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The 2020 TV Experience

by Shaun Ebelthite on Nov 4, 2014

What will be the TV viewing habits of the future, how are TVs going to change to meet these demands in the next six years and what are the challenges holding the industry back? These were some of the questions that an expert panel at IBC in Amsterdam this year tried to answer.

Extensive research conducted by Ericsson and published in its Mobility Report for 2014 suggested that the broadcast industry is experiencing the beginning of a new dawn for television, driven in large part by IP trends.
The TV and media industry is being affected by a rapid upswing of mobile broadband subscriptions, especially in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the USA, but also here in the Middle East.

According to Ericsson there will be 9 billion people in the world contributing to more than 8 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.5 billion homes with digital television by 2020.

It is this rampant growth over the next six years that will likely see IPTV become the dominant media transmission method globally, replacing traditional satellite television. Furthermore, by 2020 the Pay TV subscriber market will be worth US$460 billion, according to Ericsson.

It was against this backdrop that Pete Thompson, senior vice president of the Mediaroom Business Group at Ericsson, and three other leading industry figures held an in-depth discussion on the side-lines of IBC in Amsterdam, looking at how the TV and media business would evolve in the next six years.

The 2020 TV Experience discussion brought together Erik Huggers, former president of OnCue, USA, John Honeycutt, chief technology officer, Discovery Communications and Patrice Slupowski, vice president of digital innovation at Orange.

What was apparent from the very start was that these rival firms, perhaps reluctantly, hold common ground on the most serious issues holding the industry back from reaching its full 2020 potential, while all envision a different TV experience for the end user within the next six years.

An over-riding theme that came out of the discussion was that it is not in fact technology that holds the industry back, but its current business models. In terms of multiscreen TV especially, all agreed that rights management software such as DRM needs to be updated to reflect the increasingly fluid nature of TV viewership in the years ahead.

Asked whether the industry will see the end of the PVR by 2020, there was unanimous agreement that while the technology for extensive VOD libraries exists, DRM would never allow it. “The one evil technology out there that has held the industry back for a very long time is DRM,” Erik Huggers, former president OnCue, USA said firing the first shot.

“It’s mandated by the content producers for the right reasons, but it is anti-consumer in every possible way imaginable. It has created artificial barriers for consumers that have held back the industry, portability and use cases,” he said.

Slupowski agreed: “We’re talking about just six years between the dream and the reality,” he told delegates. “At Orange we’re working on something called re-wind TV, but the prototype needs another 20 years to reach its full potential because of rights issues.”

Having just shown the audience a video outlining Ericsson’s vision of the 2020 TV experience of the future, Pete Thompson threw cold water on the idea to some extent with the observation that “It’s usually not technology that holds us back, its business models and business relationships”.

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I think we will love the mobile tv better at the future.And everyone will have his own Channel,he will works as Director


Readers' Comments

CamMy TV(cammy-tv.com) (Apr 4, 2015) China

Expections on the Future TV
I think we will love the mobile tv better at the future.And everyone will have his own Channel,he will works as Director,Cameraman,Producer at the same time.And the current channels will be threshed into history.


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