Ericsson is reportedly in negotiations with Microsoft to acquire the software giant's Internet Protocol television unit. The acquisition of the MediaRoom unit would help propel Ericsson into a more competitive position in the growing market for IPTV products and services. For its part, Microsoft plans to direct its video software strategy toward delivering more content via its Xbox game console, sources say.
Just more than 1 in 4 Americans older than 14 are "digital omnivores" -- owners of a laptop, smartphone and tablet -- a 160% rise from a year prior, Deloitte has found in a new study. Tablet ownership increased the most among the three devices, with more than 1 in 3 households now having one, compared with 13% last year. Tablet owners over the next year plan to use them the most for movies, at 38%, followed by professional Web videos at 25%, news at 23%, user content at 22%, sports at 21%, hourlong TV dramas at 18%, and 30-minute sitcoms at 17%.
Half of the 9,500 consumers surveyed worldwide by Motorola Mobility report that they watch programming on the television sets in their living rooms, while 40% are using a smartphone or tablet computer for their TV viewing. The bedroom has overtaken the living room, however, for watching video content on a hand-held device, the study found. Motorola Mobility said that viewers are watching a weekly average of 25 hours of movie and TV programming, compared with an average of 15 hours a week in 2011.
Sigma Designs has introduced a chipset for the Z-Wave wireless protocol, along with related applications, middleware and reference designs. The products will enable control of home automation systems with smartphones and tablet computers, according to the chipset company. Sigma Designs expects new products incorporating the chipset to appear this summer.
Redbox Instant by Verizon, a video joint venture of Coinstar and Verizon Communications, initiated beta testing of its service Wednesday. Invited users will be able to rent four DVDs from Redbox kiosks and enjoy unlimited streaming from the Internet for $8 a month; upgrading to Blu-ray disc rentals is an additional $1 per month. Streaming-only subscriptions are $6 a month.