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BT Vision throws Microsoft Mediaroom under a bus for Linux

UK hybrid TV service BT Vision plans to be the first customer to discard Microsoft's Mediaroom software, almost imminently, after at least a year-long effort to put in completely new software building blocks to rejuvenate the service. BT controversially refused to launch a fully-fledged IPTV service when it finally got Vision …
Faultline, 03 Feb 2012
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Undervalued TiVo wins yet another legal battle

There is likely to (eventually) be a flurry of investment activity in TiVo over the coming weeks, as investors shake the tinsel and party poppers from their eyes and the depression on the markets that 2011 brought, and realize what an undervalued stock it has become. The shares spiked on January 3 as it announced that it had …
Faultline, 08 Jan 2012
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Apple to conquer connected TVs? Steady on, lad

A very inward-looking report by Strategy Analytics, published last month, seems to ignore the entire Over the Top video market - and makes Apple an out-and-out winner with its $99 Apple TV device by taking 32 per cent of the Connected Home Device market in 2011. Let's just look at that. So Apple will win 32 per cent of the …
Faultline, 03 Jan 2012
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Yahoo! and! Sony! tuck! into! interactive! multimedia! ads!

This week could go down as the dawn of the interactive multimedia advert era, as both Yahoo and Sony make very different plays in the field. Yahoo launched an advertising platform called "Living Ads" aimed at tablets, which combines print, online and TV type advertising on a single page, kicking off with a campaign for launch …
Faultline, 27 Nov 2011
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TiVo subscriptions go up – for the first time in 4 years

TiVo in the US has definitively turned the corner, increasing the number of Tivo subscribers in the quarter for the first time in four years, turning a 33,000 deficit last quarter into a 117,000 gain this quarter. This long awaited milestone was greeted in the current US investment market with a yawn, and no significant rise in …
Faultline, 26 Nov 2011
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Hey everybody! Microsoft's discovered social networking

Warren Buffett, the world's most famous investor, may have diluted his usual hostility to hi-tech stocks by betting more than $10 billion in IBM, but he remains averse to social networking companies (as well as to Apple) because he thinks it is "extremely difficult" to determine their value and understand their future plan. Few …
Faultline, 20 Nov 2011

Massive Chinese set-top box orders favour locals

The magnitude of China Telecom‘s set top plans – with 3.6 million set tops being ordered in a variety of programs – shows how Chinese companies are likely to dominate the set top industry in the coming years and months. The tender for this round of 2012 devices is just complete and will only take the giant operator through to …
Faultline, 13 Nov 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Google TV 2.0 is all bling and no kerching

It is easy to be rude about Google TV, but at the back of the mind is the feeling that one day, after successful tinkering, Google may get it right. Yet after initial hype and excitement around the launch, Google has struggled to recover from the dead weight of unfulfilled expectations that followed, and it will take something …
Faultline, 05 Nov 2011

Cheaper competition? Right, we're outta here

Last month chip maker Broadcom, with hardly a whimper, began disengaging from the smart TV and Blu-Ray player markets, despite having some high profile CE customers such as LG in this sector. Then around three weeks later in mid-October, Intel, with tail between its legs, also announced its withdrawal from the smart TV market …
Faultline, 30 Oct 2011

How to pipe live telly into your pocket with 4G

Mobile TV has had as many false starts as an Olympic 100m sprint final, but Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology could change all that. LTE is one of two contenders for 4G mobile networks, the other being Wimax, although some wags call WiFi a third. It is true though that the proliferation of hot spots both public and private …
Faultline, 30 Oct 2011
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RIM's BBX has all the logic PlayBook should have had

RIM is a frustrating company right now. The massive outages that affected BlackBerry email users on three continents last week may have been a miracle of bad timing, just after the iPhone launch, but they were only the most publicised of a string of more avoidable mistakes which are leaving users and developers at the end of …
Faultline, 21 Oct 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Microsoft whips Apple with global Xbox TV deals

If the Xbox Live network was a cable operator it would be the largest such operator in the world, with 35 million customers, which is why Microsoft is turning the Xbox into an over-the-top TV delivery device – something it has dreamed of ever since it first made the Xbox one of its IPTV Mediaroom set-tops. Redmond announced the …
Faultline, 13 Oct 2011
Cat 5 cable

