The following whitepaper is provided by VideoNet and offers an overview of TV personalization:
Comcast is innovating. Their new software platform running on the Xfinity X2 next-generation set-top box has had over 1200 updates within the last 12 months. and their messaging is similar to that of Right Brain Interface; Fast, Smart, Easy, Personalized. According to Brian Roberts:
“As we look around the cloud/web ecosystem, the Winners are companies who can integrate across all devices, across all platforms, with a common interface, and they make it easy and fun to use.”
Here is a comprehensive video overview of Comcast new Xfinity X2:
To remain on top, it is seeking new ways deliver TV content to meet the demand from their subscriber base concerning how they want to watch TV and consume their entertainment content.
In a recent article in the economist entitled Thinking Outside the Set-Top Box, the direction Comcast is just now moving towards lays out like a blueprint for what Right Brain Interface has already design, developed and built, with their product called bhaalu. Portions of quotation below highlighted in bold underscore these points.
Comcast has responded by trying to resemble the firms that could unseat it, offering more interactivity, personalisation and portability. “Television is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” says Brian Roberts. Comcast executives talk about “apps” for the television and rolling out innovations every three to six months. The firm is paying particular attention to its user “interface”, or what, until recently, was called a TV guide. Comcast’s is now arranged not numerically by channel, but alphabetically by programme, by network and type of content. Couch potatoes even less inclined to effort can download an app to their iPhone and shout commands at it to locate shows.
Comcast’s new set-top box is “cloud-based”, adding to the potential for flexibility: films and programmes stored in the cloud can be watched on any device. It tracks viewing history and recommends programmes accordingly, much like Netflix. Comcast has made it easier for TV-watchers to find their way to full seasons of episodes that are available on-demand so people can “binge” on shows.
Other pay-TV providers are experimenting with new features, and some have approached Comcast to license its technology. One popular idea is “TV Everywhere”, which makes it possible for pay-TV subscribers to watch live and on-demand programmes on their mobile devices wherever they like. It has started slowly but is taking off as more content-owners agree to license the digital rights to their programmes. Tools like this may help Comcast and its rivals justify their high prices and convince people to stick with their television package.
Patrick Hurley of Skytide has put together a work-in-progress whitepaper about the trends in online video viewing that can be expected for 2014. In these trends, he lists #1. Social TV will take off. #3. Quality of experience (QoE) will trump all. We couldn’t agree more on both of these aspects, these indeed are two of the more predominately driving features of bhaalu. Here is the whitepaper:
Several years ago, the Singapore government Media Development Authority (MDA) and Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) put out a joint tender, seeking a vendor to create a universal set top box. The project was called NIMS, which stands for Next-generation Interactive Multimedia application and Service.
For a variety of reasons, the project never succeeded. But it is of interest to note of the original tender outlining the specifications of a universal set top box and the vast amount of thought and work that went into the original project.
So why did it fail?
Alfred Siew of Techgoodnu made a compelling case explaining why a universal set top box in Singapore was a “fantasy piece of equipment” and unpractical.
Thus it’s a good thing that Singapore’s indulgence of a common set-top box is over. It’s really a fantasy piece of equipment that would not have done much to make the market more competitive and which would have shown a regulatory zeal that exceeded practical considerations.
A member of the Hardware Zone Forum speculated that the one of the reasons for the projects failure, aside from “biting off more than they could chew”, was because the new Cross-Carriage act eliminated the problem of needing multiple set-top boxes:
If cluttering one’s home with multiple set-top boxes is a problem, then the problem is solved with the cross-carriage rule. And the universal set-top box project – dubbed Next-Generation Interactive Multimedia, Applications and Services (Nims) – would cease to matter. But Nims also had other goals – so many, they proved impossible to fulfil.
Of course, this well written post was published last year, before the SingTel’s reluctance to practice the cross-carriage act and provide StarHub with EPL content.
But credit has to be given to the IDA and MDA for attempting such a big project, which solves many problems for Singapore television content consumers. They were ambitious in the breadth and depth of specifications they put forward. And it didn’t help that there exists such a competitive environment between the primary TV Operators, who were the players most capable of delivering on such a project.
Say Hello to Bhaalu, Singapore’s new Universal Set-Top Box. Bhaalu does not adhere to all of the government specs, but it comes close. Most importantly, bhaalu delivers on what the consumers need most, rather than what the government or existing Telco’s need.
What do consumers need? 1.) Super easy intuitive relaxing and enjoyful navigation through TV content. 2.) One set-top box that they can use to watch ALL of their TV, regardless if it is MediaCorp FTA, StarHub Cable TV or SingTel Mio TV. 3.) One device that records and time-shifts ALL of their TV, going back in time for up to 3 MONTHS, so you never miss your favourite TV shows ever again, and 4.) TV Everywhere capabilities, to watch your channels where-ever you are located, on most any mobile device, at any time.
Bhaalu is the future of television in Singapore, and the future has arrived.
Special thanks to Amconics Singapore for displaying to their customers, a sneak preview of bhaalu at the Sitex 2013 Expo event in Singapore this past weekend. Amconics knows the future of television, and can see the potential of bhaalu as a universal set top box in Singapore.
The event was crowded as usual, and interest was strong for Singapore’s newest television platform bhaalu.
Amconics Technology Pte Ltd was established in 1987 as an IT manufacturer and distributor. Then in 1999, embarked on a new product line, namely, digital cameras and web cams. In 2002 and 2003, their product lines were further increased to distribute Internet Phones and Electronic Dictionaries. Currently, they specialize in Home Entertainment Portals, Home Media Hubs and Alternative Television Platforms in Singapore.
