Multiscreen 2.0 Business of Broadcast.jpgHere, in the latest installment in our IBC blog series, we take a closer look at the growth and possibilities of advertising within multiscreen environments.

Legacy ‘Multiscreen 1.0’ architecture doesn’t really support monetization capabilities – ads for live and on-demand content are spliced into the content before it is transcoded, eliminating the possibility of dynamically inserting ads into the live and on-demand streams as they go out to end users. This is a major drawback given the growing momentum surrounding efforts to make dynamic targeted advertising a revenue driver for IP video.

As touched on in our previous IBC themed blog, next-generation ‘Multiscreen 2.0’ architectures are enabling video service providers (VSPs) to target advertising down to the neighborhood, device or even a specific subscriber. For example, RGB’s own Ad Insertion for Multiscreen (AIM) solution is designed to deliver unique playlists containing targeted ad content to each customer viewing device based on the personal profile of the user.

Of course, at this point in time, online video advertising, which registered close to $3 billion in 2012 according to eMarketer estimates, pales next to the $70 billion spent on TV advertising. And, while the rate is projected to continue outpacing other Internet segments – with the annual total closing in on $8 billion in 2016 – the question for content providers is whether their commitment to a much more ambitious pursuit of ad dollars through video streaming strategies can drive their revenues to much greater heights in the years ahead.

Fortunately there is a great deal of opportunity to grow advertising revenue with new multiscreen architectures. For example, some operators have begun experimenting with the idea of enabling a version of ‘TV Everywhere’ that goes beyond delivering traditional subscription content to authenticated subscribers on IP-connected devices. Through the use of rich metadata sources and coordination of functionalities with their content partners, these companies are exploring ways to carve out new viewing options, create topically specific package configurations, define audience segments and accelerate the variety of upsell and other marketing initiatives in ways that exploit the full power of the IP environment.

Multiscreen 2.0 architectures provide an opportunity for VSPs to innovate service delivery like never before. The advent of new, targeted advertising models not only provide leverage for VSPs to command more profitable rates, but they also ensure that viewers receive much more relevant advertising content, improving both satisfaction and subscriber retention.

IBC is nearly upon us, so in our next posting we’ll be giving you a preview of what visitors to the RGB stand at the show can expect to see. As always, we want to find out what you think about our blogs and hear any questions you may have, so please leave a comment!


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Multiscreen 2.0 Advances in TechnologyThis week’s IBC special blog takes a closer look at multiscreen viewing models and what is possible with new video streaming architectures?

The growth in consumer demand for a more advanced, immersive and entertaining multiscreen experience is putting extreme technical demands on video service providers (VSPs). With mobile TV and video streaming revenue set to top $10 billion by 2017, how can VSPs ensure their own services stand out from the competition?

Initially, this new type of delivery was very limited. Simple, on-demand offerings to PCs and laptops were not particularly disruptive. It wasn’t until the arrival of the Apple iPad in 2010 that things started to change, and now multiscreen distribution has become central to the business strategies of virtually every entity engaged in providing video programming to consumers. Consumers want to watch video content wherever and whenever they desire – and, most importantly, on whatever device they choose, whether a TV, PC, smartphone or tablet.

Since 2010, from the perspective of the VSP, the challenge has shifted from a need to keep pace to the need to get out in front of the market with a pay-TV experience that trumps the pure OTT experience. But the first generation ‘Multiscreen 1.0’ architecture has reached its limits and new solutions are needed that can truly deliver the second generation ‘Multiscreen 2.0’ user experience, including a mix of live and on-demand content, delivered with the video quality that is expected from a premium video service.

When considering the multiscreen ecosystem, the critical nature of the transcoding and packaging functions are often overlooked, however they play an essential role in efficiently delivering high-quality video and implementing a business model that will provide competitive advantages and ensure a return on investment for VSPs. The newest generation of Multiscreen 2.0 technologies bring new capabilities that should be weighed when making technology decisions.

