Awhile back we told you about Cablevision's plan to offer a "remote access" DVR. While we like the idea, we knew that Hollywood would want their say. According to Boston.com:
Four Hollywood studios and the three major television networks filed a copyright suit on Wednesday seeking to prevent Cablevision Systems Corp. from launching an "on-demand" service that aims to replace the living room digital video recorder.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, says Cablevision would run afoul of copyright law with its plan to allow subscribers to store and play back TV programs through computer servers controlled by the cable TV operator.
So what's the big deal about a "remote access" DVR? According to the the Hollywood Studios:
Individual consumers have long been free to record TV shows, movies and music for personal use. But Cablevision's so-called Network DVR service has raised objections from some content providers who say it puts control over their material into the hands of another company that has not paid for or licensed it.
"Cablevision is actually copying, storing and retransmitting it," said Kori Bernard, a spokeswoman for studio industry group the Motion Picture Association of America. "A commercial entity can't establish a for-profit, on-demand service without authorization from copyright owners whose content is used on that service," she said.
I kind of understand the Hollywood point of view but it really comes down to offering consumers more choices and I support Cablevision's attempt to do that. We'll keep a close eye on this battle which will probably develop into a full-scale war.
Our friends over at Philips have sent me a video of some really cool prototypes at the recent Philips Simplicity event in New York. Pay real close attention to the awesome Vision Televison / Mirror in the first part of this short video.
I'll get you some more details about these really cool prototypes in a later post.
Did you hear about the guy at a job interview accidentally being interviewed on BBC TV? According to TimesOnline.co.uk:
A COMPUTER programmer whose BBC job application led to him mistakenly broadcasting live to a worldwide audience was last night still waiting to hear whether he’d got the job.
Guy Goma, who was ushered before live cameras and interviewed as an internet expert, said that he was “traumatised” by the experience.
Mr Goma was grilled on camera after an embarrassing error by BBC News 24. He had been looking for work in the business information department.
What happened was:
Producers at BBC News 24, the rolling news channel, thought Mr Goma was Guy Kewney, an internet expert, who was sitting patiently in the lobby of Television Centre in West London. Mr Kewney watched television screens in disbelief as the interview progressed, under his name, but with the wrong man.
Mr Goma, an economics and business studies graduate, was interrogated by Karen Bowerman, the business news presenter, about a victory in the High Court by Apple the computer company over Apple Corps, which manages the intellectual property of the Beatles.
The funny thing is this story has been all over the media poking at BBC as complete morons for their mistake. The problem is all of the media reported this guy as being a cabbie. So I guess the BBC wasn't the only media outlet that was wrong. Who woulda' thunk it?
Okay - we know this is a TV site but isn't internet TV the thing of the future? This rather amazing short piece tells the tale of a man who wants a G5 instead of his old G4 to edit video on and is takes donations under the premise he'll blow up his old computer once everyone on the net ponies up some money. Well - he gets his wish but how do you blow up a computer?
It's amazing how much energy some criminals put in ripping people off. Just imagine unpacking your new flat screen TV and finding an old oven door in the box. According to SunTimes.com:
A rash of oven-door thefts may be linked to a recent case in which a woman bought what she thought was a flat-screen TV, only to discover that the package held an old oven door, police said.
South Bend detective Sgt. Jim Walsh said police arrested a suspect Thursday they believe sold the door to the woman. Police said an oven door and packaging materials were found in the trunk of the man's car.
Of course the lady who bought the TV wasn't a rocket scientist:
In the case of the bilked woman, she was approached by the suspect Feb. 20 at her workplace with an offer of a flat-screen TV for $500. The suspect settled for $300. But when the woman unwrapped the packaging, she found a cord, a controller -- and an oven door.
I guess if you're greedy enough to buy what has to be a stolen TV, you deserve a nice used oven door.
Hey, did you notice there are a lot of commercials and promo junk on TV? Yep, we'll call this "Bleeding Obvious Friday". Anyway, there's a report out that tells us there's way to much "clutter" on TV. According to the report:
Advertising clutter [non-programming minutes per hour] in prime time on the broadcast networks in 2005 increased cumulatively by only 2 percent, while it jumped 5 percent on the cable network side, according to media agency MindShare's annual study on the topic.
While the percentages of increase do not seem to be that high, MindShare group research director, Debbie Solomon, said the results are "disturbing" because more consumers are believing that TV has the most commercial clutter, even though the medium ranks behind print and online.
The reports states these figures:
On the broadcast side, ABC ran the most non-commercial minutes [commercials and programming promos] in 2005, averaging 15 minutes and 26 seconds per hour. Other networks over the 15 minute mark included the WB (15:10), NBC (15:01), and Fox (15:00). CBS was up by about 37 seconds per hour but still under 15 minutes with an average of 14:52, and sister network UPN was also up 37 seconds to 14:26.
What's unique is that the report comes from a media buyer organization. Obviously there's starting to be backlash from advertisers who are tired of seeing their commercials being watered down with all the other junk between shows. Can't we all just hug and get along?
Microsoft has quite taken over the world yet. Now they want to offer you original entertainment content for your computer and television. According to TheStreet.com:
The world's largest software company is going Hollywood, signing a partnership with Reveille, an independent production company, to develop original content for its struggling MSN service. The "multi-project deal," which The New York Times disclosed earlier Wednesday, calls for Reveille to develop entertainment programming that will first appear on the site originals.msn.com.
The article continues:
Reveille, whose shows include NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and MTV's "Date My Mom," will create programs that may be seen in other formats such as mobile devices and -- in an ironic twist -- television sets, Microsoft says. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
So do you think that when there's programming problems, you'll see the blue screen of death during your show. That would be so cool!
Hey! It's almost Mother's Day (May 14, 2006)! Have you thought about a gift for that special mom in your life? Well, we all know that moms dig home theater equipment. Our buddy Robert over at HomeTheater.About.com has some great gift ideas for Mother's Day and topping the list is:
Olevia LT32HV 32-Inch 16x9 HD-Compatible LCD Television
For less than $2,000, this set sports a 32-inch 16x9 screen, as well as HD-compatible progressive scan and DVI-HDCP inputs, perfect for watching DVD and HD material (with an outboard set-top box). The LT32HV includes great sounding side-mounted speakers, and an output to connect an external subwoofer. The LT32HV also has extensive picture adjustment controls, a very wide viewing angle due to its Super Inplane Switching, and good response time, which minimizes motion lag on poor source material.
Wow! Is April over already? Well, we had a good April, especially because we've moved to a much faster server. Hopefully, you're noticing TVSnob pages loading much faster.
While you're catching up on the content you missed in April, be sure to check out our review on the Philips RC9800i Touch Screen Remote. The RC9800i is one of those remotes that does everything but make coffee!