Tag Archives: bittorrent

More Companies Jumping on the TV Everywhere Bandwagon

Here’s a link to an article that summarizes Disney’s Bob Iger’s thoughts on TV Everywhere.  What I find entertaining about this article and Iger’s comments is that they act as though the music industry died.  The music industry is alive and thriving under both the old and the new business models.  TV will be the same way and fighting change with DRM or by trying to make people authenticate to watch their favorite shows will be pointless because it’s too easy for anyone to screen capture content and rebroadcast it.

When I think about this issue, my thoughts go to my husband’s behavior.  He hates commercials and he hates waiting for episodes of a show to come out.  Since he’s not one of those folks at the water cooler, it’s not a priority to him to watch a show while it’s current.  Rather he waits until the season is over and then watches blocks of episodes on demand via Tivo.  He believes this as safer than Bittorent (after all you don’t know if someone has put something malicious in one those free movie or TV show files — why doesn’t the entertainment industry scare the beejeebees out of people with this argument???) and it’s definitely less work and waiting than BitTorrent.  He also feels there is value in being able to watch whatever he wants for $15.99/mo.  We still have cable, but that’s because we have a legacy deal with our broadband service provider and we don’t want to upset that apple cart.  My feeling is let the people view first run for free with commercials like they would on broadcast TV and then sell commercial free rebroadcasts or, heck let the rebroadcasts be free without commercials after a couple of weeks.  The folks who are hooked on the show will watch the first run.  As for the commericials, I will state this AGAIN:  If you want people to watch commercials, make good commercials and keep them fresh! A TV ad campaign really should last more than 2-weeks or a month at most.   I also think well integrated product placement  is a good strategy (nothing would sell more items to ‘tween girls than Miley Cyrus actually using the product in her shows).  Anyhow, I look forward to seeing if the TV and the movie execs can fight their way out of this paper sack.  Hopefully, they will bring in some savvy folks in under the age of 45 to tell them how to do this properly.

Windows Home Server: a Flop?

That is what this Washington Post blog posting guesses.  I wouldn’t be surprised because like media connect, I imagine that non-tech people don’t understand the point of having a home server and how it would fit into their home network, that is, if they even understand that they have a home network.

I have an HP Home Server and most of the time I love it.  This article says setting-up a home server is daunting.  I don’t recall it being difficult at all, with the exception of setting up the system passwords and updating the system.  What I recall is that the home server pretty much set-up itself.  Getting the rest of the computers to recognize that they were all on the same network was problematic and largely an issue that we’ve attributed to Vista quirks.

However, for non-techy people, an internal or external network drive will take care of most of the necessary functions of a home network.  For the most part that is how we us our home server.  We rarely use the media connect interface.  It only recently became usable with our XBox360 for our music and avi files.  So basically, home server provides a user interface that. as far as I can tell, doesn’t add much to the user experience unless you have the proper equipment — an XBox360 or a media connect box.  In the absence of these, it’s easier to have a beefed up PC to play media files via software like iTunes, Media player, and various other media players software.

So what happened here?  Well … I think that the main problem is an inappropriate target market.  Most people simply don’t need a home server.  However, if they had scaled back the volume expectations and went up market to tech, video and audio enthusiasts, and downloaders, they may have had some success.  I imagine, though, most of these folks home-brewed something anyway like we did before we got the home server.  And like I said, we don’t even use the home server interface and due to security concerns, we don’t serve our files to a website, so in essence we are using our home server as a 2TB network drive.

So what would be useful to me?

  • Integrated BitTorrent client with search and episode organization — Vuze is almost there
  • Some visual analytics around usage for video, audio, and data files.  I would also like to see some organization around age to ease the clean-up of old files
  • For the home server to hold the master table, so all the computers know that there is only one home network.

Still, though, this type of system would not be useful to many people.  The BitTorrent client could be stand alone software along with the analytics I would like to see (I imagine if I searched for them, these tools already exist.)  My final thoughts on this are the common consumer knows how to handle all files on one huge hardrive within one computer and use this computer as a “server” using the file sharing functionality within Windows.  Moving this functionality outside of the main computer doesn’t make sense or seem necessary to them.  As for sharing files on the web, it should be as easy as right clicking on the content and selecting an option that says, “Post on the Web.”  Of course, at set-up, the user already set-up a domain.   The real problem is users have too many files and lose track of what they have.  What the user really needs is an easy way to “see” what they’ve got.  This is a matter of tagging, search, and visualization.  This type of functionality probably should be built into an OS.   So whoever figures out how to do this in a manner that pleases consumers will have a quite breakthrough on their hands.

Voodoo Excitement

There’s a lot going on at Voodoo. A retail version of the Blackbird 002 will be available soon at an electronics store near you and there are exciting new details about the new “Envy” and “Omen” lines of Voodoo branded laptops and PCs. I’m bouncing off the walls! (BTW: Crave is calling the new “Envy” the “Mac Airbook Killer” — YESSS!!!) I can’t wait to see what successive generations of the HP with Voodoo DNA products look like. I would love to see a laptop from the HP/Voodoo brand and I would love to see either a laptop or a PC or both that is geared toward those progressive folks that download all or most of their entertainment. This would include hardware and software for viewing and displaying hi-def video files and software to optimize the download experience by helping to identify legal content from legal sources and providing an easy system to keep downloaded content organized. I’d love to have a home server add-on that is specialized for legal content download so that the main households computers aren’t bogged down with download activities. SQUEALZ when I think about it. After all, gaming and anime often go together, so gimme the good stuff and make it easy!

Here are some links to some recent info about HP and Voodoo

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Michael Eisner — Online Video Believer

This blog entry from CNET highlights some of the recent things Michael Eisner has said as a strong advocate of and investor in online video. I really like how he has taken a strong leadership position on this and has put his money where his mouth is. No doubt he’s positioning himself to be one of the early kings of the mainstream digital revolution. I also think, eventually, his faith and investments will pay him handsomely once we figure out this world of online entertainment.

I personally love the idea of enabling content providers to be able to distribute content (TV, movies, music, books, magazine, and what not) internationally — translated into many different languages, and localized for many different cultures. This could spawn new business models for content delivery and empower fans to translate and localize to their heart’s content, while getting paid via a micro-payment system or whatever other creative scheme we could come up with. More than anything, I think something like this would expand everyone’s entertainment choices and make the world “smaller” by exposing everyone to cultures outside of their own. I don’t know if this would lead to world peace though understanding, but I do know that this would change the world by breaking down barriers and expanding the entertainment creative space. Can you imagine the wonderful things that could come about as different cultures influence one another on a larger, faster, and more connected scale? There would truly be international stars who may not necessarily be American. I get all teary eyed just thinking about the possibilities and the MONEY. I want this soooo very much!