The Online Reporter

Research, Trends and Insight into the Digital Media, Consumer Electronics & Broadband Industries

Makers of Wi-Fi Products are Making Misleading Claims Wrapped in Fine Print

– Speeds and Coverage Area Are Knowingly Overstated

“Amped Wireless Updates Your Old Wi-Fi Network with 12,000 sq ft of Blazing-Fast Wi-Fi” is the headline of the announcement that Amped Wireless sent about its $190 TITAN-AP AC1900 Wi-Fi Access Point, which is intended to wirelessly extend the range of existing Wi-Fi routers.

The Online Reporter has not specifically tested this product but have tried other similar ones and found that none cover the 2,400 square feet in our rather typical suburban, single-level home – not the faster 5.0Ghz band much less the slower 2.4GHz band.

read fine print

Fine print is being used to obscure the impossible performance claims by Wi-Fi gear manufacturers


The fine print on Amped Wireless’ Web page says it all:
“Range specifications are based on performance test results. Actual performance may vary due to differences in operating environments, building materials and wireless obstructions. Performance may increase or decrease over the stated specification. Wireless coverage claims are used only as a reference and are not guaranteed as each wireless network is uniquely different.”

It’s another example of how Wi-Fi performance, both speed and coverage, is being “over amped” by equipment makers.

Amped Wireless goes on to say:
“Maximum wireless signal rate [is] derived from IEEE 802.11 standard specifications. Actual data throughput may vary as a result of network conditions and environmental factors. Output power specifications are based on the maximum possible radio output power plus antenna gain.”

“All transmission rates listed, for example 600Mbps for 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps for 5GHz, are the physical data rates. Actual data throughput will be lower and may depend on external factors as well as the combination of devices connected to the device. AC1900 wireless speeds are achieved when connecting to other AC1900 capable devices.”

There are two telltale phrases there:
“Actual data throughput will be lower,” not “may be lower” but “will be lower.” So why does Amped Wireless over-amp its products Wi-Fi capabilities?

“AC1900 wireless speeds are achieved when connecting to other AC1900 capable devices,” which does not include the tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, net-top boxes and Blu-ray players that consumers are using?

Wi-Fi is a wonderful thing.

It makes wireless access to the Net easy and increasingly pervasive.

However, makers of Wi-Fi gear make impossible claims about product performance that are never going to be true – as do the makers of Wi-Fi chips.

They knowingly mislead consumers and cause dissatisfaction when their products don’t match their promises. But then they can always fall back on the almost unreadable fine print that disavows the very claims they make in big, bold print.


Our Fine Print

We can attest to the underperformance of Wi-Fi routers and access points from actual tests we have conducted with two 11ac Wi-Fi routers in a 2,400 square foot, single level home. One is a D-Link that serves as the main router and is connected to a DOCSIS router on an exterior wall in the office/library. The other is a brand new ASUS 11ac router that serves as a wireless access point…

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New This Week in The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 950






Microsoft Roars into the Tablet Market

“Microsoft  has always had a major advantage that Apple could not match – the pervasiveness of Windows in the big corporates and in even the smallest organizations, and as a result Window’s spread into the home”.

Roku 4 Streams 4K

Background to this item: Roku was the best selling streaming box in the US last year, according to Parks Associates, which tracks such things. Now, the company is launching a new NTB streaming device saying it will  “provide an amazing 4K experience with powerful performance and brilliant picture”.

The Death of Streaming NTBs



Rogers Takes on the 4K Streaming Experience

Amazon Now Shipping Its 4K Fire TV NTB

Europe Gets Its 4th 4K TV Channel: TERN’s Insight

New Apple TV Is 4K Capable But Not 4K Enabled




Majority of Digital Video Viewers Use YouTube

Linear TV Wins the Week 4K OTT Service

Launches in Hong Kong But Not the Weekend




Every Show & Every Song Ever Made – Available in Every Home in the World



Does the World Need a Coax Version of

Marvell Says It’s a Worldwide Leader’ in In-Home Content Delivery

Quantenna leads in Sunrise’s Push for Multi-screen over Broadband



Psst! Here’s a 17.3-Inch Android Tablet

Whose Tablets Will Win the Enterprise Market? Apple or Microsoft?

iPad Pros Expected to Start Shipping This Month

Microsoft’s Device Strategy Finally Makes Some Sense



Marvell Collaborates With Google on Chromecast 2.0



Tablet Sales May Pick Up in 2016, Not Continue Downward Slide

Streaming Media Devices Correlate with Increased Viewing

Cord Cutters and Shavers and Nevers – Oh My!

