IBC 2010 Bits and Bites: IPTV
The next frontier in television viewing will provide a customized, interactive experience for every viewer who tunes in. Throughout the IBC show last week, companies discussed and showcased ways to engage viewers in the programming they consume through Internet-enabled televisions and the IPTV platform. Here is some of the buzz from the IBC show floor.
Ericsson Takes the Game From TV to Laptop to Mobile
Ericsson exhibited both an IPTV remote control and multiscreen-TV technology that will allow sports fans to move content among devices in real time. Multiscreen-TV technology will enable fans to watch a game on their TV, pause it during a commercial and pull it up on their laptop, and then switch it to their mobile device at halftime. Each device will know the point at which the previous left off, so that the fans never have to miss a play.
The IPTV remote, which moves IPTV features off the screen and onto an auxiliary device, uses the same interface as a TV remote, so it is familiar to viewers from the get-go.
“If you’re watching TV at home and you’re used to using your remote, that’s what the screen looks like,” explains Ericsson Technology VP Matthew Goldman. “You want to be able to pause that piece of content and store it for later or, if it’s a live event, find it on another device like your mobile phone, if you have to leave the house. You can see the same user interface in all different ways, and that’s what makes it interesting and exciting for a consumer to use.”
For fans who look up stats or surf the Web while watching TV, the game is usually shrunk to a smaller box to accommodate the IPTV features on the TV screen. With Ericsson’s IPTV remote, however, a user can leave the game up full screen on the TV and access statistics on the IPTV remote, avoiding infringing on the viewing experience of others in the room.
“This way, you can share the information with the people with you, but everybody else has the game to watch,” Goldman says. “It’s also a separate device in and of itself, so you can walk it from one place to another.”
BBC Incorporates Olympic Archive Into 2012 Strategy
In time for the 2012 Olympics, the BBC has made a commitment to connect every UK citizen to a 2-Mb–bandwidth connection and to connect UK audiences to every single minute of Olympics action, using a multiplatform approach with IPTV at its core.
“For us, it’s an amazing opportunity as well as an extraordinary challenge,” says Tim Plymming, project executive for digital media at the BBC. “Internally, we see this as the moment where we move into the digital space as an organization.”
The 2012 Olympics will offer a showcase for IPTV. During the Summer Games, two dozen events can be in competition simultaneously. To bring together all that content, including its associated data and an archive of related content, the BBC will offer 24 simultaneous IPTV streams that will enable viewers to customize their viewing experience. Through an IPTV set-top box, schedules, scoring, and medal counts will be incorporated into the domestic television experience. Audiences will have the ability to choose what events they want to watch and to pull up the video history of that event as well by accessing the Olympic archive.
“We’re really passionate about this for some of the minority-sport audiences,” Plymming says. “We are really passionate about saying to those audiences that, for the first time, we’re not going to bump that content and you as a family can watch the whole of the equestrian coverage.”
Orad Virtually Facilitates Audience Interaction
“Audience interaction is key for broadcasters,” says Orad Sales and Marketing VP Shaun Dail. “Every television environment is changing, and they need to make it more compelling because they’re competing with other compelling mediums in different ways.”
Orad offers virtual-set applications and is showcasing a stereoscopic 3D virtual studio at IBC, which offers broadcasters the ability to incorporate audience interactivity in a whole new way. With virtual sets and iPad controllers, talent can virtually diagram plays that the audience wants to see diagrammed, as they ask for the breakdown.
“If there is a controversial play in the game, you can text in a question, which the talent can pull up immediately,” Dail explains. “They can answer your question, which puts you on the air, so you’ve been included. Now 100,000 other people are watching and texting in because they want to be included also. It’s a whole new way to keep an audience engaged.”