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Euro 50 > Leaders in broadband and pay-TV

Digital TV Europe November/December 2010

Massimo Bertolotti Head of Innovation & Platform Engineering, Sky Italia

tronics brands on the worldwide market, from game consoles to Blu-ray players, from TVs to PC screens and projectors. Now with the big push of live events, which have become easier to produce, all broadcasters have started to launch their service and customers and users are start- ing to use this new format. Sky Italia has launched 3D with live events during last October. And this is happening even before the 3D broadcast standard has been agreed and finalised.

Goals for next year One of the main challenges for the next 12 months will be scouting and implementation of new technology so that we can reduce the bandwidth required for video delivery on different platforms: contribution and distribution. On the contribution platform, we have the possible implementation of the new codec algorithm and delivery solu- tion, while regarding the distribution platform we can make the most of the evolving AVC and DVB S2 standards.

Massimo Bertolotti has been one of the driving forces behind Sky Italia’s innovation. This year he has been preoccupied with the pay TV opera- tor’s ongoing rollout of HD and 3D services. Sky currently offers more than 190 thematic and pay-per-view channels, of which 36 are HD. Sky was the first Italian TV service to broadcast a live 3D event.

Age 38

Education Masters in strategy and management; first class degree in electronics and telecommunications.

Previous positions For a couple of years I was responsible for a digital transmission platform and one of the main activities was the migration of the baseband platform to the IP domain to prepare the systems for the convergence revolution. Since 2008 Commissioner of the Milan Order of Engineers.

Achievements of the year The last 12 months have been focused mainly on consolidating the HD platform with the introduction of a new generation of processing technology to support, to the best, the two main live multichannel events of 2010: the World Cup in South Africa and the Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver. Innovative solutions were customised and implemented to build up a high-quality multiplatform delivery system and an new interactive user experience. Currently Sky Italia platform offers 36 HD channels, which will become 50 at the end of 2011.

Surprises of 2010 In the last twelve months we have all been expect- ing 3D; but its sudden explosion into the market last month has been a surprise. Users have been starting to ask for 3D in all consumer elec-

Game-changing future development Over the next few years, we’ll be at the core of two main changes that could directly impact the current media entertainment world. The first is the natural evolution in con- sumer behavior: devices and environments will have the capability to be connected to the cloud and to manage different media assets. With the evolution of broadband, including the 4G mobile/wireless solution, a large part of the users will live in an “always-on” context. This first change will determine also who of the service and technology providers will win the control of the living room through the media home gateway. The second, probably the key element, will be the ‘horizontal interoper- ability’ paradigm. This will be the only way to offer to users, not only a fantastic technology but also an easy way to support the entertainment usage.

Ambition as a youngster The easy answer is to become a celebrity! But that idea rapidly flew out the window; I was not a good football play- er nor talented enough to become an actor or a singer, so I quickly re- routed my ambition to something that was more natural for me – the broadcasting world. I come from a family where television and broad- casting are part of things. When I was young I spent numerous week- ends on a terrestrial tower watching my father managing the installation of a terrestrial transmission site and some afternoons I had the chance to visit and to hang around production sets. My future was already mapped out. My goal now is to try continually to win new challenges. So probably the answer to this question on my ambition as a youngster is “I don’t remember”, but currently I’m more than happy and ready every day to face a new challenge.

Favourite TV show Mainly my team’s football matches, but now with a baby in our life – less than one year old – the PVR and TV favorite pro- gramme is The House of Mickey Mouse.

Life outside work That’s an easy question, I like to relax and be with my family – but the reality is that 100% of my spare time is dedicated to ‘running’, and by that I don’t means jogging, I mean taking care of and enjoying my baby!

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