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Brit mobile firms in FOURPLAY TUSSLE – how very French of them

About 10 years ago, Faultline wrote a report on the economics of quad play. We hardly sold any (about 20), and the reason was, one of our resellers told us, was that “quad play” was old hat. The truth is that quad play is very much “new hat” and this report was perhaps a decade ahead of its time. People made the mistake of …
Faultline, 24 Nov 2014
PlayStation Vita

Sony SPILLS GUTS on OTT service, so far for PlayStations only

Sony has unveiled its widely expected PlayStation Vue OTT TV service, telling us everything we need to know except the most important part: the price. At present it is just a US phenomenon, which makes sense – if it can make it there it can make it anywhere. It is referred to as a cloud-based TV service and claims to reinvent …
Faultline, 17 Nov 2014
Zoeller at the Samsung forum

Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Samsung has said that it intends to focus on UHD TVs using LCD panels augmented by quantum dot technology, instead of pushing OLED as a commercial replacement for LCD. This is the kind of decision that might mean that OLED never takes off in the larger form factors. Kim Hyun-Seok, the head of Samsung’s TV business, told …
Faultline, 10 Nov 2014
Star Trek: Deep Space 9

CBS goes OTT, releases EVERY EPISODE of Star Trek EVER MADE

Only a day after HBO announced its OTT intentions, CBS followed suit and unveiled its own online ambitions – with archived content, current shows and livestreams in CBS’s 14 largest markets. The service is available now and costs $5.99 per month, which is much cheaper than the $15 that HBO is apparently due to charge. And right …
Faultline, 24 Oct 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

HBO this week has finally done as Netflix said it would, admitting that it WILL provide over-the-top (OTT) streaming content to the masses in the United States. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicted back in May 2013 that HBO would need to make this move soon, claiming it was inevitable. When in future we teach technology history …
Faultline, 17 Oct 2014
EE 4G banner

EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

While Vodafone is no stranger to TV in its territories and last week added the Netherlands to other locations where it offers TV, such as Spain and Germany, the move by EE in the UK seems a far more serious one. It is an offer that bundles free TV with a broadband order, just like the four French Telcos – Orange, Free, SFR and …
Faultline, 13 Oct 2014
H.264 image scaling

HEVC patent prices are out. Look who's NOT at the codec party: Microsoft and Google

The MPEG Licensing Authority (MPEG LA) has released pricing for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) that is almost certainly low enough to claim the market overnight. HEVC is the successor to the tech used to encode video stored on Blu-ray Discs and streamed in high-definition digital TV transmissions the world over. The …
Faultline, 03 Oct 2014
netflix

Netflix bullish after six-country European INVASION

By any measure, Netflix’s European expansion – adding six more countries – could not have gone better, although this still does not mean the operator will achieve its bullish forecast of penetrating one-third of all homes within seven years of launching in every market. That almost hubristic forecast will depend on factors yet …
Faultline, 29 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012

Apple unsurprisingly revealed a new iPhone that'll come in two sizes for the first time: the regular iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch 1334x750p screen, while the Plus version boasts a 5.5-inch 1080p screen. Both models now feature the Retina marketing tag, but while the hardware might not be revolutionary, Apple’s new iOS 8, …
Faultline, 12 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

Google could be a great partner for Iliad in its quest for T-Mobile

French operator Iliad may have had its $15bn bid for T-Mobile USA rejected and branded “preposterous”, but it is unlikely to give up too easily in its attempt to bring its disruptive practices – which have already created commercial havoc in France – to the US. In recent weeks, the rumour mill has suggested Iliad might enlist …
Faultline, 01 Sep 2014
Brazil flag

Telefónica bids for Vivendi's Brazilian bits: Telecom Italia gasps

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica’s unexpected €6.7bn bid to buy Brazilian broadband operator GVT, which is owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi, has put the cat among the pigeons across the Mediterranean at Telecom Italia, Italy’s largest telco. Telefonica, which owns O2 in the UK, is already the largest mobile operator …
Faultline, 08 Aug 2014
Do Not Adjust Your Set

Nokia Networks: Don't hate us, broadcasters – we're testing LTE for TV

The Nokia Networking LTE Broadcast trial announced in Germany this week is all about building bridges between broadcasters and mobile operators, because it is about sending TV for televisions through an LTE Network, rather than TV for phones. And for a change the trial was explained clearly in its release, which meant quite a …
Faultline, 04 Aug 2014
LG 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Only 6 per cent of broadband homes are "moderately" or "highly likely" to buy a 4K TV, and 83 per cent of consumers are completely unfamiliar with the term Ultra HD. LG 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV LG's 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV... pricey but beautiful These are the major findings from a new report from The Diffusion Group …
Faultline, 28 Jul 2014
SOURCE:  http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1412135

There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES

A new report from the European Audiovisual Observatory shows what a sorry state European TV and film production is in when compared with the US market, and shows that US programming is increasing its stranglehold on European TV and video services. While the initial functions of the European Audiovisual Observatory were mostly …
Faultline, 21 Jul 2014
LG EA93 21:9 monitor

French telco takes on US rival Netflix... with whose dongle?

