Category Archives: Cloud DVR

Cloud DVR

Lean-back vs Lean-forward Television

old-fashoned-tvTo understand the future of TV, you only need to contrast it with the web. Nielsen Norman Group wrote an excellent article several years ago that is just as relevant today as ever. It outlines the differences between Television versus the Internet.

Aside from a comprehensive comparison chart, the article points out the following:

“Indeed, people basically don’t use any of TV’s advanced features precisely because they’re so cumbersome. As a result, the received user experience is pretty simple: turn it on, sit back, and enjoy the show.

The Web has powerful features, is nonlinear, and is user-driven — able to  instantly gratifying  users’ current needs based on their search engine queries.  Mobile Web use lives even more in the current moment.

Compared to TV, the Web also has a much finer  granularity of user control: When watching  TV, you make one decision every  30–120 minutes: pick a show or movie to watch, and then it’s lean-back time.  Ah, easy. When surfing the  Web, you make a decision every  10–120 seconds: leave or stay on this page; leave or stay on this site. Where to click now? Where to click next?  Stressful.”

It is obvious the lines between television and the internet are blurring. But in the fou years since this NNG article was written, Televisions have become even more complex, and more lean-forward. In a way, televisions have devolved from their original intention of simplicity and lean-back relaxation.

Bhaalu from Right Brain Interface restores the original lean-back experience television was intended to be, by allowing the user to time-shift programs for non-linear viewing, and offering a simplified user interface for fast and efficient browsing of channel content.

DVR Competition Heats Up

As live TV viewership is declining seemingly by the day, the focus of US pay TV providers has shifted from beefing up their channel packages to creating and improving their DVR options.  Cablevision, a main cable provider for New York City area, recently announced its improved DVR recording capabilities, allowing customers to record 10 programs at once.  (By the way, bhaalu by Right Brain Interface has no limit for simultaneous recordings.)

This new development, alongside increasing storage to 75 hours of HD programming, is part of an effort to combat similar features offered by other providers, says Steve Donohue:

“In addition to helping Cablevision compete with the Verizon Media Server which the telco is developing with Arris, Cablevision’s network DVR gives it a product that tops the recording capabilities of DirecTV’s Genie DVR, which has five tuners, and Dish Network’s Hopper, which can record up to six programs simultaneously thanks to its Primetime Anytime feature.”

viewing-share

Source: TechCrunch

Although live TV still accounts for 52% of all viewing time in the US, that number drops to 41% for people 18-34 years of age, according to recent studies.  This makes cable/satellite providers tremble in their boots – as it should.  That age group is a key market that sets the trend for future consumer behavior, and they can pose a real problem for pay TV providers should they decide that their subscriptions aren’t worth the money.

DVR services may be the new style of pay TV subscriptions, as live TV air times are conflicting more and more with viewers’ daily schedules.  Right now, customer loyalty to TV providers is hanging by a thread, so maybe its time for some new blood to move into the market.

Referenced from FierceCable, bgr.com, and TechCrunch

Internet DVR Legal in Singapore

On December 1st, 2010, Singapore has ruled Cloud DVR / Internet DVR / iDVR legal by the highest court on appeal in the case of RecordTV.com versus Mediacorp, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a wholly owned Singapore government entity that broadcasts the 7 Free To Air Television channels for Singapore. Here is a copy of the court document for this verdict:

RecordTV Judgment – InternetDVR Ruled Legal by concerned-citizen

Samsung Acquires Boxee

Boxee just sold to Samsung, and Janko Roettgers of the highly influential tech blog GigaOm asks, “…What does this mean for innovation in the space of internet-connected TVs? And who is going to fill the gap, now that Boxee is history?”. Well Mr. Janko, we have an answer for you, and the answer is… Bhaalu from Right Brain Interface!

Boxee sold for just under $30m, according to Haaretz, stating:

…for tens of millions of dollars, but for less than the $30 million that was originally invested in the company… Samsung will keep Boxee’s 40 employees on the payroll. Half of those workers are in Israel.

