Archive | Digital Tech Consulting

Tech Emerging Markets: IP Owners Cutting New Deals

Variable royalty pricing for the right to use proprietary technologies in high-tech consumer products is a trend that is afoot. While it lacks the drama of the Apple vs. Samsung smartphone patent wars, it is happening for some of the same reasons. Recent developments have both patent-pool licensors and individual companies creating a two-tier royalty […]

Will AI Power the Next Leap in Video Compression?

Artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in the digital content economy isn’t merely confined to better anticipating what TV series you’d like to binge watch next. It’s increasingly being brought to bear to solve a more challenging (and equally long-standing) technical problem: how to shave off bits from a video file without fatally compromising quality. While the […]

Will IP Transform the Broadcast Industry?

It might be argued that the difference between new video-service providers and the old ones (broadcast via cable, satellite and terrestrial) is that the new ones are simply using a different pipe (Internet) to get content into homes and to personal devices. This is true to a point but, of course, overly simplistic. There are […]

Capped America

Failed presidential candidate John Edwards once spoke of “two Americas.” While Edwards was making an economic pitch, his message, with a little temporal updating, could just as easily apply to the market for data. In one America—that of residential broadband—most users enjoyed unlimited data and zero restrictions. In another America, mobile broadband users faced tight […]

Nagra TVKey Looks To Eliminate Set-top Boxes Around The World

Swiss-based encryption-systems developer Nagra used last month’s CES 2017 to showcase a new conditional access (CA) platform that can eliminate the set-top box (STB) from the pay cable and satellite TV business paradigm, while bringing television manufacturers a potentially lucrative ancillary revenue stream. The company demonstrated at the show its TVKey platform, which is being […]

Is Net Neutrality In Trouble?

It was barely a blip in the tech press. On February 3, a Friday filled with the furor over the President’s refugee executive order, newly-minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a simple four-sentence statement: Today, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is closing its investigation into wireless carriers’ free-data offerings. These free-data plans have proven to be […]

How to Understand the FCC’s Thinking in the Trump Era

It’s nearly impossible for most people to digest the flood of news issuing out of Washington since the inauguration of President Donald Trump and keep their day job. So it’s no surprise that his pick for Federal Communications Chairman, Ajit Pai, flew mostly under the radar. But Pai’s FCC will be at the center of […]

Is 2017 the Year of UHD?

Hopefully TV suppliers and the content community learned their lesson in the great home 3D debacle. It goes something like this: Don’t promise a transformative and improved viewing experience unless you can deliver it. So now the industry is coalescing behind Ultra High Definition (UHD) as the next-generation in-home transformative viewing experience. When the “next […]

Why Google, Not Amazon, Will Win the Smart Home War

Every new technology brings with it a clash of competing standards, formats and operating systems. Veteran observers can recount the (rhetorically) bloody battles pitting Betamax against VHS, HD-DVD against Blu-ray, DVD-A vs. Super Audio CD, Mac vs. PC—we could go on. The format wars, as they’re colloquially called, are by no means over. There are […]

Many Monstrous Notes at CES 2017

While wandering around CES 2017, I was reminded of that scene in Amadeus, in which the Emperor Joseph II decides that the new opera by Mozart had “too many notes.” (The actual quote is “monstrous many notes” and referred to Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” but I digress.) That’s what I felt about CES—monstrous […]