Monster Cable Goes Cable-less with Wireless HD Connection

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  • 1. Clearwire: 30m WiMAX Subscribers by 2017 Page 15 JUNE 14-20, 2008 ISSUE 593 Apple Takes “Where Content Meets the Internet” iPhone to Next Level - Price Cut to $199 for 8GB Model - Twice as Fast 3G iPhone at Half the Price - SDK Downloads Top 250,000 Monster Cable Goes Cable-less - Debuts MobileMe - ‘Exchange for the rest of us’ About 12 months after the iPhone hit the market to a with Wireless HD Connection gushing chorus of “oohs and aahs,” Apple marked the - Uses Sigma’s Chips for connector cables within the same room first anniversary with the launch of a new, faster 3G Wireless HD within the Room & and use UWB-over-coax to connect iPhone at half the price on Monday at the Moscone Over Coax to Other Rooms products that are in separate rooms. Center in San Francisco. “This is our Monster Cable-less - Connects HDTV, DVD Players incl. Blu-ray, Pay-TV STBs, solution,” said Monster Cable presi- Worst Secret dent Noel Lee Surround Sound Systems That Apple would launch a 3G iPhone at its develop- The first product, called Monster ers’ conference was, of course, the world’s worst kept - $299 Wired & Wireless Receiver/Transmitter Can Be Wireless Digital Express HD, is a secret. And had Apple CEO Steve Jobs failed to introduce combination transmitter/receiver and the new iPhone, surely there would have been an uprising Used for Existing Gear wireless/coax box. They plug into the on the streets of San Francisco and in the gullies and - Beats Pulse~LINK to Market HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia alleys of the Internet. Sigma Designs appears to have Interface) connector that HD TVs, Clad in his customary black turtleneck and blue jeans, beaten Pulse~LINK to the retail mar- DVD players including Blu-ray, pay- Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled to a large throng of ket with a product from Monster TV set-top boxes, surround sound sys- developers and media the new iPhone, which supports the Cable, the maker of audio/video con- tems and other HD devices come with. faster 3G network and comes with built-in GPS capabili- nector cables, that’s both an HD wire- The Monster boxes can wirelessly ties and the iPhone 2.0 software that supports hundreds of less connection between devices with- stream HD video within a 30-foot third party applications as well as a Microsoft Exchange in 30 feet (three meters) of each other (three meter) range with full 1080p ActiveSync feature that should make the iPhone appeal- and also a ultra wideband (UWB)- resolution. It will also allow room-to- ing to enterprises. over-coax method for connecting room HD streaming by transmitting devices in other rooms up to 330 feet audio/video signals up to 330 feet (100 3G is the Key (100 meters) away. It’s the first HD meters) over a home’s existing coaxial Popular as it was, one of the biggest gripes of the first capable wireless and coax home enter- cables. generation iPhone was that it used the slower 2G EDGE tainment network. network. Monster, the world’s self-acclaimed Bye, Bye Fur Balls Apple has addressed the problem with the 3G phone biggest and best maker of cables for The Monster product promises to using a technology protocol called HSDPA (High-Speed connecting audio and video gear, has clean out the fur ball of wires and dust- Downlink Packet Access) to download data fast over been working with Sigma Designs, that are behind every home entertain- UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) which makes single chip digital media ment stack. Its wireless connections networks. processors, to develop wireless prod- will replace HD audio/video connector With the 3G iPhone, e-mail attachments and Web ucts that will replace HD audio/video cables. pages are supposed to load twice as fast on 3G networks as on the 2G EDGE networks. continued on page two “It’s amazingly zippy,” said Jobs. In any case, with the iPhone 3G designed to automati- Summer 2008 Publishing Schedule cally switch between EDGE, faster 3G, and even Date Issue number faster Wi-Fi, users are supposed to get the fastest June 13 593 speeds possible. Sunday, June 23 594 NXTcomm special issue Apple’s carrier partner AT&T says its 3G network is June 27 595 available in 280 US metros now and hopes to extend it to July 4 not published 350 metros by year-end. July 11 596 continued on page four
  • 2. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 2 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Monster: continued from page ONE - Offers in-room and adjacent room wireless connectivity Sigma’s UWB-over-coax technology allows the Monster product to - Has a 330 feet (100 meter) plus range of coax connectivity room- offer a “no new wires” way to connect devices in other rooms. to-room The Wireless Digital Express HD box will go for $299. A minimum - Has fully integrated Infrared (IR) distribution plus inputs for two of two is needed. Each box is both a transmitter and a receiver, one for HDMI ports, two component, one composite video/S-video with the DVD player, for example, and one for the TV set. audio, coax digital, optical digital with outputs of coax digital, The products are scheduled to reach the market by October 2008. optical digital F-connector for coax, 3 IR emitters and a serial communication input Why Sigma - Input switching is IR controlled for remote control from any- Lee, known as The Head Monster at Monster, said the company where in the home evaluated other wireless solutions for A/V cable replacement. - Software can be updated through its USB port. Presumably that includes Pulse~LINK. Lee said Monster chose Sigma “simply because the company’s solutions proved to be the most reliable and Sigma’s Wireless HDAV Solutions because they meet Monster’s strict quality Sigma’s Wireless HDAV technology trans- parameters. ports HD multimedia using standards-based “Sigma’s UWB allows us to continue offer- encoding technologies over ultra wideband to ing our customers the quality service levels Each Box is Both replace high definition audio/video cables. they’ve come to expect,” Lee said. “Together, Sigma’s chips enable developers of home a Transmitter and a Receiver we are achieving a “virtual wireless” solution networking systems to eliminate cables for the whole home by combining wireless for between a television and set-top box or HD in-room HD content streaming and UWB- DVD player by using wireless HDAV. The over-coax for room-to-room streaming.” company says it’s the first technology solution Monster’s Wireless Digital Express HD is powered by Sigma’s to support both the H.264 format and UWB based on the WiMedia Wireless HDAV, which features Sigma’s UWB Windeo chipset and its standard. Intelligent Array Radio (IAR) technology. Sigma’s IAR technology Sigma’s UWB chipset uses Intelligent Array Radio (IAR) technol- incorporates three antennas to deliver what it says is the industry’s ogy to ensure “the highest reliability in wireless connections between most reliable wireless link, one that is uninhibited by walls, objects or devices and delivers through-wall and range extension capabilities.” people, also referred to as non-line-of-sight activity. The chip compresses raw video to allow wireless HD video streaming Sigma’s Wireless HDAV solution will enable Monster’s customers “without compromising visual quality.” to mount their HDTVs on walls without the need for multiple HDMI and A/V cables spread throughout the room or hanging across the The Market walls. Short of landing a major digital service provider, Monster Cable Sigma’s Wireless HDAV and UWB-over-coax combination solu- will give Sigma the largest potential market. tion also provide the Monster Wireless Digital Express HD product The need for connecting devices wirelessly and over existing wires with long-range capability to cover the whole home with wireless con- such as coax and the power lines is growing as consumers buy more nectivity that achieves mobility and flexibility for in-room video entertainment gear that they want to connect. The soaring costs of streaming. It said the technology “maintains the highest quality of ser- petrol may, at least initially, make consumers more cocoon-like when vice that is required for HD content that travels from room-to-room.” it comes to video entertainment. Watching movies and TV shows with Sigma’s UWB technology is based on the high definition equipment sounds like a WiMedia Alliance standard that other technol- money-saving, environmentally friendlier way ogy companies also support. to be entertained and informed. “We are excited that Monster has chosen Sigma's UWB Sigma’s wireless HDAV and “no new wires” Technologyis Based on Competitive Technologies UWB-over-coax solutions to power the new WiMedia Alliance Standard A number of companies and coalitions are Wireless Digital Express HD product,” said attempting to fill the need for connecting Hung Nguyen, VP and general manager at devices in the home, especially the booming Sigma’s wireless products division. number of HD devices. Solutions include both “Monster’s selection of Sigma’s UWB technology further validates wired and wireless and technologies that do both such as what that advanced wireless home connectivity is here now, ready for our Monster’s Sigma-based products offer. home high def products.” He said the products “once and for all elim- Sony, Toshiba, Intel and others are developing a wireless HD- inate the need for any new complex wiring.” capable technology called Wireless HD. The Wi-Fi community is developing higher speed versions of Wi- Specs for Wireless Digital Express HD Fi, most recently the “n” version of 802.11. Monster’s $299 Wireless Digital Express HD box: Chipmaker Pulse~LINK has been the most publicly vocal about its - Encodes older video formats to 1080P HDMI - Upscales all inputs to 1080p format including DVDs. Monster: continued on page THREE
  • 3. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 3 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Monster: continued from page TWO vice that use Coppergate’s HomePNA chips. Verizon is shipping combination wired and wireless HD capabilities. At CES in January broadband and pay-TV boxes with Entropic’s MoCA chip as will Westinghouse Digital, one of the top five US makers of LCD TVs, Comcast, it appears, in a few months. Ruckus Wireless with its super and Pulse~LINK showed what the two companies said was the charged Wi-Fi and two of the three Powerline sects, HomePlug with world’s first fully integrated wireless HDTV. It used Pulse~LINK chips from Intellon and UPA with DS2 chips have been selling quan- chips. tities of products to telcos in Europe and Asia that are entering the pay- At that time Pulse-Link said it was the only semiconductor compa- TV market. ny that could deliver production chips with gigabit data rates for both Panasonic makes chips for HD PLC gear, a third Powerline net- wired and wireless HD video distribution. The company said it invent- work standard. ed the use of Ultra Wideband over coax systems and was the first to patent and demonstrate this technology for streaming HD content throughout the home. Complicating the home networking matter is the attempt to develop This week Pulse~LINK said it would demonstrate products that use a single network standard that will run over all three of the home’s its latest technology at an industry seminar in two weeks. “No more existing wires: coax, phone and electrical. It’s called and has the prototypes,” it said. backing of a number of industry heavyweights such as AT&T, Verizon, Sigma Designs was demonstrating its products in private suites at France Telecom, Telenor, Qwest, Intel and a number of others. The Cable Show a few weeks back while Pulse~LINK was showing Network gear with appears to be at least 18 months to 24 months at a booth in the exhibit hall. Both were trying to attract the attention away, maybe more but certainly not any sooner. In the meantime, con- of digital service providers who are expected to buy millions of set- sumers and digital service providers can’t wait. top boxes with networking built-in as they upgrade their networks and If the WiMedia standard that Sigma is using or the technology that consumer premises equipment. Pulse~LINK is developing take hold, they, or one of them, could ful- AT&T is shipping boxes for its U-verse broadband and pay-TV ser- fill the need for and add a wireless “in-room” component as well. Digital Service Providers We recently asked, “What’s a Phone Company? What’s a Cable TV Company? The world has changed but the nomenclature hasn’t. Phone companies sell pay-TV, broadband and mobile network services. Cable TV companies sell phone service, broadband and are about to start selling mobile services. Virgin Media in the UK and Rogers in Canada are already selling mobile telephony and mobile broadband. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House have a deal with Sprint/Clearwire that’ll put them in the mobile phone/mobile broadband business. So, why do we keep calling them by obsolete names? Any distinguishing line has been forever blurred between what cablecos and telcos are. They’re all service providers. What they’re selling and delivering is digital data, whether voice, video (pay- TV), Internet pages or Web-based services. ------ A leading industry spokesperson responded: “We are writing a white paper and want to use your definition of today’s network operator, what you identi- fy as the digital service provider. This fits in well our position as we see telephone companies and cable com- panies morphing into each other’s turf. Strict lines of definition and demarcation do not apply.” ‘Nuff said. The Online Reporter
  • 4. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 4 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Apple: continued from page ONE The SDK provides developers with a set of Application Beautiful Programming Interfaces and tools to build native applications. “It’s really beautiful,” was how Jobs described it as he unveiled the Several developers including AOL, Cisco, eBay, Electronic Arts, iPhone to applause from the awe-struck audience. Epocrates, TypePad, and Sega have built native With a nice 3.5-inch display, a full plastic back, solid metal buttons, applications using the iPhone SDK. flush head phone jacks, thinner at the edges and improved audio qual- Apple said 25,000 people applied for the paid developer program ity, the iPhone 3G appears to be a cool lil’ thing. and 4,000 were admitted. Developers set the price for their applications and get 70% of rev- Other Features enues from the apps. There’s more to the new iPhone than the 3G upgrade, GPS, a few If the application size is 10MB or less, it can be downloaded over enterprise-friendly features or its slick design. the cellular network, Wi-Fi or iTunes. If the applications are more than Here are some of the other key features of iPhone 3G: 10MB, users can download them over Wi-Fi or iTunes only. * Talk time of five hours on a 3G and 10 hours on a 2G network; Apple is also planning to provide for enterprises to distribute five-to-six hours of Web browsing; up to seven hours of video play- iPhone apps through the corporate intranet as well as introducing an back and up to 24 hours for audio playback. “ad hoc” method to distribute applications in a compact environment * Leverages Apple’s new subscription-based MobileMe Internet like a university classroom or a small software development team. service that pushes e-mail, contacts and calendars from an online “cloud” to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. Introduces MobileMe * Built-in speaker, microphone, SIM card tray and 3.5mm stereo Along with the new iPhone 3G, Apple also rolled out a new sub- headphone mini-jack. scription Internet service called MobileMe that delivers push e-mail, * 2 megapixel camera. contacts and calendar and keeps them synchronized on different * As with the older version, on the new iPhone too users can multi- devices – iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC. task with simultaneous voice and data communications. So when “Think of MobileMe as ‘Exchange’ for the rest of us,” said Jobs. users are on a call, they can simultaneously get map directions, check “Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can e-mail or browse the Web. get the same push e-mail, push calendars and push contacts that the * A new scientific calculator, the ability to mass move and delete big guys get.” multiple e-mail messages and parental control for specified content. MobileMe costs $99 per year for individuals and $149 for a family * The new AppStore lets iPhone users buy native applications in pack. The individual account comes with 20GB of storage and the various categories including games, business, news, sports, health, family pack with 20GB for the master account and 5GB for each four reference and travel. To be available in 62 countries at launch, additional members. Members can purchase an additional 20GB for AppStore is said to work over both cellular networks and Wi-Fi. $49 or 40GB for $99 annually. Price Cut Impact on RIM Weighing a mere 133 grams, iPhone 3G is scheduled to start selling The talking heads on CNBC, the US business news TV channel, on July 11 for $199 for the 8GB version and $299 for the 16GB model feel that the new iPhone will have some impact on Research and with a two-year contract. Motion, the maker of the Blackberry phone that’s popular in corporate The 8GB model comes only in black but the new 16GB version can circles, but also think the two can co-exist. also be had in white. The new pricing is $200 less than for the previous versions of Changes in Business Model iPhones. Apple continues to tweak the business model around the iPhones. It Does anyone still remember that the first iPhone cost $599 at one started with exclusive deals with operators in geographies like the US, time? UK, France, Germany and Ireland before starting to sign non-exclu- sive deals with multiple operators in other regions of the world. 