Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Opposition to Project Canvas

As Project Canvas moves closer to reality, those that have the most to lose are mounting their opposition to the initiative. The Wall Street Journal today writes that Six TV, the largest holder of local TV licenses in the UK, has requested an investigation of Project Canvas by Ofcom. Six is not one of the member companies involved in Canvas and fears that the initiative will reinforce the dominance of the UK's traditional broadcasters.

Virgin Media and IP Vision have also lodged protests with Ofcom in hopes of slowing or derailing Canvas. Virgin is the UK's leading cable firm, and IP Vision currently sells its own Internet TV set top box. Reportedly BSkyB, the major DTH provider in the UK, may file a protest of their own.

In a very competitive market, opposition to Project Canvas is not surprising and will likely increase as we draw closer to the 2011 launch of Canvas-based boxes and services.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Parks Associates supports NY Games Conference

Parks Associates is supporting the NY Games Conference in New York on September 30th.

The most influential decision-makers in the digital media industry gather at NY Games Conference to network, do deals, and share ideas about the future of games and connected entertainment. NY Games Conference – now in its 3rd year – features lively debate on timely cutting-edge business topics. Executives from publishers, developers, advertising, investment firms, social networks, technology providers and content companies mingle together at this top industry event. More Info

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Hillcrest Labs chosen by LG Electronics to support 3D and connected TVs

Hillcrest Labs' Freespace® in-air pointing and motion-control technology has been chosen by LG Electronics for implementation in 3D- and Internet-ready televisions. The "Magic Wand" remote, which is powered by Hillcrest Labs' technology, will be included in some LG models. Also, Hillcrest announced that Sony has licensed some technology, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Tvinci and PeerTV - Web-connected set-top box announcement

We can expect to hear about a number of announcements related to online video, Web applications, and connected consumer electronics, particularly in Europe. We are entering several weeks in a row of major European consumer electronics and media events, highlighted by IFA in Berlin, IBC in Amsterdam, and Connected Home World Summit in London, where Parks Associates will be presenting a one-day workshop on Monday, 20 September.

In last week's Webcast - Connected TV Outlook - I covered the market for Web-connected consumer electronics, including televisions, Blu-ray players, digital video players, and game consoles. At the same time, the the venerable set-top box is going to be another device to watch. After all, whether it's the large digital terrestrial market (particularly in Europe, Asia, and other global regions) or pay-TV services (cable, telco/IPTV, satellite), getting Web content and applications to the viewer is going to be a significant theme over the next few years.

One of the pre-IBC announcements comes from Tvinci, a company specializing in online content management, and PeerTV, a set-top box and software company. Tvinci's media management solutions will allow PeerTV to deploy an end-to-end solution for operators wanting to deploy a paid online video service.

The Web-enabled set-top box market will be growing rapidly in the next five years, as shipments are expected to grow nearly 5x, reaching nearly 100 million units by year-end 2014.

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Apple's iTV rumor - a look at the numbers

Apple has invited the media to a music-themed event on September 1, leading to much speculation about what might be announced. Here are the potential announcements being kicked around:
  • Revamp to the iPod lineup;
  • TV show rentals for $0.99; and
  • An "iTV" product that might be a stand-alone set-top box like the Apple TV or an integrated connected TV.
The big question regarding Apple is whether it will continue to pursue the development of a stand-alone set-top box or develop a fully-integrated connected TV. The market for the stand-alone boxes – what Parks Associates terms Digital Video Players – will hit ten million unit sales in 2014, with total worldwide household penetration of 50 million households. However, the connected TV market is significantly larger. Worldwide sales in 2014 are expected to exceed 120 million units, with total worldwide penetration of more than 250 million households. Apple will likely choose the stand-alone device path, as the integrated connected TV market is already dominated by large consumer electronics manufacturers willing to trade lower margins for higher volumes of shipments.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Caregivers and their concerns for chronically ill family members drive early market for home health monitoring services

Parks Associates' groundbreaking consumer survey Uptake of Personal Health Tools & Services reveals important consumer insights on personal health technologies. Almost 20% of U.S. consumers who care for an ill family member are willing to pay out-of-pocket for a home health monitoring service, almost double the number who would purchase the service for themselves, according to Parks Associates.

Uptake of Personal Health Tools & Services finds consumer motivations for adopting home health monitoring include concerns they will be unable to accurately measure and track their loved one’s vital signs. They also fear they will be unable to detect warning signs of health decline for their loved ones, and they see home monitoring as a good solution. Several wireless chronic care management solutions are already available, including MedApps, Ideal Life, WellDoc, and Generation One, which tap into this early market. Read the press release

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Parks Associates speaks at EuroSummit '10

Kurt Scherf, VP & Principal Analyst, Parks Associates will be participating on the panel, "TV retakes center stage" at EuroSummit '10 on Thursday, September 23 at 10 AM in Budapest, Hungary.

Parks Associates is also a supporting organization of EuroSummit '10.

