NAB 2016: Ericsson, Fox Partner Up on Content Delivery

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

Las Vegas — Ericsson joined Fox Innovation Lab as a partner in late February, backing the studio’s digital-first R&D initiative to better deliver content to consumers across every screen.

At the NAB Show April 18, the first results of that partnership were announced: Fox is looking to use Ericsson’s global content delivery network service, Unified Delivery Network (UDN), to deliver new release and catalog content from 20th Century Fox in everything from virtual reality to 4K to high dynamic range [HDR].

At this point it’s a “proof of concept” demonstration of what Ericsson and Fox are up to, the companies stressed, but the idea has promise, potentially allowing for content enabled with new features to be played easily and latency-free on most any device.

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"4K Ultra-HD with [HDR], as well as virtual and augmented reality and other innovative forms of content, have gathered momentum with the promise of unique, immersive user experiences,” Hanno Basse, CTO of 20th Century Fox and managing director of Fox Innovation Lab, said in a statement. “Working closely with Ericsson's technical experts, we will offer our first proof of concept to showcase core technologies that overcome the constraints of network and bandwidth limitations.

“We will demonstrate a viable direction for the creation of new, breakthrough content services that expand our ability to deliver high-value, engaging content to consumers.”

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Ericsson launched its UDN in late February, partnering with other service providers, including Vodafone, Hutchison Global Communications, AIS and Telstra to get off the ground a new content delivery ecosystem, one that aggregates regional service provider capabilities.

“Content technologies like 4K UHD with HDR and virtual reality provide the natural next step for service providers looking to differentiate their offerings with truly immersive experiences,” said Diomedes Kastanis, VP and head of technology and software solutions for Ericsson. ”Our work with Fox is focused on enabling these new forms of content to be delivered to any type of device, at high quality and without consuming excessive bandwidth.

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“To achieve this, we address every aspect of the delivery chain, including hardware, content, workflow and the end-consumer experience. We are proud of the great strides we have made in this area, and look forward to our ongoing opportunity to shape the industry in this new internet era of television."