70 Countries In the latest change, Apple will not get a cut of the monthly service Apple intends to offer the iPhone 3G in 70 countries later this year, charge from the carriers. beginning with 22 countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, Hong But with the price cut and additional features, the iPhone should Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Germany, Austria, now be more appealing to those who stood on the sidelines for the last Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, 12 months because of the high price. Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. “At just $199, we think the iPhone 3G is going to be affordable to almost everyone,” said Jobs. iPhone SDK Apple says it’s sold six million iPhones since they debuted 12 Even as all eyes were on the gleaming iPhone 3G, perhaps the more months ago and is on course to sell 10 million in 2008. important news was the developer ecosystem that Apple is building Some analysts feel that the lower iPhone prices could bring in a lot around the device. more consumers. “Apple is now better positioned comparatively on Apple said 250,000 developers had downloaded the iPhone SDK price to gain significant share in the handset market,” wrote Merrill since its launch on March 6. Apple: continued on page FIVE
  • 5. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 5 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Apple: continued from page FOUR ence, “ensuring that the latest features and technology are available to Lynch analyst Jeff Fidacaro in a research note although sales may be our customers nation-wide.” hurt in the short term as customers wait for the new version. CableLabs president and CEO Richard Green said the agreement “validates the tru2way technology platform for delivering interactive Whiners digital cable services to a wide variety of devices.” He said his orga- Of course, the iPhone 3G has its share of whiners. nization, which was responsible for developing tru2way, is ready to Here’s a brief list of cavils from the whiners on what’s lacking in support cable operators and manufacturers in the rollout of tru2way the iPhone 3G devices. - lack of video recording and of MMS, Comcast Media Center has said it’ll provide support for tru2way - relatively low spec 2 megapixel camera, to (a) small and mid-sized cablecos that want to deploy tru2way and - it still works only on the AT&T service, tru2way services and applications and (b) developers of tru2way applications and services who want to test and launch their products. - no cut/paste feature To those ends, it has developed a centralized platform called HITS - the phone cannot be used as a modem as many other smart- Advanced Interactive Services (AxIS). phones can The cablecos have promised to streamline the approval process for - it’s not on sale till July 11 new technology licenses and to offer new ways for interested compa- If you think of more shortcomings, let us know. nies to cooperate in the development of tru2way technology at CableLabs. Tru2way Attracts a Crowd The Quest for Third Party Developers (And Builds a Big Tent) Apple was much in the news this week, perhaps most significantly, Major consumer electronics, computer technology and set-top box at least long-term, for the applications and services that third parties makers have licensed to use tru2way technology and/or have signed are developing to run on iPhones and iPod touches. Companies such binding memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the US’ six as Apple and the cablecos have realized that their future prosperity largest cable TV operators. will depend to a great degree on getting independent companies to The reason for the team-building efforts? The Internet, of course. develop products that run on their devices. Instead of slowly losing more and more of their customers’ eyeball Tru2way uses the same Java-based technology that is used in cell time to the ever-improving Internet, cablecos hope that providing a phones, interactive broadcasting and Blu-ray players. That means cutting-edge, interactive experience on their televisions will actually there is a large community of developers who are skilled at develop- reverse the trend. To do that, however, you need killer applications, ing for tru2way even though tru2way itself is relatively new. which means you need a big enough marketplace to attract top Each cableco will decide individually which tru2way applications designers. and services will be made available to their users. Also, there is no set Committing to tru2way are: revenue sharing model nor has a venture investment fund been estab- Consumer electronics (CE) companies: Panasonic, Samsung, lished to provide financial assistance. The Apple business model is Sony, LG and Toshiba. Panasonic is making set-top boxes for pay- that it decides which applications will be deployed; the developer TV operators that include tru2way. Sony and Panasonic intend to build takes 70% of the revenue and Apple keeps the rest. Apple hosts, mar- CableCARD-compliant set-top box functions including tru2way into kets and handles application downloads. Apple worked with Silicon some future TV sets. CableCARDs and built-in CableCARD technol- Valley’s most successful VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers ogy means the user doesn’t need a separate set-top box. to raise $100 million for an iFund to help iPhone/iPod touch software developers get their applications to market. Set-top box makers: Digeo and Switzerland’s ADB. Chipmakers: Intel, AMD and Broadcom. Intel plans to develop a A tru2way National Network system-on-a-chip (SoC) that will support tru2way devices such as dig- The cablecos have several ambitions for tru2way. Because it estab- ital TV sets, set-top-boxes and DVRs. No word on a ship date or price. lishes a universal standard for future set-top boxes that any manufac- Cablecos: Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Cablevision, Charter turer can adhere to, it allows cablecos to create in effect a single and and Bright House. The group has over 80% of all US cable TV sub- compatible nearly-national network that could have upwards of 50 scribers and their service passes 105 million homes. They have million homes with tru2way boxes in a few years. By comparison, announced support for the tru2way platform on their networks. Time Apple’s goal is to have sold 10 million iPhones by year-end. Warner Cable has already distributed nearly a million tru2way Ambition number one for the cablecos is to sell more ads. By being devices. able to sell advertisers on a national buy rather than selling each indi- vidual market piecemeal, the cablecos believe they can increase the $5 Future Proof billion in revenue they currently get from ads. The tru2way standard will allow cablecos to enhance and add to the Advertisers pay for eyeballs and the Internet has begun to cut into service they offer their customers without having to install new set-top the time the cablecos subscribers spend watching pay-TV, a trend that boxes every time there’s a change. a number of surveys have shown over the last two years. Time Warner Cable president Glenn Britt said tru2way technology The pay-TV business in the States is hyper-competitive. Most resi- will allow the industry to continually enhance the customer experi- Tru2way: continued on page SIX
  • 6. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 6 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Tru2way: continued from page FIVE Tru2way is no exception. dences have a choice of subscribing to any of three pay-TV services – This week, CableLabs, which will administer tru2way stress tests the local pay-TV service and the two satellite providers. The phone said, as might be expected, that it will not announce certification companies’ recent entry into pay TV with Internet-like interactive TV results. The organization conducts multiple certification tests through- technology has increased the competition. out the year. Announcements have to be made by the equipment Cablecos lost 86,000 pay-TV subscribers in 2008’s Q1, probably manufacturers It did say, “Panasonic has entered an upcoming cer- US Cable TV Services - Q1 2008 tification wave, which provides ample time for prod- ucts to reach the marketplace to meet the company’s as of March 31, 2008 in thousands rollout schedule. Other tru2way products, including products from Samsung and ADB, have already been Company Pay TV Subscribers Pay TV Added/Lost certified by CableLabs.” Comcast 24,691 -57 At the recent Cable Show, Panasonic was pushing itself at THE tru2way product company. It was show- Time Warner Cable 13,306 -55 ing a number of tru2way products in its booth, not only Cox 5,400 0 set-top boxes but CableCARD compliant TV sets with tru2way built in. Its most innovative product was a Charter 5,208 -11 CableCARD compliant portable DVR with tru2way. Cablevision~ 3,125 2 Users could unplug the unit and watch recorded shows just like it were a portable DVD player ⎯ except they Bright House Networks incl. could watch the most recent episodes of their favorites Suddenlink (4) Not reported Not reported TV shows. CableLabs and the cable TV operators that own MediaCom 1,326 2 CableLabs want to get as much tru2way certified prod- Insight 689 15 uct to market as possible. They also know that it has to Cable One~ 711 8 work and has to be 100% compatible with tru2way and other tru2way products. No exceptions. RCN~ 362 4 A recently buggered up certification process hap- Knology 234 6 pened with HDMI cables, the new, pricey ones that connect HDTVs to HD set-top boxes and other HD Major Cable TV Services excl. gear. The lack of compatibility caused a great deal of Brighthouse 55,052 -86 consumer angst when they couldn’t get supposedly US Satellite TV Services 30,850 310 compatible products to work. And to think, it was just some connector cables involved, not an entire network. Last August, The Audioholic Online A/V Magazine said US Telcos excl. their Dish & that its understanding was that “HDMI certification is DirecTV subscribers 1,640 445 largely a very fast and loose (not to mention expensive Total 87,542 669 and apparently profitable) program that does noth- ing to truly ensure any of the manufacturer’s pro- very few to the Net but mostly to the satcos ⎯ DirecTV and the Dish duction cables meet or exceed any practical current specifica- Network ⎯ and telcos ⎯ mostly Verizon and AT&T. Many consid- tion.” er satcos and telcos to have better user interfaces than the cablecos. Cablecos have too much riding on tru2way to take any risks when Last August, the National Cable & Telecommunications it comes to reliability and compatibility. CableLabs is on guard. Association (NCTA) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) submitted competing proposals to the FCC on how to handle two-way services with CableCARD. The two groups have now agreed to work together with the CableCARD standard as the hardware inter- face and tru2way software as the middleware that governs the use of “There are three sides to every story: my side, services. Now that the path is clear for tru2way, we’ll see what kind of appli- your side and the truth. And no one is lying.” cations come down the pike. – Robert Evans, the movie mogul behind movies like “Chinatown” and “The Godfather” Tru2way Certification Once an industry standard has been adopted and equipment based on Every week in The Online Reporter, we try to bring you all the standard is ready, then an independent organization has to test the sides of every issue. gear for compatibility and interoperability with other like gear. Once the product passes, it’s certified and can then typically stick a label on Call 225-769-7130 for your own subscription. the box that says so. Or, write It’s a process that every standards organization has to go through.
  • 7. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 7 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 This Week in Content Deals Companies Details Sony Pictures' Entertainment's online video network Crackle has put out nine original series across a variety of gen- Sony Pictures res from comedy to music to gaming and lifestyle. Highlights from the summer line-up includes "The Jace Hall Show," "Take-Away Shows," Purple Onion Season Two," and six series in C-Spot Season Two. HBO is picking up a small stake in Will Ferrell's two-year-old comedy Web site Terms were not HBO disclosed, but a report in Variety puts the stake at less than 10%. Apparently, HBO has also commissioned 10 half- hours of programming from Funny or Die as part of the deal. Disney will stream online movies at for the first time. Expect to watch Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Disney Peter Pan. Tribeca Film Institute has launched a Web initiative called Reframe to assist filmmakers, broadcasters, distributors, Tribeca Film Institute media organizations, archives, libraries and other media owners to digitize, market and sell their classic and hard-to- find films and video content via the Internet. The Reframe Web site already lists 227 titles. Orange has launched a music subscription service for PCs and mobile phones called Musique Max in partnership Orange with four major music labels EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music and two indies Believe and Scorpio Music. The service costs 12 euros a month. Warner Bros. has inked distribution deals with Dailymotion, Joost, TiVO, Sling Media and Veoh Networks to launch Warner Bros. branded channels in September that will include and What’s a Phone Company? What’s a Cable TV Company? The world has changed. Some phone companies have more pay-TV customers than some cable TV companies. Likewise, some cable TV companies have more telephone customers than some phone companies. With the cablecos about to enter the mobile market in the US (see the Sprint-Clearwire-Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Bright House venture) and with Virgin Media in the UK and Rogers in Canada already selling mobile telephony and broadband, any dis- tinguishing line has been forever blurred between what cablecos and telcos are. They’re all service providers. What they’re selling and delivering is digital data, whether voice, video, Internet pages or Web- based services. They’re Digital Service Providers (DSPs) So let’s make a break from terminology that originated in the 19th and 20th centuries and call a spade a spade. They’re all dig- ital service providers (DSPs) and that’s what we’ll call them to show that they’re all in the same business — at least until some- one comes up with a better term.
