Mar 26 2013

News - Intel Drawing Closer to IPTV Service, Deals with Content Providers

Intel announced last March that they were working on developing a "virtual cable provider", offering subscription TV services over broadband to Intel-powered set top boxes. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Intel is finally close to securing deals with a number of major content providers to help launch the service. Intel's proposed service would roll up live TV offerings, online DVR funtionality, and on-demand content in a manner in which traditional cable and satellite subscription services could never match. It's not impossible to imagine that content providers might see such a service as an antidote to growing discontent with rising subscription TV rates, but it's also difficult to imagine networks such as CNN and NBC that are owned by companies that also own cable service providers rushing toward an Intel backed a la carte future.


Intel is betting it can create a more flexible service, delivered through consumers’ broadband accounts, that gives subscribers more choices over the channels they receive and offers an easier-to-use electronic programming guide, Huggers said. The service would offer live channels and on-demand programming.


Nov 29 2011

News - Verizon Fios TV Coming to the Xbox 360

Today Verizon has announced plans to release their Fios TV services to the Xbox 360 platform. Users will have to subscribe to the Fios Internet and TV services in order to gain access to the service on your xbox. 

Another interesting fact is Verizon will sell a triple play package that includes, TV, Phone and Internet services for $89.00. As part of that triple play package it will include access to a one year xbox live gold subscription as part of the package to customers who sign up for the plan by January 21st. 

Verizon has a press release out today detailing plans for the launch of its FiOS TV service on the Microsoft Xbox. The service is still listed as “coming soon,” but all reports suggest general availability will happen before the end of the year.

As for the details of the Verizon Xbox offer, the operator says it will sell a FiOS triple play package along with a year’s subscription for Xbox Live Gold membership for $89.99 per month to consumers who sign up before the 21st of January. It’s also throwing in a copy of “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.” The Xbox app will be integrated with Kinect to support voice and gesture commands.


Nov 17 2011

News - Sony May Be Looking at IPTV Integration for Future Televisions

Sony's TV business has been taking it on the chin for a while now and Sony has promised that it is going to turn things around. From the sounds of things Sony is planning on forging into the world of IPTV as a way of getting people excited about Sony televisions again, and perhaps extend the window of revenue generation for their TVs and other devices.

This service would cut cable companies out of the media delivery loop. According to the WSJ's "people familiar with the situation," Sony wants to license smaller bundles of channels than cable operators. That could present some problems. Media companies might not want to undercut the partnerships they have with cable and satellite outlets.


Oct 26 2011

News - Minerva Networks Prepping xTVFusion 5 IPTV Platform

Minerva Networks

Minerva Networks recently announced that the new version of their IPTV platform, xTVFusion 5, is now available to service providers. The big news here is that xTVFusion 5 is intended for deployment in both high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth network environments. Depending on the bandwidth the network provides, xTVFusion 5 can be adapted to provide different service options ranging from simple TV streaming up to whole-home DVR and OTT video options. I would not expect to see Minerva powering the video service of any of the big boy ISPs any time soon, but Minerva has slowly been adding smaller service providers around the world. Perhaps by targeting the niche players in the ISP market Minerva Netwroks can help prove the viability of IPTV for more wide scale deployments.

The combination of IP connectivity and new managed networks could create interesting new business models for ISPs looking to boost sales and add new services. Take Sonic.net, for instance: the broadband provider has filed a video franchise application with the California Public Utilities Commission, and is expected to launch a low-cost streaming TV offering over its existing network. With technology like xTVFusion 5, more ISPs could follow suit.


Sep 06 2011

News - Mediaroom 2.0 Pokes Head Above Ground to Eye Multiple Platforms

Mediaroom is Microsoft's IPTV platform. Mediaroom 2.0 was announced at CES 2010. News about Mediaroom 2.0 has been hard to come by pretty much ever since.

There has been speculation about how far Mediaroom would expand beyond set-top boxes and the Xbox 360, and now we have more info about the technical details behind some of the forthcoming Mediaroom 2.0 clients.

In addition to STB client, Mediaroom 2.0 also supports:

  1. Taos: PC browser client;
  2. Monaco: Windows Media Center client;
  3. Rome: Windows Mobile client

The critical enabler for supporting these clients is MDS (Mediaroom Data Store), introduced in Mediaroom 2.0. Devices/users registered and authenticated are identified by SSO token which is further associated with its MDS token. MDS token is required to access data in MDS.

Mediaroom blog via MCEworld

To be fair, Mediaroom has been accessible through Internet Explorer and Windows Phone 7 for a while now, so it is not news that Mediaroom is looking to move beyond the STB environment, but the approach to expanding Mediaroom's reach has been somewhat piecemeal so far. Mediaroom 2.0 is taking a more cohesive and integrated approach to platform building. There is also some buzz that Mediaroom is increasingly tied to an overall shift in how Microsoft approaches digital media distribution. 


I had heard the following components figured into this new platform:

Rome = Mediaroom for Windows Phone
Taos = Silverlight for Mediaroom
Monaco = Mediaroom for Media Center
Santa Fe = Settop box using Silverlight/running Mediaroom
Ventura = Music and video discovery/consumption services (related to Zune)

All About Microsoft



If Mediaroom's expansion has been piecemeal, than Microsoft's approach to digital media distribution can only be described as complete chaos.

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