The following key questions should be on your list as you seek out multiscreen IP video solutions at IBC:

  • Live video delivery – Can the transcoder scale to cost-effectively support more and more channels as content rights expand and demand increases? Will it provide a reliable service to viewers? Does it deliver the video quality that your subscribers expect across both large- and small-screen devices?
  • On-demand video delivery – Are you using storage space efficiently and economically? Will your architecture support nDVR services that give your subscribers control over their TV viewing?
  • Monetization – Is the architecture designed to incorporate ABR ad insertion to deliver relevant ads to viewers and provide ROI for you?

Come see us at IBC stand #4.B70 and we’ll explain the importance of the answers to the questions above and how they will impact your ability to remain competitive and deliver premium, monetizable services to your subscribers. Stop by or contact us to set up an appointment.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at the business of broadcast – how VSPs can reap the rewards of advanced advertising strategies and other monetization advantages of new multiscreen architectures. In the meantime, we’d like to hear what questions you’ll be seeking answers to at IBC – let us know in the comments below!


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NAB ShowIf you’ve been following us lately, you’ve probably already guessed that our big focus for this year’s NAB show is ‘Multiscreen 2.0’ and the array of solutions that we offer under this umbrella to help video service providers streamline and monetize their TV Everywhere and OTT offerings.

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas this week, stop by booth #SU5924 for demos of all of our latest and greatest solutions. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll see and you can read more details in this press release.

  • High-Density Transcoding without Compromise: RGB’s new, carrier-class VMG Gen 2 performs the industry’s highest capacity real-time transcoding. Tightly integrated with RGB’s TransAct Packager for delivering live video services to any device, this unique pair can scale easily to meet growing demand for multiscreen services. Come see the pristine video quality achieved by the new platform, without compromise.
  • nDVR and VOD for Multiscreen: Complementing our powerful live delivery solution, RGB offers a flexible set of options to meet a wide range of on-demand and time-shifting delivery needs. A demonstration will illustrate how RGB’s TransAct Packager and TransAct Encoder/Transcoder support a variety of VOD and nDVR applications.
  • Multiscreen Monetization: RGB’s Ad Insertion for Multiscreen (AIM) solution enables VSPs to migrate to a proven model for monetizing video services to the multiscreen environment. RGB will demonstrate the VMG and TransAct Packager delivering three different targeted ads to three separate iPads inserted within the same linear feed.
  • Adobe Primetime: As a key Adobe Primetime ecosystem partner, RGB will highlight its TransAct Packager performing Adobe HDS encapsulation. It also supports Adobe Primetime DRM encryption (formerly known as Adobe Access) for secure content delivery.
  • Surround Sound for Multiscreen Ad Insertion: This audio demonstration will show the integration of Dolby® Digital Plus with RGB’s AIM ad insertion solution, performing seamless audio bitrate switching across network and ad content, allowing VSPs to deliver surround sound via various adaptive streaming protocols to any device.
  • Audio Loudness Correction with DTS Technology: This demonstration will highlight how the DTS/RGB solution takes loudness correction to the next level, ensuring a premium audio experience across all IP devices—both large and small screen. Download this white paper for more information now >>
  • OTT Swipe from Siemens: RGB will highlight an exciting new technology – OTT Swipe – developed by Siemens Convergence Creators. This web-based “swipe” technology allows users to quickly and easily move video content from a mobile device to a TV and back again with the swipe of a hand. Together with RGB’s multiscreen transcoding, packaging and ad insertion, VSPs can deliver an exceptional user experience to their subscribers. Come use the swipe technology yourself and learn about end-to-end multiscreen solutions, brought to you by Siemens.

We hope to see you in Las Vegas!


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Fierce Innovation 2012 Finalist AwardPropelled by the availability of low-cost, high-resolution connected devices, consumers have rapidly bypassed the ‘novelty’ phase of TV Everywhere turning acceptance into expectation. With the demand that any media should be available essentially on any device over any network connection, 2013 is going to be an exciting year for multiscreen!

Looking ahead, we here at RGB Networks have compiled the top 10 industry trends we see for 2013:

1. IP Video

Internet-based video consumption will continue to boom, driven by the proliferation and popularity of mobile devices and connected TVs and changing consumer habits. With more than 70 IP video customers worldwide, including three of the top MSOs in North America, our advancements in video processing technology are enabling video service providers (VSPs) to retain the competitive edge for the year ahead.

