Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal filed by broadcasters against the Aereo online TV service. Disney’s ABC, CBS Broadcasting, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox are among those who argue that Barry Diller-backed Aereo violates copyrights by using tiny antennas to access broadcast signals without paying fees. Media companies appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shutter Aereo while legal issues are being addressed. Continue reading Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

UHD: Execs Debate Production, Distribution, Adoption at CES

As expected, Ultra HD was a hot topic at the 2014 International CES, with plenty of support as well as debate. While some have asserted that UHD is inevitable at this point, others have suggested that success will be reliant upon the right combination of multiple factors including 4K set penetration, an efficient delivery infrastructure and the availability of content. Industry leaders addressed these topics and more during compelling panel discussions in Las Vegas. Continue reading UHD: Execs Debate Production, Distribution, Adoption at CES

CES Microcosm: Sony Press Events Focus on End-to-End 4K

It began Monday night with a low cost 4K camcorder, new 4K TVs and a 4K streaming partnership with Netflix, all announced during Sony’s press reveal. But CEO Kaz Hirai kept the news coming during his 2014 International CES keynote Tuesday morning, as Sony introduced new cloud-based streaming TV and gaming services. These events clearly helped set the tone for a show that was dominated by every aspect of the 4K pipeline, especially TVs, and somewhat surprisingly, streaming services. Continue reading CES Microcosm: Sony Press Events Focus on End-to-End 4K

Are TV Trends Distractions from Content Delivery Problems?

Curved screens, 4K displays and other impressive television technologies have been making a splash at this year’s CES, but some experts claim they’re not fooled by the latest developments, saying TV innovation is “stuck in a rut.” Last year, 3D was all the rage, but that has all but disappeared from the mainstream, and some say these advancements are mere distractions from the fact that watching our favorite channels and shows can be a hassle. Continue reading Are TV Trends Distractions from Content Delivery Problems?

Will Wearable Tech Have a Future in Entertainment Media?

Even a cursory look at the news coming out of CES makes it clear that wearables have garnered a lot of the buzz. Smartwatches, augmented reality headsets, digital health solutions and fitness tracking monitors are all the rage here. What’s not clear is if wearables will ever intersect with the entertainment industry. Although the question itself may seem risible, it’s worth remembering that most people dismissed the mobile phone as an entertainment device only a few years ago. Continue reading Will Wearable Tech Have a Future in Entertainment Media?

Lines Blur Between Traditional and New Media Across Platforms

In a world of multiple platforms, anyone starting a studio today needs to think beyond the 100+ year old model. “A key part of these [traditional] studios is that they are very siloed,” explained Evan Bregman of digital studio Electus. “Consumers want to consume wherever and whenever, so whether you’re a distributor or a content creator, you have to understand the nuances of the platforms. It’s not a TV show or a Web show… it’s a business.” Continue reading Lines Blur Between Traditional and New Media Across Platforms

Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

“Content without strategy is a home movie,” said David Tochterman, head of digital media for Innovative Artists, a bi-coastal talent agency. “And all of us on this panel are investing our time not just in good content, but the strategy to make it successful.” The panel he was referring to was a Digital Hollywood focus on how today’s multitude of media platforms has significantly changed the content game — from development and production to marketing and distribution. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, delivered his pre-CES press briefing, “2014 CES Trends to Watch.” DuBravac said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see 75 UHDTV announcements” this week, which could climb to about 150, when including hardware rollouts, distribution deals and related news. According to DuBravac, the big picture emerging trends this year will center on mass customization, multidimensional screen expansion, the age of autonomy, and curation and context. Continue reading Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Digital HD had a big year in 2013, and 2014 will likely have more in store for digital home and on-the-go entertainment. Though the model of renting or buying physical movies still exists, a shift in the standard model was palpable as streaming and electronic sell-through methods became increasingly popular. This was intensified by the commonplace offers from studios to consumers for early online releases of movies before physical copies hit the shelves. Continue reading 2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Netflix Tests Subscription Model Based on Number of Users

Netflix is testing a new pricing model with some of its new customers that provides streaming access to as many as four screens simultaneously, allowing household members to view different shows at the same time. Pricing ranges from $6.99 to $11.99 per month. The approach offers more ways to watch content, similar to how cable providers rent multiple set-top boxes. Netflix may also be looking for ways to curb account sharing. If successful, the new pricing could be expanded to additional customers. Continue reading Netflix Tests Subscription Model Based on Number of Users

YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

YouTube is expanding its live streaming capabilities to all YouTube channels and now includes the option to launch a Google+ Hangout On Air. The launch began with a test period of a handful of users and YouTube partners, followed by a period including users with a certain number of subscribers. Now users with a verified account in good standing will see this feature available in the next few weeks. Users should also expect to experience a boost to their Google+ pages. Continue reading YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

In anticipation of the upcoming 2014 International CES, January 6-10, the ETC@USC will have a team of more than a dozen writers, reporters and support staff onsite in Las Vegas to provide comprehensive coverage throughout the show on emerging products and trends in the consumer electronic space that are relevant to ETC member companies, and to the entertainment industry as a whole. ETCentric will publish articles, updates via social media, and video content throughout the show. Continue reading CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

Warner Archive Instant Adds iPad App and Closed Captioning

Warner Bros. launched Warner Archive Instant in April, offering rare and hard-to-find movies and TV shows online. The $9.99 per month service streams content from Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, Allied Artists and others. Last week, the studio announced a new iPad app for the service. Many of the titles are available for streaming to HDTVs in 1080p via an iPad or Roku player. The entire Warner Archive Instant collection is also now available with closed captioning. Continue reading Warner Archive Instant Adds iPad App and Closed Captioning

Comcast Announces Major New Partnerships for SEEiT Platform

Twitter is taking another step toward TV integration, as new partners have signed on to leverage the social service and Comcast’s SEEiT platform. Originally available for Comcast Xfinity and networks owned by NBCUniversal, new partnerships will allow subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Charter and Cablevision Optimum to use SEEiT via set-top boxes. Additionally, networks such as ABC, AMC, Fox and FX will use SEEiT to help steer access to their programming. Continue reading Comcast Announces Major New Partnerships for SEEiT Platform

Pay TV Subscribers Can Now Enjoy Fox Shows via Xbox One

Pay TV subscribers in the U.S. who purchased Microsoft’s new Xbox One game console can now watch episodes of Fox prime time shows such as “The Simpsons,” “New Girl” and “Almost Human.” In order to access the Fox Now streaming service, consumers need to subscribe to participating cable, satellite and telco TV partners. According to Microsoft, 2 million Xbox One consoles have been sold since the product debuted last month in 13 countries. Continue reading Pay TV Subscribers Can Now Enjoy Fox Shows via Xbox One

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