CABLE CONGRESS 2009 – BERLIN. The battle for the screen is on, with consumers electronics manufacturers all offering internet connectivity on their TV sets. The cable community is now working on solutions on how to integrate web offerings with their own services.
Martin Kull, CTO at ComHem, told the Future Broadband Cable Technology session that the Swedish operator will roll out hybrid set-tops for its VOD services.
“But we have to look at ways how to combine broadcast services with over the top providers. This is a very complex arena, if we set out to combine everything we will never be finished. So we need to find a pragmatic way forward, before the CE industry does it.”
Balan Nair, SVP and CTO Liberty Global, reminded the audience of what happened to TiVo: “Remember Tivo started as a stand alone product and the public resonated with the product and it was a big success. Now the cable industry has come with their own boxes and Tivo gone into decline.”
Whether we like it or not, the internet is coming to the TV. We now see all kinds of boxes that bring the web to the TV, Vudu, Apple TV, the Rocko box, that all sell for between $200 and $300. We need to come with devices that do that, if not, we will be by-passed. When we do, those products will face the same fate as TiVo.”
Liberty Global has no such device yet, but various operator will roll out a new user interface during the next 18 months, said Nair, “that will bring together linear, VOD, PVR and web properties. We will also relaunch our web properties.”