Settop Box

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.


Sep 29 2012

News - Verizon to Pay TiVo $250.4M in Patent Dispute

TiVo Cash

TiVo has established a brand that is virtually synonymous with DVRs, but has always struggled to capitalize on that brand recognition with consumers. Fortunately, the company has not only built up brand cachet, but also a sizable patent portfolio, and that patent portfolio has been quite useful. In the last couple of years TiVo has forced some big companies to settle patent infringement lawsuits. Last year it was $500M from DISH/Echostar and then another $215M from AT&T. This week, TiVo forced Verizon to cough up some cash. Verizon settled with TiVo for $250.4M. As with the AT&T and DISH/Echostar settlements, there is also a whole lot of patent cross-licensing and marketing agreements bundled in with the settlement, so the possiblity of some Verizon-Redbox love coming to TiVo at some point definitely should not be too surprising. At the same time, be on the lookout for further settlement news as TiVo's continued success has got to be making companies still facing lawsuits from TiVo such as Motorola and Cisco nervous.

TiVo announced today that Verizon will pay it a total of $250.4 million in compensation through July 2018 in order to settle an ongoing patent dispute between the two companies. The companies will also be looking at future combined distribution of streaming video services through Redbox, of which Verizon has a key stake, and TiVo’s DVRs.

Jan 09 2012

News - Intel WiDi to be Built into TV and STB Chipsets

WiDi LogoIntel's WiDi wireless display technology has been on a bit of a slow burn, in large part because making the wireless connection requires that WiDi be built into both the receiving device and the transmitting device. Intel has some control over the transmitting side as they would love to see everyone buying new laptops to stream content to their TVs, but how to get it into the TV? Intel and LG recently announced that LG would be building WiDi into their new TVs, and now Intel has lined up a number of SoC manufacturers who will be building WiDi into their chipsets aimed at smart TVs, settop boxes, and media streamers. The new partners include heavy hitters such as Realtek and Sigma Designs, and less well-known manufacturers like Cavium and Wondermedia. Anyone want to bet that we will probably hear more about some of these WiDi-equipped products over the next couple of days?

Future iterations of smart TV and STB, then, will allow for direct streaming of a laptop or PC’s display output, using a point-to-point wireless connection. That saves the $50-$100 for a WiDi adapter, and also potentially bites into other smart TV boxes like Apple TV and Google TV: why buy a standalone box, so the argument goes, when your laptop can turn into a multimedia hub just as easily.


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