Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Israel-based Vidmind plans to unveil the second generation of its Android set-top box this week at IBC in Amsterdam. The company hopes to attract cord cutters with an offering that combines over-the-air broadcast TV with live streaming and on-demand content. Meanwhile, TiVo has announced its 24TB TiVo Mega, slated for launch early next year. For $5,000 you can record six shows at once and store up to 4,000 hours of HD programming (or 26,000 hours of SD content). It also includes free TiVo service for life. Continue reading Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

As Apple gears up for the launch of its iPhone 6, with an anticipated initial run of 80 million units, the company has reported a 12.7 percent profit growth for its current model. However, the company also noted that iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter, with unit sales falling 9.2 percent after a 16 percent drop the previous quarter. With a significant jump in iPhone sales internationally, and a move toward bigger-screen models, some are questioning the future of Apple’s tablet. Continue reading Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

Samsung Unveils New Devices with Tizen Operating System

At Samsung’s Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco last week, the world’s largest phone maker introduced two of the first products, a smartphone and a TV, to run on the company’s own Tizen operating system. Samsung is hoping that using the open-source Tizen, instead of Google’s Android system, will differentiate them from other electronics companies. The major challenge for the company is getting developers to create apps for the fledgling operating system. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New Devices with Tizen Operating System

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

Twitter has acquired two TV analytics companies as part of its effort to become a stronger social complement to television viewing. French company Mesagraph and U.K.-based SecondSync will become part of Twitter’s London office. Twitter also announced it will be expanding its partnership with Kantar Media, and is hoping to extend its Twitter TV ratings system into Europe. To compete in the social TV space, Facebook has teamed with TV networks to initiate live updates during broadcasts, a practice popular with Twitter. Continue reading Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

A new report released by the Motion Picture Association of America during CinemaCon this week in Las Vegas points to good news as movie industry revenues around the globe increased four percent from 2012 to 2013. While revenue from U.S. and Canada box offices were only up one percent, the global increases suggest that the movie industry has been able to survive during the ongoing threat of online piracy. Revenue in China also increased, the country that sits on top of the piracy list. Continue reading Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the crowd at SXSW in Austin, Texas yesterday via videoconference from Moscow. Speaking on NSA leaks and data security, Snowden urged tech firms to adopt better encryption methods to help protect users from government surveillance. He also shared privacy tips for citizens, such as encrypting your hard drive, implementing browser plug-ins that prevent online tracking, and using online network Tor, that promises anonymity. Continue reading SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

You may have noticed that drones are being used this month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to capture footage of ski and snowboarding events. While drones can cost upwards of $40,000, they are quieter and cheaper than using a manned helicopter. Also with drones, filmmakers can typically get much closer to the subject. While limitations currently exist due to regulations and concern of potential crashes, we should expect to see more use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography in the future. Continue reading Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

NBC Offers Digital Spinoffs of Shows During Olympic Coverage

TV fans who may be missing their NBC comedies and dramas during the network’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics can now go online to catch up with some of their favorite characters. NBC has produced four-part digital-only spinoffs of “Chicago Fire,” “Grimm,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Parenthood.” The webisodes are available for streaming via NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube this month while the network continues to cover the Olympics from Sochi. Continue reading NBC Offers Digital Spinoffs of Shows During Olympic Coverage

Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

In addition to its Winter Olympics coverage across television, Web and mobile, NBC is also capturing some of the action from Sochi in 4K resolution. However, since the distribution infrastructure is not in place for Ultra HD broadcasts and only a small number of consumers own UHD TVs, the network is shooting limited 4K content for demonstration purposes only. NBCUniversal’s parent Comcast has scheduled invitation-only viewing parties in Washington DC, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Continue reading Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

Comcast Unveils Plans to Produce Winter Olympics in Ultra HD

Some of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be recorded in Ultra HD according to Tony Werner, Comcast’s chief technology officer. The cable company will integrate a new app in Samsung’s 4K TVs to allow for on-demand streaming of the games broadcast from Sochi. Part of the motivation to record in UHD is to “stimulate the imagination” of viewers to see what 4K can do for sports, Werner explained at a CES panel discussion on UHD content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils Plans to Produce Winter Olympics in Ultra HD

NBC Joins Forces with Cisco for Winter Olympics Streaming

Cisco’s Videoscape TV platform has been selected by NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, to provide multi-screen delivery services for the streaming of live and cloud-enabled on-demand content for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, February 6-23. Videoscape will support transcoding and content management using Cisco hardware and cloud-based software solutions. This marks the eighth time NBC has collaborated with Cisco on Olympics coverage. Continue reading NBC Joins Forces with Cisco for Winter Olympics Streaming

The Future of Media: Global Shift, Away from U.S. And Europe

Media as a business and cultural force is in a period of transformation in all respects. There is a shift underway in media consumption from the U.S. and Europe toward Asia, Africa and Latin America. Print and music may be declining, but TV and on-demand content remain strong. Low-cost mobile devices continue to impact the creation, distribution and consumption of content for a new global audience. As a result, there is an increased focus on non-English media content. Continue reading The Future of Media: Global Shift, Away from U.S. And Europe

IFA 2013: Philips Launches Cloud TV and Explorer Storage Apps

During this week’s IFA 2013 in Berlin, Philips TV 3.0 was unveiled, including a number of cloud-related services intended to change the viewing habits of Philips’ Smart TV owners. The company is launching a new Cloud TV app, an over-the-top service that provides access to hundreds of TV channels which can be sorted by genre, favorites and themes. Philips also unveiled the new Cloud Explorer app for storage of personal media such as videos, music and pictures. Continue reading IFA 2013: Philips Launches Cloud TV and Explorer Storage Apps

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