Recording free programs in the cloud, as much as you like, then download later (also to PCs). That is what save.tv is offering in Germany. Needless to say commercial TV operators did not like it and put them through court. RTL previously lost a case. But now Pro7Sat1 has apparantly succeeded in winning against Save.TV even after an appeal (which is pretty definitive). The details of the distinction between the two cases requires some further analysis.
More google sticks – this time a google TV box in the format of a dongle from Sony. This is a different approach than the chromecast HDMI dongle from Google. It has it’s own remote control and has a full google TV environment, including text entry on the remote and pointer functionality in the UI, an app environment etc.
It can control a settop box via an RC blaster. It ingests the HDMI from the settop box, presumeably overlays it’s UI, and sends it to the TV. Cableoperators may not like this, but given the chances of any market success they will not loose any sleep over it.
Interestingly: here is the manual on the Sony website: it will answer almost any detailed question.
A slightly promotional article about new design wins for Activevideo’s cloudTV cloud-server based interactive TV UI solution. It will be used by UPC (complementing their horizon approach which is a media gateway approach: the complete oppopsite in many ways), and Glasthart media – a fiber based activity in the Netherlands.
A nice free report has been published by DigitalSmiths. It addresses the status and trends in OTT PayTV competition in the USA. Some highlights:
Many users use OTT service besides their regular operator’s PayTV and VOD offer.
Not really a surprise given the popularity of both OTT and PayTV, but the reasons for the combination are interesting:
2nd screen is only a secondary motivator. Convenience, content and cost are prime.
Last highlight: what devices are “connecting” the people to the internet. It obviously is not the PayTV provider’s settop box:
A quick link for downloading the report is here.
Here is another development of OTT and second screen to lure the user away from traditional service offerings: the new Philips cloud-TV service (NetTV3.0). Delivering many (niche) TV channels to the Philips smartTV user: pay and free alike. The user can also upload content. Second screen as key navigation means to the service: good move.
But is the service also streaming to the second screen? That would really move this beyond TV and into the OTT service operator arena. It seems not at least as per today. But isn’t this what the user wants? And what the user want he gets, one way or another.
Delivering content beyond the 1st screen is somewhat of business focus challenge for a TV company. And the rights situation for content delivery to 1st versus 2nd screen is hardly transparent. Finally it will require a non trivial investment in delivery technology and capability.