Category Archives: Definitions

TV Reaches Tipping Point in 2014

digital-trends-20142014 is the year TV will change most dramatically, according to Business Insider and eMarketer, and reach a “tipping point”, which is where is the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

Specifically, 50% or more US internet users, will consume digital TV online; through mobile devices, tablets and laptops in the US this year. The significance of this metric is explained by the Verge, who makes a compelling case a that US Network TV is nearing collapse.

Interestingly, no one is thinking to measure how much second screen or media stacking could be having an effect on the how much consumers are ad skipping. Nielsen themselves are giving the numbers. When do you think viewers actually use their mobile devices? During commercials of course.

• In US, 77% use TV & internet simultaneously (Nielsen)

• 86% of US smartphone and 88% of tablet owners use it while watching TV once a month (Nielsen)

• 45% use their tablet while watching TV daily (Nielsen)

• 44% of total tablet usage is while watching TV (Nielsen)

• 62% of TV viewers pick up the phone as soon as TV advertising break starts. (Nielsen)

As smartphones and tablets become more ubiquitous, this behaviour is only going increase. Not only are audiences shrinking, but those that are still there are, between PVR and media stacking, are apparently not watching or paying attention much to 30 second spots.

Full Story at the Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/11/5299736/is-american-network-tv-facing-collapse

 

 

What is 4K Video?

Last year, we wrote a detailed description about the difference between HD (High Definition) and SD (Standard Definition) Television. There is a new format called 4k, which was introduced back in 2005, but just now starting to be embraced.

The industry needed a resolution that would work if the audience were sitting in the optimum “one-and-a-half times the screen height” from the screen or closer, and found it required that resolution to be higher than 1080p. The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) was formed in 2002 with the goal of setting a digital standard. Based on these efforts, two new resolutions came about: a 2K specification, and later in 2005, the 4K format.

The first high-profile 4K cinema release was “Blade Runner: The Final Cut” in 2007, a new cut and print of the 1982 masterpiece. Unfortunately, at that time very few theaters were able to show it in its full resolution. It would take one of director Ridley Scott’s contemporaries to truly drive 4K into your local cineplex.

This CNET image best explains 4k:

resolution_chart_1_610x311

Full Article: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57364224-221/what-is-4k-next-generation-resolution-explained/

Singapore’s New Universal Set-Top Box

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.

 bhaalu-stb

Golden Era Of Television Is Ending?

o-LAURA-PREPON-ORANGE-IS-THE-NEW-BLACK-facebookThere is an outstanding article written by Andy Greenwald, that really puts into perspective the cultural phenomena currently taking place with television.
Didn’t know there was such a movement taking place? Then you have to read this article, it’s extremely well written, and captures the essence of what has been the Golden Age of Television over the past 13 years, which Andy predicts is changing, and maybe coming to an end soon.

Here is his conclusion:

TV, in 2013, has entered uncharted territory. It has transcended its medium and been accepted as an art form all its own. TV now lives on our phones and our computers; we watch it on tablets and stream it through boxes. Never before has it commanded so much respect; at no time in its history has it been so breathlessly considered, so unabashedly embraced. There may be fewer and fewer things to love, but there have never been more shows worthy of our like. The sheer quantity of options can, on a busy Sunday night, mask the dwindling amount of quality.

Yet the Zombie Age is marked by a persistent, undeniable decay. Corpses are picked over. Ideas, once devoured, are regurgitated and feasted on again. A bold, forward-looking decade of risk-taking and reward has somehow left the industry in full-on retreat. There’s an undeniable security in sameness, but only within the pleathered confines of network executive suites is a strategy of not losing the same thing as winning. Everyone wants to believe that the next great era of television is just beginning. But it’s possible we came in at the end.

Difference Between SD and HD Video

In general, Standard Definition Video (SD) is 640 pixels wide while High Definition (HD) is 1280 pixels wide. But there are variations. SD video includes 640 x 480 px (4:3 aspect ratio) and 640 x 360 px (16:9 aspect ratio). Where as HD video starts out at 1280 x 720 px (16:9 aspect ratio) and goes up in pixelation from there depending on the platform where it being received. The current defacto standard for representing HD on television is called 1080p, which is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high.

Format Resolution Bit rate
Standard Definition (SD)
4:3 aspect ratio
640 x 480 px 2,000 – 5,000 kbit/s
Standard Definition (SD)
16:9 aspect ratio
640 x 360 px 2,000 – 5,000 kbit/s
720p High Definition Video (HD)
16:9 aspect ratio
1280 x 720 px 5,000 – 10,000 kbit/s
1080p High Definition Video (HD)
16:9 aspect ratio
1920 x 1080 px 10,000 – 20,000 kbit/s