Technicolor’s acquisition of Cisco Connected Devices last year accentuates the wave of consolidation within this dynamic industry. Technicolor wrapped up its $600 million cash and stock deal for Cisco Connected Devices, the unit that makes set-top boxes, cable modems, gateways and other consumer premises devices.
But a deal of such importance to customers as well as to the company’s bottom line required a talented, well-connected visionary. Before the deal closed last November, Technicolor named Luis Martinez-Amago to be president of Technicolor Connected Home North America. After spending 27 years at Alcatel Lucent, Martinez-Amago is charged with working on the division’s position in the cable telecom, satellite and OTT markets.
TFT recently had the opportunity to sit down with Martinez-Amago to discuss the rapidly changing dynamics in the consumer entertainment marketplace, the technological paradigm shift that is reshaping video services and Technicolor’s vision for the market in the near future.
A few years ago, consumers primarily consumed video entertainment in a manner limited to a single medium like television or theaters. “Today, due to the evolutions in technology, they want to do it in different ways, Martinez-Amago said. “They want to do it on tablets, in phones, in different types of TVs – and they want to do it at home or in nomadic ways – when they are moving but they are not sitting in front of their TVs.”
Not surprisingly, service providers are under the gun to give consumers a high-quality experience across all of those environments. “There are different aspects that service providers are developing in order to embrace this new paradigm,” Martinez-Amago explained. One of these objectives is technological – to continue to provide the infrastructure so they can continue to provide a commitment to data infrastructure so that the video content arrives in a quality way.[subscribe_reminder]
“There are challenges in the network and challenges in the home”, Martinez-Amago said. “In homes, for example, there is Wi-Fi, which is one of the pillars in how the content gets to the device – and it has to show the content to the consumers. Wi-Fi is being stretched and has to perform in order to provide the experience that the user is expecting. That’s one aspect.”
The other aspect is the experience itself. “We have moved from a passive audience or a culture in which the video is shown to us, to an environment that is much more interactive,” Martinez-Amago explained. “All of this is forcing service providers to develop infrastructure and the software to support this changing consumption model … which is the preferable choice for consumers in the end.”
To successfully address these technology megatrends, service providers are committing to upgrade their infrastructure so that video content is delivered in high quality.
Managing this new paradigm will be a great opportunity for service providers, but they will have to be able to manage the increasing complexity. “I believe it is the key opportunity for service providers because they have the means to do that,” Martinez-Amago said.
Technicolor believes deeply in upgrading broadband infrastructure investments. “Broadband matters,” Martinez-Amago said. “And we as a company are investing a lot in compression to make sure that everyone uses the bandwidth in the most efficient way.”
As new advanced technologies like virtual reality emerge, the need for increasingly robust broadband will continue to grow. “This is an area where broadband must be embraced in an intelligent and integrated manner – both, in the network…and in the house. As more devices in the house demand more access to bandwidth, we need a world that will permit users to choose from various immersive options in the same environment without any degradation of experience.”