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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family room wars - Streaming, Apps & Set-Tops

Are you tired of your Cable fees?
The demise of "All you can eat buffet" Cable TV is here...or is it?

Comcast has me locked in with their Triple play.
All I need is internet and nothing else; hardly have time to sit in front of the idiot box, but there are no other options in my area (other than *slow* ATT DSL)
Anthony Woods, founder of Roku has this to say “ a major cable operator could begin offering separate a-la-carte programming via over-the-top internet services outside the typical bundled subscription as early as this year.”
Where is Roku going? Read it here
Interesting how once a Roku box gets inside people's homes, cable TV is unplugged in 40% of the homes.

 There are three kinds of war - CONTENT WAR, the APP WAR and the Device war that is being played out in millions of households in the family rooms and bedrooms
Streaming War - Netflix, HBO GO and XFINITY STREAMPIX are locking horns
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has positioned his streaming service as complimentary to cable/satellite TV. He does not really want cable and satellite his piece of the pie.

But guess what, the cable companies and content owners are not sitting on their hands, letting Netflix be complimentary. Comcast streaming option Xfinity Streampix was announced last month and Time Warner’s HBO Go are already eating into NETFLIX.

And talk about Roku the other player in this space that is playing nice - but can start competing *very* quickly too. For now they are happy dominating the set top box market...NUMERO UNO that they are. They have a quality product, a quality user interface, great price point $50, and almost 500 content providers (public and private Channels in the ROKU lingo) streaming onto 2.5 million devices  into homes. They are a NETFLIX/ HOTMAIL waiting to happen. There are lot of content providers that are shipping out free ROKU boxes, based up on subscription. The 500 content providers? Some are free and some are subscription based. The subscription is one time (games etc), to monthly fees (NETFLIX, AMAZON PRIME), Season Package (like MLB, NBA TV) and even channels that require a participating cable or satellite subscription (HBO GO

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works.  You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else.
The trick is the doing something else.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

This might as well be Anthony Woods, considering his track record and how their competition have blatantly copied their strategies and successes.

Another variable in this is the mobility and tablet market. If an enterprise can take over the TV space, it is a cinch to also capture the Tablet, PC/ Portable Media Device and provide that ubiquitous on-demand programming

Here are details from slashgear about Comcast's Netfinity StreamPix

If you’re a user of Netflix streaming service, HULU Plus, or both, you know that there’s a lot to differentiate the two, but that not a lot of ground is left to cover after they’ve taken their piece of the pie. That’s where Comcast comes in with Xfinity Streampix. The group has this week revealed, though not formally announced, their upcoming streaming video service which will take command of its 75,000 shows and films that Comcast already offers and adds deals with several large picture companies.

This service is currently signed between Comcast and groups such as Disney, Sony Pictures, and Time Warner’s Warner Bros. If this means that the Disney collection of animated movies are included in the catalog of streaming content, you’re going to see a gigantic windfall from this deal. As Marcien Jenckes, general manager of video services at Philadelphia-based Comcast said earlier today:
“This is about adding value to our existing multi-channel subscription.” – Jenckes
What she’s referring to is the fact that this service will not be offered to non-customers. That is, if you’ve got both internet and TV through Xfinity On Demand, you’ll be getting this service for free. If you do not purchase broadband from Comcast but still do get TV, this package will cost you an additional $4.99 a month – if you want it. If what this proposition is saying is true, and that in addition to these giant names providing new content that’s not already on Netflix or Hulu Plus, there’s a back catalog of 75,000 videos – this may well be a force to be reckoned with in the near future!
[via Bloomberg]

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