Cable Show: Analysts Warn of Spiraling Content Costs; SeaChange and Civolution Partner on Premium VOD; Comcast Launches Cloud-Based TV Platform
News from the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.â€™s Cable Show convention, taking place this week in Boston:
â€˘ A panel of media analysts agrees that the spiraling cost of programming â€” particularly sports â€” could in the words of Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett â€śimperil[ ] the entire ecosystemâ€ť (via the Los Angeles Times). Ever-higher fees to distribute shows on cable may prompt further consolidation among those providers smaller than Comcast or Time Warner. But the cost of content also could impact companies such as Netflix, which the analysts said had yet to rise as a cable competitor. (It is â€śThe Cable Show,â€ť after all.)
â€˘ SeaChange International and Civolution announced that â€śa large North American cable operatorâ€ť is deploying the companiesâ€™ joint solution for premium video-on-demand content distribution. The solution enables cable operators to integrate transactional watermarking protection into their VOD workflow and network infrastructure, which in turn allows for forensic tracking to the source of potential illegal copies. SeaChange and Civolution originally announced their premium VOD partnership last June.
â€˘ Comcast is showcasing its cloud-based X1 video platform, along with an X1 remote control app for mobile devices, with plans to roll out the new interface to its Triple Play customers with HD/DVR service in select markets this year. Boston will be the first market to receive the X1 platform, with Comcast planning service â€śin the coming weeks.â€ť Among the platformâ€™s highlights is are â€śunified search and instant playâ€ť functions, along with â€śthe ability to find entertainment content in seconds from TV listings, DVR recordings and Xfinity On Demand,â€ť and the ability to use an iPhone or iPod Touch as the remote. More on Comcastâ€™s X1 at VentureBeat, which deems the system â€śworthy of taking on Roku [and] Apple TV.â€ť
â€˘ TiVo, not to be left out of the next-gen DVR fight, will begin marketing a set-top accessory this summer so that users of its Premiere DVRs can stream TV programs to their iPads and iPhones. ZDNet has details.