The newly launched TalkTalk TV service for the U.K., which delivers live multicast and on-demand content via the recently released YouView connected TV set-top box (STB), is growing at a healthy clip of 1,000 customers per day.
During its interim earnings report, the budget telecom provider said that it started signing up customers for TV at the end of September, and now has seen a growth of 44 percent compared to last year.
The TalkTalk Plus package offers customers a free YouView Internet TV STB, with a 12-month subscription to the popular LOVEFiLM Instant service (known as the ‘Netflix of Britain’) and access to more than 100 broadcast channels, including free to air programming from the BBC, ITV and many others, as well as extra paid premium channels such as Sky Sports.
TalkTalk has a base of four million broadband customers, and the TV service is free to these existing broadband customers after payment of a £50 ($80) installation fee for the YouView STB. The idea is to sweeten the pot for consumers by leveraging an over-the-top (OTT)-linear strategy of sorts to woo consumers away from rivals like BT (News - Alert) and Virgin Media.
“We have successfully launched our TV proposition and have installed 29,000 customers to date,” said Dido Harding, CEO at TalkTalk. “Customer feedback has been positive and we are growing the base according to plan, at 1,000 per day.”
TalkTalk is the first major TV service to exploit the latest high performance video compression technology from ATEME, the vendor said, an underlying software encoder called EAVC4.
“We needed to upgrade our current broadcast head end to allow us to expand our channel line-up, and looked at all the main encoding vendors,” said TalkTalk’s director of TV technology Brian Paxton.
TalkTalk has been using ATEME products since 2007, starting with offline encoders for preparing movie and other on demand content. The new compression engine now enables operators to optimize video content for specific screen sizes and available bandwidths.
The EAVC4 video encoding architecture exploits a combination of multi-processor and multi-core 64-bit architecture, and multi-threading from slice level up through macro block level, to achieve its efficiency gains, AETME said. This has involved a complete redesign by ATEME, resulting in up to 20 percent bandwidth gains for progressive and interlaced content based on objective measures, and even higher gains based on visual perception.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Brooke Neuman