Best Selling HDTVs

May 27, 2008

Online Video Viewers To Move Into The Billions By 2013

nextnet2.story.jpgAccording to a new research study by ABI Research, Over-The-Top Internet Video Strategies for Carriers, the number of online video viewers will hit the 1 billion mark by 2013. Online video is supplied by a growing number of players including content owners, user-generated video sites, internet portal, broadband video sites, and internet TV providers and distribution methods are constantly changing in order to reduce strain on broadband networks.

ABI says "content distribution networks that cache content closer to the user, peer-to-peer networks which leverage users' PCs, and hybrid networks which combine these two approaches" are becoming the most used online video distribution methods. While this is all and good, the real reason for outlining this data is to help out pay-TV broadcasters to come up with a game plan is they want to continue to compete. ABI says "providers should refrain from knee-jerk responses, or adopting defensive measures aimed at discouraging consumers from using those services...produce resentment from subscribers and likely defections from their services" but instead adopt an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach.

Pay-TV owners already have an existing broadband infrastructure giving them a technical advantage right off the bat, and can use this to supplement their traditional broadcasting methods.

Via ABI Research

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 17, 2008

Samsung OLED Laptop Hints At Web TV's Future

Samsung%20SDI%20OLED%20laptop.jpgWhile we think web TV will hit its eventual "tipping point" once the home computer and home theater system have completely converged, for those that would just rather watch television on their computer screen may now have a high-end display solution. Samsung's 12.1-inch OLED laptop prototype features a WXGA AMOLED display which is the largest so far in size and resolution (1280x768). Ultra-thin and with a "kickstand" in the back, the keyboard features touch keys which we personally think would be a little awkward to work with on a computer. Interestingly, Samsung says by using thin film transistor (TFT) technology in the display, manufacturing costs are lower than with typical LCD displays and use less energy. What we're really wondering is if the recent revelation that Sony may have fudged the expected life of its XEL-1 OLED TV display says anything about risks associated with buying an OLED laptop. We have time to figure it out, it's only a prototype.

Via GoodCleanTech

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

May 6, 2008

HP Bringing YouTube To Its MediaSmart TV's

Just a few weeks after HP released a firmware update to the MediaSmart TV, bringing web video directly to the big screen via Windows Media Extender, the company has just announced it'll be bringing YouTube vids to the big screen as well. Users will be able to login to YouTube right on the MediaSmart set using the remote control and then watch, share and edit videos as well as create playlists. YouTube product manager Jim Patterson says that "people want to participate in the YouTube community in ways that fit their individual lifestyles" and that's why the monolithic video site feels bringing its vids to the living room is a smart choice.

Via HP

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 3, 2008

Hulu Launches YouTube Channel: Why Is Everyone So Surprised?

hulutube.jpgJust before last October's beta launch of Hulu, the NBC and FOX network-backed online video platform, NBC pulled all of its content off of YouTube in order to throw full support behind its fledgling web video startup. Just before the March 3 public launch of Hulu, NBC signed up for its own Hulu channel on YouTube, leading some to question whether Hulu is struggling with traffic numbers, forcing to leverage its main "rivals" massive traffic numbers to boost its own. But everyone seems to be forgetting that around the time of the beta launch in October 2007, there was a rumor circulating that stated NBC fully intended to head back to YouTube eventually, one day hoping the company would become a formal distribution partner to Hulu. NewTeeVee's Liz Gannes was able to contact Hulu and a spokesperson said, It was absolutely planned by Hulu. We know that there are opportunities to find audiences all over the web. These are short promotional clips and we're working with NBC and FOX on this.

Even though the YouTube Hulu channel is not part of a formal agreement between the two companies, it is catching the eye of millions--literally. With only 37 clips, all under 3 minutes long, the channel had about 4 million views in April, mostly in the form of Family Guy clips. And while that's impressive, we wonder how many viewers are heading back to Hulu. Is Hulu unwittingly turning itself into nothing more than a web video distributor rather than a destination site?

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

Broadcast TV Will Only Be Useful For Big Events In 15 Years: NBC's Ben Silverman

AmericanIdolRatings.jpgIf you happen to be a broadcast TV fanatic, none to happy about the growing web and mobile TV sectors, you need to read this. Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC, predicts that within the next 15 years broadcast TV will be event-driven. The prediction, made during Silverman's keynote at the Upfront Summit, means that broadcast TV would be useful for nothing more than live events such as the Super Bowl and reality shows such as American Idol. Although traditional episodic shows will debut on broadcast TV, they'll have to extend to multiple platforms to survive. NBC plans to experiment this fall, attempting to drive TV viewers of its new series, Kath and Kim, online after each episode with extra scenes and storyline continuations completely unique to the web. Looks like it might be time for you to either look for an HD computer monitor or start tweaking your HTPC setup.

Via TVWeek

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

May 1, 2008

Apple Expected To Announce Big iTunes Movie Deal Today

macworld.jpgApple is expected to announce today a bunch of partnerships with movie studios that would see digital versions of newly released films to be available on iTunes the same day they're released on DVD. The releases are expected to come from the likes of Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and New Line as well as boutique studios, Magnolia and Image Entertainment.

