Motorola to offer home streaming to mobile devices


Motorola is aiming to bring streaming video to tablets and mobile phones in the home via a set-top box, according to Reuters. At first, the idea is to provide streaming video (movies, TV programs) to devices within a wireless network at home, but eventually Motorola wants to enable its customers to watch any content, anywhere.

The product, announced at the Reuters Global Media Summit, will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics show right after Motorola spins off Motorola Mobility, which includes its set-top box and cellphone business, from the rest of the company on 1/4.

Daniel Moloney, president of Motorola Mobility, sees the offering as a first step in his efforts to combine set-top box and cellphone technology to eventually allow consumers to view any content anywhere on different devices in the next five years.

“It’s one consumer proposition that will come sooner rather than later,” Moloney told the Reuters Global Media Summit on Wednesday.

While much of the technology already exists for such offerings, one thorny issue is for equipment makers or operators to forge agreements with programming providers for the right to let consumers carry content around.

This is why the streaming product will initially only send video to devices being used within the home. Moving content outside the home could take much longer, Moloney said.

And after being sold a separate gadget, to be offered via service providers, the home streaming product will eventually be integrated into set-top boxes. Moloney said it would be up to service providers whether to charge an extra service fee for the device or not.

The Home subsidiary, which includes set-top boxes and cable network equipment, represented almost a third of Motorola Mobility sales in the third quarter with revenue of $912 million compared with $2 billion in revenue from cellphones.

Moloney said he sees Motorola Mobility generating operating profits in an 8-12% range in the next three to five years.

Motorola Mobility and will trade under the MMI ticker on New York Stock Exchange after the split. The rest of Motorola, which sells technology to governments and corporations, will change its name to Motorola Solutions and will trade under the MSI symbol, also on NYSE, said the article.

RBR-TVBR observation: Motorola already has competition, even before the launch: The Slingbox allows users to watch TV shows streamed from their set-top boxes to a computer or mobile device wherever they are.