Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV's debut of about 26 live linear channels on the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox 360 console isn't impressing everyone in the early going. While The Verge's initial review notes it "basically works as advertised," it does complain that there's some lag in the program guide and channel changes "weren't terribly fast." Engadget's Ben Drawbaugh's first impressions were harsher, as he tweeted: "The FiOS TV app for the 360 is really bad. Channel changes are crazy slow and the channel buttons on the media remote don't work. #fail." ZatzNotFunny's Dave Zatz tweeted about trouble getting the app to fire up, posting an image of the TV screen showing the message: "Verizon FiOS Server Unavailable." (See Verizon Takes FiOS TV to the Xbox and Xbox Delays Debut of Verizon, Comcast Content .)
Here's a video from The Verge showing the FiOS app in action:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)adopted an order that implements the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, a measure that intends to keep the volume of video ads in check. The rules, which took effect Tuesday (Dec. 12) but give MSOs a year to comply, provided some provisions that are friendly to financially stressed, smaller cable MSOs. Among them, they can seek hardship waivers and avoid having to purchase extra monitoring gear, but will need to step up if they become aware of any CALM Act violations, notes Multichannel News.
Wednesday is evidently set-top CEO switch-out day. Just as Pace plc announced that Mike Pulli is succeeding Neil Gaydon as CEO, Amino Communications Ltd.said its CEO, Andrew Burke, is leaving to "pursue other opportunities." Donald McGarva, Amino's COO, has been tapped to take the top slot at the IPTV set-top specialist.
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has launched a Wi-Fi finder app for Android devices (an iOS version is due out in a "few weeks") that auto-authenticates and auto-connects devices to TW Cable's wireless broadband hot spots. The launch comes amid the MSO's deployment of Wi-Fi access points in pockets of the northeast and a more massive deployment in Southern California. The U.S. cable industry at large is also working on
a scalable Wi-Fi roaming architecture. (See TW Cable Earmarks Wi-Fi Cash.)
Here's a snapshot of the MSO's Android app:
Also in cable app news, Comcast Spotlight , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s local ad division, has booted up an iPad app for I+, a platform that helps advertisers reach 33 markets via an interconnect deal among Comcast, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse. Targeted to advertisers and media-buying firms, the app highlights where I+ is offered and what networks support it, as well as some games.
InnoMedia Inc. has added HD Voice capabilities to the 9528-4B, a Docsis 3.0-powered embedded multimedia terminal adapter that sports an eight-channel bonded downstream.