Light Reading

Motorola Home Not Part of 1,200-Job Cut

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Mobile News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Google's Motorola Mobility LLC unit is cutting another 1,200 jobs, about 10 percent of the workforce, as it tries to return the division to probability. The latest job reduction will not affect Motorola Home, the set-top and cable technology unit that's in line to be acquired by Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion, a spokeswoman said Friday. The latest round of layoffs follows an earlier 4,000-employee layoff that Google announced in August 2012. That earlier round did lead to "minimal" job cuts at Motorola Home, which is based in Horsham, Pa. (See Google Job Cuts to Nick Moto's Cable Unit and Google Sells Moto Home to Arris for $2.35B.)
  • Count Kabel Deutschland GmbH as a fan of the Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle championed by Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. that aims to lower the cost of set-top boxes and speed up product development cycles. Speaking at this week's Cable Congress confab in London (and according to Videonet), Kabel Deutschland CTO Lorenz Glatz described the RDK as "the most positive development we've seen in years," noting that it will help cable offer a more "unified approach" against competitors. Comcast EVP and CTO Tony Werner noted that Liberty Global Inc. is considering some code that will enable the operator to adapt the RDK to Europe. One key difference that will need to be addressed: the RDK includes the tru2way reference implementation, but Liberty Global's Horizon TV platform currently runs on middleware from NDS/Cisco Systems Inc. (See Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit? and Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction.)
  • The number of devices outfitted with HEVC/H.265 decoding technology will top 2 billion by 2016, predicts Multimedia Research Group (MRG) Inc. HEVC, a standard-in-the-making that promises to be about 50 percent more efficient than MPEG-4/H.264, will likely be used in set-tops to support UltraHD TV services, but "smartphones represent, by far, the largest opportunity" to help keep bandwidth requirements in check on mobile networks, the report notes. The HEVC standard should be finalized sometime this year.
  • QuickPlay Media has unveiled TVX, an "off-the-shelf" TV Everywhere platform designed to help programmers and service providers reach tablets, PCs and other IP-connected devices. The system bakes in components such as content ingestion, management, play-out and reporting. QuickPlay's pledge is to get service providers up and running with a branded TVE system "in as little as 90 days." [Ed. note: We'll have more detail soon as the TVX reaches general availability on March 15.]
  • Google Fiber is entering the third dimension. The outfit's video service is adding 3net (the Discovery Communications Inc., Sony Corp. and IMAX joint venture) and ESPN 3D to its lineup, with the latter available for an additional $5 per month. Google's baseline video service costs $120 per month.
  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has ordered TW Cable to pay $2.2 million in refunds to customers in several uptown New York towns over claims that the MSO overcharged customers based on its franchise agreements. Customers based in Batavia, Geneva, Lima, Livonia and Waterloo are among those in line to get refunds, according to the Rochester Business Journal, noting that affected customers should see credits averaging $119 over the next 90 days. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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