2. TV Everywhere Expansion

Significant broadcast events like the London 2012 Olympic Games have hammered home how imperative it is for providers to establish an all-encompassing TV Everywhere strategy that can deliver premium quality video content to a myriad of viewing devices. With many TV Everywhere rights deals negotiated in 2012, and certainly more to come, many hurdles to the deployment and expansion of TV Everywhere services have been removed. Over the next year, operators will therefore need intelligent, high-capacity and scalable solutions to begin or grow their delivery of content to a multitude of devices, which can equally address all related infrastructure and network issues while still keeping the balance sheet in check.

3. Streamlining and Cost Reduction

The need for streamlining operations and cuttings costs will be imperative in 2013 and as a result, integrated, scalable, future-proof solutions will be the focus of attention. In the quest to deliver content to any connected device, innovative adaptive streaming technologies like RGB’s just-in-time packaging – which can alleviate the challenges intrinsic to growing TV Everywhere services such as storage, bandwidth and other headaches – will be in high demand.

4. nDVR Services

Operators’ enthusiasm for nDVR will see significant growth over 2013, driven by the fact that it is a “sticky” service that can reduce subscriber churn, while also generating revenue from subscribers who might not otherwise pay for multiscreen services. With the development of integrated solutions to deliver on-demand services alongside live multiscreen video, operators will be able to meet subscriber demands and reap the benefits of IP video’s rapid evolution better than ever before.

5. Monetization

Content monetization through techniques such as targeted ad insertion will be a critical piece of the multiscreen puzzle in 2013. As the video delivery industry is busy keeping pace amid a landslide of changing consumer tastes and competitive positioning against pure OTT services, difficult questions concerning business cases and financial justification of multiscreen investments have come to the forefront. Coupling ad insertion with other revenue-generators such as nDVR services, as well as with cost reductions, VSPs will be looking for profitability in multiscreen this year.

6. Securing Content

As consumption of mobile video continues to grow, VSPs will increasingly require an access and rights management system that unifies revenue security for video services and prevents piracy of high-value video content delivered using adaptive HTTP streaming. Selecting the right streaming and security combination will enable providers to offer a richer consumer experience with more personalized choices in regards to content, time and place.

7.Multiscreen Ecosystem Partnering

As the multiscreen ecosystem expands to offer new services, strategic partnerships enabling integration with various market players such as ad decision systems, DRM and CDNs will be essential in adapting and thriving in a changed economic climate. We will see many multiscreen solution providers building sustainable and strategic partnerships over the next year to ease pressure on existing business models, further enhance technological offerings and help guarantee longevity of service.

8. Rise of the Second Screen

Social TV or second screen companion viewing is currently not only redefining how viewers engage with content, but also how they source and discover it. Presenting providers and advertisers with an unprecedented opportunity to engage and interact with their audiences, personalization of content and targeted ad insertion become two sides of the same coin for operators when endeavoring to capitalize on this trend for 2013.

9. Audio Regains Importance

High caliber audio is a cardinal ingredient in the consumer TV viewing experience. However, in recent years audio has taken a backseat to video as VSPs pushed to get basic multiscreen service offerings up and running. With 2013 being dubbed by many as a year of the “second wave” of adaptive bitrate delivery, audio has begun to enter the discussion again, primarily spurred by the CALM Act legislation in the US and other pending regulation around the world. In 2013 savvy VSPs will be turning their attention to implementing solutions capable of not only manipulating compressed streams in order to facilitate audio consistency and maintain industry compliance, but also to deliver a premium overall audio/video experience.

10. The Sum of it All: Multiscreen 2.0

Multiscreen 2.0 represents the next generation of TV Everywhere, consisting of a combination of solutions that enable operators to reduce costs and streamline operations in live, on-demand and time-shifted environments. This advancement of multiscreen technologies will facilitate the monetization of services across screens with hyper-targeted adaptive bitrate ad insertion, ensure the seamless delivery of premium audio across IP devices, and boost the multiscreen business case and return on investment.

