New Software Opens Up Time-Shifting Possibilities


PREMIUM: A U.K.-based television software company is enabling over-the-air broadcasters to add time-shift channels without satellite, cable or the Internet, reports Jay Stuart.

Motive Television’s Television Anytime solution involves adding software to the existing infrastructure of any television or online platform to make possible features such as VOD and time-shift channels. The USP of the company’s TV Anytime product is that it works for over-the-air broadcasting.
In Italy, Mediaset is currently using Motive TV’s technology, which also makes possible VOD and other services, to power its Mediaset Premium lineup on DTT.
Free-TV networks are able to use the software to create ‘plus-one’ channels delivering programming one hour later than the initial broadcast. “The concept of plus-one channels is basically about extending prime time for an additional hour,” says Motive Television’s CEO, Len Fertig. “Advertisers in Europe will often add 10 percent to the price they pay if they know that a show will benefit from additional plus-one exposure. The broadcaster can make 10 percent but there are costs attached. They have to re-broadcast the show. They might even have to pay additional rights. Our solution cuts out this added cost by eliminating the additional broadcast.”
Instead, the Television Anytime software sends instructions to the set-top box, or whatever device is being used, to record the program, create a channel on the EPG and move the show ahead by one hour. In principle, the same software could even be used to create new channels using stored programming.
TV Anytime also has a datacasting application for material that is not broadcast, to make it available on pay-per-view, for example.
Based in London with technology operations in Scotland and Spain, Motive Television sees big potential in markets where the television infrastructure to support addressability is not widespread.
“In parts of Eastern Europe and much of the developing world, instead of triple play, the situation is still no play,” says Fertig, who was chief executive of multi-country broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises during its rapid expansion in the ’90s.
Motive Television is listed on the AIM stock exchange in the U.K. Revenues this year will be in the range of £2 million to £2.5 million and are “growing dramatically,” according to Fertig.
The company has just introduced a solution called Video2Go, which enables viewers to watch programs on their iPads without the need for an Internet network connection.  
“Pay-TV subscribers are able to watch different programs from the same set-top box,” Fertig says. “The application sends the recorded programming to another device in the home, such as an iPad, via Wi-Fi rather than the Internet.”
This means cable operators can distribute additional programming to their customers without having to obtain Internet rights (as some right holders are demanding for cloud-based solutions).
“Our solution enables operators to do new things with new devices with their existing infrastructure,” Fertig says. “They don’t have to start from scratch. They can download software to legacy boxes that interface with any device.”
Turkish satellite TV operator Digiturk is getting ready to launch a service based on Motive TV technology and an agreement with another major operator is around the corner.