Second-Screen

EBU BroadThinking 2014: Forget Multiscreen, We Are Heading Towards ONE Screen

EBU BroadThinking 2014: Forget Multiscreen, We Are Heading Towards ONE Screen

This year the EBU BroadThinking Conference was sounding like a holistic swirl, a milestone in the trend of technology to define sets that are greater than the sum of their parts, through creative evolution. « Where Broadcast Meets BroadBand », you get some interesting fusion effect occurring and diluting the traditional boundaries of the screens, with the handheld devices being part of the big screen experience or extending it rather than trying to scalp it, in an environment where all the devices converge towards a restricted set of standards rather than tracing their own line.

EBU BroadThinking 2013 – the state of the art rendezvous for OTT and Hybrid TV // DAY 2 & DEMOS Report

EBU BroadThinking 2013 – the state of the art rendezvous for OTT and Hybrid TV // DAY 2 & DEMOS Report

Nothing was more welcome after day 1 of EBU BroadThinking 2013 than a good night of sleep, in order to reset the tech hype counters and make some mental room for two new sessions on broadcasters' CDNs and the latest advances of #hybrid platforms. What would be the best broadcasters' CDN architectures today, what would be their smartest (green) evolutions, would CDN-Federation standards finally bring interop reality over hopes, what would be the most advanced deployments and future of HbbTV, how it compares with YouView in the UK : day 2 agenda was looking quite attractive - and indeed the presentations were packed with valuable informations and experience feedbacks.

EBU BroadThinking 2013 – the state of the art rendezvous for OTT and Hybrid TV // DAY 1 Report

EBU BroadThinking 2013 – the state of the art rendezvous for OTT and Hybrid TV // DAY 1 Report

Geneva in late March doesn't feel as wild as a Las Vegas boulevard, but still there was a reasonable amount of gaming excitement at the EBU headquarters, where several events were following each other, beginning with a #dash Interoperability Forum meeting which was closely followed by the BroadThinking event, where industry actors and broadcasters come to show off their latest implementations advances and/or share the results of their real-life deployments or research studies. A good way of managing the transition between TV Connect and NAB... Where Broadcast meets Broadband : that's the promise of the EBU's hybrid event which flies between industry competition, standardization efforts and broadcasters' realpolitik - all wrapped in a warm and funny ambiance provided by the various speakers and the EBU team. The 2013 edition was a major success because it allowed the participants to get a rather good idea of the general trends of the industry, and at the same time to go deep in technology when needed, while having opportunities to discover edge tech demos on the lobby attending the conference room.

Synchronized Second-Screen technologies panorama

Synchronized Second-Screen technologies panorama

Some pioneer second-screen applications have been deployed over the past year, so we now can find various use cases for content synchronization, from live TV shows to BluRay and soon VOD, for a wide range of interactive features like quizz/votes, branded merchandising, interactive ads and so on (high creativity required here)… To make the connected devices aware of the content, all of these apps use either automatic content recognition (ACR) via fingerprinting or content tagging via audio watermarking, using the tablet’s microphone as the audio capture source. There are some other techniques, more or less identified, that can also be used, we’ll see it later on.