Boxee will soon cease to exist as a separate brand, now that the team will begin working on Samsung products. Furthermore, Boxee’s cloud DVR service will soon be discontinued, as the company announced yesterday on its website.boxeebox
Full Stories: http://gigaom.com/2013/07/04/boxee-acquired-cloud-dvr-shutting-down-post-mortem/
and here: http://gigaom.com/2013/07/03/boxee-sold-to-samsung-for-under-30m/

Boxee Acquisition Rumors

boxee-box-frontFor the past couple of weeks, people have expected struggling digital media service Boxee expected to announce that it has been acquired.  Boxee has made no secret of its desire to sell after failing to procure funding for its cloud DVR device after a months-long search; however, no such announcement has come from the company.  

The sale is rumored to be at a dirt-cheap price, as Boxee’s value has significantly declined in recent years.  The company tweeted last year that all-time sales of its set-top box had reached 200,000, which doesn’t begin to hold a candle to other set-top providers.

Jim O’Neill says Boxee simply doesn’t have the market share to compete with companies offering a similar product:

“While it has positioned itself as a potential answer for pay-TV providers looking to provide over-the-top options to their current offerings, there are more established and better-known brands already in that space, options like TiVo and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox.

The OTT space, meanwhile, remains dominated by Roku—which so far has sold some 5 million units—and heavyweight Apple, which sold that many Apple TVs in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone.”

Perhaps the acquiring company can think of some better use for Boxee’s product or simply improve and build on what Boxee has now.  Either way, the company’s higher-ups will have a lot of work to do if they mean to bring Boxee into the spotlight.

Belgian Entrepreneur Max Heilbron

Bloovi.be describes bhaalu’s partnership with Belgian entrepreneur Max Heilbron. This is an English translation of the original article, which was written in Flemish.bhaalu-sluit-partnership-met-telecomondernemer-max-heilbron

Bhaalu, the new TV viewing experience from Flemish start-up Right Brain Interface, has partnered with telecom entrepreneur Max Heilbron, who recently acquired several Photo Hall stores in Belgium. Bhaalu allows the viewer to choose when and where they watch television, even programs from up to 60 days in the past.

Consumers can now experience the unique TV viewing device first-hand, as Photo Hall stores in Ghent and Leuven, Belgium allow customers to test out the product in-store.

Cooperation with Max Heilbron for 4G LTE

The synergy between telecom entrepreneur Heilbron and bhaalu is clear.  Max holds a 4G LTE license through his company b • lite, and the strength of 4G LTE is its superior video streaming ability, which explains Heilbron’s partnership with bhaalu. Today, Photo Hall shops provide 3G and fixed line internet for TV, audio and other home devices.

Through bhaalu’s startup project in the Photo Hall stores in Ghent and Leuven, consumers will now be able to test the bhaalu viewing experience using a unique home-in-shop concept.

You can order the bhaalu box online at www.bhaalu.sg or pick it up at one of Photo Hall’s stores.

Telecom entrepreneur Max Heilbron: “I like to penetrate markets – that’s just what bhaalu does, and 4G LTE is our card to play. A free telecom market needs 4G LTE as well as bhaalu.”

Bart Van Coppenolle, CEO, Right Brain Interface: “Our partnership with Photo Hall allows people to test the bhaalu experience with our home-in-shop concept in Leuven and Ghent. We have revolutionised not only TV experience but also the retail distribution model.  People don’t just walk into the shop and pick up their box.  They come in and experience both the wonder of bhaalu TV and the personal service of Photo Hall.”

Home-in-shop experience concept coming soon to Singapore. Stay tuned!

Original article at Bloovi.be.

