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TV Streaming Startup Nets $2.5M in Seed Cash

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Roger McNamee, managing director and a founder of Elevation Partners, and Floodgate Fund have plunked $2.1 million in seed money into PLAiR, maker of a USB-connected wireless streaming dongle designed to deliver video, photos and other digital content from PCs, phones and tablets, to the TV screen. That's not exactly a new concept, but PLAiR says it will reveal more about its flagship product this summer (the company declined to offer more detail, and its website provides only a sign-up form to request an invite to get past its digital walls and be exposed to some of the company's supposed greatness). However, this demo video dug up by TechCrunch offers more detail about what PLAiR has in mind, noting that the device is expected to sell for less than $100.



  • Comporium Communications is the latest Tier 2 cable operator to sign up for a whole-home HD-DVR Moxi platform spawned by Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)'s $20 million acquisition of Paul Allen's Digeo Inc. According to WRHI, Comporium, which serves parts of the Carolinas, expects to roll out the Arris platform by year's end. Shaw Communications Inc. , BendBroadband , Buckeye CableSystem and WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) have also launched the Arris platform. Comporium's interest in Moxi goes back to 2005. (See Digeo, Comporium Trial IPTV.)

  • OK, fun's over. After joking about the name of Aereo Inc. copycat service BarryDriller.com with The Wall Street Journal, Barry Diller has filed a complaint against BarryDriller.com founder Alki David on grounds of cyber-squatting, trademark infringement and a false association with Diller-backed Aereo, reports The Wrap. "I had hopes that if they steal my name they'd do it for something more provocative," Diller told the paper recently when BarryDriller, like Aereo, became the subject of broadcaster-led lawsuits. (See Aereo Strikes Back.)

  • Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (J:COM) , Japan's largest cable operator, is using Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR)'s MediaHawk VX servers to ship TV Everywhere services (offered under the Xvie brand) to PCs and mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones and various Android units. J:COM also uses Concurrent's MediaHawk platform to pitch VoD to cable boxes.

  • Evolution Digital LLC and Rovi Corp. are collaborating to bring an on-screen guide to Evolution's "universal" Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices, which can run on both Motorola Mobility- and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-based digital cable systems. The guide, a slimmed-down version of what consumers might see on more capable boxes, will help users of the simple, one-way (downstream only) channel-zappers access TV listing data and program info, set parental controls, and tune to a channel directly from the guide grid. A spokeswoman with DTA-maker Evolution says it's testing the new guide with several MSOs. Here's a look at it:



    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:23:02 PM
    re: TV Streaming Startup Nets $2.5M in Seed Cash

    Maybe because it's late summer and my mind is moving slowly, but I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around this PLAiR technology. So the premise is: I'm going to buy this device and go through a bunch of set-up steps so that I can send video from my smartphone or PC to my TV. Right?


    And I want to do this because...why? So I can find a video on my phone and then send it to my TV? I think I'll just use my laptop or, even better, my TV remote.


    I could see using it to send a video that I've shot on my smartphone and want to view on my big-screen TV, but even that seems like a stretch, and there are other ways to achieve it. I hope I'm missing something here.


     


     


     


     

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:02 PM
    re: TV Streaming Startup Nets $2.5M in Seed Cash

    Yeah, i'm still trying to figure out why they think they're soooo special. But the idea they are apparently working on reminds me a little bit of the set-top on a stick from IMJ that the cable guys salivated over at the CableLabs summer conference. Same sort of idea... plus someting into the TV to make it "smart." IMJ's version uses HDMI, though, so I think there's more potential there to support cable's subscription services on top of OTT content. 


    JB




     
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