Archives For Moxi

Wide Open West Ultra TV service with Arris gateway

Cable provider Wide Open West (WOW) is beating Comcast to the IPTV punch with a new service called Ultra TV. Not that WOW is delivering TV over IP exactly, but it is deploying the Arris six-tuner IP gateway to combine standard TV delivery with lots of IP entertainment goodness.

WOW joins BendBroadband and Canada’s Shaw Cable in picking up the Arris Moxi gateway. Leasing the gateway will cost you $25 a month, but it comes with two media players for two TVs, and it takes the place of your cable modem and router. You get whole-home DVR service, and the ability to shift content from your PCs and mobile devices to your living-room flat screen. (Hello HBO Go) WOW also includes a Flickr app, news ticker and some basic games.

Thanks to an Arris SDK, WOW could add more custom apps to the Ultra TV service at a later date. Essentially, subscribers are getting a combined cable set-top and Roku box (or any other media extender you could name). If WOW wants to, it could even add Netflix, though there’s little incentive given the MSO’s competing VOD library.

Rounding out the tech specs, the Arris gateway for Ultra TV offers 500GB of storage space, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and DLNA support, in addition to its six TV tuners. The Ultra TV service includes remote DVR scheduling, and VP Steve Stanfill notes on the company blog that, while self-service install isn’t available today, it may be offered in the future.

moxi-eol

We’ve followed the retail Moxi DVR story arc for years… and, thanks to ARRIS, we finally know when it inevitably concludes:

The Moxi HD DVR and Moxi Mate® are no longer available for purchase. Program guide data and technical support for the Moxi HD DVR will be available until December 31, 2013. Continue Reading…

Everyone wants in on the EPG business. That’s one of the conclusions I took away from the SCTE Cable Tec-Expo event earlier this month. Even as CE manufacturers are pumping up the volume on connected devices with their own video interfaces, vendors in the cable TV world are pushing a range of solutions that tie the electronic program guide into larger content management systems for pay-TV operators. I talked about Rovi’s TotalGuide EPG a couple weeks back, and there’s Arris’ Moxi guide, but those two are far from the only players in this game. Here’s a sample of three other companies touting their own guide solutions.

Clearleap

Clearleap is perhaps better known in the world of Internet delivery than it is in the cable industry, but the company is rapidly carving out a niche among MSOs. Speaking with CTO John Carlucci at the SCTE event, I learned that Clearleap has a hosted, white-label guide on the market, and that it offers media services to help operators manage, encode and deliver video to connected devices. Clearleap’s solutions are strictly IP-based, but they’re already being used by Verizon for its VOD platform, and Carlucci says the company’s in trials with “four of the top five” operators for its media services. As for the guide specifically, Clearleap’s solution could be a compelling one for tier-2 and tier-3 operators. The service runs on a pay-as-you-go model, and Clearleap is rapidly adding advanced features. The company recently integrated with Great Lakes Data Systems (GLDS) to add options for a-la-carte transactions that are tied back to a subscriber’s monthly cable bill. (Think additional IP content purchases on top of the monthly subscription) Carlucci says social features are on the way. Orbitel, a small cableco out of Arizona, launched the Clearleap/GLDS solution in October to create a branded VOD experience on subscriber Roku boxes.

Motorola

Motorola showed up with a reference EPG back at the Cable Show in 2010, but that’s as far as the company had ventured into the guide world until this fall. Continue Reading…

It turns out Shaw Cable (Canada) won’t be the only provider rolling out a 6 tuner Arris Moxi DVR and extenders… As BendBroadband, a smaller cable operator, also intends the leverage Arris’ hub and spoke DVR model in Oregon. Whereas Shaw is going with “Gateway” and “Portal” units, Bend has christened their implementation as the “Alpha Media Gateway” and corresponding “Media Players.”