There were never going to be any prizes for guessing that the first user for Chromecast rival “Cast”, introduced by SoftAtHome in March, is likely to be Orange France Telecom. SoftAtHome's dongle was put together around the integration requirements for Orange’s IPTV service, integrating set top chips and software. So when we …
Faultline, 14 Jul 2014

Mexican watchdog sinks teeth into Carlos Slim over 'market fixing'

The world’s second richest human, Carlos Slim, is being confronted by Mexico’s recently reformed and renamed telecoms regulator Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel). His fixed line incumbent operator, Telmex, stands accused of breaching local monopoly rules through close collaboration with pay TV operator Dish Mexico …
Faultline, 08 Jul 2014

Twitter takes on GOOGLE, swallows wannabe YouTube firm

It looks like Twitter is going head to head with YouTube with the acquisition of SnappyTV. The video platform lets users edit and share clips from live TV broadcasts, among other things. It also gives Twitter new video opportunities for both organic user-derived sharing and from Twitter’s sponsored-content platform Amplify. …
Faultline, 02 Jul 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

AT&T plays Game of Thrones: Every bit as ruthless as HBO version

There is that great promotional line in the first season of Game of Thrones which goes, “In the game of thrones, you either win or you die.” Well, it applies just as much to the Game of the ever-converging, ever-thrilling US telecommunications and network market. With the news this week leaking out that Softbank has more or less …
Faultline, 23 Jun 2014

Ask yourself, AT&T: Do you really want a Latin American adventure?

The recent $48.5bn merger agreement between US telecoms giant AT&T and leading US satellite TV provider DirecTV is being seen as a trigger for yet more consolidation in the US, with everyone looking for natural fits between each of the lonely remaining players. As usual, everyone seems to be looking in the wrong places for …
Faultline, 27 May 2014

Streaming brilliant: Netflix signs access agreement with Verizon

It looks like Netflix has opened the floodgates with its Comcast deal to connect directly to its IP broadband network, and a queue of top-tier operators may have formed – with Verizon at the front. Which is why this week Netflix has confirmed that it has signed a deal to pay for direct access to Verizon’s broadband network, a …
Faultline, 06 May 2014

Voice-babble-over-Wi-Fi lands in Europe – take that, mobe masties

The Netherlands is about to become a test-bed for Wi-Fi-first and Wi-Fi-only telephony services, as both Ziggo and UPC offer free downloadable apps to use a growing number of Wi-Fi spots for voice calls. Whether or not UPC Netherlands, which is the local Liberty Global subsidiary, and Ziggo – the largest Dutch cableco – ever get …
Faultline, 29 Apr 2014
 photo by kudomomo http://www.flickr.com/photos/kudumomo/

Facebook preps ad network to TARGET YOU WHERE YOU LIVE

Competition for mobile advertising dollars is set to intensify as Facebook joins Google, Apple and Twitter by launching a mobile ad network that generates revenue when users access apps outside its domain. At the same time Facebook is also planning to expand into location-based mobile advertising after preparing the ground with …
Faultline, 28 Apr 2014

Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes

There were reports last week that Google is considering taking an MVNO mobile network and using it as a fall back for a Wi-Fi first service – in the areas where it has fibre in the ground in the US. Youtube Video Faultline thinks this is a great idea. If Google really wants YouTube to be the “daily destination of a generation …
Faultline, 14 Apr 2014
Amazon Fire TV and controller

Amazon stuffs games into Fire TV box: Soz, rivals... WE don't need to make cash on hardware

Amazon moved last week to join Apple, Google and Roku as a player in the OTT Set Top space – releasing a box that gives it control of Over The Top TV experiences in the home. Its core aim is to be able to sell video that goes to a traditional TV, without lining the pockets of one of its rivals. What Amazon unveiled is called …
Faultline, 07 Apr 2014
Sean Bean in Game of Thrones

