IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. “Connecting TV to the web is not just bringing web on TV,” Lora Aroyo, assistant professor at the Free University Amsterdam, told the audience of the Advancements of IPTV and VOD session at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam. “And we don’t consider Google TV to be a solution.”
Aroyo is working on a pan-European project called NoTube that aims to bring a more personalised experience on the TV, as well as for mobile and broadband video. “We are working with Stoneroos Interactive TV, Korea Telecom, Grass Valley and Engin TV to bring a personalised TV guide,” she said. Also in development is personalised news with the Italian state broadcaster RAI and social media in cooperation with the BBC.
The NoTube project will combine semantics for data and users. “It is very difficult to match TV data and user data. The user data are very much isolated in silos on places like Facebook and Twitter.” NoTube is also looking for ways to surprise the user, for instance by surfacing programmes buried in the long tail and finding interesting relations.
(Three demonstrators can be seen at the IBC for News, Social Media and the Personalised EPG and ads demonstrator based on the iFanzy EPG from Stoneroos, which can be accessed online, on mobile and on set-top boxes.)
Maria Ingold, head of technology at FilmFlex in the UK, told the audience how she built the VOD platform and the challenges involved in combining content from over 30 different suppliers that come in all shapes and sizes. The company is only 15 people strong and Ingold claims to be an operation at “a fraction of the cost’ of other systems.
Contracts are in place with all major Hollywood studios, as well as all UK independents. FilmFlex is tco-owned by Sony and Disney and the provider for the Virgin Media cable VOD service, as well as a broadband on-demand service. Until now, 60+ million rentals have been realised. “We now do 1 million rentals a month.”
NBC Universal’s Mike Wilkinson explained how the company protected its Winter Olympics coverage from Vancouver. Using a two-prong approach, a team of 20 people were monitoring the web 24 hours a day for pirated usage, after which fingerprinting was used sending automated links to the International Olympic Committee in order to take action against pirated content.
Interestingly, about 35% of all pirated content that was taken down came from manual observation. The fingerprinting allowed UGC websites that were cooperating to automatically bounce any content from the games. “This works like a bouncer at a club. When people try to upload this content, it is automatically rejected.”