Well here’s a new perspective. Retail DVR maker TiVo introduced new hardware last night at a New York event, and the unfolding press coverage has painted an interesting picture. Several reporters latched on to the fact that one of the UI screenshots showed an icon for Comcast VOD content. About 12 hours of excitement was quickly dampened when the company acknowledged that image was only a mock-up and did not indicate any integration with the Comcast VOD platform. If public reaction is any gauge, no access to VOD is a deal-breaker for people.
For a long time I heard nothing but knocks on VOD service for all the things it didn’t do. That’s changed, and a lot of credit goes to Comcast for making VOD a priority with the launch of Project Infinity back in 2008. People like VOD now. A lot of them (me included) rely on it. Web video is great, but it’s still difficult to get a lot of the good stuff on my TV in any reasonably easy way. There may be more stuff I want out of VOD, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what it does for me today.
Now here’s the Motorola pitch. Motorola has made a huge range of set-tops over time, and one of the company’s biggest priorities has always been to work effectively with the cable companies to bring new television services to as many people as possible. Scale and cost-effectiveness play a big role in that approach, but so does innovation. Motorola set-tops have the capability to do a lot of things: VOD, DVR, multi-room DVR, IP integration, content portability to mobile devices, storage extension via external hard drives, and more. Service providers make their decisions on what services to deploy, but Motorola puts every option on the table. And that is a big part of what has made Motorola *the* leader in set-tops.
Oh yeah, and do you know why Motorola is so good at innovating and delivering new features on set-tops? It’s because Motorola is heavily involved in every aspect of premium television delivery – from VOD, to video encoding, to home networking strategies, to content security, to access network equipment, and more. It’s not just about set-tops. The set-top is only the tip of the TV iceberg.