& cplSiteName &

MobiTV Takes Aim at the… TV

Mari Silbey
12/20/2013
50%
50%

In a bold move for a company that's not a traditional service provider, MobiTV plans to power a service next year that will use an HDMI streaming stick -- or maybe a lightweight set-top box -- to transfer Internet content to the TV set.

MobiTV Inc. isn't saying who will be behind this prospective service. However, based on the way chief strategy officer Rick Herman describes it, it seems safe to say that a broadband or wireless provider would use the MobiTV solution to turn an over-the-top (OTT) video service into something that consumers can easily watch on a living room flat-screen TV.

The idea of delivering online video to TV screens is nothing new. In the US, companies are creating apps for the Xbox, the Roku, and various smart TV sets. However, many of these initial efforts are coming from service providers that operate their own managed infrastructure for TV delivery. The MobiTV approach could open up the business to new competitors.

MobiTV offers an end-to-end solution for video processing and multiscreen video delivery. Starting with live TV signals taken off a satellite, or a library of video-on-demand files, it transfers and encodes content for distribution across multiple platforms. The company has its own digital rights management (DRM) technology but also integrates with third-party DRM products. It transports the video to a content delivery network or, in some cases, houses the software directly within a service provider's infrastructure.

Most impressively, MobiTV powers video services for all Tier 1 wireless operators in the US: Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), T-Mobile US Inc. , AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and NFL Mobile on Verizon Wireless .

Though MobiTV has been all about mobile video for years, the company is now ready to take television full circle back to the living room screen. The technology works for any operator looking to deliver a multiscreen experience, but Herman told us its solution also gives operators that haven't been in the TV business a way to "start participating without trying to out-Comcast Comcast." In other words, the platform makes it possible for new players to try out new types of TV services in an economically feasible way. Competitors don't have to match Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s complete television lineup. They can wade into the television business more slowly and still support a product that consumers might want to buy.

For all that MobiTV's solution promises to deliver, there's also plenty it won't deliver. To cite two prime examples, the company doesn't make chipsets or consumer hardware devices.

On the semiconductor side, it has started partnering with providers to integrate its DRM technology at the chipset level. This is necessary for TV delivery in the home, because movie studios want hardware-based security when consumers are receiving HD-quality content. So far, MobiTV has announced partnerships with Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN).

MobiTV is also lining up industry partners on the device side. It has announced a partnership with EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS) for the set-top form factor. Partners for its HDMI stick haven't been disclosed.

The solution "comes in two form factors," Herman said. "There's an HDMI dongle solution… and we'll do a real lightweight set-top box." The solution, which will be called MobiTV Connect, will be offered as a white-label product to service providers.

If the idea of an online TV service packaged with an HDMI adapter seems familiar, it should. Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is experimenting with this so-called set-top virtualization in Eastern Europe. Though the tests are still in the early stages, the business model has the potential to be very disruptive. It combines cheap hardware with cloud-based video delivery, which could make life very interesting for incumbent pay TV providers. (See Deutsche Telekom Tests Set-Top Virtualization.)

Nobody is suggesting that cable TV companies are going away. But the landscape is shifting as more content gets delivered online. With 2014 promising to be a big year for OTT video, MobiTV plans to be right in the thick of things.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mikeearle1
50%
50%
mikeearle1,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/16/2014 | 11:21:12 AM
Re: Partner with whom?
Love the discussion on the topic - Mari!  Very relevant!  I thought it would be beneficial to share that aioTV already enables this ability!  We deliver traditional multi-channel, VOD, OTT and live streaming content to the TV, in an integrated guide, under an operator's brand, across connected devices.  Additionally, we provide a robust backoffice toolset for service creation, monetization and management utilizing the service providers existing DRMs, conditional access, billing systems and operational workflows, plus no incremental staff.  We just came off a huge CES and have a special demo planned for CableLabs winter conference for operators and content owners.  Let me know if I can  provide any additional insights.  Keep up the great writing!!
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 5:33:38 PM
Re: Pile of sticks...
You're right on top of the news there, Dan. Yep, I'll bet that we see more streaming sticks besides the one from Alticast. The big question is how much room there is in the market for multiple players. Will be interesting to see holiday sales figures for Chromecast, as well as holiday return totals.  
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
12/29/2013 | 9:11:51 PM
Re: Pile of sticks...
And now, according to our news wire feed, Alticast has an HDMI streaming stick, too: http://www.lightreading.com/cable-video/set-top-boxes/alticast-plans-to-demo-set-top-stick-at-ces-/d/d-id/707088
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
12/29/2013 | 9:03:10 PM
Pile of sticks...
Seems like there are a lot more companies going the route of a streaming stick since Google launched Chromecast--I think LG also has one. Wonder if this will be news of more sticks coming out of CES in the weeks ahead.
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/29/2013 | 8:43:36 PM
Re: Partner with whom?
I'm wondering about DirecTV given the rumors that the satellite company plans to launch a niche OTT service. I could also see Arris partnering up on the hardware side. We already know that company has an HDMI adapter in the works. 
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/29/2013 | 8:43:35 PM
Re: Partner with whom?
I'm wondering about DirecTV given the rumors that the satellite company plans to launch a niche OTT service. I could also see Arris partnering up on the hardware side. We already know that company has an HDMI adapter in the works. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/23/2013 | 8:00:32 PM
Re: Partner with whom?
Whoops. In re-reading the piece, I see they are talking about a white-label product. Who do you think might take them up on the offer?
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/23/2013 | 7:58:59 PM
Partner with whom?
very interesting story, Mari. i'm left wondering with whom MobiTV might partner to deliver this service. Any guesses on that? Will they offer a white-label service to service providers?
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Twitter Buys Magic Pony... Not That Kind
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/20/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.