Let us know in the comments below what trends you’re keeping your eye on for 2013. We look forward to sharing more on these topics in the weeks and months to come. Check back often, follow us through social media, and come see us at an upcoming trade show. Happy New Year!


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The Cable Show Hot TopicsAs The Cable Show kicks off today, we’re excited to announce our partnership with BlackArrow to deliver hyper-targeted advertising across all video-enabled devices. The integration of BlackArrow’s Advanced Advertising System and RGB’s AIM multiscreen ad insertion solution provides video service providers (VSPs) with a first-of-its-kind, end-to-end ecosystem for monetizing TV Everywhere services.

Targeted advertising has long been the holy grail of ad insertion for VSPs, but it has been difficult to attain. Now, with the proliferation of unicast adaptive bitrate (ABR) technology and the introduction of the BlackArrow/RGB solution, VSPs finally have the tools to address specific ads to an individual, improving the user experience and offering a new source of revenue. Check out this solution overview for more information.

Advanced advertising isn’t the only hot topic we’ll be highlighting in Boston this week. Stop by booth #2141 for more on a variety of multiscreen technologies, including:

Just-in-time packaging

File-to-file transcoding

MPEG DASH

And if you’re registered for the conference, don’t miss the following presentations by RGB experts:

Andy Salo, Director, Product Marketing:
“MPEG DASH: Technical Deep Dive and What’s Next?”
Tuesday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m.

Yuval Fisher, CTO:
“Just-in-Time Packaging vs. CDN Storage”
Tuesday, May 22 at 3:30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you in Boston!


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It seems the beginning of the year brings two things—an endless slate of college football bowl games and everyone’s lists of trends in the broadband industry. Last week, we revealed our top ten predictions for 2012. We’re always eager to compare notes with the broadband press, so we eagerly awaited CED Magazine’s annual “Broadband 50”—the top trends and benchmarks as determined by CED’s learned editors and “high-ranking industry execs.” Not surprisingly, they chose a number of topics related to IP video—a subject near and dear to us at RGB:

#1 – IP Migration: A perfect circle: IP continues its inexorable progression to being the basis of all the services operators offer, not just video. The pace is quickening though as operators realize they can take advantage of the flexibility and economic advantages of IP to expand their TV Everywhere services.

#6 – Multiscreen on the move: TV Everywhere has left the proverbial drawing board for real-world mobile devices, and though not fully ready for primetime, advanced trials and early deployments are progressing nicely thanks to second generation transcoding and adaptive streaming technologies.

#12 – Transcoding for multiscreen: So many different viewing platforms, so many different screen sizes, so many different networks, and programming coming to headends in both MPEG-2 and H.264 – you bet TV Everywhere requires transcoding, and a lot of it (no complaints here!).

#20 – Putting the advertising puzzle together: Interactive “clickable” ads remain poised to move from trials into the mainstream, as are hyper-targeted ads, a leading-edge revenue booster we first discussed here.

#24 – Adaptive bit rate streaming: The secret sauce for seamless video delivery to mobile devices and PCs, adaptive streaming compensates for the bandwidth fluctuations inherent in today’s overburdened networks. Now a requirement for streaming video, look for more announcements from RGB in 2012 on additions that enhance our adaptive streaming solution.

#26 – TV Everywhere: Waiting game: Live TV on smartphones and tablets remains the next big thing. The technology is in place and we’ve had success in many trials in 2011, but it’s the content rights that are holding the industry back from full-scale deployments. With recent developments in this area, we believe the waiting game will soon be over.

It’s clear that IP video delivery will remain at the forefront of the broadband industry in 2012, with developments on both the technology and contents sides pushing it ahead. We look forward to helping make video a key component of the new mobile lifestyle for consumers around the globe.


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TelcoTV 10 YearsTelcoTV 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the seminal tradeshow for telcos looking to get into video delivery. My, how things have certainly changed in a decade.

Back in 2001, if you wanted a multi-channel TV service from AT&T or Verizon you got a satellite dish bolted to the side of your house.

At the time, pundits argued the merits of these telecom giants vastly upgrading their networks to deliver video versus continuing their partnerships with the DBS giants–some loudly speculated that the telcos would simply acquire the satellite titans.

