Best Selling HDTVs

December 1, 2007

Vuze Video Platform Partners With United Talent Agency; Look For More Great Content, Also More Advertising

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The world's most popular high-def online video platform, Vuze, has signed a deal with the United Talent Agency, who will be the sole representative for the company in the area of business development. Although Vuze already has over 100 content partners, the United Talent Agency aims to help the company better infiltrate Hollywood's most creative writers and producers, help find more high quality content providers, and help connect Vuze to consumer brands leading to more branded entertainment channels. Of course this means you'll probably see a heck of a lot more advertising from the video platform. Formerly known as Azureus, Inc., Vuze has acquired 13 million unique clients in its first 10 months of operations, and its user base continues to grow at the rate of 500000 per week.

Via Business Wire

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

November 29, 2007

Keep Your Beverage Cold While Watching Web Video With USB Beverage Chiller

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I for one am still not a huge fan of sitting in my office chair to watch a full-length movie on my PC. However, I may enjoy it more if I have a few ice cold brewskis to numb the back pain. If this sounds like you, you might get some use out of the CoolIT Systems USB Beverage Chiller. Just plug this little miracle into your PC's USB port and within seconds it cools to 45 degress Fahrenheit, the perfect drink temperature. You can get your hands on one for $24.99 at CoolIT Systems.

Via CoolIT Systems

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

November 27, 2007

Reminder: Nobody Likes The Apple TV

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I always get a kick out of the fact that every once in a while, a new article starts floating around the blogosphere outlining the reasoning behind the ongoing failure of the Apple TV. Personally I've always believed that it's just ahead of its time. Not so much the technology itself, but Apple's continuing need to keep it proprietary. I mean, why would someone buy an Apple TV just to watch free YouTube garbage and the odd video you have to pay for from iTunes. There's just not enough good content available when your pickings are that slim at this point in time. Maybe a few years down the road, things will be different. Not now though.

The latest "why the Apple TV sucks" article is courtesy of Jason Mick at Daily Tech. The reason he penned the article is because not surprisingly sales of the Apple TV have been less than stellar so far this holiday season. Once again though, he outlines why.

1. It's just "a hobby" for Steve Jobs.

2. Small market segment and consumer ignorance as most users don't have enough computer content.

3. Those that do don't even know the Apple TV exists or if they do, don't know how it works.

4. Apple's insistence on keeping the device proprietary eliminates the majority of the good video content on the web.

5. Apple has refused to create a rental or subscription service to use with the TV, apparently because the consumer does not want them. (Smartass comment inserted by TVSnob editor: this is precisely why Netflix is such a success and the Apple TV sucks)

6. The Apple TV is closed and one-dimensional.

Thank you to Daily Tech for once again reminding us of the failings of the Apple TV.

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

November 25, 2007

Pioneer Launches SyncTV Online Service; Why?

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We're not particularly interested in checking this out, being ANOTHER online TV service and all, but you might so we'll give you the details.

Currently in private beta (meaning you may have to wait to check it out anyways), SyncTV, an offshoot company of Pioneer Electronics, offers a la carte television channels for online subscription viewing. The company has reported that the monthly channel subscription rates run from $2-4 and feature "home-theater quality" videos integrating surround sound capabilities and picture quality at least comparable to that of DVD's and in some cases high-def.

Shows are also available for download at $2 per episode and run on both Macs and PCs. What channels are offered is not known at the moment, but the only mainstream channel of note is Showtime.

It can apparently play on five separate devices within the home, and 10 portable devices, not including the iPod, and third-party devices for the SyncTV service should appear in the first half of 2008.

Via paidContent.org

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

November 17, 2007

NBC Acquires Web Series Quarterlife For Television Broadcast

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The New Yorks Times reported this morning that NBC has acquired web series "Quarterlife", the much-talked about video series chronicling the existential angst of a group of twenty-something creatives. It is planned for the series to be aired starting next February in 60 minute episode format on NBC. Until then, 8-10 episodes will continue airing on MySpace TV and at the Quarterlife website and will continue to broadcast on the web first even after the episodes move to TV.

