A number of top broadcast technology providers will exhibit at ANGA Cable next month, offering one of the earliest opportunities to see the latest launches from NAB, without the inconvenience of travelling all the way to Las Vegas.
NAB will always be broadcast technology first choice for debuting new products and innovations.
IBC is often the first chance that many in the Middle East will have to see these exhibits outside of the Las Vegas extravaganza. However, three weeks after the conclusion of NAB, more than 300 of the industry’s leading cable, broadband and satellite firms meet in Cologne for ANGA Cable.
Last year’s exhibition attracted 13,600 visitors with conditional access firms, satellite service operators and network technology manufacturers prominent on the list of exhibitors this year. The show provides the region’s broadcast engineers with an opportunity to see the latest technology four months ahead of IBC and with fewer tourists and souvenir hunters to compete with.
The event’s organiser, the Association of German Cable Operators (ANGA) announced late last month that it had already sold out all available exhibition space at the show in another sign of good health for the industry.
“We are pleased with the renewed confidence of out exhibitors,” says Dr Peter Charisse, managing director, ANGA. “Our concept with a close connection between the exhibition element and the congress, with a clear focus on the business clients of the TV and broadband sector has again proven a success.”
The event’s congress has also developed a strong reputation attracting larger numbers of delegates than the conference streams of other more established exhibitions.
As well covering traditional broadcasting topics, this year’s edition will also look at some of the fundamental issues surrounding distribution by broadband and more specifically, whether the future of high-speed internet lies with fibre networks or LTE.
“The range of topics covered in this year’s congress programme is wider than ever,” says Charisse. “The strategy panels will cover broadband and media politics, the latest fibre and headend technologies as well as copyright and licensing law for digital TV and IPTV.”
Companies taking part in the congress at the time of print include Ericsson, MTV Networks, Cisco, Alcatel Lucent and Discovery Networks.
The show runs from May 4-6 at the Cologne Fair Grounds Congress Centre East, Germany.
ANGA Cable’s mix of broadcasters, telco operators and network technology firms attracts a unique segment of exhibitors and visitors. The show’s emphasis on delivery and transmission rather than production, provides a unique opportunity for certain areas of the industry to take the limelight.
T&M and quality monitoring
A number of test and measurement and quality monitoring firms will line-up the latest and greatest offerings at the show. The cable and IPTV prejudice of the show could see firms specialising in these areas receiving high-quality traffic. Among them will be Bridge Technologies (Stand J50).
The monitoring and analysis tools manufacturer was recently named as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the EMEA region by Deloitte Touche Tomatsu (DTT).
The annual Deloitte technology Fast 500 list charts the fastest-growing technology companies across all sectors, based on the average growth rate during the previous five years.
Bridge Technologies achieved an impressive growth rate of more than 2300 percent for the last five years.
“To be ranked in 63rd in the top 500 technology firms in the entire EMEA region is quite an achievement for such a young company,” says Simen Frostad, chairman, Bridge Technologies. “Our rapid growth is a reflection of the people in the company and the quality of the products that offer the industry.”
Deloitte points out that the achievements of the companies on this year’s list are even more impressive given the prevailing economic climate experienced during the past three years.
Conditional access and content security
The conditional access market is as fiercely competitive in Europe as it is in the Middle East, even if the perceived level of piracy is somewhat lower. A number of top vendors will be exhibiting at ANGA Cable including some of this region’s most active players. The cable-focused show could see IPTV solutions given the prime focus.
Conax (Stand K21) will go into the show off the back of a successful 2009. The Norwegian firm extended its global market share in the DVB sector to 15 percent.
Last month the company announced a new partnership in the Middle East with satellite systems integrator Technosat. The deal will see Conax’s smartcard security system used to protect Technosat’s satellite HD platform.
Technosat currently distributes around one million STBs in the Middle East each year.
The company also agreed a deal with PVR innovator TiVo.
Conax security will be integrated into a number of the manufacturer’s products on platforms currently operating Conax security. The deal covers Scandinavia, mainland Europe and India.
“While the European market is ripe for VOD and other interactive services, many operators are stifled by the expensive integration efforts needed to convert roadmaps into reality,” says Geir Bjorndal, executive VP products and markets, Conax. “TiVo has a phenomenal reputation in the US, not only for inventing the PVR, but for creating the market’s most comprehensive hybrid broadcast/broadband platform. They are the only player that has successfully integrated top-tier content from diverse Internet sources like Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube, and Amazon VOD along with linear television into a single, vivid user interface,” added Bjorndal.
Video transport hardware
As broadcast and telecoms technologies have converged, there has been a need for network technology expertise tailored for clients looking to transport video in large quantities. The combination of telco and broadcast engineering knowledge has created a niche area of expertise that several vendors are now profiting from.
One of the key players in this field is Swedish manufacturer Net Insight (Stand A21).
The company has already secured key deals with Tata Communications and the European Broadcast Union (EBU).
Last month the company also announced an extension to its existing deal with international media management and content delivery firm GlobeCast.
The company’s network is based on Net Insight’s Nimbra platform and currently transports 10 million hours of video a year. In order to accommodate the additional traffic that it will handle this year due to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa the firm will be re-enforcing its infrastructure. The order includes a number of additional nodes to be installed on site to cope with the additional contribution services for GlobeCast customers.
An additional media network will also be installed to serve an unnamed broadcaster. The network will manage amount of uncompressed and compressed video channels on a number of different formats.
“The Nimbra platform offers the most efficient and flexible contribution and distribution platform,” according to Fredrik Tragardh, CEO, Net Insight.
“We’re delighted to support GlobeCast’s ability to win new business and to once again transport our customer’s mission critical services like the World Cup.”
As set top boxes (STB) play an increasingly important role in determining the scope of an operator’s services, finding the right partner becomes increasingly crucial.
In the Middle East the emergence of triple play services in more markets means new business for STB manufacturers. The creation of additional encrypted platforms by premium sports channels creates additional new opportunities for the STB industry.
Humax (Stand H15) recently demonstrated the opportunities available after snapping up the exclusive contract to provide the ADMC with the STBs for its encrypted satellite-based EPL coverage.
STBs are also becoming an increasingly important device for consumers and have evolved from devices that quietly decode TV signals into an integral part of the customer experience.