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The June 17, 2010 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home - some highlights from 1H2010


People News

Anil Barot has joined Wavesat as VP of Business Development. Mr. Barot was previously with Motorola. ( www.wavesat.com )

Henry Choy has joined ActiveVideo Networks as VP, Business Development, responsible for their Web-Connected TV initiative. He was previously VP, consumer electronics business development for AnySource Media. ( www.activevideo.com )

Bill McLean has joined Ozmo Devices as CEO. He was previously co-founder and CEO of GloNav. ( www.ozmodevices.com )

David Mendels has been appointed President and COO at Brightcove; he was previously with Adobe. Eric Elia has been promoted to VP of TV Solutions, to lead the company's TV everywhere initiatives. ( www.brightcove.com )

Dan Moloney has taken the position of CEO of Technitrol. He was previously with Motorola’s Home business. ( www.technitrol.com )

Petr Peterka has become CTO at Verimatrix. He was formerly with Motorola. ( www.verimatrix.com )

Phillip E. Pompa has joined Conexant Systems as senior VP of product marketing. Pompa was previously CEO at Rational Semiconductor. ( www.conexant.com )

Neil Smit, formerly CEO at Charter Communications, was named to head Comcast's cable unit. Michael Lovett was appointed as Charter's president and CEO. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.charter.com )


Company News

Investments

4Home Inc. has completed a $6.8 million Series B funding round. ( www.4homemedia.com )

Aircell LLC, a provider of wireless base stations and infrastructure, closed a $176 million funding round to expand its air-to-ground communication network. ( www.aircell.com )

BlackArrow, a provider of advanced advertising for TV platforms, has closed $20 million in Series C financing. ( www.blackarrow.tv )

Ember Corp., a provider of Zigbee components, has raised $5 million worth of debt from specialty financiers Wellington Financial LLP. ( www.ember.com )

Ozmo Devices, a maker of low-power Wi-Fi PAN chips, has completed its $10.8 million series D funding round led by Atlantic Bridge Ventures. ( www.ozmodevices.com )

TidalTV has raised $16 million in Series B funding, with Comcast Interactive Capital among the investors. ( www.tidaltv.com )

Widevine announced that Liberty Global, Samsung Ventures and a third corporation have become strategic shareholders. ( www.widevine.com )

Acquisitions

Abry Partners is acquiring RCN in a transaction valued at $1.2 billion. ( www.abry.com ) ( www.rcn.com )

ActiveVideo Networks has announced completion of an acquisition of game company TAG Networks. ( www.activevideo.com ) ( www.playtag.com )

Broadcom has completed the acquisition of EPON supplier Teknovus for $123 million. ( www.broadcom.com ) ( www.teknovus.com )

CenturyLink is acquiring Qwest Communications in a deal worth approximately $10.6 billion. ( www.centurylink.com ) ( www.qwest.com )

Google is buying software developer Global IP Solutions (GIPS) for $68 million. GIPS develops software for IP voice and video communications. ( www.google.com ) ( www.gipscorp.com )

Motorola has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SecureMedia, a developer of digital rights management (DRM) and security systems for IP video distribution and management. Terms were not disclosed. < www.motorola.com > < www.securemedia.com >

Tekelec has agreed to acquire policy control company Camiant and has completed the acquisition of subscriber data management company Blueslice Networks. ( www.tekelec.com ) ( www.camiant.com ) ( www.blueslice.com )

Walmart is acquiring VUDU, Inc., a provider of technologies and services for delivery of entertainment directly to TVs and connected consumer electronics devices. ( www.walmart.com ) ( www.vudu.com )

Other News

BSkyB launched its 3D channel Sky 3D in April. The channel reaches more than 1,000 pubs and clubs in the United Kingdom and is focusing on high-profile soccer matches. The 3D service is initially available only in pubs and clubs, but will be launched to residential customers in the fall. Sky offers the 3D channel for free to any pub or commercial venue that takes its highest movies and sports package and plans to use the same approach when it launches a residential channel. Sky has more than 2 million high-definition subscribers in the UK and Ireland and plans to provide the 3D capable Sky+ HD box as standard to all new and upgrading customers. ( www.sky.com )

Brightcove has teamed with Ping Identity to provide an open standards-based user authentication and authorization system. Its goal is to enable programming providers to offer TV Everywhere compatible television services. ( www.brightcove.com ) ( www.pingidentity.com )

CableLabs and Canoe Ventures completed the EBIF IO6 specification which provides a uniform technical baseline for unbound applications and other interactive television features. The two organizations have also announced a formal partnership between Canoe Ventures Innovation Lab and CableLabs’ AdLab for a joint testing program. ( www.cablelabs.com ) ( www.canoe-ventures.com )

Comcast is rebranding all of its cable services as Xfinity, starting in 11 cities. By the end of 2010, Xfinity will be the Comcast brand name in the majority of its markets, using the names Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice and Xfinity Internet. ( www.comcast.com )

Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, has been authorized by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to buy and sell electricity in bulk at market-based rates. This will allow Google to better manage its own energy costs, and opens the possibility that it can add "electricity marketer" to its inventory of services. ( www.google.com ) ( www.ferc.gov )

Thomson, Technicolor's French parent, has reorganized and changed the name of the entire conglomerate to Technicolor. ( www.technicolor.com )


Standards and Organizations

Open IPTV Forum

The Open IPTV Forum has signed liaison agreements with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in order to further drive for an interoperable end-to-end IPTV solution for managed network and open Internet deployments in the global market. The agreements allow for the regular exchange of information, the participation of observers and joint promotion in areas of mutual interest which center around all aspects of IPTV services delivered via managed networks, the open Internet and the home network. ( www.openiptv.org ) ( www.dlna.org ) ( www.dvb.org ) ( www.etsi.org )

Broadcasters Form Mobile TV Alliance

A story in the NAB Show Daily reported that twelve major broadcast groups announced the formation of a joint venture to develop a national US mobile content service. Utilizing existing broadcast spectrum, the service will allow member companies to provide content to mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, local and national news from print and electronic sources, as well as sports and entertainment programming.

Broadcast spectrum for the new service will come from three owned-and-operated station groups and nine local broadcast groups. The local broadcasters formed Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC as a vehicle for their involvement in the venture.

In addition to spectrum, the partners will contribute content, marketing resources and capital to the new venture, which will use ATSC-M/H, an open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee specifically for mobile devices.

WiMax 2 Collaboration Initiative

Intel announced the WiMax 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI), a collaboration with companies including Samsung, Motorola, Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans and ZTE to accelerate the development of standards and devices surrounding WiMax 2 technology. This next generation of WiMax mobile broadband technology, built upon IEEE 802.16m, is billed as a 'true' 4G iteration, since it will be able to burst past the IMT-defined 300Mbit/s. ( www.intel.com )

OneVoice becomes VoLTE

The Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative, a successor to OneVoice, has gained consensus among a long list of backers to address mobile interconnection and roaming challenges. Specifications are expected as early as the first quarter of 2011. Backers include AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile, KDDI, NTT Docomo, Orange, SKT, SoftBank, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Qualcomm, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are on board.

WHDI Consortium Adds 3G

The WHDI Consortium has announced that WHDI 2.0, the next version of its Wireless Home Digital Interface standard, includes support for 3-D. WHDI provides an uncompressed wireless HDMI connection between video devices such as set-top boxes and flat-panel TVs. They say the new specification will be available in the middle of next year, but early products based on the updated version may be demonstrated at CES in January. ( www.whdi.org )

ZigBee Health Care

The ZigBee Board of Directors has ratified ZigBee Health Care and made the standard publicly available. ZigBee Health Care is an open standard for interoperable, low-power wireless devices enabling secure monitoring and management of noncritical, low-acuity healthcare services. It is targeted at chronic disease management, eldercare, wellness, in-patient and asset tracking. It supports thousands of devices on a single network and provides full support for IEEE 11073 devices, making each device eligible for FDA certification. ( www.zigbee.org/healthcare ).