jbaumgartner's blog

Putting WiFi On Track

If you’ve spent much time using Amtrak’s WiFi system, you already know this – it’s not good for much.


If you’re lucky, it provides just enough connectivity for email and some simple Web browsing. Most of the time, though, connectivity is slow and spotty. Need to download a big document? Forget it. Streaming Netflix or using your Slingbox? Not allowed.

What’s Next For OnCue?

It turns out that Erik Huggers is not the only former Intel Media exec who’s not sticking around for the ride after Verizon Communications snapped up the division and its over-the-top “OnCue” platform about five months ago, raising more questions about how the telco intends to proceed with those assets.


Google High On Satellite Broadband?

Google, following up on plans to bring Internet access to the globe via drone and high-altitude balloons, is looking to shell out more than $1 billion on a fleet of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, according to The Wall Street Journal.


STB Market ‘Ripe For Further Consolidation’: Analyst

As the proposed marriages of Comcast and Time Warner and AT&T and DirecTV move forward, this latest wave of consolidation is poised to have an effect on the telecom supplier market, creating a fresh batch of winners and losers.


How Big Can Netflix Get?

As Netflix prepares to invade six more countries in Europe later this year, Berstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner attempted to size up the streaming giant’s global opportunities in a report issued last week.


The “opportunity is more limited than many realize,” the analyst wrote, noting that infrastructure and affordability issues will limit Netflix in markets such as Latin America.


Authenticate This!

Authenticated, TV Everywhere services are still building an audience as operators and programmers look to ease the sign-on process and expand the amount of content available, but usage of these services made serious strides in the first quarter, according to FreeWheel’s Video Monetization Report Q1 2014.


Does YouTube Have An Itch For Twitch?

Twitch’s rapid rise in popularity might be capped by a massive acquisition by YouTube, according to multiple reports. But how soon such a deal comes together is not entirely clear.


Naming ‘SpinCo’

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal still needs to be consummated, but we learned this week that former Insight Communications CEO and current Penthera CEO Michael Willner has already agreed to step up to become CEO of “SpinCo,” the new 2.5 million-sub operator to be spawned from systems spun off from Comcast.

Breaking Down Google Glass

Programmers and app developers, including Thuuz, have been experimenting with Google Glass, but it’ll still be some time before we know if Google’s pricey smart specs offer an angle to the pay-TV industry that is worth pursuing.


But a recently released teardown by IHS Technology does shed some light on what it costs, roughly, for Google to build the wearable devices.


There Goes The Neighborhood!

Cablevision Systems is jumping on a trend that’s already hot in Europe and heating up at Comcast with the relatively recent introduction of secondary SSID signals that turn home-side wireless cable modem gateways into quasi-public hotspots.


Cablevision CEO James Dolan made reference to the ongoing rollout of these “WiFi smart routers” on last week’s earnings call, noting that they’re putting the MSO on track to expand its WiFi network to about 1 million access points by the end of the year.