Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us exclusive confirmation that FIFA has signed broadcasters to go live with the Ultra HD signal of three World Cup matches from Brazil. The news has been confirmed by Sony, which serves as the production partner to FIFA and host broadcaster HBS. Previous announcements pointed to the 4K recording of the World Cup Final and two earlier matches for a FIFA Films 4K movie to be distributed online after the event, but now broadcasters also plan to take the feed live. Continue reading Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

Microsoft is expanding beyond video games in an effort to make its Xbox console more of an entertainment media hub. The software giant is planning to produce TV-like original programming including an expected series from Steven Spielberg based on “Halo,” a version of Swedish sci-fi show “Humans,” a soccer reality-style series and a documentary about discarded Atari games. Microsoft joins a growing field as companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Yahoo are tackling original content. Continue reading Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

Time Warner Cable Offers VOD, Streaming, Cable via Fan TV

Time Warner Cable has partnered with startup Fanhattan to offer customers the Fan TV cable set-top box, which enables viewers to watch live TV, cable TV, and streaming video via Internet Protocol. The sleek cable box features a unique viewer guide with an integrated offering of online and live content from television shows to movies through a simple touchpad remote. Pre-orders of Fan TV set-tops, which began Tuesday, are $99, and they will be ready to ship in June. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers VOD, Streaming, Cable via Fan TV

NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its push into digital programming with the launch of new series to be distributed via its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Two series slated to launch on NBC.com include “Saturday Night Line,” about superfans who wait in the “SNL” standby line, and “Heroes Reborn: Digital Series,” a prequel to the upcoming “Heroes” miniseries. In addition, Universal Cable Productions has plans to release more than a dozen digital programs, including “Tesla and Twain” and “Last Single Girl.” Continue reading NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

Yahoo and VEVO announced a new partnership to bring music videos, concerts, and other original music programming to video channel Yahoo Screen. The deal includes new financial incentives for Yahoo to promote VEVO videos, particularly on the Yahoo home page, mobile app, and Yahoo sites outside the U.S. It is all part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy to focus on video to keep visitors on the site longer. VEVO, meanwhile, hopes to break its dependency on YouTube. Continue reading New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

During its upfront presentation in New York last week, CNN introduced a live news service called Watch CNNx that allows viewers to choose content in real time. The service will be available on iPads and on TVs through set-top boxes later this year. Alongside the live CNN feed, CNNx offers a rundown of stories that appear on the right side of the screen, while a menu of digital features, including photo galleries, appear at the bottom. Additionally, CNN plans to use Flipboard’s display ad format on its applications. Continue reading CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

According to a new study by the Council for Research Excellence, conversations on social media have less influence than traditional factors, such as TV commercials for new shows or laziness in changing channels, in prompting audiences to watch a new show. In addition, only 16.1 percent of survey respondents say they use social media while watching prime time television, and less than half those participants typically use social networks to discuss the show they are watching. Continue reading Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Microsoft’s latest messaging tech, Skype TX, integrates high-quality Skype calls into broadcasting. The new product, which bypasses ads and notifications, is studio-grade software that offers improved video and audio quality. It features HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ratio conversion, support for multiple calls and API integration. Microsoft envisions TV shows, news programs and live events using Skype TX to connect with people outside of the studio. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Last year, more than 71 million people worldwide watched other people play computer games, according to a report from games research company SuperData. More than half of those people were in the United States and one in five American gamers either watch or participate in eSports, or organized video game competitions. At the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship last year, 32 million people watched the professional gamers battle it out. Continue reading In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Turner Sports announced that NCAA March Madness Live set a new record with 69.7 million live video streams collectively across platforms. The 2014 tournament’s live video streams were up 42 percent compared to the previous year. NCAA March Madness Live — in partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports — netted 15 million hours of live video consumed, which is also a new all-time record. Live streams via tablets and smartphones were up 71 percent this year. Continue reading NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony and FIFA revealed their 4K plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Brazil in June/July. Three matches are scheduled to be shot in 4K: one match from the round of 16, one match from the quarterfinals, and the July 13th final match in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to select broadcasters, the live 4K coverage will be made available to select cinemas internationally. Sony and FIFA also have plans to jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K. Continue reading Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Online Hub Offers Sports Coverage Across Different Platforms

The MLB, NHL and NBA recently teamed up with Time Inc. to launch 120 Sports, an online hub that provides sports video content across a variety of platforms. This announcement followed the launch of NFL Now, a similar digital network that promises football fans the ultimate viewing experience. Both networks are examples of how American sports teams are attempting to keep up with technology, while providing fans with quality viewing experiences on multiple platforms. Continue reading Online Hub Offers Sports Coverage Across Different Platforms

CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

Digital Cinema is a hot topic this week at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on two specific fronts: the pursuit of alternative content to help fill theater seats during weeknights, and the need for a cost-effective electronic delivery system to transmit content to theaters. Still in its infancy, alternative content has already seen a number of success stories, including Met Live in HD (the Metropolitan Opera) and a 3D broadcast of the 50th-anniversary special of the BBC’s “Doctor Who.” Continue reading CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

Apple, Comcast Discuss Teaming Up for Streaming TV Service

Apple is in talks with Comcast about joining forces on a streaming-television service, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports the service “would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web.” While discussions are in the early stages and a number of hurdles remain, the deal “would mark a new level of cooperation and integration between a technology company and a cable provider to modernize TV viewing.” Continue reading Apple, Comcast Discuss Teaming Up for Streaming TV Service

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