We're bracing ourselves for a torrent of announcements to come out of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas over the next few days. Device convergence will be a major theme and IPTV will get a lot of attention.
PaidContent reports that IPTV content aggregator and service provider Akimbo has struck a deal with Thomson (RCA) to launch a co-branded Akimbo video player (set-top box) that will interface with the broadband delivery of video content from Movielink. Akimbo had previously marketed its own set-top box but recently announced that it will seek hardware partners and focus more on being a content aggregator and service provider.
News Corp. subsidiary NDS has also launched a service called XSpace, which allows users to access online video content on their television. This is basically a technology play that brings Web video clips (news, sports and entertainment already available online) to your television. So there is no content aggregation involved—just a form factor issue. The technology supports the ad delivery that comes with the content, as well as subscription-based content.
IPTV start-up and content aggregator DaveTV (similar model as Akimbo) is expected to announce a new IPTV delivery platform this week that will include content partnerships for Hollywood movies. We'll be watching closely for that announcement and others.