• A Blog from Motorola Mobility Home

    On broadband: video, voice, data, wireless and more!

    Click here

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • 2011 SCTE Show

    See what Motorola announced at the 2011 SCTE Show!

    Click here
  • Feed

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • YouTube

Motorola Mobility Booth Photos @ CES 2012

Motorola Mobility is showcasing its lastest innovations in home and mobile devices at CES this week. Check out some photos from our booth below or, if you are at the show, stop by and see us in booth #8644.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Network DVR is Now

Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions at Motorola Mobility spoke on Network DVR back in Aug and suggested “The network DVR timeline for most US cable operators reaches out 18 to 24 months from now, which means by the end of 2012 we should see numerous trials and regional service launches.” To endorse Motorola’s position, Cablevision rolled out a new commercial called “Secret Passages”.  For $10.95 a month, consumers can record up to four shows simultaneously and set, record and watch shows from any TV in the house.

Jeff Baumgartner at Lightreading notes “While it’s still early days for DVR Plus, it’s clear that Cablevision is trying to take advantage of the operational efficiencies of a network DVR that traditional DVRs with built-in storage can’t deliver.” Consumers are demanding content beyond the home on any device and we expect to see other operators jumping on board soon. Take a look at a video from Bob here discussing the benefits on Network DVR.

 

IP Set-Tops Growing to 21M This Year

On Wednesday, analyst firm In-Stat shared some exciting predictions for the IP set-top market. New research from the firm shows that the market is growing and predicted unit shipments for IP set-tops will exceed 21 million by the end of the year. Another interesting forecast is that overall shipments of IP set-tops will increase 48% in 2012.

The research also indicated that we are still the market share leader in the space.
 
Research Director Michelle Abraham said, “Future increases for IP set-top box shipments will likely be driven by service providers moving to a server/client architecture where there is a media gateway/server located in the media room of the house that shares its content with client boxes that are distributed throughout the rest of the home.”

We are excited that this research echoes what we’re seeing and hearing from customers, and supports our perspective on the value of IP set-tops across the market. Do these forecasts align with what you are seeing? What do you think is next for IP set-tops?

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed: Week of August 29

The  industry’s drive to provide content to multiple screens in consumers’ homes continues, as well as more discussions about the convergence of TV and social media. Network DVRs were a focus in the news this week, with a post from this very blog driving media coverage in FierceCable. 

Also, research firm In-Stat recently released findings that show half of tablet owners view TV on their smartphones and tablets and 50 percent of young adults frequently use their devices to update social networks while watching TV.  Social TV startup Miso partnered with DirecTV to create a synchronized platform where users can “check-in” to their favorite TV shows, much like Motorola’s Social TV offering.  Several other articles discussed the prevalence of Twitter usage while watching TV, including news of a Twitter world record set on Sunday during the MTV Video Music Awards due to Beyonce’s baby bump.  Do you Tweet or update Facebook while watching TV?  What types of actions inspire you to post?    

1. Motorola: Most U.S. MSOs pursuing network DVR launches (Aug. 26) – By Steve Donohue, FierceCable: Most U.S. cable MSOs will launch network-based DVRs within the next 18 to 24 months, according to top cable gear vendor Motorola Mobility.

2. 50% of tablet owners view movies and TV (Aug. 31) – By Staff Writer, Advanced Television: In-Stat research reports that 50 per cent of tablet owners are viewing not only feature-length movies on their device, but TV shows as well; an important revelation to both content producers and providers alike.

3. Social TV Plugs In To DirecTV (Sept. 1) – By Anthony Ha, AdWeek: Social TV startup Miso wants to know what you’re watching—and it may have found the perfect way to find out, through a just-announced partnership with DirecTV.

4. Social TV Summit Spotlights the Masterminds Encouraging You to Surf the Web While Watching TV (Sept. 1) – By Ali Trachta, LA Weekly: ​If you watched any of NBC’s The Voice, you know it was almost impossible to simply watch the show. There was always something on your TV screen cuing you to Twitter — or vice versa. It was as if one didn’t completely function without the other.

5. Social TV by the Numbers: VMAs Edition (Aug. 30) – By Christina Warren, Mashable: The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) broke records on both MTV and Twitter. At 10:35 p.m. ET, Beyonce’s live performance and baby bump reveal generated 8,868 tweets per second.