Research Reveals Millennials’ Shifty Viewing Habits



Technicolor Lures Major Exec from AlcaLu

Marvell Co-Founder Is a Role Model for Women’

3doo Player App Released for Android

Netflix Becoming a Hobby for the Young

Surface Pro Will Beat iPad Pro in the Enterprise Market

Gigabit Broadband Arrives in Detroit for $65 a Month

New 4K iMac Coming

Netflix Raises Rates $1 Monthly But Only New Subscribers

Canadian Cableco Rogers Readies for 4K Launch


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RIP, Milk Video! Samsung Cuts Its Cord

Death comes quickly to Internet video services that aren’t attracting viewers.

Exactly 12 months after its launch, Samsung is cutting the cord of its Milk Video service in November 2014.

Samsung said on Google Play, “While we remain committed to providing premium entertainment services, we have decided to end support for the Samsung Milk Video app as of November 20, 2015.”


Samsung Milk

Gone sour: Milk app will disappear in November


Milk Video was launched as a mobile service of short-form video content that would complement its Milk Music service. It had deals with YouTube, Vevo and others but didn’t bring much innovation or original content to the table.

Those that think they control what’s on their smartphones and tablets have another think coming. Milk Video was distributed through an app on Samsung smartphones but Samsung will make that app disappear in its next software update.

And an executive who left his job as VP of content and services at Apple’s iTunes business, Kevin Swint, for the glorious opportunities in Samsung’s world, has already left his Samsung position.

The demise of Milk Video hasn’t deterred others that want to launch a mobile video service, specifically Verizon with its Go90 service and former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar who has launched a service called Vessel with a Hulu-like free-with-ads/pay business model.

When Samsung launched Milk Video, it said it would offer, solely to users of its Galaxy devices, exclusive videos on comedy, lifestyle and entertaining content. Samsung said, “The promise of Milk is a well-designed mobile experience that makes it easy to discover the content you want.”

RIP, Milk Video. Even the biggest corporates can bite the dust…

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Google Directly Challenges Apple TV, iTunes & Apple Music

– Adds a Tiny $35 Chromecast for TVs
– And a Chromecast Audio for Remote Speakers

Apple’s recent launch of a less than push-the-envelope Apple TV has given Google, Roku, Amazon, TiVo and others (including pay TV services) an opportunity to take the lead in NTBs that stream content to TV sets.

Google this week showed two new low-cost streaming devices – one for TV sets and another for remote speakers (that also cut into one of the main uses for an Apple TV). Additionally, it showed a new tablet computer and two new Nexus-brand, Android-based smartphones

Makers of net-top streaming boxes, except TiVo, are enabling a residence where TV sets are used to access streaming and other Internet services. Instead of having channels, they use apps. Google’s uniqueness is that it positions smartphones and tablets as the controllers.


Google’s new devices: no channels but apps that ‘cast’ to a TV screen


Google’s Chromecast allows content to be “cast” from a phone or tablet to a TV set. The new one is the size of a silver dollar and sells for $35 compared to the new Apple TV that sells for $149.

Google did not use the word “4K,” so evidently the new Chromecast, like the new Apple TV, does not support 4K. Amazon, Roku and TiVo have the edge in that.

Apple TV still has a couple of advantages over Chromecast. Apple TV and Apple TV alone can play video and audio content that users have in their iTunes libraries. Apple TV users can access and play anything that Apple has in its iTunes online library – although that advantage has been whittled down by OTT services such as Vudu and others that have apps on the Chromecast.

Mario Queiroz, Google’s VP product management for Chromecast, said, “Your favorite apps, with all of the rich features, they’re already on your phone. You’re already logged in.” And so we believe one really and effective way to bring apps to TV, to bring content through apps to TV, is just to extend the mobile apps on your smartphone.”

The new Chromecast Audio, $35, plugs directly into speakers and into an electrical outlet. It receives music sent from a phone. Unlike the Apple TV, it does not need an intermediary TV set or stereo receiver to connect to remote speakers that have to have speaker wires connecting them to the TV or receiver. Chromecast Audio is also a threat to the pricey Sonos hardware.

Additionally Google now has a deal with Spotify, which is also battling Apple’s Apple Music service.

Queiroz said, “We also believe that the cast model that we’ve come up with, since it’s smartphone-centric, works just as well for sending content to a speaker as it does sending content to a TV.”


