Cloud computing is a reality that is becoming more relevant to everything, including the navigation used in cable, Michael Adams, VP, software strategy, Ericsson, said during a Tuesday session at the Cable Show.
“We are moving toward this thing we are calling multiplatform TV where TV will seamlessly extend from one device to another,” Adams said.
In this environment, cable operators can’t spend six months making changes to a guide only to find it has fatal flaws. “They (could) use third party developers. It is cheaper. (And,) take advantage of the latest and greatest tools,” Adams said.
He pointed to the iPhone and Yahoo! Connected TV frameworks as “great application environments,” based on a client server model. While this could be used in a set-top box, it hasn’t been largely deployed. “There are some limitations in interactivity and the ability to do animation.”
Scalable vector graphics (SVG) could be part of the solution too as they provide graphical power in both small platforms and larger TVs and don’t lose quality if they are zoomed or resized. “The client software environment is simple. What is happening is you are running a dynamic Web page in a set top box. SVG is doing the graphics and the rest is common stack,” Adams said.
In this new world of TV everywhere, consumers need help discovering content, Michael Kazmier, CTO, Avail-TVN, and another “Cloudy with a Chance of Breakthrough: New Models for IP Service Delivery” panelist, said. He suggested a federated distributed environment as a way for operators to provide this assistance.
“You need to think about how you as a service provider can add value and differentiation…If consumers can’t find what they are looking for when they want it, you have failed as a service provider and are not adding value to the relationship,” Kazmier said.
In addition to wanting TV everywhere, consumers are starting to demand gaming on their own time on any device, said Charlie Jablonski, VP, operations, OnLive. Hosted gaming as a cloud based service can help operators give this to them.
One of the biggest concerns in this scenario is round-trip latency, which should be under 80 milliseconds. Latency can be affected by anything from the monitor, to the firewall, to the video compressor, some of which OnLive’s solution helps to alleviate, Jablonski said.
“The game market is very ripe for this. There is only one selling window right now–right before Christmas. A cloud-based system allows the ability to roll out episodics and to (extend) the selling cycle,” Jablonski said.