Ivi Finally Swallows Its Poison

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
  • Confirming a big win for U.S. TV broadcasters, the Supreme Court denied a petition to review an appeals court's decision to uphold an injunction against ivi Inc. and its subscription TV streaming service. In 2011, a New York court ordered ivi to shut down its service, which redistributed broadcast TV signals via broadband, after finding that ivi did not fall under certain copyright protections because it did not qualify as a "cable system." Prior to the injunction, ivi sold the service for US$4.99 per month in Seattle, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Aereo Inc., which is being sued by major broadcasters, offers a similar service as ivi's, but uses a different technical approach -- it rents out individual over-the-air antennas to subscribers. The Aereo case has not yet been settled. (See Court Cuts Ivi's Web TV Signal and Judge Keeps Aereo On The Air.)
  • Shares in Entropic Communications Inc. dropped more than 8 percent Monday after the chipmaker slashed first-quarter guidance because a pay-TV provider changed its deployment plans for a new class of HD-capable digital transport adapters (DTAs), leaving Entropic with excess inventory. As a result, Entropic cut expected first-quarter revenues to between $74 million and $76 million, compared with earlier guidance of between $79 million and $81 million. Entropic, which counts Broadcom Corp. as a key competitor, didn't identify the MSO in question, but Comcast Corp. is among those that are in early-stage HD-DTA deployments. (See Comcast HD-DTAs Reach the FCC and New DTA Will Extend Cable TV to Retail Devices.)
  • The Federal Trade Commission cleared Charter Communications Inc.'s pending $1.625 billion acquisition of the former Bresnan Communications systems from Cablevision Systems Corp., reports Broadcasting & Cable, noting that the deal is on pace to close by the third quarter. (See Charter Plunks Down $1.6B for Optimum West.)
  • Intel Corp.'s latest reference design kit for IP-capable set-top boxes and media servers based on its Atom CE5300 processor will integrate software that powers Hillcrest Labs's Freespace air-mouse technology for advanced user interfaces. Intel and distribution partner Videon Central Inc. expect to make the new kit available in April. The deal should give Hillcrest's technology a more direct line into the pay-TV operator market. Roku Inc., LG Electronics Inc. and Logitech Ltd. are among Hillcrest's other licensees.
  • Rovi Corp. and LG have struck a licensing deal that gives the TV maker access to Rovi's patent portfolio. They didn't reveal the financial terms, but did acknowledge that the deal puts an end to their patent dispute. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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