Thursday, January 29, 2015

Irish Times -- Google’s Chromecast offers a budget route to a smart TV

Google’s app-operated device allows you to display content from your phone or laptop on your TV

Seeking Alpha -- As YouTube Matures It Faces New Problems And Opportunities

YouTube is the main beneficiary of the trend that is the growth in online video content. This content is not simply defined as being on the internet as you could obviously watch popular TV shows such as the "Big Bang Theory" on the CBS website; it is fundamentally different because the user truly gets to know the content creator.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seeking Alpha -- Facebook's Oculus Story Studio Launches Virtual Reality Cinema

Oculus Story Studio, an Oculus VR in-house production team dedicated to producing virtual reality movies, presented its first VR short movie at Sundance. Titled, Lost, the movie changes the pace of its storytelling based on the action taken by the viewer, so it doesn't have a fixed length. Lost received rave reviews.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Digital TV Europe.net -- Streaming media player ownership to hit 40% in U.S.

Penetration, currently at 24%, is set to reach 40% of U.S. broadband homes by 2017, according to research by NPD Group.

Bits -- Twitter Adds Messaging and Video Recording

In an effort to catch up to rival services like Facebook, Twitter will now allow people to shoot, edit and post video directly from its mobile apps.

WSJ -- Facebook’s Oculus to Make Virtual-Reality Movies

Facebook’s Oculus says its new Story Studios in-house lab will make movies to help popularize virtual-reality headset and build an entertainment community.

Seeking Alpha -- Facebook Q4 2014 Preview: Video, The Near-Term Catalyst

Video remains the near-term opportunity for FB, given that TV is the last advertising frontier that has yet to see a material decline in ad dollars (still growing ~2% p.a.). I expect FB to develop premium ad formats to attract TV dollars, and solid execution on this area could result in upside risk to consensus long-term estimates. Worth noting is that the rollout of video ad formats has been slow, and this is largely expected, so near-term estimates on video may be overly bullish.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seeking Alpha -- YouTube Getting Back Into Original Content

After spending $200 million in 2012 in an attempt to produce higher quality original content, Google's YouTube is once again initiating a strategy to raise its video quality bar, as its top talent is being courted by competitors to produce video for them.

Seeking Alpha -- Facebook Is A Better Investment Than Google On Digital Video

According to Socialbakers, brands posted over 20,000 more videos on Facebook than they did on Google's YouTube in December 2014.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Digital TV.net -- Toshiba agrees smart TV ad partnership with Smartclip

Toshiba has agreed a new partnership with video ad technology company Smartclip, which has secured the European advertising rights for Toshiba’s smart TV platform.

Parks Associates -- 17% of broadband households 'likely' to tap into HBO's OTT service

According to recent research by Parks Associates, 17 percent of the broadband homes across the nation were likely to subscribe to HBO's standalone, over-the-top service. Out of that group of would be HBO users-the service is supposed to launch sometime this year-91 percent were currently pay-TV subscribers, and roughly one-half would drop their pay-tv service after subscribing to HBO's new OTT service.

telecommpaper -- NCTC selects Vubiquity LiveVU linear television platform

Global provider of premium content services, Vubiquity has announced an agreement with NCTC to make Vubiquity's LiveVU linear television platform available to NCTC members. LiveVU's hosted MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 service enables NCTC members to retire aging/end-of-life, MPEG-2 transcode services, or seamlessly migrate from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, helping MVPDs transitioning to the more bandwidth efficient MPEG-4 codec. LiveVU includes access to more than 720 SD and HD channels.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CED -- Verizon hints at OTT product

In comments with analysts, CFO Fran Shammo also teased about an over-the-top product that might be introduced, or at least announced, in the summer.

Seeking Alpha -- HBO streaming standalone to cut deep into pay-TV subs

A Parks Associates survey indicates 17% of U.S. households are likely to subscribe to HBO's (NYSE:TWX) standalone streaming service.Half of the respondents indicated they planned to sign up for the new HBO video service also plan to cut their pay-TV service to make way for the OTT product.

