Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) may be getting hammered over its recent string of blunders, but that hasn't curbed the company's appetite for bandwidth. According to Sandvine Inc. 's fall 2011 Internet trends study, Netflix represented 32.7 percent of peak downstream traffic in the U.S., up more than 10 percent since the spring. Sandvine says its recent tabulations indicate the "Post-PC Era," because the bulk of real-time entertainment traffic (55 percent, by volume) is destined for game consoles, set-tops, smart TVs and mobile devices used in the home, with only 45 percent of that traffic reaching desktops and laptop computers over North American fixed networks.
Speculation about what the late Steve Jobs had in mind for the long-expected Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)-made smart TV continues to swirl. UBS AG analyst Maynard Um believes that the "simplest user interface you could imagine" that Jobs referred to in the new bio by Walter Isaacson pertains to the Siri voice-recognition technology that's in the new iPhone 4s. It also makes sense, Um adds, that such a feature would be coupled with other Apple services that would be optimized for the big screen, including the App Store, iTunes and gaming. Cable companies dabbled in voice-recognition technology in set-tops in recent years, but much of that work hasn't gotten far beyond a few isolated trials. (See Jobs Bio Confirms Apple Television Plan .)
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has added a click-to-call feature to its residential Optimum Voice service in all service areas, allowing one-click dialing from any Web browser. The free addition is available to any Optimum Voice sub, and can be accessed with any Optimum ID associated with an active account, the MSO said.
SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), known mostly for its work with cable operators, said it has made progress on the telco front with its on-demand and advertising software and content aggregation services. It claims to have deals with nearly 20 telcos in North America, coupled with deployments at Turk Telekom of Turkey and KDDI Corp. of Japan, among others.