NAB 2008: MobiTV Moves Into Server Technology's Heavyweight Division
Clearly, Scanlan isn’t modest about what his company has created. When asked if his company’s server technology could replace an operator’s need for Windows Media streaming servers, for example, he noted, "It is absolutely an alternative to a Windows Media server, especially for someone who wants to deliver [content] to devices [including PCs] that support Windows Media.
It is with such bravado that MobiTV enters the ring with other streaming media technology heavyweights and flexes its muscles. In recent times, there was one fighter who ultimately moved up three divisions and each time he moved up people noted that the other competitors in the division appeared smaller. This fighter was Felix Trinidad, and by the time his career ended in 2005 he had won more 40 fights and had become a champion in three weight classes.
Competing in a Crowded Space
In pointing out why he believes this is a good move for MobiTV, Scanlan notes, "One of the things about our products, unlike a lot of products in this space, especially some of the new competing technologies, is they are battle-tested. Our technologies are in deployment and operating. We have proven out the scalability with the largest subscriber base, so it is not like this is brand new technology that has never seen the light of day. We are taking some of our technologies that operate the largest mobile TV service, arguably, in the world, and extending it so [our operators] can apply it in other ways...."
Although he notes the trend for most companies is to move to managed services, Scanlan notes that, "There are big companies that historically don’t rely on managed services for the core part of their business, and we want to make sure that we are able to accommodate them, because they are big enough that they warrant it. The other thing to think about is when we are licensing software it might not actually be instead of our managed service but an extension of our managed service. Even where we are the manage service [provider] for the TV system … that’s still an opportunity for us to license product into their network – those are probably some of our even nearer-term customers for the product. With our managed service operation they get x, y and z.
Our managed service operation implies we manage and operate it somewhat separate from their own network. But if there is opportunity to take some of our secret sauce and put it inside their network we can get even better performance and reduce cost. It is not necessarily that the licensing business is taking over for the managed service business as, in some cases, one operator maybe a customer of both products. We may be operating their managed service on behalf of them for certain things and then in other circumstances they may be taking what we developed in that manage service and licensing for an application elsewhere."MobiTV has certainly entered the streaming server market and is flexing its muscles. Whether or not the company has what it takes to go the distance in the streaming server market is hard to determine.
The MobiTV Connect Platform, which helps pay TV operators make the transition to IP delivery, will get much of the investment.
By combining detailed viewer behavior information and program metadata, the two companies promise to keep viewers watching longer.
As they head away to college, many young adults aren't taking TVs with them. They are, however, bringing plenty of smart phones and tablets.