WSJ.D -- Videogame Industry Acquisitions and IPOs Are at a Record, Study Says

Acquisitions and initial public offerings in the global video game industry rose to a record $24 billion last year, fueled by the hunt for blockbuster titles that can help game companies stand out in a market where growth is slowing, according to Digi-Capital, an advisory firm.

IP&TV -- DISH hails legal victory for Slingbox DVR

Slingbox technology, which is built into DISH’s second-generation Hopper Whole-Home DVR, provides a DISH customer, once they receive a television signal in their home, with the capability to remotely view that signal from a single Internet-connected device (mobile phone, tablet or PC).

IP&TV -- NBC to use Super Bowl XLIX to promote TV Everywhere

NBCUniversal has announced a “Super Stream Sunday” for Feb. 1, which will offer online US viewers with 11 continuous hours of NBC streaming content without a log-in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

IP&TV -- Telstra unveils new content delivery platform

The platform, called Global Media Switch, is an IP-based delivery network designed to provide customers with codec-level connectivity directly from the originating content source all the way to the broadcast destination.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Linkedin Groups -- Smart TV Useage Hampered by UI

Despite steady growth, engagement rates continue to be hampered by the inadequate user interface...

CED -- NBC to stream Super Bowl for free

Comcast is extending its habit of using big events to promote broadband TV, with its NBC subsidiary set to stream the Super Bowl for free to tablets and PCs

NY Times.com -- Movie Studio by Amazon for Screens Big and Small

Amazon original movies will be available for streaming in the United States four to eight weeks after they make their debut in theaters, a significant reduction of the window of 39 to 52 weeks that films normally play in theaters before becoming available for streaming.

WSJ.D -- Facebook Plans Voice-to-Text for Messenger

Facebook will continue investing in and developing more capabilities for its Messenger application, such as voice-to-text transcription and tools for consumers to talk to businesses

CableSat -- Piksel to acquire content for OTT providers

OTT TV technology specialist Piksel is branching out into content acquisition for OTT players. The company has set up a new unit, Piksel Content Services, to help telcos, internet service providers, cable operators and media companies to launch OTT ventures by taking over the task of negotiating content rights for them.

IP&TV -- Motive inspired to integrate Chromecast into TabletTV

This will make it possible for TabletTV users who have Chromecast to send what they are viewing on their tablets directly to the home TV screen.
Once implemented, TabletTV will be shown on the “Featured” tab on Google’s Chromecast app website.

Friday, January 16, 2015

IP&TV -- truTV launches on TVPlayer

Turner Broadcasting UK’s new general entertainment channel truTV launches today on UK OTT platform TVPlayer.

IP&TV -- Synacor acquires NimbleTV

The NimbleTV transaction is part acqui-hire, where we are adding to Synacor a team steeped in video expertise, as well as an acquisition of technology that will enable us to deploy an authenticated, linear TV service on behalf of our clients. Synacor has an important role to play as streaming video consumers—OTT and TV Everywhere—proliferate.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

IP&TV -- Time spent browsing net on smart TVs falling year on year

Although 47% now own a smart TV, and 96% of those are connected to the internet, more than half (57%) of respondents still use other devices to watch internet-based content.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Wrap -- Epix, Original Programming

The former president of production at Walt Disney Studios, Jocelyn Diaz, will help move Epix forward in producing original content.  The move could create a path for Epix to be a player in streaming sites making waves in awards season. Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Amazon Prime’s transgender series “Transparent” recently won at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

San Francisco Business Times -- US patent no. 8,934,045: Apple gets patent for remote camera technology

Originally filed by Kodak in 2012 and subsequently acquired by Apple in a much larger patent deal, the patent details a remote digital camera system that can be controlled by a smartwatch or phone. In its description, the patent seeks to address a wind resistance flaw present in select GoPro cameras that may lead to image artifacts.

BizTalk -- Apple gets patent for remote camera technology

Apple had received a U.S. patent for a system that lets users remotely control a digital camera.

