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Motorola adds last stroke to TV Everywhere strategy with Dreampark buy

US Home technology giant grabs yet another pay TV start up technology

By PETER WHITE

Published: 24 March, 2011

READ MORE: Motorola | Broadband | Fixed-line

Faultline reached the Dreampark stand at IP&TV World Forum in London, and strangely found that there were no executives to give us another briefing on the Swedish IPTV middleware group. We waited around and then skulked away, only to find that most of the senior execs must have been huddled in a corner somewhere with Motorola execs, hammering out the details of a deal whereby Motorola would buy what we see as the youngest of the old IPTV middleware players. No price was given on the deal.

Back in 2006 the company burst on the scene, co-incidentally in a deal with US DRM specialist Widevine (now part of Google) and IPTV set top innovator Kreatel (long since acquired by Motorola) in Denmark with the Swedish Space Corporation, which in turn distributed broadcast TV to city and regional networks across Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Since then Dreampark has studiously avoided chasing tier 1 telco pipedreams, but usually manages to chase down and replace ailing IPTV software, now up for second generation replacement, especially in and around Scandinavia.

Last week we reported that Dreampark has replaced Multivision with its DreamGallery as the middleware incumbent at tiny Alcom in Finland, another deal where it shares a customer with Motorola's Kreatel. As far as we can ascertain Multivision has long ceased updating its IPTV middleware product Modulution and has moved out of the market. This type of 10,000 homes system has been meat and drink to Dreampark over the past 5 years, and Motorola could potentially lead it to break through into higher value deals, further up the food chain.

We had always tipped Motorola to acquire just this type of company back in 2005/6 when it began making set tops for Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV customers, but shared very little of the high margin software business or the high value implementation work (though it did take a prime role at Verizon's FiOS). Would it come out with a full bloodied IPTV suite, we asked back then, so that it was not reliant on Microsoft Mediaroom for contracts?

Recently Motorola has bought US DRM specialist Secure Media and Israel's Bitband distributed VoD server business, to go with its Kreatel IPTV set top business acquired back in January 2006. By April 2007 Motorola had added a partnerships deal with Israel's ECI Telecom for providing the IP DSLAMs that IPTV needs, and had also acquired USD encoder business Tut Systems and VoD applications house Vertasent, as well as VoD innovator Broadbus which invented a way of serving VoD files from huge caches of RAM. Unfortunately Broadbus's good work was almost immediately overtaken by the emergence of Edgeware, another Scandinavian IPTV company which has a strategy for VoD appliances throughout the network, using Flash Memory based servers. Later Motorola re-invented this piece of history saying that Tut was always acquired for its cable contribution in Edge QAM rather than its encoding capability, as it went ahead and acquired encoding specialist Modulus Video, which had been the first encoder designer able to encode video for AT&T's tough U-Verse HD picture in picture requirements.

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