Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Two San Diego startups, Verance Corporation and PirateEye, have developed technologies to prevent and reduce media piracy. PirateEye uses cameras in theaters to scan for illegal recording, while Verance uses an audio watermark to determine if a video on a Blu-ray player is legitimate, and gives purchase options if the disc being played is a pirated version. Both Verance and PirateEye have received funding from film studios for their projects. Continue reading Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Facebook recently announced two new features for its mobile Web and iOS and Android mobile apps that will allow users to book restaurants and access TV and movie listings without ever leaving the world of Facebook. These features could help the social network compete with services offered by the likes of Fandango, Yelp and GroupOn. Ultimately, by influencing offline spending, Facebook hopes to generate more revenue and draw more advertisers. Continue reading Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

Automobile manufacturer Honda recently launched a national campaign called Project Drive-In that hopes to preserve a bit of American history by upgrading drive-in theaters in the U.S. The company plans to donate digital projects to five drive-in theaters that receive the most votes on its website. Honda will also take financial donations to assist in providing more projectors. Drive-ins are struggling, especially during the transition to digital format films. Continue reading Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

New App Brings the Magic of Disney Animation to the iPad

Disney has launched a $13.99 iOS app for the iPad that explores the animation and history of all 53 animated Disney films. “Disney Animated” features interactive images, multi-layer animated clips, interviews with animators — and allows users to animate authentic Disney 3D character models and control a Disney visual effects simulation. The comprehensive app is a collaboration between Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Animation Studios and London-based app studio Touch Press. Continue reading New App Brings the Magic of Disney Animation to the iPad

Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

Netflix devotes significant resources in order to develop its rating and recommendation systems, which is a key component of the service. The company employs 800 engineers to operate the service. Netflix estimates that 75 percent of viewing activity is now recommendation driven. The company uses several types of customer data in order to create the personalized recommendations, and uses behavior of similar users to suggest preferences. Continue reading Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Cable operator Comcast is developing a new approach to combating piracy that would convert illegal downloads to legal transaction opportunities. The approach would be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System, or “six strikes” voluntary initiative, currently supported by leading programmers, distributors and studios affiliated with the MPAA. Comcast is pitching its plans to film and television executives in hopes of getting major content companies and distributors on board. Continue reading Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

On Friday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to restrict Apple’s influence in the publishing marketplace and give the government oversight of the iTunes and App Stores. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan last month determined that Apple had conspired with five domestic book publishers to increase e-book prices. The government proposals could provide music, TV show and content owners leverage in negotiating digital distribution. Apple is appealing the ruling. Continue reading Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Plug is a small network connected device that enables users to convert a portable hard drive into private cloud storage that can be shared between PCs, smartphones and tablets. The creators are looking to create a more secure alternative to services such as Dropbox to store, preserve and share data. With 38 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign has already significantly exceeded its original $69,000 goal (as of press time, the total was $736,790). Continue reading Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

Some comic book publishers are now offering writers a greater share of revenue from comics that end up on the screen. This contrasts to larger comic book publishers that are typically the major beneficiary of published content. Some small publishers have been the source for film and TV studios creating new projects, such as “The Walking Dead” series and the film “2 Guns.” Both were comics, and both are sharing returns with the original creators. Continue reading Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

The Hollywood Reporter has released its third annual ranking of the Top 25 Film Schools. This year’s top spots went to USC, AFI, NYU, UCLA and CalArts. THR editors evaluated graduate and undergraduate programs nationwide, and consulted with industry insiders to rate the programs. More than 600 anonymous ballots were submitted by members of the Writers Guild of America West, American Cinema Editors and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Continue reading USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

Sony and Panasonic Join Forces on Optical Discs and OLED

Sony and Panasonic announced yesterday an agreement to team up on developing standards for a next-generation optical disc that can hold more than 300 gigabytes of data (six times the capacity of Blu-ray discs). The companies are hoping to develop the new storage medium by 2015. Once fierce rivals, the two electronics leaders also recently unveiled plans to work together on mass production technology for organic light-emitting diode displays. Continue reading Sony and Panasonic Join Forces on Optical Discs and OLED

SIGGRAPH: Canon Previews Handheld Mixed Reality Technology

Canon has been demonstrating a handheld version of its MREAL Mixed Reality technology at SIGGRAPH this week. According to Canon, the technology merges virtual objects with the real world, at full scale in three dimensions. The company launched its MREAL Mixed Reality headset earlier this year. The handheld version functions similarly to the headset, by enabling the use of markers or sensors to render images in real space. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Canon Previews Handheld Mixed Reality Technology

Is New Google Chromecast All About the Future of Pay TV?

During yesterday’s breakfast event unveiling Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet, the company also announced the $35 Chromecast, a small thumbnail device that connects to televisions via HDMI and enables users to send content via Wi-Fi from phones, tablets or PCs to the TV screen. Chromecast comes with three months of free Netflix and offers more functionality than Apple TV’s AirPlay. “On paper at least, it’s the best device Google has ever announced,” suggests Wired. Continue reading Is New Google Chromecast All About the Future of Pay TV?

Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Television networks are creating companion apps for their successful shows, social TV startups are developing chats and check-ins for second screen experiences, and others are pushing for new ideas to redesign today’s programming guide. But the second screen trend has thus far been based on the premise that the TV screen in the living room is the center of most consumers’ entertainment. Some are suggesting that this viewpoint is no longer accurate and, in fact, may not have been true in the past. Continue reading Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Google Glass to Impact Video Entertainment, Privacy Issues

Google Glass has the potential to change the way video entertainment is created, distributed and viewed. But there are concerns about the potential violation of personal privacy. To some, the benefits outweigh the concerns in that Glass can deliver exciting new ways to create and consume films, documentaries, TV programming and video games. However, many businesses are ready to ban the device, such as movie theaters, bars and hospitals.  Continue reading Google Glass to Impact Video Entertainment, Privacy Issues

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