TechFlash -- Software release reveals how the Apple Watch will work

The beta version of Apple's updated operating system, iOS 8.2, will allow iPhone's Bluetooth settings to display a panel for connecting the phone to the watch. There will be an app on the phone dedicated to controlling the watch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WSJ Tech -- TV Makers Set a New Strategy

The world’s top television makers will this year peddle sets that enhance the color representation ("quantum dot") of their screens, but postpone a more dramatic shift in technology that promised thinner frames, more energy efficiency, and crisper images.

Digital TV Europe -- Interactive digital TV found in 61.5% of Belgian homes

Some 61.5% of Belgian households now have interactive digital TV according to a new study on Belgian Telecom sector, commissioned by the country’s five major operators.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Digits -- Intel Unveils Pocket-Size Computer That Plugs into TVs

What’s it good for? The company points to scenarios where a big screen is a big help, like streaming content from the Web such as video, movies, photos and digital signage. It also cites light productivity, “thin-client” situations (where most of the computing gets done on the Web) and simple videogames.

IP&TV -- Only 55% of millennials use TV as primary viewing platform

According to the preliminary results of the second NATPE||Content First and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)  joint research study on consumers’ attitudes toward television viewing, just 55 percent of millennials use TVs as their primary viewing platform, while streaming devices – laptops, tablets, and smartphones – are poised to dominate their viewing preferences.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

HomeTheater Review -- Warner Brothers to Introduce Dolby Vision Titles in Early 2015

Dolby and Warner Brothers have teamed up to deliver 4K content in the Dolby Vision format to compatible TVs in early 2015.

GeekWire -- Facebook Acquires QuickFire Networks

QuickFire’s technology lets people stream high-quality video without eating up tons of bandwidth – key for mobile users who only have a limited amount of data on a cellular connection. That’s good news for Facebook, which has been pushing its video technology to content creators and users alike. Reducing the amount of bandwidth that a high-quality video takes up would be a good way to attract movie users to Facebook video over other platforms like YouTube.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

IP&TV -- Facebook averaging 1 billion vid views a day

Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day. On average, more than 50% of people who come back to Facebook every day in the US watch at least one video a day.  76% of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Digits -- Facebook Acquires Video Compression Startup QuickFire

Quickfire, based in San Diego, says it can quickly convert video formats and allow them to be downloaded with less bandwidth and without a loss in video quality. “QuickFire Networks will provide you with the weapons necessary to meet the onslaught of the video revolution,” the company says on its website.

IP&TV -- Panasonic and Mozilla to collaborate on Firefox OS smart TVs

With the launch of this new open platform, next generation smart TVs will gain full compatibility with Web technologies and HTML5 standards used for cloud services and various future networked devices, enabling data from Web services and devices to be easily mashed up on a single application.

Seeking Alpha -- Sony's 'The Interview' Success Supports VOD Model

Strong streaming revenue from The Interview, the potential for shared production costs with streaming giants and the possibility of quicker movie release dates could spark studios to follow Sony's lead.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Silicon Valley NEWS -- US home video spending falls 1.8 percent in 2014 while digital sales surge

Rentals suffered, in particular.  U.S. households spent a total of $3.3 billion renting movies through various outlets (not including video-on-demand services), down 14 percent year-over-year. The kiosk business, which includes Redbox, saw a 4 percent drop in sales to $1.8 billion, while the brick-and-mortar industry plummeted 27 percent to $696 million.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

CED -- Broadcom takes wraps off of DOCSIS 3.1 chipset

The BCM3390 features a modem reference design with integrated Wi-Fi to provide in-home wireless speeds of up 2 gigabits, providing a migration path for cable operators to transition to all-IP video.

Seattle PI - TV makers design for streaming video to stay relevant

Does anyone just watch TV anymore? The dramatic shift toward online and mobile viewing is driving television set makers to design as much for streaming video as for watching broadcast or cable channels.  Traditional TV is far from dead, but these days viewers care less about watching shows live and even prefer saving certain series to watch all at once in an evening or weekend of binge-watching. Broadcast networks and hundreds of cable channels share viewer attention with thousands of online services, including amateurs creating their own series on YouTube.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Seeking Alpha -- Facebook buys voice recognition tech developer

Facebook has bought Wit.ai, creator of a voice recognition tech platform that breaks down voice commands into structured information (a user's intent, dates and places mentioned, etc.). Wit.ai claims its platform is used by over 6,000 developers, and is "already powering hundreds of apps and devices." TechCrunch speculates Facebook could use Wit.ai to "build voice control into its development platform, aid with voice-to-text input for Messenger, improve Facebook’s understanding of the semantic meaning of voice, and create a Facebook app you can navigate with your voice." Oculus is another possibility.

