Posts Tagged ‘OTT’
TV coming as a service over Broadband/Internet… everybody is rolling up their sleeves and getting ready. Biggest hurdle – negotiating content license with Content Creators & Publishers.
A group of deep-pocketed companies, including Microsoft and Verizon, are exploring delivering TV service over the web, a move that could disrupt the economics of cable TV and lead to a new generation of “virtual” cable companies that provide TV without owning the pipe into the home.
Neither is close to rolling out their own web TV service, but both are determined to secure the rights so that they have the option of doing so in the future. They’re not alone: Cable operators are looking at web delivery to leap the confines of their wired network, and video-on-demand services such as Hulu, Apple and Amazon, as well as other brands not generally associated with TV, are looking to enter the TV market.
The notion of an “over-the-top” video service that bypasses cable and satellite networks has been around for a long time but generally has been held back by two main factors: programmers’ reluctant to license new players and cable, telco and satellite operators’ control over the access to the home. They’ve also been held back by the limitations of the web itself: The infrastructure just isn’t there to support as many live simultaneous streams of content as a popular live event like, say, the Super Bowl would create.
“Somebody is going to pull the trigger this year. It may not be 250 channels in HD, but it will be at a minimum a good handful of channels with subscription on-demand and the ability to get the content on lots of devices,” said Braxton Jarratt, CEO of Clear Leap, which also provides enabling technology for web-delivered TV.
Netflix, with +20m customers, has meaningful & significant subscribers. And I think it is getting to ready to use that muscle. They are a business, much like Google:
– With no original content from them – they license, aggregate and distribute
– With no network infrastructure, with zero investments in networks (but they do partner/pay CDN operators)
However they do have the power of subscribers to back them up!
But you can summarize it in a sentence: If the broadband guys insist on gouging us to get video to our customers, we’re going to make a very public stink.
Hastings says the list will detail “which ISPs provide the best, most consistent high-speed Internet for streaming Netflix,” and offers a preview: Charter is tops, right now.
But if you invert Hastings’s description, you get what he really means: We’re going to tell some broadband customers that they’re getting screwed and should switch to a new provider. Heads up, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, etc.
Intel has been attempting to enter the living year for over a decade now – and finally it is beginning to happen. Their dream has been for an Intel-powered CE device to be the center of the living room. They tried with the StrongARM line of processors right after their acquisition from DEC (late 1997). The StrongARM business was sold to Marvell in 2006. Intel, then followed by launching Viiv, to create an Entertainment PC for the living room. Sadly that effort also went nowhere …
Things are beginning to change. Intel is finally entering the living room – I can say this is true for my home and any of the households who have bought any of the following: the Boxee box, Logitech Revue, Sony GoogleTV products. All three of these are powered by the Intel 4100CE chip – code named Sodaville. The Sodaville chip has an Intel Atom processor.
The thrust is not only on the consumer front but also via service providers such as Comcast. There have been reports of Comcast running trials with a Set Top Box (STB) being powered by the CE4100 (you can read a review of the SOC by Anandtech).
The one thing that history does tell us in this case – Intel will not give up!
The Boxee box had been waiting its turn to be setup since I got it just before Thanksgiving. I finally set it up last week, and here is what you need to know:
- The shape is different, unique. It is sitting there on my entertainment center – quietly, the Boxee icon glowing. The box design makes it a contender to remain on top of the entertainment center rather than being tucked away. The ID may make for interesting conversations.
- The size is certainly very small compared to the other boxes using the Intel CE4100 such as the Logitech Revue.
- Setup was not too difficult – especially compared to the GoogleTV experience. It rebooted twice to go through the upgrade process.
- Apps have to be added – these apps bring video content to you. Roku calls them channels.
- The remote control is also unique. But it also happens to be the disappointment. It is an attempt to have a minimalist design like Apple’s remote gone bad. Here are some observations on the remote control:
- The remote is NOT IR – good news because you don’t need to point it anywhere, it is RF.
- The remote has two sides. One side is the Apple-remote style (btw the functionality is identical to that of the Apple remote) and the other side has a small alpha-numeric keyboard.
- On the Apple-style side the buttons are centrally placed – and the only clue on what side is up is the Boxee logo. The Logo is placed at the lower size of the remote and hence decides the Up, Down, Right & Left keys of the remote. When you grab the remote – you need to make sure that you are holding it the right side up. I ended up pressing the wrong keys many times and a friend of mine had a similar problem.
- The arrow keys – the distance on the pad is a tad bit too much. In the age of Smartphones and Apple Remotes – the thumb is used travelling only so much when you are trying to click the keys. I had to stretch my thumb in order to effectively click the keys.
- Similarly having the keys placed centrally – you do not have enough room to hold on to the remote like you may on the Apple remote.