The ABU conducted a regional workshop on Over-The-Top (OTT) and Integrated Broadcast Broadband (IBB) technologies and services from 23 to 25 October 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
The three-day workshop addressed some of the main market trends with the latest features and advancements of OTT and IBB technologies and services. Case studies from Asia-Pacific region were also presented with some reference to European implementations. Over sixty participants from thirty-four organisations in eighteen countries attended the workshop. Eleven speakers were from broadcasters, solution providers and industry.
Mr Ahmed Nadeem, Director, ABU Technology & Innovation, opened the workshop and welcomed participants. The ABU started this series five years ago in 2013 and since then many changes have happened. He reviewed the development of OTT and IBB technologies around the region and beyond. OTT has become one of necessities for any media organisations that want to increase their content distribution. IBB now are the way forward to take the benefit of both traditional broadcast as well as Internet connection. Broadcasters should consider taking this into their strategies and go forth with it. Technology providers like CDN (Content Delivery Network) providers and others solution providers are very deliverable to help. The workshop is a chance to know-how the OTT and IBB technologies are developing and how CDN providers are helping broadcaster. This is also a chance for participants to interact, get in touch with experts, industry speakers, solution providers and other colleagues from broadcasters. He thanked participants and speakers for their participation, contribution and supports over the time.
On day 1, speakers focused on the latest features and advancements of OTT and IBB platforms. Ms Mardhiah Nasir, Vice President Sales, Integriti Padu, Malaysia, began the first session with a presentation titled “Future of TV – What will be the Focus for Broadcaster, Telcos and Content Providers”. She started with a market landscape that is happening around Asia. Broadcaster, Telcos and Content Providers were three deference areas and deference markets but they are now combining, converging and consolidating. Five key areas really driving the OTT trend right now are Internet Bandwidth, Battle of Screen Time, F.A.A.N.G (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google), Battle of Wallet Share and the Five Secs Rule. Voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) is now helping you navigate media and entertainment experiences. Five conclusions were:
Mr Masaru Takechi, NHK Engineering System Inc, Japan, presented the latest advancements and developments of Hybridcast. The new version of Hybridcast standard (Japanese version) has been released recently and the English version will be available soon. He gave an overview of current Hybridcast services on the market and analysed the deployment statistics. The shipment of receivers is increasing gradually and reached 8 359 000 units as of August 2018. Thirty-one broadcasters in Japan have experience to offer services include six of seven major broadcasters and one regional broadcaster in Tokyo and two satellite broadcasters offer the services daily. Many regional broadcasters offered trial services (including MPEG-DASH 4K video experiment). Companion screen is an important entrance to escort viewers to TV. Companion Screen (CS)-centric model is necessary to improve UX (user experience) that is problem of TV-centric model. The harmonisation between Hybridcast and HbbTV 2 was also mentioned with the way to approach and how to share software between two platforms. The technical development continues with Hybridcast Connect X, harmonisation with other systems etc.
We had the latest features and updates on HbbTV given by Mr Mika Kanerva, COO, Executive Vice President, Sofia Digital. OTT and streaming services are coming and they will not kill TV, Internet is making TV stronger. Taking the advantages of Internet video services into TV will be the receipt for the success in the future. The remarkable news is that HbbTV 2.0.x is coming with HEVC/UHD/NGA (Next Generation Audio) etc., media synchronisation and better HTML+CSS support. Seven new companies join in HbbTV i.e Google, Sky, RAI, Skyworth. Another interesting thing is Content Substitution with audio and/or video replacement, localised or personal experience and Ads replacement functions. Most of productions and services are still using HbbTV 1.5 while 2.0.x is coming. HbbTV Operator Apps gains a lot of interest and DVB-I project are also interesting trends to highlight. He then presented on key facts and status of HbbTV in Europe as well as over the world. Most of new smart televisions in South–East Asia have HbbTV capability build-in already. One of challenges in HbbTV is how to reach households who do not use DVB signal. HbbTV Operator App is a solution that allows everyone with compatible SmartTV to access HbbTV services using any Internet connection without connection live to TV-signal.
Ms Teresa Cheung, Managing Director HK, Eurofins Digital Testing, focused on QA (Quality Assurance) strategy, cybersecurity and how to do cybersecurity assessments in the media distribution industry. Broadcasters are trying to capture more audiences to stay competitive by going online but with that, they also have to compete with global service providers e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, etc. in an intense global screen time competition. Audience measurement provides a “feedback” loop for broadcasters to understand their audience’s habits and interests, which enables adjustment to revenue strategies. “Quality” in media distribution can be divided by deferent purposes like content, advertising, App functions, device, CDN, new releases, content security, cybersecurity and future features. Six recommended testing types include conformance (hardware & software standards), compatibility (network, platform and third parties), functionality, stability, performance and security. Test automation helps to increase the speed of product developments and release cycles. It also improves the focus of manual resources which results in better productivity. Above all, test automation makes sure your end product or service works as expected. Cybersecurity can be divided in four type assessment services, compliance services, device security services and security strategy & governance. Details about organisational cybersecurity and device cybersecurity were also explained with examples.