TruTV Cuts Ad Time, Hopes to Increase Value for Advertisers

Cable networks tend to schedule advertising with a “more is more” approach. But the added revenue comes at a cost to marketers and viewers. Marketers worry that the resulting “ad clutter” obscures their message. Meanwhile, the proliferation of commercial-free, OTT content has shortened the average viewer’s commercial tolerance, especially among the ever-valuable millennial demographic. In a move that truTV sees as a way for advertisers to “rise above the noise,” the cable and satellite channel is planning to cut down ad time and increase each slot’s value. Continue reading TruTV Cuts Ad Time, Hopes to Increase Value for Advertisers

SMPTE 2015: Post Production Is Moving to the Cloud, Slowly

In the world of UHD/4K, movies and TV programs can require massive amounts of compute power. Take a recent 50-minute UHD natural history documentary that Sundog Media Toolkit worked on. Chief executive Richard Welsh reports it ran for four hours on over 5,000 processors. The necessity for finding huge amounts of compute power is becoming a challenge for productions, he notes.We could have run that job in real time if we had split it up more, and that would have taken us up to more than 20,000 processors for one hour.” Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Post Production Is Moving to the Cloud, Slowly

SMPTE HDR Report Offers Recommendations for Standards

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers has published a study group report on the high dynamic range imaging ecosystem, now available for download on the SMPTE site. The report provides a detailed summary regarding “the implementation of HDR in professional media workflows and addresses key questions that will arise for industry members as they move forward in taking advantage of HDR technology.” In addition, it provides recommendations for standardization efforts. According to SMPTE, the report reflects the efforts of 170 international experts. Continue reading SMPTE HDR Report Offers Recommendations for Standards

Vice to Decide on TV, Mobile, OTT Expansion Deals in Europe

A large number of potential partners are vying to cut deals for Vice TV channels across Europe, expected to launch in the next 12 to 18 months. But plans aren’t moving fast enough for chief executive Shane Smith who is eager to ink agreements not just for TV but mobile, online and OTT. The company is already set to launch a U.S. channel, and expected to partner with A+E for that venture (although Smith more recently declined to say who his U.S. partner would be), and has a Canadian outlet with Rogers Communications. Continue reading Vice to Decide on TV, Mobile, OTT Expansion Deals in Europe

Popcorn Time Goes Dark, Just After Launching Butter Project

Popcorn Time, a free software BitTorrent client with integrated media player, has shut down, seemingly due to tampering with its DNS server. Could this be the end for the company that was shut down once due to MPAA complaints about piracy? That’s not clear, but just before its site went down, Popcorn Time creators announced the launch of Butter, a new version of the Popcorn Time service, but without any direct links to piracy. Butter lets the user create a streaming service — and leaves the piracy up to the individual user. Continue reading Popcorn Time Goes Dark, Just After Launching Butter Project

CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

During last week’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Sony showcased its new line of Full HD home theater projectors, including two models that support 4K. Sony is also providing high dynamic range support with its VPL-VW665ES, which allows HDMI input of HDR content with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Meanwhile, Kaleidescape debuted its Encore line with the 4K Strato movie player, the “world’s first 4K Ultra HD high dynamic range movie player for the home.” Kaleidescape showed new Alto players and the Terra server, which simultaneously streams 4K content to up to seven Strato players. Continue reading CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a Web-only subscription video service in January called Seeso that will offer comedic fare such as standup specials, original series, select movies, and NBC classics like “The Office” and “30 Rock” along with late-night hits including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The ad-free channel, which will cost $3.99 per month, will offer more than 20 exclusive original series during its first year. NBCU said it does not have plans to remove its content from other digital services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

According to several sources, Amazon is reportedly looking into the logistics and costs of creating an online pay TV service by talking with multiple content owners about carrying their channels. These talks — with CBS and Comcast’s NBCUniversal — have been going on for several months, say the sources. Amazon already offers content via its Prime Instant Video streaming service, as well as producing its own TV content. A live service would put it in direct competition with other pay TV providers such as Comcast and AT&T. Continue reading With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

While streaming services continue to invest in original series to attract new subscribers, the SVOD battle over TV rights has also been heating up. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are competing for the exclusive rights to stream popular shows that first air on television. A number of new deals have been announced in recent weeks, including Amazon picking up USA Network’s “Mr. Robot,” Hulu getting Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth,” and Netflix signing ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Most recently, Viacom extended its licensing agreement with Hulu. Continue reading Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

Facebook Intros New Second Screen Tools for Live TV Viewing

The idea of second screen viewing — that users are interacting with social media platforms at the same time they watch live TV — came to fruition several years ago, but it’s still an area ripe for growth. That’s why Facebook, which already has a relationship between its site and live TV, has unveiled even more tools to reinforce the integration. Among the new tools are ways to let viewers make their opinions known via polling and voting, custom icons for TV shows, and a way for broadcasters to easily gather viewer feedback. Continue reading Facebook Intros New Second Screen Tools for Live TV Viewing

There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

We are used to very sophisticated search for text, but when it comes to online video, search tools are quite primitive. Netflix allows users to search by titles, people and genres; Hulu powers search for titles and people; and HBO Now restricts search to titles. The potential for exquisitely granular search — and potential new revenue streams — can be found in each TV show or movie’s rich metadata. But how to unlock it, and how to structure search is still open to question and experimentation. Continue reading There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

TV Metrics Space Heating Up Between Nielsen and comScore

Nielsen, long the dominant player in audience measurement data for media companies and advertisers, now has competition. Recently, comScore, which measures consumer Web activity, made an all-stock purchase of Rentrak, which monitors set-top box data for information on consumers’ TV viewing habits. Nielsen, however, countered with its “total audience measurement tool,” which is slated to roll out by the end of 2015. Nielsen has been criticized as being slow to address media consumed on digital platforms. Continue reading TV Metrics Space Heating Up Between Nielsen and comScore

TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

TiVo introduced its new Bolt DVR this week, with features that TiVo customers have requested for years. That includes a new SkipMode that improves the device’s ability to leap over commercials on recorded content, 4K Ultra HD capability, and, with a fall update, an iOS app that allows the creation of a customized “What to Watch” screen built by selecting categories based on hobbies and interests. The new TiVo also offers an iOS app with AirPlay so users can stream content to Apple TV, and the company says it’s working on an app for Amazon Fire TV. Continue reading TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google unveiled two new Chromecast streaming devices yesterday, in addition to a new tablet and a pair of Nexus phones. Google has already sold more than 20 million Chromecasts, which now offers access to thousands of apps, including HBO Now and Netflix. The $35 Chromecast extends the mobile apps already on our phones to our TV, whereas a competitor such as the $149 Apple TV is more a device for storing apps to run on television. One of Google’s new silver dollar-sized Chromecasts is available to work with your TV, while Chromecast Audio plugs into speakers to play music sent from your phone. Continue reading Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Twitter Tweaks TV Timelines, Expanding Pages and Availability

Twitter is now making its TV Timelines feature available to more users in an attempt to draw in more TV fans, networks and advertisers. TV Timelines, which aggregates TV-related content with a dedicated page for each TV show, is accessed via a separate interface within the Twitter app. When Twitter first debuted TV Timelines, it was only available to a select group of users and for a handful of TV shows. After several months of experimentation, Twitter has tweaked the feature, including adding shortcuts to users’ tweets. Continue reading Twitter Tweaks TV Timelines, Expanding Pages and Availability

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