Video services

MobiTV Pitches Network DVR Service

MobiTV Inc. has broken out its network DVR as a standalone service and is pitching it under a licensed model to wireless carriers, cable operators and other types of pay-TV service providers.

MobiTV originally developed its nDVR as part of its full-fledged multi-screen platform, but believes separating it out as a distinct product offers the company some new growth opportunities. "Licensing that solution became a natural extension of our business," CEO Charlie Nooney tells Light Reading Cable.

Much of what MobiTV is licensing has to do with content management and keeping a close eye on policies that govern how video programming can be recorded and distributed. The system, for example, can be configured to allow streaming off of a "master" copy (if the rights allow for it) or the creation of individual, personal copies for each subscriber – similar to the approach Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) uses for its court-approved, widely deployed "remote storage" DVR.

MobiTV's system can also apply policies to govern whether a recorded piece of content can be viewed in the customer's home or via a smartphone, tablet or some other type of mobile device. "These policies change at any given moment," Nooney says.

Why this matters
In the U.S., interest in the network DVR has been on the rise ever since Cablevision received court clearance for its product, and the category has been gaining even more attention with the rise of companies such as Aereo Inc. . Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), meanwhile, is testing an nDVR service in the Boston area. MobiTV, however, believes it can offer service providers of any size a managed, more turn-key approach to the network DVR that can be meshed with their legacy video systems.

And MobiTV will likely have some company. EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), for one, is also pitching service providers on a cloud-based video platform that features a network DVR.

This also marks MobiTV's latest shot at gaining traction in cable. Last year, MobiTV adapted its TV Everywhere platform for all forms of pay-TV providers. Nooney says MobiTV has some cable deals in the works, noting that discussions with MSOs served as the "genesis" of MobiTV's decision to license out its nDVR platform.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:27:24 PM
re: MobiTV Pitches Network DVR Service

Some of MobiTV's existing customers include AT&T, Sprint, Verizon (for NFL Mobile), T-Mobile, US Cellular TV and  Telus Mobile TV.  They've  all have access to MobiTV's nDVR product even before the vendor decided to license nDVR as a stand-alone, but it's not saying too much about who among them is in line to start offering recording features.  But execs did note that some still-unnamed customers are expected to start using "recording functionality" by the end of this year… however, they wouldn't say if this is in reference to its full-fledged nDVR product or a subset of it. JB

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