Light Reading
MSO testing a system that will allow Internet video to be relayed from the PC, processed in the network, then played on TV

Cablevision to Deliver Net Content to Set-Tops

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

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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed