Motorola brings new interactive life to older set-tops

Motorola Mobility is taking next-generation interactive technology and putting it into last-generation set-top boxes and other devices. The Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) unit, currently being acquired by Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS), is expanding the range--and probably shelf life--of older set-tops by adding virtualized cloud-rendering to its DreamGallery user interface.

The upgrade will bring features now reserved for next-generation IP-based devices such as smartphones, tablets and advanced set-tops to current MPEG-2-based boxes and "make TV experiences as rich and easy as surfing the Web," the company said in a press release.

To accomplish this, Moto, like its set-top box counterpart Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), acquired a software license with ActiveVideo.

"Consumers want to find content faster and enjoy it on any device," said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager of converged solutions for Motorola Mobility.

Service providers, much to the chagrin of those consumers, can't always meet those demands, even if they want to.

"Our service provider customers are eager to address this demand with rich DreamGallery experiences," Burke insisted. The problem is, these same service providers "are constrained by the cost and complexity of upgrading their set-top boxes. Now, this cloud-based virtual module lets them deliver this next-generation experience to more subscribers."

The latest product upgrade paves the way for an Internet-like TV experience on existing devices, adding to a product list that originally included only HTML5 browser-based set-tops, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices.

With the latest cloud-based iteration, capabilities such as personalized search, customized media and smart recommendations will now be available on H.264 and MPEG-2-based devices.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is among the service providers which have bought into the DreamGallery experience for its FiOS service in the United States, the press release said. Cable operators, with millions of legacy units in the field, have been less enthused about the prospect but are expected to pick up the interactive pace when the technology moves into this existing base of products.

For more:
- Motorola issued this press release

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