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News summary for 4/23/07

Mon, 04/23/2007 - 11:15am

And Terayon goes to…Motorola
By Brian Santo, CED

Motorola is the top bidder for Terayon Communication Systems, which for the past year or so has been widely considered the company most likely to be bought.

Motorola will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Terayon's common stock for $1.80 per share in cash. The transaction will have a total equity value of approximately $140 million, a little less than double Terayon’s preliminary calculation of 2006 sales of $76.4 million. Terayon’s annual revenue in 2005 was $90 million.

Terayon was founded to exploit its proprietary Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (S-CDMA) technology in cable modems and CMTSs. S-CDMA was included as an option in DOCSIS 2.0, but Terayon ended up an also-ran in both markets, and ultimately it shut down both product lines.

Meanwhile, the company’s successful CherryPicker video processing products became the new foundation of a transformed Terayon. The company now specializes in digital ad insertion, motion and graphical overlays, channel branding and channel line-up solutions as well as cutting-edge ad insertion delivery technologies.

Failing in the CMTS and cable modem markets actually made Terayon a more inviting acquisition target for ARRIS, Cisco and Motorola (all three of which were said to have been interested in Terayon at one point or another), who already had those products in their portfolios and didn’t need or want duplicate lines.

Upon completion of the purchase, Terayon will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola and will be integrated into the Motorola Connected Home Solutions business. Motorola said it intends to maintain Terayon's operations in Santa Clara, Calif.

Pace integrates boxes with TandbergTV’s VOD platform
By Brian Santo, CED

With the CableCARD transition looming, Pace Micro Technology is continuing to integrate its newest DVR-based set-tops with VOD systems from a variety of other suppliers. Pace’s most recent integration is with Tandberg Television.

Pace has integrated its Tahoe HD-DVR and its Vegas SD-DVR with TandbergTV’s OpenStream Digital Services Platform. The combination will allow operators to easily deploy on-demand services using VOD servers, applications, billing systems and other system components of their choice. TandbergTV said its system delivers on-demand streams to more than 80 U.S. markets reaching more than 15 million digital subscribers.

In February, Pace announced a similar integration with C-COR’s on-demand platform.

Both Pace boxes are available with CableCARD or embedded conditional access (CA), and can run either native applications or CableLabs OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP). All of the Pace set-tops can run in either DOCSIS Signaling Gateway (DSG) or legacy out of band mode for network messaging.

Zodiac, Skyworks pairing for Advergames deployment
By Traci Patterson, CED

Zodiac Interactive and Skyworks Technologies Inc. are partnering up to design, develop and deploy dual-platform Advergames for online and set-top box (STB) distribution.

Advergames will debut to more than 13 million digital STB subs this year, making it the largest iTV ad-supported game network, the companies said.

The games are designed around a specific product, and product placements can appear during pre-roll as the game loads, during the game and at natural pauses in the game. Actions within the game can spark further activities, including behavior off-line such as e-mails related to the product. E-commerce and click-to-call opportunities can also be embedded in a game. 

According to an iMedia Connection article, the mass medium of games is tracking to reach $42 billion by the end of the decade. Analysts are predicting a growth curve for in-game advertising that outpaces the growth of online and follows suit with what has already happened: gamer hours surpassing time spent on the Internet, the companies said.

Skyworks said that 40 million of its brand-sponsored games are downloaded each month from its clients’ Web sites, and that more than 1 billion of its Advergames have been downloaded to date.

Skyworks will be demonstrating its games at The Cable Show in Las Vegas, May 7-9. In addition, Zodiac's COO Alexander Libkind and Skyworks' VP of Sales and Business Development Mike Vann will speak on a panel entitled, "Casual Attitude: New Opportunities in a Multiplatform Living Room," on May 9.

GetConnected integrating platform into Sling Media software
By Traci Patterson, CED

GetConnected Inc. (GCi) plans to integrate its commerce engine into Sling Media’s SlingPlayer software, which is used in conjunction with the Slingbox.

The Slingbox placeshifts a single, live TV stream from a basic analog cable connection, digital cable box, satellite receiver, or media-enabled PC or DVR to any Internet-connected computer, PDA or smartphone.

The GCi platform will enable Slingbox customers to purchase digital content and services from local area cable, Internet and satellite providers during the installation process of the SlingPlayer software, GCi said.

The combined Sling Media and GCi solution will be integrated into Sling Media's SlingPlayer software in Q2 and will be available for both new and existing U.S. Slingbox customers, the companies said.

Westinghouse, AdtekMedia rolling out digital media network
By Traci Patterson, CED

Westinghouse Digital Electronics, an LCD TV manufacturer, has an arrangement with AdtekMedia Inc. to accelerate the national expansion of PumpTop TV, AdtekMedia’s digital media network. 

Westinghouse will build and install turnkey display systems for fuel pumps serviced by AdtekMedia’s narrowcast network, which will deliver news content and advertising to gas station consumers as they fuel their vehicles, Westinghouse said.

The deal will supply complete systems to be installed onto thousands of gas station pumps in each of 60 of the largest U.S. markets, reaching more than 100 million drivers each month, Westinghouse said.

The five-minute program will include news, sports, entertainment, weather and traffic coverage interspersed with ads. The system includes dual 19-inch widescreen displays (on both sides of the pump), computer and networking components with wireless delivery along with a server backbone.

“Access to Westinghouse Digital’s technology and scale not only allows us to rapidly build a national digital media network in gas stations but gives us a technology platform to create and enable clients to build other vertical digital media networks out of the home,” said Dick Paulsen, president of AdtekMedia.

The rollout plan calls for an expedited completion of the current build-out in Los Angeles, followed by entry into other markets including San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.

Broadband Briefs for 4/23/07

* Verizon’s FiOS TV lineup grows
Verizon’s FiOS TV lineup has gained HD programming in HGTV HD, Food Network HD and Lifetime Movie Network HD.

The three channels will be available in all FiOS TV markets by the end of this week, bringing the total number of HD channels to at least 27 in most markets, depending on the number of local channels that broadcast in HD, the company said. FiOS TV subs with an HD-capable TV and an HD STB will receive the channels at no additional cost.

* Research and Markets adds mobile advertising
Research and Markets has announced the addition of “Mobile Advertising” to its offering. The mobile advertising market is predicted to continue increasing globally, reaching more than $1.5 billion in 2007, according to Informa Telecoms & Media

Click here for more information.

* TWC, FON, ally on Wi-Fi network 
Time Warner Cable is partnering with FON, a worldwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots. Time Warner Cable subscribers can become FON community members. Members offer access to their connections to other members for free, in exchange for free WiFi access around the world, wherever FON has partner ISPs. FON said it currently has nearly 60,000 FON members in the U.S.

* Entropic ships five-millionth MIPS-based MoCA chipset
Semiconductor manufacturer MIPS Technologies announced that Entropic Communications has now shipped more than five million MIPS-based c.LINK chipsets for digital networking applications based on MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) specifications. The c.LINK coax network chip technology allows consumers to share high-definition content such as video, music, games and images throughout the home using existing coax cable.

* Motorola Canopy gets Vietnamese government order
Motorola said that the Dong Thap People's Committee has selected Motorola's wi4 Fixed Canopy solution for its government network. A combination of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless broadband network systems will connect provincial offices and administrative agencies in Dong Thap. The Dong Thap Canopy deployment will support Internet, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and video calls over a single broadband platform.

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