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Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service

Jeff Baumgartner
3/30/2012

Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is developing a wireless video service for pay-TV subs that could launch by year-end, but CEO Lowell McAdams warned that the plan hinges on whether the feds approve his company's proposed acquisition of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from four cable MSOs, reports The Wall Street Journal. McAdams told the paper that it could evolve into an integrated service that could be marketed to customers of Verizon Wireless, FiOS TV and McAdams's new cable partners: Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cox Communications Inc. , Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). He also suggested that some programmers are willing to offer content on the mobile platform on an à la carte basis. (See Rivals Try to Freeze Verizon-MSO Spectrum Buy .)

  • Synacor Inc. is shoring up its position at some Tier 2/3 operators as it braces for more competition from thePlatform Inc. BendBroadband of Oregon has tapped Synacor to power its TV Everywhere service and Web portal, which features streaming video from the likes of HBO, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Hulu LLC . Synacor's also lending a hand so BendBroadband and WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) customers can manage their Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)-made Moxi video gateways remotely (set DVR recordings, checking TV listings and set parental controls) using PCs or Macs. (See Comcast Unit Targets Synacor's Turf .)

  • Comcast introduced its Xfinity Home security and monitoring service in the San Francisco Bay Area. The MSO hopes to launch Xfinity Home in the majority of its markets by the end of 2012. (See Comcast Goes Big With Xfinity Home .)

  • NewTeeVee noticed that Comcast has changed some language in its Xbox 360 FAQ with respect to its usage policies. Comcast previously said that Xfinity TV streaming to the console didn't count against a customer's Internet usage cap because that content was being delivered over a private IP network rather than the public Internet. The policy hasn't changed, but the language describing it has: "The Xbox 360 running our XFINITY TV app essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service, and our data usage threshold does not apply." (See 100K Download Comcast's Xbox App and Comcast's Xbox App Raises Net Neutrality Concerns.)

  • SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) confirmed a Multichannel News report that SVP of Advanced Technology Steve Davi has been promoted to chief technology officer.

  • RGB Networks Inc. says its TransAct Packager has added support for MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG DASH), an emerging protocol that aims to bring uniformity to the digital containers used for adaptive streaming packets used for IP-based multiscreen video services.



    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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    sarahthomas1011
    sarahthomas1011
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:31 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    There seems to already be a lot of mobile video alternatives, so I'm not sure how popular Verizon's service would be. I think it comes down to pricing. If it's smart, mobile TV will be a perk of paying so much for regular Pay TV, not an add-on charge.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:30 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    But an interesting way for them to frame this in that the development of it is somehow contingent on the spectrum deal going through. I find it hard to believe that they can't put something together like this on their own even without that deal.  JB

    sarahthomas1011
    sarahthomas1011
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:30 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    Also, when I spoke with a Verizon exec about the mobile video they already offer, he said different rights are required for mobile verus living room, tablets versus smartphones, even WiFi versus cellular. The last part especially doesn't make sense to me. But, it's clearly going to be tricky to make a service like this work.

    sarahthomas1011
    sarahthomas1011
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:29 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    Yeah, AT&T did the same thing with the call center jobs. Now that they've raised the issue, just do it! It almost makes them look bad for withholding.

    Flook
    Flook
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:24 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    Regarding VZ "deal" with the MSOs, have any details about that deal been released yet?

    joset01
    joset01
    12/5/2012 | 5:37:22 PM
    re: Verizon Sizes Up New Wireless Video Service


    Certainly not the coverage areas that I can tell.

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