Back in January Apple announced that it had signed all of the major studios to a movie rental agreement, but has so far only offered older movies titles for sale via the iTunes platform. However, sales of older titles have been impressive enough for all of the major's to take the next step, even risking cannibalizing DVD sales by offering day-and-date digital releases. In fact a few titles as of late, such as the wildly popular Juno have already been released on iTunes the same day as the DVD release.

The announcement today should give us some more insight into Apple's iTunes movie revenues so far, which given today's announcement, we expect will be impressive.

Update: Sure enough Apple did indeed announce iTunes movie releases day-and-date with DVD releases. Says the Apple press release: "New releases and catalog titles will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios. Movies purchased from iTunes can be viewed on an iPod® with video, iPhone™, Mac® or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV®, with new releases priced at $14.99 and most catalog titles at $9.99."

Via Reuters

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

Blockbuster The Latest Partner In The Viacom-Led Premium TV/VOD Joint Venture?

blockbuster.jpgRemember that Viacom joint venture we told you about last week? You know, the one which will culminate in a new premium TV channel and VOD service rolled out in the fall of 2009? It looks like Blockbuster will be an additional partner in the JV, exchanging an investment in the business for digital rights to its content. "According to people familiar with the situation", Blockbuster would be an obvious addition to the partnership, which also features MGM, LionsGate, and Viacom's Paramount. Viacom previously owned Blockbuster and its top-level execs know its business well.

Blockbuster has been in the process of digitizing its business as its bricks-and-mortar rental stores have been struggling badly ever since the inception of Netflix. In fact, it's been struggling so badly that one CNET editor predicted an upcoming bankruptcy for the rental franchise. Last year Blockbuster acquired internet movie provider MovieLink in a bid to distribute a greater proportion of its rentals online and has been on a bullheaded run to secure as much exclusive content for the service as possible. Taking in a part in the new venture would bring some high-quality movie content to the service.

So far Blockbuster has been pretty tight-lipped about any involvement. A spokewoman for the company only had this to say: We are busy transforming Blockbuster into a multiplatform provider of convenient access to media entertainment. To that end, we're exploring our options so it's not surprising there are rumors out there. We've heard that line before and from those past experiences we'll predict that what the spokewoman meant to say was: Yes, Blockbuster will invest in the Viacom JV in exchange for exclusive MovieLink content.

Via WSJ

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

April 20, 2008

Five Studio Premium TV Venture Will Have Big Online Focus

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Iron Man: Coming To New Premium TV In 2009

Rarely is a major corporate announcement made on a Sunday afternoon, but that's exactly what five Hollywood studio heads did today, spewing out a real conversation starter in the process. Viacom through its Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage units will be teaming up with Lionsgate, MGM and United Artists in a joint venture that will launch a premium TV channel and VOD service in the fall of 2009.

The five studio co-op will have access to Paramount and Paramount Vantage titles released theatrically after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically after January 1, 2009, according to the press release. Viacom will head operational support for the JV, with marketing help from its own MTV Networks. While definitely something to look forward to as premium content is a real pain in the ass to find when it comes to cable providers these days, perhaps most interesting is Viacom CEO's revelation that online movie distribution will play a big part in the JV's future plans. In fact in an interview with Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, Rafat Ali from Paidcontent.org was apparently told, the JV's distribution strategy will have a definite online emphasis.

This will definitely be good for movie viewers, and its important to note that by premium, the JV is referring to the quality of the content. While we kinda doubt it, the new channel could be released as a basic cable addition. Unfortunately, some current cable channels will be hit hard, like Showtime, poised to lose programming from Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate only to face a tough new competitor in the as-of-yet unnamed venture.


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

April 16, 2008

CSI Creator Anthony Zuiker On A Mission To Bring Viewers Back To TV

2.jpgAfter losing 8 million viewers last year during one CSI premiere, Anthony Zuiker knew the internet would kill the hit series if he didn't act fast. One of the smarter TV execs, Zuiker decided to start engaging viewers on other platforms aside from the living room TV set, coming up with a model called Cross Blending Storytelling. Zuiker discussed the new viewer engagement model at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas yesterday, part of his ultimate plan, he says, to bring eyeballs back to the TV. And preferably CSI.

Zuiker's new Cross Blending Storytelling approach involves moving the shows storyline across media boundaries from the "television to the Web to mobile to gaming and back to television", avoiding what he says will be the inevitable dominance of the laptop for TV viewing. Not only does Zuiker figure his method will bring viewers back to the tube, but the ability to monetize all four platforms will make up for any TV dollars lost. Somehow we don't think the monetization potential of the web and mobile is strong enough to make up for lost television dollars, but a proper use of the gaming medium definitely could.

Whether or not Zuiker can manage to turn the tides of evolution in the television world remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure-even he acknowledges the"days of just watching a show from 9-10 (p.m.) are over...it's all going to change."

Via The Hollywood Reporter

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

April 11, 2008

Hulu Moving Outside US Borders?

I remember when Hulu first came online in beta and I headed over to check out the much-anticipated online video platform in hopes of reporting back to you what it was like. Once there, I was greeted with an error message bluntly telling me that Hulu content was only accessible in the US. At the time, the restrictions were mainly due to content licensing and distribution agreements that limited Hulu's TV shows and movies to US ISP's. Looks like that may soon change however. Heading over to Hulu from my Winnipeg, Manitoba address now results in a more positive greeting:

hulumessage(2).jpgWill Hulu be going global in the near future?

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

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