Light Reading

Top European MSOs Embrace Next-Gen Video

Alan Breznick

Two of Europe's biggest cable operators are moving ahead boldly in the next-generation video space, unveiling fresh advances in their efforts to bring new video services to their customers.

The two large MSOs, Kabel Deutschland GmbH and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), are moving ahead on separate video tracks. But each cable provider is seeking to boost its competitive position in the all-but-saturated pay-TV market by rolling out advanced video services before their satellite and telco TV rivals.

Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest MSO with more than 8.4 million homes served, announced that it has licensed the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the pre-integrated software stack for IP-enabled set-tops, gateways, and other video devices. The German cable operator thus becomes at least the fourth major MSO, and the second one in Europe, to license the software bundle from RDK Management LLC , the Comcast-Time Warner Cable joint venture that is spearheading the development and deployment of RDK.

Unlike RDK pioneers Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Kabel Deutschland did not spell out how it plans to roll out RDK in its video devices. But company executives said they believe RDK will offer "a unified technological foundation for pay-TV operators and our ecosystem of partners," as well as "global economies of scale" and "the basis necessary for innovation across our products and applications."

The announcement came at Tuesday's second RDK users conference in Denver, which featured tech demonstrations by, and discussions among, the software stack's 120 or so licensees. These licensees include all of the major North American cable set-top makers, as well as MSOs, software vendors, chipmakers, and others.(See Next Up: RDK Streaming Sticks.)

With the German cable giant now on board, RDK appears to be gaining as much momentum in Europe as in North America, where it started out as a Comcast initiative. Other major MSOs now kicking the tires on RDK include Cox Communications Inc.

Virgin's TiVo milestone
While Kabel Deutschland advanced on the RDK front, Virgin Media made cable history of sorts by signing up its 2 millionth TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) subscriber.

Virgin, the largest cable operator in the UK with nearly 5 million subscribers and now part of the Liberty Global empire, announced the milestone Wednesday, a little more than three years after launching TiVo service.

One of the first MSOs to roll out TiVo's mix of DVR and streaming video services for multiscreen viewing, Virgin Media now accounts for more than half of TiVo's 3.9 million subscribers. Although a number of large and mid-sized US cable operators now offer TiVo as well, none of them comes close to matching Virgin Media's reach.(See TiVo Boasts Record Gains.)

In tandem with TiVo, Virgin Media has also rolled out Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s over-the-top video service to some British homes. Launched just three months ago, the Netflix app has already become one of the most popular in Virgin homes.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:51:30 PM
Re: RDK in Europe
Whoops, that should be Westeern Europe. And who will go first in Asia?   
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 10:05:18 PM
Re: RDK in Europe
Anybosy want to place any bets on who will go next with RDK? ONO? Numericable? Ziggo? Someone in Wastern Europe?
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 8:30:38 PM
RDK in Europe
Interesting that RDK is now gathering steam as fast in Europe as in the US. I wonder what the Comcast takeover of TWC will mean for the spread of RDK. Seems like it should only accelerate the pace, even tho TWC joined Comcast in partnering it. But we shall see. 
User Rank: Blogger
2/14/2014 | 6:39:22 PM
Virgin's TiVo Success
TiVo has really taken off for Virgin Media in the UK. Is this a model that can be replicated elsewhere in other locales? Or is there something unique about the UK viewing environment? Please come forward with your comments, Brits.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.