Video discovery startup Fanhattan unveiled Fan TV yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference in California. The OTT set-top box will enable access to live TV and VOD, in addition to a cloud-based DVR and streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Viewers will be able to search and discover TV shows and movies based on genre, actors, social recommendations, etc. Fanhattan plans to partner with pay TV companies to sell the box, which is expected to be available later this year. Continue reading D11 Conference: Fanhattan Unveils All-in-One Set-Top Box
According to the Leichtman Research Group, pay TV experienced a disappointing first quarter for 2013. Cable companies lost an estimated 263,735 subscribers, which may have been the result of an increase in cord-cutting. While satellite TV providers and phone companies offering television gained some subscribers, the numbers were lower than in previous first quarters. Further losses are anticipated for Q2. Continue reading Cord-Cutting: U.S. Pay TV Providers Lose Subscribers in Q1
By Rob Scott
April 30, 2013
AT&T announced that it has launched its Digital Life home security and monitoring service in 15 U.S. cities with plans to expand to 50 locations this year. Built on the telecom’s 2010 acquisition of Xamboo, it will compete with security offerings by companies like ADT and various startups building devices for the connected home. Digital Life will provide visual access via Web-connected cameras and sensors hooked up to a broadband connection. Continue reading AT&T Launches Digital Life Home Security and Monitoring
By Rob Scott
April 24, 2013
As broadcasters continue to battle the unauthorized distribution of their shows via Aereo, CBS announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Syncbak, a company that allows local TV stations to stream their content online. Syncbak’s technology enables the delivery of broadcast signals to smartphones and tablets. The service is currently being tested by more than 100 TV stations (including CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC affiliates) in 70 markets. Continue reading Potential Aereo Rival: CBS Invests in Streaming TV Startup
April 11, 2013
According to Ad Age, the Intel Media TV Service has all the components that consumers want. The interface is beautiful, the remote is simple and the cloud-based DVR doesn’t require anyone to hit “record.” Algorithms are built in to learn what users like and recommend new content, it syncs easily with social networks, there is effortless co-viewing with distant friends, it works on mobile devices and more. Continue reading Intel Stands to Reinvent Cable TV with Media TV Service
March 29, 2013
Amazon’s X-Ray feature, which uses the company’s IMDb database of content to add real-time actor information to Amazon’s Instant Video service, will expand to include TV show viewing, the company announced on Wednesday. To start, the X-Ray feature will be available for 13 shows including popular hits like “Downton Abbey,” “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones.” Amazon and IMDb are working to expand the service. Continue reading X-Ray: Actor ID Feature from Amazon Expands to TV Shows
By Paula Parisi
January 11, 2013
Chip manufacturer Broadcom unveiled a number of new technologies at CES, including the first Ultra HDTV home gateway chip, a decoder that will enable 4Kx2K resolution distribution to the home. The company, whose enclosed convention space at the back of South Hall was abuzz with activity, also showcased its first 5G Wi-Fi wireless IPTV set-top box platform, which enables carriers to deliver HDTV programming to more devices, reliably and with greater speed and range. Continue reading CES 2013: Broadcom Introduces UHD Home Gateway and 5G Wi-Fi
By David Tobia
December 14, 2012
Playcast is a cloud-based gaming service that runs through pay TV, IPTV, or over-the-top TV providers like Google TV and Roku.
“For the end user, the system operates like VOD or an app, while remote servers actually run the games and stream a video feed of the gameplay in real-time,” reports Engadget. “On the back end, one server shelf can serve up to 15 players an HD (read: 720p) feed simultaneously, and graphical artifacting is kept to a minimum because it streams over the operator’s managed network.”
Playcast differentiates itself from OnLive because Playcast can brand its front-end interface to fit specific customers’ desires and does not need additional hardware. Playcast also offers packages of games for subscription use.
The company plans to launch in Q3 of 2013 with 10-15 packages of 20 games each. The packages will likely cost $10-$15 a month. Playcast will alternate 10 percent new games in each month to keep customers engaged.
“It appears that Playcast will provide casual gamers an intriguing option for getting their gaming fix next year,” concludes the post. “But we’re reserving judgment until we see how well the games run on a managed network, what titles are offered, and just how much it’ll cost.”
By Rob Scott
March 9, 2011
The two-day OTTcon (Over-the-Top TV and Video) conference took place the first week of March in San Jose, CA. In his opening keynote entitled “What Will Television Look Like in 20 Years?”, Scott Puopolo (VP Global Service Provider Practice for Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group) offered his company’s predictions on the immersive and collaborative future of TV.
Cisco interviewed 50 television experts with a focus on technology, consumer behavior, and business models to analyze the medium’s direction. Puopolo’s blog on the Cisco site offers an insightful overview of the results, including an interesting video and the implications for Cisco Videoscape. Highlights include:
Sensory Technology: “Sensory technology will enable new creative tools for producers and new experiences for consumers. So we’ll not only see Rachael Ray’s brownies — we’ll smell them, and eventually taste them, too.”
Multipurpose Screens: “Instead of buying TV sets per se, viewers will buy multipurpose screens. A screen in a bedroom could display your favorite painting or change into a teleconference monitor when you’re not watching TV.”
Interactive Collaboration: “Viewers will break the confines of the TV episode and interact with their favorite characters in everyday life. They could, for instance, collaborate with other fans to help key characters solve a crime or mystery.”
Gestural Interfaces: “Consumers will use words, gestures, and devices such as smartphones and iPads to control their TVs. You might raise the volume or choose a different show with a simple flick of your wrist.”