9 thoughts on “A SetTop Box of Murdoch’s Dreams”

  1. I think this type of device is inevitable, but DirecTV takes some big risks in providing open Internet access to the set-top box. They are the exact same reasons why the DirecTiVo units are brain damaged in the areas of broadband connectivity. This connectivity directly and immediately devalues the proprietary closed satellite distribution channel. Why am I going to pay DirecTV for Desperate Housewives when I can download it off the internet for free (‘pirated’), ad supported (ABCs site) or PPV (iTunes).

    Even if you are looking to DirecTV for the HD stuff, that same stuff is becoming available rapidly from a variety of other online sources. The only thing that would be left would be live events like sports, news and American Idol. Consumers will love it, but the MSOs will probably tread very lightly, they’re playing with the demise of services that constitute a majority of their revenue when they do so.

    Anyway, I think it will happen though because Apple will force their hands as I outlined in a recent entry. The iPod/iTV hookup is the video end game for Steve and it ain’t that far away…

  2. G’day Om

    I’ve slapped up a few comments on my weblog, but I was at an event last week that demoed an Aussie set top box called the Beyonwiz (not sure I like the name), but it has two wifi antennas to connect to your home network, two digital tuners to record terrestrial television, and a hard drive. It’s also based on a Linux OS, so hacking shouldn’t be an issue.

    Saying that, I love what Boing Boing just reported: an open set top box called the Neuros.

  3. Not exactly hybrid over broadband and satellite, but in France there’s mutiple boxes that get HDTV and regular tv over adsl2+ and Regular tv over DVB. Plus they’re capable of using FTTH (check out Illiad’s Freebox)

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  5. Satellite VOD systems don’t have the capacity to match cable right now so there’s a need to include this.

    I think you’re on the right track Om. Rather than going after wireless auctions the best shot for satellite is to wholesale copper pairs (maybe through an Earthlink or Covad acquisition as you suggest) and fire them up with high speed broadband and hybrid TV faster than the telcos are rolling it out. It’s a competitive service package. May not be a dream network but it is good enough for alot of customers.

    There’s more value in that copper connection to the consumer than the telcos are able to capture right now. Maybe even roll up some tier 2 or 3 telcos and expand their geographies.

    In general, municipal dark fiber with competitive content services running over it is the most economically efficient solution. If the studios and content conglomerates were smart they would sponsor municipal dark fiber efforts and get a larger share of content services revenue.

  6. Om,
    You are spot on, my only change would be the target companies on acquisition may not be a CLEC or ISP.

    But rather a merger with a mega-BOC.

    I find it very interesting that att has already started to connect the dots between EchoStar and akimbo in their home-zone offer.

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