  • 8. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 8 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 New digital media industry reports from the publishers of The Online Reporter Industry Background, Research And Forecasts Rider Research offers a number of specialty reports in addition to our weekly newsletter, The Online Reporter. You can request an extract of any and all these reports by clicking here ————— Mobile TV: Business Models and Technology Forecast The “Mobile TV Business Models and Technology Forecast 2008-2012” report explains and forecasts mobile TV technologies and business models and where they will emerge. In 60 pages, the report explains and analyzes the different business models and technologies that are driving the mobile TV market. The survey comes complete with a global forecast for specially enabled mobile TV handsets over the next five years. (More...) Purchase Request Extract Quadruple Play: Game Plan for Success: Forecasts and Strategies Phone and cable TV operators worldwide are moving inexorably towards “quad play” - bundling together broadband, pay-TV, residential and mobile phone services. The allure of quad play is leading those companies to invest billions in deploying new technologies and enter into joint ventures with seemingly strange bedfellows. It will lead to mergers, acquisitions and the movement of billions of dollars. These issues are analyzed in a new report called “Quadruple Play, Game Plan for Success”. (More...) Purchase Request Extract Video Vision 2007 The most comprehensive survey of the Video-on-the-Internet market. This report compiles and analyzes websites that offer videos that entertain & inform. From to YouTube, the Web is being flooded with videos - entertainment, sports, news and information. Everything from first run movies and TV shows to user-generated videos. You need a program to tell them apart. (More...) Purchase Request Extract Mobile Media 2008: The Third Screen For Entertainment This new report describes the current state of information & entertainment content on mobile devices and shows how content will be delivered over high-speed wireless networks to millions of always-connected multimedia mobile phones such as the iPhone. (More...) Purchase Request Extract Rider Research Inc 225-769-7130
  • 9. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 9 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 APPLE SLICES You Can Copy now has. So you can watch your home TV, device, and keep control of the revenue whatever it is, wherever you are, on a PC or streams from applications. The difference is the iPhone But Not a handset. Who needs mobile TV, if you have that Apple is showing its roots, which are the iPhone Experience your own TV, and it’s mobile. firmly in the PC world, where developers are The following appeared in this week’s Apple is ambivalent about this, and is everything, and like Facebook, the 3G Faultline, which focuses on triple and quad unsure whether it wants to sell lots more iPhone will find that applications spring up play services. To get a free copy to evaluate, video from the iTunes store, or allow appli- fresh every day, renewing the iPhone experi- e-mail cations like Sling on its new device. So Sling ence in a way that companies like Nokia can In the aftermath of the launch of the 3G is only showing a “concept” version on the only copy, because it developer community iPhone, everyone is trying to get to grips new iPhone, and is awaiting Apple’s is mostly internal. This is what Google’s with just what Steve Jobs brought to the approval. Sling makes its money selling the Android was supposed to achieve, but some- mobile party that was new. Most of the pun- box for home and the application on the how Apple has engineered a desire to devel- dits have missed it, because there was quite a handset or PC, and we would expect that to op for its device. lot. be a hot pull for any device that has it, and Nokia will continue to sell more handsets The first thing is that it is bringing the best Apple will soon realize that its new iPhone than any other company, and Samsung will out of all the rivals with Nokia re-iterating needs it. continue to sell the next highest, but they the availability in August of the already laud- The big thing that coverage focused on will have to open their minds further to a ed N96, which it will position head to head was price, which has been announced in the vibrant developer community if they want to with iPhone, and Samsung, on the same day, US as $199 or $299 for the 16GB version stop Apple carving out a hugely profitably launching its own all-touch iPhone killer, the with a long-term contract. Of course that’s existence at their expense with the 3G Omnia i900, a Windows phone which has not what it costs. We reckon that operators iPhone, especially when the full capabilities many of the same features. are paying $499 for the device and subsidiz- of the next generation software come out Pundits were split immediately into two ing it the same way that rival handsets are next month, to be thought of as the real camps. Those who love the iPhone, and already subsidized. This will have a huge iPhone 2.0. Because this will stimulate those whose first experiences with Apple effect on the number of devices shipped, and whole new genres of application, which will have always meant they are negative about already shipment predictions have risen from work equally well on the iPod Touch and the company, who want anything but an 10 million a year to 25 million a year on the both iPhones and will introduce major incur- Apple device, and who continue to point out back of that alone. sions into the enterprise with Exchange serv- that the 3G iPhone is finally almost as good Now a contract customer will be offered er compatibility for e-mail, push e-mail, and as the promised N96, but still doesn’t have the device alongside the Nokia N95 or N96, in gaming (Apple has already demonstrated that wonderful complete Nokia look and or Sony Ericsson Walkmans. “Certainly sir, some games from Sega), further threatening feel. would you like that contract with an Nokia enterprise Smartphones, the There should be a third group though, iPhone?” will be the phrase that doubles or Blackberry and devices like the Nintendo developers, all sorts of developers. People trebles shipments. But that’s not all that DS and the Sony PlayStation Portable. may complain about the SDK and how limit- Apple needs to make this device a success, ing it is, and how you can’t get at some of the and for that we come back to its software and Get Ready for the core phone functions, but that hasn’t stopped its rising developer community. people taking a look see, primarily because Apple is quietly creating a walled garden, iPhone Apps Deluge Apple is going to give them a route to mar- but not the traditional one that operators have - Applications Are Key ket through its own Application Store. created. A walled garden is where an opera- It’s all nice and dandy to have a cool little Programmers everywhere are thinking, tor says which applications and which ser- device like the Apple iPhone that’s the buzz “What if I can get a paid App on the vices can operate over its network. of the moment. iPhone?” The new walled gardens are where hand- But make no mistake — unless there’s a One in particular that we saw this week is set makers decide which applications and vast ecosystem of third party developers coa- Sling Media, now part of EchoStar in the which services can operate on its devices. lescing around that cool lil’ gadget with US. For those that have not tried a Sling Box While Nokia has spent a lot of time talk- applications that expand its utility in new or any of its derivative products, it is a device ing about its Ovi portal, all of the applica- directions, chances are its staying power will which takes your own TV outputs, be they tions on the portal are written or owned by be limited. DVD, the Sky Plus DVR or a Virgin Media Nokia. In the Application Store, Apple has Web TV, SideKick and Razr are only a few service, it re-compresses the program and gone a step further, and by linking all soft- examples of hot devices that caught the sends it out to wherever you are, as long as ware to an issued digital rights management imagination of consumers for a short season you are on a broadband line, including a (DRM) License the company keeps control before losing their luster. broadband wireless line, like the 3G iPhone of which applications make it onto their Deluge: continued on page TEN
  • 10. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 10 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 APPLE SLICES Deluge: continued from page NINE lets users track auctions they’ve bid on, see whether they’ve been Battle Ahead outbid and place new bids. eBay said the iPhone is the No-1 If Apple succeeds in getting application developers to line up mobile device accessing the auction site. behind its popular iPhone, the battle to become the preferred mobile - Loopt talked up a location-based social networking application phone is more than half won. that lets users see their friends superimposed on a map, see what “A device is nothing without applications,” Gartner analyst Ken they’ve have been up to and look at photos they’ve taken. The Dulaney told CNET. “The one lesson you can take away from Loopt app will also be available for free on the AppStore when it Microsoft is that once you attract the developers the rest is an easy launches. coast downhill. And I’m incredibly impressed at the speed in which - TypePad, a blogging tool, lets users create a text post or take a Apple’s application development platform has fully matured.” photo with the iPhone and send it to their blogs. Bloggers can also add a photo from their library to a post. This application will also Kleiner Perkins’ $100m iPhone/iPod be available for free. Fund - Associated Press showed a location- Besides putting out an iPhone software aware application called Mobile News developers kit (SDK), Apple worked with VC Network that provides local news based on firm Kleiner Perkins, which launched a $100 "A Device is Nothing where one is. Users can customize the feeds million fund in March to invest in companies for their favorite sports teams, read top Without Applications" news, business and entertainment content that want to develop iPhone and iPod touch software. That should provide a big fillip in and browse AP photos or video. Users can share their favorite stories via text or e-mail building a huge developer ecosystem for the and citizen journalists can upload their sto- iPhone. ries and photos to the AP. The AP application is also supposed to “A revolutionary new platform is a rare and prized opportunity for be free. entrepreneurs, and that’s exactly what Apple has created with iPhone - Games developer Pangea Software has ported two of its game and iPod touch,” said, Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr in March at apps from the Mac OS to the iPhone. They are a 3D puzzle game the time of the fund’s launch. “We think several significant new com- called Enigmo and Cro-Mag Rally, a caveman racing game. Both panies will emerge as this new platform evolves, and the iFund will games will cost $9.99. empower them to realize their full potential.” - Cow Music has come out with an application called Band that If Apple has to win the war with Windows Mobile, Google’s lets users play instruments from their iPhone. The work of a solo upcoming Android, Symbian and Linux phones, developer support developer Mark Terry, Band lets users “play” the piano, drums, will be the key factor. 12-bar blues instrument and bass guitar on the iPhone. Cool. Developers Enthusiastic - MIMVista has developed a medical Early response to the iPhone SDK that imaging application to allow doctors to Apple put out in March suggests that applica- show patients targeted radiation treatment. tion developers are gung-ho about putting Developers are Enthusiastic resources behind the iPhone. - Modality built an iPhone application The numbers say it all — 250,000 develop- to enable medical students to learn human ers downloaded the SDK, 25,000 applied to anatomical information. The app, which pro- the paid developer program and 4,000 people vides a detailed guide to the human body, were admitted to the program. lets users zoom and pan across high-quality And did anyone say that this high level of developer interest is for pictures and let them tap on a Google-map style pin to identify a a device that’s just a year-old. body part. - showed an application for baseball fans called “At String of Apps Bat” that provides live updates with scores, who’s on base, who’s At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, batting and real-time video highlights from games. Steve Jobs and his aides trotted out a string of developers that have - Digital Legends Entertainment demo’d a three dimensional written native applications for the iPhone. caveman adventure game called Kroll in which players battle ene- The native iPhone applications are supposed to show up at Apple’s mies, swing across rope bridges and solve problems. Kroll should new, upcoming App Store, where customers can search for and pur- be out by September. chase applications. - Sega has developed a Super Monkey Ball game that it plans to Here are some of the applications that made it to the floor on the sell for $10. opening day of the developers’ conference: Apart from the showcased apps at the conference, developers at - eBay showed an iPhone application for accessing the auction AOL, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Epocrates and are Web site. The application, which eBay intends to offer for free, also said to have developed native apps using the iPhone SDK.
