& cplSiteName &

Top European MSOs Embrace Next-Gen Video

Alan Breznick
2/13/2014
50%
50%

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
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
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?   
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
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?
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
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. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
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.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
BDAC Blowback – Ex-Chair Arrested
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/17/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Animals with Phones
I Heard There Was a Dresscode... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed