Light Reading

Cablevision to Deliver Net Content to Set-Tops

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/24/2010
50%
50%
Repost This

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) said it will begin testing a new service in June that delivers all sorts of media sourced from a customer's PC -- including iTunes content, digital photos, and even over-the-top video shipped in from the Web -- to digital set-top boxes.

Cablevision's "PC to TV Media Relay" service will enable cable TV customers to replicate the information and images appearing on their PC screens onto their TV screens without any extra special home networking equipment, other than the cable modems and the non-IP digital cable set-tops they're already using.

The service will require a special PC software client, but Cablevision won't be using Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) , WiFi, or some other rather complex home networking technology to get that content from the PC to the TV screen. Instead, that content (or at least a replication of that content) will be delivered upstream from the cable modem to Cablevision's headend, where it will be processed and converted into a format (probably an MPEG-2 video stream) that's then sent back down the cable plant so it can be read and rendered by the MSO's non-IP set-tops. Cablevision customers will also have to tune the set-top to a dedicated digital channel just for this purpose.

Cablevision isn't giving any nitty-gritty technical details at this point, but this smells a lot like the technology it's already got in play from ActiveVideo Networks Inc. , which uses a process to deliver all manner of Web apps to the set-top -- pretty much what Cablevision appears to have in mind here. Clearleap 's platform takes a similar technical path, but it's not the ITV partner of record at Cablevision. (See Cablevision Tunes Up With ActiveVideo, ActiveVideo's Year of Reckoning , Cablevision Taps ActiveVideo, Winter Games Go Interactive… for Some TV Viewers, and Clearleap Brings Blip.tv & Others to Cable .)

Cablevision intends to launch a technical trial by June but isn't talking about how it will be priced, packaged, or even when the MSO intends to offer it commercially to its 2.9 million digital video subscribers. They may not want to give Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which is using a different method to get PC and Web-like content and apps to the set-top, too much of a heads up. (See Verizon Tests Internet Video on FiOS, Verizon Adds FiOS TV Apps, and Verizon Adds Twitter, Facebook to FiOS.)

However, a company spokeswoman confirmed that PC to TV Media Relay will allow for anything that's displayed on the PC screen to be delivered to the TV screen, with the goal of accomplishing all this in "real-time" following a simple button click. This includes Hulu LLC content, iTunes content, and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) streams.

"With our PC to TV Media Relay service, we are putting an end to the need for families to huddle round their laptops or PCs to watch content together," says Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge, in a prepared statement. "This new service will make it easy for our television customers to take broadband services including Internet video, as well as family photos or anything else displayed on a computer screen and move it to the television with the click of the mouse."

Cablevision also notes that its Media Relay technology is also capable of extending PC-sourced content to other consumer electronics (CE) devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices that happen to be connected to the in-home network. Interestingly enough, ActiveVideo also has a CE strategy that might fit in here. (See ActiveVideo Goes Over-the-Top With CE Play.)

The coming service follows along Cablevision's other cloud-like video strategies. The company has also developed an ambitious "Remote-Storage DVR" service designed to store recorded shows on the network and stream them to set-tops. That product caused a big legal dust-up with studios and networks over copyright concerns, but the MSO, which got clearance for it from the Supreme Court last year, still hasn't launched it. (See DoJ: Butt Out of Cablevision RS-DVR Case and Inside Cablevision's 'RS-DVR' .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:11 PM
re: Cablevision to Deliver Net Content to Set-Tops
Among other tech speculation, it probably makes sense for this service to leverage Cablevision's switched digital video platform, which is already offered across the Cablevision footprint...and Cablevision doesn't have the spectrum to give everyone a full-time dedicated piece of the spectrum for this Internet-channel approach. But perhaps part-time access to a sliver of it (like with VoD streaming) fits in. JB
t.bogataj
50%
50%
t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:42:08 PM
re: Cablevision to Deliver Net Content to Set-Tops


The news doesn't tell whether the upstream video is available for viewing to all cable customers or only to the one generating the source.


If the former, this opens a whole front of technical and legal issues. How do they all compete for the shared medium/channel? How does the MSO charge the viewers? How does the MSO prevent illegal or copyrighted material from being broadcast?


If the latter, how does the MSO (technically) prevent other customers from viewing? And primarily, why should anyone pay for this service (to avoid "huddling round their laptops or PCs to watch content together") when a simple video cable between the PC and the TV set is a much cheaper and simpler alternative?


T.

Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
What's the Magic of Private Equity?
Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed