On the heels of a recent staff reduction, Motorola Mobility appears to be cutting back operations further by turning off most of its international websites, including those dedicated to Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, reports TheNextWeb. (See Google May Cut Deeper at Motorola .)
When trying to open Motorola Mobility's Asia site, for example, visitors are greeted with this message:
Disney Movies Online, a service that lets consumers buy or rent titles from the Disney and Pixar libraries but is incompatible with consoles and Roku Inc. devices, is shutting down on Dec. 31. "Disney Movies Online does not have the flexibility that many users today demand," the company said, according to Digital Media Wire, noting that Disney is expected to continue developing its own cloud-based service based on its own KeyChest technology rather than joining UltraViolet, a platform that lets consumers buy a DVD or Blu-ray title with rights to also stream it on PCs, tablets and smartphones. (See UltraViolet to Open its Rights Locker in Mid-2011 .)
Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. has teed up EU1, an on-demand service tailored for area film and TV makers. Under the service's model, the producers get 90 percent of the profits, with the balance going to EU1.
BTIG Research analysts Richard Greenfield and Walt Piecyk got a chance to kick the tires on the recently launched Google Fiber service in Kansas City, Kan., and were impressed with the way the company has been able to integrate the online and traditional video worlds in a way that the stand-alone (and still-struggling) Google TV product has yet to achieve. They concluded that the user interface "still needs work" and that the TV service needs more content (more cable channels and the addition of apps like YouTube), but "believe Google Fiber will accelerate rapidly, changing consumer habits in the territory." (See Google Fiber Starts to Hook Up Customers .)
With so many pay-TV guys jumping in with live TV to iPads (within reach of the WiFi signal), this seems to be more table stakes than a differentiator at this point, though some of these apps still only offer a subset of the channel lineup. And out of home access is still hit and miss depending on the carriage deals the MSOs have put together with the specific programmers. Untill I can replicate everything I get at home whilst on the road, I still think a device like the Slingbox still trumps all of this. JB
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