This two-day interactive marketing event is featuring the latest innovations in cable marketing and technology, branding and product trends, best practices, competitive strategies, customer care, customer lifecycle management and other key issues. Highly engaging, interactive and fun. More Info

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Parks Associates' Senior Research Analyst speaks at Digital Media Pipeline '10

Parks Associates is supporting the Digital Media Pipeline on September 15 in Los Angeles, CA.

Brett Sappington, Senior Research Analyst, Parks Associates will be presenting on TV Services and consumer habits during the Research Session on Wednesday, September 15 from 11:40 AM – 12:45 PM.

Digital Media Pipeline offers an opportunity for digital retailers, content owners and aggregators, and technology and service providers to share learnings and experiences in the business of retailing digital entertainment. This young industry is growing quickly, and new technologies and new business models are developing and testing almost weekly. Digital Media Pipeline offers opportunities for collaboration among partners in the supply chain.

For more information, click here.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Marvell acquires DS2 intellectual property and assets

Marvell's acquisition of the intellectual property and assets of DS2 has rolled up the last of the big independent powerline networking chipset vendors. First, CopperGate acquired the HomePlug assets from Conexant (and then itself got purchased by Sigma Designs), and Atheros purchased Intellon. It's a trend that signifies the importance of well-integrated networking solutions that may leverage at least a couple of networking technologies, including Wi-Fi and "no-new-wires." Second, these larger vendors are much closer to the end-user manufacturers, as they're building integrated solution for things like set-top boxes, modems, residential gateways, etc., and it's a sign that significant growth is coming in the embedded market for powerline networking solutions. Finally, with some corporate structure wrapped around the powerline assets, maybe we'll see some adult conversations occuring around how to finally end a ten-year+ standards battle in this market.

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Parks Associates hosts 'Connected TV Outlook' webcast, August 26

Join Parks Associates on August 26 at 1 pm CENTRAL for the HomeGrid Forum sponsored webcast, Connected TV Outlook, and learn more about how the key technology trends behind developments in this space.

Kurt Scherf, VP, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates will present analysis and forecasts from Parks Associates examining the following:

-- Analysis on key business and technology drivers for connected TV devices
-- Consumer appetite & drivers for the purchase & use of these connected CE
-- Consumer and industry research from multiple Parks Associates surveys and market reports

This webcast is sponsored by HomeGrid Forum. HomeGrid Forum is a global, non-profit trade group promoting the International Telecommunication Union’s standardization efforts for next-generation home networking.

Click here for Thursday, August 26th webcast registration information.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

WD TV Live - Best Selling Networked Digital Video Player

I had an interesting call with Western Digital yesterday regarding their WD TV Live Plus product, one that we categorize as a Networked Digital Video Player. They indicate that recent sales numbers actually have them leading this category for the U.S. market. They note that they're even beating the vaunted Roku Digital Video Player.

After years of hand-wringing about how (or if) digital media adapters would sell (which they really didn't until it was determined that streamed video was the one type of content that would spur their sales), Western Digital's role in consumer storage gives them an excellent brand at which to approach this market. If you look at the consumer segments that demonstrate the need for a stand-alone digital video player - lots of current consumption of online video, willingness to condider additional equipment to accomodate video streaming to the television, etc. - current network-attached storage users are a great fit. Our own data (see chart) shows just how much more NAS owners are interacting with online video.

In other connected TV news, Accedo Broadband has announced that it is in the TV apps business. Although the company has a legacy of developing gaming applications, it has expaded to include video and other digital media. They will be showing this at the upcoming IBC in Amsterdam.

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Parks Associates supports Music & Advertising 2010

Parks Associates is supporting the Music & Advertising from September 15-16 in Chicago, IL .

Join Billboard and Adweek in Chicago to explore how the worlds of music and advertising are intertwined, and examine how big brands, artists and music supervisors are benefiting from working together during captivating keynotes interviews, informative case studies, and interactive panel discussions. More Info

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Security beyond the PC: Intel buys McAfee

One of the key takeaways from our 2010 CONNECTIONS™ conference was a note that we would expect to see more activity in developing security solutions for devices beyond the PC. I have made note of some of the interesting activity in this space this year, particularly with companies such as Mocana being more active in developing security solutions for smartphones.

Today's news that Intel is buying McAfee for a is a reflection on the heterogeneity of IP devices, and Intel's own press release mentions ATMs, connected cars, Internet-connected televisions, medical devices, and mobile. Just a few weeks ago, McAfee aquired tenCube, the devleoper of WaveSecure, a locate, lock, back-up and wipe technology. The combination of McAfee's mobile security platform, with the WaveSecure solution and Trust Digital’s enterprise mobility management, users will have the ability to locate, lock, encrypt, protect against malware, wipe, filter, manage, back-up, restore and access their data online.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This TV Everywhere thing is getting interesting

There are more indications that TV Everywhere is going to mean more than just having programs available on the computer; it's going to encompass many consumer electronics platforms. Take, for instance, the announcement yesterday from Clearleap and RCDb, where a Blu-ray player can receive premium video-on-demand content. Then, look at Cablevision's Tom Rutledge (COO), who indicated that the company is already trialing IPTV applications to bring video to Web-enabled devices such as tablets, smartphones, and - presumably - connected CE devices such as TVs and Blu-ray players.

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One small TV to go, please...

Today, Verizon announced the development of an app that will allow streaming of FiOS TV to Apple iPads. Verizon's app further expands the growing TV Everywhere trend as well as the number of companies providing video content to the iPad platform. However, before you plan on watching reruns of Top Shot at the office, you may note that Verizon plans for the service to only be available inside the home for FiOS customers.

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Google TV is a tough sell for service providers and broadcasters

Today's Wall Street Journal indicates that Google has been in touch with broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC to encourage them to work with the service by sharing data about their online video websites to make it easier for Google to capture data for searching and to provide their video in a quality that will be high-quality enough for a television screen. So far, the broadcasters are not biting, according to the article. They have the same fears that the television service providers do - disruption of their ad models.

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3DTV coming of age soon

Jim O'Neill wrote a very nice overview of 3DTV on FierceIPTV.

The concept of 3D is becoming more of a reality as 3D-ready consumer electronics become more affordable and the availability of content increases.

There are many obstacles on the way to success: low consumer engagement, difficulties in marketing 3DTV effectively, advertising issues, etc.

However, as I told Jim, "there is no doubt in my mind that 3D is here to stay, and it will be a standard feature in sets being sold."

Increasing consumer awareness, lower prices, and quality content will contribute to its success.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Consumption of PC video is increasing, but TV still main video source

More U.S. households are watching online video and on a wider variety of devices now than two years ago, but they are not sacrificing their TV viewing to do so. Digital Media Evolution II found 40% of all U.S. broadband homes now regularly watch long-form video on a computer. However, service providers can allay their fears of cord cutting for now as high use of PC video does not yet correlate with decreased TV viewing.

People are using online video to fill in the gaps. When it comes to watching TV shows and movies, nobody’s first choice is the computer. People will watch this content on a computer when it is not convenient or feasible to watch on a TV.

Households with a high incidence for viewing PC video are also heavy DVD users. Both DVDs and the Internet are non-linear video sources. That makes them somewhat similar from the consumer’s perspective. They don’t care about the distribution method so much as the experience, which will be enhanced through the ability to view premium content on a variety of devices. Service providers and other video retailers that offer high-quality, consistent multiplatform viewing experiences will come out ahead in the battle for consumers’ eyeballs.

Digital Media Evolution II quantifies and analyzes the market demand for emerging media platforms, features, and services.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Parks Associates supporting FTTH Conference

Parks Associates is supporting the 2010 FTTH Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV from September 12th through 16th at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.

Don't miss the only FTTH event dedicated exclusively to all fiber, all the way! More than 1800 decision makers will gather in Las Vegas for the latest developments in FTTH products, solutions, technology and best practices in the industry. 50 track sessions, panels, keynotes and 130 exhibitors in the most comprehensive EXPO in the industry. More Info

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Energy management networks forecasted to be in over 9 million US households by 2014

Parks Associates' report Residential Energy Management: Forecasts for the Deployment of AMI and the Adoption of Energy-saving Products and Services finds over 80% of U.S. consumers are interested in reducing expenditures on energy consumption and willing to pay for cost-saving solutions. Cost-saving products and services that generate consumer interest include programmable thermostats, energy monitors and systems enhanced with energy-management capabilities, smart appliances, and energy-efficient CE systems.

However, the amount consumers are willing to spend does not cover the costs of required systems, creating a need for innovative business models that will enable a new energy management service industry.

Utility-based home area networks (HANs) are only one of several options for these solutions and services to enter the consumer market. By 2013, iREMs will outnumber utility-based HANs. By 2014, the vast majority of the nine million U.S. households with an energy management system will have an iREM. Engaging consumers is critical to success in this market. Business strategies must be developed that comprehend the magnitude of consumer education and support required for offerings in this arena.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Is Hulu really dying?

The popular online video site, Hulu has been gaining popularity and increasing its visitors since its launch date in 2007, but the popularity may be dropping off. Although Hulu has been proving that networks can make money by making their content available online for free, the number of videos viewed in June verus May decreased from 43 million to 24 million according to ComScore.

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Parks Associates supporting Mobile Marketing Association Forum, Brazil

Parks Associates is supporting the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum on September 2 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The 2010 MMA Forum in São Paulo brings together attendees from agencies, brands, carriers and other members of the global mobile marketing ecosystem. The annual event features a wide variety of keynotes, panels and presentations discussing the latest technology developments, case studies, and innovative ways of using the mobile channel to extend the reach and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. MMA Forum São Paulo attendees will have the opportunity to network and engage with marketers that have been successful in using mobile for customer acquisition, customer retention and brand building.

The event will feature case study presentations from companies sharing their perspectives on the Brazilian market and different markets within the Latin America region. The program will also include insight into mobile marketing in other regions of the world, as well as a pre-event “Introduction to Mobile” workshop, which will cover many elements of mobile marketing and the mobile industry landscape.

For more information about this event, click here.

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