Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market, Roku's Internet streaming platform has some 1,200 apps and offers a more comprehensive selection of niche content.
Google’s VP9 codec is an alternative to H.265 (aka HEVC). Both promise to drop compression rates by about half. Google has tried to establish its own codecs as standard issue before, most recently with its VP8 codec. VP8 gained little traction outside of Google. Neither has VP9, until recently.
Suddenlink Communications announced it has completed its purchase of four Texas-based systems from Northland Communications. With the completion of the deal, which was first announced in October, Suddenlink added 12,000 residential and nearly 300 commercial customers.
Polaroid will be at CES next week debuting the 50GSR7100 50-inch Roku Ready Smart TV. The Roku Streaming Stick will allow consumers to stream more than 1,000 entertainment channels. Polaroid is also preparing a 50-inch 4K Ultra HD (UHD) to anchor a new line of 4K TVs.
With the end game of having all of its systems all digital by the first half of this year, Charter announced this morning that all-digital upgrades will start in the middle of this month in Missouri and Southern Illinois. Charter said the upgrades, which are scheduled to be completed by mid-summer, would add more than 200 HD channels to its lineup in those areas, as well as “significantly” faster Internet speeds.
Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers. Among the plans being tested are a $6.99-a-month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched at once, and a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, whether on a TV, tablet or computer.
Gracenote is by far best known for its music metadata, used by a number of streaming music services. The Gracenote database gets 550 million look-ups each day and more than 16 billion every month, the company claimed. Beyond that, Gracenote also has an extensive video metadata database as well.
Streaming video devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Google's Chromecast project video from Netflix, YouTube and other services onto the big-screen TV. Suddenly, the computer seems inadequate. Internet television will never be the same. Internet-connected TVs, TiVo digital video recorders and various game consoles also come with apps for video services.
The continued exodus of basic cable subscribers in North America was an anchor on the worldwide cable revenue market while IPTV and satellite providers grew their revenues. According to a recent study by Infonetics research, cable revenue market share fell another percent in first half of this year.
Time Warner Cable announced this morning that its new guide with cloud-based features was now on 2 million hybrid gateways, with plans to hit 6 million by the end of next year. The new guide was paired with updated cloud-based navigation services, more program information, a new VOD portal and better search and recommendation capabilities.
Up, which specialize in family programming, has picked Comcast Wholesale business unit’s Comcast Media Center to provide multi-content delivery services. The Comcast Media Center (CMC) is handling channel origination and transmission services for UP from its playback platform.
Cox Communications is the latest cable operator to sign up to carry international sports programming from beIN Sports. Starting today, Cox subscribers in Northern Virginia can tune in to beIN Sport and beIN Sport en Espanol. Later this month, the TV Everywhere live event broadband service, beIN Sport Play, will be available to Cox’s authenticated subscribers.
The media industry currently has no open, uniform method of content identification that survives compression and distribution through the supply chain. Putting such an identification method in place is a critical next step toward the establishment of an interoperable standard for all professional video content that can be used throughout the entire media ecosystem.
Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnaytics announced this morning that it had expanded the capabilities of its hosted ThinkCloud platform for programmers and service providers. ThinkCloud is a turnkey, software-as-a-service (SaaS) component that allows service providers to offload IT resources and use a “pay as you grow” business model
Time Warner Cable Inc. said Friday that it has made live local TV station signals available on its TWC TV app in Los Angeles and San Diego, taking one further step toward fulfilling the industry's promise of making TV programming available on multiple devices. The signals only work for TV subscribers who are also Time Warner Cable Internet customers and are on their home Wi-Fi network.
Bright House Networks is helping its customers cut through the clutter of finding video content with the launch of its TV Explorer website. In addition to the website, TV Explorer is also available for free as an app on iPads and Android tablets with operating systems of 4.0 or higher.
Dolby Laboratories announced that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment now encode movies and TV programs in the UltraVioletCommon File Format (CFF) using Dolby Digital Plus. With UltraViolet, consumers can download and stream their favorite movies and television programs anytime and anywhere to their TV screens, personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
Starting in the first quarter of next year, Comcast announced that more distribution and network partners would take part in its SEEiT platform that uses Twitter to click through tweets to programs. Comcast said the new partners would extend the SEEiT experience to millions more viewers by adding additional video distributors, television networks and an expanded roster of popular shows.
Thanks to a major upgrade to its on demand platform, RCN now has the capacity to offer five times more VOD programs than it could a year ago. Another benefit of the upgrade included RCN being able to add 40 new networks including Fox, NBC, A&E and Disney Jr.
Today AT&T officially launched its U-Verse GigaPower service in Austin, which came out of the starter’s blocks with symmetrical 300 Mbps speeds before ramping up to 1 Gbps next year. Customers who sign up for the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to the 1 Gig speeds when they become available at no extra cost.
Samsung Electronics America has signed up to license the Reference Design Kit from RDK Management in order to accelerate the development of its next generation set-top boxes and gateways. With Samsung on board, more than 100 silicon vendors, hardware OEMs, integrators, application developers, and service providers have licensed the RDK.
After nearly 19 years with Cable One, Jerry McKenna will retire from his role as senior vice president-chief sales and marketing officer at the end of the month. McKenna joined Cable One in 1994 as vice president-strategic marketing before being named senior vice president-chief sales and marketing officer five years ago.
Telenor Hungary has just launched a video service using an end-to-end system provided by UUX. The system delivers video not just to mobile devices, but to any IP-enabled viewing device, including smart TVs. UUX is the result of the recent merger of TotalMovie and OTT.
After more than a year of beta testing, NimbleTV’s cloud-based TV Everywhere service is live in the New York City metropolitan area. NimbleTV provisions video, including video content from users that have pay-TV subscriptions with RCN, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision, over the Internet to devices such as Apple iOS phones and tablets, Roku boxes and Web-enabled TVs and browsers.
Incoming Time Warner Cable Inc. CEO Rob Marcus said Monday that the company's current debt level is "prudent," even as other cable TV companies are reportedly examining adding debt to acquire it. Marcus, the chief operating officer who will replace Glenn Britt as chief executive on Jan. 1, told an investor conference in New York that the company's target of having debt that is 3.25 times its cash flow is appropriate.