EchoStar Pitching Cable And Integrated Sling Media Features For European STBs

EchoStar Europe just exhibited at the European IBC 2008 trade show and they’re making a big push into cable set top boxes. As they’re show blurb says:

EchoStar is one of the world’s largest vendors of set-top products for PayTV, having shipped more than 53 million digital receiver devices, including more than 3.8 million HD-STBs and 9.7 million DVRs.

From the company’s beginnings as the technology behind US pay TV operation ‘DISH Network’, EchoStar’s broad product spectrum now extends into many millions of homes across Europe and The Americas, encompassing satellite, digital terrestrial and IPTV services.

New at IBC, EchoStar is announcing its arrival onto the Cable TV stage, with the introduction of a global range of high-definition QAM set-tops, including MPEG4 DVR and DOCSIS devices, available with a variety of popular CA and middleware options. EchoStar’s legendary reliability and cost-of-ownership advantages, borne of the company’s network operations experience, offers serious competitive advantage to MSOs and broadcasters everywhere.

EchoStar is also at the forefront of home networking technology, delivering custom multi-room solutions based on HomePlug, MOCA and DLNA. In addition, the place-shifting capabilities of SlingBox and Sling Media, an EchoStar company, are part of the breadth of the EchoStar proposition.

EchoStar not only delivers competitive products to demanding customers but also adds unique value. Our real-world experience ensures the technology works for your business.

Interestingly a press release on their presence at the show really stresses their ability to integrate Sling Media place-shifting features in their set top boxes.

EchoStar Europe is the exclusive provider of Sling Media™ place-shifting functionality in set-top boxes outside North America, with the platform independent solution available for integration in cable, satellite and IPTV STBs. In partnership with Sling Media™, the company will be highlighting the benefits of Sling Media™ software for home networking. A Sling Media integrated STB will provide an instant solution to complex multi-room, multi-screen requirements as encrypted digital Pay TV content can be moved seamlessly over IP using wired or wireless networking technologies to second TVs, PCs, laptops and mobiles.

The Sling set-top box platform emphasises EchoStar Europe’s ability to offer broadcast network operators solutions that differentiate services, increase customer loyalty and potentially increase revenues. At IBC the company is outlining its pioneering achievements in helping develop some of the world’s first DVRs, HD-DVRs and hybrid satellite/IPTV DVRs as part of the EchoStar family and demonstrating its leading position in both time-shifting and place-shifting.

While this is all focused on Europe I think this is a strong indication of what to expect from EchoStar in the US. (And I should say here that, while I work for Sling Media in my ‘day job’, this is just me as a blogger putting two and two together here and not any inside information. Got it?) Keep in mind that EchoStar recently signed the CableCARD and tru2way agreements with CableLabs in the US.

When EchoStar and DISH Network split this was one of the reasons given, to allow EchoStar to branch out into more hardware markets. While EchoStar remains the hardware supplier to DISH Network, no longer being the same entity makes it easier for them to sell hardware to other MSOs who may have balked at buying from a ‘competitor’. EchoStar has extensive experience with set-top box design and production, and with Sling Media under the same roof it gives them the opportunity to incorporate advanced place-shifting capabilities into their products. That should be no surprise as it was a stated goal in the Sling acquisition last year.

EchoStar was also touting their set-top box health monitoring system and advertising behavioral monitoring. Originally developed for DISH Network, but available for all forms of set-top box.

It certainly sounds like there will be some interesting products coming down the pipe.

Disclaimer: I work for Sling Media, which is owned by EchoStar. But a I said above, this is just me as a blogger reporting on what I read from public sources. I almost didn’t post this because I don’t want someone thinking this is backed by inside info, it isn’t. But I think it would be cool.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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