Windstream unveiled plans to launch “Kinetic,” a next-gen TV service that will be powered by Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform and will initially be offered to more than 50,000 homes in Lincoln, Neb., in the first half of 2015.
Windstream, which already offers a video service bundle through a partnership with Dish Network, will first bring Kinetic to a market served by incumbent cable operator Time Warner Cable, which is in the process of being acquired by Comcast.
Windstream said it plans to roll out Kinetic to other Windstream communities “in the latter part of 2015 and beyond,” noting that it will bundle video service with its high-speed Internet and phone services.
Windstream plans to continue its bundling partnership with Dish in all of its markets. “Within the Kinetic coverage area in Lincoln, customers will have a choice of both television service offerings from Windstream,” a Windstream official said via email.
Windstream hasn’t announced pricing for the coming Kinetic video service, but the company said it will feature wireless set-top boxes, a whole-home DVR (to be offered for no extra cost), multiscreen viewing (TVs, tablets, and smartphones), video-on-demand, and a “MultiView” mosaic feature that will let viewers watch up to six channels on the TV at the same time.
“Our customers value advanced entertainment options and depend on us to develop next-generation technology that delivers an enhanced experience," said David Redmond, president of consumer services at Windstream, in a statement. “We’re extremely excited to roll out Kinetic in 2015 and beyond because we believe Kinetic represents more than just a great entertainment experience; it represents a stronger connection between Windstream and the communities we serve.”
The new service marks a nice win for Ericsson, which recently announced (subscription required) multiscreen capabilities and other upgrades to its Mediaroom platform (the image above is a sample of the new version of Mediaroom), which Ericsson acquired from Microsoft last year, as well as MediaFirst, a new cloud-based, “software-defined” product for traditional pay-TV providers and new over-the-top players.
“We’re putting the gas back down on the Mediaroom platform,” Ben Huang, head of global marketing for Ericsson’s Mediaroom Business Group, said in a recent interview with Multichannel News.
When Ericsson closed its acquisition of the Mediaroom assets from Microsoft about a year ago, its video platforms were supporting about 13 million homes and 24 million set-tops. That has since grown to more than 17.5 million homes and 33 million set-tops, thanks to 76 commercial deployments across 30 countries, according to Huang.
One casualty in Ericsson’s process to shore up Mediaroom was Swisscom, which is moving away from Mediaroom in favor of a “TV 2.0” multiscreen product that will be based on the Android platform.