Bhaalu has been designed and built to be the most relaxing television platform in the world. Scientists have not yet tested or identified this as being so. However, according to TweakandTrick, scientists have declared an 8 minute long song by Marconi Union as being the most relaxing song of all time.
To test the effectiveness of this song, a study was conducted on 40 women who were connected to sensors and given challenging puzzles to solve in limited time to induce a level of stress. Scientists then played different songs and recorded their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity. Weightless was found to be 11 percent more effective at calming them than any other song even causing drowsiness among many women in the lab. The song resulted in a 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety and calmed them 35 percent more than their normal resting levels. The song was found to be more relaxing than a massage, walk or even a cup of tea.
Here is the song, try it out for yourself. But it is recommended not to listen to this while driving. Seriously.
Research from Deloitte indicates that new players in the TV industry can adapt with the changes in order to obtain compelling new business growth. And there are five key forces they have identified, which will be responsible for driving most of the growth in 2014. The five factors are as follows:
1.) Big Data – Big data not only means ability to capture, record and playback content in the cloud, but also the ability to be more specific in targeting advertising, as data about a users likes, favourite TV shows, recommended shows, and demographics allows for more sophisticated and intelligently targeted unicast based advertising.
2.) Second Screen – Tablets, Smart Phones and Laptops with ever increasing video quality capabilities are driving the growth of multi-screen. Most interesting aspect of the Second Screen phenomena is that it is actually driving growth of TV advertising revenue.
The firm adds that advertisers have also benefited from second screens, as consumers can quickly find the product or service being offered on their handheld device, meaning they can get more information. This, suggests Deloitte, has increased the value of television advertising that was once looking like it was losing out to Internet advertising.
3.) Spectrum allocation changes in Europe - Compared to other regions of the world, Europe has the least amount of UHF Spectrum allocated to RFID, which limits the amoun of Free to Air Television Channel Frequencies that are available. But seems to be changing now, allowing for many new UHF channels to be broadcasted.
4.) The commercialisation of UltraHD/4KTV – Technicolor has teamed up with Portrait Displays to create a colour certification process designed to guarantee the colour quality on any computer or mobile device display, and has awarded the first 4KTV Image Certification to Marseille Networks for its system on chip to deliver content on 4K televisions.
5.) The emergence of the connected TV receiver – IPTV is not the only driver here, cloud DVR’s such as bhaalu, also have a set top box TV receiver connected to the internet. Bhaalu is takes it one step further, as it is pioneering a Collaborative Cloud-based DVR.
Bhaalu is perfectly positioned to take advantage of all five of these emerging television growth trends in 2014.
Right Brain Interface Singapore will provide an overview of bhaalu at Chaos Asia 2013 this November 9th and 10th at St James Power Station and Neverland II in Singapore. Receive a S$10 discount off the already affordable event ticket price by using the promotion code “conton” when registering. You can register here: http://peatix.com/event/20180/The Facebook page is located here: https://www.facebook.com/events/203531529799167/. Please come say “hi” to me, and I will gladly provide you with much more details than I will be able to fit into my three minute presentation. Hope to see you there!
Following is a condensed English language transcription. Here is the original story.
A new social & mobile version of bhaalu, the Collaborative Video Recorder, sees daylight this morning, as it is officially released in Belgium. Bhaalu is a new and innovative consumer electronics product, called a Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), which offers a relaxed and convenient television experience.
Bhaalu CVR allows you to easily recommend TV shows and engage in social discussions about television programs through Facebook and Twitter. Recordings are also made immediately available via bhaalu’s mobile application, so you can playback your TV recordings at anytime, from anywhere, on most mobile devices, such as a tablet or smart phone.
With the new social & mobile release of bhaalu, members can recommend programmes to friends and comment directly about those TV programmes, on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the bhaalu website has been completely revised, allowing the public to purchase a bhaalu device for watching TV on the big screen at home, which of course, also includes the social aspects.
The principle behind the bhaalu Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), is that members of the community work together to build and maintain the cloud recordings, that is made possible through the technology created by Right Bain Interface, and the community’s membership fees.
Bhaalu members can easily collaborate and thus, engage in a better viewing experience for themselves and each other, and at a reasonable cost. By sharing in the costs of the cloud recording infrastructure, without sharing the private viewing screen, consumers can record and playback anything they legally are entitled to view by law ( provided those channels are already supported by the common bhaalu hardware ).
Note to editors:
Are you a journalist and would like to see a personal demonstration of bhaalu? If so, please just contact us to indicate your interest.
About Right Brain Interface and bhaalu:
Right Brain Interface develops and commercializes bhaalu, the world’s first Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), giving viewers a next-generation television viewing platform. With bhaalu consumers transform their existing linear, scheduled, and on-demand TV experience into a real-time personalized Catch-All TV Everywhere experience.
The bhaalupersonal video recorder allows viewers to record their full TV schedule (if supported) and re-watch all their TV channels while on the go, where they have legitimate access. The intuitive user interface of bhaalu enables the discovery of programmes while offering viewers a relaxed, personal and social video universe where they can choose where and when to watch their recordings privately, whether on their big screen TV or a smaller second screen.
Bhaalu is currently being tested in a private community with approximately 1000 beta and commercial users in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, the U.S. and Singapore. This first users have already responded with excitement and enthusiasm, indicating the bhaalu viewing experience should not be missed.
In July 2013 Right Brain announced the successful placement of € 6 million capital to a broad group of investors from the Belgian civil society and business world. Right Brain also announced just last week that Jo Van Gorp, former CEO of Telenet, as COO.