GigaOm is reporting that Amazon has been quietly hiring developers with experience in the connected TV industry, including several former Logitech employees who worked on the Revue. Amazon’s secretive R&D firm Lab126 was responsible for the hirings, and has also courted former employees of Netflix, TiVo and Comcast.
Amazon is holding a press conference tomorrow in Los Angeles, and industry analysts are speculating that some kind of TV related announcement could happen. Amazon is no stranger to selling hardware, as evidenced by its great success with the Kindle line, especially the Kindle Fire. Many see the Fire as a bona fide iPad and Android tablet competitor, and an Amazon web-connected TV device could very well be a real competitor for other products like Google TV, Apple TV and Roku.
The bottom line here is that Amazon is certainly looking to make some kind of splash in the TV industry. There may not be any announcement tomorrow, but keep your eyes and ears open for something big from them in the coming months.
In light of the FCC ruling on net neutrality earlier this week, we revisited the ongoing saga that is the Comcast-NBC merger and what it may mean for Google TV. Part of the original conditions proposed by the FCC is that if the merger is to take place, Comcast would have to make Internet content more available. Well, the FCC has formally announced the rules they are imposing, and it looks like that little clause is still in there.
Per the rules by the FCC, Comcast would have to make any NBC content available to competitors, which includes Internet streaming, “at reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms.” Comcast will also be unable to give their streams a priority over others or to interfere with rival Internet traffic. The verbiage is still a touch vague, so we will have to wait until the deal goes through to fully understand the implications. It seems like the day is drawing near, so stay tuned.
About a month ago we brought up the ongoing saga that is the merger between Comcast and NBC, and whether or not the recently imposed FCC net neutrality rules would force the new joint venture to unblock Google TV devices from accessing NBC’s web content. According to The New York Times, approval talks are now delaying the merger until sometime in early 2011, leaving us to wonder what the final outcome will be.
Part of the terms and conditions of the merger are that the FCC will require Comcast to make Internet content more available, which could extend to Google TV devices. Comcast and NBC have been battling this issue for months, stating that the FCC has been vague about what constitutes an Internet company. Given the fact that the full outcome of yesterday’s ruling have yet to be revealed to the public, something tells me we wont have an answer until the merger actually happens and a formal announcement is made. We’ll be watching this one closely, so stay tuned.
Comcast is currently testing a new set-top box featuring DVR services, search capabilities, and what they’re calling “limited” web functionality. This new box will give users access to social media, as well as a limited number of online video.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this new box will allow users to search for a “smattering of Web video” and supports “some basic connections to social networks to comment on television shows.” It is really unclear at this point how the new box will stand up against Google TV, but something tells me this web access will be pretty limited. Also, there is no word yet about a release date, or even a beta testing period. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
[via PC World]
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any talk about the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC, and the latest news involves Google TV to some extent. Part of the terms of the merger are that the FCC will require Comcast to provide more content to Internet companies, which could include Apple TV and Google TV. In a recent filing with the FCC, Comcast and NBC said the following regarding online distribution:
“The program access rules were designed to regulate traditional linear delivery of video programming, a market with an established business model. In the nascent, rapidly-evolving online video market where there is no established business model, it would be difficult as a practical matter to compare distributors for purposes of determining whether a programmer had unreasonably discriminated against a distributor.”
Last week, Comcast’s Fancast.com (aka Xfinity.tv) service entered the Google TV arena when it became known that the website would allow GTV customers to access Hulu.com content, albeit in poor quality. Well, Hulu quickly put an end to that, and now Multichannel is reporting that Comcast has made an official statement regarding Google TV and the premium content available to Comcast customers on their TV Everywhere service.
Well, that certainly didn’t take long. NewTeeVee is reporting that Hulu has pulled the plug on the Fancast.com, aka Xfinity.tv, workaround we told you about just last night. We’re not entirely surprised by this, as it became pretty apparent that a lot of the content on Comcast’s streaming site was in fact coming from Hulu.
Really though, this is no major loss for Google TV customers, as the quality of the video was practically unwatchable. Still, this serves to send a message to Hulu that Google TV customers want Hulu content, and that workarounds will likely continue to be found until some kind of deal is struck between Google and Hulu. Stay tuned as the Hulu/Google TV saga continues.
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