Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
Boxee may have just become more interesting to cable operators that are looking for ways to blend basic TV channels with over-the-top (OTT) video and apps. Boxee is preparing to launch a new device, Boxee TV, which will combine broadcast TV, OTT and a network-based DVR. Set to debut next month for US$99, the Boxee TV product will sport two tuners, an over-the-air TV antenna and the ability to support unencrypted basic TV channels for Boxee users who also subscribe to a cable TV service. Boxee's No Limits DVR will store recordings to the proverbial cloud (in partnership with Amazon Web Services Inc. ) for $14.99 per month and allow users to watch their recordings from any supported connected device. The nDVR piece will only be offered initially in eight markets (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington DC), but Boxee plans to add more to the list in 2013. While Boxee TV is an apparent attack on traditional pay-TV providers, the company is trying to win some cable friends. "We're in talks with cable providers large and small, but can't comment on negotiations at this point," VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen tells Light Reading Cable. (See Cable Cleared to Encrypt Basic TV Tiers .)
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. has launched a managed multi-screen TV Everywhere service that provides cable operators with access to more than 40,000 movies and TV titles encoded in over 50 formats to serve traditional set-top boxes, game consoles, tablets, connected TVs and smartphones. Deluxe, which will demonstrate its platform at this week's Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando, pre-encrypts and pre-formats those titles from a high-quality master file before distributing them to its service provider partners via content deliver networks or private one-to-one connections. Deluxe has made a "significant investment" in developing the platform over the last two years, says Chris Rittler, SVP of Deluxe Digital Distribution, noting that the service provider is tasked with securing the rights for content in Deluxe's library. The company hasn't revealed any launch deals, but Rittler says Deluxe already has deals with "major" providers.
Staying with the show, the SCTE board has re-electedTime Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) EVP and CTO Mike LaJoie as chairman for the 2012-2013 term. He'll be joined on the board's executive committee by: Vice Chairman Terry Cordova (SVP and CTO of Suddenlink Communications ); Secretary Jim Hughes (SVP, global broadband sales at CommScope Inc. ); and Treasurer Ed Marchetti (VP, engineering/operations at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)).
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is teeing up a demo of version of its multi-screen Videoscape tailored for cable operators at this week's cable technology confab. Cisco says "Videoscape for Cable" is an open, modular platform that lets cable blend QAM and IP video services via a single platform.