Two Smartphones Too

The smaller of the new smartphones is the Nexus 5X, which LG makes. It has an “ultrasensitive” camera that is said to take better indoor pictures, which is what most people do. The entry-level model goes for $379 with no contract. The larger phone is the Nexus 6P, which Huawei makes, is 5.7 inches and starts at $499.

Both use a charging cable, called USB Type-C, that ramps to full power quickly and, a la Apple, has a symmetrical charging port that plugs in either way.

Google said Nexus-brand products have the “purest” form of Android and, other than a few apps, don’t have the bloatware that most cellcos load onto a smartphone that they sell. It said Nexus products have the latest version of Android (sounds like Apple, eh?) and get monthly security updates.

The newest version of Android, called Marshmallow, has a new way to search the world of apps, which Google calls “a ‘TV Guide’ for the apps on your phone.” It can search everything the Chromecast device can stream.

Google said it will soon announce the first branded Google table – the Pixel.

It Ain’t Bragging if It’s Fact
Google also did a bit of bragging, as expected:
– It has sold 20 million Chromecast devices, which are compatible with thousands of apps such as Netflix and HBO Now.
– There are 1.4 billion Android devices in active use, up from one billion a year ago.

Google said it has reached those staggering numbers “by investing in large open ecosystems, which we build with everyone” – very much unlike Apple, which he did not mention.

Google did not address the issue of Apple earning more from the sales of its iPhones than all the makers of Android smartphones combined. Google has become to the smartphone industry what Microsoft is to PCs because it makes far more from the use of Android devices – even though Android is free to equipment makers – than all the companies that make Android-based smartphones.

But give Google its due…

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New This Week in The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 949




Can TiVo Save Traditional Linear TV?

Background to this item: Ever since it added OTT streaming services to its TV/DVR capability, TiVo has made the world’s best Net/set-top box – bar none. Pricey? Yes, but still the best because it fully integrates traditional linear TV with all its wonders and OTT services with only a few exceptions.

Google Directly Challenges Apple TV, iTunes & Apple Music

Background to this item: Apple’s recent launch of a less than push-the-envelope Apple TV has given Google, Roku, Amazon, TiVo and others (including pay TV services) an opportunity to take the lead in NTBs that stream content to TV sets


Comcast Extends Its Tentacles to Asia

FCC’s Concerns about Nascent OTT Industry Prompted It to Frown on Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal

Netflix Lands in Spain, Portugal & Italy



Periscope Is a Threat to Google’s YouTube

Marvell Exits the Cellular Chip Business




The Week That Was in OTT

Verizon’s Go90 Mobile OTT Service Arrives

Comcast Watchable Anything But

RIP, Milk Video! Samsung Cuts Its Cord

Credential Sharing Coming at a Cost




Comtrend Launches First Coax Adapters

Makers of Wi-Fi Products Make Misleading Claims



Roku 4K Set Top on the Horizon, Will Trump Apple TV



Ooyala Releases Q2 2015 Global Video Index

J.D. Power Reports Increased Satisfaction with Wireline Services



Seven New Kids Series from Netflix

UltraFlix Keeps Adding Must See’ 4K Content

Hisense’s Vidaa Smart TVs to Get VoD App

Xiaomi Sets a Precedent for Apple

Virgin Media Goes 200 Mbps

AlcaLu, Polish Government to Bring 30 Mbps to 100%

A DVR for the New Generation of TV Viewers’

Is Free Wi-Fi Coming to all Cableco Subscribers?

Chromecast Audio Poses Threat to Sonos

LG’s V10 Smartphone Will Increase Consumer Demand for Bandwidth

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Quantenna Brings More Speed & Coverage to the Home’s Wi-Fi Network

– ‘True 8×8’ MIMO Coming and It’s Not Two 4x4s Strapped Together
– The 100+ Mbps Broadband Era Is Arriving & Is Calling for Faster, More Robust Wi-Fi

US baseball players use the phrase “bringing speed” when the pitcher throws his very fastest fastball – so fast that to batters it looks like an aspirin tablet. Well, Quantenna is about to “bring more speed” to Wi-Fi devices.

Over the last few weeks, The Online Reporter has been conducting speed tests on powerline networks.

Speeds in two residences has led us to examine whether and why they are needed so we started checking Wi-Fi speeds in the same rooms of the same residences.

The results were woeful.

