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Tying The OTT Pieces Together

Louis Schwartz has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, operating executive and attorney in the digital media space. In 2000, Lou co-founded and served as the Chairman and CEO of Multicast Media Technologies, Inc. (“Multicast”), one of the first global online video platform companies, to reshape the way organizations create, manage and leverage video to communicate with their target audiences.

Lou Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer, UUX

Recognizing the evolution of video-as-a-service from browser to mobile to multiscreen connected device, he orchestrated the sale of Multicast to Piksel, Inc. (formerly KIT digital, Inc.) in 2010 and assumed the role of CEO of the Americas and then Global General Counsel of Piksel.

His latest venture, UUX, is the result of two merged companies (Totalmovie and OTT Networks) to create one of the first white-labeled Pay TV-as-a-service offerings for mobile carriers around the world. The service is intended to provide mobile carriers with an end-to-end service platform for delivering linear and VOD content to all IP connected devices. As CEO of UUX, Schwartz is driving the company’s corporate strategy to increase distribution, subscriber adoption and monetization of next-generation Pay TV services over wireless networks.

UUX is using a multiscreen solution from Harmonic to power its new live TV streaming service. Harmonic’s adaptive bitrate and multicast technology enables UUX (formerly Totalmovie) customers to view 64 high-quality SD and HD channels in over 40 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Brazil. The premium streaming service has been launched on TVs, set- top boxes, tablets, and smartphones. In 2103 Harmonic’s platform allowed Totalmovie to quickly launch a new OTT multiscreen streaming service to generate additional revenue and become the first multi-country service in Latin America to combine live TV and VOD.

What’s the biggest challenge you are currently facing in deploying new TV services?

OTT delivery of Live TV is transforming the industry in ways we could have never imagined. From the user experience, it offers greater choice of content, through more devices on which to watch that content and more flexibility on when to watch it.

This new environment actually offers many attractive opportunities and UUX helps operators exploit their existing infrastructure and seamlessly deliver Live TV and video content to any connected device.

Challenge is how to make all the pieces work, it looks easy but it is not.

Operators are in the perfect place for a controlled delivery of video services to connected devices, they can manage the quality of experience, ensure the secure delivery of premium content, and enable a consistent user experience (which carries their own brand).

The main obstacle to this is fragmentation: multiple content rights for multiple delivery networks, multiple content-protection technologies and devices that offer different viewing experiences to the user.

To overcome this, UUX offers operators an end-to-end solution to tie all the pieces together, to get the different devices talking to each other with one user eXperience that strengthens the operator’s brand and its relationship with subscribers.

What CDN do you work with? What markets do you serve?

We currently work with Akamai, however, we are not dependent on proprietary Akamai services. For example, we are servicing an IPTV customer in LATAM for which we distribute our live TV streams via a private IP circuit into a private CDN managed by our customer. We currently serve Latin America and Eastern Europe. We have projects under development in MENA, South Africa and Southeast Asia.

Is bandwidth an issue for your company and is advanced compression (like the emerging HEVC) the answer?

Bandwidth constraints are a challenge for all companies servicing the emerging markets. However, our customers, who are largely wireless carriers looking to provide video services to their subscribers, are driving greater robustness in the 3G networks and are quickly upgrading to 4GLTE networks. These networks can support video services such as live TV and VOD at quality and cost levels that rival incumbent fixed wired broadband networks. Advanced compression platforms such as HEVC will be a plus but are not a must to satisfy the current market opportunity for video services over wireless networks.

How difficult will it be to deploy HEVC technology in your plant?

HEVC deployment will be relatively simple. We are currently using Harmonic ProMedia and ProStream media processing solutions to provide MPEG2 and H.264 video services. HEVC is a logical next step in order to continue improving our video quality at the same bit rate.

Understanding that you need both to attract consumers, at the end of the day, which factor is the most important path to success: quality of service or system reliability (for the consumer)?

Both. Under this premise relies our, UUX-90-day-challenge. The UUX solution enables operators in 90 days to launch a new cloud-based iTaaS (internet-TV-as-a-Service) offering to attract and retain customers with an ultimate experience and a battle-tested video platform to secure delivery of premium content at virtually $0 Capex.