Video services

Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer

CHICAGO -- The Cable Show -- Motorola Mobility LLC 's latest cable-focused gizmo sports a built-in CableCARD slot, but don't call it a set-top.

The specialized streaming device, called Televation and developed in tandem with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Innovation Labs engineers, can transcode incoming cable QAM video and ship it wirelessly using formats supported by an array of IP-connected devices, including iPads and Xoom tablets, with an eye toward Xbox 360s and Playstation 3s.

Moto says the device will fit into cable's TV Everywhere strategies, at least so far as delivering TV to just about any IP-connected device that's within reach of the customer's home wireless router.

Televation hooks into the home router via Ethernet and a cable outlet and uses Wi-Fi to connect to iPads and other displays. It uses a built-in 1GHz tuner and a CableCARD to obtain and protect whatever content the cable customer is authorized.

Moto plans to sell the device directly to MSOs (there's no retail play yet) via a kit that splits the coax signal. Moto has also developed a software development kit that initially targets IOS and Android, and is giving MSOs the option to brand the app themselves, says Buddy Snow, Motorola Mobility's senior director of product marketing for converged experiences and home devices.

Moto is showing it off here and expects deployments to start in the third quarter. It's not disclosing pricing.

Why this matters
Moto will use Televation to help protect its vulnerable U.S. cable CPE position and fend off threats by Pace plc and Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH).

MSOs, meanwhile, are eager to deliver their whole subscription TV menu to home-bound tablets and PCs. Getting linear and on-demand services to those devices using the MSO's existing QAM video infrastructure ahead of more ambitious, pure-IP video migrations could be a near-term plus. Although Televation limits streaming to the customer's home, it could set the table for out-of-home access akin to a Slingbox.

For more
Read more about the competitive set-top market and cable's TV Everywhere ambitions.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Garci 12/5/2012 | 5:02:10 PM
re: Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer

I'd say this looks awfully simillar to Silicondust's HDHomeRun Prime box... (which took a while to materialize but now seems to be here)...

OK, with moto behind it, there is a greater chance of this making it on the cable market (and hopefully drive prices down)...

Garci 12/5/2012 | 5:02:09 PM
re: Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer

Myself im just using two very cheap dual-tuner pci-express cards... no CC support for the moment. The ceton quad card is nice but too expensive for my taste. To be honest though, I'd expect this streaming capabilities either to be built into the Gateways (whatever THOSE end up being) or a multi-room DVR/STB... it wouldnt be that hard for the DVR to also act as an IPTV tuner...

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:02:09 PM
re: Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer

You're right, they will be built into those gateways. Broadcom showed me a new gateway/video server design that has 8 docsis tuners and 8 qam tuners built in plus transcoding... and was streaming video all over the place, to other TVs, iPads, PCs,etc.  The thinking is that those Docsis video paths would be partitioned from the docsis channels used for vanilla HSD to avoid any cross-chatter.  Yeah, i want one. JB


Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:02:09 PM
re: Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer

Good one, forgot about that.  Your post also reminded me of Ceton's PC-TV tuner .


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