Millions of homes have the same Wi-Fi problems as will become visible as broadband speeds increase to upwards of 100 Mbps, as more and more Wi-Fi devices are used in the home and as 4K-capable TVs, smartphones and tablets become popular – 4K taking twice as much bandwidth as 1080p HD videos.

Coming to the rescue is Quantenna Communications whose Wi-Fi chips are designed with most powerful Wi-Fi technology possible that allowable under the 11ac standard.

It says its products are “Wi-Fi Perfected.”

Quantenna calls its newest Wi-Fi chips for routers and gateways “True 8×8” MIMO because they are truly 8×8, not two 4×4 radios that are strapped together in one router. Quantenna says they are “fully standard compliant” and that “11ac defines 8×8, not dual radio stacking.” Its True 8×8 technology is “more spectrally efficient, uses less power, avoids expensive filters and can tune to any channel” – unlike competitors’ dual 4×4 radios.


Quantenna 4x4 11ac Retail Flagship ProductsQuantenna: “True 8×8”


Quantenna’s 8×8 Wi-Fi chips are:…

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Amazon Beats Apple, Roku, Google with 4K, HDR-Ready Net-Top Box

-Amazon Ups the Ante for SVoD Competitors
-Apple’s 4 Gen Apple TV Looks Even More Lackluster

As covered in previous reports (such as this from July), 4K is well on its way here.

Between the mass-market priced 4K TV sets, the growing fleet of media devices that support 4K resolution – including the latest iPhones from Apple – and the daily growing libraries of 4K content from OTT services, it’s clear 4K video is the future – and is here now.

Here’s another major consumer electronics maker throwing its weight behind 4K: Amazon has released a new version of its Fire TV net-top box (NTB) that supports streaming 4K video.


Amazon Fire TV 4K

Bandwidth alert! Amazon’s 4K Fire TV hits the market


Amazon has upped the ante in the battle for living room dominance, both in terms of hardware and service.

The new NTB offers a slate of new features that includes support for 4K video, and the new box gives streamers one more reason to choose Amazon over Netflix or Hulu when looking for something to watch.

The 4K Fire TV box is priced at $99 and will ship in October. It’s also releasing a new version of its dongle NTB, called the Fire TV stick, for $49. It won’t support 4K video but it will now have voice navigation via a new remote, which the earlier iteration did not support.

The NTB has a new quad-core processor from MediaTek, which makes it 75% more powerful than the first generation device, and the new box supports HEVC encoding, which reduces the amount of bandwidth needed to stream both 4K and HD video. It also has a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of personal media storage, and the latest Wi-Fi with 2X2 802.11ac MIMO support.

Amazon Fire TV system now supports some 3,000 video and gaming apps.

The new Fire TV also comes with voice navigation via Alexa, Amazon’s answer to Siri. Like Siri, Alexa offers navigation and general information such as weather reports, sports scores and the like.

Amazon has also released a new gaming controller for the NTB that has a 32GB microSD card slot, and it’s offering a gaming bundle for $139 that includes the new controller and a few games.


The Best Feature: 4K Video Streaming

In conjunction no doubt with the release of its new box, Amazon recently released a massive update its library of UHD content, and it also supports 4K streaming via Netflix’s own, daily growing 4K library. Neither Ultraflix, the 4K-only SVoD service, or M-Go, the transactional OTT movie service that offers 4K video, is currently available on Fire TV.

Amazon is also a big supporter of high dynamic range (HDR), the new color technology that is said to drastically improve picture quality, and when coupled with 4K resolution delivers a jaw-dropping image. Film studios, the main proponents of the technology, have just barely begun to release titles with HDR, and Amazon has released some of its original series with HDR, too.

TV sets that support HDR are even rarer. Sony recently announced that its newest line of 4K TV sets will support HDR via a software update, and will in fact be sold with a promotion for Amazon Prime. LG also sells 4K TV sets that are able to support HDR.

Amazon isn’t the first to launch a 4K streaming media player, but its Fire TV will likely be more popular and ultimately more mainstream than Nvidia’s Shield gaming console. Nvidia Shield is first and foremost a gaming console with video streaming apps, while Amazon’s Fire TV is first and foremost a video player with gaming features, and ultimately addresses a much wider segment of consumers.

Of course, viewers will need to have a 4K TV set in order to watch 4K titles via the Fire TV box. Amazon says a broadband connection of 15 Mbps or higher is needed to stream 4K video at full resolution.


Does a 4K TV Set Need a NTB?

