Mobile Video on Diet with Social Graph

A new Bell Labs study suggests by 2020, consumers in the United States alone will access seven hours of video each day, up from 4.8 hours today, and will increasingly consume this additional video on tablets, both at home and on the go.

Consumers are expected to switch from broadcast content to video-on-demand services, which will grow to 70 per cent of daily consumption compared with 33 per cent today.

Their findings:

  • The proportion of time spent watching managed video-on-demand services and web-based video (also known as over-the-top – ‘OTT’ – providers) will grow from 33% to 77%. This will come at the expense of traditional broadcast TV services, whose relative share of time will drop from 66% to 10%.
  • Internet-based video consumption each year will grow twelvefold, from 90 Exabytes to 1.1 Zettabyes (an exabyte is equal to 1 billion gigabytes, a zettabyte is equal to 1,000 exabytes.
  • On-demand video services, such as high definition premium movie services as well as video sharing sites, will become even more popular over the next five years.

As a result, on-demand video will command an increased share of viewing hours, causing peak-hour traffic at the ‘edge’ of new IP-based networks to grow 2.5 times faster than the amount of traffic on the broadband connections reaching households.

Alcatel-Lucent concludes that shifting to a distributed IP edge architecture — and employing modern high-performance, intelligent service routers and CDN caches — like their own Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router — will enable service providers to meet future residential bandwidth while realizing significant network savings.

Flurry Analytics shows viewers are spending an average of two hours per day (127 minutes) using mobile apps, up 35 percent from last year. In contrast, consumers in the U.S. have been watching an average of 168 minutes of television per day.

The 30 million Netflix members view over 1 billion hours of Netflix per month, so they have very reliable data for consumers to compare ISPs in terms of real world performance.

Hulu has more than 3 million subscribers for its $7.99 per month Hulu Plus service, more than doubling what it had a year ago, company CEO Jason Kilar wrote in a blog post.

MobiTV is utilized by all the major US carriers for streaming video, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, US Cellular and others.

MobiTV CTO, Kay Johansson, believes that wireless delivery of video is will be delivered by a combination of Unicasting, using technology like MobiTV for video on demand over a dedicated cellular channel, and multicasting, using standards like evolved MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services).

One big breakthough, according to Kay, is the adoption of the H.265 standard (High Efficiency Video Coding), expected in 2013. It is expected to reduce the bandwidth requirements of HD video by 30%-50%. Where H.264 required 6-8 Mbps for HD video, H.265 requires only 3 Mbps.

At the 2012 Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm demonstrated a HEVC decoder running on an Android tablet, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, showing H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC versions of the same video content. In this demonstration HEVC showed almost a 50% bit rate reduction compared with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

It is thought capable of delivering 720p HD quality video at 2 Mbps or less over a managed or unmanaged broadened network. The new standard is in its final draft and is expected to be approved by early 2013.

MobiTV has collaborated with Amino to develop a next generation TV Everywhere offering, consisting of an Amino set-top box fully integrated with MobiTV’s technology platform. Amino’s settop is powered by an Intel Atom CE 5300 media processor.

Live sports and VOD programing are expected to compliment each other, in a multi-screen environment. MobiTV already is supported by 275 devices. A recent ASAP settlement has taken away some of the uncertainty of wireless fee payments and the growth of tablets and smartphones seems to indicate a bright future.

Nielsen and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Twitter has become the de-facto second-screen chat room for television viewers.

This is being pitched as a syndicated industry-standard metric based entirely on Twitter data, not the standard Nielsen boxes that are placed in a scattering of US households. The new rating will be made available in the fall of 2013, and is built on the SocialGuide platform from NM Incite.

“As a media measurement leader we recognize that Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data,” said Steve Hasker, President, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.

eMarketer expects U.S. mobile advertising to nearly triple this year to more than $4 billion, largely driven by stronger ad sales for Facebook Inc., Google Inc., and Twitter.

Clearwire’s TD-LTE network will leverage carrier aggregation to bond two 20 MHz channels into a fat 40 MHz pipe. That should deliver 500-600 Mbps. Nokia did 1.6 Gbps using a 60 GHz channel. “The near-term goal here isn’t to provide 500 Mbps or 1 Gbps to a single customer, but rather a consistent 5-10 Mbps to 100 different customers in the same cell”, says Clearwire CTO John Saw. That’s television with H.265.

If “wireless cable” is even feasible , then it’s going to happen either on Dish’s 40 MHz of 2.1 GHz spectrum or on Sprint’s 2.6 GHz band.

Google could buy 2.6 GHz spectrum wholesale from Sprint, but Charlie Ergen has the Blockbuster franchise. That’s something both Sprint and Google could use. Meanwhile, Dish may have a hard time turning down a suitcase of cash from AT&T, while Carlos Slim probably doesn’t want to build a (redundant) network any more than Charlie Ergen does.

I’m still going with Google and Dish on Sprint towers. Then Sprint will sell 40 MHz of 2.6 GHz to AT&T. We’ll find out soon enough if I’m full of s***.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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