The Online Reporter

Digital Media & Broadband Industry News, Research and Insight

Two New Devices Join Antenna TV and OTT in Net-Tops

Two New Devices Join Antenna TV and OTT in Net-Tops

-Mohu Offers OTT/OTA Hybrid Box
-Nuvyyo’s OTA DVR Connects to Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV

In the US the net-top box market has become a crowded field with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast and, most recently, Amazon’s Fire TV. However, none of them have the ability to receive the local TV stations’ content for free.

The perfect cord cutter or cord-never device should be a box that combines OTT apps with a digital antenna to give the viewer the widest possible range of non-pay TV entertainment. While YouView has become a popular device in the UK, no such box has found success in the US.

Two new devices have debuted in the US that address this gap: Mohu, a net-top box that has a digital antenna, and Nuvyyo, an over-the-air DVR that connects to a net-top.

Mohu Expected to Launch This Summer


TV antenna maker Mohu has raised $145,000 from Kickstarter, which it plans to use to launch its Channels TV net-top box this summer. What makes the Android-based box different is that in addition to the usual OTT apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, it is connected to an antenna that picks up for free all the local TV stations, and it integrates the OTT content with the OTA content in the same user interface. That typically includes the local stations that broadcast the big four national TV networks: ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS. Those networks also carry most major sporting events.

This Web page shows you the list of channels each zip code can receive for free: http://www.gomohu.com/?gclid=COnzmry2470CFTIV7AodHWMAiQ

Mohu has developed and is selling antennae that pick up local stations. There are indoor, outdoor and amplified antennae. They pick up the uncompressed HD broadcast of local stations and deliver them via coax to all the TVs in the home. The antennae’s range goes up to 60 miles. See: https://store.gomohu.com/antennas

Now, Mohu is developing a net-top box that, in addition to being connected to an antenna for local stations, can access OTT services and has a browser. Its secret sauce is that it’s developing a personalized channel guide that it calls “Personal TV.” Users can create their own channel guides with any combination of OTT services, Web sites and local TV stations.

Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV antenna

Mohu Leaf Antenna

In using Kickstarter to raise money, Mohu also learned about other features that its future customers want. Among them are the ability to record and playback local TV content although it’s not clear whether the recording would be done in the cloud (previously called network DVRs) or in the Mohu box (a pricey function because it requires a hard disk drive).

Mohu also added side-loading for playing videos that are on the user’s PCs and other devices, Dolby 5.1 audio and a remote control app for Android smartphones.

Channel TV will have a remote keyboard and tuner. Mohu will also develop an Android app that can be used as a remote on tablets and smartphones.

What Mohu users will be missing, unless they also have a pay TV subscription, which won’t be integrated into Mohu’s Channel Guide, is the pay TV channels such as ESPN, History, CNBC and AMC and many, many others. But they’ll get all the local TV stations for free — and many in uncompressed 1080p.

Nuvyyo’s Streaming DVR Puts Live TV on Roku

Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR isn’t a full-fledged NTB but it can connect to one, as well as other viewing devices such as tablets and laptops. Its Tablo DVR can stream OTA content, both live and recorded, to connected devices and to the TV set.

Tablo from Nuvyyo diagram

Where Tablo product fits

Nuvyyo said the device is geared toward cord-cutters who want to combine OTT services with OTA content. “Many are looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to supplement their over-the top programming from Netflix and Hulu with live television,” said Grant Hall, CEO at Nuvyyo. The company said its Tablo DVRs “take the fear out of cord-cutting” by making it easy to browse, record and stream live, local TV broadcast programs in full HD.

Watch a demo of the Tablo here: http://www.tablotv.com/how-tablo-works/

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Consumers to Have More Than Sufficient Broadband & Wi-Fi Bandwidth

Consumers to Have More Than Sufficient Broadband & Wi-Fi Bandwidth

- Wi-Fi First Telephony & Whole Home DVRs Will Increase Wi-Fi Usage
- So Will 4K Videos, Telemedicine, Tele-education, Tele-work and Remote Monitoring

Last week Qualcomm Atheros (QCA) was the first of three companies to announce new 11ac Wi-Fi chips for routers, gateways and whole home DVRs that will significantly improve performance compared to existing 11ac Wi-Fi chips. Broadcom and Quantenna made similar announcements this week and it would not be surprising to see Celeno and Marvell make similar announcements in the coming weeks.