  • 11. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 11 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT WiMAX’ Initial Use Is for demand for additional bandwidth to enable multi-play services grows, service providers have come under increasing competitive pressure to Wireline Broadband Replacement deploy new technologies. VDSL in all its forms is one of the key tech- WiMAX service providers in emerging markets, where there is little nologies service providers have long considered. However, they had wireline broadband, have generally positioned WiMAX as a substi- questions about standardization and the ability to seamlessly intercon- tutefor wireline broadband, providing mainly fixed and portable nect with legacy ADSL technology ⎯ a critical function that prevents Internet access but not mobile access, according to a study that the requirement for a massive DSL consumer premises equipment Pyramid Research did. (CPE) upgrade. The maturation of VDSL technology gives service WiMAX deployments in emerging markets accounted for more providers more options when deploying new bandwidth-intensive than 70% of WiMAX subscribers globally in 2007, the company said. multi-play services.” The WiMAX as wireline broadband alternative is exactly what The conclusion seems to be that the telcos must run fiber optic all Sprint’s chief WiMAX partisan Barry West predicted would happen the way to the home or they must use VDSL from a nearby fiber optic in the States when Sprint, now Clearwire, begins offering WiMAX at node to the home. Otherwise the cablecos will have a far superior net- retail. For one thing WiMAX will have very limited geographic cov- work for (a) delivering lots of bandwidth-hugging HD TV channels erage in its early days. Then, too, the expectations are that there’ll not and (b) downloading, uploading and streaming video that is increas- be any “must have” mobile devices in 2008. For the record, the new ingly high-quality, even HD. iPhone coming this summer is not a WiMAX device. If it were, we’d According to Calix, IPTV pay-TV and related services plus an have a different cover story this week. increasingly online consumer lifestyle are rapidly driving the need for The three cable TV services that are in on the Clearwire venture and more bandwidth in the last mile ⎯ from where the fiber optic node is Sprint have talked about a user being able to automatically go from to the high-speed network in the home. As a result, it says, service WiMAX to Sprint’s 3G service and back as the user moves around. providers are looking for access solutions that can use their existing However, no details have been provided on how that will work. It will copper infrastructure to meet these demands while simplifying man- take a long time – several years – and a lot of money for Clearwire to agement and lowering operational costs. build even a near national WiMAX network. Also unanswered is why the Sprint-Clearwire venture will work for New VDSL2 Products the cablecos but their Pivot venture with Sprint did not. Calix says its new environmentally hardened products and unified access infrastructure meet these needs, offering service providers a Calix Offers Telcos Higher number of benefits. “As bandwidth requirements, particularly for video, ratchet higher, Speeds over Existing Copper Networks service providers are looking for ways to offer competitive services Calix, claiming to be the largest telecom equipment supplier focused across their existing copper infrastructures,” said Frank Wiener, VP of solely on access solutions for broadband service delivery, this week product development at Calix. He said the new products leverage the announced two new additions to its product line that will enable telcos latest VDSL2 technologies plus ADSL fallback to overcome the major to deliver advanced, high-bandwidth pay-TV and broadband over hurdle inhibiting North American VDSL deployments – how to roll their existing copper infrastructure. out VDSL2 in existing networks without mass modem change-outs. Telcos compete in the broadband and pay-TV markets with cable- In addition to the big two ⎯ AT&T and Verizon ⎯ and the little two cos that’ll soon be providing speeds of up to 100 Mbps with technol- ⎯ Qwest and Embarq, the US has over 1,500 smaller, independent ogy called Wideband that Comcast has already deployed in the telcos that want a piece of the broadband and pay-TV action. Minneapolis-St Paul market. Wideband runs over the cablecos’ exist- ing wires to the home so they are not faced with physically building new fiber optic networks as the telcos are. Cablecos in the UK, Japan Singular Broadband Coming and South Korea are already offering the higher speeds. - Wireline & Wireless Internet Access Will Be Seamless Calix’s new product line would allow telcos to stay competitive People don’t have two cars ⎯ one to drive on city streets and another with VDSL2 while they deploy the fiber optic networks that are the to use on the Interstates or Motorways. The day will soon come when future. there will only be one broadband and the same devices will access both wireline and wireless broadband. Consumers will order broad- The Case for VDSL band and get access at home over their service provider’s wireline Telcos mainly outside the States have used VDSL2 technology to broadband network and away from home via a cellular network or increase bandwidth to the home over their existing networks. AT&T nearby Wi-Fi hotspots ⎯ or as the technology becomes available via is using VDSL2 to deliver its U-verse pay-TV service. Verizon is not. WiMAX or LTE mobile broadband networks. It’s running a fiber optic cable all the way to the side of the home for Wireless broadband is spreading as evidenced by the recent rapid its FiOS pay-TV service. increases in the cellcos’ revenue from data plans. It will spread even “Excluding AT&T’s U-verse initiative, VDSL2 adoption in the faster as (a) 3G cellular networks with their faster access speeds are North American market has been slow to develop,” said Matt Davis, program director of consumer multi-play services at IDC. “As the Singular: continued on page TWELVE
  • 12. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 12 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT Singular: continued from page ELEVEN cally detects the strongest AT&T network not femtocells, to allow unknown passers-by deployed and (b) products like iPhone and signal within range of the customer, includ- to connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network. FON other cell phones plus non-phone products ing 3G or EDGE cellular or an accessible gives the devices free to users who are will- such as iPod touches come equipped with Wi-Fi network including those that AT&T ing to leave them open for others to use. wireless Internet access. operates for such as McDonald’s, Starbucks FON says its software divides the broadband Apple and AT&T have shown with the and Barnes and Noble. When at home, cus- modem into two halves — private and pub- iPhone and AT&T’s single price, unlimited tomers can connect via their laptop with their lic. Outsiders are never allowed to use more use wireless data plan, that many consumers home’s wireline broadband directly or via than 50% of a member’s total bandwidth, it Wi-Fi. says. want continuous Internet access ⎯ and they AT&T has several advantages. It’s the US’ The device, mobile phone or other, con- want pocket-sized computer-like devices to largest telco and largest cellco. It’s well on nects directly to the femtocell via the cellular access it with. its way to having 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. link, in just the same way as it connects to AT&T has taken the lead in the dual Unlike Verizon, it owns 100% of its mobile the nearest cellular tower, except that the cell broadband market with two other moves. phone operations, having acquired — the femtocell — is inside the residence. It’s patching together a national network BellSouth. AT&T has 600,000 more broad- When the user leaves the residence, the of Wi-Fi hotspots. There are expected to be band subscribers in the States than second device hands off to the cellular base station 17,000 of them in the States by year-end place Comcast. And, at this point at least, in the usual way. Within the home cell, the since the rollout can proceed now that T- none of the major cablecos have a wireless cellco can offer homezone-specific pricing Mobile and Starbucks have resolved the law- network. They only have the hope of one in or services such as low cost calls within the suit. AT&T offers free, albeit, somewhat lim- the as yet unproven WiMAX that Sprint- home, location aware services and the like. ited access to its Wi-Fi network to the 14.6 owned Clearwire is testing in three US Some manufacturers such as Netgear million subscribers of its wireline broadband markets. and Thomson are planning combined fem- service. It has said it would consider making The cablecos perhaps see what the telcos tocells/Wi-Fi routers so the user can link the same offer to its mobile phone customers see ⎯ the world is moving towards a singu- to either network, or use 3G for fixed- but hasn’t, at least not yet. lar broadband service that’ll provide both mobile convergence and Wi-Fi for home BT is doing a similar quilt of Wi-Fi wireline and wireless high speed Internet networking. hotspots in the UK and on the continent. BT access. They don’t want to miss the opportu- is going a step beyond AT&T by using nity, especially since the cablecos have the Mobile Broadband to FON’s technology and service to let BT’s largest broadband market share in the States. broadband subscribers serve as hotspots. Be Bigger Than Wired BT’s 4.4 million wireline broadband sub- scribers can get free access to more than A Note on Femtocells Broadband in 2 Years 190,000 FON hotspots worldwide if they Femtocells, originally called Access Point - Lots of Factors Driving the Change agree to share some of their Wi-Fi bandwidth Base Stations, will help converge wireline - New Applications and Services at home with other FON users. FON says and wireless broadband. Femtocells are Coming Specifically for Mobile Devices one million homes and businesses world- intended to extend wireless service coverage Mobile broadband will replace fixed line wide will have FON-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots indoors. broadband within two years, according to by the end of the year - yep, one million. See Mobile phone services will install femto- experts the Times of London talked to. The “BT, FON to Create UK-wide Wi-Fi Hotpot” cells in their subscribers’ homes to serve as paper, owned by News Corp, said that at: mini-cells for connecting a mobile device to experts predict that by 2010 the mobile cle_id=10780 the cellco’s network via the customer’s phone networks, presumably including what- Apple has sensed the opportunity that broadband. The mobile device wirelessly ever WiMAX and LTE networks have been large Wi-Fi networks offer. It has proclaimed connects to the femtocell, which in turn con- built by then, “will have overtaken home iPhone and iPod touches as THE platform nects via the user’s wireline broadband to the broadband as the primary way of connecting for Wi-Fi applications. The first third party cellco’s network. to the Web.” applications and services were announced Wi-Fi is not necessarily involved. Dongles, external devices that plug into a this week together with the new 3G iPhone. A femtocell-based deployment will work PC’s USB port and convert otherwise fixed Secondly, AT&T last week launched a sin- with existing handsets but requires that a line broadband devices, will be the standard, gle price, triple play wireline and wireless femtocell be installed in the home. They are not wires, the paper’s experts said. broadband bundle: wireline broadband at not commercially available yet but many are WiMAX makers and services are promis- home, Wi-Fi access at more than 17,000 hot expected to be on display at next week’s ing WiMAX dongles this year that will allow spots in the States and wireless access with NXTcomm in Vegas, the telcos’ annual trade desktop and laptop PCs to connect to AT&T’s Laptop Connect service to AT&T’s show and conference. Motorola and Nortel WiMAX networks. A number of cellcos and cellular network ⎯ all for $79.95 a month. among others will be showing femtocell PC makers have dongles for laptops that AT&T’s free Communication Manager gear. allow them to access the Net wirelessly via software (version 6.8) for laptops automati- FON is using Wi-Fi routers/access points, Mobile: continued on page THIRTEEN
  • 13. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 13 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT Singular: continued from page TWELVE way to access the Internet in the UK.” The Times said Broadband the cellcos’ mobile phone network. Expert made a similar prediction. The paper quoted You Gov as saying that one person in ten regu- The paper said that 3, in early with a mobile broadband service, larly accesses the Net on a PC by connecting to a mobile phone net- offers 18-month broadband contracts which include 3GB of content work ⎯ despite the service having only recently been available. And, ⎯ the equivalent of six to ten hours of video on the BBC iPlayer ⎯ one-third of them only connect to the Net via a cellular network. And, for £15 ($30) a month. Existing 3 customers pay an additional £7.50 that’s at very slow speeds even on 3G networks when compared to ($15) a month. wireline broadband. A study by Broadband Expert in March showed the average speed What’s driving the move to wireless broadband are a number of fac- for mobile broadband providers was 1.46 Mbps, certainly an accept- tors: able speed for many and for most applications. - Mobile broadband speeds are increasing. With 3G, speeds are at If the prediction proves true, and it may well do so, then the indus- about what wireline broadband was when it was first launched – tries that wireline broadband has impacted will be once again turned in the 1 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps range. WiMAX and LTE promise topsy-turvy. And no one can know what unexpected applications and speeds equal to what consumers now get at home ⎯ in the 6 Mbps services will be brought to market. to 10 Mbps range. - The cellcos are dropping the monthly costs and perhaps more European Operators Pushing importantly are introducing fixed cost data plans so the subscriber doesn’t get hit with an unexpectedly high bill. Free IPTV to Capture Broadband Riches - Apple and the cellcos that sell its iPhone have packaged cellular - 40% of European IPTV Households Getting It Free and Wi-Fi broadband access to make it easy for users to stay con- The following appeared in this week’s Faultline, nected. which focuses on triple and quad play services. To get a free copy to evaluate, e-mail paperboy@rider- - The Net has an addictive characteristic. More and more people want and expect to be connected 24/7. UK researcher Screen Digest this week raised the question of just - Cloud computing allows more of the application software and why so much IPTV is free in Europe, either bundled with broadband data to remain on servers on the network. That increases the func- or with free VoD and free channels, designed to drag customers into tions and services that can be run on mobile devices. the paid areas of a service. - Services and applications are being developed specifically for The researcher makes the point that IPTV is being used as a tempter using over mobile networks. Nokia, Yahoo, Google, Apple, RIM to get customers to buy other services, rapidly making it a commodi- (Blackberry maker) and others are in a race to dominate the ty, bundled for no extra cost with a broadband or telephony package. mobile software and services market. The result is that 40% of European IPTV households are getting - Operating systems for mobile devices are improving by leaps IPTV for free. and bounds, no doubt inspired by the iPhone. Microsoft’s And it makes the argument that the new IPTV services have such Windows Mobile, Google’s Android, Nokia-backed Symbian and large costs associated with them, network upgrades, expensive set various mobile Linux versions are leading the charge to develop tops, DSLAM upgrades, middleware and implementation contracts, user-friendly, high-function operating systems. that this cannot be justified in churn reduction, and instead can only be - Students have grown accustomed to wirelessly connect at their justified when operators add the reduction of churn to the acquisition universities and the coffee shops and pubs they frequent. of large amounts of new customers. - Laptops have become the most popular type of PC for many, Screen Digest throws in more evidence in the form of IPTV opera- especially those on the move. And, when they move around, they tors reselling third party content packages. For instance Viasat’s deal want and expect to stay connected. with Telia, announced in May, where Telia customers are offered - New applications are being developed that make sense only on Viasat’s Channels, which suggests they are not trying to make their mobile devices such as location based ones. “Where’s the nearest own bouquet profitable, but want to make all their money on restroom?” What’s nearby where I can get a hair do?” “What’s the broadband. best night club in the neighborhood?” The new report makes the point that France has the cheapest pay- - The hardware is better. Displays are bigger and have better res- TV in the world (actually it’s pretty much on a par with Hong Kong olutions. Touch screens make portable devices easier to use. and Taiwan, but we see their point) with a lot of content free with a Batteries hold more power. Chips use less power. broadband subscription. People have become accustomed to their mobile device doing more It is this that is driving French IPTV adoption, and this will clearly ⎯ e-mail, texting, social networking and the like. have an enormous impact on both cable and satellite suppliers. All of “This trend is as significant as the shift from home to mobile phones this means that by 2012 the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will that took place in the mid Nineties,” a spokesman for the price com- contribute the majority of IPTV subscribers, but the Baltic countries parison site Top 10 Broadband told the paper. “We predict that by will also have high penetration levels, with Estonia reaching 20% of 2010, mobile broadband will overtake home broadband as the default homes by then and Scandinavia 10%.
