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Multi-screen video

A CES Chronicle: Dish, Google & More

LAS VEGAS -- CES 2016 -- There are big stories that come out of CES, and then there are many, many little observations and insights that too often get lost in the shuffle. In an attempt to preserve some of them, here is a chronicle of relevant tweets, notes and photos taken and posted during the 2016 Las Vegas event.

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I knew there would be no shortage of ridiculous photos of people in VR goggles. And here I contribute my own.

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Android Pay? Apparently so in Las Vegas cabs.

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I tweeted this at a Digital Hollywood session referring to Mobilactive Media CEO Terry S. Beinstock. He's very right. Cable and telecom operators wouldn't dare miss this show today.

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At the same Digital Hollywood panel, Cameron Friedlander of Kimberly-Clark made a point about the flip side of virtual reality. In his opinion, a lot of millennials would rather live in the real world and just use augmented reality tools to navigate that world -- tools like Tinder, for instance.

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This makes me wonder about the future of Google Fiber Inc. TV.

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Canadian chip company ViXS Systems Inc. is betting a lot on its new CordCutter TV stick believing there's still a market for an Aereo-like product that streams OTA content to Internet-connected devices. In a conversation, ViXS VP John Pomeroy called the new product "almost a loss leader, a springboard" for future, more sophisticated products centered on OTA TV.

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Ouch. (See below, and also Dish Ups the Ante in Vegas With HopperGO.)

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Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s annual CES press reception was lower key this year (no John Chambers), but still an occasion for multiple news announcements including the launch of Infinite Broadcast, the latest multiscreen video solution in Cisco's portfolio of "Infinite" cloud products.

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Want to know more about the impact of web services on the pay-TV sector? Check out our dedicated OTT services content channel here on Light Reading.


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D-Link Systems Inc. is integrating its smart home products with the Amazon Echo and Apple TV, which is why I got this meta photo of me recording myself being recorded by a D-Link camera and projected on a flat screen display.

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I overheard someone say that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has embedded a "Made with love in Philly" stamp in its licensed X1 apps... and then confirmed it.

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I had no idea Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) was "leading the way on cloud-based DVRs." Of course that may be because, according to Giles Wilson, CTO of video products, the company hasn't been able to announce several major operator customers in North America and Europe. I look forward to those press releases.

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CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney is always entertaining, and good for some industry analysis too. For example, he said in an interview that he's not worried about competition from low-power wide area networks in smart city deployments. Cable will have a big role to play in backhauling those networks. Also, McKinney's betting the Altice acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) will get approved. No guarantees, but that's where he's putting his money (figuratively, of course).

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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kq4ym 1/24/2016 | 6:27:06 PM
Re: Dorkiness I would still guess the VR is going to be strong mainly for the game folks. Until they can get less geeky devices to wear, and get the costs way down it's not going to be my cup of tea. The budget folks can try Google Cardboard, but that like a Chevy compared to Maserati price wise and coolnesswise.
Ariella 1/14/2016 | 3:50:07 PM
Re: Dorkiness @msilbey It's true that they're working on the problem. Wired ran a piece about it and the effect just having a reference point by including a nose could have in How to Reduce VR Sickness? Just Add a Virtual Nose

 
msilbey 1/14/2016 | 12:05:24 PM
Re: Dorkiness My guess is the dizziness issue (which I luckily haven't really experienced with VR) will get better with higher resolution. And that's coming. 
Ariella 1/13/2016 | 10:56:31 AM
Re: Dorkiness @mhhf1ve I haven't tried looking through, but I'd guess I'd be prone to dizziness, too. Maybe some of us just aren't built for virtual reality of that sort. We'll have to wait for holodecks to become a reality.
KBode 1/12/2016 | 11:33:37 AM
Re: Dorkiness I think those cheap (and in some cases free) offerings are a great way to introduce people to VR, but it seems like there's a good spot for something between that and the $600 and up "pro" offerings that somebody will try to fill. A $300 self-containd unit that's easy to develop for...
Mitch Wagner 1/12/2016 | 11:09:35 AM
Re: Dorkiness I've seen a casual prediction that cheap VR goggles will be the top gift for Christmas 2016, the way hoverboards were this most previous Christmas. Hopefully they won't have the same spontaneous combustion problem. I've told that joke before. 

Seriously, with Google Cardboard coming in at $25, VR goggles are probably cheap to make. 
KBode 1/12/2016 | 10:24:56 AM
Re: Dorkiness No doubt. I imagine the price drops 50% at least within two years. I'm stupidly going to be an early adopter, however. :)
mhhf1ve 1/11/2016 | 6:16:55 PM
Re: Dorkiness I'm still wondering if they've solved the "seasickness" problem with VR goggles yet. 

I can't look at any of those fancy virtual world things for more than 5 minutes without feeling like losing my lunch.
Mitch Wagner 1/11/2016 | 5:06:40 PM
Re: Dorkiness Early adopters will likely be hard-core gamers willing to pay the price, as well as enterprise training apps. Over time, the price will come down.
mhhf1ve 1/11/2016 | 3:13:53 PM
No mention of Google Fiber TV... It's not surprising that Google doesn't really try to promote Google Fiber TV.. it's hardly available to anyone outside of a few cities. 
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