News Round-Up (VII): Sezmi, Technicolor, Intel, TiVo, MoCA

--"Cord-Cutting" Company, Sezmi, Raises $17.3 Million
--Technicolor in Set-Top Collaboration with Intel
--TiVo Joins MoCA

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Sezmi, a company which has developed a set-top box-based offering that it bills as combining "live television, on-demand movies and television shows, and Web videos in an easily self-installed system that automatically records, recommends and organizes the favorite shows of each individual member of the family," and which last fall announced that it had secured $25 million in new funding, has revealed in an SEC filing that it has raised an additional $17.3 million in new funding from two unnamed investors. The company, which has raised a total of around $92 million to date, recently announced that the $4.99-per-month entry-level version of its service (note: in Los Angeles, the company also offers a $19.99 "Select Plus" version of the service, which includes 23 cable channels; it says that Select Plus will launch in other markets later this year) can now be purchased through Amazon. The latter is Sezmi's second retail partner for its service--the first being Best Buy. According to the company, its service is available in 36 markets in 23 states.
  • Set-top box company, Technicolor (formerly Thomson), has announced that it is collaborating with Intel to bring to market a new generation of hybrid broadcast/IP set-tops based on Intel's new Atom CE4200 processor, which it says will enable service providers to "create exciting new multiscreen, 3D, games and online video user experiences in the home." According to the company, its collaboration agreement with Intel has allowed it to test early prototype silicon, provide technical recommendations to Intel, and prove new set-top designs. It says that it has developed an early 3D Multiview Coding (MVC) and video transcoding demonstration of the chipset's capabilities, to illustrate its potential to deliver a "next-generation" TV experience. "Through this deep collaboration with Intel, we will be able to deliver the next-generation set-top box design," Technicolor's head of digital delivery, Vince Pizzica, said in a prepared statement. "We see the CE4200, and its successors built on Intel architecture, to be a key ingredient to our next wave of success, with millions of households benefiting from our advanced, smart design and strong focus on rich user interfaces. By bringing together the unrivalled experience of Technicolor in digital content services, set-top boxes, and gateways with Intel's processor design team, the result will be a media services platform for the home that will be truly user-centric, bringing an incomparable experience for the enjoyment of premium content."
  • TiVo has announced that it has joined the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) as an Associate-level member. "TiVo pioneered the digital video recorder (DVR) and engages multiple channels for distribution of its products including retail and service provider," TiVo states in its press materials. "MoCA has seen deployment of its technology in multiroom DVR among all three pay-TV segments--cable, satellite and IPTV--has product by members on retail shelves, and is working with CEDIA and the professional installer community." Said Jim Denney, TiVo's VP and general manager of product marketing: "TiVo has offered multi-room DVR functionality for years and sees the MoCA membership as a potential way to bring home networking to the next level. Integrating MoCA into our products will enable service providers to offer a simple home networking solution that offers unrivalled Quality of Service (QoS)." Added MoCA president, Charles Cerino: "HD DVR's are a vital component of the home entertainment system and TiVo's membership substantiates the standard here in the United States. TiVo will also expand our reach into Europe and Asia, where we continue to gain traction daily."


North America