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Cable's Tablet Habit Will Lead to a Management Headache
The cable industry has met the introduction of broadband-connected tablets and other IP video-capable devices in quick order. Only months after the iPad was officially introduced to the market in April 2010, Comcast demonstrated a way to use it as a TV remote control. When broadband-connected smart TVs emerged, Comcast and Time Warner Cable joined Samsung with on-screen apps for their TV Everywhere content. More recently, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Cox began streaming linear TV to iPads, with Android and other devices following in quick order.

But as multi-screen options proliferate with more devices and content, the challenges will multiply. Each device platform has its own unique requirements for video formats, resolutions, user entitlements, digital rights management (DRM), metadata, billing, subscriber management and business policies. For cable operators, handling all these pieces is like putting together a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. Cable will increasingly need comprehensive solutions that manage the wide variety of unique characteristics of each distribution avenue and device platform.

Cable network programmers are struggling with a growing thicket of challenges involving streaming, DRM and metadata, in addition to business rights issues with their cable operator affiliates and program producers. Content providers need rights enforcement, service providers need operational efficiency and consumers need a convenient user experience.

The cable industry is rising to the challenge of meeting consumer demand for video on multiple devices. The industry is moving toward adoption of technologies to process the many variations in content streams and device platforms. It is actively exploring steps to embrace all-IP service delivery.

But as cable's involvement with IP content grows, so too will the challenges of managing content and device requirements to deliver a high-quality experience for customers. The requirements associated with multi-screen management will continue to grow. And it is unlikely that standards or industry agreements will come along soon to ease the situation. Yet with the right management solutions, cable operators, content providers and device manufacturers can be assured that they will give consumers a quality experience and that their own business goals will be met.

Cable's Tablet Habit Will Lead to a Management Headache explores cable operators' interest in multi-screen IP video and the requirements for comprehensive management solutions that can help them provide customers with a convenient, consistent user experience. The report analyzes multi-screen management solutions from 16 companies that address management requirements in various ways.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (cii0512_toc.pdf)
While MSOs are actively serving more video to multiple screens, few have selected suppliers for multi-screen management solutions. Comcast has relied on thePlatform for much of its content management needs; Rogers recently announced a deal to utilize Cisco's Videoscape system; and other MSOs are relying on the suppliers listed in this report. But when it comes to implementing comprehensive systems for multi-screen management, the ground is fairly new and largely untapped. The following excerpt summarizes the growing activity by U.S. MSOs to embrace IP video and serve multiple devices.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS); Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR); Edgeware AB; Envivio Inc.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Espial Group; Harmonic Inc.; Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (NYSE: MMI); NDS Ltd.; Pace Americas, a division of Pace plc (LSE: PIC); SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC); thePlatform Inc.; UXP Systems Inc; and Verimatrix Inc.
Total pages: 15
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