February 22, 2013
According to journalist Michael Wolff, cable is on a fast track to oblivion with an unsustainable business model. Currently, cable operators pay media companies to carry their cable channels, then pass the costs onto customers in the form of large bundled cable bills. After that, cable channels get to sell advertising. But as viewing habits change and new options become available, consumers are increasingly abandoning the traditional model. Continue reading TV Viewing Trends: Is Cable On the Fast Track to Oblivion?
By Rob Scott
February 19, 2013
Intel confirmed rumors that it was pursuing Internet TV when VP Eric Huggers announced last week that the company had been negotiating with content companies and would launch a set-top box and new platform by the end of the year. While skepticism has resulted from lack of concrete details, the prospect of a chipmaker competing with top cable giants, and the industry’s history of failed attempts — Intel could still become the company to finally crack Internet TV. Continue reading Will Intel Be the One that Finally Delivers Internet TV?
January 29, 2013
Sony demonstrated some impressive new technology at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The company is using “nanoscale particles called quantum dots to significantly improve the color of some of its high-end Bravia televisions,” writes Technology Review. The particles increase the range of colors that an LCD TV can display by 50 percent. Continue reading CES: Sony Intros Modified LCDs with Quantum Dot Technology
January 25, 2013
Netflix has been through some well-documented ups and downs, but for those who still have doubts about the company, Netflix had a resounding answer this week: 27.15 million. That’s the number of American homes that presently subscribe to the streaming service, a number exceeding even the company’s own expectations for the fourth quarter of 2012. Continue reading Netflix Strategy Takes Root, Numbers Surge in Fourth Quarter
By Rob Scott
January 15, 2013
During CES last week, representatives from television networks, software companies, cable providers and advertising firms gathered for the Second Screen Summit. 2012 was a busy year for second screens, as multiple companies, along with the Olympics, came out with companion products. But the direction and profitability of second screens remain in question. Continue reading CES 2013: Second Screen Use On The Rise, But Revenue Is Not
By Karla Robinson
December 14, 2012
Many hedge fund and telecom execs have bought up various bands of spectrum in hopes of converting it for wireless networks. The FCC has denied several requests, keeping its strident allotment for airwaves, but the commission recently gave the rare green light to Dish Network.
“Late Tuesday, the FCC unanimously approved [Dish Chairman Charlie] Ergen’s plan,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Under the order, Dish would be required to not use a portion of its spectrum to avoid interference with neighboring airwaves, according to FCC officials. The company would also be required to cover at least 70 percent of the new network in each of its geographic license areas within seven years.”
Ergen started assembling the spectrum five years ago through government auctions and investments in flailing satellite companies, spending roughly $3 billion. “At a stroke, the FCC has now raised its value to as much as $12 billion, according to some analysts’ estimates. Mr. Ergen has to do the hard work of putting that spectrum to use or getting FCC approval to sell it,” the article states.
“Wireless service could give Dish an important new line of business in a mature U.S. pay TV market, where its cable TV rivals are able to sell popular ‘bundles’ of telephone, television, and high-speed Internet service.” Rather than building its own network, Dish could partner with a carrier like Sprint Nextel, or potentially even an outside company like Google, to offer wireless service with the spectrum.
“Consumers, meanwhile, could benefit whatever Dish decides, as the FCC’s decision frees up more bandwidth for data-hungry devices like smartphones and tablets,” explains WSJ. “The drawn-out process of converting that spectrum also highlighted how slowly regulators have moved to put much-needed airwaves to more valuable uses.”