This is an absolutely revolutionary move in the continuing evolution of the television industry. This is the first time a series created solely for web viewing has been acquired by a major network to be broadcast on television and could spark a new wave of content creation and distribution innovations that could fundamentally change how the show's we watch are created and aired. Writer's Strike aside, exciting times for TV!

Via New York Times

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

November 16, 2007

YouTube To Feature High Quality Video Within 3 Months; Not Really That Big Of A Deal

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Image Credit: NewTeeVee

GigaOM Network's NewTeeVee Conference yesterday seemed to be a hit. Even though I could neither be there or watch the live feed on new video-streaming platform Mogulus, I've been busy sifting through the live-blogging done during each of the keynote sessions and patiently waiting for Mogulus to split each speaker into his or her own stream on the platform so I can actually watch the feed. Right now, the entire conference just keeps playing over and over making it nearly impossible to watch the parts you want to see without sitting in front of the computer screen for 12 hours straight.

From the info I've had the chance to sift through, I've found quite a few interesting nuggets, but the one that seems to have the blogosphere abuzz the most is the announcement by YouTube's Steve Chen that we can expect higher quality content from the platform in the next 3 months or so. At the conference yesterday, Chen stated that YouTube was more focused on making the platform's video content available on a global scale and that improving on the currently horrible 320x240 pixel resolution was not a huge priority. That's the impression I got from the live-blogging by NewTeeVee's Chris Albrecht. In fact, Chen even stated that the video quality is "good enough right now". CNET's Rafe Needleman stated however, that Chen told him YouTube is currently testing a streamer that detects the user's connection speed and then provides higher quality content if the user wants it and the connection supports it. He also stated that a concern of YouTube's is that the video buffering will take longer fundamentally changing the user experience. One of the great things about YouTube is that buffering is currently almost instantaneous. Chen then apparently said that higher quality content would be available in the next 3 months.

Personally, I don't think high-def video resolution is a necessary for YouTube. The majority of the content is user-generated and the professional content found on the platform is often the victim of copyright infringement and is eventually removed. Making YouTube a global platform would be a smarter strategy. Also of note is the fact that archived videos are stored in the format in which they are uploaded, mostly 320x240, making streaming them in any type of high-quality video format virtually impossible.

Via NewTeeVee, CNET.com

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

November 14, 2007

Web TV Ready For Primetime? Not Yet, But Soon Enough

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With the Hollywood Writer's Strike continuing and the time drawing nearer for primetime TV to consist of nothing but repeats, the pressing question among media minds is whether or not webisodes are ready for primetime. One of the issues with series' produced solely for web-viewing is the length. Viewers watch TV primarily for the stories and telling a story in less than 5 minutes is, needless to say, challenging. I've finally had the chance to check out the first 2 episodes of Quarterlife, produced by TV veterans Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, and though the storyline consists of the typical coming-of-age teen angst found in shows cast with teens and twenty-somethings, there is an engaging story. The episodes, each about 10 minutes in length, are formatted a little differently than most web TV series'. Each episode was initially produced to be about 60 minutes long and then split into 6 separate webisodes. If the creators find that the audience can and want to engage for lengthier time periods, the pieces can then be reassembled fairly easily.

Not surprisingly, rumor has it that NBC is considering acquiring Quarterlife for it's strike programming. It is just a rumor though, as neither the network, nor the show's creators have commented on the authenticity of the rumor. But if it is true and it happened, it would be a momentous step for web TV. It would technically make it mainstream.

