Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others. Continue reading Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC filed a 59-page brief to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago that detailed how online video startup Aereo is stealing their programming and undermining the TV business model. The filing also noted that “a ruling against Aereo would pose no threat to innovative online-distribution services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon,” since those services “pay for the right to use copyrighted content.” In a Supreme Court filing yesterday, the Justice Department backed the networks in their fight with Aereo. Continue reading TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Amazon continues to expand into the entertainment realm with its delivery of movies and TV via Amazon Prime, the launch of Amazon Studios, its recent acquisition of video game developer Double Helix, and now, the possibility of a streaming music service that would likely be bundled into its Prime delivery option. Amazon has been hiring executives with digital music experience in recent years, and has reportedly been in talks with major music labels for the past few months. Continue reading Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

Broadcasters and other media organizations are contemplating a move to an Ethernet-based facility for their live streams for a range of compelling reasons: flexibility, simpler cabling, better economies of scale and an easier move to Ultra HDTV. At an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Professional Networked Media,” Fox Network Engineering & Operations Vice President Thomas Edwards led a panel of broadcast executives working to make that a reality. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

Execs Discuss Era of Advanced Broadcasting at HPA Retreat

How to advance broadcasting to its next iteration was the topic of two sessions at the HPA Tech Retreat this week, one a panel moderated by Ericsson SVP TV Technology Matthew Goldman, and including representatives from Fox, Sinclair Broadcast Group, CBS, CBC, PBS and Cox Media Group, and, second, a discussion led by former Fox Engineering President Andy Setos, with broadcast executive Jim DeFilippis joining via Internet from the Sochi Olympics. Continue reading Execs Discuss Era of Advanced Broadcasting at HPA Retreat

HPA Tech Retreat Gets Underway This Week in Palm Springs

The Hollywood Post Alliance’s Tech Retreat began its first full day of programming Tuesday morning, marking the 20th consecutive year of the event. Held at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells, CA, the event is a combination tech symposium and trade show, which brings together professionals working in various aspects of motion picture and television post-production to discuss emerging trends and technologies. Tuesday’s program featured a daylong session: “The New Normal is Anything But — How Digital Technology from Creation to Consumption Impacts Everything.” Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat Gets Underway This Week in Palm Springs

HPA Panel Addresses Post Production’s Move to the Cloud

Is post production dead… or has it just fled to the cloud? That question was posed by HPA President Leon Silverman who moderated a panel on the future of post production at the HPA Tech Retreat yesterday. Post production facilities coping with complicated metadata and new delivery platforms are moving services to the cloud, and panelists from companies including Sony, Premiere Digital, Paramount, Light Iron and others described how they are incorporating cloud services. Continue reading HPA Panel Addresses Post Production’s Move to the Cloud

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

Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

Apple is quietly building new networks, part of an expanded Internet infrastructure capable of delivering large amounts of content to customers, while providing Apple with more control over distributing its online offerings. It will also lay the groundwork for handling more traffic should the company decide to move deeper into television. Apple has been moving in this direction for a while, since the inception of its iCloud service and in response to rising sales of media via iTunes and the App Store. Continue reading Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

News Apps Review: Comparing Facebook Paper with Flipboard

The growing flood of news delivered via the Internet has created a dilemma for readers: how to efficiently sift through the never-ending treadmill of information. Facebook’s new Paper app and the newly updated media-reading app Flipboard are both trying to leverage the effectiveness of a traditional newspaper teamed with the convenient functionality of a smartphone app. According to one review, Paper helps provide a broad view of the news, while Flipboard is easier to personalize. Continue reading News Apps Review: Comparing Facebook Paper with Flipboard

Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

In addition to its Winter Olympics coverage across television, Web and mobile, NBC is also capturing some of the action from Sochi in 4K resolution. However, since the distribution infrastructure is not in place for Ultra HD broadcasts and only a small number of consumers own UHD TVs, the network is shooting limited 4K content for demonstration purposes only. NBCUniversal’s parent Comcast has scheduled invitation-only viewing parties in Washington DC, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Continue reading Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Political ads are about to get much more personal. Dish Network and DirecTV are coming together to offer microtargeted advertising spots for politicians hoping to reach specific audiences with specific messages during campaigns. Audiences will be identified all the way down to the individual household, and political advertisers will pay big money to reach those households with tailored messages. “Addressable advertising” will start small, but likely have a big impact on the industry. Continue reading Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Google is expanding the test of its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service by including company employees in the Santa Monica area. The test, which joins other similar programs such as eBay Now, Walmart to Go, and AmazonFresh, is an expansion of the pilot program it launched in the Bay Area last spring. Claiming it has received “great feedback” from shoppers and retailers in the San Francisco, Google has plans to eventually extend the service to the public. Continue reading Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Will Books Follow Music and Video with Subscription Model?

The concept of “literary Netflixes” has been gaining momentum in the past few months. Oyster, a book subscription service that launched four months ago, recently raised $14 million to expand. Many members of the publishing industry are cautious about adopting a subscription model for e-books because they believe it could cannibalize sales and devalue books. However, Oyster notes that despite the apprehension, it has been signing publishers and already has a library of more than 100,000 titles. Continue reading Will Books Follow Music and Video with Subscription Model?

ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

ComiXology, a digital comics platform that launched in 2009, sold 4 billion pages of comics through its iPad app last year, earning it the title of most profitable non-game app for the iPod for the third year in a row. That figure shows a drastic increase in sales since the launch of ComiXology, which has sold more than 6 billion pages of comics total. CEO David Steinberger says the considerable growth is due not only to long-time comics lovers moving over to digital versions, but new, first-time comics fans. Continue reading ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion