Category Archives: Digital Entertainment

CBS, Ads, and Shrimp

Ahh, big fancy parties and shrimp.  It brings to mind that terribly out-of-touch SBC training scenerio from three years back that I railed upon in the after class survey.  This year in the wake of the writer’s strike and a financial slowdown (not mentioned here), CBS’s Leslie Mooves says, “No shrimp for you.”  A tear drops from my eye.

Okay in all seriousness, this is a significant move for CBS to recognize all the different medium available for media and advertisment consumption.  I wonder what the pricing structure is and what kind of bargains there are to be found outside of TV.

CBS Says Yes to Multiplatforms, No to Shrimp

Moonves Nixes Tavern on the Green Party

Published: March 12, 2008

More 3-D Screen Coming to a Theatre Near You

Guess what quandrant of Moore’s model movie theatres are in ;p.  In an effort to keep customers coming to theatres, 4 movie studios are ponying up the money to convert 10K theater screens to digital.   With software updates and a few physical tweaks, these digital screens could also be used for 3-D projection.  Sigh … little does Hollywood understand that the same companies providing this technology for theaters, also provide it for televions.  There is already 3-D available in rear projection TV’s and Ultra-High Definition TV is coming down the pipe (beautiful image quality from Samsung).

The other thing … if the position the Wired magazine article holds true, that is everything digital goes to free, then this digital conversion, eventually will have to find a way to subsidize free movies.  Digital bring with it no film which gets rid of ground transportation, physical storage, and the need for analog copies.  With this you would think ticket prices could come down.  It sounds like, though, this is not the way movies work.  My understanding is that theatre has to pay a flat fee plus a large percentage of revenue for the first few weeks that a new movie comes out.  The theatre is SOL when the auditoriums aren’t full so they rely on concessions.  It looks like there is no way to disrupt this fee scheme without breaking up the unions and destroying the studio system in general.  However … there are film makers that work outside the system — George Lucas for one — who could start putting chinks in the armour.  I imagine, too, that independent film makers could take advantage, that is unless the sponsoring studio systems has put features into the technology that block access (ooo, that’s evil).  But balancing that, there is the opportunity for independent film makers to use direct digital distribution to your home theatre.  Bwa-hahahaha!!!  So, eventually it will go to free or very cheap due to competition for eyeballs.

Here’s a link to the article

TiVo Adds Web Video

TiVo keeps on moving … I wonder how deep this service is or is this limited to things available to TiVo, like iTunes.

Looking into this further, information on the capabilities of this software are fairly well buried.  I did manage to find the users manual. The link is here. It looks like TiVo is tapping into a TiVo negotiated RSS feeds and not those of the user’s choosing.  The videos have to be watched through the TiVo box and not from the Desktop software, straight to your TV.  This is a partial solution that is dependent upon the deals TiVo makes with content providers.  I imagine the current functionality of TiVo is more than enough for most people.

Also of interest in this User Manual:

  • TiVo working with Amazon’s unboxed
  • Using the desktop service to put the TiVo box on a home network so content and be moved from TiVo to TiVo or between Tivo boxes and a PC.
  • TiVo can play some video file formats as long as they don’t have DRM
  • TiVo desktop software can encode video for portable devices like iPod and Sony PSP
  • TiVo can be used to view photos and play music

Tivo sounds quite compelling if you must view content on a TV and prefer not to use a media center PC.  TiVo’s interface may be the thing that makes it more appealing than a media center PC, although, I’d still say that the full functionality of TiVo is not for the timid.

My husband and I looked into a getting a series 3 TiVo when we switched to hi-def cable.  We ended up punting after learning that we would have to get multiple cable cards to make it work.  We found this to be too cost prohibitive when balancing the importance of the content offered on network TV and cable in our life.  We simply don’t watch enough TV and the shows we watch aren’t in hi-def, so it didn’t make sense to update our TiVo box or the service.  Here’s the math: 

Low-end Tivo Series 3 DVR:  $280 at Cosco
TiVo service:  $15.95/mo
Two Cable Cards:  $30/mo
Basic Hi-Def/Digital Cable:  $50/mo

OUCH!  It’s better for us to skip the box and go for the digital downloads and the DVD rentals.  I’ve been thinking about getting rid of cable altogether, since what we watch can be downloaded for free and viewed through the TV directly through our media center laptop. 

Mar 18 2008

Here’s a link to the article

Canadian public TV to try out BitTorrent

Tears of joy now fill my eyes.  Canadia public TV is offering one of its most popular shows via DRM-free BitTorrent.  These highly enlightened folks say they wish to allow as many Canadians (and citizens of the world) as possible to access the show.   The show will be available in multiple file formats so folks can watch the show how they want and anytime they want to. You go Canada!  Show the world how the Internet is done!

March 19, 2008 9:12 AM PDT

Canadian public TV to try out BitTorrent

Verizon to Experiment with P2P File Sharing over Cellular Networks

Verizon plans to experiment with peer-to-peer file sharing over its cellular networks.  Using new software that localizes peer networks, Verizon hopes to cut the cost of file distribution by 75 – 90% while increasing the overall speed of the download.  Nice!  I’m happy that Verizon has seen the light on this and it adopting the technology.  I also like how they plan not to take a policing stance on the potential file sharing traffic.  (Add to that the rumor that Verizon was the big winner of the recent bandwidth auction.  Hmm…)

Also within in the article, a little mention of how NBC will be using P2P file sharing software from Pando to distribute content for free.  Yay!

I get the the sense that the digitally generated free economy wave is coming faster than anyone could have imagined and without the legal wrangling anticipated.  The next few years promise to be quite exciting.

Verizon gets cozy with P2P file-sharers

Verizon Allies With Peer-To-Peer File-Sharers to Speed Downloads of Movies

AP News