Network DVR on the Horizon – Who, When and Why

Author: Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions

Network-based DVR has been years in the making, but cable companies are pursuing the technology with renewed momentum in the wake of Cablevision’s legal successes. After protracted battles in court, Cablevision launched its Remote Storage DVR (RS-DVR) service earlier this year, and now others are taking a closer look. In discussions with our own cable customers, we’ve seen interest in network DVR (nDVR) services spike recently, and more operators are now putting nDVR contracts out for bid. Comcast even went on the record in June saying that it will begin testing a network-based DVR service later this year or early next.

If the timeline for network DVR rollouts is interesting, so, too is the reason why cable companies are moving in the direction of cloud-based television. It’s not because they want to save on storage, but rather because they want an easier way to enable multi-device access. TV Everywhere initiatives marked the start of cable multi-screen delivery services, but the idea of giving consumers access to the content they record and not just content that’s available online is much more compelling. For consumers, network DVR with multi-screen access brings control and personalization. For operators, it offers a way to increase the value of bundled TV services, particularly as more online video content moves behind pay walls and can’t be accessed easily or quickly without authentication.

The network DVR timeline for most US cable operators reaches out 18 to 24 months from now, which means by the end of 2012 we should see numerous trials and regional service launches. DVR service will start to look a lot more like video on-demand, but it will also include more control and flexibility, not to mention new revenue opportunities for cable operators, and a boost in competitive advantage in the fracturing television market.

Cable Looks to Double Down on DOCSIS Data Channels in 2012

Author: Jeff Walker, Director, CMTS Product Marketing

The days of cable operators dedicating only one channel to DOCSIS data traffic are behind us. In 2011, a typical MSO is using four to six 6MHz channels for subscriber data connections. In 2012, Motorola predicts that range will double, with operators using eight to twelve channels for DOCSIS traffic alone.

The change is a direct result of growing consumer demand for Internet services. Downstream traffic is skyrocketing at a rate of roughly 50 percent a year, thanks in large part to streaming video on the web. Upstream traffic is only growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent annually, but that could, and probably will change drastically as consumers adopt new video chat features through social networking platforms.

MSOs are raising their numbers of DOCSIS channels to handle both the overall increase in broadband capacity needed, and consumer demands for greater speed. Downstream channel bonding is now in widespread use across the country, and while many operators are only bonding two or three channels at a time today, that number will continue to grow in response to increasing speed requirements. Upstream channel bonding is not far behind.

So what does all of this data traffic mean for cable video? Cable operators are still reallocating spectrum that was formerly used for analog video, but it’s not all going over to DOCSIS delivery. Far from it. MSOs are using roughly eight channels for narrowcast video-on-demand streaming today, and in 2012 we’re seeing indications that operators will use anywhere from eight to 16 channels for VOD. That’s due in part to growing VOD catalogs, and in part to new experiments with network-based DVR delivery. In short, there’s growth happening in every direction, and it’s all fueled by insatiable consumer demand for entertainment and communication across multiple platforms.

Delayed gratification holding the industry back

One of the many dichotomies discussed at this years’ Connected Home Summit in London ran something along the lines of ‘why must consumers undergo a negative experience before they can experience a positive one?’ 

 Indeed, all too often, consumers have to go through the pain of setting up a complex pieceof new kit before they can begin to enjoy many of the life-enhancing qualities. When they spend a sizeable chunk of their salary on a HD, super-size flat screen TV, they have a right to expect that all they need to do is plug it in and switch it on when they get it home.

Competition in this industry may be fierce, but consideration must be given to the consumer who needs to master the new product before they can begin to enjoy it. The manufacturer with the most consumer-friendly out-of-the-box user experience will gain the most.

By the same token, service providers have to ensure the set-up user experience is simple and problem free for the subscriber, a task that is becoming more complex as TV goes beyond the set top to other devices connected over a home network.  The device that can be used with their service will be linked to their brand regardless of whether they have supplied them or not. Remote device management tools and customer self-help tools such as Motorola EDGE are a great help in improving the customer experience and reduce support costs. And there are cost savings too – for instance, user-friendly set top boxes that can be self-installed by the customer, represents massive savings in deployment costs for the service provider.

Until the industry as a whole takes this issue on board, companies that pass on that complexity are delaying gratification not only for the consumer, but for themselves,too.