& cplSiteName &

iPad, Xoom Get First Crack at Comcast's AnyPlay

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/22/2011
50%
50%

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads and Motorola Mobility LLC Xooms will get the first taste of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s AnyPlay, a CableCARD-based device that transcodes QAM video into MPEG-4 based IP streams for mobile-device consumption. (See Comcast AnyPlay to Stream Live TV to Tablets .)

The MSO is about to start customer trials in two markets. Comcast isn't identifying them yet, but a company spokesman confirmed a CNN report that the MSO intends to start AnyPlay tests in the "next few weeks."

The spokesman said AnyPlay will be compatible with the Xoom and the iPad's iOS platform out of the chute, and that Comcast intends to support an array of other Android-based tablets later on.

Initial support for the iPad was a given considering its popularity and the fact that Comcast has already developed several apps for iOS, including Xfinity TV, which turns the tablet into a fancy remote control, a program guide and a conduit to authenticated video-on-demand from HBO and other programmers. Motorola, meanwhile, helped develop AnyPlay (Motorola calls its product the Televation, which came away with a Leading Lights award this year), so it's logical that the Moto-made tablet also made it to the front of the line. (See Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer and LR Names 2011 Leading Lights Winners.)

Like similar apps from Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and, most recently, Cox Communications Inc. , Comcast's version will limit live TV streaming to the reach of the customer's Wi-Fi home network. (See Cox Connects With the iPad and Cablevision Launches iPad App With 280+ Channels .)

However, Comcast's stab at live TV on tablets, at least at the start, won't rely strictly on a native app but will lean on a separate, sidecar-like device outfitted with a CableCARD to transcode incoming MPEG-2 QAM video signals into IP streams. That approach should let customers surf Comcast's entire live TV lineup. By comparison, Cox expects its app to start off with access to about 35 live TV channels, with more coming as Cox obtains more channel rights.

The AnyPlay device itself sources video via a standard coax cable, and then formats it and sends the video to the router on the home network. The router distributes the video feeds to tablets over Wi-Fi. Comcast isn't disclosing how it might price AnyPlay and isn't saying whether it would lease the device or sell it outright.

Motorola has plenty of ideas on how cable operators can take advantage of Xoom. Here's what CEO Sanjay Jha and President Daniel Moloney had to say about it at last week's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta.



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:48:10 PM
re: iPad, Xoom Get First Crack at Comcast's AnyPlay


How much consumer demand do you think there will be for live TV streaming service to tablets when you can't take it outside of the home?? The QAM/IP transcoding trick by Comcast seems like a nifty technical play, but to me the niftier play with tablets is when you turn them into TV remotes and create an interactive platform for companion apps and social media that's synced to live content on the TV. The second screen apps, as they're getting called.      

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:48:09 PM
re: iPad, Xoom Get First Crack at Comcast's AnyPlay


Like we saw with CVC and TWC, there will be an early novelty effect, but I think this initially is all about recognizing that the iPad and other tablets are media consumption devices and akin to  another TV screen, and rights issues are going to keep this limited to within the reach of the home network (unless you just want to go and buy a Slingbox and use it to access everything in and out of the house to your heart's content).  Uptake on this will also be determined by how much Comcast charges for this, if anything at all?  What's a fair lease fee? $2 per month?


I think Comcast is taking its initial approach so it plays nice wiht programmers and can deliver the full TV lineup without having to worry about some of the rights issues other MSOs have had with iPad apps that allow live TV streaming.  Televation/AnyPlay isn't a set-top... or is it? There's a CableCARD in that device, and it's really just a precursor to fancier hybrid gateways that can do this on the fly MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 transcode.


Plus it's just a start.  I think every MSO wants to be able to let customers access their subscriptions on the go without having to buy a place-shifting device at retail. The rights, not the tech, is what's mucking things up. JB


 

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:48:08 PM
re: iPad, Xoom Get First Crack at Comcast's AnyPlay


"The rights, not the tech, is what's mucking things up."


AGREE. The rights issues are a bigger obstacle than the technology.


Service providers and television networks need to figure out a workable rights model supported by an easy, automatic DRM solution.  

cc.chen
50%
50%
cc.chen,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:47:58 PM
re: iPad, Xoom Get First Crack at Comcast's AnyPlay


Another angle is how much will Comcast charge subscribers. And how long the premium content provider will provide their service on top of their DOCSIS network. Look Charter's case, they are thinking if they should work with Netflix to get the content. Content right is the biggest expense to cable operator. 


Comcast now focus on profit generation not subscription addition. They already lose customer for 2 years sequentially. It is very obvious this program is a retaining program. 

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
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
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
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
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: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

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


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable 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   |     |   (12) 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?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
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
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
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.