  • 14. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 14 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT Nortel Throws its Weight two years behind WiMAX, which is already Wireless Watch: deployed on a limited basis and with mixed Behind LTE success in and around Seoul, South Korea. Must Read for Wireless Communications equipment vendor Nortel LTE is reportedly as much as two years Broadband Management is throwing its weight behind LTE in the away from test deployments. Wireless Watch focuses on wireless coming battle between the two rival wireless broadband – from 3G to WiMAX and broadband technologies — WiMAX and LTE. LTE. It’s a must read for those Deal with Alvarion Nortel said Wednesday that it would that are in or will be impacted by However, Nortel is not abandoning the world’s rapid move to a mobile focus its R&D resources behind 4G LTE WiMAX and has forged an alliance with Internet. For a free copy to eval- (Long Term Evolution) wireless Internet Alvarion to address opportunities in the uate, please e-mail paperboy@rid- technology. WiMAX market. In the mean time, LTE is preferred by cellcos like AT&T, Nortel executives said the deal with here are three snippets from this Verizon Wireless and Vodafone while Alvarion would achieve faster time-to-mar- week’s edition: WiMAX has its main proponents in Clearwire ket with WiMAX at lower cost and enable it and three major cablecos Comcast, Time Nokia Delivers Ads to 100m Consumers to accelerate its LTE development to meet Warner Cable and Bright House. The Nokia social networking site Mosh a demand that is emerging faster than What must have made the decision easier will now carry advertising from the Nokia anticipated. for Nortel is its failure to clinch WiMAX Media Network, the handset giant said this deals with the tier one operators it was week. This will mean that advertisers can aggressively striving for last year. Nortel lost Verizon Expands reach over 100 million consumers through out to Samsung and Motorola for Sprint’s 7 Mbps Service Nokia portals and partners. The Mosh audi- nationwide WiMAX business. Verizon has expanded its “ultra-fast” 7 ence makes up the heaviest tier of mobile Plus, Nortel has made inroads with opera- Mbps high speed Internet service to 3.4 mil- users, said Nokia and adverts will include a tors such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless that lion homes in 20 states and the District of ‘spotlight’ ad that is placed above all organic have committed to LTE for their 4G paths. Columbia. browse, search and contextual ads. Launched on a limited scale in January, Universal Pictures will use a spotlight ad to Sees More Potential in LTE the service was initially offered to about promote its new film “Wanted.”’ “Nortel is targeting its 4G portfolio to cap- 400,000 homes at the beginning of the year italize on the rapidly growing market oppor- in parts of the Great Lakes, Southeast, South Microsoft Expects tunities associated with wireless broadband and West Coast and then expanded in March 50% Growth in Windows Mobile — and to help operators meet these needs to 1.2 million additional consumers. Microsoft expects global unit sales of quickly,” said Richard Lowe, president, The 7 Mbps service is double the down- Windows Mobile to grow at least 50% a year Carrier Networks for Nortel. “WiMAX will load speed of the company’s next fastest in fiscal 2008 and 2009 as demand for smart- provide fast, cost-effective coverage and offer. phones rises. Eddie Wu, the company’s man- mobile broadband capabilities for early Verizon is pitching the 7 Mbps service as aging director of OEM embedded devices in movers in the wireless broadband market.” a compelling alternative to cable. Asia, told Reuters he expects Microsoft to But Lowe made it clear in which wireless “Our 7 Mbps Internet service delivers con- sell 20 million units in its 2007/2008 fiscal broadband technology Nortel sees greater siderable speed and a compelling option over year ending in June, having sold over 11 mil- potential in the future — “LTE will provide cable Internet,” said Verizon’s VP of broad- lion units the year before. The fastest growth the high-speed, high-capacity mobile broad- band solutions Susan Retta. “Many people is in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Brazil, band network evolution sought by many are looking for faster broadband speeds for Russia and India. established network operators, allowing productivity and efficiency reasons, and they them to offer not only faster connections but want to avoid the shared neighborhood Report: Laptops with Embedded 3G to also an enriched user experience that model used by cable companies that can Become ‘Must Haves’ includes real-time services such as mobile slow download speeds. Laptops with embedded 3G are likely to TV, Web services, mobile advertising, and “This high-speed broadband is now avail- become a must-have for the business world carrier-hosted services for businesses.” able in many small communities, in addition from next year as new technologies and bet- to urban and suburban areas across the coun- ter pricing plans make them more attractive, LTE Further Away try,” she said. says research group Gartner. The firm said LTE is considered further away in being The 7 Mbps service costs $42.99 when the high cost of hardware and expensive ready for deployment, perhaps as much as ordered with an annual service plan. monthly charges have so far kept the enter- Watch: continued on page FIFTEEN
  • 15. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 15 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT Watch: continued from page FOURTEEN the beginning of its life as Churchill might have said. prise from investing in 3G-enabled laptops, but that should begin Together, Sprint Xohm and Clearwire are testing WiMAX changing at the end of 2008. “Our standing recommendation against in three markets: Chicago, Portland (Oregon) and embedding wireless WAN cards in notebooks ⎯ except for applica- Washington/Baltimore/northern Virginia. Both companies have tions with a clear return on investment justification ⎯ has been based reported that tests are showing good results. Holding back the widespread appeal of WiMAX in the near term on lack of global coverage, high costs and poor asset protection,” the are: company said. “However, new technologies and pricing due by the - Limited geographical coverage makes its use as a mobile phone end of 2008 have the potential to eliminate the problems of embedded, network very limited wireless 3G notebook purchases.” - WiMAX devices are pretty much only laptop and desktop PCs that can have a WiMAX dongle/antenna plugged into their USB port. Clearwire: 30m The new Clearwire is the result of a multi-company deal that was announced in May. Sprint turns over its Xohm operation to Clearwire. WiMAX Subscribers by 2017 Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House will - $17.5b Revenue in 2017 invest a total of $3.2 billion in the new Clearwire. Sprint will own - Big Head Start over Cellcos’ LTE Technology 51%. Existing Clearwire shareholders will own 27%. The five new Clearwire’s chief strategy officer Scott Richardson predicts the com- investors will together hold 22%. The three cablecos will sell the ser- pany will have 30 million WiMAX customers in nine years. The com- vice on “most favored” terms with Sprint providing roaming on its 3G pany will soon incorporate Sprint’s Xohm-brand WiMAX operation network. and a lot of money from Intel, Google and three major US cablecos. “By merging Sprint’s WiMAX business with Clearwire, we have all It’ll offer wireless broadband, both fixed and mobile, to residences the key elements to build the communications company of the future and businesses that’ll be able to access the Net and make phone calls today,” Clearwire CEO Benjamin Wolff said this week in a Webcast. over the WiMAX network. The company predicted that its WiMAX revenues would be $17.5 Next Step: FCC Approval billion in 2017. Sprint and Clearwire have filed a document with the FCC that Sprint Nextel and Clearwire had previously said that their combined requests permission to merge the spectrum that both companies WiMAX networks would be available to 140 million people by the intended to use for their WiMAX networks. The merged spectrum end of 2010. would be transferred to a “New Clearwire,” the one that Sprint, WiMAX partisans such as Clearwire say that they have an enor- Clearwire, Intel, Time Warner, Google and Bright House are to own mous jump on the LTE networks that cellcos such as AT&T and once regulators and presumably shareholders have approved it. Verizon Wireless will deploy. The WiMAX crowd claims they’ll have The New Clearwire will provide a third broadband pipe to home millions of customers before LTE networks are up and running. and mobile users. Ars technia examined the document and found some new and pre- AT&T Isn’t Rolling Over viously made promises: However, AT&T has said it can substantially increase the speed of - Access speed is expected to be 6 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. That its 3G technology and make it competitive to WiMAX even before is much higher than wireline broadband was initially. Both companies LTE is available. Last week AT&T showed it intends to be THE said that in the three markets where they’re testing that they have broadband service provider with two announcements: “consistently demonstrated the ability to deliver up to 6 Mbps down- 1. A single $99 monthly rate for its Net Reach plan will allow sub- link and up to 3 Mbps uplink while the end user is moving at speeds scribers to use all three of the company’s Internet access services: of up to 60 miles per hour.” wireline broadband at home, Wi-Fi at home and office or at any of - Reaffirming a promise that Sprint had made repeatedly, Clearwire AT&T’s 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the States and access to the Net via subscribers will be able to connect with any device that they want so AT&T’s cellular network. long as it is compatible with and not harmful to the WiMAX network 2. It said that as the HSPA technology that it uses evolves between - There’ll be an open policy when it comes to subscribers’ ability to 2009 and 2010 to HSPA+, peak speeds over the cellular network could use applications and access services. They will be able to download reach 20 Mbps. Last week, the company took the first step by boost- and use any software applications, content or services, the document ing by 20% the top end of the company’s typical 3G network down- said, subject only to reasonable network management practices and link speed range and increasing by 50% the top end of the typical law enforcement and public safety considerations uplink speed range for wireless laptop card customers. AT&T also re- - Up to 140 million people in the US will be able to access its confirmed last week that it’ll use LTE to take speeds even higher. WiMAX network within 30 months and hopes to cover 220 million The fierce race between WiMAX and 3G/LTE for deployment will people by 2017. It’s not clear whether that’s 30 months from when accelerate consumers’ moves to wireless broadband as a standard way Clearwire and Spring filed the document or 30 months from when the for accessing the Net ⎯ in the same way that most consumers today FCC approves the changes. have wireline broadband at home. - It will offer non-exclusive wholesale access to its WiMAX net- Clearwire/Sprint Status Report work. Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House WiMAX is in the beginning stages of rollout ⎯ sort of the end of Clearwire: continued on page SIXTEEN
  • 16. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 16 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT Clearwire: continued from page FIFTEEN ment among the companies, one of the seven mobile devices and search supremo Google Networks “have already made non-exclusive directors must be an independent director. whose ambition it to have its ads shown on wholesale agreements with the New And… every device that can access the Internet. Clearwire. They will function as mobile vir- Can’t you just hear the beginnings of a Can’t you hear the rumble of thunder tual network operators (MVNOs) by spat already? What’s an independent direc- already? And the deal isn’t even consummat- reselling Clearwire services under the own tor? And who picks him? And who defines ed. brands. “independent”? The highly focused, single purpose man- Google also has the right to resell the ser- The potential potholes are too numerous to agement at AT&T and Verizon/Verizon vice but would seem to be more interested in count because no one has ever tried to man- Wireless doesn’t care about selling chips or getting its ads, er, uh search on every age such an independent group of companies getting a search engine on every device or WiMAX device and develop what the docu- in a new venture whose success is based on buying access to another company’s wireless ment called “novel” applications and ser- an untested business model and unproven network. And the two have an enormous vices for WiMAX devices.” technology. head start in the mobile broadband market The cablecos previously tried a joint ven- with many millions of subscribers already ‘Sprint Will Not Control Clearwire’ ture with Sprint called Pivot that failed for their data plans. Wolf also clearly communicated that despite the participants’ many promises. This new venture has three more very indepen- They must feel like they got a break in Sprint, despite its 51%, will not control the new Clearwire. “Sprint doesn’t control the dent companies involved, each with widely competing with a start-up that has fractured company,” Wolff said. According to Wolff, divergent interests: Craig McCaw’s management at the top, each with very dif- Sprint will control 7 of the 13 seats on the Clearwire, chipmaker Intel whose passion is ferent motivations. Clearwire board, but, according to the agree- to be the world’s largest maker of chips for Best Damn Weekly Reports on Wireless Broadband If these headlines interest you, then you’d probably want to subscribe to the weekly Wireless Watch newsletter. - Apple sacrifices iPhone pricing for volume, but carriers may bear the burden - Microsoft enhances CSF to target a key role in the ‘Telco 2.0’ value chain - Verizon-Alltel: good for Verizon; bad for roaming, Sprint and CDMA vendors - WiChorus reflects key trends in 4G core – integration and small cells - Wi-Fi, UWB and WirelessHD battle for IEEE’s 60GHz standards - WiMAX leaders form Open Patent Alliance to keep IPR burden low - France Telecom’s bid to create world’s fourth largest carrier hits problems - Nortel turns to Alvarion for Mobile WiMAX - NextWave’s next stop is Taiwan – to show what MXtv can do - DesignArt Networks brings in-band backhaul and mesh to WiMAX - Motorola to ship 700MHz and 2.6GHz LTE in mid-2009 - France likely to be first in Europe to get 3G femtocells - Motorola close to appointing handset chief - WiMAX and broadband wireless - US and UK postpone wireless broadband auctions - WiBro outshone by HSDPA in Seoul - Mobile Internet Watch - HSPA and LTE in brief - 3G+ Watch - WiMAX in Brief - Start-Up Watch Find out more and get a free three-week trial subscription by e-mailing
  • 17. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 Newly Updated Broadband Scorecard researcher extraordinaire and future forensic psychologist Nicole Detillier digs around the Web and examines each company’s Web site until she finds them. Two things make the task - Broadband, Residential Phone Lines, Pay TV & Wireless difficult: companies try to hide certain of their numbers from their competitors and many of - Worldwide Results in a Five-Page Report the reports are not in English. Like the guy said, “You can’t tell the players without a scorecard! We say, you can’t know With only a few companies left to report, we count over 242 million broadband sub- the size of the digital media market for your goods and services unless you have the five- scribers worldwide. That is one heckuva market, and a growing one too with some 10 mil- page Worldwide Scorecard for Digital Service Providers (DSPs). lion broadband subscribers having been added in the first three months of 2008. For every major broadband service worldwide, it lists their most recent subscriber count, The digital media and digital data market is perhaps the fastest growing industry in the the number they added in Q1 2008 and the percentage increase. world. It is certainly the most interesting, most complex, most intertwined and most difficult It also lists for each the number of subscribers and the quarterly increase to their residen- to forecast. tial phone, pay-TV and mobile phone subscribers, assuming they have them. It’s an enormous market whether you’re selling entertainment, information, software or It is, we believe, the most comprehensive global report on broadband service providers hardware. and for all their lines of businesses. -------- And it’s all compressed into five pages. And now a word from our sponsor: Whether you’re selling movies or broadband network gear, TV shows or mobile devices, The best place to keep up with the big picture, the important events and the major indus- music or laptop PCs, chips or digital rights management, you gotta know the numbers: try trends is by subscribing to The Online Reporter. Subscriptions start at a mere $595 for How many? How many are being gained or lost? Where are they geographically? one reader and go as low as $100 per person for multiple readers. Many of your partners and And you better have the numbers handy for each country, each continent and globally competitors already subscribe to The Online Reporter. Isn’t it time you did too? when someone asks “what’s the potential market size” or “what’s the potential” or “where’s the best opportunity.” You can subscribe by: Here is a summary by continent of the details that are in the free five-page insert, which e-mailing shows country-by-country and company-by-company. calling 225-769-7130 or +44 (0) 1 280 820 560 We’ll continue to update and refine Q1’s numbers until all the major broadband service signing up at providers have been accounted for. We get the count by examining each company’s public financial data. In actual fact, It’s the best $595 you’ll spend on market research this year.
