Before we Start Over with a New Year, here’s a Look Back at 2012 through the prism of CED’s Broadband 50, which is now 12 years old. We have scoured the cable world to come up with the people, stories and trends that were the most meaningful.
Humax has introduced a new IP set-top box based on the Comcast RDK and developed with input from the MSO. Humax will also start including support for the Opera TV Store in its new set-top boxes this year. Opera Software, meanwhile, announced that it has upgraded its Opera TV Store.
Comcast said it’s the first multichannel provider to bring its authenticated subscribers live streaming of ESPN Buzzer Beater via its Xfinity.com/TV Web portal. ESPN Buzzer Beater is ESPN’s weekly HD college basketball live cut-in and highlights network.
Bolstered by a $38 million second round of financing, controversial streaming provider Aereo plans on expanding its service to 22 more cities across the nation this year. Aereo launched its streaming service in New York City and was promptly sued by major broadcast networks.
In the not-so-distant future, couch potatoes will be waving, pointing, swiping and tapping to make their TVs react, kind of like what Tom Cruise did in the movie "Minority Report." That's the vision of TV manufacturers as they show off "Smart TVs."
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Time Warner Cable announced it has added Roku to its roster of partners that can stream the MSO’s TWC TV service. The TWC TV service is free to authenticated subscribers and will launch on Roku this quarter.
Celeno has partnered with Edimax on a video bridge that supports 802.11ac and boasts a peak radio throughput of 866 Mbps. The video bridge is capable of provisioning uninterrupted streaming of HD IPTV, as well as data streams to multiple screens within a user’s home, while also insuring QoS and QoE.
With the deal, Motorola Mobility has scored a notable trifecta for its Medios+ encryption technology, having struck deals in the past year with a major satellite company – Blockbuster is owned by EchoStar/Dish – a major IPTV provider – Verizon FiOS – and a major MSO – Time Warner Cable.
Jason Kilar will step down as the chief executive of Hulu, the online video service owned by the parents of ABC, NBC and Fox. NBC parent Comcast is required to be a silent partner in Hulu as part of the government signing off on its purchase of NBCUniversal.
Flingo announced it will be showing its new interactive TV platform - called Samba, which instantly syncs live TV shows across TVs, PCs, phones and tablets without downloading an app or logging in - at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
For Cequel Communications Holdings, doing business as Suddenlink, 2012 was the occasion of a remarkably simultaneous culmination of several multi-year efforts. These efforts included both engineering and business aspects, which ultimately amplified each other.
In this age, with every point in the distribution line being threaded through and through with IP-based technologies, it is important to consider the near-, mid- and long-term future of the MPEG video transport architecture this industry invented and built.
Epix is broadening its TV Everywhere reach by developing applications for Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PSP3) and PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) systems. The PS3 app is slated to launch in the first quarter of this year, while the PS Vita app will roll out this spring.
There’s a widespread expectation that the business of broadband-based SMA will grow rapidly this year, and it will be hard to find a company that can help spread SMA wider than Lowe’s. The company launched its Iris cloud-based smart home product line last year.
ZyXel announced a turnkey commercial Wi-Fi hotspot upgrade to its CloudEnabled Business Access Point, Cycle30 developed commercial business billing software designed for cable ops and Concurrent modified its video system to deliver content directly to Smart TVs.
Charter Communications and The Walt Disney Co. announced a long-term distribution agreement that included multi-screen options and the addition of The Longhorn Network in some areas of Charter’s footprint. The renewal agreement will mix in Disney video content.
The Federal Communications Commission has begun a new proceeding on delivery of emergency information to blind and sight-impaired viewers. The FCC seems to be aware of the practical problem noted above, but it’s not making much progress in dealing with it.
According to Needham and Co. analyst Richard Valera, Arris stands to triple its sales and double its EPS while adding $2 billion in debt. All well and good, but how Arris goes about executing its merger strategy with the much larger Motorola Home assets remains a work in progress.
For the second straight quarter, Cisco edged out Motorola as the top cable set-top box market share leader. Infonetics Research said in a recent report that worldwide set-top box revenue was essentially flat in the third quarter of this year, totaling $3.7 billion.
Arris announced it will acquire the Motorola Home business from Google for $2.35 billion. Arris will get outright possession of approximately 1,000 patents, and also an open license to about 1,000 more held by Motorola Mobility (which remains with Google).
Netgear announced that its new CG4500TM voice/data gateway, which has the capability for 24 x 4 channel bonding, has received CableLabs DOCSIS 3.0 certification. On the channel-bonding front, Netgear is using MaxLinear’s MxL267 Full-Spectrum Capture (FSC) digital cable front-end receiver.
Nintendo is entering the TV realm with the launch of its Nintendo TVii, which is a free, integrated service that works on the recently launched Wii U console. TVii works by aggregating a Wii U user’s current video content provider onto a Wii U GamePad controller.
Comcast has started a phased deployment of HD digital transport adapters (HD DTAs) in subscribers’ homes ahead of ultimately having the devices across its entire footprint. HD DTAs allow customers to access HD signals without the frills of VOD, PPV, etc.
Since Suddenlink Communications became the first cable operator to offer the TiVo Stream service in Lubbock, Texas, in October, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator has deployed it in more than 60 communities across its footprint.
The sheer volume of multi-screen videos, along with the proliferation of the devices used to watch the content on, can be overwhelming at times, but Comcast-owned thePlatform has added “smart workflow” features to its mpx offering to help solve those issues.