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The cloud is driving video services on Android

by Kristen Nicole

Online video streaming has been gaining traction for years, but many still haven’t dropped their cable service all together. Mobile is changing all that, with more features, more personalization and more access. And while many have yet to cut the cord cable, home entertainment is becoming a much broader experience, starting with the mobile adoption of services like Netflix. The online video streamer launched an Android app earlier this year, and expanded to include the bulk of Android devices just this past weekend. And Netflix is just one pressure point for cable providers -- the cloud and mobile technology are really helping to drive this trend.

Orb Live is a service that lets you stream your personal media cloud, including music, photos and videos, from your computer to your smartphone. Launching on Android this week, Orb Live also lets you stream free content from services like Hulu Plus or select ESPN channels. Previously only available for iOS devices, Orb Live for Android supports streaming over 3G and Wi-Fi, so any video service available to your computer, including Netflix and YouTube, can also be streamed through Orb Live.

Orb Live leverages the cloud for streaming delivery, but ZiXi is also looking to cloud technology for improved video transmission, especially in HD. Based on Amazon’s EC2, Zixi provides businesses a platform for cloud-based broadcasting. As more broadcasters like NBC include mobile devices in their lineup for live streams, and media houses like Scripps join the party, live streaming is gaining support from industry heavyweights, enabling a new future for video distribution.

The business of live streaming faces growing pains

Zixi’s going after the live-streaming market with its cloud-based product, while Orb Live still faces some industry development for its model. Streaming content from another device isn’t in Hulu or Netflix’s best interest, as Orb hasn’t worked out direct deals with content providers. The cloud is certainly providing new means of content distribution beyond TV screens, but it’s monetization efforts still face some growing pains. We’re at an intersection of technology, business and consumer interest, so taking advantage of this convergence is an important aspect of leveraging the cloud.