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Motorola Acquires IPTV Embedded Linux Developer 38

segphault writes "Ars Technica is covering Motorola's acquisition of Kreatel, a European company that designs Linux-based Internet Television Protocol (IPTV) technologies, including a set-top box powered by embedded Linux." From the article: "I'm not big on television (I generally prefer to wait for the shows I like to be released on DVD), but the sheer extensibility of Linux-based IPTV technologies is more than enough to capture my imagination. If provided with a good on-demand service that lets me watch what I want, when I want to watch it, I would definitely be interested. As tantalizing as this Kreatel stuff is, it appears as though the SDK isn't available to average consumers yet. I hope that Motorola has the sense to realize that a devoted fan base of eager Linux device junkies will be a good thing for the platform."
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Motorola Acquires IPTV Embedded Linux Developer

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  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @01:49AM (#14524830) Homepage
    What a turn around this man has done with Motorola. There are an awful lot of great people at Motorola, and finally they have a CEO who actually listens to what they say.
  • Massive fan base (Score:2, Insightful)

    I'm not sure how large that 'devoted fan base' is in the grand scheme of things, but the concept of true on-demand content delivery has proven itself time and time again. Tivo et al are but the first step in this process. This sounds like a truely promising step in removing the stream of BS from television and provide an avenue around the 'strategized marketecture' that is increasingly commonplace in mass media. Most of us would gladly pay for programming w/o the coupled advertisements, and I hope they c
  • by paugq ( 443696 ) <pgquiles@e l p a u e r . o rg> on Saturday January 21, 2006 @02:08AM (#14524878) Homepage

    A few months ago Cisco bought Scientific Atlanta and now Motorola buys Kreatel (it makes sense, although Forbes said Motorola still had an advantage over Cisco []).

    There's few independent players left in the STB arena. I wonder how long until somebody buys Amino [], I3Micro [] or FedTec [].

    • and they could all buy each other and form one giant super company called Ciscifedtecorolamicrokretalanta ! that has a rather nice ring to it.
    • The irony is that Motorola lots its IPTV skills when it closed down its world leading Stream Master project a couple of years ago to save money after the dot-com crash. Now they've come to realise that IPTV is the future of DTV they've needed to reaquire those skills.

      Also, Alcatel bought iMagicTV [] to replace those lost skills. In fact nearly every leader in IPTV field from a couple of years ago did the same thing post dot-com crash, and are all stuggling to get back in the field.

      Carlye group [] are reported as
      • The irony is that Motorola lots its IPTV skills when it closed down its world leading Stream Master project a couple of years ago to save money after the dot-com crash.

        The Streamaster 5000 was a very nice piece of hardware indeed. After that project was shut down we were stuck with Acorn/Pace set-top boxes, which, although we had them running quite well, would have been no match for the PPC/Nuon combination in the Streamaster. Years ahead of its time.
  • Blurring (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Council ( 514577 )
    Something about this headline makes me go all groggy. The words start to swim in front of my eyes . . .

    Acquiring Motorola-developed embedded IPTV-Linux
    Linux developers acquire embedded Motorola IPTVs
    Embedded Linux-developed IPTVs acquired by Motorola
    IPTV acquires Motorola, develops embedded Linux

    Either this is the most generic Slashdot headline in recent memory or I need to get some sleep. Or it could be both.
    • What is intersting is that the Kreatel box is running the Mozilla browser as a front end. This means you can develop AJAX applications on the box although only XMLHttpRequest() is activated and not the XSLTProcessor() (something as google maps is not possible), probably will not happen because it's to processor intensive. Mozilla as a frontend will certainly 'blur' the borders between traditional internet applications and iptv development because the same technologies are being used. This also means (I ho
  • For decades, advertising firms and the companies they represent have held sway over the content of television. Not a few good shows haven't arisen despite the reigns of commercial liability, but if broadcasting companies really want to expand their markets, they need consumer demand in complete control without advertisements. Too many times has a well written program been cast off because they couldn't find companies willing to advertise on the show because of controversiality or because they didn't have a
  • by bugg ( 65930 ) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @03:59AM (#14525079) Homepage
    the SDK isn't available to average consumers yet

    Oh man, I can't believe it. I know when I go to Consumer Electronics Store, all I hear are the salespeople and customers discussing whether the SDK is available.

  • One thing that I can see this benefiting in the cable world is the delivery of low penetration (no not porn) services to those who are willing to pay for them. Rather than locking up a full channel in an MPEG stream for Broadcast or worse, VoD, cable operators would be able to provide this through future STBs with IPTV support. Most of the higher end set top boxes Motorola provides (6412/6416) come with a DOCSIS modem built in.

