TV CON is a unique annual event that brings together the Czech technological community.
This year’s edition, attended by Broadband TV News, included a wide range of presentations from both local and international industry executives. It got under way with one from Simon Frost, head of marketing and business development, EMEA AWS Elemental (Amazon), who spoke about the benefits of using the cloud. He was followed by Martijn van Horssen, CEO of 24i, a company that builds TV apps for premium content providers and lists Brazil’s Globo as one of its customers. In a Q&A, van Horssen was asked about HbbTV in the Netherlands and replied that it existed, though only in certain cable networks. In his view, the future is interactive overlays, which will be much more beneficial.
Iflix is an on demand platform currently making waves in developing markets in Asia and now also increasingly the Middle East and Africa. Czech Republic-based Hizam Sahibudeen, the head of engineering, provided a detailed overview of the service, with key takeaways including that it is currently exploring different business models; aims to have around 30 million users within the next six months; sees itself as complementary to, rather than a rival of, Netflix; and has no plans to expand to Europe.
Jan Zeman, the director of HbbTV at the Czech public broadcaster CT, discussed at some length its use of the blue button to point viewers to interesting new content. In a Q&A, he also said CT has no plans to use HbbTV for commercial purposes.
Meanwhile, Petr Mazanec, CTO of Mautilus, spoke about the commercial opportunities, unresolved issues and challenges of TV apps, drawing on the seven years of experience his company has gained in preparing such apps for customers all over the world.
Daniel Grunt, the director of Prima-on-line, provided statistical insights into the use of the red button. Using its own research, the broadcaster found that it could reach 260,000 viewers at any moment. Moreover, 1.9 million people see the red button on Prima channels, and once they get used to it video consumption is shifted to HbbTV.
Further insights were provided by Tomas Hanzak, the senior analyst at Nielsen Admosphere, in a presentation on the first findings of the PEM D measurement of internet consumption. These included that HbbTV is a subset of time shift on TV when consumed on the internet and accounts for only five minutes of viewing per person each month in the Czech Republic.
In other presentations, Pavel Dvorak of the Czech Federal Statistical Office, Ministry of Industry and Trade, discussed the country’s transition to DVB-T2 at some length, while Nikola Parizkova and Martina Vackova from Digital Broadcasting, spoke about their company’s four thematic channels.
Yiannis Vougioukladis, new media general director ERT, meanwhile offered insights into the Greek broadcaster’s new HbbTV service, launched at the end of 2017.