Amazon’s release put to shame Apple’s earlier unveiling of its latest net-top box, the Apple TV 4, which has been highly anticipated over the last three years, and which quickly disappointed with its limited feature upgrades and conspicuous lack of 4K support.

The benefits of a 4K net-top box are still a bit murky, and the proposition revives the debate about the role of the “smarts” in smart TV. As all 4K TV sets are smart TV sets, it’s unclear what, beyond interface, a 4K NTB can offer the viewer. This is especially true now, as the number of OTT services offering 4K content are limited to a handful. The two top providers of 4K content right now are Netflix and Amazon – both of which have apps available on most if not all 4K TV sets.

But as more OTT services begin offering titles in 4K resolution, and they will, the need for a better interface to navigate through the apps on the TV set becomes obvious – which is exactly why Apple’s lack of 4K support is so short-sighted. The demand for 4K support across media devices is growing quickly, just as the average price of 4K TV sets has dropped quickly. Apple knows this, and that’s why Apple’s latest iPhones support 4K video recording.

Amazon has asserted itself as the preeminent living room…

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New This Week in The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 948




Quantenna Brings More Speed & Coverage to the Home’s Wi-Fi Network

Background to this item: The speed tests we have been conducting on powerline network speeds in two residences has led us to examine whether and why they are needed so we started checking Wi-Fi speeds in the same rooms of the same residences. The results were woeful…. Coming to the rescue is QuantennaCommunications whose Wi-Fi chips are designed with most powerful Wi-Fi technology possible that allowable under the 11ac standard.


Amazon Beats Apple, Roku, Google with 4K, HDR-Ready Net-Top Box

Background to this item: Here’s another major consumer electronics maker throwing its weight behind 4K


HP’s CE Business Looks to Come up Short

Xiaomi Adds Financial Services & Windows-Based Products



Xiaomi Extends Its Reach into Cellular Service & Chips

T-Mobile USA Rolls On



4K Scoreboard: Amazon 2, Apple 1

Pace of 4K Content & Equipment Quickens

ProSiebenSat.1 Launches First UHD Streaming Channel’



Simple.TV Launches Cloud DVR for Antenna TV

TV Networks Shift Strategy on Netflix

FreeCast Bolsters Title of Virtual MSO’

Netflix Is a Learning Machine’ When It Comes to Programming

VoD Is Future of Video Consumption

Brightcove: OTT Is a Strategic Investment’ for Broadcasters

NBC Expands Stand-alone Streaming Library on Roku

Web Video Views & TV Audiences Are Apples & Oranges

Verizon’s McAdam: A Lot of Us Aren’t Familiar with Millennial Content’

Netflix Looks for Content and Partners ahead of Next Wave of Launches

ITV Revamps Catch-Up Service with ITV Hub

Verizon’s Go90 Adds Live Streaming Concerts to Programming Lineup

Discovery’s Zaslav on the New Viewing Paradigm



Facebook Drives Viewership of MSNBC’s Shift’ Web Channel

Netflix Film Gets Theater Release in UK

Amazon’s Six New Pilots Look Great

Sports Illustrated Goes OTT with Digital Films




Chunghwa Telecom & AlcaLu First to Deploy System-Wide

UK Broadband Services Gang up on BT

Europe-Wide Move to 1 Gbps Not Happening

Frontier Deploying 90 and 115 Mbps in Footprint AT&T Had Neglected



Sigma Designs’ Prime Takes the Gold in an Apartment

The Home Network Is Just as Critical as Broadband



MatrixStream’s New nPVR Can Scale to 2m Users



TV Dominates in Nielsen’s Time-Spent Analysis

Millennials’ App Habits Lead to Success in Mobile

Streaming Video Leads Downstream Traffic in Asia-Pacific and Europe



Foxconn May Buy Sharp’s LCD Business for Apple

Netflix Thinks in Terms of Seasons, Not Episodes

Time Warner’s Bewkes: TV Nets Need more Focus on VoD

NFL Uses Snapchat Live Story to Entice Viewers to NFL Games

Altice Pauses But Doesn’t Halt Its Acquisitions Spree

Web Is the New TV

Apple’s tvOS Will Change Relationship between Phone and TV Set

Video and Broadband Go Together like Peanut Butter and Jelly’

BTIG’s Greenfield Thinks SVoD Metrics Is a Waste of Time for Nielsen


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Actiontec’s MoCA-to-Wi-Fi Adapter Provides up to 1 Gbps Wi-Fi

In the real world there are two types of Wi-Fi extenders – those that use Wi-Fi to connect to a remote extender and those that use cables – powerline, coax or Ethernet – to connect to a remote extender.

Wireline to Wi-Fi is better, faster, more reliable than Wi-Fi-to-Wi-Fi. Coax-to-Wi-Fi approaches Ethernet-to-Wi-Fi in performance.

Actiontec Electronics is launching a retail version of its MoCA-based coax-to-Wi-Fi adapter – $149 for the remote unit – that provides user available Wi-Fi bandwidth up to 1 Gbps Mbps and can support multiple extenders connected to the same router.

The adapter uses Quantenna’s 4×4 11ac Wi-Fi chips that have beam-forming, which many consider the fastest available. MoCA 2.0 enables the Wi-Fi extender to receive data at speeds of up to 1 Gbps.


living room

Wrong Wi-Fi speed for the right room is a perennial home networking problem


Coax is widely acknowledged to be a …

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Pay TV Eyes Web Video as a Millennial Draw

Pay TV providers are beginning to incorporate Web video into their TV products. In doing so, they are hoping to keep viewers from seeking other platforms to find and watch Web video on the TV set.

Gracenote had a surprising reveal at IBC this year: it is now cataloging what it calls “digital-first” video content for integrating into EPGs.

Gracenote is a metadata company that supplies information about programming to pay TV providers to use in EPGs.


Gracenote EPG

Gracenote’s EPG: now with multiple short-form video content


The company said it’s doing this in response to pay TV providers being interested in adding short-form video to content offerings on pay TV STBs.

There’s already a precedent for this in pay TV in Europe, and in the US. In Europe, Liberty Global’s UPC Hungary has placed YouTube on its pay TV STB, and was surprised to learn that its subscribers actually used the app. App session averaged around 45 minutes per day, it has said.

The pay TV industry in the US is on shaky ground, after a shocking second quarter that saw the industry collectively lose over 500,000 subscribers, a potential harbinger of more losses to come. Pay TV providers are looking at ways their products can be more attractive to younger viewers such as Millennials, whose eldest are now forming households – without pay TV subscriptions.

One answer: Web video.

YouTube’s meteoric rise helped it define an entirely new form of video entertainment.

Short-form, Web-delivered video has proven so powerful among the “Internet generations” of Millennials and Generation Z viewers that TV networks are buying Web video networks in order to reach those audiences that have almost completely stopped watching linear TV.

And just as content owners have realized they need to create this type of content now in order to remain relevant to both viewers and advertisers, pay TV providers are learning that they’ll need to start aggregating this type of content in order to keep their business – aggregating entertainment channels and delivering them to subscribers’ TV sets – afloat over the next decade.

In the US, Dish Network has incorporated Vevo apps onto its Hopper DVRs, as well as Netflix apps. Dish Network’s Internet TV service, Sling TV, also offers two channels of Web content as part of its core package: both owned by Disney’s MCN Maker Studios.

And Verizon’s new mobile-centric OTT service Go90 incorporates video from AwesomenessTV and Vice – both Web video networks – with traditional TV fare such as sports and A&E programming.

But the most direct and striking example of this trend is Comcast’s Web video portal, Watchable. Reports indicate the service, which hasn’t officially launched yet but is being tested, will focus on curated playlists of premium short-form video from the Web; Comcast has partnered with Web content publishers such as Vox, BuzzFeed and others for the service, and will share revenue with them.

Gracenote has said its currently cataloging only the premium short-form Web video, meaning content from the top MCNs, those now owned by traditional media firms, and the short-form video being created by the content owners themselves, such as Scripps’ Ulive network, Discovery’s many Web video sites, or the short-form content produced by Comedy Central’s digital division.

Incorporating these digital video networks into pay TV products is a natural evolution for pay TV service providers, who already carry the above programmers’ linear TV channels.

Another important component to both Comcast’s and Verizon’s web video products is that they are or will be made available nationwide, not only made available to their respective pay TV or wireless customers (in the case of Verizon).

On the one hand, that’s likely because these types of ad-supported Web video services need scale – huge scale, like YouTube’s scale – to generate meaningful revenue. But it’s also indicative of how the Internet has changed not only logistics of delivering services across the country or globe, but how it’s changed consumer expectations about services. Why would any Web-video product ever be limited to a service provider’s physical footprint?

“If you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will disrupt you,” said Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam, speaking at …

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