Apple Prepping Cloud-Based Video Service?

Buzz that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) may be giving MSOs and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) yet another thing to worry about leads today's cable news roundup.

  • Apple is gearing up to launch a cloud-based video service that, Jefferies & Co. Inc. analyst Peter Misek says, could be a "game-changer" for the pay-TV industry. He believes the potential for a new super data center in North Carolina smells of a big video strategy and sees Apple supporting a resulting service with a new type of broadband-connected appliance, such as a TV or set-top that's much more capable that the current Apple TV iteration. (See Apple Eyes Direct Video Streaming to TVs .)

  • After focusing on delivering video-on-demand (VoD) movies to connected TVs and Blu-ray players, Wal-Mart's VUDU Inc. is expanding to PCs by allowing subscribers to watch movies on Web browsers. (See Wal-Mart Shells Out for VUDU.)

  • Cloud video software firm Zixi, which helps CNN, Reuters and CBS Sports Sports deliver HD content, raised another $4 million.

  • Call volume to Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s Kansas City, Kan., system is likely spiking today, after it revamped its entire channel lineup, and removed several analog channels. (See Time Warner Cable Relights Its SDV Fire .)

  • It's like a CableCARD… only smaller. Nagra and sister company SmarDTV have developed a new removable security card that, they claim, is compliant with the new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) 2040 standard for use in a range of smartphones, tablets, PCs and other mobile viewing devices. They say the new microSD conditional access module uses the "same principles" as the CableCARD and CI Plus platforms, and are less than half the size of a standard mini SIM card.

  • Kit Digital splashed out some M&A cash this week, but none of it hit thePlatform Inc. , the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned media publishing firm. Instead, Kit put up $91.4 million to snare ioko, another company that specializes in the delivery of multi-screen video that counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) among its customers. (See thePlatform Squelches Buyout Rumor.)

  • Comcast Media Center (CMC) is shoring up its VoD vaults with the addition of 3-D fare from WealthTV that includes programs about cars and boats. (See Verizon Spreads Some WealthTV in 3D.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:07:48 PM
    re: Apple Prepping Cloud-Based Video Service?

    Whether the subject is FaceTime or cloud services, the thing to remember is that these services will only work on Apple hardware and software.

    So don't think of Apple as competing with DBS, cable, Skype or whatever. Apple only wants to build hardware and software that we can't live without and any services it starts are just a way of selling more new devices and making existing devices more valuable to consumers.


    SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:07:48 PM
    re: Apple Prepping Cloud-Based Video Service?

    Apple isn't going to be  a serious rival to Comcast, DirecTV, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, or any other major pay TV provider any time soon. Even if its cloud-based video play involves the rollout of a set-top, I don't see millions of Americans rushing out to dump triple-play packages from cable, DBS, and telcos in order to rely on Apple as their primary source of home entertainment. Apple may be a key player in delivering video to the second screen (mobile phones and tablets), but it's not going to dominate the business of delivering video to the TV. 


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