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“Over the top” video services carry the implication of going behind the backs of existing television operators. But two of the (admittedly smaller) players in IPTV and web-delivered video on demand are teaming up to give us a glance of what a united future could look like.
Entone, an IPTV set-top box and service provider, is announcing today it has teamed with Vudu to offer the latter’s library of 14,000 movie and TV titles, including 1,500 HD films.
The offering marks Vudu’s first “embeddable” version of its software sans its own hardware. The company, which has been through multiple price reductions and layoffs, looks to be moving in that direction: “[W]e want consumers to get access to Vudu through the devices they already have in their home,” said Edward Lichty, the company’s EVP of strategy and content.
The joint Entone-Vudu offering, which is supposed to launch at the end of June, will behave just like Vudu — same delivery software, same selection, same prices — but without the proprietary Vudu remote control.
Entone is also looking to sign more deals for web-delivered content, said CEO Steve McKay. He thinks he can accelerate adoption of the services by making them more easy to access. “You’re asking the consumer to buy special-purpose devices,” he said of other solutions like Roku, Apple TV (s AAPL) and ZillionTV.
Entone has about 200,000 customers of 70 U.S. phone companies using its IPTV devices today, and they are all expected to have access to the Vudu service. Vudu has not released sales numbers.
Further reading/watching: We posted a video interview with McKay last October.