Steelie Neelie stares down telcos over fibre sharing

Telco operators have a wonderful habit of neither listening nor being rational when local loop unbundling is ever mentioned. The reactions, spread across the European press, to the two consultations announced by Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda, mostly accuse her of being mad and her ideas …
Faultline, 06 Oct 2011
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Fibre up, broadband up, IPTV up in Europe

Numbers announced at the Broadband World Forum point to a continued rise in fibre deployments, with the dual conclusions that Lithuania and Norway are the most fibred up countries and that both Hungary and the Ukraine are joining the world's leading 'fibre to the home' (FTTH) economies, with a sudden burst of pace. The report …
Faultline, 03 Oct 2011
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Google Wallet and PayPal in electro-purse war

Google went live with its hotly anticipated Wallet application on Tuesday, though it will hardly hit the mass market yet – it runs only in the US, on the Sprint network, and on its own handset, the Nexus S. And eBay‘s PayPal – the firm which sued Google when it first unveiled Wallet in June – may be the more important player to …
Faultline, 24 Sep 2011
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Samsung-Apple patent lawsuit tally hits 21, and counting

The legal activity around Android continues to mount, with the chief antagonists - Samsung and Apple - increasing their lawsuit tally to 21. And another may follow soon, as Samsung threatens to sue to block sales of the iPhone 5 as soon as it launches, at least in its home country of Korea. Let's face it, this is relevant to all …
Faultline, 23 Sep 2011
server room

Intel gets into Comcast product catalog

While Motorola’s announcements at the Cable Show in Chicago last week shows that it has come alive and is hellbent on keeping its major cable customers, in Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the emergence of an Intel chip in an announced set top box at Comcast must set Broadcom firmly back on its heels and send the shivers up …
Faultline, 20 Jun 2011
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BT to embrace IPTV as it upgrades broadband network to multicast

British Telecom will change the bulk of its broadband network to use multicast routers as from next year – this will mean that full IPTV services, using quality of service protocols, could then be launched for the first time on the BT network. BT has always said that it didn't see the point of building out its network with …
Faultline, 30 May 2011
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Amazon confirms the terms of its declaration of war on Netflix

Amazon has finally confirmed what was Hollywood‘s worst kept secret: that its Amazon Prime customers will be able to get some online video for free, just like the DVD rental customers of Netflix can get online video for free. To us this looks like an early experiment, and Amazon is thought to have about two million Prime members …
Faultline, 27 Feb 2011
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UK set top maker set to gain from Latin America pay TV surge

Last year in Latin America pay TV growth overtook virtual the entire world, with the revenues from Pay TV in Latin America growing at about $1 billion a month, while the region added some 6.7 million new homes. And funnily enough it is a UK set top vendor, Pace, the number one in the world, which is best positioned to make hay …
Faultline, 20 Feb 2011

Should Apple enter the flat TV market?

In February 2009, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said what we were all thinking: that if Apple is a part of the consumer electronics market, why doesn’t it produce a TV with Apple TV (and a DVR) incorporated? The first time Faultline predicted this was a full two years earlier, but we’re not followed quite as assiduously as …
Faultline, 11 Feb 2011
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Apple's app store policies: What will they provoke?

There hasn’t actually been a new policy statement, but Apple has clearly made a change in the eReader side of its business - one that immediately affects Sony, which has brought the issue to light. It is likely that the change will also affect Amazon (it can’t really affect one and not the other) and Barnes and Noble with its …
Faultline, 04 Feb 2011
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Microsoft 'Xbox TV' rumours: Over the Cable Guy's dead body

Xbox TV? We've heard it all before, and this time the rumour has replaced the word Apple with the name Microsoft, but it's essentially the same: saying that it will come to market as a virtual cable operator, delivering TV channels over the internet in return for a monthly fee. Let's just examine that for a moment. Apple, with …
Faultline, 06 Dec 2010
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Putting the internet into neutral, or neutering the net?

The usually perspicacious Neelie Kroes, the European Digital Agenda Commissioner, has finally hit a wall in Net Neutrality legislation, perhaps seeing the conflicting sides to the net neutrality argument. These are the same arguments that the US Government and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been unable to sort …
Faultline, 21 Nov 2010
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US smartphones – Once you’ve had Android there’s no going back

Most people that we meet who are not in technology, wonder at how we keep up with the speed at which technology changes. But technology – and technology markets in particular – are sometimes glacial in the speed of change. Back in around 2002, when we first talked about 3G licences, and ooh-ed and ahh-ed at how much money they …
Faultline, 05 Nov 2010

Apple to buy Sony? Good one!

