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Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week of January 16

Post-CES news continued to dominate tech media this week with our Connected Home Gateway garnering additional praise from CEPro. Multichannel News added that the theme of CES revolved around video everywhere on multiple screens and devices, an area where we focus many of our efforts. The article also highlights tablet TV and features Comcast’s AnyPlay device, which leverages Motorola Televation technology.

In industry news this week, several popular websites, such as Reddit.com and Wikipedia, shut down their pages in protest of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). GigaOM’s Ryan Lawler argues that studios are partially responsible for making pirated streams and downloads too easy for consumers to access, adding that consumers are willing to pay for content. In other news, Reuters’ John Abell wrote an opinion piece detailing the evolution of television towards widespread adoption of TV Everywhere, which is quickly expanding and becoming a standard in the cable industry, although the controversy over content will continue. In fact, Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN is currently negotiating with MLB Advanced Media to adopt TV Everywhere as multi-platform viewing continues to gain popularity. How would you feel about watching sports games on your tablet?

1. CES 2012: The Good, The Bad, The Dubious (Jan. 15) By Julie Jacobson, CEPro: Avi Rosenthal muses about Motorola 4Home, strange cloud thermostats, faux tubes on Samsung’s “tube amp” and more from CES 2012.

2. CES: Drive to ‘Video Everywhere’ Shifts Into High Gear (Jan. 16) By Todd Spangler, Multichannel News: For the TV industry, the focus of many CES demos and announcements last week revolved around getting access to video content on multiple screens and devices.

3. How Hollywood drives people to piracy (Jan. 19) By Ryan Lawler, GigaOM: Media companies have been pushing SOPA and PIPA as a way to limit piracy, but it’s the studios’ fault.

4. TV 2012: A tale of two sets (Jan. 18) By John Abell, Reuters: There’s a whole lot going on in the world of television, the medium that has dominated the world’s attention for three generations and was supposed to — at the very least — become an also-ran to the Internet.

5. ESPN and MLB are on a TV Everywhere collision course (Jan. 16) By John Ourand, Sports Business Daily: MLB Advanced Media will be pressured to adopt TV Everywhere principles this year when MLB negotiates its next media-rights deal.

Delivering the Most Advanced Digital Cable TV Network in Malaysia

Motorola Mobility will provide Malaysia’s Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN) the equipment and services to launch the country’s most advanced digital cable TV network in the second quarter of 2012.

Within the next five years, the new network will give six-million households access to more than 200 channels of news, education, entertainment, movies, sports and local programming. Motorola Mobility’s technology will enable ABN to also support future services such as video-on-demand, social TV and interactive gaming, alongside high-speed Internet and voice services, establishing ABN as a true triple-play provider. For more information, read the full press release.

From CPU to Silicon – Video Transcoding Reaches a Tipping Point

Author: David Hopkins, Director of Product Marketing – Video Processing

In some ways, video transcoding for mobile delivery has grown a lot simpler of late. Thanks to lightweight video wrappers, we don’t need to create as many primary mobile streams as we once did. We can consolidate the heavy lifting part of the transcoding process, and leave the video wrapping to simple servers distributed around the edge of the delivery network. However, this shift in technology means we also need to re-evaluate our video transcoding tools. Instead of a CPU-based system, silicon increasingly makes more sense for the initial video transcoding process. Silicon is less flexible, but more robust than CPU-based transcoding. It’s also more cost-efficient.

To take a step back, video transcoding for mobile delivery has been tricky from the outset. Varying bandwidth limitations, screen resolutions, streaming protocols, and DRM requirements have made it difficult to reach a broad mobile audience with a quality video experience. A content provider might need one or two high-resolution streams, and 20 additional low-res versions just to deliver a single piece of source content to Smartphone and tablet audiences.

However, we are now at a tipping point. Because of new video wrappers, also called containers, we have begun to separate primary transcoding from the lighter-weight process of creating envelopes that make streams readable on different mobile devices. In other words, our one-step transcoding system is evolving into a two-step process. Instead of needing to transcode source video into dozens of different streams, we can now transcode it into only a handful of primary streams, which are then handled by wrappers at the network edge.

Here’s why the change is important. First, silicon can handle higher bit rates than a CPU-based system. As screen resolutions on mobile devices continue to improve, the ability to deliver HD streams grows more important. A CPU-based transcoder won’t be able to keep up. Second, silicon is becoming more cost efficient. As fewer primary streams are needed, silicon-based video transcoding can deliver a lower cost per stream than its CPU counterparts.

As operators look to compete with ­mobile video, they’re also looking for ways to make mobile delivery less expensive. Silicon promises to make video transcoding more efficient, and, in the process, it has the potential to make the mobile business model as a whole a lot easier to sustain.

Visit Motorola Video Infrastructure Solutions

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week of Jan. 9

Photo by Engadget

The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show is wrapping up! This week, hundreds of companies showcased new products and technologies in Las Vegas, including Motorola Mobility. Here’s a quick look at some of our highlights from the 2012 show.

Engadget covered our Connected Home Gateway and featured it in a video demo.  Phandroid and The New York Post raved about Motorola Televation, which allows users to view TV on their Wi-Fi capable companion devices creating a “TV in every room” experience, even getting billing above Justin Bieber in the Post article!

