Wide Open West Shows its Moxi with Ultra TV

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 … Read more

Everybody’s in the TV Guide Business

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.

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Oregon Also Receiving New 6 Tuner Moxi DVR

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 … Read more

Moxi Reborn! In Canada.

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.

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Boxee/Moxi Parallels Go Beyond the Rhyme

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 … Read more

CinemaNow VOD Headed to the Moxi HD DVR

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 … Read more

CableCARD Installs Getting Better?

Over the years, I’ve experienced more CableCARD installs than most. As I frequently rotate devices and have lived something of a gypsy lifestyle since unloading our home (along with our projector) and given bi-coastal employment. The vast majority of installs have been problematic. When the Comcast or Cox Communication techs bother to show. I even had to get in touch with my (previous) local franchising authority (Montgomery County, MD) at one point. Which is both good and bad… Fortunately, I know how to get things taken care of. On the other hand, why did getting a timely CableCARD install require filing a report? Plus, in most situations, I still firmly believe a CableCARD install shouldn’t require a truck roll — even if pairing is required. Let me pick up the card at their office and give me a number to call to read off my STB numbers for pairing. Saving the savvy some time (while preserving my PTO).

However, having moved to Cox’s switched digital video (SDV) ecosystem, a truck roll ($30/tv) is probably still required. As their Cisco/SA tuning adapters have been extremely flakey. Last summer, my first tech was a no show and the second installer arrived several hours later to get two TiVo units going. It took him, Cox’s ninja CableCARD tech, over 2 hours of continual tuning adapter and TiVo reboots along with multiple calls back to the office to get everything going properly. (Followed by months of my own regular device reboots to reclaim those switched stations, which randomly vanished and magically reappeared a few days later.) So my expectations were pretty low yesterday, when reactivating a loaner Moxi HD DVR for testing the Moxi Mate DVR extender’s new live TV streaming functionality (which overcomes TiVo’s biggest limitation in our household).

The Cox installer had never seen a Moxi HD DVR before, and had many Moxi versus TiVo questions for me, but showed no fear in getting it running. I appreciated his methodical approach — pairing and verifying the CableCARD before tackling the SDV tuning adapter. Amazingly, he was in and out in 35 minutes. With ZERO Moxi and ZERO tuning adapter reboots. (Plus, he wore booties over his shoes and wouldn’t take a tip.) So, either Moxi is better at CableCARD technology than TiVo or those tuning adapters have received some sort of firmware update. Maybe both. Regardless, this gives me (tru2way) hope and kudos to Cox for a flawless install.

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