Dish and DirecTV deal: Damned if they merge, damned if they don't

Almost like a delayed reaction, the news that Dish Network had been actively courting DirecTV once again in the US has driven up both companies’ share prices, triggered by the Comcast Time Warner Cable deal. The share price movements should have happened the day the Comcast TWC deal was mooted, but were only came about after …
Faultline, 31 Mar 2014
LG's Scope Ratio 105-inch curved LED TV

TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

TV sales are falling everywhere. It’s kind of official, but people are still prepared to argue about it. The number of LCD screens are being forecast to recover but no one is giving a reason why, as the number of TVs that they ship in, are definitely not rising. There is lots of intelligence out there in TV land, but the two …
Faultline, 24 Mar 2014
heart.mexico

Save Mexico: Stop druglords, violence ... and that DRATTED MOBILE DUOPOLY

Mexico's government was told that next to the country’s endemic level of organised crime and associated violence fuelled by the drug trade, its mobile duopoly was one of the major hindrances to its economic growth. So it decided to act against both. Mexico’s sensational growth in pay TV and telecoms has been distributed largely …
Faultline, 17 Mar 2014

Cellular desperation in France drives not one, but two SFR offers

While there is merger mania among both fixed and cellular operators around the world for very positive reasons (in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere), the desire to acquire in France is fuelled by slightly desperate appetites. For French operators, the disruption caused by two years of cellular market-share-grabbing …
Faultline, 10 Mar 2014

Probe of Hollywood-Euro Pay TV contracts: What happens next?

By now the dust has settled on Monday’s statement by the European Commission that it will investigate the licensing agreements between the major US Hollywood studios and their European broadcasting counterparts, targeting the exclusive nature in any given European country. But what is the likely outcome? This is the kind of …
Faultline, 20 Jan 2014
Samsung KE55S9C OLED 3D HD TV

Samsung sees RDK as route to DOMINATION of US set top market

For as long as Faultline has commented on this industry, the set-top market in the US has been dominated by the cable TV industry – which in turn has been dominated first by Motorola and secondly by Cisco. Things have changed somewhat over the years, in that Pace has led a challenge from the UK and in direct to home satellite, …
Faultline, 18 Dec 2013

Verizon to Intel Media: Hey chip-fryer. Guess who can help you with OTT TV?

While many of us spend time talking about the technology alternatives that can or will be used to bring content to the masses over the internet, and especially to portable devices – companies like Intel, Verizon and all the US cable TV companies spend more time wondering about the business model that will go with that technology …
Faultline, 04 Nov 2013
LG Google TV

Do not adjust your set: TV market slows, 'connected TV' grows

It is always annoying when forecasters fail to forecast disruption: this is probably the most important part of the future to forecast, rather than incremental rises and blips in revenues. The TV segment is a case in point: sales of displays for the sets had been foundering since 2009, which didn't bode well. But analysts …
Faultline, 17 Oct 2013
Panasonic VT50

'Spotify for TV' Magine terrifies Euro players with smart TV deals

Magine TV, the Swedish cloud-based OTT service that threatens to blow a hole through European TV, has signed up smart TV makers LG Electronics, Panasonic, and TP Vision (selling Philips TVs). The service, described as “cable in the cloud” and sometimes as “Spotify for TV”, has gained well over 500,000 subscribers in Sweden in …
Faultline, 16 Oct 2013

Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

Movielabs, the R&D business for Hollywood studios, has just issued a new specification for securing 4K high-def streaming video content, and one of the things that it’s going to demand is forensic watermarking. This spec is being described as “recommendations”, but studios will need to adopt these overnight as the hard and fast …
Faultline, 07 Oct 2013

Deutsche Telekom: We don't need no steenkin' set tops

One of the big pieces of news from the IFA in Berlin came out of Deutsche Telekom’s network day, where it showed its progress so far in its search for a set-top-free IPTV world. Deutsche is one of Europe’s leading pay TV players and looks ready to adopt the "cloud" for TV. It has been looking into what it calls "virtualisation …
Faultline, 09 Sep 2013

TiVo dives into pile of cash, steely eyed investors don't blink

TiVo came out with its strongest set of figures this week, including underlying TiVo service subscribers, as well as bundling in the results of its patents settlements with Cisco and Motorola, and yet its enterprise value could not be lower, showing that investors still have no confidence in its long-term business. TiVo has over …
Faultline, 03 Sep 2013

Cognitive Networks to bring creepy awareness to LG's smart TVs

A few weeks back, Cognitive Networks claimed it was about to cut deals with companies that shipped what amounted to 45 per cent of the smart TVs in the US. We have since been trying to work out market share combinations to identify those it had signed with. It made the task slightly easier this week by finally unveiling the …
Faultline, 02 Sep 2013
Flag of Republic of China

