Murdoch and TV-Over-WiMAX


A few months ago, Robert Young had said that Rupert Murdoch will and should be very interested in fixed wireless technologies. Subsequent media reports and aggressive (and failed) bids for spectrum in the recent Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) auctions indicate that the wily old fox and his company are seriously interested in life beyond satellite. There hasn’t been much concrete proof of his plans, but today we did discover another little gem which indicates that News Corp. is very interested in WiMAX.

At the upcoming IBC 2006 show, NDS (Nasdaq: NNDS), a PayTV software maker based in UK will demo a TV-over-WIMAX system in partnership with Intel and Modern Times Group’s Viasat Broadcasting, a leading digital satellite pay-TV broadcaster in the Nordic countries. They will show that WiMAX TV software from NDS will be able to deliver content over WiMAX to personal Consumer Electronic (CE) devices such as laptop computers and other handheld devices.

Visitors to the NDS stand at IBC 2006 (1.171) will be able to see a demonstration of live Viasat content encoded in MPEG-4 AVC using a Grass Valley Argos advanced H.264 real-time encoder and then delivered through the NDS WiMAX TV system over WiMAX to an Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology based notebook PC.

Normally one would dismiss this as yet another demo-ware press release, but the fact that NDS’ largest shareholder is News Corp., makes us take note of this announcement. TV-over-WiMAX could take away the important video-over-fixed line arguments that Cable & DSL guys constantly offer when dismissing wireless.

From Murdoch’s perspective, unlicensed spectrum could be one way of getting into the broadband game? Of course we have speculated a future relationship with Clearwire in the US. So many scenarios that can play out, but the one that makes most sense to me: no need to cannibalize his core satellite businesses. Thoughts?


Court Kizer

h.264 blu-ray quality movies are easily done over wi-max. I have several blu-ray movies that are ultra-high quality running at 30mbs… However with compression some of them run at 8mbs in very good hi-def.

I’ve successfully streamed HD h.264 content over current 802.11g, with a good signal at 20mbs/second to my tv from another computer in the house.

So it’s very possible.


What rock done you crawled out from under? It’s been the hottest VC topic in Austin this past year and you done missed it? I guess they was right about you.


what’s stopping one from increasing bandwith on unlicensed 2.4GHZ band to 60mbps thus making it the same or even better than wimax but without the need to purchase the spectrum?


WiMax is not using the unlicensed spectrum. It is very very differant from WiFi. You have to purchase the spectrum to use it.


I work for the wonderchild of Murdoch companies, namely, DIRECTV. If you were not living under a rock lately, you must be in the know that DIRECTV Broadband, an implementation of wimax, has been pilot launched in the city of Anaheim CA, in partnership with Earthlink.

So the broadband intentions of Mr. Murdoch is not just a rumor. It is taking place already


As long as I know, a Wi-Max BTS could deliver a throughput of 30-60 Mbps. How could Wi-Max be used to offer TV with this kind of performance? My feeling is that TV-over-WIMAX is something very futuristic, or just impossible.

Wes Felter

What’s the advantage of H.264-over-WiMax compared to H.264-over-ATSC or H.264-over-DVB-T?

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