Google TV is out on a Logitech box and a Sony TV and Blu-ray player. In an information alert, In-Stat's Gerry Kaufhold mentions video quality issues (frame rate, no support for WMV or DTS, limited storage) and content blocking (ABC, NBC, CBS, others).
Content seems to be the least of their problems. The other issues are much deeper, could involve memory leaks, and are probably behind the ongoing delays that have plagued both Boxee (slated for November 10) and Yuixx (which is aiming for a pre-Holiday launch as well) - and most other Intel customers.
The race is still on, especially among the dozen (?) or so Intel customers, to get a hybrid STB out onto the market beyond a prototype or demonstration. And it's not just the software, it's DRM, content, distribution and a bunch of licenses (Dolby, DTS, etc.) as well that need to be taken care of.
Check out our coverage of OTT. Free commentaries (updated April 20, 2011):
Connected TV brings new competitor for operators: CE manufacturers (April 20, 2011)
Hollywood struggles with broadcast rights and the iPad (April 4, 2011)
Amazon takes Lovefilm out of DECE, launches own cloud service (March 29, 2011)
Entertain Sat: Deutsche Telekom and SES Astra's clever cooperation (March 1, 2011)
Broadcast TV resurgent, but OTT players add a little extra (February 25, 2011)
Vodafone Germany's hybrid STB offers little to distinguish it (February 17, 2011)
Ziggo feels the heat and looks to spark up connected TV (February 3, 2011)
Connected TV puts network operators to work (January 21, 2011)
Microsoft, Google, Nokia Siemens trail the Connected TV market at CES
French govt should ask why Sony hasn't contributed to the cost of the electricity network
Google TV frustrated by Hollywood
TiVo transforms iPad into 2nd screen with a remote control
Google TV takes on the couch potato
BBC can enforce Net Neutrality through sheer market power
Belgacom takes new steps in expanding IPTV services
Is KPN planning its own version of UPC's Horizon box?
Nimbuzz versus Skype, Google versus ABC
Network pressure from Netflix shows success of OTT video
YTL, Sezmi bring quad-play with OTT over Wimax in Malaysia
Cisco's umi and Logitech's Revue: two new connected devices
Google TV marks important step with content deals
Battle starts for OTT market
Apple's iTV heats up competition on OTT market
Your.TV: waiting for DRM, content and distribution deals
Intel looks to break open connected TV market
ltra-Violet: the virtual successor to Blu-ray
Google optimises YouTube for mobile and TV
Can Google, Apple and Philips beat UPC and Telstra?
Google, Sony and Intel enter the living room
Time's running out for operators that want to profit from OTT
Metrological develops strong position on OTT market
Google targets operator market again with TV plans
Qualcomm hints at multi-function media gateway
Convergence expands to the TV
Liberty Global hints at consolidation, OTT box
Who's going to bring OTT content to the TV?
Apple poses threat to cable sector
And a series of Research Briefs:
Defining Connected TV
Three reasons for operators to launch OTT services
Google TV: lots to offer
OTT: distribution as a scenario for operators
Connected TV allows operators to benefit from OTT content
And the Global Connected TV 2011 report:
Global Connected TV 2011
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Claims from the cable industry concerning the amount of fiber in their networks (97%) are realistic and unrealistic at the same time. It all depends on your perspective. If you are an end-user, the claim is defensible. If you own the network and think in terms of route kilometers, you will agree that it's not, because just 20% is fiber (source: FTTH Platform NL). In reality, this number is even worse and closer to just 6% (an informed source tells me).
Cable operators in the Netherlands claim that 97% of their network is fiber. This would be the portion of the network (line) between your home and the Internet. The last mile is on average 300 meters (in the Netherlands). If the signal travels over non-fiber, this may function as a bottleneck, but over short distances like these (or 90 meters in early FTTH deployments, which were in fact FTTC) its doesn't really matter that much. In fact, in-home networking at 10 meters can be just as much as of a bottleneck.
Once this bottleneck needs to be taken out, fiber needs to be extended to let's say the home's WiFi router. And an interesting argument for this is gaining importance: the number of connected devices (directly or via WiFi) is exploding:
- Computer (desktop, laptop)
- Connected TV, hybrid STB
- Blu-ray player
- Game console
- Smartphone, iPhone
- LiveView (Sony Ericsson's new 'data pager')
- E-reader, Kindle, Nook
- iPad, notebook, tablet, netbook, smartbook, speedbook, booklet, ....
- umi (Cisco's video calling box)
Once the cable operator decides to extend fiber to each subscriber, he will realise that he will need to dig a lot more than just 3%. UPC NL (2,777,300 homes passed) and Ziggo (4,107,000 homes passed) would probably need to spend FTTH-like amounts of cash, say 800 EUR/home. That translates into EUR 2.2 billion for UPC and EUR 3.3 billion for Ziggo. Large sums for their controlling (Liberty Global owns UPC) and prospective (Ziggo's IPO may come in 2011) shareholders to reckon with.