Cable Industry Launches New Research Lab to Fight Off Streaming Services

The cable industry is pulling together and setting up a Silicon Valley research center, in an attempt to fight off the threat of online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Reuters reports that cable TV executives—from the likes of Time Warner and Comcast—are pooling resources to set up the research lab in Silicon Valley next year. The report explains that the move hopes to halt the emerging trend of "cord-cutting", by developing a home-grown pool of new tech in collaboration with startups, established firms, and leading universities.

The new labs will be spearheaded by the existing Colorado-based CableLabs, a nonprofit R&D consortium already established by the industry, but will work hard specifically to tackle the impact of online streaming services. The hope is to "re-energize" cable TV, though it's far from clear exactly how it will do that. Seemingly, though, mobile is important to them with Comcast CEO Neil Smite explaining:

"Mobile is growing and we want to provide our services in mobile format. Wi-fi is a very important part of our business, both indoor and outdoor aspects of it."

No shit! Doubtless, given cable's current position it's a smart idea to invest in innovation to try and differentiate itself from the seething mass of online competitors, that are swiftly rising from the position of underdogs to market-shapers. It might, however, be too little, too late. [Reuters]

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