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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.

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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.

True to form

The growth in smartphones and tablets are fuelling demand for remote access to managed services in the home, according to Motorola’s Andy Hooper speaking at the TEN Digital Home event last month. 

Why? As service providers look for ways to add value and differentiate, a number of them are laying the foundations for home monitoring and control services – but need a device such as a smartphone or a tablet to act as the consumer’s point of control.

Although the jury’s still out in terms of which will be the best form factor, the number of smartphone owners is steadily increasing. Huge numbers of consumers now own a smartphone, whilst tablets are gaining in popularity. Although larger than the smartphone form factor, tablets offer a larger, easier to use screen while still having the advantages of being compact, lightweight, and portable.

Pay TV service providers have been quick to take advantage of their popularity and their form factor, and are now using tablet devices for  companion services such as social TV and enhanced EPGs which enhance the TV experience. Some are offering tablets as an incentive to join their service or lock the subscriber in for longer. Using a tablet as an incentive also increases the service provider’s chances of increasing subscriptions to other services they might offer, such as VOD. It’s a win-win situation.

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?   


IP&TV World Forum 2011 Coverage Continues…

On day two’s keynote plenary session at IP&TV World Forum 2011, Johannes Larcher, Senior Vice President International at Hulu, said all participants in the IPTV ecosystem are in position to gain from it. Consumers can have access to the content they want wherever they want while advertisers and distributors can create lasting businesses. It is about creating greater value.

He went on to say that brand advertisers will gain from targeted and meaningful communications with consumers and content owners will see easy access to content creating further demand. These are straightforward ideas. Advertisers can benefit from putting their ads in front of the right people and mining the data collected through a more interactive approach. Content owners can make it easier to consume content and consumption levels will go up.

It is less straightforward for distributors or the network operators. Larcher said that distributors will have to focus on four things: rapid innovation, multiple revenue streams, tolerance for low margins and an obsession with customer needs.

Looking at this list, it is the innovation and new services introduced in the market that will really drive distribution models forward. When we as an industry ask ourselves what the future of IPTV will look like, something that network operators or distributors should focus on is its rapidly expanding capabilities on the technology front and the value they will bring to the market.

Services like social media integration and enhanced network management will lead to better end user experiences and create IPTV services that are meeting future demand not just keeping pace.

Of the four points mentioned, it is something that distributors can feed and nurture within their businesses and should see as a differentiator to build their businesses around.

IP&TV World Forum 2011: Creating a Win-Win-Win Situation

Monetization is still the defining topic of conversations around IPTV. The market is evolving rapidly as each player in the IPTV ecosystem looks to drive revenue in the space.

What has been central to each discussion around monetizing IPTV is the need for strong partnerships and skillful collaboration. The complexities of IPTV are driving each stakeholder out of its comfort zone and making them lean more heavily on their partners than ever before.

The industry has been charged with bringing the linear world of broadcast television and the internet together seamlessly on a single screen profitably and that is tremendous challenge. How the industry approaches this challenge will determine how fast IPTV services grow and what players make the most of this opportunity.

In listening to discussions on day two of IP&TV World Forum, it is clear the industry needs to develop a service that is beneficial to all customer groups including infrastructure vendors, operators, users, advertisers and content owners. This will be the cornerstones of businesses that are built to last.

Each stakeholder in the IPTV market is like a bead on a string, one must follow and complement the other. Without this kind of close working relationships, you will get a silo’d and inflexible service that is ultimately very hard to monetize.

If cooperation and collaboration are going to drive revenue then at Motorola we need to be the best partner that we can be. We play a strong role in the IPTV ecosystem so that our partners can deliver the services that end users want. It is a complex environment that we are striving to simplify for partners and allow them to focus on the core of their businesses, seeing the right content delivered to the right customers.

Motorola Mobility Announces Intent to Acquire Dreampark

This morning, Motorola Mobility announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dreampark, a leading IPTV software provider based in Norrköping, Sweden. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the Dreampark portfolio is expected to be integrated into the Motorola Medios service management software suite.

With the acquisition of Dreampark, Motorola Mobility will strengthen its ability to provide systems integrators, service providers, enterprises and content providers with innovative solutions for deploying converged media experiences.

To learn more, click here for the press release.