We had a chuckle this morning at the idea of Sony being taken over by Apple Computer, an idea that has been flying around the US stock markets, supposedly as a reason for Sony’s share price to rise a miniscule few percent. If the idea had any legs, Sony would have shot up. Apple sits on $46bn in cash and short term securities, …
Faultline, 31 Oct 2010
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Microsoft steers OEMs away from putting Phone 7 on Tablets

Microsoft is usually decisive. There is a saying in contact sports such as American football and rugby – it doesn‘t matter if you make a wrong decision, if you commit to it and do it hard enough, you can make it into the right decision. It works for business too. Decisiveness – even when based on poorly thought-out decisions – …
Faultline, 18 Oct 2010
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RIM opens its PlayBook – tablets clearly set for dominance

Tablets are going to be a lot bigger than everyone realizes. We have been thinking this for the past few months, just after the first murmurs of sales volumes for the iPad, as we began to realize that it was perfectly capable of replacing some desktop PCs, many Notebooks and at least half of all netbooks, along with offering a …
Faultline, 03 Oct 2010
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Avaya chases Cisco with videoconferencing tablet

Where Cisco goes, Avaya often follows, and the smaller firm has introduced a video collaboration tablet, the Flare, similar to Cisco's recently announced Cius. While market buzz has focused on general-purpose consumer tablets like the iPad, many vendors believe their opportunity will lie in optimizing the form factor for …
Faultline, 17 Sep 2010
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Apple TV: Third time unlucky, Mr Jobs

This is the day that Apple lost the war for Over The Top content, not only in America, but globally. The winner can’t yet be announced, but this was the shot that Apple had to get it right, and to us it’s bungled it. We got the same story from Apple, Amazon and Sony all at the same time and a similar one from Google. And while …
Faultline, 03 Sep 2010
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Broadband pricing in US and Europe falls

Broadband pricing in Europe and the US fell €5 a month, on average, as broadband speeds went up by an average of 20 per cent during the last year, says researcher Analysys Mason. This is after a relatively flat period during the past recession, when prices held up. Now the average price paid for a fixed broadband service bundle …
Faultline, 30 Aug 2010
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Disney throws $763m at social gaming

Disney has thrown over three quarters of a billion dollars to bring it up to Goliath status in the online gaming world, acquiring two and a half year old Playdom, which offers games for social networks – the new buzzword in gaming that has all the VCs on the planet hopping onto investments. Playdom offers Social City, Sorority …
Faultline, 31 Jul 2010
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Apple not yet dominant enough for anti-trust action

Apple is rapidly becoming an anti-trust target and right now it is behaving like a badly spoiled child with respect to what it will allow and not allow on any of its platforms. This is reflected in decisions to keep Adobe and any other development environment off its devices, and more recently in its proposed new developer terms …
Faultline, 17 Jun 2010
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Weather balloons no longer a crazy idea for rural coverage

As the US gets serious about opening up mobile broadband to its entire population, it is hunting for new spectrum options to support that. The UHF digital TV switchover spectrum sell-off brought in around $20bn, and one of the key uses of this 700MHz band will be to support long range radio signals to cover rural America more …
Faultline, 23 Nov 2009
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Wireless carriers gear up to fight FCC’s net neutrality plans

The US FCC, headed by new chairman Julius Genachowski, wants to apply the same net neutrality rules to mobile networks as wireline systems, to the fury of the cellcos. In the most radical neutrality program ever outlined in the US, the new-look FCC is insisting that wireless carriers should account for their open policies in the …
Faultline, 24 Sep 2009
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How to turn a world leader into a fourth-rate broadband economy

There is an interesting report out this week from an organization in the US calling itself Speed Matters. It is backed by the Communications Workers of America, and it makes a seriously cogent point about US broadband capability. It is in its third year and it points out that US broadband connection speeds have not improved …
Faultline, 27 Aug 2009

Sony to make rechargeable batteries last 4x longer

To read the Sony press release, you’d think that it had virtually invented the Lithium Ion battery in the first place, but now it has come up with a breakthrough next step – with a battery that will survive far more charges and discharges without its performance decaying. Sony says it has come up with a battery which will have a …
Faultline, 20 Aug 2009

