Here’s my take on what the key hot topics of IBC 2013 might be and the questions they raise for me.
Four topics are really way hotter than any others at the moment.
Will the cinema standard merge with the broadcasting one? Will there be an intermediary 2K, like we had “HD Ready” before “full HD”? [I tried to answer some of these questions with Thierry Fautier's help here]
Are we in for the same long wait as when H264 was first supposed to come, or have things really accelerated? It used to take a decade to halve bandwidth requirements. Last years UHD/4K demos required 35 to 40MBPS, how long will it take to compress down to the promised 10MBPS?
Technology, ecosystems, devices
- Is there a future for OTT STBs?
- Will DASH finally be the ABR to standardize them all?
- Has the interest in connected TVs peeked?
OTT Business & content disruption
- What does Netflix or YouTube commissioning content mean to the industry?
- Is the second screen becoming the TV? Is now the time for mass adoption of play-along apps?
- Is cord cutting, a temporary phenomenon or the beginning of the end?
- Oh and I suppose Social TV fits in here, but I’m not expecting it to trend much in 2013.
4. Big Data, privacy, customer intelligence or the new clothes of recommendation
Content recommendation platform vendors have been screaming into the wind for half a decade already. All of a sudden the industry is listening to their message, but not from them. The Big Data crowd have stolen the limelight. Its ever so hard to form an opinion when something is so very hyped, but it is common knowledge that most operators still have a long way to go to start benefiting form the gold mine of customer data they’re sitting on. Content recommendation is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
Outsiders that might get traction in 2013
New subject: Dongles
Despite set makers fantasies, the connected TV still isn’t a reality in terms of usage. But with those millions of out-of-date screens out there, could HDMI dongles like Google’s latest offering finally make that change?
An ten-year old story; that may at last be true: The time is coming for IP, another 4 points:
1. The rebirth of IPTV
I used to write about the death of IPTV, so, I got the timing wrong. Well actually I may have gotten the whole story wrong. As OTT services seem to be more than a fleeting fancy, Telcos are realising that all that expensive multicast IP technology could actually make a difference. Maybe they won’t have to sue money out of the global players like Apple or Netflix, but actually be able to cut deals with them in exchange for guaranteed last mile delivery.
2. Targeted advertising
Companies have come and gone on this subject. My take was that although the targeting tech sort-of worked, there were never big enough segments to personalise to, making an ad just costs too much. That may at last be changing with the scale available to some operators.
3. Guaranteeing service, offloading, DPI, Net neutrality
Technology is now here to enable an operator to offload video streams from 4G to Wi-Fi either because its free YouTube stuff and the Wi-Fi is free or on the contrary because its part of a pay TV subscription that the Telco is getting a cut from and the Wi-Fi has no guaranteed quality.
4. 4G & Fiber
New high-speed networks really are finally here and accessible to significant segments of the market. This is not an IBC subject per se, but it is the fuel behind this whole IP set of trends.
See you in Amsterdam, and here or elsewhere to see how wrong I was ;o)