  • 18. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 18 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 19. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 19 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 20. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 20 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 21. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 21 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 22. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 22 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 23. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 23 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 BROADBAND BEAT The Broadband Scorecard is available on request by e-mailing with your name and the name of your company.
  • 24. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 24 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 HOME NETWORKING Checking For Pulse~Link? Where Are Pulse~LINK’s Field Test Results? One permanent memory from our first encounter with MoCA was - Missing Field Test Results & Industry Standardization then-MoCA supremo Ladd Wardini repeatedly talking about the By Charles Hall results of the field tests that MoCA had conducted – how many homes, ARRIS CTO Ken Wright said on joining MoCA this week that the how many coax connectors, the faulty ones, how they had been fixed company’s cable TV and broadband customers “insist on standards- and enough statistics from the field tests to float a battleship. There based technologies.” were several home network seminars at the trade show and Wardini Wright’s statement may well answer the question “why isn’t was on stage in every one of them with a stack of slides that showed Pulse~Link and its ultra-wideband (UWB) networking technology an in detail the results of MoCA’s field tests. industry standard in the same way that MoCA, Home PNA and the See the August 2005 Herald Tribune article “Hooking up the various Powerlines are?” After all, Pulse~Link’s networking can run House: Will It Be with or without Wires?” for an example of Wardini’s wirelessly as well as, reportedly, over all three of the home’s existing evangelization at: wires. And isn’t that the Holy Grail that the gang ⎯ AT&T, France Telecom, Qwest, Telenor, Verizon and others ⎯ and the Also see “MoCA Completes Home-Net Field Test” at: booster club Home Grid and its members Intel, Infineon, Panasonic, Texas Instruments and many others ⎯ are seeking to It’s not always about selling. Sometimes it’s about educating and develop? Pulse~Link is a member of the Home Grid Forum. Why, if Pulse~Link has it now, have the industry giants started Wardini certainly sought every public and private audience he could developing a new home network technology? find to show the results of MoCA’s field tests. Isn’t it time for For several years The Online Reporter has gone to industry trade Pulse~Link to do the same with its field tests? shows and been impressed by Pulse~Link and its seemingly do-all, Cablecos, telcos and satcos want to know that the technology run-anywhere network. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in they’re betting billions on will work. They want to know that there are January and again at The Cable Show a few weeks ago, Pulse~Link reliable second sources for the hardware. And, mostly they want to was demonstrating high-speed wireless transmission of 1080p high- know that the product is based on industry standards, not someone’s def video from a Blu-ray player on one side of the room to a 1080p proprietary technology. HDTV on the opposite wall. Both were Samsung products. As ARRIS’ Wright said, they “insist on standards-based technolo- Pulse~Link was also demonstrating the ability for its network scheme gies.” He also said, “MoCA is the most comprehensive standards body to transmit over coax from room to room and saying it could do the for delivery of HD and multimedia content.” MoCA got to be that way same over power lines. At The Cable Show, it demonstrated how its because it followed the industry-accepted path of standardization and network could run without any interference on the same coax cable as field-testing. MoCA. That August 2005 Herald Tribune article also reported that propo- So why isn’t Pulse~Link a standard on the order of the others? Last nents of both coax and powerline networking believed new ultra- week’s Faultline reported that the company had gone through most of wideband technology could complement their products, and they pre- the $80 million in venture capital it had raised but has not signed up a dicted that products using the three technologies ⎯ coax, powerline major manufacturer such as Sony, Apple, Panasonic or Samsung to and ultra-wideband ⎯ would appear “within the next 18 months.” use its technology. Its only two announced wins, Westinghouse Well, it’s been 35 months. Where’s Pulse~LINK’s, or anyone else’s, Digital and Geffen, are hardly trend-setting majors. See “Is ultra-wideband? Pulse~Link the Future of Home Networking?” at: Note: The day after this article was written, Monster Cable and Sigma Designs announced in-room wireless HD and room-to-room HD over coax, using Sigma’s chips, which are based on the WiMedia High-Def, Hold the Wires standard The need for wirelessly connecting the various high-def boxes in the home’s entertainment stack is obvious. It has reached the point Crowded House:’s where few consumers can add new devices such as an Apple TV or Windows Media Center extender to the stack without calling in an Place in the Home Network Market expert. And, such a mess of wires! With the cable TV providers working to unify their pay-TV platform Wireless connectivity of HD devices will require very high speeds with tru2way, which promises to deliver Internet-like performance to with strong quality of service guarantees. Those are the strengths that their pay-TV service (not to mention Internet-like returns from target- Pulse~Link says it has. So where’s the beef? Where are the deals? ed and interactive advertising), the telecos are investing in promising Why wouldn’t Sony or Samsung or LG or Panasonic want to differ- technology that will let them increase the performance of wired home entiate their Blu-ray player by being the first to market with wireless networks. TV sets, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes? That would be an end to One of the most promising new technologies is the home net- the “plug and play” illusion. work standard. The question is, how will (also called Home Grid) Consumers would stand up and applaud. fit in, what with competing standards such as MoCA, Home PNA and Crowded: continued on page TWENTY-FIVE
  • 25. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 25 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 HOME NETWORKING Crowded: continued from page TWENTY-FOUR and Texas Instruments. the three Powerline standards – all of which The Home Grid Forum, which wants to The Case for are already on the market and being get to market as soon as possible and Digital service providers’ need for a robust deployed? then promote it as THE wired home network and secure whole-home media network is Intel-led HomeGrid Forum was recently standard, had 11 founding companies. obvious as shown by deployments of MoCA formed to help accelerate the work of the Members include Intel (maker of Wi-Fi and (Verizon and soon Comcast) and HomePNA International Telecommunication Union’s WiMAX chips), Infineon, Panasonic (AT&T) in North America and HomePlug (ITU) working group in developing a (maker of chips for one of the Powerline net- and UPA worldwide. new triple -wire standard for home network- work standards), Texas Instruments, Aware, ABI Research says the infrastructure and ing. The groups aim to produce a single net- DS2 (maker of chips for another Powerline technology requirements for service work standard that could work on any of the network standard) Gigle Semiconductor providers’ whole-home media networks are home’s three existing wires: electrical (maker of chips for a third Powerline net- unique. It says the effort to build a high- instead of one of the three Powerline net- work standard), Pulse~LINK (with its own er-speed single specification for the three works, coax instead of MoCA or HomePNA wireless and wireline network scheme) and primary in-home wiring types (powerline, and the copper phone lines instead of Ikanos. coax and phone line) will provide a roadmap HomePNA. The three Powerline networks are not for next-generation service provider deploy- According to ABI Research director compatible and not interoperable. You’ll ments. Michael Wolf, “, which has been under notice the same names attached to several of “While it is still early, ABI Research sees development for nearly two years, is intend- the home networking ventures. The reason promise in the efforts by ITU,” said ed to create a unifying standard for the dif- for this is simple: everyone needs to back a Wolf. “Ultimately, if sees integration ferent home network technologies, aimed at current technology and no one wants to risk into carrier devices by 2010, we expect that distributing next-generation service-provider missing out on The Next Big Thing. As for in 2013 some 42 million offerings in the home. We at ABI Research the chipmakers and manufacturers, well, nodes will ship into the market, in devices see several applications, such as multi-room they just want their hands in as many pots as such as set-top boxes, residential gateways high-definition video, that would ultimately they can get them in. and other service provider CPE hardware.” benefit from the move towards a single A new research brief from ABI Research, MAC/PHY [interface] for multiple media in Timetable “ Will Next-Generation Triple-Wire the home.” It would be surprising to see large quanti- Home Networking Standard Hit the Digital No wired network scheme is going to ties of products in consumer homes Home Trifecta?” provides an update of the replace the already dominant Wi-Fi ⎯ sup- before 2010 at the earliest. various no-new-wires standards such as plement it perhaps, but not replace it. Once the standards are written and HomePlug AV, UPA MoCA, and HomePNA Wireless has an appeal to consumers that approved, a slow and arduous task at the 3.1, and considers how might fare as the wired systems could never have. It’s mobile. ITU, then chips have to be developed and evolution toward next-generation service No connector wires are needed. It can be tested. After that “prototype” chips and ref- provider entertainment networks gathers used in any room, in theory at least, even on erence designs are sent to equipment makers speed. It also examines the HomeGrid the porch or patio. Future Wi-Fi versions and who develop products that’ll use such Forum and whether it will be a Wi-Fi special versions such as the one Ruckus as set-top boxes and broadband modems. Alliance-like body that will propel the new Wireless has developed, promise faster The digital service providers have to test standard in the marketplace. speeds, fewer dead spots, more HD video the new gear and make sure where it fits in To get the compete report, contact ABI streams, better quality of service and more their deployment schedule. Unlike with a Research. security. software rollout, the first set of gear has to be In the meantime, look for the existing That said, the security and multiple HD perfect: Deployment of poorly designed set- wireline home technologies to continue to video streams provided by wired networks top boxes can be an expensive disaster plus duke it out for market share. guarantees that they will be a part of the providers cannot afford from a money and home of the future. ABI Research sees support standpoint to be continuously Pulse~LINK Part II: as belonging to a next generation of home deploying new boxes. For example, networks, rightly so as its deployment is at Comcast, an early and strong supporter of ‘No Prototypes This Year’ least a couple of years away. MoCA is just now getting ready to deploy it, - Wireless HDMI & Ethernet over two years after rival Verizon started. Existing Coax ready for Primetime Vested Interests Notably missing from the HomeGrid gang - Full Demos at Parks Associates’ The schedule for completing the are chipmakers for other wireline home net- Connections Showcase standard is year-end 2008 and those target work technologies: Intellon (HomePlug), While Pulse~LINK does not appear to have dates usually slip, particularly with so many Coppergate (Home PNA) and Entropic yet provided results of field tests for its ultra- vested interests involved. There are currently (MoCA). Coppergate has expressed support for and has promised to ship the first wideband (UWB) technology, the semicon- twenty-five active members of includ- ing AT&T, Verizon, France Telecom, Intel chips. Pulse~LINK: continued on page TWENTY-SIX
  • 26. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 26 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 HOME NETWORKING Pulse~LINK: continued from page TWENTY-FIVE end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) over existing coax cabling and ductor maker announced this week that it does have something to splitters, eliminating the expense of re-wiring a home with Ethernet show off. It will demonstrate actual, not just prototypes, of its CWave cables. networking solution for whole-home HD video distribution at Parks Pulse~LINK’s demonstration of its Ethernet-Over-Coax solution Associates’ Connections showcase June 24-26, 2008 at the Santa will also show CWave’s coexistence with other signals, such as MoCA Clara Convention Center. technology, on the same coax cable. The company said that devices with the CWave chipset allow HD video content, multi-channel audio and high-speed data located any- No Prototypes This Year where in the home to be shared room-to-room over existing coax and Pulse~LINK’s CWave technology is ready for implementation, wirelessly within a room such as from a Blu-ray player to an HD TV according to company president and CEO Bruce Watkins. He said, “In set. past years, we unveiled evolving prototypes. This year, we will show- The CWave UWB chipset extends HD connectivity to a variety of case CWave technology as the highest performing commercially devices in the home, including set-top boxes, HDTVs, DVRs, DVD available solution for wired and wireless High Definition networking players, gaming devices, Media Center PCs and other multimedia ⎯ leveraging Ethernet, 1394 and HDMI interface transports." equipment. “By 2012, worldwide deployment of home network devices will Pulse~LINK will demonstrate CWave Wireless-for-HDMI and reach 1.2 billion, and more than one-third will enable entertainment CWave Ethernet-Over-Coax. and high-quality multimedia streaming,” said Kurt Scherf, VP and CWave Wireless-for-HDMI allows digital displays to be mounted principal analyst at Parks Associates. He said consumers want video anywhere in a room without needing to run a connector cable from the quality and the ability to watch it anywhere in the home. content source to the display. Other Connection topics include IPTV and “TV 2.0,” bundled ser- CWave Ethernet-Over-Coax allows up to nine HD multimedia con- vices, consumer storage, mobile applications and content, social and tent sources and display devices to be networked in the home with digital media, and home and lifestyle management. ONLINE MUSIC SERVICES Orange Debuts Musique Max “content everywhere” strategy What is unlimited music in French? To mark the launch of Musique Max, Orange is offering two Musique Max, it seems. months of the music subscription service free to users who sign up for French communications services provider Orange has rolled out an a 12-month contact for a new Origami Star mobile package or the all-you-can-eat music subscription service called Musique Max for Internet, TV and telephone package. PCs and mobile devices. Orange’s Musique Max will compete with Nokia’s upcoming Orange says it’ll offer a million titles for download in partnership Comes with Music program that also lets users keep an unspecified with the four major labels EMI Music France, Sony BMG, number of tracks for ever. Universal Music France and Warner Music and two indies Believe and Scorpio Music. SanDisk Buys MusicGremlin Orange says it’ll expand its catalog by adding other labels as well. Flash storage and MP3 player vendor SanDisk has acquired pri- The service, which costs 12 euros ($18.5) a months, lets users keep vately held MusicGremlin for an undisclosed sum. their downloaded titles for ever and transfer them to five other devices Founded in 2003, New York City-based MusicGremlin provides such as music players and mobile phones. digital content distribution technologies. MusicGremlin was the first However, there is a limit of 500 titles that users can download per to offer a portable media player with wireless downloading of songs. month. The startup also offered a subscription music service that was built Orange is not asking Musique Max subscribers to sign any long- in partnership with MusicNet but the service does not appear to have term contracts. made significant headway in the market. Users could also buy perma- Users can download the music to PCs or mobile phones and auto- nent downloads of individual songs and albums. matically synchronize their music libraries using the Orange Media SanDisk’s senior VP of the Sansa audio/video business unit Daniel Player. Schreibner sees MusicGremlin’s digital distribution platform provid- Orange said over 130 mobile phones including Nokia 5610 ing SanDisk with adaptive and innovative technologies for develop- XpressMusic, Sony Ericsson W910i and W580I are compatible with ing future Sansa consumer products. the Musique Max service. MusicGremlin co-founder Robert Khedouri is to join SanDisk’s Orange described Musique Max as the latest embodiment of its Sansa unit as VP of services.