Taking the ‘build it and they will come’ mantra to heart, AT&T and Verizon set about upgrading their networks.

Today their gamble has paid off as subs have indeed come to their services—and in big numbers. At the end of Q1, Verizon ranked as the seventh largest multi-channel TV provider in the U.S. with 3.6 million subs and AT&T comes in at number nine with a not-too-shabby 3.2 million subs. Both offer a very competitive suite of live and on-demand programming in both SD and HD, complete with DVR service and typically bundled with much speedier DSL.

But the success of AT&T and Verizon is also shared by smaller telcos–often much smaller–that have taken advantage of new generations of video products utilizing the latest bandwidth-thrifty codecs.

We’re proud to say we’ve had a hand in this success. RGB’s solutions have helped the largest telcos, the smallest telcos, and many in between to deliver video services with pristine picture quality.

But like our telco customers, we’re not resting on our laurels.

TV Everywhere is the next hurdle for telcos and we’re further enhancing our award-winning multiscreen IP video solutions to enable telcos of all sizes to offer both live and on-demand programming on all screens with optimal picture quality. We’re taking these solutions a step further to enable the delivery of ads all the way down to the individual viewer. This ability to hyper-target ads represents a tremendous opportunity for telcos to generate substantial new revenues without requiring churn-inducing rate increases.

So, as awesome as the first 10 years of TelcoTV have been, they’re only setting the stage for the next decade. Stay tuned for more info to come as we kick off a series of blog postings leading up to TelcoTV 2011.

We look forward to seeing you later this month in New Orleans—stop by booth #233 to learn more about what we have in store as we enter TelcoTV’s second decade. Take a look here for a sneak peek of our demos and an opportunity to download our latest white papers on a variety of IP video topics.


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eViaAs we reach the final stretch on the road to IBC, our special blog series moves on to a hot topic that’s been at the forefront of industry debate since the show last year.

Online and mobile viewing of premium video content including TV programming, movies, sports events and news is now mainstream. Driven by the increasing availability of low-cost, high-resolution desktops, laptops, tablets, and internet-enabled TV sets, consumers have rapidly moved through the ‘novelty’ phase of acceptance to expect that any media should be available essentially on any device over any network connection.

Where there is video service, there is often an advertising strategy in place to monetize the service. However, with numerous reports declaring the end of traditional TV advertising, it is vital that operators move quickly to ensure their business models remain lucrative.

In order to monetize premium video services over new protocols, a new video ad insertion infrastructure, leveraging open-standards, is required. At IBC, RGB Networks will be showcasing how it can help operators meet this need with its new adaptive HTTP streaming ad insertion ecosystem, which provides hyper-targeted ad insertion capabilities for the integrated delivery and monetization of video to multiple screens. Read today’s press release for more information.

HTTP streaming works via client playback of a sequence of HTTP-requested short video files or ‘chunks.’ Adaptive HTTP streaming allows the client to request chunks of the same content, encoded at different bitrates and resolutions (called profiles), so that, as network bandwidth changes, the client can download the best possible quality chunk at any point in time. This technology enables greater flexibility within the advertising industry – particularly in Europe – providing operators greater control over the adverts streamed to their target audience.

Operators will also be able to personalize content and advertising streams – a key factor in maintaining viewer interest going forward. Through adaptive streaming ad insertion, operators are provided with hyper-targeted advertising capabilities down to the neighborhood, device or even the individual. The ability to monetize their video services through effective ad targeting across not just one, but all devices, will be the ultimate differentiator for businesses looking to stay ahead of the pack.

On the whole, it’s clear that there is a lot of potential for the advertising industry going forward. While the traditional models may be classed as dead, new methods are breathing new life into the industry.

For more about RGB’s eVIA adaptive streaming ad insertion architecture, please download our white paper. And don’t forget to visit us on stand 4.C78 at IBC to see the technology in action.

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videonetAs we head into the summer, it’s time to catch up on your reading. If you missed it, we encourage you to take a look at Videonet’s recent report “Making all TV multi-screen TV” for some details on the multi-screen phenomenon that has become the hot topic in the industry.

