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Bite of Super Search Me!: Designing Video Guides

Are all video guides destined to look the same?

A review of the guides in market gives the impression that the design is etched in stone – a law of nature. It’s true that the TV guide has survived decades without undergoing  any serious innovation. The real culprit behind this UX stagnation is the underlying data that powers the guide. If all designers have is the same old generic metadata, they have no choice but to craft yet another grid-based guide.

But what if we re-invent the underlying data? Give the designers rich, descriptive data about titles and user tastes. Let them think about what experience users really want and then give them the data to build the ultimate personalized TV experience.

Simply Smarter OTT and TV Everywhere services

Over-the-Top TV (OTT) & TV Everywhere services are revolutionizing the way TV is delivered and consumed, in the home and on the go. Xstream has been a pioneer in OTT and TV Everywhere since 1999, drawing on their extensive experience, Xstream work with world-leading Content Owners, Content Aggregators, Telcos, Cable operators and MSOs such as Telenor, Disney, Pathé, Canal Digital, Altibox, ProSiebenSat1 and

SBS Belgium taps Xstream for OTT delivery

One of Belgium’s major broadcasters, SBS Belgium, has selected Xstream’s video management system, MediaMaker, for its new OTT video service on web and mobile devices. Due for rollout later this year, SBS Belgium’s new offering will include ingest module securing an automated ingest workflow, Subscription based video-on-demand (SVOD) and Transaction based video-on-demand (TVOD) solution, encrypted with Widevine DRM.

Xstream Partners with MPP Global Solutions for OTT & TV Everywhere Monetisation

Xstream the premium provider of OTT and TV Everywhere services and vendor of the award winning video management system, MediaMaker, today announced their strategic partnership with MPP Global Solutions, the leading provider of Customer Relationship Management, Payment and eCommerce Solutions to the Media and Entertainment Industries. The partnership enables content owners to monetise content through seamless, flexible platforms building on over a decade of experience of both companies.

Pathé partners with Xstream for Widevine DRM on iOS & Android devices

Pathé is one of Europe’s leading film companies, with 22 movie theaters in the Netherlands. Pathé Thuis is the company’s online video service, offering premium HD quality movies on multiple devices. As part of this strategy, Pathé Thuis turned to Xstream to deliver Widevine DRM content protection for the iOS and Android platforms, enabling it to increase the amount of video content in direct response to consumer demand.

Set-top Box Over Kill


Following Amazons strong Q1 earnings, sources close to the e commerce giant have confirmed their development of a set-top box, which is set to release next year. Amazon’s progression into audience’s living rooms, following the introduction of their 14 original pilots and highly anticipated smartphone, means their keen to capitalize on audience’s changing behavior.

Tweet this: Ashley Swartz asks, “aren’t we already suffering enough from set-top box fatigue?”

My thoughts on

I finally got in on Aereo. For me its one of those things that just simply worked right out of the box as it were. Technology is so great when it just works. The service is good, I get local broadcast TV online, more importantly on my iPad. I know some networks are very upset with this but I'm not sure why. (Ted Rogers created an media empire this way.) It can't be because I might watch their network more than I do now. Is it because Aereo charges a fee for me to watch online? I guess. I bet the networks want a cut of that fee. That makes sense but I expect that situaton has been made overly complex. What doesn't make sense is threatening to pull your networks broadcast signal just to keep Aereo from carrying it on their service.

Xstream chosen as a Red Herring Top 100

Xstream chosen as a Red Herring Top 100

Xstream the premium provider of OTT and TV Everywhere services and vendor of the award winning video management system, MediaMaker, today announced that they won the prestigious Red Herring Top 100 Europe Awards and thereby also listed among the World’s most promising Technology companies.

What do 2013’s Upfronts mean for the 2nd screen, OTT and Social TV?

 At last year’s Upfronts, the big five networks saw an increase in spend of 2%, up from $8.8 billion to 9.3 billion, while cable networks where the ringers, seeing a 5% increase year over year. Yet, the drop in TV ratings, across all major networks, left programmers in a tight bind following the 2011/2012 Upfronts.

 Programmers must make good on their underdelivery of audiences, says Ashley Swartz, by getting creative with less ad dollars and turning out a greater profit for the coming year. Swartz says programmers in 2013 are now using the 2nd screen, OTT, and social TV space as currency; developing their own 2nd screen experiences, in a proliferation of TV everywhere apps., and independent check-in applications.

Bite of Super Search Me!: The EPG


Did you ever notice that all EPGs look pretty much the same? Besides the logo that appears in the corner, all on screen programming guides are basically clones. Over and over again we see the same basic grid layout; time and channel axes populated with program titles or images. It’s basically a glorified spreadsheet. As much as I love Excel, it’s not the experience I’m in the mood for when I watch TV. Excel is for work. Finding something good to watch shouldn’t feel like work.

For decades, Rovi made a good living by licensing their patented grid layout to TV providers, but evidence is growing that very few subscribers ever even look at the grid EPG.

Broadcasters and Operators can gain HUGE Savings in CAPEX and OPEX with Companion Screen Interactivity

As you might know I am a confirmed Interactive TV enthusiast, having been in this industry sector since its very early days.   The main dificulty in Interactive TV has always been the ROI.  How do you make money at it?   For the Broadcaster and Operator it is fast becoming more and more clear, but they have to change their thinking with respect to this area of Television and embrace a change in direction.  Why?  Cost Saving without cutting head-count, service reduction can be achieved and an actual revenue generating service can be implemented.  This makes sense for the long term financial health of teh Broadcasters & Operators.   Companion Screen Interactivity (SaaS based) is a natural CAPEX/OPEX ‘cost-saving’ exercise.

Hey, Oscars' Advertisers - Make the Most of Your Preroll

Keep Your Preroll Available


A Lesson from the Super Bowl 

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