Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
mPortal Inc. is the among the first to license a Wi-Fi finder app from CableLabs that was co-developed by Cablevision Systems Corp. and other members of the Colorado-based R&D consortium. Terms of the license were not immediately known, but the app is designed to boost quality of experience by seeking out the best-available Wi-Fi connection. mPortal will use the license to expand the app's distribution to the cable industry. Among the features, the app maps out Wi-Fi locations and provides details of an access point's performance and bandwidth levels. Cablevision has been working with CableLabs since 2011 to co-develop the software for the MSO's own Optimum Wi-Fi network. The app is coming into play as Cablevision and other cable operator partners move forward on a Wi-Fi roaming deal that is now covers more than 100,000 access points. Time Warner Cable Inc., Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. are among mPortal's mobile app customers. TW Cable, meanwhile, has introduced a Wi-Fi-finding app in partnership with WeFi Inc. (See TW Cable Smartens Up Its Wi-Fi and Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming.)
ThinkAnalytics Ltd. the U.K.-based firm that makes a video recommendation engine for set-tops and mobile devices, bolstered its U.S. plans after appointing cable vets Michael Pohl (to its board) and Nancy Pingitore (to VP of sales). Pohl, late of Arris Group Inc.
and currently board chairman of advanced ad firm BlackArrow Inc., will also serve ThinkAnalytics as strategic director for marketing and business development, Americas. Pingitore most recently was VP of distribution for the Tennis Channel. ThinkAnalytics' marquee U.S. customer is Cox; it has also secured a license for the Comcast-led Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated software bundle for IP-capable set-tops and gateways. (See ThinkAnalytics Gets Personal With Comcast's RDK and Brits Rev Up Recommendation Engine.)
Synacor Inc. has formed a joint venture with Beijing-based Maxit Technology Inc. to help the TV Everywhere authentication specialist gain a foothold in China. The resulting 50/50 J.V., to be called Synacor China Limited and headed up by Maxit Chairman and CEO Dr. Sean Wang, will co-license their technologies and commit at least US$2 million to the effort during the next two years.
Conjuring up images of olde school MTV, Vevo has launched a linear streaming feed of music videos, complete with VJs. The Vevo TV feed is available on browsers, Roku Inc. boxes and the Xbox 360, but Vevo TV has bigger ambitions, including a plan to gain carriage on more traditional cable TV lineups, according to Adweek.
Remember the gossip about an Apple TV set? The launch of the mythical product has been postponed until sometime in 2014 as Apple and its purported display partners -- LG Electronics Inc. and Sharp Electronics Corp. -- set upon improving product yields, according to a research note from Jefferies & Co. Inc. analyst Peter Misek. "We believe Apple wants a display that looks like 4K/Ultra HD but without the super-premium cost," the analyst wrote. No super premium? That sure doesn't sound like Apple...
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable