In This Week’s Edition — October 4, 2013

 

Pay TV Will Go OTT before OTT Goes Pay TV

-Intel Stumbles as Netflix Wins another Pay TV Partner

It’s becoming clear that the prospect of success for new broadband-delivered pay TV operators is dwindling as established pay TV companies move into the OTT market. New entrants face more obstacles in offering a next generation TV service that combines linear and OTT content than pay TV providers do, calling into question Intel’s, Google’s, Sony’s and Apple’s “cable-killing” abilities.

Two pieces of news this week illustrate the future of TV with growing clarity. Intel has said it’s scraping the end-of-the-year deadline it set for its OTT offering, called OnCue. Reports indicate Intel is having a hard time getting content for its service. Meanwhile, another pay TV provider has agreed to carry Netflix on its Internet-connected DVRs. Com Hem, based in Sweden, announced it will begin offering Netflix on its TiVo DVRs. Last month, Liberty Global’s Virgin Media said it would do the same with its own TiVo DVRs.

Intel’s troubles and Netflix’s two wins reveal who will shape TV of the future. It will be the existing pay TV operators because they have established relationships with content owners (and in fact even own some), have large subscriber bases, and also, of course, have their own broadband networks to deliver content over, something that the hope-to-be-broadband-delivered TV services do not… Full story here.

 

Amazon’s New Kindle Fires May Put an End to Surface RT’s Dreams

– Microsoft’s Choices in Its Tablet Product Strategy Are Clear

Their tablet announcements last week make it all about Amazon versus Microsoft in a race for second place in the consumer sector of the US/European tablet market. That’s not to say that Samsung and other makers of Android tablets are throwing in the towel or that they are not intent on knocking Apple out of the top spot.

BusinessWeek is a bit negative about Amazon’s three new Kindle Fire tablets and its chances for success. It says Amazon’s barriers are:
1. They have “never integrated smoothly into customer’s lives.”
2. Google has not been willing to let Amazon run its popular apps such as Gmail, Google Maps and the Chrome browser. Instead it’s had to develop some of its own apps and use Nokia’s mapping app.
3. Major retailers such as Walmart and Target will not sell Kindle Fires because Amazon may steal their customers — they don’t want to let the Amazon fox into their chicken coop.

Still and all, we think that if the Fires perform as advertised, they’re going to be very popular during the holiday shopping season, enough so as to keep the likes of Samsung, Microsoft and other makers of entertainment tablets from increasing their market share. Microsoft’s RT tablets will especially be hit hard by the new Amazon’s Kindle Fires.

And some of those Kindle Fire purchasers are going to take them to the office and ask the IT department to connect them to the company network and computers…Full story here.

 

Dell Shows Microsoft & the World How to Do a Windows Pro Tablet

– $299 for 8-inch & $500 for 10.8-inch Windows 8.1 Tablet

– Intel’s Bay Trail Finally Appears in a Windows Pro Tablet

The two new Dell Venue Pros (8 for the 8-inch display and 11 for the 10.8-inch display) are what we thought Microsoft would do with the Surface Pro 2 — but did not. The difference is that the Venue Pros have the energy-efficient, space saving but powerful Intel Bay Trail versions of the Atom quad-core. Microsoft put Haswell processors in its new Surface Pros.

The Bay Trail processors allow Dell to retail the ultra-thin Venue 8 Pro starting at only $299. The Venue Pro 11, comparably equipped to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2, is $400 less at a starting price of $499.

The big question is why Microsoft did not use the Bay Trail processors in its new Surface 2 Pros. It’s certain that Microsoft knew about it. Was Microsoft leaving room for third-party equipment makers like Dell? Did it think Bay Trail was not powerful enough to run Windows 8.1? Was it saving Bay Trail for use in some future tablets? Did it miscalculate how important pricing is, even to the corporates? Was it in too much of a rush to get Surface Pro 2s to market? Perhaps it was due to neglect by top management, distracted by Microsoft simultaneously making a company-altering acquisition of Nokia’s handset division, the company-wide management reorganization it’s been undergoing or the abrupt and emotional resignation of CEO and long-time Microsoft employee Steve Ballmer?..Subscribe for the full story.

 

‘Cord Nevers’ Aren’t a Problem for Pay TV Yet

-And They All Pay for Broadband

-Content Costs Are the True Threat

While there is still little statistical data to support the idea that consumers are cutting their pay TV cord and opting to watch Netflix instead, pay TV doomsday-ers moved on to another “cable killer” threat last week: the cord never.

A “cord never” is a consumer who has never purchased a pay TV subscription. These consumers aren’t technically cord cutters because they never had a cord to cut, instead, they are typically young adults that haven’t yet signed up for a pay TV service now that they’ve left the nest.

Cord nevers probably grew up with pay TV in the home, but they also probably had Netflix in the home, and at the very least, had YouTube in the home. They’ve developed new viewing patterns and behaviors. When they get off work, or when they have down time, they fire up Netflix or Hulu, not cable, or so the story goes…Subscribe for the full story.

 

Subscribe for more of this week’s The Online Reporter:

A Devices & Services Oriented Microsoft Returns to CES

Security for 4K to Be Toughest Hurdle for OTT Delivery

BBC’s iPlayer Has a Few Lessons for TV Everywhere

Growing Wave of Telcos Offer OTT Services across Europe

About the Author

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The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to www.onlinereporter.com/trial-subscription/

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