Telcos with all-fiber networks and cablecos can already provide more than enough broadband bandwidth to deliver video streams and future applications to the home. Fiber-less telcos are beginning to install fiber closer to the home and deploying advanced copper wire broadband technologies such as bonding, vectoring and small distribution points that will allow them to increase broadband speeds sufficiently to meet demand until the next generation copper wire technology called G.fast arrives in a few years.

The point is that the industry will have sufficient bandwidth for delivering both to and within the home.

The end result will be that consumers will in time have more than enough bandwidth to stream multiple HD videos, even 4K, plus whatever other applications come along like telemedicine, tele-education, tele-work and live remote monitoring.

There’s another application that may be coming, which will use some broadband and Wi-Fi bandwidth. It’s a form of mobile telephony called Wi-Fi First in which the mobile phone first looks for a free Wi-Fi connection to make a phone call just like they already look for Wi-Fi first for an Internet connection. Only after the phone determines that there is no Wi-Fi available does it then connect to a cellular network to make phone calls or connect to the Web. The Wi-Fi connections are of course free. The user pays only for the few calls and Internet access that are made away from a Wi-Fi hotspot. When you think about the large percentage of time that most people spend within a Wi-Fi area that’s free in the home, office and at public places, you can see how little they might have to connect to the cellular network. Scratch Wireless, which sells such a mobile phone — a modified Motorola Photon Q — says that its customers are connected for 84% of their time to a…

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Consumers to Have More Than Sufficient Broadband & Wi-Fi Bandwidth

Two New Devices Join Antenna TV and OTT in Net-Tops

Wi-Fi First’ Telephone Service Appeals to Cablecos

4K

Sony Adds to Its 4K Ecosystem with New Player and New Movies

Sharp Aquos Q+ Is Not a 4K TV but Plays 4K Content

South Korea Sees Live 4K Channel

Sony’s 9 New 4K TVs Have All the Latest Technologies

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

Amazon and Netflix Duke It Out in UK

NBC’s iOS App Now Supports Airplay

OTT Is Opportunity for Premium Content Owners

MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES

Linear TV Show Charts Streaming Music Hits

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

This Week’s Important Developments in Web Video

SECOND SCREEN

2nd Screen Society’s Q1 Update

Second Screen Isn’t Going Away

Zeebox Refocuses on Social TV with Rebrand

BROADBAND BEAT

Sky and TalkTalk Try the All-Fiber Approach with CityFibre

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

Intel Sold 5m Processors for Tablets in Q1

CVP-2 Gives Pay TV Providers another Route to Multi-Screen Delivery

HOME NETWORKING

Broadcom’s New 6 Stream Wi-Fi Chips Double Wi-Fi Speed

Quantenna’s New 8 Stream Wi-Fi Chips Provide Speeds up to 10 Gbps

HomeGrid (G.hn) Going All Out for Asian Service Providers & Equipment Makers

LTE BROADCAST

EE to Deploy LTE Broadcast Network in 2016

KPN Tests LTE Broadcast at Stadium

MOBILE TV

More Details on Tablet TV

WIRELESS BROADBAND

Wi-Fi, Not Cellular, Has Become the Answer for Cablecos

Comcast Said to Be Planning Mobile Phone Service

Dutch Cablecos to Test Wi-Fi First’ and Wi-Fi Only’ Mobile Phone Service

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Half the World’s Passenger Planes to Have Wi-Fi by 2022

Streaming Music Up, Album Sales Down

OTT Apps on the TV Set May Lead to Cord-Cutting

Tablets Will Overtake in Mobile Broadband Connections

DIGI GRAMS

Intel CEO: We Can Play at the Low End

Time Warner Cable to Use RDK in New IP STB

G.hn Is Like an Iceberg

Google Fiber to Test a Service to Small Businesses

Weakness in the Consumer Market for PCs

Google: Chromecast Sales Strong’

