Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

By the middle of next year, Verizon customers could be watching over-the-top live channels and on-demand movies through a digital video service. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam told investors at a conference last week that his company was close to reaching deals with major content providers such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, DreamWorks, and AwesomenessTV. Verizon may even use multicasting technology to broadcast live content to smartphones via a single stream of airwaves. Continue reading Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

Netflix Acquires Rights to Upcoming “Gotham” in SVOD First

Yesterday we reported that Netflix is expanding into six European markets this month, the company has greenlit its first original series to be produced in France, and CEO Reed Hastings suggested they would produce something in Germany in the future. Netflix is in the news again after it signed a deal with Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution for “Gotham,” the upcoming series from Fox. The agreement could mark the first SVOD deal for a broadcast series made prior to its premiere. Continue reading Netflix Acquires Rights to Upcoming “Gotham” in SVOD First

Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Major television networks, such as ABC, Fox and NBC, are debuting their new fall shows online weeks ahead of the television premiere dates. The pilot episodes of NBC’s “A to Z,” ABC’s “Selfie,” and Fox’s “Red Band Society” are all available on Hulu before their scheduled television air date. This increasingly common practice gives viewers the chance to sample the new shows earlier and start some online buzz before the flood of other pilots debut during the fall television season. Continue reading Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air tonight on NBC, this year with a few social media twists. Actor Aaron Paul, nominated again for his role in “Breaking Bad,” is thanking his fans with another Hollywood scavenger hunt. He recently posted a photo on Instagram promising signed scripts, posters and more. Facebook is providing an oversized tablet designed to let celebs answer questions from fans during the festivities. And Google has posted TV filming locations that you can check out on Street View. Continue reading More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

Senators Jay Rockefeller and John Thune have introduced a proposal to let cable and satellite subscribers choose which broadcast TV channels they receive. The proposal intends to limit the blackouts when cable and satellite companies must negotiate retransmission fees with broadcasters. Broadcast advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the proposal. They believe cable and satellite companies need to cut hidden fees, not the broadcast channels, to lower cable bills. Continue reading Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

Netflix, Crackle and Funny or Die all received nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards yesterday. Netflix earned an impressive 31 nominations, with “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” both nominated in the best drama and comedy series categories, respectively. Crackle was nominated for Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and the Zach Galifianakis interview with President Obama on “Between Two Ferns” earned Funny or Die a nomination. Continue reading Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Aereo’s online TV streaming service violated copyright law, company lawyers have filed a letter with a New York district court claiming that Aereo now views itself as a cable provider. If Aereo can obtain a license, it contends that it is entitled to the same protections as other providers paying royalty fees. This is a dramatic shift in strategy for the company that previously said it would shutter if the Supreme Court did not rule in its favor. Continue reading Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

A new app called Skimo, short for “skim the video,” allows users to skim a 20-minute video in about two minutes, straight from their smartphone or tablet. The Skimo video summarization engine uses an algorithm that analyzes the scenes, shots and frames of videos and summarizes them, letting users catch up on television series in a fraction of the time. The service focuses on the formula that writers and filmmakers use to create a captivating show, focusing on the six crucial scenes from each episode.

Continue reading Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

ETC’s Phil Lelyveld recently moderated a media panel on the “Ultra High Def Revolution.” Presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at CBS Studios, panelists included Oscar- and Emmy-winning DP Dave Stump of the ASC, Sony Pictures Television’s Phil Squyres, and award-winning DPs and lighting experts Bradford Lipson and Greg Gardiner. Vendors demonstrating UHD solutions included Advantage Video Systems, AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Continue reading Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Favor of Broadcasters

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of broadcasters in a decision that could have far-reaching implications for the media industry. The court found that online video startup Aereo violated copyright law by allowing its subscribers to watch and record over-the-air broadcasts from electronic devices via a system of miniature antennas. Broadcasters including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC have been battling Aereo, arguing that the startup was accessing their programming without authorization. Continue reading Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Favor of Broadcasters

Media Execs Gather at HITS 2014: Hollywood’s Digital Makeover

The Hollywood IT Society (HITS) — a community of IT professionals representing the studios of the MPAA and supporting information tech partners — hosted its annual day-long Hollywood IT Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Century City this week. Adapting to rapidly changing expectations for IT-related content production and distribution was the running theme at the April 22 event, where execs and creatives gathered to discuss network connectivity, cloud resources, big data, analytics, content management and more. Continue reading Media Execs Gather at HITS 2014: Hollywood’s Digital Makeover

New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

As a follow-up to its original $700 4K media player, Sony has announced a new model, the FMP-X10, that will provide access to Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download library and be able to stream 4K Netflix content. The new player, available this summer, will be compatible with Sony Ultra HD sets and include 1 terabyte of storage. A price has yet to be announced. Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K library currently features more than 200 titles (45GB-60GB files), about 50 of which are available for free. Continue reading New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its push into digital programming with the launch of new series to be distributed via its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Two series slated to launch on NBC.com include “Saturday Night Line,” about superfans who wait in the “SNL” standby line, and “Heroes Reborn: Digital Series,” a prequel to the upcoming “Heroes” miniseries. In addition, Universal Cable Productions has plans to release more than a dozen digital programs, including “Tesla and Twain” and “Last Single Girl.” Continue reading NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Television broadcasters, which are suing for an injunction to shut down Aereo, are also said to be considering back-up plans in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of the video startup. Options being considered range from lobbying Congress for legislative solutions to possibly transitioning from broadcast to cable transmission. Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC contend that Aereo is violating copyright law by capturing over-the-air signals and streaming them via the Web to paying customers. Continue reading TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

After raising nearly $145,000 on Kickstarter, antenna maker Mohu plans to release its Channels TV adapter this June. The Mohu Channels device is a TV adapter that combines free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts with online video streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu Plus. Mohu also hopes to include the ability to play back local files, time shifting functionality to pause and fast forward through live programming, and an Android app that can be used as a remote. Continue reading New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

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