Years after Netflix, smartphones and tablets all hit the scene, even those service providers capable of multi-screen delivery continue to struggle with the multi-screen phenomenon. That’s because even as service providers respond to viewers’ increasing appetite for video on screens other than the TV, consumers’ multi-screen behavior continues to evolve.
The once heavily tech-driven business model of small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable and broadband service providers is morphing into a kaleidoscope of moving, interchangeable parts. Smaller operators whose subscriber counts number in the four- and five-figure range are fiddling with and tweaking their business models like never before.
The multi-screen transformation has taken the video world by storm. Customers now expect the same video services they receive on their set-top box on their video-capable devices. Adoption of multi-screen services is occurring across the spectrum, running the gamut of service providers, content providers and enterprises.
Technology development is accelerating, and consumer and enterprise demand for bandwidth-hungry content and applications continues to expand. The need for global standardization has become an industry prerequisite, driven by the needs of service providers to deliver robust new services quickly and cost-effectively.
John Malone’s Liberty Global is in the process of cooking up a deal to buy Virgin Media. Virgin Media’s price tag could be in the range of $24 billion, while its market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion.
There is a movement toward usage-based pricing that borrows from an electrical utility model of the early 1900s. Today’s megabits are yesterday’s kilowatts, and like power companies before them, service providers appreciate the symbiotic relationship that device makers can deliver.
There are so many TV choices available that it’s virtually impossible for consumers to discover what’s really there. The challenge is proactively presenting subscribers with personalized content recommendations, instead of forcing them to work hard to find something they like to watch.
Greenlee introduced its new 910FS Optical Fusion Splicer and 910CL Optical Fiber Cleaver; Actiontec launched ScreenBeam, a wireless display kit that lets users mirror their PC, tablet and smartphone displays on an HDTV; and Celeno and Atmel are developing integrated solutions for high-performance Wi-Fi Direct remote controls.
On a fourth-quarter and year-end earnings conference call, Time Warner Cable President and COO Rob Marcus outlined some of the cable operator’s key initiatives for this year, which included the rollout of a cloud-based user interface on IP set-top boxes and gateways.
Broadcom has purchased BroadLogic, Broadcom confirmed. The acquisition was made months ago, during the summer of 2012, but was not announced. The only previous public mention of the action was a status update attesting to the fact on the website of one of BroadLogic’s investors.
United Kingdom-based ThinkAnalytics continues to make inroads into the United States. To wit: ThinkAnalytics’ recommendation engine is the first and only one to date to license the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK) software stack. Vendors have been lining up in droves to take part in Comcast’s RDK efforts.
Ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings call, Netgear announced an agreement to acquire the operations of Sierra Wireless' AirCard business. The purchase price is approximately $138 million in cash. The final purchase price is subject to adjustments after closing.
Belkin, a maker of smartphone cases and computing accessories, said that it is buying the home networking business unit of Cisco, including the Linksys router brand. Privately held Belkin did not disclose the purchase price, nor did Cisco Systems. The deal is expected to close in March.
DTS and RGB Networks said they will integrate the former’s audio solutions into the latter’s multi-screen IP video delivery products. The result is a product that video distributors can use to control program and advertising sound levels in conformance with the CALM Act.
Inmarsat will use VoIP equipment from Metaswitch to provide the telephony element of its Global Xpress worldwide communication service. Metaswitch is supplying Inmarsat with its Universal Media Gateways, MetaSphere server, MetaView system and Perimeta session border controllers.
In Netflix's bid for a flagship original drama of its own – a "Sopranos" to its HBO – the subscription streaming service is presenting a high-class adaptation of a British political thriller offered up all at once, with its first season immediately ready for TV-viewing gluttony.
Columbus International will install SeaWell Networks’ session delivery controller to expand its IPTV service. Columbus will integrate SeaWell's Spectrum solution to help deliver its hybrid IP video services, which will include TV Everywhere services and IP video on-demand to more than 450,000 customers across any IP-connected device.
In order to better connect its Hispanic customer base with its services, Cablevision announced that it has launched a new Web portal, Optimum.net en Español. The new Web portal knits together Cablevision’s Optimum services with full Spanish-language features.
In a stock deal with one of its main suppliers, Comcast has agreed to pay $150 million for a stake in Arris. Comcast will acquire 10.6 million shares in Arris, and the deal will be completed in concert with Arris’ $2.35 billion purchase of Google’s Motorola Home division.
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.