The announcement was actually made back in February, but most of us (other than Multichannel) missed it. Deployment was expected late April, but BendBroadband’s web site currently indicates both a mid-May or mid-June launch. My money’s on June and pricing runs $17/month for the Gateway, with each extender running $6/mo and an additional $4/mo household DVR fee. Not too shabby.

But still no word that Moxi will return to retail here in the US with this beefy CableCARD-equipped whole-home DVR solution.

(Thanks, Nate!)

Moxi Reborn! In Canada.

Dave Zatz —  May 11, 2011

shaw-gateway

It’s good to see that Arris, a cable and broadband company, hasn’t given up on their (dirt cheap) Moxi acquisition. Thanks to Shaw Cable, our Canadian neighbors to the north can pick up the next generation Moxi HD DVR and Moxi Mate as the Shaw Gateway and Portal. Featuring a very healthy, and perhaps industry leading, HD 6 tuners! (Making its 500GB hard drive seem somewhat undersized.)

Marcus turned us on to the news and wonders:

So I called Moxi and spoke with a nice dude named David and got the same response when I speak with Tivo about upcoming products, “I dunno”. And why Canada? And do you think this will ever hit retail in the states?

Despite Moxi’s Emmy Award winning interface and functionality that was, at one point, ahead of its time, the various champions/owners never managed to get traction here in the US as a set-top provider for the likes of Charter or in retail. In fact, under Arris, the Moxi branding appears to have been abandoned. At least in terms of Shaw’s whole-home PVR solution. But, given that the new Gateway product has been engineered with support for CableCARD technology, I’d say the intention is… or was… to market this product here in the US. Continue Reading…

Boxee announced today that its Netflix app has been delayed because of Netflix security requirements, and I joked on Twitter that maybe the company’s misfortunes are the fault of the “oxi” sound in its name. After all, Moxi didn’t do too well with its retail efforts either.

However, in thinking about it further, I realized there are other parallels worth drawing between Boxee and Moxi. Both companies introduced revolutionary products that got a lot of people jazzed about a new paradigm for watching TV. Both ran into challenges around content security – Boxee with content distributors/producers, including Netflix, and Moxi with CableCARD. (CableCARD installation issues hamper retail DVR success, and Moxi initially also had no VOD offering because of CableCARD limitations.) Both companies got their products to market after multiple delays, but missed the window when their products were truly innovation leaders.

Perhaps Boxee can succeed where Moxi has failed. But as the GigaOM folks point out, it’s always a challenge to meet the demands of a conservative content industry while still appealing to early-adopter consumers. Netflix has managed it so far, but only by getting the timing just right. Boxee has to do the same.

I’ve been obsessively following the Moxi HD DVR AVS thread these last few weeks while awaiting my loaner Moxi Mate. (It’s here, I’m pleased.) And it’s amazing the things one finds in the forums. A ding against Moxi, compared to a cableco DVR or TiVo, has been a lack of video-on-demand (VOD) offerings. Now it looks as if that need is about to be addressed. Somewhat. By CinemaNow.

Although Roxio’s CinemaNow on Moxi web page has been pulled. But I’ve been blogging long enough to take a snapshot prior to reaching out to the press relations folks. As I did yesterday. Because things companies aren’t ready to discuss have a tendency to disappear and emails go answered. All reinforced yesterday. And if my chopped up screengrab (above and below) isn’t sufficient evidence of what’s coming, Google’s cache still contains the hard evidence.

While I’m quite happy to see Moxi round out their offering with VOD (in the near future?), the reason I say ‘somewhat’ above is due to this little fact from the FAQ:

  • Are High Definition (HD) programs available from CinemaNow?
  • No. High Definition movies are not supported at this time.

Haven’t we already been down this path with Amazon and TiVo? It’s 2010 folks, anything other than HD is a disappointment. But, perhaps, this is why Roxio and Moxi(o) aren’t ready to make an announcement. And HD is on the way. I’m crossing my fingers.

Click to enlarge: