14 thoughts on “Hey Vudu, CableCos slow, not stupid”

  1. Vudu’s advantage would be to chip away market share from cable cos and satellite networks who take their customers for granted – the traditional cable and satellite companies customer service sucks and I would be willing to bet that if Vudu can avoid the trap of multi year contracts that cable companies try to enforce, they might as well succeed.

    A nice addition to their business would be micro payment for TV shows as well – for ex: 90% of content on TV is mostly useless for many consumers, yet, they are forced to pay for it by way of monthly subscriptions. If Vudu can find a way to offer TV content on demand and charge for what you view, they might be next google.

  2. Apple has a pretty checkered record in consumer electronics space too. The iPod is a hit, but there are a long string of Apple failures in the space.

    The MSO that embraces Tivo, instead of cutting them out, will do well.

  3. I still find it amusing how up until satellite, the cable co’s were the very slowest to adopt/add absolutely anything new. Over a 15 year period I remember only two ‘innovations’ – pay per view, and HBO. Most of them wouldn’t even try broadband on their own, and relied on @Home (who they later screwed).

    Even the telco’s (2nd largest monopoly behind cable) added things like call waiting, call display, voicemail etc.

  4. The cable cos do have the technology to create a better interface having acquired Liberate and MetaTV by Comcast. Open standards are approaching for eTV applications. Comcast could launch a better movie interface within a year using a Liberate/MetaTV stack. The issue is more business related as the VOD suppliers also want to control the interface. At some point, the MSOs will have enough flexibility to change the UI for all TV applications.

    This product is doomed. Game boxes pose a bigger threat (imagine an XBOX with a TV Tuner and a package of channels targeted towards college students).

  5. Om,

    If they had an IP based solution (and I have not taken a closer look at Vudu), perhaps they have a chance. This of course assumes they have acess to the right content.

    Game boxes can do this too — and they are not offered thru the comcasts of the world.

    BTW, dont forget about slingbox and tivo…they are both media boxes connected to your tv 🙂

  6. I think all this new-box craze is going to be great for people who make furniture & accessories like TV center, entertainment consoles etc. We need to fit so many boxes, and not to mention all those cables. Monster must be happy about all this – don’t you think 😉

  7. It seems one of the benefits of this box/service is that as a user, you don’t need to subscribe to a traditional MSO to get video/TV as Vudu appears to be using the internet to deliver the files to your box. I would imagine many users will still have to get their internet connections from their cable company though, given my choices, I would.

    A new player in the net neutrality debate for sure.

  8. the line from the author of the nyt article that strikes me as most ignorant and naive is “it may mean goodbye to … sticky-floored movie theaters”.

    does that have anything to do with a piece VOD hardware? great VOD technology on its own is not really a reason people don’t go to the movies. it would take a sweeping change in the movie distribution model (i.e. day-and-date release of blockbusters) to make the impact that the author suggests. and we know that, at least anytime soon, vudu is not going to be the company to break that mold.

    that said, the technology sounds great. i’ll be sure to pick it up from best buy right after i set up my new akimbo, moviebeam and full service network boxes 😉

  9. I think the big picture to look at here is the fact that they have the content locked in. Add Sony and eventually they’ll have what the people at movielink, guba and cinemanow don’t which is access to the movies that you want to watch in one location and the technology to deliver it quicker than the other boxes.

    Imagine integrating this technology into Windows Media Center. If they lock up Sony and MS – who has their own service for 360 but also have deals with movielink and cinemanow. Could this be that much of a stretch…

    If I’m sitting at home on a tuesday night at 1am and I want to watch major league or orgasmo and i can pull them up and watch or buy, I’m gonna do it and keep coming back to them.

  10. What kind of picture quality will they use? 720 or 1080?

    If they do intend to use HD it will require a lot of bandwidth. How fast will your line then have to be?

  11. 3 things needed to beat cable:

    1. User Interface (who needs channel clicking when metadata is more personal? No need to change frequencies anymore).

    2. Access to top rate content (think live concerts, sports evenets, movie releases etc)

    3. Infrastructure. As long as you don’t own your own infrastructure you are screwed

  12. Oh well, let’s hope they will be smarter than Tivo and release their product in the EU as well. Heck, let’s hope they will be really smart and they license their technology to everybody who wants it, much the same as Dolby did. Why be in the business of building yet another box when Sony, Philips, Pioneer, Microsoft, Tivo etc all have a box that they want to integrate this kind of technology in to.

    One question for OM though. Cable is a shared network at what time will the network break under the load of peer to peer exchanged or cableco delivered movies? 160 mbit/s of Docsis 3.0 for 500-1000 households is probably not enough to stream 100 movies in parallel 😉 And I haven’t heard anything about switched video being able to deliver 500 parallel HDTV channels? Might DSL be the way to go? Or should we wait for FiOS?

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