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Vudu Partners With IPTV Company Entone

5 May, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Entone Janus Media Hub Vudu

There’s one less set-top box needed today, at least in smaller markets, thanks to a new partnership between movie on-demand service Vudu and IPTV company Entone.

Starting this summer telecommunications companies employing Entone’s IPTV technology set-tops and DVRs will be able to offer Vudu’s library of more than 14,000 movies and TV titles to their customers, without a need for the Vudu box. Enthane’s technology is currently used by more than 50 American telco companies, including Consolidated Communications and Fairpoint Communications.

Steve McKay, CEO of Entone, said the two companies began working on the concept at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The overall idea, he said, is to avoid “devices with specific, anemic VOD libraries,” and instead offer services like Vudu’s as an upgrade on a consumer’s IPTV service.

“The thinking around that time was that everyone was pitting the over-the-top guys (video delivered outside of cable and satellite) against the operators,” he said. “Consumers had to choose between pay TV services and over-the-top Internet video services where the latter was something you did when you were not watching TV.”

This is the first time those two “competing visions” will come together in one service.
“By marrying the two concepts, your online movie library is now available as part of your core TV viewing experience from the same user interface and remote control,” McKay said.

Using existing in-home cabling, Entone’s IPTV set-top boxes enable viewing on all TVs in a household.

Edward Lichty, EVP of strategy and content for Vudu, acknowledged that “IPTV is becoming an option for consumers, and we want consumers to get access to Vudu through the devices they already have in their home.”

Colin Dixon, a senior analyst with The Diffusion Group, called the partnership “new ground” and encouraged other telecommunications operators to take notice.

“Entone’s approach of embracing rather than defending against online video services is a win-win-win for operators, content providers and consumers,” he said.

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