Bloovi Interview with Bhaalu Founder

Bhaalu is making headlines in Europe with two recent announcements on Bloovi.be. The first article is an interview entitled Belgian startup, Bhaalu, launches new way of watching television.

bhaalu-europe

Bhaalu, a new way of watching television, launches soon. Bhaalu is a startup from the Belgian Internet entrepreneur Bart Van Coppenolle. Bloovi asked Bart a few questions about this new project, the following is an English translation of the Interview which was conducted in Flemish.

How can bhaalu differentiate themselves from competitors?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu offers the viewer the only truly relaxing and enjoyable TV experience. We have the domain expertise required to design a user interface for television that is specifically based on neuropsychological findings and neuropsychological our own patented technology. Our working knowledge and experience in this subject is much more scientific than any other TV experience vendors in the marketplace.

So, simply put, once person uses bhaalu, they will never be able to go back to the rest of the traditional television experiences. Aside from our neuropsychological and technological experience, we also have a lot of collaborative DVR technology patented, such as the technology that is necessary in order to make catch-all TV, TV Anywhere, and TV Everywhere.

What is bhaalu?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu is a product that allows the user to watch what they want, when they want and from whereever they want. To get an idea of what bhaalu is, you can check out the following video:


Bart, can you tell us why you started with the bhaalu project?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: I’m an entrepreneur, but also a philosopher, so you’d best be served not to ask me such questions. ;-) But if you want to hear the answer; bear with me… The modern era, with the invention of the steam engine, the car and the plane, etc.., it was a time of oppression of the mind of man by rational thought. It was and is still so today.

We live in a time of need, of coercion, mental killing, the killing of freedom and creativity, killing the spirit of mankind. Think of our hectic, alienating lifestlyes. Busy, busy, busy, no time for much of anything.

Television is bad because it makes us lazy, etc. … Linear TV viewing is a child of this oppressive environment. You need to know exactly what time your favorite TV program will be broadcasted otherwise, you miss it. Or, you are forced to re-schedule your day to make time for TV.

This pressure creates anxiety and stress instead of relaxation. Content searches via keyboard and Google TV, or even via a beautifully designed app with text and icons, does not result in an intuitive and relaxing discovery, but rather a stressful and frantic search. During the age of the Internet – through experience and through social media – we’ve changed all that.

It is not about searching, but uncovering; not about working, but relaxing and creating; not about big corporations, but about people; not about selfishness or altruism, but about empathy; not about treating TV consumers as a kind of cattle, but about an empathetic TV experience.

We see it as our mission to contribute common consciousness to the recent societal shift from left brain to right brain; not only in TV land, but also in other parts of society.

After I sold my previous software company Metris, I was with my girlfriend and two children on the sofa watching TV and was surprised by the archaic style of left hemisphere TV navigation. I understood that this was another part of the mind-numbing oppression of humanity by its own left-brained consciousness.

I also saw how a Google TV interface used a keyboard, an inherently left-brained interface. For that reason, my business partner Mr. Philip Vandormael and I founded Right Brain Interface, which after about 2.5 years of development, has introduced bhaalu to the market.

What makes bhaalu unique and different from the TV services that already exist?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: To begin, bhaalu is not a TV service, but more like a moden day VCR. We have chosen the Right Brain Interface, the software interface with our common intention to bring consciousness to a VCR/DVR, A TV with a VCR-like experience, because the most compelling left hemisphere projection, linear time, can be broken up.

You can rewind and fast forward in time. With bhaalu, people can regain their freedom from fear of a linear time break. Freedom is a mind set – you do it yourself. Freedom is not a service that someone else can deliver to you.

But back with two feet on the ground: Bhaalu is different fromany other TV experiences because this technology, if only provisionally, allows the authenticated viewer access to a universe of personal video content in which to compile all of the content that he / she is entitled to.

It is independent of time and place, and it provides virtual personal and social channels, each with their own time and recommendation dimensions. Summed up in a slogan: “Bhaalu is my Catch-All TV Everywhere”.

Are you afraid that larger players such as Apple, Netflix or Telenet mightcome up with a similar solution?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: No, innovation and creativity always arises within small teams. Apple is the only large company that has used small, entrepreneurial and creative teams to drive innovation.