Senator Wants Netflix’s 2 Cents on Comcast-TWC Merger

Aereo: No One Loves Their Cable Company

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Marvell Targets Europe, South America & Korea for G.hn

Marvell Targets Europe, South America & Korea for G.hn

- Portugal Telecom & SK Telecom Are Already Field Testing

You can follow the G.hn’s crowd global quest for services providers by tracking the equipment makers they land deals with and where they are located. Most of them so far have been in Asia. Now they are expanding into Europe. May we remind that having a trial in a service provider is not the same as having a system-wide commitment. It is a major step, however, because service providers don’t make a commitment to field testing a new product unless it is fairly certain it will fully deploy the product if the test proves it can do what is claimed.

Marvell has announced two G.hn wins with equipment makers — one in Spain with a strong presence in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and the other in South Korea. Announcing wins at equipment makers is always a good indication that the equipment maker has a commitment for at least a major field trial with a service provider.

Europe-based Blu-Castle said it will use Marvell’s G.hn chips in its products for the “Connected Home.” The company supplies telecommunications gear for residences and businesses.

Marvell said Blu-Castle’s G.hn gear is in test at Portugal Telecom. Blu-Castle is heavily focused on Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. It has sales and support offices in Spain, Brazil, Mexico and the UK.

Blu-Castle’s G.hn-capable Tower-MVG01f product is a G.hn-compliant powerline adapter with filtered pass-through socket that can reach transmission speeds of up to 800Mbps. The fact that it’s powerline is another indication that the big home networking market in Europe and Latin America is likely to be over powerline rather that over coax. G.hn and HomePlug are the powerline contenders.

Blu-Castle CEO Harold Fitch said, “Bandwidth requirements in the home network are still growing dramatically as new technology provides new content, requiring a constant increase in transmission capacity, which makes home networking one of the most exciting markets in telecom and consumer electronics industries. With G.hn standard reaching maturity, we expect to see a growth in the demand of Home Networking devices.”

It’s certain that it’s Portugal Telecom and probably other telcos’ desire for G.hn led Blu-Castle to produce G.hn gear. It certainly was demand from the consumer market, at least not yet. It’s likely that Portugal Telecom is also testing G.hn gear from other manufacturers.

The Blu-Castle Tower-MVG01f includes:
- MIMO 2×2 implementation for maximum speeds where installed in residences that have a three wire electrical cable.
- Optimized for performance in high density Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs).
- Green economy features with a power saving mode.
- Full IPv6 compliance.
- End-to-end 128-bit AES encryption using CCMP protocol.

In November 2012 Marvell became the first chipmaker to achieve the ITU-T G.hn compliant silicon certification from the HomeGrid Forum.

South Korea Too

South Korea-based Netwave has selected Marvell’s G.hn chipset for its powerline to Ethernet adapter, the NPA-100. Netwave said adapter is the first G.hn home-networking product available in Korea and is specially targeted for the service provider market. It jointly developed the product the Network Technology R&D Center of the giant Korean telco SK Telecom, which is currently field testing the product.

Sean Lee, Netwave director, said, “G.hn provides unparalleled connectivity performance that is unmatched in the industry today,” perhaps comparing G.hn over powerline to HomePlug. He said the company “is confident that we are providing the best communications platforms for the delivery of high-bandwidth multimedia applications.”

Netwave supplies gear to other South Korean service providers such as SK Broadband, LGU+, KT and various cablecos. In addition to G.hn, it also produces MoCA and Wi-Fi gear. Netwave did not mention HomePlug.

RFPs for G.hn Beginning to Appear

RFPs for G.hn Beginning to Appear

Requests for proposals (RFPs) for products using G.hn home network technology are reportedly beginning to appear from the likes of AT&T, Portugal Telecom and two large but unnamed telcos, one in Europe (but not Telefonica) and one in Asia (but not China Telecom). RFPs are a first step for service operators when they begin the process for buying massive amounts of new gear. RFPs are not purchase orders but they are a good indicator of which technology a service provider is inclined to purchase after having studied and evaluated the technology for long periods of time.