January 7, 2013

Yeah ROKU, If you don’t have one, you should. I bought mine the first week it shipped. It’s great.

The streaming player Roku — a device that’s used to stream content like Netflix, Hulu, TheBlaze TV and other subscriptions through the Internet onto a television — recently signed a deal with Time Warner Cable to offer an app that will allow it to function like a traditional cable box service.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Eric Savitz for Forbes wrote that Roku announced the deal, which brings its device’s use more into a mainstream capacity. Time Warner subscribers who also have a Roku box will be able to stream up to 300 television channels without any additional charges.

Here’s how TechCrunch described it:

The new channel will allow Time Warner cable subscribers to log in using their cable credentials and begin streaming live TV in their homes. While Time Warner Cable has made apps like this available on the iPad, iPhones, and through Web browsers, this will be the first time that a connected TV device will have the cable distributor’s programming. Despite previous announcements with CE manufacturers like Samsung and Sony at previous CES events, Time Warner Cable will land on Roku first.

“The big picture is that TV is moving to the Internet,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in an interview with Forbes. “All TV eventually is going to over the Internet.”

Forbes reported this breakdown to show that shift is already occurring:

Wood says that about 30% of Roku users to do not use a pay TV service, although the other 70% – and he says the balance has been pretty consistent as the company has grown. Of the 30% without cable service, about 10% came to Roku without previously having cable service. The other 20% drop cable after buying their Roku box.

The deal is being hailed as a milestone for the two companies. It’s the first time Time Warner has allowed a third party to access its content and Roku is functioning more and more like a cable box replacement.

TheVerge pointed out that the channels available to be streamed will be limited by what’s included in the subscriber’s cable package.


Cable Companies Expand Free Wi-Fi

May 21, 2012

Five of the nation’s largest cable companies are partnering to allow their subscribers free access to each others’ Wi-Fi hot spots in cities across the U.S.

The nation’s biggest cable operators are banding together to offer free Wi-Fi access to their broadband customers in more than 50,000 hotspots around the country.

On Monday, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable announced on the first day of the Cable Show here that they’d enable each other’s broadband customers to access their metro Wi-Fi hot spots. The companies are calling the new network “CableWiFi,” so that subscribers will be able to find the hot spots when they’re roaming outside their own cable territory.

In early 2010, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable began allowing their subscribers to roam onto each other’s Wi-Fi networks in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut. And Bright House Networks and Cablevision have already launched CableWiFi alongside their branded WiFi networks around New York City and in central Florida earlier this month.

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Apple is currently in talks with content providers

March 5, 2012

This week is Apple week … Allegedly the iPad 3 is the star. But the Apple TV is in a supporting role.

It seems TV subscription services are all the craze these days, with several companies looking to follow in Netflix’s footsteps. Now, it looks like Apple is pushing ahead with plans to start its own service by the end of 2012.

According to the New York Post, Apple is looking to offer television channels as apps across its various devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Among these devices will also be the Apple TV set-top box and possibly an Apple TV set.

Apple is reportedly in talks with content providers already. However, in typical Apple fashion, it wants to control price and content, but a media executive was quoted saying that the company “wants everything for nothing.”

That’s not the only issue Apple is having. The tech giant apparently tried to persuade cable companies to use its hardware for their set-top boxes, where Apple can create the interface and collaborate with cable companies to manage bandwidth through TV and broadband. However, the cable companies weren’t having it.

Despite these troubles, Apple is moving forward with its TV subscription service and continues talking with content providers. There are no specific details available at this time, and many questions are up in the air, such as whether Apple will bundle multiple app channels together to create its own cable TV package or just offer them individually to customers.

Instead, cable executives pretty much shut the door, preferring to keep Apple at a safe distance from the lucrative $150 billion pay-TV business.

At the same time, the cable guys are jumping into the streaming video business. Cable giant Comcast just launched its own streaming content service, Streampix, while Time Warner Cable isn’t far behind.

Of course, Apple isn’t alone in hoping to break the hold of traditional pay-TV distributors. Both Sony Corp. and EchoStar’s Dish have been pursuing deals for Web-based TV packages.

Apple hasn’t given up, however, and is said to be pursuing deals with telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T. It hopes to get traction with a single player in hopes of pulling the rest of them along.

While Apple is also rumored to be working on its own actual TV set, sources believe its first priority is to bring a TV service to the market.

Apple is expected to unveil an updated Apple TV device on March 7, after sending out an invitation that reads, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

Apple wants to introduce its new service by Christmas 2012.

Comcast Still Not Interested in Usage-Based Pricing

February 29, 2012

Responding to Time Warner Cable’s latest usage-based pricing experiment, Comcast executives say they still have no intention of experimenting with metered billing. “We have a very high customer satisfaction rating and we don’t really want to rock the boat on that product,” Comcast chief financial officer Michael Angelakis told attendees this week at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom conference in San Francisco. “I give them credit for trying different things,” Angelakis said of Time Warner Cable’s efforts. “We have real momentum in that business and the goal is to keep it.”

In other words, Comcast faces competition from uncapped Verizon FiOS in far more markets than Time Warner Cable does, and would prefer not to shoot themselves in the foot. While saying they have “very high” customer satisfaction rankings (they’ve traditionally fallen into the bottom half of rankings), the company doesn’t want to lose any of the ranking gains they’ve seen over the last few years by imposing confusing and/or punitive new pricing models that aren’t really necessary in the first place.

High customer satisfaction for Comcast?

Am I missing something here?

At least my high speed connection works, with minimum downtime.

Here Comes IPV6

January 20, 2012

ISPs participating in World IPv6 Launch on June 6 will enable IPv6 for enough users so that at least 1-percent of their wireline residential subscribers who visit participating websites will do so using IPv6 by 6 June 2012. ISPs committed to the change-over include AT&T, Comcast, Free Telecom, Internode, KDDI, Time Warner Cable and XS4ALL. Participating home networking equipment manufacturers include Cisco and D-Link. Websites will include Facebook, Google, Bing and Yahoo!

“The fact that leading companies across several industries are making significant commitments to participate in World IPv6 Launch is yet another indication that IPv6 is no longer a lab experiment; it’s here and is an important next step in the Internet’s evolution,” commented Leslie Daigle, the Internet Society’s Chief Internet Technology Officer. “And, as there are more IPv6 services, it becomes increasingly important for companies to accelerate their own deployment plans.”

To learn more about World IPv6 Launch Day, head here.

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