Light Reading
That company aims to join the pay TV market by powering a service that would easily transfer online content to the TV set.

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
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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed