Suddenlink Promotes the TiVo Stream
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Suddenlink Promotes the TiVo Stream
Suddenlink Communications is likely the first cable operator to offer the TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) Stream, a video transcoding device that transmits live and recorded video to tablets and other smartphones connected to a consumer's home network.Suddenlink is promoting the device on its TiVo page, but offers no details on when it will be introduced and how much it will cost. "We'll have more to say soon," a Suddenlink spokesman said via email.TiVo introduced the Stream at retail on Sept. 6 for US$129.99, but hasn't announced which of its cable customers -- which include Suddenlink, Grande Communications and RCN Corp. -- will be deploying it. (See TiVo Goes to the iPad and Zenverge Chips In for TiVo Stream.)
RCN VP of Engineering and Operations Jason Nealis told Light Reading in late August that he's keen on the Stream, but his company is still deciding whether to lease it or support units that customers purchase at retail. His preference was leasing, to ensure that RCN maintains more control of the device. (See When Will Cable Turn Up TiVo Stream? )Stream, when paired with the primary Premiere HD-DVR, fits into TiVo's whole-home architecture, allowing users to transfer recordings and watch live TV on up to four devices at once.David Sandford, the VP and GM of TiVo's service provider business addressed some concerns about how Stream handles shows and movies that have been flagged by programmers or studios as "copy once." Sandford says that label does not restrict Stream from sharing live video within the home. However, content labeled as such cannot be copied and transferred to another device to be taken on the go. But copy once is the rare exception, typically used for some content from premium programmers like HBO. All programming from major broadcasters and most from cable TV programmers is tagged as "copy freely," Sandford adds.
Operators Flock to Comcast's IP Set-Top Kit
Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition."Dozens" of cable operators are considering deploying Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s reference design kit (RDK), a pre-integrated bundle of software for hybrid IP/QAM and IP-only video gateways and set-tops that will be integrated into chips by the likes of Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). That's the view (shared in a research note) of Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) analyst Simon Leopold, who met recently with Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), one of several box makers that have licensed the RDK. Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) are among the major U.S. cable operators to have licensed the RDK and have discussed product plans around the reference design. Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) has licensed it for evaluation purposes, but its new Horizon platform is based on the NDS (now Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)) software platform. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction and Comcast's IP Set-Top Club Expands.)Liberty Global's next-gen video offering, dubbed Horizon, is off to a flying start, with demand 500 percent higher than the company originally forecast, company Managing Director of Strategic Marketing Peter Dorr said at this week's CTAM EuroSummit in Vienna, according to Broadband TV News. He said demand hasn't caused a shortfall on available set-tops, but is putting some stress on the MSO's ability to install orders. UPC Nederland, one of the first Liberty Global properties to get Horizon, said more than 45,000 people have downloaded the Horizon app, which lets customers stream TV to tablets over the home network. (See Liberty Global Embarks on New TV Horizon.)
Roku Inc. CEO Anthony Wood is the latest over-the-top video exec to predict the coming of a "virtual" MSO that would offer slimmed down subscription video services via broadband. "In the next 12 months in the U.S. you'll start to see a virtual MSO," that will distribute services via Roku and other broadband connected devices, Wood said at this week's Next TV Summit in San Francisco, reports Multichannel News. Boxee CEO Avner Ronin made a similar prediction in January, agreeing with Wood's notion that the companies likely to first embrace the virtual cable operator model will be traditional pay-TV provider that already has programmer relationships. (See A Virtual MSO Shall Rise, Boxee CEO Says.)Comcast's thePlatform Inc. says its video publishing system is powering Shaw Communications Inc. 's TV Everywhere service, ShawGo, which has just launched. (See Shaw Lights Up TV Everywhere.)Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has made some enhancements to its FiOS TV video-on-demand platform that lets customers pre-purchase titles from a "Coming Soon" selection, and an option to preview the first 10 minutes of some movies for free.The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has created a working group that will develop recommended practices for the recycling of cable electronic equipment. The first meeting of the group, chaired by Colt Recycling VP of Sales and Marketing Peter Muscanelli, will take place at next month's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando.
Euronews: iPhone 5 Hits Europe
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; Toronto: RIM), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Carlos Slim are on board for today's cruise through the EMEA telecom news headlines.Praise the Lord and pass your sales chit! The iPhone 5 has landed in select parts of Europe (namely the UK, France and Germany), with the usual queues forming in the usual places. Hovering above the hullabaloo was the dark cloud of Apple's new Maps service fiasco, with reports of entire cities disappearing or being moved by the Google Maps replacement. And in case you're wondering, the first person in the world to own an iPhone 5 was this bloke. Maybe Apple should have him stuffed? (See Apple iPhone 5: What Happened & What Didn't , iPhone 5 Arrives With 4G LTE and Euronews: iPhone 5 Spells Euro 4G Mayhem.)What would make today an even better one for Apple? Well, if one of its main rivals had a public relations disaster, that would help. Step forward RIM, which announced at about 10am U.K. time (5am Eastern) on Twitter that "some users in Europe, Middle East & Africa are experiencing issues with their BlackBerry service... We are investigating and apologise for any inconvenience." Nearly three hours later the company issued a statement saying: "Our apologies to any customers impacted by the BlackBerry service issue today. We can confirm that services have been restored and are now operating normally." RIM suffered a major service outage in October last year that severely dented its reputation and which appears to have contributed to its recent problems, so today's hitches are only likely to make things worse for the already beleaguered handset firm. (See RIM's Three-Day Service Disruption Spreads and More Job Cuts at RIM.)Is Nokia's turnaround plan succeeding? Many investors clearly don't think so, as short-selling of Nokia stock -- where investors make money if the shares go down -- is rife, according to the Financial Times. Could be a tough winter ahead for Nokia, and not just because it's based in Finland. (See Euronews: Market Ponders Nokia's Future, Euronews: It's Make or Break for Nokia (Again), LR Reader Poll: Nokia's Takeover 'Joke' and Euronews: Nokia Loses $1.9B in Q2.)Austrian financial regulators are looking closely at whether Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim should be allowed to take a major stake in Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), according to a report on Reuters. The fact that Telekom Austria has a banking subsidiary means that it will face extra scrutiny. (See Euronews: Slim Takes a Breather, Euronews: Slim's Stealthy Expansion and Slim's Dutch Drama .)The European Commission 's vice president and competition supremo Joaquin Almunia has made a plea for a little more peace, love and understanding between rivals in the telecom patents space. (Yes, he means YOU!, Apple, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Samsung Corp. .) "It is high time they look for negotiated solutions -- I am tempted to call them 'peace talks' -- that would put an end to the patent wars," said the optimistic commissioner. (See Euronews: EC Probes Samsung on Patents and Making Sense of the Handset Patent Plays.)If you needed proof that things were dire in Spain on the telecom front, here it is: Telecom revenues there fell 8.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, according to figures from national regulator CMT, cited by Telecompaper. More details can be found on CMT's blog (in Spanish).
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