My last company grew the same way, and was sold to a very large company, so I know what I’m talking about. We’ve also had our inventions patented, and we will rigorously defend them in court if required to do so. And by the way, we do not have an app – WE are the platform to which other apps will later be able to plug in and build upon.

How does bhaalu differ from its competitors?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu offers the viewer the only truly good TV experience. We have designed the experience to be specifically based on neuropsychological findings and patented neuropsychological technology. The bhaalu TV experience is much more scientific than any other TV experience on the market, so once people use bhaalu, they will not look at television the same way again.

Besides neuropsychologically-based technology, we have also patented collaborative DVR technology, which is necessary in order to provide “catch-all TV Everywhere.”

Recently there was a lot of commotion about banning the practice of skipping over TV advertisements. Bhaalu is committed to offering a fast-forward function for its ads. What is your view on these problems?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: The delayed viewing of video content falls under consumer law, so the Flemish Parliament doesn’t have to change anything about it [Editorial Note: Singapore law is the same in this regard]. The ability to skip ads and view them later is a key feature, and we have that feature in bhaalu. You can skip annoying advertisements and view them at a later time where they don’t interrupt your current show.

However, there is a tacit agreement between the commercial broadcasters and the community that while these stations broadcast free content, they must broadcast advertisements as well. But, also in this agreement, the viewer can skip up to 60 minutes of commercials, building a sort of commercial “debt.”

The viewer then pays the debt by looking at interesting personalized advertisements or by paying money to not view them. Thus, the rights of the TV viewer and the rights of the commercial channels are respected, and without law (or media decree) having to be changed.

TV thrives on advertising, but the viewer gets the chance to skip through commercials. After a while, however, the viewer is still required to look at them. How user friendly is this feature for the consumer and the advertiser? Does this not frustrate both parties?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Viewers are disallowed from skipping through ads only after they surpass their 60 minutes of advertising credit. Afterward, it is just like watching regular TV. Even if there are ads between two films, viewers can check their Facebook or e-mail, or whatever they normally do during ads.

It’s really more relaxing than frustrating. For advertisers, this approach holds the advantage in that we can deliver much better statistics. We know which ads are the most effective and get the most views. And above all, we can personalize the ads based on viewers’ selections and desires. With this system, the rights and interests of all parties are reconciled without frustration.

Should marketers think about product placement or other alternatives?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: They do not have too, but may want too. Not out of fear, however, but out of desire; not by coercion, but by freedom of choice. In a perfect world, I think good marketers want beautiful, creative and seductive advertisements where the viewer doesn’t feel the need to skip through it.

You have already built a lot of experience in the startup world. What tips would you recommend for budding entrepreneurs?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Dare to dream and work hard.  Blame no one, not even yourself. Never force anyone, but do everything to enforce your desired result. It is the subject of my next book.

The Cloud is Here to Stay


Cloud-Computing-devices
The concept of cloud storage is not a new one.  In the early 1960′s, off-site data storage was a budding concept, although back then the technological resources did not exist for it to be cost-effective.

Since the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989, the cloud has now blossomed into a thriving industry and has redefined video entertainment as we once knew it.  Now, nearly every major video content provider offers a video cloud device or service, not the least of which being bhaalu, by Right Brain Interface.

The third annual CDN, or Content Delivery Networks, World Forum in London is dedicated to the exhibition, discussion and improvement of cloud technology and realizes that it is the future of effective content delivery.  Held this year from June 26-27, the forum’s keynote speakers include Netflix VP of Content Delivery Ken Florance and Telstra Global CEO and founder Will Hughs.

Among its many uses, Ryan Salazar says the natural progression of cloud technology is into television broadcasting:

“The thought of broadcast television via the cloud is such a no-brainer. Internet, everywhere; data, all around you; television, at your fingertips, when and where you want it, at your beck and call. As it should be.”