CED -- Roku sets plans for 4K streaming

Roku has revealed plans to support 4K Ultra HD streaming on its Roku boxes. Roku said it has produced a reference design it is licensing to TV manufacturers. CEO Anthony Wood said in a blog post today, “This means that our TV OEM partners can begin development of Roku TV 4K models that merge the latest in TV viewing technology with the Roku operating system and experience.”

CED -- DivX bounces to NeuLion

DivX, formerly owned by Sonic Solutions, which was acquired by Rovi Corp then divested to Parallax Capital Partners (are you still following?) is sold to NeuLion marrying the former’s delivery services with the latter’s software-based video player designed for use in any type of consumer device.

Digits -- Google Cast Now Lets You Fling Music to Speakers, Soundbars, TVs and More

The $35 Chromecast dongle was just the start of Google’s quest to turn your living room into an entertainment system for your phone, tablet or computer.  Google expanded its Google Cast streaming media technology to work in audio-only devices, including speakers and soundbars. Google Cast for Audio lets you wirelessly control and send the music playing on your iOS, Android device or Chrome browser right to new Google Cast-enabled audio gear. Instead of pairing your phone to a Bluetooth speaker or investing in Sonos’ wireless ecosystem to control the music around your house, you connect the Google Cast-compatible product to your existing Wi-Fi network, where it can access the Internet.

CNET -- Nvidia aims new Tegra X1 'superchip' at smartphones

According to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang the result is a tiny workhorse for smartphones that is both powerful and energy-efficient enough to bring console- and PC-grade graphics to handheld devices.

Seeking Alpha -- Dish Network says its new OTT Internet TV service will price at $20 per month.

Dish Network founder and chairman Charlie Ergen and CEO Joe Clayton have said they expect there's a market millions of people in their 20s and early 30s who'd bite on such a Sling TV service and who are unlikely to subscribe a satellite TV service with hundreds of channels.  

Press Release: 01/05/2015 -- Arumai Launches Redesigned Corporate Website

Remarked Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, P. Stephen Lamont, “we welcome followers of all shapes and sizes, to watch as the developments unfold to create the Arumai standard for Connected TV from production tools (virtual and actual, more to come on this) to pre-processing techniques to compression solutions (proprietary) to SoC video processing by digital zoom and pan, deinterlacing (proprietary), aspect ratio control (proprietary), frame rate conversion (proprietary) to the future delivery system of choice, streaming video, and into the heart of end user homes with a video format solution for next generation, multimedia decoders (proprietary).”

IP&TV -- Samsung’s new smart TVs to lessen Android reliance

Leading South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung has revealed that all of its smart TVs in 2015 will come equipped with a new platform built around the Tizen operating system.  “Building our Smart Platform around Tizen is a groundbreaking step towards a much more intelligent and integrated system,” said Won Jin Lee, Executive Vice President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Engadget -- Samsung's new smart TVs run Tizen

Other than run PlayStation Now for cloud-streamed gaming, Tizen can stream TV to Samsung mobile devices that are nearby. It uses Bluetooth LE to detect devices in range then WiFi Direct for the connection, and can work even when the TV is off.

Seeking Alpha -- Facebook signs a deal with the NFL for the rights to video clips

The league has been tight with access to game highlights in the past, even precluding some broadcast partners from streaming game video clips to mobile devices.The video highlights on Facebook will be followed by advertisements from Verizon. The initiative starts next week just in time for the start of the NFL playoff season.

The Drum -- Sky embraces video streaming

Sky has continued its steady embrace of streaming internet video after paying £2.6m to acquire a stake in Elemental Technologies, an internet video specialist, based in Oregon, Portland.