International Briefs, June 29, 2018

June 29, 2018
A roundup of vendor and operator news from around the globe. Today's edition focuses on Europe and Asia-Pacific.

A roundup of vendor and operator news from around the globe. Today's edition focuses on Europe and Asia-Pacific.


Virgin Media in the UK is getting a new COO. Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) announced that effective Sept. 10, Lutz Schüler will become chief operating officer of Virgin Media, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Tom Mockridge. Schüler is currently the CEO of Unitymedia, a Liberty Global subsidiary in Germany, where he will be replaced by current Chief Financial Officer Winfried Rapp.

Schüler will take over the role that was vacated in March after the former COO, Dana Strong, moved to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). It has been filled in the interim by two leaders of Virgin Media's UK Consumer Division, Jeff Dodds and Neil Bartholomew. Both will retain leadership roles heading the Mobile and Customer Operations, respectively, when Schüler joins in September.

In May Liberty Global announced the sale of its operations in Germany, as well as three other Eastern European markets, to Vodafone. Schüler will be appointed chairman of Unitymedia's Supervisory Board to ensure continuity through the conclusion of the regulatory approval process, expected to occur in mid-2019. The current chairman, Diederik Karsten, will remain on the Supervisory Board.


French service provider Orange has chosen Broadpeak solutions for delivery of multiscreen video services. At the heart of the solution is Broadpeak's BkS350 origin and packaging server, which is designed to record linear services in one format and dynamically package the content in the requested ABR format. Orange will also use Broadpeak's BkS400 HTTP video cache servers and BkM100 video delivery manager. The BkS400 server is designed to cache content at the headend level, reducing the load at the origin level and offering high streaming capacity.

The Maldives

Medianet, a pay TV operator in the Maldives, a sovereign archipelago in the Indian Ocean, has deployed an UltraHD contribution and video processing solution from Harmonic(NASDAQ:HLIT) for broadcasting sports events. The deployment includes Harmonic's RD9000 UHD contribution decoder, which receives Medianet's feed of live sports events over an IP link and decodes the content before it is re-encoded in UltraHD using Harmonic's Electra video processing platform. Harmonic's UltraHD solution utilizes the HEVC codec to increase bandwidth efficiency.

Also in the Maldives, telecommunications and digital services provider Dhiraagu has deployed Verimatrix' Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for Broadcast-Hybrid solution to secure IPTV and OTT video delivery. Combining security technology with user interfaces, VCAS for Broadcast Hybrid is intended to provide a single source for rights management for multiscreen video.

Dhiraagu reaches all of the country's 199 inhabited islands. A fixed broadband connection delivers content using a set-top box, while Dhiraagu Mobile offers TV Everywhere via streaming to laptop, smartphone or tablet.


MYBOX, a set-top box provider in India, has integrated Verimatrix' Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for DVB solution into its newest line of digital set-top boxes. The solution packages locally manufactured set-top hardware from MYBOX with conditional access provisioned by Verimatrix to offer DVB cardless security.

The set-tops are also slated to get support for Amazon's Alexa voice-based assistant. MYBOX set-top box users will be able to use all the features on Alexa devices, including voice command-based search, entertainment/ music and shopping, in addition to controlling the TV screen and smart-home devices. MYBOX provides set-tops to various cable and satellite operators across India and has reached more than 15 million pay TV customers.

In other news, Indian broadcaster MMTV has deployed a playout, shared storage and video processing system from Harmonic (NASDAQ:HLIT). With Harmonic's software-based solutions, MMTV has modernized its workflow to enable online editing, playout and delivery of news and entertainment content in a range of formats.

The broadcaster is using Harmonic's Spectrum X media server for ingest and channel playout; MediaGrid for shared, real-time high-bandwidth storage applications; and Electra X video processing solution for channel encoding and bandwidth optimization.