Yes, you read the headline correctly. Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) (ALU) has been recognized by the United States’ National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with an Emmy® Award for Technology and Engineering. The reason for the award is for ALU’s “Pioneering Work in Implementation and Deployment of Network DVR”, the digital video recorder technology that gives viewers complete control over how they watch television by leveraging the capabilities of the Cloud.
How Network (Cloud) DVR is changing the game
If you have not been fortunate enough to experience it yet, Network DVR is what the name implies. It stores content in the Cloud rather than on a traditional DVR or set-top box. Think of it as TiVo (News - Alert) on steroids. What this translates into in terms of a user experience is that several shows can be recorded simultaneously. The big payoff is that your content can then be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device – TV at home, a smartphone or a tablet.
For those of us who travel internationally, especially with children on vacation, and/or if we are sports fans and wish to watch our favorite teams on a time-shifted basis this is a godsend. In fact, when it comes to time-shifted capabilities, the technology also enables a full array of services, such as ‘start-over’, rewind and catch-up TV.
Alcatel-Lucent is no stranger to being at the leading edge of IP video innovation. It has been at the forefront in developing Network DVR under the product nave Cloud DVR, and is being honored for this commitment along with fellow honorees Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems Corp.
As historical context, it should be noted that in this space ALU held one of the very first public demonstrations of the system in 2001 at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), and provided one of the first public deployments for Arcor (now part of Vodafone (News - Alert)) in Germany in 2007. This technology now serves millions of TV viewers around the world, including Swisscom who has deployed its Replay service with Alcatel-Lucent.
Riding the Cloud DVR wave in Spain with Telecable
In addition to the Emmy win, ALU revealed that Telecable will be expanding its Pay TV service from set-top boxes connected to TVs to multiple devices (including smartphones and tablets) to enable TV-anywhere services. As a result it will become the first cable operator in Spain to offer advanced, cloud-based personal video recording and will start rolling out new services on the platform in December of this year. The solution being used integrates ALU’s solutions with those of existing providers and includes two main components:
- A cloud platform combining the Platform mpx and Alcatel-Lucent software modules for the management of services, subscribers, commerce and content.
- An IP video head-end for processing of time-shifted TV services such as Catch-Up TV and personal recording. This comprises:
- Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix (News - Alert) Origin and Cloud DVR to record, store, publish and originate copies of video assets.
- Harmonic equipment to encode and transcode live and on-demand video streams.
- Verimatrix for Digital Rights Management and content protection.
Paul Larbey, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Video business, said: “We are extremely proud to be recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts& Sciences for our contribution to enhancing the way we all watch TV. Alcatel-Lucent was one of the first companies to recognize the potential for using Cloud and IP networking to replace the traditional set-top box or DVR in order to give viewers far greater freedom in how they watch TV, as well as enable Pay TV providers to develop innovative services at lower costs.” In a podcast, Larbey explained in more detail why Cloud DVR is so important to the future of video.
Robert P. Seidel, chairman of the Technology and Engineering Achievement Committee, said: “I want to congratulate Alcatel-Lucent for being recognized as one of a select few to be honored with the Emmy Award for Technology and Engineering for 2013. Your pioneering work in implementation and deployment of Network DVR showed excellence in engineering creativity and you join a distinguished history of honorees that are chosen each year by dozens of industry experts and peers.”
This is not the first time Alcatel-Lucent has been recognized for its contributions to the entertainment industry. In fact, it is the company’s second Emmy award: Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs (News - Alert) was honored in 1997 for work on digital television as part of the High-Definition TV (HDTV) Grand Alliance. Plus, Bell Labs also won an Academy Award® for Scientific and Engineering achievements back in 1937 for speaker design used for high-fidelity sound reproduction, and a Technical GRAMMY® Award in 2006 for outstanding technical contributions to the recording field.
image via shutterstock, credit: Joe Seer
With convergence now reality and not just a promise, and with Cloud and IP expertise helping drive the way video is generated and consumed, look for the contributions from infrastructure providers to be recognized more frequently going forward. Content may be king, but how the user experience it not just in real time but any time, all the time and anywhere is what is going to be the engine for the creation of next generation value. Congratulations to Alcatel-Lucent.
Edited by Ryan Sartor