Thursday, January 06, 2011

Moving On Out

Echostar has bought the assets of Move Networks and drawn a lot of conjecture as to why they have taken this move. This is the same company who bought Sling Media, producers of the Slingbox, so despite being primarily a US satellite broadcast service provider, they're not averse to IPTV technical investments. The company is already unusual in being an integrated hardware and service provider (although once upon a time Sky and NDS had a similar symbiosis).

Move was always hampered by requiring an installation of its own player - a graveyard for companies from Real to Microsoft (with Silverlight), but it had its fans, more recently it bought Inuk, a company that had some interesting technology in its virtual set top box product, but came unstuck in trying to be an alternative service provider.

Some commentators have pointed to the patent recently received by Move for their adaptive streaming as being a potential patent troll to take on companies that have since implemented adaptive streaming, such as Microsoft and Apple, but I find this surprising since Real's adaptive streaming technology superseded that of Move (and, indeed, my own former company, Narrowstep had another version of adaptive delivery before Move was founded).

Still, assets are cheap and this might be just hedge. Or do Echostar have something cleverer in mind by integrating Move and Sling ?

Buying VMS companies seems to be flavour of the day. What price Brightcove ?