Powered by TMCnet
| More

Cable Technology Feature Article

April 07, 2011

New Software Puts Ball Back in Cable's Court

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Web Editor

Once more unto the TV, dear cable , once more;

Or close up shop with our cord-cut dead.

In defeat there’s nothing so becomes a cable provider

As modest, stillness, and humility,

But when the blast of Internet TV blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of Netflix;

Develop the TV apps, summon up the content providers,

Disguise fair business with hard-favour’d genius!

Today’s cable providers sure could use a boost like that from someone as morally uplifting as Henry V. Luckily, there have been some cool developments from the “TV Everywhere” conspirators lately which may give the cable companies the proverbial leg up they need to get their butts back in the game with the Internet TV providers.

Last week I wrote about how cable companies are in the hot seat as more customers cut the cord and become purely Internet-based TV watchers. But all is not lost, O’ Great Cablecos. Recently, TMC’s (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani, wrote about the Cablevision iPad application. The app allows users to view “about 300 channels and 2,000 videos on demand from anywhere in the house.” Tehrani noted that this app makes him “even happier” with his television service as it gives him access to shows and news from almost any location.

A service such as that is a great boost for Cablevision as it allows customers to set up favorite channels, and set DVRs to record programs. Other software providers are coming out with services that are turning heads to this industry including Azuki, a company that delivers video to any device over Internet networks.

Azuki’s latest product called Azuki Media Everywhere allows users to watch a TV show on their home televisions, mobile phones, or laptops. As a solution that enables cable operators to extend their reaches into the streaming video sector, Azuki’s product makes the “TV Everywhere” concept a reality. In an interview with Azuki’s CEO John Clancy, he revealed, “We built an end-to-end solution to help an MSO basically battle the over-the-top monsters, and deliver a TV Everywhere solution just with one vendor.”

“Think of us as sitting in between the content management system of the cable operator and the device. And in between there, we do all the heavy lifting to make this content ready for any mobile device or any network,” Clancy continued. I asked Clancy about how he thinks developments such as Azuki’s will affect the customer service side of the cable/Internet TV debate, and he noted the importance of going back to how consumers used to behave.

“Once upon a time we had to watch our favorite TV show in our living room at a specific time whether we were busy or not,” Clancy said. Now with services such as TV Everywhere, consumers can say “I’m going to watch my programs when and where I want.” That on-demand attitude is what sparked this latest product from Azuki, and is what will continue to dominate the marketplace.

While these developments are promising for keeping cable providers profitable, Internet TV providers are making strides every day. Just consider Netflix’s recent acquisition of the right to stream all seven seasons of “Mad Men.” Who does it think it is? A cable provider?

Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.

Edited by Jennifer Russell