    As a cable operator I would hate to see IPTV become wide spread as there is suc
    • Actually, IPTV simplifies the job of the cable provider. As cable modems get faster, you can eventually stop worrying about TV altogether. Heck, you can even dedicate the television bandwidth to IP and make it even faster.
      • I would agree that to some extent IPTV will play a role, as I said in my previous post. But cable systems are very efficient in broadcasting the same channel to a large number of people. IPTV my be more suitable for those channels that only have a handful of viewers or VoD. I like where IPTV is going, I am just not fully convinced that it is the endall solution for ALL channel delivery.
  • Way back in 1995 I wrote the real time core of "IP/TV". We sold the company to Cisco in 1998 and Cisco still holds the US registered trademark "IP/TV".

    In any event, even way back a decade ago we were thinking how to move entertainment grade video - but there some things that people should be aware of. The first is that in the minds of many the entertainment stream is merely a container for advertising. The ability to do personalized, fast-cut, commercial inserts was one of the holy grails. One of the oth
  • Wow, only 17 comments on a front-page article.

    I for one would like to welcome out new overlords...
  • Don't forget:
    ANT that also makes an XHTML browser called Galio []

    Amino that has ready STBs that run Linux on an IBM PPC chip@252MHz []
    I tested the AMInet110 recently.

    Oregan is working on an IPTV stack as well []

    very interesting all in all :) Although I think I'd prefer to put a PC in the livingroom specifically for browsing instead of doing it on a TV, no matter how large the display is. An old la
  • by jmcneill ( 256391 ) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @08:40AM (#14525748) Homepage
    Disclaimer: I work at (what used to be) one of the original IPTV middleware companies.

    Having seen some Kreatel hardware, I can say that it's pretty cool, but certainly not unique. Amino [] makes the smallest Linux-based IPTV set-top box that I have ever seen. Their AmiNET110 is incredibly small. IIRC the only chip inside is an IBM system-on-a-chip (405GP, for those who care); not much else.

    Anyway, the Kreatel hardware I've dealt with is huge in comparison. Both very cool products.
  • If somebody would actualy know something about area of IPTV, one would know that we already have a nubumber of Linux based STBs. Amino [] being the most successful ones. Oh, I don't know... We have been deploying them from the start of 2004, when most of the people didn't even know what IPTV should mean. Swisscom on the other hand started testing Microsoft OS (Windows MCE) based STBs at the same time... and the still don't work properly. And those units cost more than ten times the cost of Amino 103 unit... BT

  • by Anonymous Coward
    These guys [] are doing some interesting open source IPTV code for Linux. They are using the PowerPC-based boxes from Hauppage ( Media MVP ), which make a nice cheap platform for experimentation.
  • "Ars Technica is covering Motorola's acquisition of Kreatel, a European company that designs Linux-based Internet Television Protocol (IPTV) technologies, including a set-top box powered by embedded Linux."

    Could someone please explain why major coroporations choose to embed linux kernel? Are there technical limitations against embedding the more refined *BSD kernel as opposed to the buggy Linux kernel?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If somebody distributes a Linux-based product, they are supposed to release the exact source code of the GPL part of the product. Linux kernel is covered by GPL.

    I don't see a way to download the GPLed part of the software used. Do others see where it is hidden? Does Kreatel release the GPLed part of the software with the Kreatel products?
  • Here it is []. (this is the 1510, imageshack, Coralized)
  • by konfoo ( 677366 ) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @01:20PM (#14526821)
    We ( [] ) use it for our STBs, edge video router, VOD server, STB management system... pretty much everything in the chain that delivers IPTV video from the headend to the viewer. We use XML and XUL wrappered by plain HTML and javascript, so clients have the ability to customize the UI, and the UI itself is (for all intent purposes) 'Video/EPG AJAX'. I've worked on a lot of systems in the last 10 years that deliver IPTV video. The nimbleness of this particular approach blows all the others out of the water. Where 'legacy' systems required a team of developers and months of time to get a new 'version' out for a customer, this can be done by one person adept at gimp/photoshop and javascript/html.
  • by Gnutte ( 907952 )
    "Kreatel, a European company"

    It's Swedish. They are based in Linköping, the same city that the Swedish figherplanes JAS 39 Griffin are from. I3Micro is also Swedish (based in Stockholm).

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sure, and Sweden is in Europe. If you don't believe me, ask the EU, which they joined in 1995.
  • reminds me of Cisco's IPTV device, which uses a mangled linux kernel to start up windows server 2000, for god knows what reason.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!