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Where's the Smart TV Payoff?

Jeff Baumgartner
3/23/2012
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Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Does putting an app on every IP-connected device under the sun make business sense? Blip.tv apparently doesn't think so. According to NewTeeVee, Blip has been quietly abandoning a number devices, including the Boxee box and smart TVs from Samsung Corp. and Vizio Inc. , with an exit from TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) on deck. Blip, which offers original video series via broadband, says its producers are having trouble making money on these platforms, though it intends to keep several distribution partners, including YouTube Inc. , Google TV, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)' s iTunes and Roku Inc. boxes. MSOs are also developing apps to deliver authenticated VoD content to retail platforms like the Xbox 360, but are expected to limit distribution to the most popular devices so they can avoid getting snared in an app-management nightmare.

  • But cable clearly sees some value delivering content to connected devices. In a video blog post (embedded below), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Chief Network Officer John Schanz offers a fresh look at the MSO's private content delivery network (CDN). He notes that it's being used today primarily to supply thousands of titles for Comcast's set-top-based VoD service, but hints at how the CDN will also be used to advance the operator's TV Everywhere by enabling new, connected devices, including some bought at retail. (See Comcast's 'Project Infinity' Takes Flight .)



  • Sling Media Inc. shines some light on its notion of TV Everywhere in this spot (hat tip: Gizmo Lovers blog), but offers it from a consumer branding standpoint, hammering the idea home by likening the Slingbox/Slingbox app to one's "Little Buddy."



  • Raycom Sports has tapped the Comcast Media Center (CMC) to manage and deliver its VoD programming, which includes highlights and full basketball and football games from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The CMC claims its MSO partners serve more than 56 million VoD-enabled homes in the U.S. and Canada.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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