Dish ARPU Up but New Service Offerings Needed

Dish announced earnings recently and while their ARPU “avg. revenue per user (customer)” went up 3.6%, they lost 81K subscribers.  The growth of SlingTV is helpful and they call it a growth area, However, it generates only about a quarter of the revenue per customer with plans starting at $20/month.  Also, nobody is really pointing out that to consume SlingTV, one must pay one of Dish’s wireline competitors for internet service.

This is another reminder of how important it is to diversify with new services as traditional TV content is no longer the “cash cow” of years past.  Dish needs to find a use for all their spectrum and since they have lots of cash, they might buy even more at the next spectrum auction.  But, what they will do with it remains the question.

Providers with a wire into the home still seem to have the edge for now.  They can offer integrated services with multi-screen TV delivery, home phone, mobile phone, and smart-home services.  When I talk to Mersoft customers, they tell us that these integrated offerings both retain their service bundles and often give customers reasons to upgrade to higher levels of service – higher retention and higher “ARPU” (average revenue per user).

That’s why Mersoft offers Mersoft move™ so communications services providers can offer voice, video, messaging and data services from media sharing, to personal broadcasting to truly live security camera streaming with Mersoftstream™.  These and other interesting use cases provide real value to customers who stick around.

Forbes has a quick rundown on Dish earnings here.

Check out Mersoft:

Dish ARPU Up but New Service Offerings Needed2018-01-09T16:47:52-06:00

RTSP WebRTC Live Streaming – Mersoft stream™ Product Overview and Case Study

The use of Wi-Fi cameras in home security has exploded in recent years.  Traditional security companies, cable companies and new entrants offer a variety of choices for consumers. The cost of services and equipment continues to fall allowing small and mid-sized businesses the opportunity to incorporate surveillance services. While there is no one set-standard, companies are converging on a few variants so iconic devices such as Nest learning thermostats, August smart door locks and a multitude of Wi-Fi cameras are available from many providers.

While the industry is growing at a brisk pace, there is evidence that slow, choppy real-time video is inhibiting adoption and reducing the usefulness of live video.

Argus Insights recently published a study where they found that while customers have high satisfaction with the smart devices themselves, the applications used to manage those devices fall short in customer satisfaction.  Unfortunately, the device is only as good as the software tools behind it.  When commenting on cameras, Argus reports,

“App functionality is a major consumer pain point, with frequent complaints of slow video streaming , long load times and the video blacking out.”

While many devices employed a smart-home installation, the camera stood out as unique because it is a valuable tool by itself for live streaming in residential use cases, business and law enforcement.  Unfortunately, cameras have a few challenges to overcome.  First, they are high-bandwidth.  Compressed, low-resolution video is acceptable in some situations, but consumers have grown accustomed to a high definition image (1920×1080 pixels) and high frame-rate (15+ frames per second).  Second, many cameras run H.264 or other proprietary codecs that require specific end-user software to play the stream such as Adobe Flash.  These clients are losing their support among browsers, and Adobe has announced it will eventually retire the Flash Player.

Mersoft recognized this technology gap in the industry and developed Mersoft stream™ specifically to enable high-quality and truly real-time video with RTSP WebRTC live streaming.

Mersoft stream™ addresses the current challenges in the following ways:

  1. Uses WebRTC: Google released WebRTC to the open source community in 2011 and continues to release updates. The capability encapsulates a set of APIs and codecs that make media streaming possible in browsers without plug-ins or by including it in native mobile and desktop apps.   Compared to many solutions in use today, WebRTC is current, far more secure, and requires no user intervention.
  2. Not a protocol converter: When streaming video from a camera, many applications convert the H.264 stream in order to play it on various platforms. Instead, Mersoft stream™ extracts the H.264 media frame by frame and packages it into WebRTC. By avoiding the protocol conversion, it occupies a very low processor and memory footprint plus runs lightning fast with processing times down to 50 ms.
  3. Stays in sync: It synchronizes time stamps between RTSP and WebRTC on each frame coming from the camera so that it accurately catches up after frames are lost.
  4. Has a Buffer: To avoid jitter and lag, there is a buffer that can be configured to just enough delay to provide a smooth video stream. By definition, a buffer would result in the video technically being something less than live. Even the best networks have issues on occasion so a second or two delay can make all the difference in providing a smooth video experience for customers.