Several of our executives participated in thought-provoking panel discussions at the show. International Business Times quoted David Grubb, Vice President of Architecture & Strategy for Motorola’s Converged Experiences business, on the importance of standards for next-gen TVs. Leon Hounshell, Division General Manager for Motorola Mobility’s 4Home Connected Solutions, discussed how broadband has infiltrated the home energy market at the CES Connections Summit; see some of his insightful comments on the Verizon at Home blog and in our Twitter feed.  While you’re there, follow us so you can stay abreast of all our exciting news in 2012. CES is just the start!  

1. Motorola Connected Home Gateway tour (video) (Jan. 11) By Brian Heater, Engadget: When we first told you about Motorola’s Connected Home Gateway, it was little more than a picture of a cool looking router. Thankfully, however, the company has been giving tours of the technology on the floor of CES, showing off the way it brings together such things as climate control, home security and automation.

2. Motorola Televation Streams Live TV from Your Cable Provider to Your Android Device (Jan. 11) By Kevin Krause, Phandroid: Motorola was showing off much more than smartphones and tablets at their CES booth. Their theme was “do more,” and one way in which they want to help consumers achieve this goal is through their new Televation product.

3. Motorola Televation the next revelation (Jan. 12) By Garrett Sloane, New York Post: Motorola Mobility is laying the groundwork for a Google invasion of the living room. Beyond smartphones, the $12.5 billion pending Motorola acquisition will hand Google control of one of the top makers of cable set-top box technology.

4. CES 2012: Industry Pros Demand Standards for Next-Generation Internet TVs (Jan. 11) By David Zielenziger, International Business Times: A group of top technology professionals involved with Internet TV, including VPs of Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Western Digital, warned Wednesday that consumer acceptance will falter unless industry standards are adopted. With virtually half all new TVs equipped for Internet transmission, the lack of standards presents technical problems that need to be solved quickly, they said at a panel on the Future of TV at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

5. Consumers Are Driving Smarter Energy (Jan. 11) By Alberto Canal, Verizon at Home blog: In addition to the myriad big, loud booths, wildly dressed presenters, and the sheer volume of humanity weaving through it all, the Consumer Electronics Show also hosts a variety of tech-centric panel discussions… One of the panels I attended discussed “Consumer Demand for Energy as a Service.” Broadband has opened the home energy market beyond traditional utility companies and energy service providers, the discussion highlighted. Panelists discussed barriers to effective use and deployment of smart meters, raising consumer awareness around energy, all while keeping it simple and easy.

See more of Leon’s comments on the Motorola Mobility Home account Twitter feed, @MotoMedia2Go.

Motorola Mobility Booth Photos @ CES 2012

Motorola Mobility is showcasing its lastest innovations in home and mobile devices at CES this week. Check out some photos from our booth below or, if you are at the show, stop by and see us in booth #8644.

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Motorola Televation for Comcast AnyPlay

If you have to fight to watch your favorite program on the family television, we Motorolans feel your pain. And we have a solution: Motorola Televation.  

Globally, 69% of us are already watching TV on devices other than the television and (according to Kantar Worldpanel Comtech) more than 30 million Americans own a tablet. 

Our new Televation product lets you stream your full channel line-up to your tablet, live, over your home network so that you can watch it anywhere in your house. And, unlike other streaming devices, with Televation you don’t have to compete with the guys in the living room for what channel to play on your tablet. You’re not just watching what they’re watching on another screen; you are in control of your regular channels, whenever you want.

No wonder Televation was conferred Light Reading’s Leading Light Award and Communications Technology’s Platinum Award.

Comcast is beginning to roll out a new service based on Televation, called AnyPlay, in Denver and Nashville.

Find out more about the new Comcast AnyPlay service in the Comcast Voices blog post, “AnyPlay Brings Live TV to the Tablet.”  For more info on Televation, visit here.

2012 CES Predictions: Evolution of the TV Experience

TV is evolving. It’s becoming more mobile, more connected and more readily available than ever before. This convergence is changing how we get our TV fix and what that consists of. Few of us are content to simply watch TV on a TV anymore.

We’re tweeting, commenting, seeking and making recommendations, discovering new content, and more. Our behavior is creating a whole new ball game in content delivery and entertainment, and Motorola is at the forefront of the technology that’s making it possible. For example, new products like Televation and DreamGallery are giving us rich, multi-screen experiences that are easy to navigate and simple to use.  

We recently conducted a Media Engagement Barometer—fancy words for a study on how people are using media—which provided some good insight on how and why TV is evolving:

  • The 2011 research discovered a nearly five-fold increase from 2010 in U.S. TV viewing taking place on smartphones—23 percent are currently watching mobile TV on their smartphones up from only 5 percent just a year ago. And, it’s highly addictive, with those participating in mobile TV viewing doing it 3+ times a week.
  • Americans are still watching a lot of TV – spending 21 hours per week in front of the set—2 hours more than last year – and 6 hours more than the global average of 15 hours per week.
  • More than half (61 percent) of global respondents say they have already discussed a TV program with friends via a social network, and the trend is only expected to continue.

In summary, we’re watching more TV. We’re spending a lot of that viewing time on mobile devices. And our TV time is beginning to overlap and interplay with social networking.

CES is sure to showcase new innovations that address those trends.  We’ll be there with Motorola Televation and DreamGallery, among others. These are just a couple of the latest innovations you’ll see from Motorola. What do you expect to see at CES 2012? Stay tuned for an action-packed show!