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Thursday, May 12, 2016

The future implementation of VR is a game changer: Insights from Giraffic

Yoel Zanger, CEO, Giraffic, provides insight on several key industry trends for Parks Associates’ 20th-annual CONNECTIONS Conference, which will be held May 24-26 in San Francisco:

How is your company engaging consumers through new technology solutions?

For several years we have witnessed a shift in video content consumption. More consumers are watching their video online from a variety of OTT services or social channels. In addition to the growth in consumption, the quality of video resolution is also growing rapidly as the video industry transitions from HD to 4K. Today, consumers have more devices that are able to display crisp video resolution, but they're forced to settle for less because there is a gap between the actual Internet speeds available and the bandwidth requirements for high quality. Girafffic Adaptive Video Acceleration™ (AVA) technology bridges that gap by optimizing the existing network infrastructure on the device-side, delivering broadcast TV quality over the Internet on any SmartTV, media streaming device, smartphone or tablet. AVA helps consumers, device manufacturers and content providers tap the full potential of their HD and UHD 4K devices that are hindered by network congestion and huge content downloads.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the past year in the connected home and entertainment industries?

The biggest change is in the way content is being consumed, VR, and the growing abundance of live streaming. Consumption of OTT content, on any device, is becoming mainstream – and consumers who in the past would compromise for sub-par image quality and occasional buffering, are gradually beginning to expect a similar Quality-of-Service from Netflix as they do from Comcast. Additionally, UHD 4K and HDR formats – previously a gimmick with little content being offered, have started making its break into premium content services and connected TV devices. Live streaming becomes the next big thing for consumers. The rise of multiple live streaming social platforms and the future implementation of VR is definitely a game changer. The traditional sports are also embracing the technology, offering live streams of games in addition to cable broadcast (e.g. NFL, NCAA). Live event and awards shows proved significant draws for live video as well (e.g. Grammys, Oscars). VR is a radical change because it requires tremendous amount of video data (and consequent bandwidth) to deliver the 360 immersive VR experience.

What do you think is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

The biggest driver is not attributed to a single phenomenon, rather to a combination of HDR and UHD 4K content growth, penetration of VR and live streaming.

What is the greatest challenge for the connected home industry in the next year?

The greatest challenge for the connected home industry is the connectivity itself. Constantly growing number of platforms relying on the existing internet connection to deliver high-speed, reliable and responsive performance, either at home or on-the-go. With content consumption migration towards OTT, broader UHD 4K content availability, VR and growing popularity of live streaming, we are facing a tremendous amount of data traffic while the infrastructure remains the same. Despite the recent innovations made in the broadband connectivity, due to network congestions very few users can in fact stream smoothly even a 720p movie. Networks' ability to support consumer demand, providing high-quality and immersive experiences and all at the same time, will require additional advancements on both client and network sides. In the past, these constraints have been to some extent shadowed by the lack of enough UHD and VR content or supporting devices footprint, but now that these technologies are becoming mainstream in content providers’ offering and in devices, it is the network pipe that blocks this growth.

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Zanger will speak on the session “CE Innovations to Navigate VR and Personalize the Content Ecosystem” on Tuesday, May 24 at 4:15 p.m. Other speakers on the panel include Samsung and Technicolor.

For more information on CONNECTIONS, visit www.connectionsus.com or register by clicking here.

Next: Nuance: Simple and intuitive intelligent devices are biggest drivers for the connected consumer market
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