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October 20, 2007

New TVSnob Feature: Snob News, Cool Daily Links You'll Love

Introducing Snob News.

The speed of development in the television industry is so unbelievably rapid these days. Unfortunately for this writer at TVSnob, there is not enough time in the day to cover all the events, product releases, and news. So starting today, TVSnob will feature a daily posting called Snob News. The posting will consist of interesting links that you will find captivating being the TV afficiondo you are. So for October 20, 2007, here goes.

Fast Company-an Entertainment 2.0 series that features some of the innovative web strategies of popular TV shows.

ZD Net-can plasma TV's stop being power hogs?

Mashable-check out Sony's new minisode network.

Maximum PC-more cool video streaming technology.

Engadget HD-we hope you're ready to shell out some dough for Christmas, because apparently a 65" LCD TV is just right for the average North American home.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Best Buy Removes Analog Products From Shelves

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If you happen to walk in to a Best Buy store today, don't expect to walk out with an analog TV. As of yesterday, Best Buy removed all analog products from store shelves after being told October 1st to cease selling anything solely utilizing analog transmissions. This is in preparation for the big day coming up, February 17, 2009, when all cable broadcasts will become digital.

If you already have an analog TV, you know, one of those half-ton wood encased giant tubes that's made a permanent indent on your living room floor, early in 2008 Best Buy will begin selling analog-to-digital converters, so don't fret to much.

Via ars technica

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 19, 2007

Japan To Begin 3D Broadcasts

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Innovation has always been the name of the game in Japan and once again they're leading the pack. Nippon BS Broadcasting will be starting 3D broadcasts December 1st in Japan. The broadcaster will launch a Broadcast Satellite HD channel that will air specific 3D programs for at least 15 minutes, twice a day. Users will require a special receiver and glasses to view the programming.

Via USA Today

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 17, 2007

Mobile TV: SlingPlayer Mobile/Palm Centro Compatible, Local Broadcasters Going Mobile

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Sling announced today that the Palm OS version of the SlingPlayer Mobile is compatible with the new Palm Centro meaning you can stream live TV on your Centro from members of the Slingbox family. This has been a widely accepted rumor floating around the internet tech community for awhile now as the Mobile is also compatible with Palm's previous two 3G smartphones, the Treo 700p and 755p.

Things are really moving in the mobile TV market lately. USA Today reported earlier today that local broadcasters will be soon broadcasting their programming at low cost or for free to all types of mobile devices equipped with special TV tuners. This is a move by local networks to better position themselves to compete with cable networks, web TV and even gamers. No word on pricing yet, but look for either very low pricing or free main channels as networks will be able to take advantage of the developing mobile advertising market to up revenues.

The TV tuner required to enable local networks to transmit their signals to mobile devices is currently being developed with Samsung and LG leading the way. The tuner will add about $10 to the price of a mobile device in which it is embedded or cost less than $50 as an add-on. Among the technologies currently being developed, one will be chosen as the industry standard sometime next year.

Via Crave, USA Today

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2007

Number Two Video Rental Chain, Movie Gallery, Bankrupt

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(Credit: Bloomberg)

The rapidly changing home entertainment industry has put the number two video rental chain into bankruptcy. Movie Gallery has succumbed to the Blockbuster/Netflix war, web video and as you know the list continues. Only two years ago, Movie Gallery's stock traded at $33/share. Tuesday the rental chain filed after their stock closed a sad $0.22/share. What a long fall! It will be interesting to see who worms their way out of the woodwork to oust Netflix in the future.

Via Crave

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 15, 2007

Will Retail Giant Target Negatively Impact The Television Industry?

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If you're an avid follower of tech-related news, you've no doubt heard by now of the California class action suit against retail giant Target. Target has been sued by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and one of its members, Bruce Sexton, under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and under two California state laws, the California Disabled Persons Act and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Sexton and the NFB are arguing that Target.com is not accessible to blind users, breaching the three above mentioned laws. Apparently site images were missing alternative text that blind users rely on to decipher images, keyboard controls did not work and navigational headings were missing.

By law, Sexton has not received full and equal access to goods and services offered by Target. Target has in turn argued that the case be thrown out as they have made some improvements to their site as a result of the claim, but their request has been denied.

