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12/2/2010
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Motorola Unveils Video Streaming Technology

The gadget will initially be offered through service providers for home-based devices and later integrated in set-top boxes.

Consumers will be able to stream video to mobile devices, including tablets and cell phones, in their homes with a new product from Motorola, the company announced Wednesday.

The product, which Motorola detailed at the Reuters Global Media Summit, will be introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show next month, after the electronics maker's set-top box and cell phone unit is spun off on January 4. In the next five years, Motorola's goal is to merge set-top box and cell phone technology so that consumers will eventually be able to view content anywhere on different devices, said Daniel Moloney, president of Motorola Mobility, the new operating unit for mobile devices and connected home businesses, at the summit.

"It's one consumer proposition that will come sooner rather than later," Moloney said, Reuters reported.

One hurdle equipment makers and operators face is the ability to form partnerships with programming providers to gain access to content for consumers to stream; most of the technology is already in place for these types of offerings. Initially, the streaming product will only send video to home-based devices, Moloney said. Motorola is working on the longer process of streaming content on devices outside the home, he said.

Service providers will sell the gadget first and then it will eventually be integrated into set-top boxes, Moloney said. It will be service providers' decision whether to charge a separate fee for the device or offer it as an incentive to keep certain customers from changing to another provider, he said at the summit.

In the third quarter, almost a third of Motorola Mobility's sales were generated by the Home subsidiary, which includes set-top boxes and cable network equipment. Revenue was $912 million compared with $2 billion in cell phone revenue in the quarter. The Motorola Mobility unit expects to generate operating profits between 8% and 12% in the next three to five years, Moloney said.

Devices such as the recently announced Orb TV let users stream Internet television programs from a smartphone app available for Android and Apple devices. Western Digital also recently launched WD TV Live Hub, a set-top box that lets users stream video and audio content in the house as well as store it on the device.

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