IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

At the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on Friday, FIFA and Sony announced that next year’s World Cup Final in Brazil will be produced in 4K. Sony also revealed it is developing production equipment to support 8K technology, and that 8K broadcasts are being planned for coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Sony hopes the announcements will help spark interest in Ultra HD, including the ultra sharp 8K, which is 16 times the resolution of current HD offerings. Continue reading IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

CBS and Time Warner Cable End Month-Long Contract Dispute

CBS and Time Warner Cable ended their contract dispute yesterday, restoring CBS, Showtime and related channels to cable subscribers in the New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets. For one month, the two sides had been locked into a debate regarding fees related to rights for retransmitting content. Retaining digital rights in order to sell content to online distributors such as Netflix and Amazon was also an issue. CBS and TWC did not release specific information regarding terms of the agreement. Continue reading CBS and Time Warner Cable End Month-Long Contract Dispute

New Ericsson Report Examines Consumer Video and TV Habits

Ericsson has published its latest consumer insight summary report, “TV and Media: Identifying the Needs of Tomorrow’s Video Consumers.” The ConsumerLab surveyed more than 17,000 people worldwide and, not surprisingly, learned that an increasing number of viewers are turning to mobile devices for TV and video. The report suggests that service providers have an opportunity to create new aggregate services that will help alleviate the complexity for users that has resulted from abundance of choice. Continue reading New Ericsson Report Examines Consumer Video and TV Habits

ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

I recently spent an hour with Richard Raddon, co-founder of ZEFR (formerly MovieClips), a Venice, California company that is “connecting fans and franchises for the good of all.” MovieClips was co-founded by Raddon and Zach James about three years ago. The company developed proprietary technology that allowed them to identify content on YouTube. When MovieClips became ZEFR, it shifted its focus to help studios, sports, TV and music videos collect and monetize postings on YouTube. Continue reading ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

Tomorrow morning, the Speed and Fuel networks will be transformed into the much-hyped Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels, in a move intended to compete with ESPN. Fox has landed deals with college conferences Pac-12 and Big 12 football and basketball, Big East basketball, NASCAR, the UFC, Major League Baseball, World Cup soccer and, most recently, the U.S. Open golf championship. The TV everywhere companion app Fox Sports Go will not launch concurrently, as it continues its testing phase. Continue reading Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary will now offer tickets to be sold by resellers via its new TM+ feature. In order for the new platform to succeed, Live Nation and Ticketmaster must convince resellers, rather than competitors, to use it. The two companies have been looking to boost their role in the $4 billion per year concert ticket reselling market, currently dominated by scalpers and brokers that buy tickets at face value, then resell them for a profit on sites such as eBay’s StubHub.com. Continue reading Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Netflix has started a quiet effort to address problems with smart TVs. The company is in talks with tech companies and consumer electronics manufacturers in order to find improvements to user interfaces, remote controls and other smart TV components. The idea of Internet content combined with TVs began in the mid 1990s, but some believe progress has been slow. New apps, services and compelling content are needed to engage viewers to purchase and use smart TVs. Continue reading Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Sports Broadcasters Go Free Dimensional for Enhanced Replays

Many argue that 3D television has yet to go mainstream in sports due to the need for special glasses, lack of programming, and the overall expense. Now, 4K video cameras are being used to capture high quality video that can processed by software from Replay Technologies called freeD. It will offer more crisp, wider video views than what is currently offered on HD broadcasts. FreeD can also create multiple angle instant replays that surpass current offerings. Continue reading Sports Broadcasters Go Free Dimensional for Enhanced Replays

Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

A federal appeals court is allowing a group of former college athletes to sue Electronic Arts over allegedly using their likenesses in video games without their permission. This is one of two legal actions this year against the company by former college players. EA has claimed First Amendment rights, but the appeals courts have disagreed. The issue also involves the NCAA and calls into question policies regarding profits generated from college sports and players. Continue reading Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Robb Heineman has transformed the MLS Kansas City Wizards into the Sporting Kansas City, now one of the most tech savvy sports teams, using technology to connect to fans and to fill the stadium past capacity. This year, Sporting Kansas City has a waiting list for season tickets and has sold out 27 consecutive games. The team is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement, and is creating a new business in the process. Continue reading Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Dish Network Unlocks Hopper DVR to Third-Party Developers

Dish Network recently opened its Hopper API to third-party developers. In doing so, the company provides non-Dish apps with direct access to Hopper in order to create new features and controls. These can expand its functionality, such as allowing tablets to serve as a remote control. This is in contrast to Dish only permitting official releases such as Dish Explorer and Dish Social. The company hopes this will help change the customer experience. Continue reading Dish Network Unlocks Hopper DVR to Third-Party Developers

Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Television networks are creating companion apps for their successful shows, social TV startups are developing chats and check-ins for second screen experiences, and others are pushing for new ideas to redesign today’s programming guide. But the second screen trend has thus far been based on the premise that the TV screen in the living room is the center of most consumers’ entertainment. Some are suggesting that this viewpoint is no longer accurate and, in fact, may not have been true in the past. Continue reading Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Twitter Changing How We Watch and Interact with TV Shows

Twitter is quickly becoming a normal part of the television experience, in that it is changing how people watch TV. Twitter is allowing audiences to interact with scripted and reality TV shows directly, as well as provide real-time commentary. Viewers of hit shows, such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” are looking to Twitter as a popular place for viewer commentary. As television is increasingly shared on Twitter, new business and viewing opportunities arise. Continue reading Twitter Changing How We Watch and Interact with TV Shows

ESPN Chief Technology Exec Cautious About Future of 4K TV

Earlier this month, we reported that ESPN is planning to shut down its ESPN 3D channel at year’s end. “Due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home, ESPN is discontinuing ESPN 3D,” explained the company in a statement. While ESPN’s top tech exec Chuck Pagano is not yet convinced that 4K TV will take off either, the sports broadcaster is setting up a technical framework for Ultra HD to prepare for its eventuality. Continue reading ESPN Chief Technology Exec Cautious About Future of 4K TV

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