Now the point I'm getting to is that if the class action suit succeeds, the case could affect thousands of other businesses in the internet economy. And this is where the case becomes linked to TV. Namely web TV and video.

Robert Scoble, of Scobleizer, wonders whether the accessibility issues in California will have any ramifications in the future for the videoblogging industry. While not TV as we traditionally think of it, tradition is dead. Videoblogging and other forms of video media on the Web and the innovations in advertising they bring will eventually be the driving force for hardware manufacturers to start producing more technologies that will bring web TV to the high-def's sitting in our living rooms. I don't think "lean-in" type viewing will catch on anytime in the near future, but if large networks find efficient ways of monetizing content on the web as opposed to the airwaves, the way our TV's receive content may change entirely.

Scoble points out that virtually every video-content site springing up on the web is inaccessible to the blind. He points to YouTube as a prime example. Scoble's video blog airs on Kyte.tv and he states that if videos had to have transcripts attached to them for the benefit of the blind, videoblogging would no longer be a viable option for him. He would have to pay someone to do the transcribing as would the majority of other videobloggers out there. He wraps his article up by stating the obvious: if such a law were enforced, a technological solution would have to be developed that would automatically add transcripts to video clips. While not a very thorough analysis of the possibility, Scoble does raise an interesting question.

Will the California class action suit against Target affect the web television industry and would it have any indirect effects on the television industry in general? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Via Scobleizer, The Register

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 10, 2007

Discovery Channel Moves Into Ring Tone Market

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You know the landscape of TV is changing when network television channels begin integrating their video and sound content into mobile phone ring tones. The Discovery Channel has 2-10 second video sound clips at Vringo, a ring tone sharing company. You can view the clips for free at the website, but senders and receivers of the video clips via their cell phones both must be subscribers to the Vringo service. Also, only certain phones are compatible such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson devices.

Via Crave

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

NBC Universal Acquires Oxygen Media

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NBC Universal is acquiring Oxygen Media, a female-focused cable network co-founded by Oprah Winfrey. In their attempt to own the female demographic, NBC has also acquired iVillage, a female-oriented content and advertising website and is a backer of Sugar, another female-oriented site. The female demographic has boasted strong growth rates as of late and Oxygen Media has said that its prime-time viewership has increased 19% among its target demographic and 7% among all households. NBC figures the acquisition will mean $35 million in cost savings and revenues next year.

Via VentureBeat

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Toshiba Adapters Recalled

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Recalled Adapter

Buyers of the Toshiba portable DVD player Model SD-P1600 who purchased their player in US consumer electronics stores between January 2005 and April 2006 should be aware that Toshiba has recalled the AC adapter that was sold with the unit. “Toshiba” and ADPV16 can be read on the side of the adapter. Apparently their have been 2 cases where the adapters have failed causing damage to the portable DVD players due to overheating. While no injuries have been reported, failure of the adapters still do pose a burn hazard. There are 142000 units out there and if you have one, contact Toshiba Customer Solutions toll-free at (877) 290-6064 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.tacp.com for a replacement adapter.

Via Reuters

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2007

Al Jazeera-YouTube Agreement Sparks Debate

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Last week the Al Jazeera English channel signed an ad revenue sharing agreement with YouTube. Al Jazeera English is a legimate news network based in Doha and the first global English-language news network to be based in the Middle East.

This is causing a storm over at the TechCrunch blog where readers still associate the Al Jazeera news network with terrorist activity. Comments indicate that the station is owned by such terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and while I don't know whether any of us at TVSnob or TechCrunch could make an informed opinion regarding whether such opinions have any basis in fact, everyone remembers Al Jazeera as being the platform that every so often brings Osama Bin Laden's face back to the West.

That is probably why no US-based cable networks will air the channel in either its English or Arabic incarnations-with the exception of Toledo, Ohio based Buckeye CableSystem and the municipal cable suppler in Burlington, Vermont.

From what I've seen of the Al Jazeera English channel on YouTube, it's flavor of reporting seems to be fairly objective for the most part. Even if it's not at times, however, it never hurts to get both sides of the story.

What are your opinions regarding the agreement?

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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