SMPTE 2015: Challenges of Adding HDR, HFR and Color to 4K

At the SMPTE 2015 annual conference, broadcast consultant Jim DeFilippis, Grass Valley camera executive Klaus Weber, and Panasonic researcher Hiroaki Iwasaki, among others, looked at the challenges involved with adding higher frame rates, higher dynamic range and wider color gamut for 4K resolution and beyond. Baylor University professors Corey Carbonara and Michael Korpi attempted to find the perfect amount of frame rates, exposure times, lighting, and refresh rates to arrive at the best image. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Challenges of Adding HDR, HFR and Color to 4K

Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

Disney is carefully tracking and nurturing future technologies for children via an annual accelerator program it runs with partner Techstars. The program awards $120,000 to 10 startups, which also work with Disney executives for three months. The potential prize at the end is that Disney and Techstars may take a stake in one or more of the startups whose technologies are the most interesting and, one imagines, capable of commercialization. This year, approximately half of the companies chosen are involved in data. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

TBS and WME/IMG Plan to Bring Video Games to Primetime

Video games are coming to primetime TV next year, as Turner Broadcasting System partners with talent agency WME/IMG to create a league for players and fans. The currently unnamed league will broadcast gaming competitions live on Friday nights, with the hope it will draw in young male viewers on a night that is traditionally difficult to program. This first year, the league, which will broadcast 20 weeks a year, will focus competition in the game “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” published by Valve Corp. Continue reading TBS and WME/IMG Plan to Bring Video Games to Primetime

Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

In the wake of pay TV subscriber losses and a falloff in content stocks, industry news has recently focused on the impact of the Internet, mobile apps and streaming services on traditional television. Disney chief operating officer Tom Staggs, who most analysts believe will be the successor to CEO Bob Iger, defended the future of ESPN and the programming bundle at an industry conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Staggs also suggested that Wall Street had overreacted to recent changes in the business and should not be so quick to dismiss the current model. Continue reading Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

Live Streaming Takes Center Stage on New NBC Sports Website

NBC Sports Digital launched a redesigned site that emphasizes live sports broadcasting, including “Sunday Night Football” games. The site, which is live this week, highlights a total of 2,700 streamed-live events this year and 4,000 next year with the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. This year’s live streaming events include NFL games, the Stanley Cup, NASCAR, English Premiere League soccer and Golf Channel content. Although advertising revenue from the website is small relative to linear TV, executives are excited about its prospects. Continue reading Live Streaming Takes Center Stage on New NBC Sports Website

Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Amazon announced that it has agreed to purchase Elemental Technologies in an all-cash deal valued at about $500 million, marking Amazon’s biggest deal since last year’s $1 billion acquisition of videogame streaming site Twitch. Elemental helps media companies encode and transcode video content for viewing on the Web and via mobile devices. Amazon plans to add Elemental to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing division, one of the company’s faster-growing units. Amazon reportedly beat out both Ericsson AB and Cisco Systems to acquire Elemental. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

With the rise in popularity of e-sports, videogame coaching as a profession is also on the rise. Coaches can make from $30,000 to $50,000 a year, a salary that matches that of minor league baseball coaches. Coaches study gameplay, oversee practice sessions and provide feedback to e-sport competitors, many of whom can earn up to $120,000 a year. As tournament fans are quickly turning videogame competitions into a popular spectator sport, e-sports now generate more than $600 million in global revenue. Continue reading The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

Comcast to Debut Latest Streaming Video Platform, Watchable

The video platform skirmishes just heated up with news that Comcast is about to launch its own, dubbed Watchable. The streaming video platform will feature content from a list of major publishers, including NBC Sports, AwesomenessTV, Refinery29 and The Onion as well as two companies it has already invested in, Vox and Buzzfeed. Deals are non-exclusive, allowing publishers to also post on Facebook, one of Comcast’s chief rivals in online video. Comcast is also up against YouTube and Verizon’s as-of-yet unnamed video platform. Continue reading Comcast to Debut Latest Streaming Video Platform, Watchable

Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

At Apple’s upcoming September 9 event, the Silicon Valley company will announce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box. But what it won’t be introducing is a live TV service streamed over the Internet. Although Apple insiders are mum, those close to the project say that Apple hasn’t licensed enough content from TV networks and that talks to do so are moving slowly. Another obstacle is a sufficiently robust computer network to guarantee the content will stream properly. The company is reportedly now targeting a 2016 launch date. Continue reading Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass. Continue reading NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

To meet the needs of its younger audience, Snapchat has added BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio as new content partners for its Discover portal. Snapchat launched the platform earlier this year in hopes that teens and millennials would follow their news and entertainment without leaving the app. The addition of BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio should bolster its efforts and get users to check out other Discover channels. Snapchat hopes to grow Discover, and recently moved the feature to its central Stories screen for easier access. Continue reading BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

New details about Verizon’s mobile video service were revealed after the company accidentally turned on a pre-launch staging website — briefly, but long enough for details to be revealed. Named Go90, the mobile service will offer select live music, exclusive events and sports as well as some full TV episodes, music videos and other short-form content. The landing page revealed new content partners and reaffirmed that, at least initially, the service will be delivered free of charge. The landing page has since been taken down. Continue reading Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Comcast announced that it plans to launch a trial of its IP-based video service Stream by the end of the summer in Boston, followed by Chicago and Seattle. The $15-per-month streaming service will offer about a dozen broadcast networks and HBO. Subscribers will have access to some TV Everywhere applications, Streampix for movies and a cloud DVR service. As an add-on to broadband service meant for PCs, laptops and mobile devices, customers will need Comcast Internet service to subscribe. The company is planning a nationwide rollout for early next year. Continue reading Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Facebook has turned its attention to music videos in its latest move to offer more video content to its users. The social media company began moving into video in the last few years, now showing content from BuzzFeed, Vice and other publishers, in addition to its user-generated content. Music videos would continue the trend and up the competition between Facebook and YouTube. Facebook currently has 1.4 billion worldwide users, and adding video is likely to extend the time that viewers stay on the site. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Yahoo Hosting Lucrative Daily and One-Week Fantasy Sports

Yahoo now hosts daily and one-week fantasy sports games, one of the most popular activities on the Internet, with an estimated 57 million fans in the U.S. and Canada. Yahoo, similar to other online destinations, has long hosted season-long fantasy sports but the daily segment has grown rapidly in the last two years. Yahoo stands to make hundreds of millions in new revenue, say analysts. Two companies dominate the category: FanDuel and DraftKings, which are now drawing interest from big name investors. Continue reading Yahoo Hosting Lucrative Daily and One-Week Fantasy Sports