PORTLAND, Ore.—Cable and satellite television providers have lagged behind in their exploitation of the opportunities being taken advantage of by Internet protocol television (IPTV), which today is being watched on computers, gaming controllers and a new breed of Internet-connected smart TVs, all of which encourage consumers to "cut the cable." MoveTV, on the other hand, is designed to put cable and satellite TV back in the driver's seat by enlisting advanced motion control with MEMS sensors that is integrated with a deep software infrastructure which brings pay-TV into the Internet age.
"MoveTV is an integrated platform for pay-TV that puts cable and satellite on an equal footing with IPTV providers," said David Rothenberg, worldwide marketing manager for Movea. "It starts with motion-enabled remote controls for the set-top box, then adds special content offerings like games designed for TV plus integrates apps for smartphones and tablets."
Movea (Grenoble, France) is a pioneer in motion-processing software that harnesses micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) to create smart remote controllers which are already being sold by major remote control makers, such as SMK Corp. (Tokyo), as well as by IPTV set-top box makers, such as the popular Iliad S.A. (Paris) subsidiary called "Free." Now MoveTV is repacking those motion control algorithms for traditional cable and satellite TV providers so that they can service smart TVs just as easily as standard TVs—plus offer unique services that cannot easily be matched by IPTV startups.
Movea has already signed up one of South Korea's major cable TV providers—C&M Media Co. Ltd. (Seoul) working with Remote Solution Co. Ltd. (Kimchoen)—and next month will be pitching Comcast in the U.S. on the benefits of MoveTV. Eventually the company hopes to extend its partnerships with suppliers of remote-control MEMS chip like Analog Devices Inc., STMicroelectronics NV and Texas Instruments Inc. into cozy relationships with traditional cable and satellite TV providers, thus bringing antiquated pay-TV services into the Internet age.
"The big thing that cable and satellite TV has that IPTV does not is content aggregation—so that consumers don't have to hunt all over the Internet to find videos to watch," said Rothenberg. "We see pay-TV as developing its content aggregation into all kinds of new areas by offering motion-enabled apps to drive their business model for smart TV. Eventually the traditional cable and satellite service providers will enjoy revenue sharing with developers of all types of new interactive TV apps, such as health- and wellness-services."
MoveTV offers a SmartMotion solution for pay-TV that includes an entire entertainment ecosystem from its GestureBuilder for creating motion-controlled remotes and apps (where the smartphone becomes the remote) plus extensions at both ends of the spectrum—from its Air MotionIC firmware for embedded devices to its SmartMotion Server software that allows cable and satellite services to offer services that respond to motion controllers.
MEMS-based motion controllers—whether they are upgraded remote controls capable of pointing to on-screen buttons, or apps running on smartphones or tablets to accomplish the same end—are the key to integrating Internet-based services with pay-TV, according to Movea. MoveTV aims to create the necessary motion-control ecosystem that gives cable and satellite TV providers access to the same MEMS-based motion control that has already revolutionized the smartphone and touchscreen tablet.
Many Chinese Television/LCD-TV manufacturers have started putting MEMS in its remote controllers, but frankly speaking this is not going to much value addition on the viewing experience although this can add-up in the list of additional features.
Most people watch TV for movies and shows. The idea of interactive TV and events is new and there is not much of an infrastructure inplace to really exploit it. In areas where you are getting modern infrastructure installed in high density population centers you can begin to start, but for most current users, the TV will remain a passive device.
Using MEMS in a TV remote to enable control by gesturing sounds like a cool feature, and indeed it provides a usable way to scroll and select among bunch of interactive TV apps that you might want cluttering your screen.
Or then again, you might not. It will be interesting to see how U.S. cable and satellite TV subscribers respond to this system. I remain unconvinced that consumers want their TV to be more like a tablet or smartphone, with "an app for that."
Well, it turns out that you can use the "move" remote on the PS3 to control navigation. I find it to actually be useful. In the case of the PS3, you can sling left/right/up/down if you need to go fast... One notable application (netflix) does not completely support the remote...
I see two themes unfolding here. First pay TV seems to be growing in an unexpected direction - Netflix. Many of us who never imagined paying for TV started paying for cable and are now paying for on-line Netflix (especially since the DVD service have become so expensive). Secondly, the use of MEMS enabled remote controllers seems to be taking off. The wii controllers enable interaction with the game (TV). Making a user friendly MEMS TV remote is just a matter of the iPhone app gaining a little more functionality and industry traction.
There are some usefulness of interactive TV if there is only 1 viewer. For a family, browsing your facebook while watching TV might not be an acceptable behavior. On the other hands, what if a tablet device can be effectively integrated into the TV which allows viewer to interact with the TV?