Entone Connects with LG

Entone has integrated a new hybrid media gateway with LG Electronics’ Netcast media streaming platform to help form a new strategy Entone will wield as it pursues more deals with broadband ISPs and traditional pay TV operators.

The first LG Netcast-enabled devices supported by Entone is the LG SP530 Media Player, a new IP-connected streaming device that supports a range of over-the-top video services and applications, including Netflix, VUDU, Hulu and YouTube. When paired with Entone’s FusionTV application, which would carry the ISP’s or MSO’s brand, the device will also be capable of supporting over-the-air television or fully-authenticated subscription TV services.

According to CEO Steve McKay, Entone envisions a couple of “operator-friendly” deployment scenarios involving the SP530:

  • With ISPs that are looking to pair premium level broadband speed tiers with OTT video and over-the-air video;
  • With MVPDs (multichannel video programing distributors) that offer broadband and more traditional, subscription video services.

LG, meanwhile, will sell the LG530 as a stand-alone retail product that will compete with Roku boxes, the Apple TV device, and other streaming media players.

Of those available deployment scenarios, McKay believes the ISP option will be the most common for Entone early on.

“The primary target immediately is for ISPs that are not offering premium pay TV services…but still want to have a deeper relationship with the consumer when the consumer is using OTT services,” McKay said.

The full, pay TV option will pair the new LG IP video client with a new eight-tuner gateway from Entone that will be outfitted with a CableCARD slot and integrated video transcoding capabilities. McKay expects both the LG streaming device and Entone’s latest gateway in its "Magi" family to reach general availability in the fourth quarter of 2013. Entone will target that combination primarily to tier 2/3 pay TV operators that are looking for new vendor options and a way to get their IP video migrations underway.

“Perhaps the best thing we have going for us right now is that we’re not Arris and we’re not Cisco,” he said, noting that more than Entone currently has more than 100 pay TV operator customers.

Entone will show off its hybrid TV portfolio, including the SP530, at next week’s NCTC Independent Show in San Diego.

LG announced its new video device strategy for the cable industry in June at The Cable Show.