A Note on Audio:

If audio is part of the RTSP WebRTC live streaming, Mersoft stream™ handles it separately.   It supports most audio codecs and will do transcoding. However, transcoding audio is much less processor-intensive and so the typical delay in the media often remains under 1 second.

Real-World Example


Mersoft worked with a large North American cable company to provide live streaming between their wi-fi cameras and set-top boxes. Their previous experience used other client players and was bad enough they decided to delay launch. Mersoft stream™ was installed in their network between the smart device mediation layer and the set-top boxes. Then, Mersoft worked with the internal development team who created a set-top box application to select and display a camera for live streaming. The set-top box supports H.264 and WebRTC. In this situation, there are multiple firewalls to traverse and all the applications are cloud-hosted. Mersoft stream™ worked together with its companion product Mersoft move™ which handles the signaling and notifications to set up the call.


The original application was taking 15-30 seconds to begin, then provided a very unreliable stream delayed usually by 5- 30 seconds. After the implementation of Mersoft stream™, a typical stream begins in under 3 seconds and has a sub 1-second delay from camera to the set-top box. (Client, camera, network and firewall performance varies and will affect this number).

Client Interface Options

Mersoft offers several options to integrate Mersoft stream™ for your customers. There are client libraries that can be run on set-top boxes, iOS and Android mobile devices, or for native Windows and Mac laptops. Mersoft can develop entirely new applications for your customers or can work to integrate Mersoft stream™ capability into your existing apps.

 Hosting Options

Mersoft stream™ can be installed in the client datacenter or hosted by Mersoft for a easy and rapid deployment.



Contact Mersoft to get more information and a demo. Increase customer satisfaction in your video streaming product with RTSP WEbRTC live streaming from Mersoft stream. Email: or call 913-871-6200.

RTSP WebRTC Live Streaming – Mersoft stream™ Product Overview and Case Study2018-01-09T16:47:52-06:00

Alphabet Spends Big On Google Fiber

In the earnings announcement this week, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) shared that most of it’s $869 million in capital spend on “Other Bets” went to Google Fiber, according to CFO Ruth Porat, and that Google Fiber would continue to be a driver of CapEx spending going forward.  Assessment of Google Fiber customer service is mixed which is not surprising, since the service is new and Google is not a service company, they are an advertising company.  Nevertheless, customer adoption rates their first market of Kansas City have been high especially among middle-income and affluent households.

It’s been about 5 years since they first launched in Kansas City, KS.  Since then, Fiber has been expanding to many other cities in the metro.  A recent study by Bernstein and reported by says,

Based on a past door-to-door survey in Google “Fiberhoods” in Kansas City, Bernstein estimates Google Fiber has achieved a penetration rate of about 20% of homes passed within one year of turning on service, “putting it well on the way to exceed 40% of homes passed and realize attractive ROIs.”

The cable companies are not sitting idle.  As one example, my suburban KC neighborhood doesn’t yet have Google Fiber.  It’s on the plan this year, but already TWC offered a free upgrade to 300MB service, Consolidated is coming down on price, and AT&T is busy burying fiber to deliver their own gigabit to my house in a few months.  Google managed to changed the competitive dynamics in our market even with only 20% penetration.

Of course, time will tell if Google decides to keep forging ahead and expands to become a national marketshare threat.  In addition, they are using their brand halo and “cherry picking” areas that are cost-effective – tactics that are garnering protests from existing cable providers.  So, the quick municipal approvals and utility right-of-way access may not continue.  However, they clearly have the financial resources to invest and continue to do so.

Alphabet Spends Big On Google Fiber2018-01-09T16:47:52-06:00
Go to Top