Cool stuff for old STBs. CloudTV is a service for TV apps that works like a cloud gaming service. Add just one app and get many TV apps from the cloud.
Right now, a grandma in Hungary is watching Gangnam style for the very first time. Her introduction to Psy has been made possible by a partnership between YouTube (S GOOG) and the local cable TV provider UPC Hungary, which added a YouTube app to its cable boxes a few weeks ago.
YouTube isn’t the only online video service flirting with cable these days. Netflix (S NFLX) has struck agreements with a number of cable companies to add its service to their devices. However, these agreements have so far been limited in scope due to hardware constraints. UPC Hungary on the other hand is bringing YouTube to every single customer, thanks to clever use of the cloud that could soon bring online video services to many millions of additional eyeballs.
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At the center of UPC Hungary’s YouTube roll-out is a technology called CloudTV…
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News from the Cloud Gaming Front
In a classic “cut-out-the-middle-man” move, Disney launched their own cloud streaming service on Tuesday.
Disney Movies Anywhere will make Disney movies available on iOS devices. It allows users to manage their online purchases but also to store Blu-Rays or DVDs in the cloud. Disney Movies Anywhere will only offer movies released by Walt Disney Studios, including those from Marvel Studios and Pixar Animation Studios.
Disney is the only publisher that doesn’t support Ultraviolet, a similar offering, which the rest of the industry launched in 2012, that has gathered 15 Mn accounts so far.
DVR maker TiVo has purchased one of the leading content discovery technology providers, Digitalsmiths, for $135M.
The move to buy the cloud-based reco company goes to show how highly personalized discovery and recommendation is being valued as a differentiation factor for content providers.
The EPG and reco service can be implemented across multiple devices and has seen considerable growth.
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Amazon keeps on shooting down rumors related to an Amazon Set Top Box, which would take on game consoles like PS4/Xbox One and streaming boxes like Apple TV or Roku. It will allow cloud gaming and download, video and music streaming and download.
We are looking at a development where game consoles and streaming boxes become one box with the likes of Sony and Microsoft looking into streaming live TV through PS4/Xbox One, to go along with all the VoD services available on the latest generations of consoles.
Facing walled gardens on other gaming systems, it would make sense from a business perspective for Amazon to create a new vehicle besides the Kindle to sell their products and services, like Amazon Instant Video. Rumors suggest a price of around 300$ for the box.
Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony unveiled its plans to go virtual. Both a cloud-based video service, which will combine live TV, VoD and DVR as well as a cloud-based gaming service, called Playstation Now will launch in 2014.
The cloud-gaming service will feature access to games known from PS2 and PS3, across all devices, like TVs, tablets and smart phones, without having to buy a console.
The cloud video service will reach households via PS3 or PS4 as well as tablets and smartphones to ensure the “wherever, whenever, whatever”-promise of OTT video services.
Sony’s chief of Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, had this to say: “In a technology era that is defined by simplicity and improving people’s lives by making things more intuitive, personal and social, elegantly combining live TV, video on demand, and DVR content remains the last frontier.”