China: Forget running water, bumpkins. Have some lovely broadband

The Chinese government has pledged to provide nationwide broadband coverage by 2020, an ambitious goal which should see significant extra investment in all kinds of networks, both wired and wireless, in order to reach the country’s vast rural areas. This will almost certainly change the global supply ecosystem for all types of …
Faultline, 30 Aug 2013

Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

For years in PCs, Apple was the R&D lab for the entire industry, and Microsoft would roll out similar operating system features long after Apple users had them as standard. As a result, Microsoft users would get a feature late. It would also usually be offered in a less adventurous manner – and while sometimes it was weaker than …
Faultline, 29 Jul 2013

WTF? Comcast scores MORE sales from fewer vid customers

Comcast numbers were largely deemed good by its management team on their results call, with a few noticeable holes. Firstly, despite an increase in video revenues, Comcast in fact lost 60,000 video customers in the quarter, a number which appears to be rising. Secondly, there was a major revenue fall in NBC broadcasting. Another …
Faultline, 07 May 2013
The Register breaking news

AT LEAST two-thirds mobile traffic will be video by 2017 - Cisco report

Global cellular networks are reeling under remarkable growth rates that look like they will be sustained over the next five years, and this will be driven by video, says a recent report. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) report, with its quarterly update out this week, video accounted for over 50 per cent of …
Faultline, 11 Feb 2013
Apple TV Netflix screen

OpenTV slaps Netflix with patent lawsuit

Netflix has been hit by a patent infringement lawsuit by Open TV, now a subsidiary of Nagra, the Switzerland-based conditional access company, part of the Kudelski Group. It has not said what the patents are, but the filings at the US District Court for the District of Delaware show that they are all software patents. There are …
Faultline, 21 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Microsoft-Netflix bid rumours feast on froth – and logic

Some of the big takeovers in the pay TV arena have taken analysts by surprise, but that will not be the case if, as looks increasingly likely, Microsoft tables a bid for Netflix. We all know where the rumour began, with the announcement early in October that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was standing down from his other big role as …
Faultline, 03 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

TiVo: Cisco and pals could owe us BILLIONS over DVR patents

Since 2004, Faultline has been championing the idea that someone must have invented the DVR, and that it is a genuine invention, not a set of software patents like the flimsy patents filed by Apple, which we do not believe will ever stand up to scrutiny. And if TiVo genuinely does own those patents, which the last three court …
Faultline, 22 Oct 2012
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk's YouView: Why no Wi-Fi?

Better late than never has been a popular analyst response to the UK’s YouView hybrid connected TV platform, and it could equally well apply to the TalkTalk TV service re-launched on the back of that, just as BT Vision has been. It has got some things right, such as bundling the service free with broadband, and allowing …
Faultline, 07 Oct 2012
Barnes and Noble Nook HD+

Nook pulls on backpack, heads for Europe and flings with foreigners

There are a lot of Nooks in the US, maybe 10 million, maybe more, no one is quite certain as the company only releases revenues, which are up at around $192m a quarter for the Nook, not unit numbers. But at an average purchase price of $200 including media, that‘s about 4 million devices a year, since in first launched. But all …
Faultline, 01 Oct 2012

French firm snatches Italian set-top contract from Blighty's Amino

French digital video specialist Technicolor has snatched away a central set top contract from UK's Amino, the set top company that has so far blazed a trail in the hybrid Intel-based set top market. Technicolor has announced that it will supply the next generation set top for Telecom Italia‘s Cubovision. The MediaPlay range of …
Faultline, 17 Sep 2012

Thomson joins vid-streamers' rush for MPEG-DASH

Now that the web vid spec MPEG DASH has been published and interoperability testing is well underway, vendors are starting to put their cards on the table with serious deployments. One of the first to build DASH into products is Thomson Video Networks, which is now supporting it in its ViBE VS7000 multi-screen video platform, …
Faultline, 09 Sep 2012

France U-turns on public TV advertising

It might seem a no-brainer for the French government to revive prime time TV advertising on the France Television public channels, after all public finances are under relentless pressure, and the advertising ban was the controversial policy of the last government, brought in by Nicholas Sarkozy in January 2009. But the problem …
Faultline, 02 Sep 2012

Pay TV giant Hulu becomes victim of its own success

The latest rumour of Hulu CEO Jason Kilar’s imminent departure sounds like a good old silly season story designed to fill the void of empty news pages while people are on vacation. But the fact Hulu has been attracting such rumours while other big hitters in pay TV never seem to get them, itself provides a clue to a story of …
Faultline, 28 Aug 2012