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Euro 50 > Leaders in broadband and pay-TV


Digital TV Europe November/December 2010


Martin Kull Chief technology officer, Com Hem


Sweden’s Com Hem is one of the most innovative cable operators in Europe. CTO Martin Kull has made it as a leader in on-demand services.


Age 51


Education MSc Engineering Physics and PhD in non-linear optics, The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.


Previous positions Founder & Partner at Manage-IT; CTO of StjärnTV nätet, later UPC Sweden; Manager, HFC product portfolio at Ericsson; Solutions manager Ericsson; Research project manager Ericsson.


Achievements of the year For two years we have been focused on the development and rollout of on-demand services. This is now com- pleted. The entire network is enabled for on-demand and our cus- tomers can enjoy startover TV and a very rich play archive with TV content, film and music videos and in addition some 20 specific IP- based services developed for landlords and tenants. With the lack of standards this development was far more tricky than I could imagine. I am proud to say that we now have a platform that takes our TV servic- es to a new level and we will continue this development to maintain our market leading position on TV.


Surprises of 2010 With the many pitfalls in the earlier history of HDTV I was surprised, this year, by the maturity and wide offerings of 3D enabled TV sets. HDTV is today a mature technology and appreciat- ed service with many of our customers. In my opinion there is no doubt that 3D TV broadcasting will be a competitive advantage for capable networks like cable, in the near future.


Goals for next year We act in a competitive market where customer satisfaction is a key factor. My prime goal is to increase product and service quality and ease of use of our services. This is top of mind for everyone in Com Hem and we have engaged in a major LEAN pro- gramme to better serve our customers. There is still a major opportuni- ty to grow pay TV penetration, which is my second goal. This will be accomplished with HDTV and on-demand as drivers, together with bundling of high speed DOCSIS 3.0 broadband. My third goal is to maintain and grow the network we serve. In the coming year this is very much linked to our distribution of all-IP services to our sister com- pany iTUX, a communications operator in the fibre LAN market.


Olivier Lacour Design director, NDS


Olivier Lacour has led the NDS Studio design for the last seven years. At the end of 2010, two operators – Zon and SFR – will launch UIs based on the new NDS Snowflake platform.


Age 39


Education Institut Superieur de Gestion; marketing studies in Paris, New York and Tokyo.


Previous positions TV programme producer, GEDEON Programme; TV web ITV design producer, GEDEON Design; design manager, NDS.


Achievements of the year NDS Snowflake 2011. We were already very proud of the previous incarnation of NDS Snowflake and it won multiple awards, so it was quite a challenge to improve on it. We like expressing the operator’s brand in the best way. It’s not about a logo customisation; it’s about putting the operator’s brand on the TV set. However, we’ve made a number of key improvements, which we feel makes Snowflake a truly next generation UI. We embed social media functionality at the heart of the experience to build on TV’s heritage as a shared experience. NDS Snowflake is also 3D-ready and allows users to go beyond the schedule by giving them access to applications and content from their home network. Rather than simply offering improved quality and access we have sought to redefine what con- sumers can expect from the TV experience.


Surprises of 2010 The iPad took the industry by surprise, Apple turned the market on its head by introducing a new category which seemed to come entirely out of the blue and its competitors are still trying to catch up.


Goals for next year If you consider how drastically the mobile market has evolved over the past ten years, the TV industry has seemed pretty static by comparison. We want to bring the same level of innovation to the television market and we think 2011 should be the year of the “smart TV”. NDS Snowflake has now been launched by SFR and Zon and there are further deployments to follow. Once audiences get a sense of how it places them in full control of their viewing experience, it will profoundly change their view of what TV can and should do.


Game-changing future development Although Apple TV hasn’t real- ly provided the experience many had hoped for, Apple has innovation in its DNA. It has already revolutionised the music and mobile phone markets and I think it is well placed to establish internet delivered TV services with a mainstream audience if it can get its offering right.


Life outside work Whenever I get the chance I like to spend time with my family at our beach house in France.


Visit us at at www.digitaltveurope.net 32


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