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All Eyes on Amsterdam as IBC2011 Approaches

With IBC just around the corner, we anticipate some of the trends we can expect to see as TV service providers converge in Amsterdam later this week.

Social TV companion services

The explosion of tablet devices and continued growth of the smartphone is extending video experiences to multiple screens. SocialTV companion services for the second screen tap into this exponential growth and empower people to find out more about what they watch, as well as letting them chat and share their viewing experiences with friends via social media – without interfering with the viewing experience on the main screen. SocialTV companion services are good news for TV service providers as they provide a logical extension to the programme being watched, and keep viewers engaged with their service for longer. TV service providers can also use social TV companion services to sell advertising and programme-related merchandising, to provide new revenue streams.

Multifunction Set Top Boxes

We are not going to see the Set Top Box (STB) disappear any time soon as TV service providers take advantage of its footprint in the home. But we foresee they will have more functions to support enhancements that include STBs with ‘click in’ DVR modules, and STBs with wireless capabilities that eliminate cables, as well as ‘connected’ STBs that can communicate with other digital consumer electronics in the home.

The TV Service Provider assumes a new role

TV service providers could soon be providing you with your home surveillance package. Cost-effective remote monitoring for the home will soon be available thanks to STBs that wirelessly link surveillance sensors and cameras in the home to your smartphone, to let you know who is approaching your porch, whether a package you are expecting has been delivered, or if your kids have arrived home safely from school. The same service provider could also sell you an easy-to-use home automation package that lets you programme your appliances from your smartphone to automatically start at times when energy tariffs are low. Look forward to using your smartphone to programme your sprinklers to water your lawn overnight, your washing machine to wash your clothes while you sleep, and switch your slowcooker on when you’re on your way home so that your supper has been heated by the time you walk into your kitchen.

Doing more with bandwidth:

The continual growth of digital TV services is putting significant pressure on TV networks. Expect to see technologies that boost bandwidth to allow service providers to allocate more channels to their existing networks, whilst reducing capital and operational costs.

IBC kicks off on September 8th: stay in touch with what’s happening at IBC 2011 through twitter (#IBC11).

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