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In Perspective - “Qwikster”? Really?

Fri, 09/30/2011 - 8:30pm
Brian Santo

Pay-TV competition isn’t going away. Nothing is even close to settled yet.

The Apple side of the universe is abuzz with the possibility that Comcast is getting close to streaming live TV to iPads. The service, called AnyPlay, would be delivered through a Motorola box.

Brian SantoAnyPlay is Comcast’s name for the Motorola system the MSO had in its Cable Show booth in June (Motorola calls it Televation).

That box, equipped with a tuner and a CableCard, gets plugged into a Wi-Fi router, takes TV signals from coax and distributes them wirelessly through the router.

If the scheme becomes popular, the electronics in the AnyPlay device could conceivably be integrated into a DVR or a gateway, Comcast CTO Tony Werner told CED at the show.

And all on the same day, Sezmi said it will shut down its consumer business, Amazon cut a deal to stream Fox movies and Netflix signed an exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation.

Sezmi’s over-the-top service offered a mix of over-the-air channels, some of the less popular cable channels and some VOD delivered through a retail box. It managed to make it to 36 cities before hitting a wall.

Amazon still hasn’t amassed enough content to be taken seriously as a contender in the pay-TV universe, but it’s big enough to buy time and get better.

Netflix shot itself in the foot – twice – first with a fee increase, then with a split into a DVD company and a streaming company.

The confluence of all of this news goes to show that pay-TV incumbents understand exactly what’s going on, and they’re going to make it very, very hard to compete with them – hard enough to knock the odd competitor to the wayside. DreamWorks’ recent deal with Netflix goes to show that pay-TV competition isn’t going away. Nothing is even close to settled yet.

E-Mail: brian.santo@advantagemedia.com

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