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Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed: Week of September 19

This week, the tech world has been abuzz about some major company shifts. On Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings publicly announced that the company will split into two separate businesses. Netflix plans to maintain its streaming video business model while spinning off its DVD rental service under the new name, Qwikster. Hewlett-Packard also appointed Meg Whitman as the company’s new CEO; with HP’s recent announcement to spin-off its PC business, many are speculating about coming strategic changes under Whitman’s leadership. On Thursday, Facebook announced potential partnerships with Hollywood studios, Hulu and possibly Netflix in the near future. How do you think these new deals and executive changes will impact the tech world?

In other news, Motorola plans on testing the highly-anticipated CCAP next year which will smooth out the transition to IP. Check out Motorola’s Jeff Walker’s conversation with Jeff Baumgartner of Light Reading, below, and Walker’s related blog post from last week.  Lastly, watch a few of our video posts from the last few days featuring Motorola Mobility executives and industry thought leader Shelly Palmer.  All are discussing key trends and issues presented at our Users’ Conference in San Diego this week.    

1. Netflix Apologizes to Customers & Rebrands Its DVD Service (Sept. 19) – By Ben Parr, Mashable: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has announced that Netflix will be splitting its DVD and streaming video businesses and rebranding the DVD division to win back the trust of its customers.

2. Whitman at H.P.? The Idea Distresses the Tech World (Sept. 21) – By David Streitfeld, The New York Times: As speculation swirled Wednesday that Meg Whitman might be brought in to save the troubled Hewlett-Packard, the tech world rendered a verdict: You have got to be kidding.

3. Moto Takes Long View on Cable Access (Sept. 23) – By Jeff Baumgartner, Light Reading: Motorola Mobility Inc. much-anticipated Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) product is on course for demonstrations, testing and lab events sometime in 2012.

4. Facebook seeks exec to cut deals with Hollywood, Hulu and, maybe, Netflix (Sept. 8 ) – By Jim O’Neill, FierceOnlineVideo:  The social networking giant will announce a platform that allows users to share what TV shows and movies they’re watching. What isn’t clear is just how much further the company will go.

5. Videos from the Motorola Mobility’s Users’ Conference – By Motorola Mobility, MediaExperiences 2 Go blog: Dan Moloney on convergence, Shelly Palmer on the two types of consumers or Joe Cozzolino on maximizing bandwidth.

Motorola Mobility Users Conference: Sharing the Vision

This week in San Diego, we are meeting with our customers and industry peers to discuss the latest trends, new technology innovations and share ideas on how to breakthrough today’s challenges. Front-and-center to the discussion will be around the shift to IP, but we’ll also focus on a multitude of changes facing the industry and hear from Motorola executives, customers and industry thought leaders outlining solutions for each challenge. Of course, we’ll be showing off innovations from us for example – Motorola Televation, Motorola Medios Software Suite, 4Home Solutions and MPEG-4 encoding solutions.

The conference kicks off with Motorola Mobility’s president, Dan Moloney, sharing his vision for how Motorola is approaching today’s industry challenges and offer his perspective on the future of converged media experiences. Guest speakers include a couple of our customers and Shelly Palmer, host of NBC Universal’s “Live Digital with Shelly Palmer.”

Senior leaders, John Burke, Joe Cozzolino and Larry Robinson from our Converged Experiences, Network Infrastructure and Home Devices businesses respectively will be sharing the stage with Rob McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Global Home Go-to-Market, outlining solutions to meet today’s industry demands. We’ll also hear from our Chief Technology Officer Geoff Roman on trends transforming our industry and his vision for what’s next, and Vice President & General Manager of Video Processing Solutions, Kevin Wirick, on the evolution of digital video and multi-screen experiences. Follow our blog, Twitter and check out YouTube for insight and video from the User Conference.

Belgians Enjoy Greater Entertainment & Home Security Capabilities with IPv6

Motorola Mobility and Telenet, a leading provider of media and telecommunication services in Belgium, have combined forces to offer consumers greater entertainment and home security capabilities. 

With their advancement to IPv6 features using Motorola’s technology and Telenet’s network, operators can offer expanded IP services to a growing number of consumer devices including smartphones, tablets; Internet-enabled gaming consoles and TVs, and home security and monitoring applications.  Consumers can now lock their front door from a smartphone, or enjoy expanded entertainment options on a tablet.   As IPv4 addresses are quickly running out it is important for operators to be able to implement IPv6 to expand their IP services capabilities.