  • 27. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 27 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS The Online Video Generation connect multiple devices under a single service plan - ‘Don’t Remember a Time When They Weren’t Going Online’ * Respondents want a service that meets both their home and Per person, kids ages 2 to 17 viewed more video streams on the Net away Internet needs than those over 18 and spent more time watching online video from * Fixed broadband operators are vulnerable to losing subscribers home in April, according Nielsen Online. “Today’s youth don’t know to WiMAX – or don’t remember – a time when they weren’t going online, so their * The study found increased usage reports of public wireless adoption of online video has been seamless,” said Michael Pond, broadband between 2006 and 2007 and expects further increase in senior media analyst, Nielsen Online. the current year Ave. monthly Ave. online video Ages streams minutes per month Broadband Rules High speed broadband connections are more important to consumers Kids 2-11 51 118 than HDTV and other new services and represent the best way to Teens 12-17 74 132 attract and keep consumers, according to a survey of communications Over 18 44 99 industry leaders by Pike & Fischer Broadband Advisory Services. When survey participants were asked to rank several communica- The study showed that kids 2-11 use sites associated with children’s tions services on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most attractive to TV shows and toys. Teens 12-17 ⎯ surprise ⎯ watch music videos, customers, high-speed data speeds is said to have received more rank- movie trailers and clips of other visitors. ings of 5 than any other service. Disney Records led online video destinations among kids 2-11, The study reports that 40% of respondents ranked data rates as a top when ranked by unique viewer composition percent, with 50%. draw, 25% ranked HDTV services as a 5 while digital phone services and MyePets followed with 48% each. Stickam received the fewest top ranking with just 9.2% of participants ranking was the top online video destination among teens 12-17, who account- it at 5. ed for 44% of that site’s unique viewers, followed by “This suggests to us that, while multichannel video providers may and Atlantic Records, with 43% each. be spending a lot of their ad dollars promoting their high-def channels Pond said, “While video consumption in the workplace increases and their ‘triple-play’ bundles, they still rely on their broadband usage metrics among adults, the ‘at home’ data show how kids and speeds to seal the deal with customers,” said Scott Sleek, director of teens are driving usage and claiming their territory. The Web provides Pike & Fischer’s Broadband Advisory Services. “Every one wants to another platform for their interest in TV shows, toys, movies and claim that they offer the fastest Internet access, and believe that will music, and offers an interactive element that children especially enjoy. be more important to customers than how many HD channels they Among the top sites for the younger demographic we see publishers offer.” that are integrating video into games, music and other content to drive engagement with this multi-media generation.” LTE Seen Gaining Quick Traction ABI Research is forecasting that by 2013 there will be over 32 mil- Consumers Find WiMAX Appealing lion subscribers using LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks. WiMAX provides the right mix of features and pricing to appeal to Although three of the largest mobile operators Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and China Mobile have plumped for LTE over the rival consumers, according to survey data collected by high-tech market WiMAX technology, the first LTE network is not expected to go com- researcher In-Stat. mercial before 2010. According to In-Stat analyst Daryl Schoolar, “When respondents ABI analyst Nadine Manjaro estimates that Asia-Pacific will were presented with service examples and picked the one they most account for the largest regional share of LTE subscribers in 2013 — preferred, the one representing WiMAX was picked more than two-to- about 12 million. The rest will be split 60-40% between Western one over the one representing 3G cellular data. Service descriptions Europe and North America. include information on coverage, network performance, pricing, and ABI expects that LTE commitments from NTT DoCoMo and KDDI usage limitations.” in Japan will further boost the adoption of the technology. Schoolar makes the point that although early WiMAX network cov- ABI sees the long wait for the Chinese government to issue 3G erage will not be as large as 3G cellular, “it will be adequate to appeal licenses driving LTE in that country: “It wouldn’t surprise me to see to consumers.” some operators skip over 3G and go straight to LTE,” said Manjaro. However, business users are expected to provide more of a chal- “Although China’s own TD-SCDMA 3G technology will be deployed lenge to WMAX operators because they demand ubiquitous coverage. on a small scale during the Olympics, I can’t see operators spending In other highlights of In-Stats’ report on WiMAX: billions to implement that or any other 3G technology if they will just * Respondents want a wireless broadband service that’ll let them have to upgrade within a year or two.”
  • 28. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 28 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS Apple is No-2 De la Vergne said. “We expect operators to devices at Gartner. “The beginning of the continue to make these devices the focus of year was marked by announcements regard- Smartphone Vendor in US 2008 promotions.” ing touch screens, smartphone usability and Gartner put out a report the other day show- Smartphone sales in Europe, Middle East application integration. These key trends had ing Apple as the No-2 smartphone vendor in and Africa (EMEA) totaled 11.7 million already emerged in the second half of 2007, the US with a Q1 market share estimated at units in the first quarter, a 38.7% jump from and during 2008 we can expect them to about 20%. the first quarter of ’08. mature further and become the focus for Overall, Gartner figures Apple took the more handset vendors and carriers as they third spot in the global smartphone market in Nokia Leads expand their current portfolios to include the first quarter with 5.3% market share. Gartner projected Nokia’s global smart- more open-platform devices.” Gartner said Apple sold 1.72 million units phone market share in the quarter at 45%, in the quarter, a number that’s in line with with sales up 25% year over year. The range what Apple acknowledged on April 23 dur- of Nokia’s smartphone portfolio, which ing its earnings call. includes several high-end and mid-tier mod- els at different price points, is said to have AVOID PERDITION Worldwide Sales helped Nokia maintain its leadership in Gartner estimated that worldwide smart- EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. phone sales in the first quarter totaled 32.2 Research in Motion held on to the second “If we reject the truth, we seal million units, a 29.3% increase over the place in the global vendor rankings and our own perdition.” same period in the previous year. boosted its share to 13.4%. Gartner reckoned – JM Mason. According to Gartner’s principal analyst RIM’s sales were driven by sales of its pro- Avoid damnation. Get the truth about the for mobile terminals Hughes De la Vergne, sumer consumer-focused devices, the the US smartphone market continued to digital media industry every week in BlackBerry Curve and Pearl. expand despite economic concerns, driven In the U.S. market, RIM maintained its by heavy advertising and strong marketing No. 1 ranking with its share totaling 42%. The Online Reporter. promotions. “Smartphone growth was driven by North American smartphone sales replacement markets such as Europe, and Subscribe Now amounted to 7.3 million units, a 106.2% smartphone sales also benefited from contin- increase from the same period in 2008. ued growth in the US market, which Write “North American operators are giving increased its regional share to almost equal or call 225-769-7130 these devices strong support, as they provide sales in Western Europe,” said Carolina higher average revenue per unit (ARPU),” Milanesi, research director for mobile PRODUCT LAUNCH Iomega Debuts DVR Expander Drive Expander Drive, depending on which drive has more space. The Iomega DVR Expander Drive is currently compatible with Iomega has launched a 500GB DVR Expander Drive, an external Scientific Atlanta’s eSATA-enabled SD 8300 DVR (80GB model) and hard drive designed to boost the storage capacity of digital video the 8300HD DVR (160GB model). recorders that are increasingly becoming ubiquitous in US home Priced at $199.95, the Iomega DVR Expander Drive is scheduled to theaters. ship later this month. Targeted at eSATA-enabled Scientific Atlanta DVRs, the new “Everyone loves their DVRs and watching television on their own drive is supposed to expand the DVR storage capacity by up to 300 schedule, but I don’t know anyone who likes being forced to delete hours of standard definition TV or 60 hours of high definition TV. programming to record some more,” said Ralf San Jose, global prod- uct manager for HDD products at Iomega. “With the new Iomega Compatibility DVR Expander Drive, you get a massive capacity increase for your Cable operators that offer the Scientific Atlanta eSATA-enabled DVR with no installation hassles. Owning an Iomega DVR Expander DVRs include Cox, Time Warner, Cablevision, Comcast and Drive is like getting three tanks of gas free with every fill-up. It lever- Rogers (US and Canada). ages the investment in a DVR and gives buyers an incredible number The DVR Expander Drive connects to the eSATA port on the back of extra shows and movies to choose from. What’s not to like about panel of an eSATA-enabled-Scientific Atlanta DVR. After setup, the that?” DVR streams recordings to the internal hard drive or the DVR
  • 29. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A JUNE 14-20, 2008 PAGE 29 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. PRODUCT WATCH Bluelounge Hides Wires in the home’s entertainment stack. The rat’s nests of connector cables will be with us until wireless But Doesn’t Disappear Them technology such as what WiMedia or Pulse~Link have developed Bluelounge’s $29.95 Cablebox, which hides the power strips and power becomes available on high definition TV sets, Blu-ray players and set- blocks that are a visible curse in digital media homes, shows there is a top boxes. market for consumer electronics devices with fewer exposed wires. And that’ll happen only when a major maker of consumer devices starts building WiMedia or Pulse~Link’s technology into its products. Couldn’t Sony get back some of its aura of technical leadership if it did just that? Wouldn’t Apple put some more ground between itself and its competitors if it adopted Pulse~Link or WiMedia as its stan- dard for connecting devices? There’s also Samsung, which has shown Pulse~Link on its TV sets and Blu-ray players at trade shows. An increasingly aggressive Panasonic ⎯ see its tru2way/MoCA boxes at The Cable Show? ⎯ could establish itself as the head of the class in digital media if it were to make the move to WiMedia or Pulse~Link. The clock is ticking for a high-speed, high-definition wireless tech- nology to clean up that dust-gathering mess of connector wires. The tangle of wires currently residing in corners nearest entertain- Bluelounge’s Cablebox Hides All ment centers worldwide have been targeted for elimination, the only question is who will develop the high-speed, high-definition wireless Unfortunately, Cablebox does not hide those big UPS (uninterrupt- technology to do it first. ible power supply) units or the tangle of cables that connect the boxes A Fact In Itself Is Nothing “A fact in itself is nothing. It is valuable only for the idea attached to it or for the proof that it furnishes.” - Claude Bernard, (1813 - 1878), French physiologist, who some consider “one of the greatest of all men of science.” He is referred to as the “Father of Physiology.” The Online Reporter provides readers with idea-filled facts that offer indisputable proof that the Internet is becoming THE distribution method for delivering entertainment, information and education to the home and soon to the hundreds of millions of palm-size devices that’ll be able to access the Net wirelessly. Don’t miss a single fact or idea that will impact your company. The annual subscription is the best spend you’ll make this year on market research. Subscribe now. Or, e-mail Rider Research US: 1-225-769-7130 UK: +44 (0) 1 280 820 560 The Online Reporter – it’s gotta be good – most people renew and many add readers when they renew.
