Actually, we hope you are having a summer of fun, relaxation and beach reading. Perhaps we don't know how to relax, but BTR is taking the lull between spring and fall -- or what years ago was a lull -- to go deep on multiscreen issues.
It is almost needless to say how multiscreen is changing the cable landscape. Video, both professional and user-generated, is moving in all directions and ending up on TV sets, PCs and mobile devices. The cable networks, which started as one-way movers of video decades ago and, until recently, sent programming for the most part from the headend to the home, now must send it in all directions.
But, here at BTR, we got the feeling that the vendor community, to at least some extent, is focused on their trees and is missing the forest. Likewise, cable operators may not be seeing the entire landscape.
So, the questions boil down to these: What are the basic ingredients of the multiscreen stew? What needs to be present in the home, in the headend/NOC, and what needs to happen with the programming and enabling data?
In short, what does multiscreen look like?
The short answer is that it looks like tomorrow's predominant revenue source. Of course, that's a flippant answer. We decided to offer one version of the real answer. However, instead of doing it in a feature, we opted for this graphic representation. The most important takeaway is that this is "an" answer, not "the" answer. Multiscreen is complex and rapidly evolving. This is one stab at a look at the whole.
The second point is that this representation actually is the kickoff The Summer of Multiscreen. It's a two-stage project.
During the next three weeks, BTR will look, in turn, at the three elements of the chart. What does multiscreen mean to the home? To the network? To the headend/NOC? Those will be straightforward and, we hope, useful feature stories.
The other element will focus on the graphic. The first request is straightforward: Please contact me with any comments/corrections to the chart.
The other -- and perhaps more exciting -- element is the launch of our repository of three-screen intel. I invite any and all comers -- vendors, operators, consultants, analysts and anyone else -- to send me links to product information, news, case studies, commentary and anything else on multiscreen. The goal will be to amass this data on separate pages and link to it from the category headings and create something of a "wiki" for multiscreen.
- The materials must be unpublished/unposted (except at company sites).
- Identify the major heading (home, network, headend/NOC) under which the submission is best classified.
- It is unnecessary to be more precise in terms of the sub categorizations in the chart.
- If something fits into two categories, pick the predominant one. If they are equal, it can be put in both.
- Feel free to send multiple entries.
Please submit by Aug. 2. Subsequent submissions will be fine, but we want to get an initial group of links by then for posting soon afterward.
In the meantime, check out this roundup of some of the latest news in the multiscreen space. Full archives are also available on multiscreen, iPad apps and streaming video.
Carl Weinschenk is the Senior Editor for Broadband Technology Report. Contact him at email@example.com.