Apple's Connected TV Nears Production

Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s secretive smart TV will reach full-scale production in May or June and go on sale by the end of 2012, Jefferies & Co. Inc. analyst Peter Misek says in a note issued Tuesday. He expects Apple to start with a production run in the range of 2 million to 5 million units. Per the Apple way, the company's keeping mum about the product details, though there's speculation that Apple's also developing a pay-TV service that can run on the new TV and its other devices. (See Jobs Bio Confirms Apple Television Plan and New Apple TV Induces Zs.)

  • Aereo Inc. 's mobile live TV/network DVR combo launches today in New York City, despite the specter of a broadcaster-led lawsuit that's trying to stop it. New customers get a 90-day free trial before being charged US$12 per month. The service offers 40 hours of DVR storage and is starting off with support for iOS devices and Roku Inc. boxes, with Android on deck. (See Aereo Strikes Back and Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack.)

  • Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) is deploying SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC)'s Advertising Decision Manager and Advertising Decision System to power dynamic video-on-demand (VoD) advertising. The Canadian MSO expects to have the capability up in all systems later this year.

  • Walmart is using its VUDU Inc. service to help prime the pump for UltraViolet, a Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-backed digital rights locker that lets consumers buy physical DVDs and stream those titles via broadband on tablets, PCs and other connected devices. Walmart will let consumers bring in their DVD and Blu-ray collections and authorize digital versions for $2 each, or $5 if they convert a standard DVD to hi-def. Consumers who take the plunge will access them via the VUDU service. The disc-to-digital program launches April 16. (See Consortium Labels Its TV Everywhere Locker.)

  • Imagine Communications has upgraded its streaming platform to support IP video and multi-screen transcoding up to 1080p resolution on a unified 1-RU device. On the TV Everywhere front, the ICE Video Platform uses adaptive bit rate streaming to ensure video continues to flow as bandwidths fluctuate. The vendor says the box is already supporting live streams to more than 20 million homes in North America.

  • Optimum Lightpath , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s business services arm, has launched a Private Fiber Service in New York targeted to large enterprises and financial services companies seeking dedicated fiber without the additional hassles of managing the equipment or fronting the cash for the gear.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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