Your browser is not supported. Please update it.

17 September 2015

Deals, Launches and Products

Cableco Comcast this week said it will sell internet and phone services to US wide enterprises taking on the major telcos in a market where they thought they were secure. It will focus on Times 1000 companies and has struck wholesale agreements with Cox, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cablevision and Mediacom to offer services using their networks. Although there is not much detail, we agree that this will change the face of enterprise networking in the US considerably and there may well be complaints from the incumbents.

At IBC this week Nagra introduced its own watermarking algorithms as Nagra anyMARK. The system is controlled by its anyCAST Security Services Platform for the selective application of the watermark to desired content. Watermarking algorithms can be securely updated by anyCAST SSP if required in order to stay one step ahead of content pirates. Nagra anyMARK can also control and update both Nagra and third-party watermarking system. Movielabs has specified that watermarking is one of several key technologies to protect premium content like Ultra HD.

The Italian Prime Minister said this week on a TV interview that a tax on large US internet companies will be brought in by January 2017, which will taxing transactions carried out over the internet with Italian citizens. This will include Apple and Google and is being brought in because of how they avoid paying taxes.

Media software supplier Dalet, said that digital media company Perform will expand its global operations using Dalet news production and distribution capabilities. Perform is using Dalet as the basis of remote workflow operations between the lead UK operation and offices in Munich, Amsterdam and Uruguay. Previously Perform used an Avid iNews system.

US researcher IHS said that the softness in cable spending continued through the second quarter, but should not continue into the third quarter, as orders for cable broadband should increase. It’s fairly obvious that the Comcast TWC deal drove uncertainty through all US cable. Sales dropped 2% said IHS in the second quarter from Q1, but year on year comparisons are still way up. Global CCAP, CMTS, CMC and edge QAM revenue totaled $465 million in Q2 and in the key North American market, DOCSIS channel shipments were down 25% sequentially in Q2 after increasing 13 per cent in Q1; revenue was also down 19% due to a slowdown among a handful of larger operators. Arris dominated CCAP by being early to market and took half the available revenue.

Swedish OTT TV firm Magine TV has acquired the assets of film2home, which runs a Swedish movie service called Plejmo. It is the largest streaming service for movies in the Nordic region. Plejmo receives movies straight after cinema release.

Qualcomm has extended the expiration date for its offer to buy VDSL specialist Ikanos, to allow for adequate dissemination of information to stockholders and investor response time in connection with the Ikanos acquisition. As of September 14 Qualcomm had almost 10.5 million share acceptances, about 60.2% of outstanding Ikanos shares

Swedish TV app provider Accedo said that its software has been used to power Telecable in Spain’s Cloud DVR service, Tedi, which launched earlier this month. Subscribers can access Tedi via a dedicated set top, or via the iOS or Android apps, which extend DVR capabilities to mobile phones. Tedi is free to Telecable customers.

While it was comments made to the press by John Malone which initially told the world that Liberty Global was talking to Vodafone about an asset swap, now similar comments suggest that the talk hasn’t got very far. Malone seems to be pushing Vodafone towards full acquisition, which would be hard for regulators to approve, while we think Vodafone just wants Virgin in the UK. Malone said that so far it was a “tennis match of ideas,” little more.

The boards of Arris and Pace have reached agreement on the conditions of their merger proposals, at a price that is unchanged from its April 22 agreed offer offering Pace shareholders 132.5 pence in cash and 0.1455 in shares a new Arris company, for each Pace share they hold.

French security firm Inside Secure said last week that it has finally launched both an embedded and downloadable version its DRM Fusion Agent for smart TV markers and SoC suppliers, which can be used with UHD video. The SDKs for these products support both ARM’s Trusted Execution Environment and its Secure Content Path hardware. Inside Secure says it meets the security requirements of Hollywood studios. Surely it also needs forensic watermarking?

Belgian number 2 cableco Voo, has this week agreed to use personalized TV recommendations from UK software house ThinkAnalytics for linear, catch up and VoD services, targeting its new .evasion set top which was delivered from Cisco and which plugs into SeaChange Adrenalin back end services. The ThinkAnalytics deal leaked in June, but has now been confirmed.

AT&T Mobility has ramped its data cap for “unlimited” mobile customers from a fairly standard 5 GB up to 22 GB and the operator said it will notify customers during each billing cycle when their data usage reaches 16.5 GB (75% of cap) so they can adjust their usage to avoid network management practices that may result in slower data speeds.

News Corp has acquired London’s Unruly Holdings, which runs an ad management platform, paying $90 million down, with another $87 million in performance based payments possible. It will now report into Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK and Unruly will continue to work with its existing roster of advertisers and publishers and collaborate with News Corp businesses around the world.

Arris at IBC said that Turksat is buying its E6000 converged edge router to lead the migration over to CCAP. The E6000 can support today’s cable modem termination systems, but also support the company’s transition to Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) allowing Turksat to offer broadband speeds eventually of up 1 Gbps. products mostly in powerline format are now shipping in volume into China in the retail market, not just through operators. Chinese equipment manufacturers Wondertek and Brightech, have brought out ranges of products powered by Marvell’s silicon, sold via Alibaba, and consumer portal Taobao. HomeGrid also says that is being used in Blu-Ray players and set top boxes and is being embedded in IP-Networked HD TVs including those from Skyworth.

Canada’s Espial said last week that Germany’s Tele Columbus has licensed its G4 set top Client and its MSP solutions, and asked Espial to integrate its next gen IP video platform. Tele Columbus will use an RDK based set-top, advanced back-office systems and CDNs – to drive a new wave of interactive video services including time-shift TV, multiscreen, HbbTV and OTT video services.

Nagra subsidiary Conax is offering a combination of Civolution’s NexGuard, a SmarDTV UHD Gateway and its Conax Contego for UHD content protection, launched at the IBC show. Conax also said that it has a deal with StarTimes for its Conax Trusted Link technology for use on the operator’s pan-Africa DTH and DTT expansion.