& cplSiteName &

EchoStar Puts Sling Out to License

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/28/2009
50%
50%

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- The Independent Show -- EchoStar Technologies LLC is in discussions to license its "SlingLoaded" video place-shifting technology to third-party set-top box suppliers, TV makers, and other "digital media providers," Cable Digital News has learned.

To date, EchoStar has offered the SlingLoaded feature only in its own boxes, including a model for satellite TV giant (and corporate cousin) Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH); digital cable boxes for European cable MSOs; and, more recently, a tru2way box for the U.S. cable market. (See EchoStar Slings Its First Tru2way Set-Top, EchoStar Jumps the Pond , and Dish Box Bakes In Sling.)

Now, though, it's offering the technology to other interested vendors. EchoStar senior product manager P. Margit Tritt outlined details of the licensing plan here at an event tailored to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable service providers. She declined to discuss the financial terms of such a license but said it would provide partners with everything they'd need to embed Sling's technology and offer the company's video place-shifting applications.

EchoStar is also not saying with whom it's discussing its licensing concept, but if it decides to go after the largest cable set-top suppliers in the U.S., Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Pace Micro Technology are among the possible candidates.

The decision to license Sling Media Inc. 's technology is part of EchoStar's plan to make "place-shifting as common as DVRs," Tritt said.

It could also help provide some payback for the $380 million in cash and stock that EchoStar, Charlie Ergen's set-top and technology spinoff, splashed out to acquire Sling Media in 2007. (See EchoStar to Buy Sling Media and EchoStar Ready to Split.)

Although embedded Sling technology would allow cable operators to provide a place-shifting application, some MSOs already have some efforts of their own underway. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), for example, is proceeding with an "On Demand Online" technology trial that will use an "authentication" process to deliver a menu of programming to broadband-connected PCs. (See TW, Comcast Cast 'TV Everywhere' Principles and Time Warner, Comcast Team Up for TV Everywhere.)

tru2way update
EchoStar is here at The Independent Show to solicit feedback from smaller operators about their present set-top needs.

Tritt said EchoStar is in "active discussions" about its tru2way-based HD-DVR model (the T2200S), which it plans to sell directly to larger MSOs. The supplier has no intentions at this point to sell the box through retail channels.

In addition to the embedded Sling capabilities, the T2200S features dual tuners, Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) support, a 500-gigabyte hard drive, and support for the MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and VC1 video codecs. An integrated Web browser and an online interface that lets users manage the DVR remotely are among some of the box's optional features.

Although a fully featured version of the Sling technology lets users access their home-based video via a wide range of broadband-connected PCs, phones, and PDAs from anywhere in the world, EchoStar does offer cable operators options that would restrict some of the tru2way box's place-shifting capabilities.

One of those options, according to a T2200S spec sheet, would allow only for "in-home" place-shifting (to PCs and other displays and video monitors on the home network).

Another on the list gives MSOs the ability to disable place-shifting on a channel-by-channel basis. Those are presumably in place to address any programming copyright or retransmission concerns MSOs might have about the Sling technology.

EchoStar hopes to enter some MSO lab trials by this fall, Tritt said.

But the future of EchoStar's involvement with cable operators and other markets is somewhat clouded by the company's ongoing legal entanglements with DVR pioneer TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) and its "Time Warp" patent. (See EchoStar, Dish to Pay TiVo $103M.)

In early June, a Texas court ordered EchoStar to disable the DVR functionality in roughly 4 million satellite receivers that use software that allegedly infringes on the TiVo patent. However, a Federal Appeals Court in Washington temporarily stayed that order, so the final outcome remains up in the air. (See TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B .)

An EchoStar spokesman declined to comment about what effects those proceedings might have on the company's cable prospects.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (19) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.