Inter BEE 2014: Fuji Television positions paid internet television channel "Fuji TV NEXTsmart" as "fourth TV," in a bid to expand its audience; holds multidevice, multi-bitrate demos
From November 19 (Wed.) to November 21 (Fri.), Fuji will be exhibiting at Inter BEE 2014 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba. At its company booth (booth no.: 6704), Fuji will feature "Fuji TV NEXTsmart," its new 24-hour comprehensive paid internet channel, which launched March 14.(http://www.fujitv.co.jp/nextsmart/). Positioned as a "fourth TV" after terrestrial signals, broadcast satellite, and communications satellite, Fuji TV NEXTsmart is Japan's first 24-hour comprehensive internet channel.
Fuji TV NEXTsmart can be accessed through Fuji TV On Demand and SKY PerfecTV! On Demand. It also began airing on the Niconico Channel on October 1.
■ Rewatch your favorite scenes on smartphones & tablets
Fuji TV NEXTsmart is a 24-hour simultaneous live streaming broadcast service based on the Fuji TV NEXT Live Premium commercial satellite broadcast. The service can be viewed not only on PC but on any device with Internet capabilities,, including smartphones & tablets.
Smartphones & tablets must support iOS 5.0 or later or Android 4.0 or later. The NEXTsmart service airs events such as F1 racing, Bundesliga & NBA broadcasts, live music, original music programming, and live comedy shows.
F1 racing & sports programming is available to rewatch for a limited time after the original live broadcast has ended, allowing viewers to replay their favorite parts of the broadcast anytime, anywhere. There are plans to expand the number of programs available as demand increases. The service costs 1,200 yen per month (plus tax).
■ Japan's first IP simulcast distribution infrastructure using cloud technology
To air NEXTsmart on the Niconico Channel, a brand-new distribution infrastructure was developed based on the Microsoft Azure cloud service. The primary advantage of a cloud-based video distribution platform is its extreme flexibility that, Fuji claims, can immediately respond to surges in the number of viewers and expansions to the service.
In addition, sending one channel to a number of different cloud distribution bases simultaneously allows the infrastructure to restructure itself automatically. Besides providing stability for the redundancy that is essential for 24-hour, 365-day nonstop broadcast, the feature also provides additional support for NEXTsmart's backup and disaster planning. This initiative represents Japan's first use of cloud technology in IP simulcasting.
At the Fuji TV booth, visitors can experience Fuji TV NEXTsmart programming on smartphones and tablets. The service will support broadcast bit rates of 200k to 2Mbps. Through multi-bitrate broadcasting, the service can automatically provide the optimum bitrate based on the state of the transmission networks.
■ Exploring new possibilities for paid channel service through future service expansions
Since the launch of its service, Fuji TV has found signs that NEXTSmart's user base is distinct from those of previous broadcast services. Fuji claims that it hopes to connect with a brand-new audience unserved by existing satellite broadcasting and cable TV services.
On the first (Nov. 19) and second (Nov. 20) days of the Inter BEE exhibition, the Fuji TV booth will feature a "Goals for Fuji TV NEXTsmart" presentation. The display hopes to rouse enthusiasm for its "fourth TV" and promote the future possibilities of the service.
Fuji hopes to expand its cooperation with new partners, primarily those from the business world, for future exhibitions and presentations.
Headquarters: 2-4-8 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
ICT/Cross-Media Division/Hall 6/6704