Specifically, Motorola and Telenet have successfully tested and evaluated the first phase of the IPv6 features of Motorola’s BSR 64000 Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS).  The tests demonstrated the IPv6 capabilities of the Motorola BSR 64000, which allows Telenet to deliver its residential broadband and video services across Belgium.  Check out some of the coverage from our announcement to learn more!

Industry leaders discuss multi-screen TV and more in CSI Mag videos

CSI Magazine recently hosted an interesting roundtable discussion highlighting the latest developments in multi-screen TV, digital rights management and the opportunities and challenges presented by this changing landscape, particularly in the European market. 

Motorola Mobility’s Andy Hooper, director of converged experiences and software in EMEA, participated in the discussion and brought a technology provider perspective to the table.  He said, “Motorola very much wants to be a leader in this regard in terms of helping [cable operators and service providers] innovate around key processes and pieces of the puzzle and then build those together… to help deliver new and interesting services to subscribers.”    

Check out the conversation in this series of videos posted from the discussion and let us know what you think.  Do you agree with some of the challenges and opportunities that the participants discussed?  What did they miss?   


Converged Experiences in Two Words

Yesterday’s Parks Associates “Connections” event in Santa Clara celebrated the analyst firm’s 25 year anniversary and featured Motorola Mobility’s David Grubb III as the welcome session keynote speaker.  The vice president of architecture and strategy for the Converged Experiences business, David discussed how these experiences are coming to fruition and the benefits to consumers. 

With three key ingredients in place – converged networks, services available via IP and application-capable mobile devices – the converged experiences landscape emerges.  While this enables “anywhere, anytime” access for consumers, what does it really mean in terms of practical usage?

“If you were to sum it up in two words, it would be ‘tablet TV,’” said David. 

He went on to share a few details on Motorola’s new Televation and Medios Xperience offerings, which were announced recently at The Cable Show that offer live TV streaming to a tablet anywhere around the home (Televation) and the tablet as a remote control/alternate content provider (Xperience). 

He also discussed the recent reports in the media touting cord-cutting/cord-shaving as a significant issue in the industry.  David rebuked those claims with some figures showing how the Internet really isn’t there yet in terms of delivery and bandwidth, ultimately demonstrating that traditional delivery mechanisms will continue to be very important for a long time to come.  Additionally, the “media omnivore” consumers who will subscribe to any and every content delivery mechanism are growing in number with the proliferation of “anywhere, anytime” content.    

Ultimately, David reiterated that converged experiences need to be friendly and valuable to consumers, not overwhelming and complicated.  The industry’s greatest challenge will be to gracefully evolve networks and services to deliver these new and exciting offerings.

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The Connected Home Becomes a Smart Home

The home automation industry has followed a long and tortuous road, but a number of new products on the market and planned broadband services suggest we may have turned a corner. Word came out today that Verizon has a smart-home trial planned for next month, and a broader commercial launch scheduled for some time in the first half of 2011. The service will work with Motorola’s 4Home technology, and will include networked cameras, thermostat and appliance monitors, and automated lighting controls, among other features. It will work over FiOS and DSL.

Home monitoring and control isn’t new for Motorola, but until recently the company’s cable and telco customers weren’t ready to invest in the technology. Now with pervasive broadband, and the rise of networked homes, operators are judging that the time is right. Soon our connected homes will become smart homes as well.

Favorite Posts from 2010, Part 2

Continuing on yesterday’s theme, here are some of my favorite posts from the second half of 2010.

July: New Multi-Room DVR: Pause Live TV, Record Anywhere – covering a multi-room DVR deployment with Cincinnati Bell including features not available in larger operator environments

August: VOD Economics: Are We There Yet? – on collapsing release windows and other signs that the economics for VOD are improving

September: Perceptual Video Processing Cuts Bitrate in Half – how to use PVP to cut bandwidth requirements while maintaining video quality

October: What Ever Happened to CMTS Silver? – discussing the future of upstream bandwidth

November: Options for Cable IP Video Deliverydetailing different ways for cable operators to deliver video over IP

December: From Wireless Gateways to AllVid, A Look Back – on the evolution of gateways in the home