Comcast and Sony get our attention today for two newly revealed and important deals involving content streaming.
All Boxee'd Up: When the FCC announced last month that it would grant Comcast a waiver to eliminate the last of the non-scrambled basic cable channels (your local channels) at year's end, we wondered why Boxee didn't start howling.
The maker of the internet content streaming and web site-surfing Boxee Box had been making quite a stink in government hearings about the plan. That because the change would have obsoleted an add-on piece delivering those same basic cable channels directly through a Boxee, without the need for an attached cable box. (All you needed was a coaxial cable split off from the incoming Comcast service line.)
But as newly reported by MultiChannel News, Comcast got Boxee to shut up by agreeing to develop a work-around product. It's a "high definition digital transport adapter with an ethernet connect" that will let Boxee customers get an internet streamed version of their local channels through the box - if certified Comcast customers, we presume.
Sony Buys In: Sony Computer Entertainment has long been a follower of the rule "if you can't do it right yourself, buy a company that can." That's why the operation brought game companies like Naughty Dog. That's why they've now made a deal to acquire Gaikai, a California-based cloud-gaming company, in a deal worth $380 million (all in Sony shares.)
Sony has had some success with selling game content through its on-line store for download to its own devices, especially the PS3. But let's face facts - the Sony PSP and new Vita portable game systems and Sony Ericsson Xperia smart phones ain't exactly setting the world on fire, So Sony needs to grow the streaming/download game business (i.e. THE FUTURE) on other platforms.
Gaikai already has deals in place with the likes of Samsung and LG. Hopefully for Sony those won't go away, just because there's a new boss running (and maybe re-branding) the site.