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Windstream Gets Moving on ‘Kinetic’ TV

Time Warner Cable of Lincoln, Neb., will be the first to face off with a new Internet protocol-delivered, multiscreen service that Windstream Communications intends to launch in the first half of next year.

That service, called Kinetic, will initially be offered to more than 50,000 homes in the area and will be powered by Mediaroom, a recently-upgraded version of an IPTV platform that Ericsson acquired from Microsoft about a year ago.

Windstream, which currently offers a video service bundle in partnership with Dish Network, said it plans to roll out Kinetic to other Windstream communities “in the latter part of 2015 and beyond,” noting that it will match Kinetic TV with its lineup of high-speed Internet and phone services.

Windstream didn’t say where it will launch Kinetic following the deployment in Lincoln, but the company serves 3.3 million access lines in 23 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Windstream will also continue to offer Dish bundles. “Within the Kinetic coverage area in Lincoln, customers will have a choice of both television service offerings from Windstream,” a Windstream official said.

Windstream hasn’t announced pricing or a programming lineup for Kinetic, but it outlined some of the bells and whistles that will come with it, including wireless set-top boxes, a whole-home DVR (to be offered for no extra cost), multiscreen viewing (on TVs, tablets and smartphones), a video-on-demand library, and “Multi-View,” a feature that will let customers watch up to six channels at the same time.

The Windstream win is also important to Ericsson, which is getting more aggressive on the video front following a wave of upgrades, including multiscreen capabilities, to Mediaroom, and the launch of MediaFirst, a cloud-based video platform targeted to traditional pay TV providers and new over-the-top players (see “Is There Room in the Cloud for Ericsson TV?,” Sept. 22, 2014).