CES: Quick Hits

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Verizon Wireless Names CTO For MSO Joint Venture

LAS VEGAS — Shadman Zafar, who previously headed product
development for Verizon Communications, has moved into a new
role as chief technology officer for the carrier’s involvement in the
joint venture with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications
and Bright House Networks.

Last month Verizon Wireless announced a landmark agreement
with Comcast, TWC and Bright House, under which the
MSOs are proposing to sell the carrier 122 AWS licenses for
$3.6 billion. Cox announced a similar deal with Verizon Wireless,
with a proposal to sell its AWS
holdings for $315 million.

Also under the deals, the cable companies
will resell Verizon Wireless products
and services and vice versa, and
they will engage in joint development.
The agreements have not yet been approved
by regulators.

In his new role, Zafar will act as Verizon
Wireless’ liaison to the JV, which is
charged with providing technology development
for new products and capabilities
that span wireless and wireline networks.
The organization will likely be based in Piscataway,
N.J. The number of Verizon Wireless
and MSO personnel who will be dedicated
to the JV has yet to be determined
but Zafar said there is a “sizable investment” from the companies.

“Each of the companies is investing a lot in our core areas,”
Zafar said in an interview. “We see a lot of opportunities at the
seams of our industries to create new use cases.”

SeaChange Fuels Up Hybrid Gateways Software

LAS VEGAS — SeaChange International has unveiled the Nucleus
Hybrid Gateway software, which the vendor is pitching as
an engine for cable operators to power up next-generation
multiscreen, whole-home digital video recorder and Web-based
content services.

The vendor also announced that Humax, a South Korean set-top
box manufacturer, is using Nucleus and SeaChange’s Nitro applications
suite in a new device aimed at U.S. cable operators.

The Tru2way-based Nucleus software connects SeaChange’s
Adrenalin back-office with the Nitro user interface, and enables
DLNA connectivity to consumer-electronics devices such as
PCs, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. The software also let
MSOs build apps for using smartphones as remote controls.

Warpia Unwraps PC-To-TV Wireless Streaming System

LAS VEGAS — Warpia, a unit of technology distribution and logistics
firm Source R&D, is introducing WarpiaTV, a $200 wireless
system for streaming Web video and other content — including
from Netflix, YouTube and Amazon — from personal computers
to big-screen HDTVs that includes a motion-detection controller.

The WarpiaTV system includes a wireless motion controller,
wireless USB receiver and transmitter and HDMI cable.
The product uses TV-optimized browser software and motioncontroller
technology licensed from Hillcrest Labs. According to
Warpia, the product lets users stream any content from their
notebook or PC wirelessly to an HDTV up to 30 feet away in full
1080p HD with stereo audio.

Comcast to Speed Up Tru2way With Myriad

LAS VEGAS — Comcast will add more oomph to its Tru2way set-top
software platform for Xfi nity TV, announcing plans to use Javabased
software from Switzerland’s Myriad Group AG in its nextgeneration
Tru2way, IP and hybrid set-tops and other devices.

Under the deal, Myriad will integrate its CDCA Java Virtual
Machine into the Comcast Device Software Reference Design
Kit. That, according to the companies, will deliver a consistent
operating environment and improved application performance,
as well as speed up the time for manufacturers to deliver.