  • 30. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 30 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 SHOW TIME Sign Of The Times Tribeca “Reframes” Film limited time only. The films are supposed to first air on sis- Bebo, a popular UK social network site, is & Video Content Online ter channel ABC as part of the network’s working with Universal Music to create a Tribeca Film Institute, a New York City- weekly “Wonderful World of Disney” drama series for the Net that’ll be based on based non-profit helping indie filmmakers presentation on Saturday nights through- the music industry called “The Secret Life of and media artists, has launched a Web initia- out summer 2008 and then be available Sam King.” tive called Reframe to assist filmmakers, for free streaming on Talk about product placement, which is broadcasters, distributors, media organiza- ( for the now called product integration! tions, archives, libraries and other media week following the network presentation 1. The story is about how a Universal owners to digitize, market and sell their clas- (Monday – Friday). Music employee leaves to establish her own sic and hard-to-find films and video content The movies that are be offered for stream- record label. via the Internet. ing on include “Finding Nemo,” 2. Universal Music artists such as “Monsters Inc,” “Haunted Mansion,” Reframe plans to digitize works in video Razorlight and The Fratellis will make “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” formats for free while film formats are to be appearances. “Princess Diaries 2,” “Freaky Friday” and digitized at cost. 3. Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson “Peter Pan.” All content is to be made available as dig- also intends to stream the will sponsor the first few episodes of the new ital download to own or rent via series and have some of its products playing Disney Channel original movie “Camp Unbox service as well as on Rock” on June 23 after its television premiere parts. DVD through Amazon’s DVD-on-Demand Prior Bebo online dramas “Sofia’s Diary” on June 20 and additional airings on ABC on service at the price set by the rights hold- June 21 and ABC Family on June 22. and “KateModern” also integrated sponsors’ ers, who can sell their digital copies else- “Streaming full-length films on products. where too. takes our commitment to deliv- In the first year, Reframe expects to have ering world-class online entertainment to the Digital Entertainment over 10,000 titles available including classic next level,” said Paul Yanover, executive VP Lab Debuts public television films and videos, documen- and managing director of Disney Online. taries, independent features, shorts, foreign “This is a wonderful partnership with ABC, The Entertainment Technology Center at the films and vanguard cinema. and just another example of how Disney’s University of Southern California has set The goal is for Reframe’s Web site to unmatched, high-quality content can be up a digital entertainment lab — leveraged on multiple platforms.” Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab (AACL) — become a community hub that collects con- to identify consumer trends in digital content tent from several sources of independent and and hardware. alternative media and let users find content Demand Still Outrunning Located near the University of Southern in new ways. Supply at Netflix California School of Cinematic Arts, AACL “Too many films remain unavailable to the Netflix says it’s still sold out of the $100 is described as a high-tech, hardware-rich public, even the best researchers and schol- Roku-made set-top boxes that connect TV real-world test environment to explore solu- ars, because they are literally ‘stuck on the sets to the Internet and allow Netflix sub- tions for accelerating the creation, distribu- shelf’ in analog formats, or in hard to find scribers to watch movies on their TV sets tion and consumption of digital entertain- catalogs. Reframe will essentially digitize that are streamed over the Net, according to ment. our visual heritage and give these important Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. The company is “Think of a lab designed to bring together works new life,” said Tribeca Film Institute’s pressing Roku to increase production of the a next-generation consumer with a movie CEO Brian Newman. “Reframe opens up an Asian-made boxes. studio decision maker and a Silicon Valley additional revenue stream for rights hold- Hastings did not say how many unshipped tech executive — all in one place and all ers.” orders it has from them. talking about what content will be most The Reframe Web site is at: A PC is needed only to order and organize. viewed, where and how — that is the It is not involved in the streaming. Netflix is AACL,” said David Wertheimer, head of the streamed video only. There are no downloads new lab. to as there are with Apple TV. Apparently, AACL has already started Stream Full-Length Movies Roku VP Tim Twerdahl said it would take examining and showcasing an array of new Disney Online, a division of the Walt Disney six weeks to eight weeks to fill the existing products and executives from major studios Internet group, plans to stream full-length orders. have been brought in “to examine how these movies for the first time ever. products will impact consumers’ desires to Featuring selections from the “Wonderful Smooth Experience use these tools anytime, on any device, and World of Disney,” the movies will be Based on our pleasant experience with the anywhere.” streamed from free but for a Demand: continued on page THIRTY-ONE
  • 31. ©2008 MAY NOT BE COPIED OR FORWARDED BY E-MAIL, POSTED TO A PAGE 31 WEB SITE, FAXED OR COPIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. JUNE 14-20, 2008 SHOW TIME Demand: continued from page THIRTY tions to their products. Netflix wants to con- SanDisk Says Roku box, it’s easy to understand the heavy vince those companies to build-in the Netflix demand for these boxes. Not only was our service. Adieu to TakeTV, Fanfare set-up smooth and painless, it took barely The Netflix online streaming service also SanDisk is pulling the plug on its TakeTV three minutes even though we were running competes with the DVDs consumers rent video player launched in October last year it on a secured wireless network and needed from such as Blockbuster or buy. after what seems like an underwhelming to input the security code through the remote With sufficient bandwidth and the studios’ market reception. control. In no time, we were streaming permissions the Net could also compete TakeTV, which competes with Apple TV, Casablanca and watching the classic directly with HD Blu-ray players, leading used flash memory to let users play video Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman love some to be pessimistic about Blu-ray’s they have on their PC on any TV set, whether story on our Samsung LCD TV. No glitches future. at home or away. at all. There’s an Ethernet option as well on First, a lot of high-speed broadband net- The accompanying Fanfare music and the box. Yes, the Roku box delivers well on works have to be built and the studios will video store has also been shut down. what it promises. have to be convinced that the Net will pay TakeTV was still being peddled on them more than sales of physical media. Amazon for $104.99 (as of Monday). 5m to 10m Netflix Boxes But that day will come. And Netflix wants Netflix has 8.2 million subscribers to its to be in the lead. online DVD rental service. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson has predicted that Netflix will have five million to 10 million of the boxes installed by next year. Research Buyer Beware Netflix is working with at least three other makers of consumer electronics (CE) gear Three questions to ask companies you buy market such as LG to build the Netflix service into TV sets, DVD or Blu-ray players or other research reports from: video capable devices that can connect to the Net. - Do they actually e-mail you the data file such as an One rumored possibility is that Microsoft is considering adding the service to its Xbox Excel spreadsheet, complete with the data and formu- 360 gaming console. That would give mil- las? That allows you to analyze the data further with lions more access to the Netflix online ser- vice. It could increase the potential market your own totals and “what ifs.” size for Netflix because many of them are now not Netflix customers. - Do they guarantee the data to be accurate? That “The Roku device is the first step in a real revolution,” Hastings said. The company includes listing the source of the data such as Web wants to make the Netflix service “ubiqui- tous” by 2010 by having it built into as many sites. devices as possible. He said the online ser- vice will help the company offer films and - How long have they been in business under their TV shows worldwide, That is, of course, if Netflix can get the studios to sign off on the current name and what is the legal name of their distribution rights, a task made more com- plex by the existing distribution deals the company? studios already have. The Netflix box competes directly with The Online Reporter, which has published for over 12 Apple TV, Windows Media Center years under the same name, does all of these things. We Extenders from various manufacturers like HP plus digital media adapters from such as believe in not only providing our analysis, but also the Netgear, D-Link, Linksys and Buffalo Technologies. Netflix will also have to com- data upon which it is based. pete with makers of TV sets and various set- top boxes that are adding Internet connec-
  • 32. nology and products. OPA’s charter is to adding more coverage of celebrities and using Cablecos Launch Ad Network to advance a competitive and open intellectual content from its recently acquired CNET. Compete with Web property rights model, thereby “stimulating a Six of the US’ largest cablecos this week larger WiMAX industry that supports innova- Oops! officially launched Canoe Ventures, tion through broader choice and lower equip- Time Warner Cable is the leading tru2way which will create a nationwide platform for ment and service costs for WiMAX technolo- deployer with nearly one million tru2way set- them to sell targeted advertising on. The gy, devices and applications globally.” To that top boxes already installed. Zodiac cablecos do about $5 billion in ad sales but end OPA will form a WiMAX patent pool to Interactive is working with Cablevision and advertising budgets are increasingly spent help participating companies obtain access to Comcast, not with Time Warner Cable. on the Web, because it offers interactivity licenses from patent owners at a predictable (click here for more information), targeted cost. It’s also intended to educate the WiMAX Palm to Sell 2m Centros in 2008 audiences and nationwide, even worldwide ecosystem about, and serve as a central Apple's iPhone is not the only smartphone audiences. David Verklin, formerly head of resource for information. making news these days although it may seem the Aegis Group, will reportedly be CEO. that way. Palm expects to sell two million The cable companies have two major Microsoft: No Plans for a Zune Phone units of its Centro smartphone in 2008. Palm's advantages over the Net. They have a lot of Just in case you are a fan of Microsoft’s Zune senior VP of marketing Brodie Keast told demographic information about their sub- media player, don’t hold your breath for a Reuters the company had shipped one mil- scribers. With the successful development Zune phone. Microsoft’s president of lion units of Centro through the end of March. of tru2way they will have a single technol- Entertainment & Devices division Robbie Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless became the ogy platform, one that will also offer Bach made it clear the other day that the soft- third carrier - after Sprint and AT&T - to Internet-like interactivity from the remote ware giant had no plans for a Zune phone. offer the Centro to its subscribers. control. Ownership in Canoe Ventures is based on the proportion of subscribers that Here’s what Bach told the San Francisco Chronicle: “We don’t make phones ourselves. Panasonic Shows Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Charter and Bright House We don’t have any plans to make phones our- Tru2way TV at National Press Club have. The six have invested $150 million selves. Our focus is on the belief that a phone This week Panasonic demonstrated at the in Project Canoe so far. is a very personal thing. We think that is going National Press Club in DC its tru2way to continue, and we think Windows Mobile is VIERA plasma HDTV that can receive HD Wal-Mart Gets Music CD Exclusives in a great position to service all those differ- interactive, digital cable service without using The music industry continues its seismic ent opportunities.” Bach acknowledges that the a separate cable set-top box. transformation right before our eyes. Major Zune is “not clipping at the heels of Apple just acts like AC/DC, the Eagles and Journey yet in the market share space. But that’s some- Could Microsoft Run Yahoo are for the first time making their albums thing that will evolve over time.” We’ll see. Better Than It Runs Its available exclusively through Wal-Mart Money-losing Internet Division? stores. The world’s largest retailer is sec- NBC, CBS Changing It’s no wonder that Yahoo founder Jerry Yang ond to Apple’s iTunes in total music sales. Online News Formats is reluctant to sell the company to Microsoft. Sony BMG’s Columbia Records negoti- And, it’s no wonder Microsoft wants to The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney’s ated the AC/DC deal with Wal-Mart but the acquire Yahoo. BusinessWeek points out that ABC News is about to change the format of Eagles and Journey handled their own after all these years and all of its efforts, its daily “World News” Webcast, once touted deals. Wal-Mart, which reportedly Microsoft’s Internet division is still losing as showing the way for its online future. accounts for some 30% of music CD sales ABC’s news-division president, David money ⎯ $750 million on revenue of $2.4 in the US, has seen its music CD sales billion. Yahoo, despite its many stumbles, is Westin, told the paper it’s looking at several decline, but then so has the entire music profitable. The entry of Wall Street’s Carl industry. possibilities including posting updates Icahn into the Microsoft-Yahoo matter raises throughout the day. The paper points out that again the question of whether Wall Street WiMAX Widening Patent Alliance viewers of the networks’ prime time news are meddling makes high tech companies better. an older bunch and not so inclined to watch Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Clearwire, Intel, To wit: Is Sprint better off for spinning out its online. And the young like a different format Samsung and Sprint have formed the WiMAX network to Clearwire and outside Open Patent Alliance (OPA) for their and that allows them to skip around and look at investors? Did Motorola make the right call other companies’ WiMAX patents. They what interests them rather than a serial pre- by putting its mobile phone business up for hope OPA will accelerate the widespread sentation. CBS is also reportedly about to sale? Will Yahoo be a better company after adoption and deployment of WiMAX tech- change the format of its online news by Icahn’s intervention? The Online REPORTER is published weekly by: Rider Research; 13188 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 USA; 225-769-7130; FAX 225-769-7166 Editor: Raga Rao (; Senior Analyst: Charles Hall (; ( Baton Rouge, LA 225-769-7130 North America Sales: (, 225-769-7130; Production: Michael Kearns, ( European Subscriptions: Simon Thompson ( Buckingham, UK +44 (0) 1 280 820 560 Subscription price: $595 / €645 e-mail single reader. Available at quantity discounts to groups, departments and companies. ©Copyright 2008, Rider Research Inc. It is illegal to reproduce, copy, photocopy, forward, e-mail, publish, broadcast, post on an Internet/Intranet site, rewrite, store in a retrieval system or otherwise distribute this publication or any article in whole or in part by any means, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of Rider Research. ©2008 May not be copied or forwarded by e-mail, posted to a web site, faxed or copied in whole or in part.