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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 14, 2013

Cable Technology Week in Review

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

It was a busy week in the Cable Technology sector. Here are some of the major stories.

First, Zenverge, a developer of content networking ICs, has raised $11 million from investors.  Among those named investors taking part in the funding round for the fabless semiconductor company are DCM, Norwest Venture Partners, Verizon (News - Alert), CID Group and Woodside Fund. Zenverge will use the money to improve content networking ICs for the growing home media gateway market and meet other needs, such as revenue expansion.  The investors hope to see significant return on their investments – given recent and future market trends. Zenverge ICs are used in Tier One operator gateways and media servers, and for cloud infrastructure applications.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) won’t necessarily say “no” to adding Netflix to its content bouquet, according to its incoming CEO. If implemented, it’s a move that would shatter the existing competitive landscape. When asked about serving up Netflix via its set-top boxes, Rob Marcus, who will take the helm at TWC in January, said at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York that “we’re certainly open to it.”

Also this week, Verizon Digital Media Services is deepening its content delivery network (CDN) expertise with the acquisition of EdgeCast, which specializes in digital content and site acceleration services to customers that include studios, broadcasters, retailers and enterprises. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but reports have pegged it at $350 million—and it promises to shake up the landscape in that space. It’s the second recent acquisition for Verizon in the distribution arena. Last month it said it was acquiring upLynk.

In another story, Tara Seals notes how only 15 percent of AT&T (News - Alert) U-verse and 14 percent of Cablevision subscribers report receiving personalized recommendations, the highest among operators. Research from Veveo, a provider of semantic search technology, noted that nearly one-half of consumers who receive personalized recommendations are willing to share their viewing history with friends or family in order to improve the recommendations— offering big upsides to pay-TV providers that effectively implement such functionality. And, three-quarters of respondents said they preferred to have better search solutions offered to them by their service provider—with 70 percent saying they would switch providers for better discovery options. A full 60 percent said they would use voice-controlled search on their TVs if their service providers offered it.

And just in time for the winter holiday season, Roku and Google (News - Alert) TV are distinguishing themselves just a little with the addition of AirCastLive, a product of AirCast Mobile that allows you to watch and share video and images recorded on your cell phone, reports Karen Veazey. 

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