Google TV 2.0 Off to a Bumpy Start

Welcome to today's broadband and cable snapshot.

  • Logitech Ltd. is probably feeling good about its decision to steer clear of a second-generation Google TV product following this less-than-stellar review by Gizmodo of the US$200 Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) NSZ-GS7. "Google TV is still bad," the headline reads before offering an essay on the device's shortcomings, including some problems connecting the device to a wireless network and annoying app-loading failures. Among the few bright spots, the review did give high marks for Google TV's ability to update shows to watch on linear TV or stream on-demand from a range of sources on-the-fly. (See Google TV 2.0 Tees Up CE Partners and Google TV Won't Fool Logitech Again .)

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily halted its 180-day review of the pending Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum deal between Verizon Wireless and four cable operators so parties can comment on the just-announced spectrum buy and swap agreement involving Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US Inc. . There are plenty of connections between the two deals -- the Verizon/T-Mobile agreement is contingent on the closing of Verizon's cable agreements, and some of cable's AWS spectrum is tied into the proposed swap between the mobile carriers. Groups such as Public Knowledge have already blasted the Verizon/T-Mobile proposal. The FCC is expected to restart the review clock in two weeks. (See VZ Wireless/T-Mobile Spectrum Deal Has a Catch.)

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Insight Communications Co. Inc. and Bright House Networks have access to HBO GO on the Kindle Fire just three weeks after the premium programmer announced its app for the popular low-cost Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) tablet. (See HBO GO Is on Fire.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has completed an upgrade in downtown San Mateo, Calif., that will give businesses in the district access to a fiber backbone that can deliver download speeds up to 100 Mbit/s and upstream links of up to 10 Mbit/s to smaller customers, and up to 10 Gbit/s for larger commercial customers. Comcast completed the upgrade in a partnership with the city's Chamber of Commerce. Comcast is working on similar fiber projects to boost business speeds in Boston's Innovation District and Seattle's Pioneer Square.

  • Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) shareholders approved its $1.5 billion merger with WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) during a special meeting held Tuesday in Atlanta. Regulators are expected to give the deal the green light by this fall. (See Whoa! WOW Buys Knology for $1.5B .)

  • Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and set-top box chipmaker Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) raised second-quarter guidance Wednesday to between $81 million to $82 million, from a range of $75 million to $77 million, noting that it was able to resolve some supply-chain constraints related to its set-top box silicon business ahead of schedule.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • msilbey 12/5/2012 | 5:29:00 PM
    re: Google TV 2.0 Off to a Bumpy Start

    It looks like enthusiasm for commercial services is trickling down from the larger MSOs to the smaller ones. The Knology acquisition strengthens WOW's commerial biz and gives it a better higher-margin play. Given the margin squeeze in video, cable companies almost can't afford not to find these higher-margin alternatives. 

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