Net Briefs

Mar 26, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Time Warner Cable eyes AOL TV service

Time Warner Cable is talking to AOL TV about deploying the television-based Internet service for the multiple system operator’s customers who receive digital interactive services, said Mike Luftman, a Time Warner Cable spokesman. The service would run on those customers’ Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 2000 set-top boxes, Mr. Luftman said.

The MSO is also doing tests in Honolulu; Tampa Bay, Fla.; and Austin, Texas, for a movie-on-demand service that allows customers to call up movies from acquired film libraries via their remote controls. For that purpose, Time Warner Cable is talking to the major Hollywood studios about acquiring film rights for the service. “We’re trying to negotiate deals right now,” Mr. Luftman said, noting that the cable operator isn’t waiting for the studios’ discussions about digital copy protections to conclude.

Hollywood lukewarm on MPEG-4 standard

Most content developers have yet to develop content according to open streaming video specification MPEG-4, said Dave Andaleon, director of business development at nCube. nCube is one of a handful of technology infrastructure companies, including Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems, that belong to the Internet Streaming Media Alliance. ISMA is a trade association that supports open, as opposed to proprietary, streaming video standards.

Mr. Andaleon lamented that companies such as Microsoft and Real Networks, which provide streaming services according to their own proprietary protocols, have succeeded in expanding the reach of their streaming networks. “Microsoft and Real can increase their installed base,” he told Electronic Media. “nCube’s position is that we strongly advocate open standards where open standards exist, but we also have to be sensitive to market conditions.”