Charles Cheevers, CTO of Arris, on the different forces affecting the multiscreen video industry, the number one consumer complaint around multiscreen video, and his plans for the recently-acquired assets of Motorola Home.
Charles’s colleague Ian Greenblatt, director of content strategy & business development at Arris, will be speaking at the TV:Xperience event taking place in New York City on July 15th-17th. For more information and to register, please visit www.tvxperienceevent.com.
The landscape for multiscreen video services seems to be in constant flux. Why is that?
It’s a complex solution to solve, and a multidimensional problem including content formats, streaming protocols, conditional access and DRM as well as cloud, gateway and set-top box elements.
Additional to those dimensions is also a design-once user interface solution that is required to be somewhat consistent across all screens and devices. Technology is evolving to make this multidimensional problem easier.
So roll the clock forward to today and this multidimensional problem is finally settling down as we now have a ‘perfect storm’ for the multiuser experience.
We have new gateway and IP set-top boxes which have high DMIPS and GPU capabilities to allow for an HTML5-derived user experience. The same solution can also run on tablets and smartphone devices with minimal effort and with minor modifications to suit the smaller screen size.
We have improving Wi-Fi networks in the home that allow for higher bitrates and lower latency to more connected devices, giving a better user experience. Leading gateway products in particular employ beamforming solutions to maximise the bandwidth potential to multiscreen devices
We have now finally brought the cloud to the home with growing DOCSIS/IP capacity, where we see 500Mbs IP networks today and 1 Gbs IP networks in 2014
With the gateway in particular and cloud solutions being able to synchronise events and delivery across multiple end devices – the multiscreen solution now allows best use of the right device for the right function with ability to use the tablet for off main screen interaction, as well as synchronise content to both the main screen and second screens
So, more in a state of evolution rather than flux – and with the possibilities infinite to develop applications across a multiscreen solution – expect to see lots more innovation in this space.
What do you think is the number one consumer complaint around multiscreen services?
“When can I have them” is a common complaint, along with the lack of true seamless interaction with media and services. Remember that the rollout of these services is relatively new and a huge growth opportunity.
We have just started to unlock the potential of tablets and smartphones with the TV and set-top box and gateway systems, and have started to introduce true multiroom DVR solutions with pause and play in seamless fashion.
More and more applications are now being delivered to the tablet and smartphone to interact with the main screen, and through technologies such as DLNA and cloud DVR we are now seeing how rapidly we can build applications that rely on information and use of multiscreen devices.
So their number one complaint is probably that it’s still in its infancy, and the attractiveness of things like multiroom are now whetting their appetite for more.
With its acquisition of Motorola Home now complete, how does Arris plan to enhance the multiscreen experience for viewers?
With continued execution of our plans for Medios/DreamGallery and the completion of our Whole Home Solution – we had very similar plans in both companies – the blend of both companies’ multiscreen solutions has been very complementary, and we are delivering improved multiscreen features to both platforms and customers every day.
The Whole Home Solution has introduced a new Application Carousel bringing a range of new lean forward applications to the TV, and with DreamGallery supporting HTML5 solutions on many new platforms, we feel we have a strong portfolio of default solutions and the frameworks to customise to particular tastes for each customer – to make their solution uniquely differentiated.
Look out for new exciting additions to these platforms as we look to bring the best of both worlds for MOXI and DreamGallery to both sets of our customers
On the operator side, what momentum do you expect in the US through 2013?
We see tremendous demand for more and more multiscreen solutions to play content on every device, use devices as navigation and content selection devices, and of course the large opportunity for advertising that gives service providers more opportunity to target relevant advertising on second screens in the context of the primary TV video content.
We also see advances in the use of social media interaction with the TV content driving more multiscreen applications.