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Motorola Wins Backing For Set-Top From Blockbuster, Enron

If you were waiting for big-time interactive video-on-demand to come to your PC, you may have to invest in a set-top box instead. Motorola, it would appear, is at last putting convergence into the living room, starting with the movies. The move was announced Wednesday in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

In the U.S., Blockbuster, Inc. and Enron Broadband Services announced that they are using Motorola's Streamaster 5000 set top box to provide access to the Blockbuster Entertainment On-Demand service during its launch.

Enron Broadband Services and Blockbuster recently announced that they have begun delivering movies to consumers' televisions via the Blockbuster Entertainment On-Demand service over Enron's broadband network in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Salt Lake City. The companies also announced that a technical trial of the service had commenced in New York City.

In this implementation, the Streamaster 5000 is providing subscribers access to movies on-demand. Currently, consumers are able to start, stop, pause, rewind, and view movies on-demand with VHS visual and sound quality.

"We are proud to be a part of this innovative venture that will open up a new world of entertainment options for the consumer," said Jackie Beauchamp, director and general manager, Multimedia Systems Division, Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector. "Motorola's leadership position in enabling the broadband multimedia services market, combined with Blockbuster's powerful entertainment brand and access to customers and Enron's high-speed network, will enable broadband distribution companies to quickly deliver movie services to consumers."

"We're very pleased to be working with Motorola for the launch of our Entertainment On-Demand service. We were especially pleased with the quality of output of the Streamaster system, which we certainly expect to enhance the experience of our subscribers," said Mark Gilman, Blockbuster president New Media. "The Enron and Blockbuster alliance, now with the addition of Motorola, is starting to deliver on the promise of the broadband home entertainment experience."

"Through our relationships with Blockbuster and our distribution providers, we have created a unique and robust technical platform for delivering video on-demand, which will enable the service to be scaled into other markets," said David Cox, Managing Director at Enron Broadband Services. "We are achieving superior levels of quality and security that entertainment on-demand can now deliver."

Simultaneously, consumers in Atlantic Canada saw Aliant Telecom choose Motorola's Streamaster 5000 to deliver a wide range of broadband interactive television services. Aliant plans a market expansion of its Advanced Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)-based VibeVision suite of services, launched in January 2000, which offers digital-quality television, interactive program guide, "infotainment" services, Web browsing and e-mail.

It is the first use of the Streamaster 5000 in a service such as VibeVision, which utilizes the iMagicTV DTV Manager interactive software and Cisco's Video Networking System to deliver multi-channel television and interactive media services.

"Aliant is focused on strategic expansion, and Motorola's Streamaster 5000 will help us deliver a full package of interactive television services to our customers," stated Mike MacNeil, director, Consumer Broadband Services, Aliant. "Streamaster 5000 is the `all-in-one' solution that our customers are demanding, and we look forward to making these services available soon."

Located in Aliant's head-end, Cisco's VN 5900 Video Networking System aggregates a variety of video and audio signals, performs video processing as required such as demodulating, descrambling and demultiplexing and adapts the resulting signals to Aliant's network.

These signals are distributed using iMagicTV's DTV Manager s