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MovieLabs names cable veteran CEO of studio-backed research unit

April 17, 2013|By Dawn C. Chmielewski

MovieLabs, a studio-backed research and development venture, has appointed a cable-industry veteran with Silicon Valley ties as its new president and chief executive.

John Carney, senior vice president of engineering at Comcast Corp., will run the nonprofit organization, which was created in 2005 by the six major studios to research new forms of movie distribution and protection. Although MovieLabs' initial emphasis was on thwarting movie piracy, its focus has expanded to include the digital distribution of movies and television shows.

"The focus of Movielabs, and their mission, is to advance the science behind how people consume content globally," Carney said. "I hope to continue those efforts."

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To reflect its technological orientation, MovieLabs -- formally Motion Picture Laboratories Inc. -- is based in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley. It's modeled on the cable industry's own research and development consortium, CableLabs, where Carney worked as a consultant on behalf of Comcast, helping the organization establish a West Coast presence.

"He brings deep technological and business expertise that is critical to this role -- particularly during this time of rapid technological development," said Warner Bros. Technical Operations President Darcy Antonellis, who served on the MovieLabs board.

Carney oversaw a variety of technological initiatives during his five-year tenure at Comcast.  Prior to that, he was president of TVWorks, a joint venture between Comcast and Cox focused on interactive TV.  He co-founded MetaTV, a software company that was acquired by TVWorks, whose core technology would later became an industry standard for delivering enhanced television services.

Carney holds a master's degree in operations research from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Louisiana State University.

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