Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Connected TV penetration has exceeded the 60 percent mark for broadband households in the U.S., according to new data from The Diffusion Group, indicating that an increasing number of consumers are interested in receiving entertainment services such as Netflix and Pandora. TDG’s January 2014 study found that 63 percent of broadband households have at least one Internet-connected TV, up from 53 percent the same time last year. The numbers reflect smart TVs in addition to devices like game consoles and Internet sticks. Continue reading Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

You may have noticed that drones are being used this month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to capture footage of ski and snowboarding events. While drones can cost upwards of $40,000, they are quieter and cheaper than using a manned helicopter. Also with drones, filmmakers can typically get much closer to the subject. While limitations currently exist due to regulations and concern of potential crashes, we should expect to see more use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography in the future. Continue reading Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

Getty Images Delivers Winter Olympic Photos in Record Speeds

Getty Images along with AP, AFP, Reuters, and EPA wire agencies have set up state-of-the-art fiber optic networks to deliver Olympic images almost instantaneously. Getty can deliver photographs from the Winter Olympics in Sochi directly to publications within 180 seconds thanks to 20 kilometers of cable and a 100Mbps network. The process of preparing an image for delivery in record speed involves a team of Photoshop experts, captioning specialists, and editors. Continue reading Getty Images Delivers Winter Olympic Photos in Record Speeds

TMS, aioTV Sign Deal to Deliver Advanced Search & Discovery

Entertainment navigation company TMS and OTT middleware provider aioTV have announced an agreement that will bring TMS’ On Entertainment metadata to aioTV to help deliver enhanced functions to cable operator customers. The metadata will enable advanced search and discovery of aggregated live television, video-on-demand and online video in the multi-screen interfaces that aioTV creates for cable providers. The platform will be demonstrated at the National Cable Television Cooperative Conference this week. Continue reading TMS, aioTV Sign Deal to Deliver Advanced Search & Discovery

Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Google is continuing to push for change in commercial Internet services, looking beyond the super-fast gigabit connections available in locations such as Kansas City, Kansas and Chattanooga, Tennessee. At a conference in San Francisco last week, Google CFO Patrick Pichette discussed the company’s 10 gigabit experiment, which is exploring connections that are more than 1,000 times faster than today’s average speeds. The news could encourage other providers to also increase their speeds. Continue reading Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Apple to Launch Updated TV Box, in Talks with Content Partners

Apple is currently in talks with Time Warner Cable and other potential partners to add video content to a new Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is reportedly hoping to reveal the new device in April, and start selling it for the December holidays, but this may change since the company has still not secured agreements with distribution and programming partners. The device will be an update of the current Apple TV, with an upgraded interface, faster processor and easier navigation. Continue reading Apple to Launch Updated TV Box, in Talks with Content Partners

Second Screen: The Battle Between Tweets and Facebook Posts

Despite Twitter’s limited growth over the past few quarters, the social messaging service continues to experience second screen popularity with television viewers. Facebook is attempting to tap into this market as well, but has been battling the perception that its users generally post before or after a broadcast, rather than during it. However, U.K.-based social analytics agency SecondSync released a study that suggests 60 percent of Facebook interactions about TV programs occur during the broadcasts. Continue reading Second Screen: The Battle Between Tweets and Facebook Posts

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Comcast Corp. has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth about $45.2 billion, in a move that will combine the top two U.S. cable operators. The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal. The announcement likely marks the conclusion of an eight-month takeover battle waged by cable operator Charter Communications and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. However, the proposed transaction is expected to face lengthy regulatory review. Continue reading Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Should Industry Be Concerned with Decline in TV Households?

According to a new report from Forrester Research, the percentage of U.S. households with cable or satellite television is projected to dip from the current 82 percent to 79 percent by 2018. However, Forrester’s Jim Nail suggests that the television industry should not worry about cord-cutters, since those who opt to unsubscribe from cable services do not watch much TV anyway, and are not turning to online options but simply avoiding the cost. Business Insider counters that a decline is difficult to view as a win. Continue reading Should Industry Be Concerned with Decline in TV Households?

CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

As the ratings for television news channels decline, broadcasters are looking for new ways to draw an audience. CNN is working toward gaining viewers by airing original films and series like the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired back in October, and “Chicagoland,” a reality TV show that will begin airing next month. Jeff Zucker, the newest president of CNN, took over in January and has been hands-on since, pointing the network in a slightly different direction. Continue reading CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

For the first time in more than six years, Comcast gained more video subscribers than it lost last quarter. The cable provider can attribute that growth to its new set-top boxes, which feature a searchable, cloud-based interface resembling that of a Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Time Warner Cable, which saw a decline in last quarter’s numbers, plans to release its own set-top box in hopes of boosting its subscribers and preventing cable cutting by customers. Continue reading Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

Yesterday, we reported two stories related to Verizon’s acquisition of Intel’s OnCue cloud-based TV platform. In our reporting we noted that a number of companies were believed to be developing Internet TV services, including Amazon, which was reportedly working on a set-top box for delivering streaming video. In response to multiple reports from leading news publications, Amazon reps made a public statement denying any plans the company is rumored to have regarding an Internet TV initiative. Continue reading Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

Verizon Communications has completed a long-awaited deal to acquire Intel’s cloud-based TV platform. Terms have yet to be released, but people familiar with the matter put the price around $200 million. The acquisition is expected to help Verizon FiOS customers search for content on TVs and Verizon smartphones and tablets. It could also help Verizon establish a foundation for offering an Internet-based version of pay TV, which several companies such as Amazon, Apple and Sony are also said to be pursuing. Continue reading OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

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