& 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
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/20/2017
NFV, SDN, Big Data – It's All About Automation
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 7/21/2017
Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.