From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

Ken Williams, executive director and CEO of ETC@USC, moderated a Disney/ABC Television Group panel at NAB called “Creating the Watch ABC Product.” From the SPROCKIT stage Monday in Las Vegas, the panel included Albert Cheng and Skarpi Hedinsson of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Ralf Jacob of upLynk and Doug Knopper of FreeWheel. The discussion focused on content creation, advertising, distribution workflow, technology integration and vendor relationships. Continue reading From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

STB News: Google Getting Closer to Unveiling its Android TV

According to documents obtained by The Verge, Google is getting ready to launch Android TV, which is expected to be very different than the failed Google TV. Rather than turning your television into a bigger version of your smartphone, Android TV will be a new entertainment interface similar to set-top boxes such as Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Major video app providers are reportedly already building for the platform, which is expected to support voice input, notifications and optional game controllers. Continue reading STB News: Google Getting Closer to Unveiling its Android TV

Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony and FIFA revealed their 4K plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Brazil in June/July. Three matches are scheduled to be shot in 4K: one match from the round of 16, one match from the quarterfinals, and the July 13th final match in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to select broadcasters, the live 4K coverage will be made available to select cinemas internationally. Sony and FIFA also have plans to jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K. Continue reading Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

Amazon announced its new video streaming device called Amazon Fire TV that intends to take on products such as Roku and Apple TV. During a presentation this morning, Amazon’s Peter Larsen suggested that Amazon’s new hardware will address areas in which competing devices struggle including search, performance, and a closed ecosystem. The $99 Fire TV features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Larsen claims it provides speeds three times faster than the latest Roku and Apple boxes. Continue reading Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

FCC Rejects Netflix Plea for Expanded Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission explained that it does not plan to support the request made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to expand net neutrality rules in order to regulate how companies connect across the infrastructure of the Internet. Hastings had asked the FCC to consider an approach that would not require companies like Netflix to pay additional fees to service providers such as Comcast for special connections that help ensure customers can access video without problems. Continue reading FCC Rejects Netflix Plea for Expanded Net Neutrality Rules

Study Predicts 4K Adoption Will Be Faster Than That of HDTV

New research by Parks Associates suggests that 4K televisions will trace a similar trajectory in terms of price and consumer adoption that played out with HDTVs over the last 15 years. However, the study’s findings point to a slightly quicker progression for 4K. While HDTVs took about 15 years to achieve a certain level of affordability and ubiquity, Parks predicts that 4K will reach mass market prices within two to three years and exceed 80 percent penetration of households in 10-12 years. Continue reading Study Predicts 4K Adoption Will Be Faster Than That of HDTV

Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

As online videos continue to become more popular, many viewers are faced with the challenge of navigating a flood of content. Pluto.tv has created topic-based video channels in the hopes of addressing this problem, and aims to give viewers the feeling of watching a 30-minute packaged television show compiled of a dozen or more short video clips. There are about 100 channels featuring categories such as Comedy, Music, Sports, Tech, Education and Kids. Pluto.tv has designed its interface to mimic a standard TV guide. Continue reading Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Independent film executive Ruth Vitale — who has held positions at New Line Cinema, Paramount Classics and First Look Studios — was recently named executive director of CreativeFuture, a coalition of movie and television producers, unions and companies that is aiming to steer Hollywood’s digital future. After tech giants convinced Congress that proposed antipiracy laws were too restrictive of online freedom, the film and television industries remain threatened by online piracy. CreativeFuture hopes to change that. Continue reading CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Yesterday we reported that Yahoo has been ramping up its online video efforts and content catalog to compete more directly with Google’s YouTube for viewers and advertising revenue. Now it has been reported that Yahoo is in preliminary talks to purchase online-video service News Distribution Network, a deal estimated at roughly $300 million according to insiders. NDN is a video syndication service that provides newspapers and Web publishers with clips related to news, sports, politics and other topics. Continue reading Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

Digital omnivore is a term that refers to consumers who own a trio of CE devices — specifically tablets, smartphones and laptops. Deloitte’s eighth “Digital Democracy Survey” found that over 37 percent of U.S. consumers are now digital omnivores, a 42 percent increase over the previous year. The growth is driven by a 33 percent increase in tablet adoption and an 18 percent increase in smartphone ownership. Women currently account for 45 percent of the digital omnivores group. Continue reading Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Channel sharing trials recently conducted by Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA have determined that there are few technical barriers to two broadcasters sharing the same 6 MHz channel. The report should serve as good news for the FCC, which hopes to auction off a percentage of broadcast airwaves to mobile carriers in 2015. Key to the FCC’s plan is convincing broadcasters that they can efficiently consolidate feeds onto fewer television channels. Continue reading Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Yahoo Luring Top YouTube Talent in New Web Video Strategy

Insiders say Yahoo has been working on a plan to attract some of YouTube’s popular stars and networks by addressing the frequent complaints of video creators and owners who feel they do not make enough money on Google’s video site. Yahoo reportedly hopes to launch its new video strategy in the next few months. Several industry sources say Yahoo execs have been promising better economics than YouTube, by improving ad revenue or by offering guaranteed ad rates. Continue reading Yahoo Luring Top YouTube Talent in New Web Video Strategy

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