For some additional insight into the world of multi-screen video, Andy Salo, who is responsible for RGB’s adaptive streaming products and technology initiatives, answers some questions, giving you more to think about before you head out on your summer vacation.

What main point should operators take away from the recent Videonet report, “Making all TV multi-screen TV?”

If operators haven’t developed a multi-screen strategy or are not at least planning for it, they are already behind. The world is changing and simply providing one type of video delivery isn’t enough anymore – operators must evolve to remain competitive. This applies across all operators – cable, mobile, and telcos.

With the expansion of video beyond traditional TV services, how must operators adapt to ensure continued advertising revenues?

Advertising revenue is the life blood of many operators. As you would expect, the methods for signaling and delivering advertising are well understood in traditional TV models, for example SCTE 30/35.

While multi-screen presents significant opportunities for operators, it also presents advertising challenges, as there are no well established ad delivery standards across this multitude of devices. RGB is expanding its leadership role in transcoder-based ad insertion by extending ad insertion capabilities to multi-screen delivery protocols, so that our customers can benefit by having a single solution across multiple screens. This tight integration of transcoding, packaging and ad insertion across devices promises to eliminate a looming headache for operators as they take their trials and deployments to the next level.

As RGB deploys multi-screen solutions in the field, what is the biggest challenge that customers are looking to RGB to solve?

The biggest multi-screen concerns we hear from our customers are frankly, scale and complexity. Many operator customers are already deploying phased rolls outs, and when doing so they quickly realize how multi-screen adds a level of network volume or complexity that might be more than they anticipated.

If you think about the basic premise of how multi-screen delivery works, you see why this makes sense. With multi-screen, for every program you are typically taking one inbound video stream and transcoding it 4, 8, or 12 times into the multiple bitrates and resolutions needed to deliver correctly formatted content to smart phones, tablets, PCs, and set-top boxes. This can turn a “hundreds of streams” problem into a “thousands of streams problem” very quickly.

Combine that with different adaptive streaming delivery protocols like Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, and you can have a “multi-dimensional” multi-screen delivery problem. RGB anticipated this challenge and built our solution to provide the highest capacity and most flexible video delivery infrastructure in the industry, and that helps our customers easily address even the biggest scaling and complexity concerns.

What does multi-screen mean to operators for security?

One of the most fundamental shifts in multi-screen delivery is the implication for content security. Once content delivery is extended to traditional IP or over-the-top (OTT) networks, Digital Rights Management (DRM) becomes a big issue. RGB is excited to be working with partners like Verimatrix to address our customers’ combined needs for content delivery plus securing that content across the network.

As multi-screen services become more widely deployed, what will be the next big hurdle encountered by operators?

As if today’s challenges weren’t enough! Seriously, we are seeing the early stages of multi-screen deployments and there are significant near term challenges (or opportunities) that our customers are facing such as those mentioned earlier like scale, complexity, and DRM, as well as simply devices from different vendors operating together in a cohesive ecosystem.

Longer term we see operators wanting to monetize this multi-screen traffic in ways that expand and complement what they are doing today. Through our efforts in standards bodies and partner integration we will continue to promote and encourage standards relating to monetizing traffic and third-party device interoperability, which will be key to providing long term value to our operator customers and ultimately, their customers.

Email Andy

 

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Every year we look forward to CED’s annual year-end ranking of the most important things impacting the cable television industry—it provides a good reference check for what’s really top-of-mind with operators throughout the industry. Right on schedule, CED posted its annual ‘Broadband 50’ ranking, and as we expected, more than a few relate directly to RGB.

Advanced advertising (#3), multi-screen video (#4), IP video (#8), MPEG-4 (#28), CMAP (#45) and transcoding (#49) are all near-and-dear to RGB as they’re at the core of what we do.

We’re not surprised to find any of these topics on CED’s list—RGB’s focus from day one has been to bring the most advanced video processing technology to video service providers around the world.

We continue to do that today with next-generation solutions that are very relevant to operators’ plans for the future and CED’s rankings help demonstrate this. As we say goodbye to 2010 and move forward into a new and exciting year, please stay tuned for more news from RGB on the topics above (a subscription to this blog will provide you with easy, automatic updates to the latest news from RGB!).

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