We know we are all busy and it’s hard to keep up with the news and trends in the industry. As a benefit of your continued membership in 2014 we will be providing quarterly updates of the major items that are affecting the cable industry to help you keep up to date. We encourage you to discuss these items on our mailing list and let us know if there are any items we missed over the last few months.
It is finally Spring, and the semester is starting to wind down. Don’t forget to check out the information about our upcoming conference in Denver this year. We have some great sessions lined up along with some free training from BT.
Prepare for the Cloud DVR
Comcast along with a few other companies have been toying with the idea of a Cloud DVR service (http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Comcast-Makes-Cloud-DVR-Expansion-Official-128364, http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/cablevisions-cloud-dvr-can-now-record-15-shows-once/373699). What this offers the providers is to deploy less expensive STBs, yet still have the functionality of a DVR (think – video on demand for all channels, all the time). The idea caused a lot of lawsuits at first which scared the industry but the industry will only advance with cheaper, dumber boxes out at the edge.
Watch out, Virtual MVPDs are on the horizon
As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, we are starting to see some “Virtual MVPDs” looking to lure students and young professionals (http://www.multichannel.com/news/interactive-tv/webtuner-makes-its-virtual-mvpd-pitch/373639) A virtual MVPD is a company that can provide full cable service (including live TV, sports, etc.) in a pay model over the internet. Since bandwidth is becoming less and less of an issue for end users, these types of companies can essentially allow people to subscribe to “cable” from anywhere, regardless of who their local providers are. Expect to see your students to subscribe to these services in addition to Hulu, Netflix and everything else to either supplement or replace your cable service. (http://www.multichannel.com/news/news-articles/clearleap-istreamplanet-jump-live-streaming-deal/373599). And speaking of Virtual TV, a company called Aereo has been in legal battles for the last year attempting to re-broadcast OTA signals over the internet – you should check out what is happening on that front (http://www.fiercecable.com/story/aca-goes-bat-aereo-supreme-court-filing/2014-04-01)
More ways to consume your OTT
Recently, Amazon threw their hat in the ring to serve up content right to the consumer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX5P8FC/ref=amb_link_411099942_2?ie=UTF8&nav_sdd=aps&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-takeover&pf_rd_r=0E7REVJD0BXNXA1VDTTR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1773330782&pf_rd_i=507846). Amazon’s set top box enters the space already occupied by Apple, Google, Roku, and many, many others. And all this as Netflix announced that they will begin streaming content in 4K (http://www.multichannel.com/news/tv-apps/netflix-starts-stream-4k/373677), which at the moment is inclusive of their own programming like House of Cards, but expect that to ramp up quickly. Oh, and don’t mind the 18MB/s – 22MB/s streaming requirement ☺. But it does look like Disney and other major content producers aren’t set on 4K just yet — http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/128115