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Sling Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS); and Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) today announced the integration of the Sling Media SDK into Broadcom's latest set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) platforms. The collaboration paves the way for manufacturers of STBs and CE devices to offer consumers a solution to enjoy watching their favorite television content wherever they want on whatever device they want, with an Internet connection.Sling Media's licensed software ecosystem supported on the Broadcom® BCM7425 Dual HD Transcoding MoCA Gateway SoC gives users a full-featured multi-screen, multi-platform viewing solution. Broadcom-powered boxes with Sling Media software will be available by the third quarter of 2012. Subscribers will have the ability to watch any content available on the STB on the widest range of portable devices with full authentication. Sling Media's pioneering placeshifting technology coupled with Broadcom's leadership in high performance STB platforms enable a wide range of content with a consistent viewing experience for service operators' customers who demand a simple, high-quality way to watch television on the go. With the wide adoption of broadband-connected smart phones and tablets, video consumption is growing rapidly. According to IDC, the worldwide market for smart phones had expected growth of 55% over the 2011 calendar year with 500 million units shipped to consumers. By 2015, predictions are that the number of smart phones shipped will total almost one billion. The smart phone market is growing four times as fast as the mobile market itself, and sales of smart phones currently outpace those of desktop computers by four to one. Tablets are also a key driver in the consumption of mobile video. RBC Capital Markets expects the tablet market to reach 185 million units in calendar year 2014, up 83% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 17 million in calendar year 2010. About 62% of U.S. consumers said they would likely watch live TV on laptops, tablets and smart phones, if their television service provider offered the service for no extra charge, according to a new survey sponsored by Broadcom and conducted by JZ Analytics. See the full survey results here.
"It's clear that consumers expect a wide array of television viewing options on their favorite wireless devices, and EchoStar's Sling Media technology solution is the gold standard for placeshifting," said Dan Marotta, executive vice president and general manager, Broadcom. "SlingLoaded support on our high performance set-top box solutions paves the way for exciting new mobile entertainment experiences."
The Broadcom survey also found that in households with three or more people, 55% said a multi-screen TV service would help when they have to "compete for control of the remote." The survey of 1,025 consumers 18 and older was conducted in November 2011.In recent months, the country's top pay-TV operators, including cable and satellite companies, have rolled out apps for tablets and smart phones to allow subscribers to watch live TV channels within subscriber's homes.
"Broadcom has the most advanced streaming and transcoding capabilities available today and is without equal when it comes to delivering the most-deployed STB SoC solutions. Now they will bring placeshifting technology to the largest possible audience," said Raghu Tarra, senior vice president and general manager of Sling Media. "We believe service operators will benefit with increased revenues, lower costs and most importantly, customer loyalty."