the connection thanks to POF’s ultra-thin diameter.

Orange has cited technical performance, simplicity of installation, and discreet design as benefits of the kit. According to Orange field trial results, 98% of users expressed deep satisfaction with this technology.

Other operators installing and/ore trialling POF systems include Swisscom and Portugal Telecom as they seek ways to overcome some of the disadvantages associated with traditional wired technologies.

19 May 11 - Samsung’s director of European business development, Vassilis Seleridis, used the Connected TV Summit yesterday to highlight Samsung’s commitment to developing connected TV platforms in partnership with pay TV service providers.

Samsung is now marketing its ‘Smart TV’ concept under the name ‘Smart Hub’, incorporating gateway access to content. This includes ‘All Share’, a home networking platform that allows users to interact with different devices around the home, as well as multi-device delivery of content.

Seleridis highlighted Samsung’s collaboration with US MSO Comcast, announced in January, bringing the latter’s Xfinity TV concept to Samsung devices. “You can access live TV on different devices and also search for and discover content,” he said.

Samsung has also teamed up with Time Warner Cable to deliver live TV over IP to multiple devices, and has partnered with DTH player DirecTV to deliver content to multiple screens around the home via the Remote Video User (RVU) standard, with RVU clients installed in Samsung TVs able to replicate the user experience on the initial screen, and content distributed from a single multi-tuner DVR rather than multiple set-top boxes around the home.

RVU is based on the delivery of video frames to remote locations around the home, with a native player to render them locally. DirecTV plans to launch a new multi-tuner DVR set-top later this year. 

  • 30-May-2011
Steve Dulac, Director of Engineering at DIRECTV, explains how the use of RVU clients, including in Samsung Smart TVs, means his company can offer multiroom HD and DVR services using a server/client architecture that avoids the need for multiple set-top boxes. DIRECTV is determined to make use of connected TVs as a resource in the home and believes an RVU client that allows buyers to enjoy their service provider content is the killer app for these devices. Linear TV and the satellite operator’s IP-based VOD, plus TV apps, will all be available using a pixel accurate ‘replica’ of its EPG.