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Saturday, October 25, 2014

VideoNuze Podcast #247 - Hybrid Set-Top Boxes Poised to Play Critical Role

I'm pleased to present the 247th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

This week we talk about so-called "hybrid set-top boxes" and why we believe they're poised to play a critical role in the video ecosystem, especially for pay-TV operators. A hybrid STB can handle both traditional linear TV feeds and also broadband/IP/apps. Comcast's X1 is a great example, as are TiVo's boxes. Another technology approach which creates the same capability is from ActiveVideo Networks.

Colin and I both like hybrid STBs because they give the operator the ability to blend pay-TV/VOD/DVR with OTT. One prime opportunity of this that I see is for Netflix to be included in Comcast's X1, as I explained earlier this week. Just to give one example of how compelling these integrations can be, Colin cites the example of UPC Hungary, which integrated the YouTube app. Within a few months, 72% of its subscribers have used YouTube, averaging 45 minutes per session.

Colin notes the big win for subscribers here is convenience - it's just easier for people to use one device to access everything. We share additional thoughts on why we think hybrid STBs are beneficial and will become a big trend going forward.

Listen in to learn more!

Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 56 seconds)


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Comcast Throws Cold Water On HBO OTT's Disruptive Potential

Following HBO's announcement of HBO OTT last week, a lot of the media coverage has focused on how disruptive it will be to the pay-TV ecosystem. But on today's Comcast Q3 '14 earnings conference call, company executives threw cold water on these prospects, highlighting the challenges and risks that HBO faces in going direct to consumer.

Responding to analysts' questions, NBCU CEO Steve Burke said:

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