RealNetworks claims CSS license lets it copy DVDs. Sues studios

RealNetworks is filing an anti-trust action against the major US studios. It says it has a license to use CSS decryption which it obtained legally, and therefore its RealDVD copying software is not only legal, but attempts by the studios to block it amount to anti-trust. It will be interesting to see if a court agrees. Subtly it …
Faultline, 21 May 2009
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Electronics giants raise ruckus over Project Canvas

Project Canvas, the joint venture of the BBC, ITV and British Telecom, must be up to something good considering that some makers of consumer electronics (CE) gear are squealing "foul". The UK's Intellect Technology Association, whose members include Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba and Pace, said in a submission to the BBC …
Faultline, 08 May 2009

Subsidized netbook model could sweep away 20 years of PC history

While many stories this week rest on whether or not Apple will bother with a netbook (Steve Jobs has said the iPhone does everything a netbook does anyway, and was reported as saying “We don’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk”), the issue really is whether or not you belong to the school of …
Faultline, 02 Apr 2009

Cisco battles Meltdown with mobile and video

Cisco CEO John Chambers claims to have a ‘playbook’ for coping with recessions, and two of its principles of survival are to prepare for the upturn in order to benefit more than rivals, and to use customers’ own pressures during the bad times to deepen relationships with them. Both of these principles will be tested in the …
Faultline, 13 Nov 2008
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Advertisers should speak up on where Yahoo assets should be

When thinking about the Google Yahoo deal and why we felt it was out and out anti-trust, we were reminded of an old joke. When it was told to us years ago it was about an accountant, but the punchline was the same. In the accounting version of the joke when the successful accountant was asked what one and one made, he replied “ …
Faultline, 13 Nov 2008
For Sale sign detail

EC to drag fibre from incumbents' greedy paws

European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes is proposing a radical shake up of telco competition in Europe which she hopes will stimulate aggressive deployment of fibre to the home across Europe - what the Commission calls Next Generation Access (NGA). What she is trying to do right now is get agreement on a Europe-wide …
Faultline, 25 Sep 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Enterprises throw caution to the wind in 802.11n rush

The wireless industry changes at the speed of light and so do the attitudes of its customers. Five years ago, amid the intense nervousness of enterprises about adopting pre-standard fast Wi-Fi standards or insecure - Wi-Fi at all - who would have predicted the carefree abandonment with which corporates are now embracing pre- …
Faultline, 13 Sep 2008

Ericsson ST move helps consolidate wireless chip makers

The announcement this week that Ericsson would merge its Mobile Platforms division into the ST-NXP Wireless business sent shock waves around the industry. The first words on everyone’s lips - especially those of US financial analysts - were: "What does this mean for Texas Instruments?" which of late has suffered blow after blow …
Faultline, 21 Aug 2008
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Qualcomm: Interview with a cellular vampire

The 1976 Anne Rice novel Interview with the Vampire which showed the a sympathetic and softer side of the vampire and which uncovered both the mind-numbing ennui of being immortal and the complete lack of a sense of belonging, and other disadvantages to being uniquely powerful and yet disliked, was the first image that struck us …
Faultline, 18 Aug 2008

Apple's AppStore closes in on $500m in software sales

Apple is as usual dazzling the market with stunning headline figures that frequently overshadow underlying problems and dissatisfaction with its iconic iPhone and associated services. As bullish analysts say the device is set to sell almost 4.5 million units this quarter on the back of aggressive international expansion, CEO …
Faultline, 16 Aug 2008
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Mobe operators warn of ruin if regulators set roaming charges

The last thing you want when you get back from a holiday abroad is a £200 hike on your cell phone bill, brought about by what are seemingly invisible roaming charges, and usually because the office phoned you, not the other way around. So the battle between the GSMA, representing cellular operators everywhere, and the European …
Faultline, 11 Jul 2008
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Third time lucky? Google seeks open access in white spaces

The results of the US 700MHz auction were far from fulfilling Google’s dreams of an open wireless network that would significantly boost unfettered internet usage across the airwaves, and so its own revenues. The search and advertising leader is not giving up on its quest for spectrum to support the expansion of its business …
Faultline, 03 Apr 2008

Verizon makes nice with P2P

From an ISP’s point of view, P2P traffic can appear to be exceptionally daunting. If they choose to block it, as some have accused almost all of the major US ISPs of doing, then their networks would become ghost networks, with virtually no traffic in sight. But if they embrace it, their networks are fast moving crazy places, …
Faultline, 24 Mar 2008