I'm still of the opinion that internet TV will not win out over traditional television anytime soon. Nobody wants to sit in front of their computer screen to watch an hour long show and the money just isn't there yet to entice content creators to produce engaging content. The real money will be made by the TiVo's and Sling Media's of the world that understand web TV's success is in bringing it to our actual TV sets. The low overhead costs to produce web shows, the ease of distribution, and the flexibility in content and storyline given to the creators without a giant bureaucratic network breathing down their necks is what makes it interesting for both the creators and the audience. Shows can be more risque and experimental pleasing the viewers and the ease to produce and distribute the content for the writer's and producer's are attractive features. An artist wants nothing more than to be able to spread her wings. That's the potential of web TV. Completely creative control over content by writers and producers, and content much different than typical primetime TV filling a giant unmet viewing niche. But it'll all still have to be transferred to our good old HDTV's. That part won't change.

Right now, internet advertising methods probably won't cut it for most Hollywood writers, directors, and producers. There is nothing effective enough to compete with a nice 6-figure Hollywood salary. But watch over the next few years, as internet advertising evolves into utilizing more effective revenue models, and creators realize the flexibility the internet offers them in terms of really exercising their creative muscles, they will begin to flock in increasing numbers to the net producing varied and engaging content. Then webisodes will be ready for primetime.

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

November 12, 2007

Intel To Unveil New Chips For Improving Web Video

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Intel is to announce a new family of microprocessor chips today that they say will improve the quality of current video formats and speed the availability of high-def web video. The new family, made up of 16 microprocessors will first be used in servers and high-end desktops and will be available as the Intel Core 2 Extreme and Intel Core 2 Duo early next year.

The new chips use 45-nanometer technology, switch more quickly, and use less energy to function. A set of 46 instructions called SSE4 will be added to the new chips to allow more effective video compression and Intel feels applying the technology to web video applications and quality will be the best use for the 45-nanometer technology over the next few years. Wouldn't it be nice to watch a nice, clear, high-def YouTube video?

Via The New York Times

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

Is Google Planning To Rock The Web Video World?

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Apparently Google is working on a project that could revolutionize the way TV is watched over the internet, according to The Observer. Google has been secretly talking with with Simon Fuller, the British entrepreneur behind the Spice Girls, Pop Idol, and American Idol. Talks have been going on for about a year now, and some are speculating that Google's plans involve generating original content in order to compete with major broadcasters. Sources close to Fuller have said that the plan will "change television in much the way iTunes changed the way music is disseminated". One has to wonder whether Google's intention to bid on the 700 Mhz spectrum next January 16 is in any way related. Speculation so far is that Google would use the airspace to develop a wireless-network, especially after the recent announcement of the Android platform and the Open Handset Alliance, so it could go either way. This is definitely a story to watch closely.

Via The Observer

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

November 4, 2007

What Does The Writers Guild Of America Strike Mean For Web TV?

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Back in 1988 when Writers Guild Of America workers walked off the job for 22 weeks, cable TV was given a chance to shine. And that it did, with unknown channels such as HBO and TNT becoming huge hits continue to maintain their popularity today. With the Writers Guild set to strike again tomorrow, the logical question would be whether this is an opportunity for web TV to be today's cable.

It would make sense that writers would flock to the web for work and video platforms such as Revver and Dailymotion would welcome the increased traffic and potential revenues. The only problem is the WGA strike rules, which are considerably murky to say the least, say writing for the web during the walk-out is against the rules.

Members who break these rules are liable to be penalized and writers who aren't yet members of the guild may be forbidden from ever joining. However, the WGA has designated some online video companies as signatory as others as not, possibly setting the stage for writers to head for the non-signatory platforms. Some also question whether this rule is actual policy or just posturing as the WGA has never had reason to police writing for the web before as it is still just a blip on their radar screen. And furthermore, if it is policy, it may very likely chance as the the workers move further into the strike.

Whether or not writing for the web could even be policed is arguable in itself because the ability to film content on the web unscripted is very simple when compared to filming for network television. One example used by Rob Barnett of My Damn Channel questions whether or not "a man on the street asking funny questions and getting goofy responses" is considered written or not.

At the moment it seems the politics of it all make it hard to say what will happen a few months down the road. But definitely keep an eye on web TV, we may see an upward climb.

Via Yahoo! News

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

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