QUICK HITS: TECH BRIEFS6/20/2011 12:01 AM Eastern
Nielsen: Two Thirds of All TV Homes Now Have an HD Set
NEW YORK — The new Cross Platform Report from Nielsen has found that
HDTVs are now available in 75.5 million homes, about two-thirds of all homes,
a 20% bounce over last year. Additionally, video viewing has increased across
The report found that traditional TV viewing saw a 22-minute monthly
increase between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of this year,
with online video seeing a 70-minute bounce, mobile video growing by 43
minutes and time-shifted viewing increasing by 70 minutes.
But the report also noted that those people who spend the most time
watching online video have the lowest consumption of traditional media. The
heaviest online video users, who averaged 18.8 minutes of viewing streaming
online video per day, also spent the least amount of time with traditional TV,
about 272 minutes.
Likewise, the most infrequent users of online video, a group that averaged
only 0.1 minute of online video viewing, were also the heaviest traditional TV
viewers, with 290 minutes per day.
The study showed a very slight increase in the number of homes that receive
TV signals only over the air to 11.19 million (up 17,000 homes) and a
decline in cable subscribers to 62.65 million from 64.95 million in the first
quarter of 2010.
Overall, however, multichannel homes increased to 104.6 million in the first
quarter from nearly 103.9 million in the first quarter of 2010, thanks to growth
in satellite and telco homes, indicating that reports of the dangers of cord cutting
Traditional TV viewing continues to account for, by far, the largest amount of
video consumption, at 158 hours and 47 minutes, versus only four hours and
33 minutes for watching video on the Internet.
The heaviest users of online video were those 18 to 24, with seven hours
and 41 minutes a day, followed by those 25 to 34, who spent six hours and
Men were more likely than women to view online video regardless of age group.
— George Winslow
Comcast to Stage Network DVR Trial
CHICAGO — Comcast plans to initiate a small test of a remote-storage digitalvideo-
recorder service akin to the RS-DVR that Cablevision Systems developed
and launched after years of litigation with content-rights owners.
“Ultimately, it’s just an elegant way to deliver this service,” Comcast chief
technology officer Tony Werner said, speaking on a panel of cable-technology
executives here. “It makes it easier to do whole-home [DVR] implementations,
because you don’t have to do MoCA [Multimedia over Coax Alliance].”
Werner said the field trial will involve perhaps
a few dozen homes. Comcast has not
said where it plans to run the trial, nor has it
identified the vendors it will work with.
Cablevision launched RS-DVR, under the
service name DVR Plus, to Bronx subscribers
on Jan. 18 and also expanded it to its Connecticut
In 2006, Cablevision had built a prototype
of the RS-DVR, only to be sued by a coalition
of TV programmers, movie studios and other
content owners alleging the service violated
copyright laws. The MSO prevailed in 2009
after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to
consider an appeal of a lower court ruling
that Cablevision was within its rights with the
— Todd Spangler
Motorola Hooks Up With Honeywell for Home Security
NAPERVILLE, ILL. — Motorola Mobility struck a deal with Honeywell Security
Group to develop a home-security solution for cable and telecom service providers,
rounding out the vendor’s 4Home home-automation system.
The partnership is aimed at delivering a competitive solution to the home
automation and security system from iControl, whose customers include Comcast,
Time Warner Cable and ADT Security Services.
Verizon is deploying a home-automation service with the software from
4Home, which Motorola acquired in December 2010.
The system allows customers to monitor their house while at home or away,
via the TV, computer, smart phone or tablet. Features include security-system
control, energy management, alerts and notifi cations, live video surveillance
and 24-hour central-station monitoring. The joint solution will provide a security
system that combines Honeywell’s alarm panel hardware with device management
Motorola recently integrated its 4Home software platform with its Edge device
— Todd Spangler
Motorola Develops Slingbox-Like Device With Comcast
PHILADELPHIA — Motorola Mobility worked with Comcast to develop a broadband
device that connects to a Wi-Fi router to let subscribers watch live TV on
connected IP devices anywhere around the home.
The Televation device, which had
been code-named “Streamer,” uses a
1-GHz digital tuner and CableCard to
access broadcast TV channels directly
from a coax outlet. The device then
uses a high-performance transcoder
to convert the programming in real
time from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, as well
as changing resolution and bit rate to
match the capabilities of the consumer’s
Motorola collaborated with engineers
at Comcast Innovation Labs to develop
the device. Unlike EchoStar Technologies’
Slingbox, the Televation device is
designed for only in-home use.
“As the digital home continues to
evolve, Televation is one of many tools
that MSOs can use to give consumers
a more portable TV experience in the home so they can watch anytime and
anywhere,” Comcast chief technology officer Tony Werner said in a statement.
Comcast did not announce plans about offering Televation to customers.
Motorola said the device is in the final stages of quality-assurance testing,
with initial customer deployments expected in the third quarter of 2011.
The Motorola-built device has an Ethernet jack to plug directly into the home Wi-Fi
router so the TV show can be wirelessly streamed over IP to any device connected
to the home network. To keep the programming secure while it is being streamed,
and to preserve the digital rights associated with the program, Televation uses Motorola’s
SecureMedia IPRM-HN technology, which has been approved by both Cable-
Labs and the DTLA (Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator).
— Todd Spangler