It's been a busy week for various reasons, mostly NAB. That means a lot of news that might interest the Reel Readers but not warrant a full article. So I've chopped them all into bite-sized clips here for you to peruse. You know it's busy when I start the mid-week article on Tuesday instead of realizing it's Thursday and that I've forgotten. Plus, I'm angry, so I've got some commentary to go along with some news today.
Vudu Streams to the Browser Via Personal Experience (and press release)
Vudu announced Tuesday that they are now going to stream right to browsers, formerly they were locked down to VUDU media applications. So I went and signed up, put in my credit card and tried the 99 cent rental for the day… it let me pay, but didn't let me view because I'm not in the US (I had read the ToS and knew). I just wanted to see if it would let me. So I contacted their PR and support people and am glad to say the money was refunded. Turns out, because I used a US card, they didn't check my location. That will probably be changed soon since a gremlin like myself found a loophole.
Anyway, their news:
VUDU.com. Movie fans can visit VUDU.com to browse, select and instantly stream content from the company's massive selection of movies and television shows, including the newest releases from all major Hollywood studios and leading independent distributors.
Through this launch, users will be able to access the same piece of content across multiple platforms so that they can begin a movie on VUDU.com and then finish watching that content on their home entertainment device, or vice versa.
Just in the United States though, even Puerto Rico is cut out of the loop. Sorry world, US-centric licensing remains the order of the day. You might check out Cinema Now from Best Buy which has some limited international content to rent and buy.
See what happens when you make me angry? I suggest people go to your competitor. Considering they don't offer any kind of content outside of the US, I doubt this will harm them much unless of course those people move to America, like I will in one month. Even then, I'll still be looking for my one-stop-shop for online video. Overall, the VUDU experience was a good one and I might still use them when I get back to the States in May.
Comcast Picks Microsoft IIS Smooth Streaming
Microsoft finds itself in the catbird seat with Comcast's Xfinity TV Online streaming video service after notching an integration deal that will team its PlayReady digital rights management (DRM) technology and IIS Smooth Streaming technology with thePlatform Inc. 's mpx video publishing system.
Comcast is the first to take advantage of the technology tie-up, marking its migration from an adaptive bit rate player from troubled Move Networks Inc., which was recently bought by EchoStar Corp. LLC. For now, the implementation is limited to on-demand content, though Comcast does have plans to offer live TV to tablets later this year.
Kaltura Gets Foxy, or at Least, FOX
Via press release
Fox Digital Media, a unit of Fox Networks Group (FNG), announced today that it has selected Kaltura (www.kaltura.com), developer of the first open source online video platform, to power a centralized video asset management platform for the broadband video distribution needs of FNG's digital assets. Nearly all of FNG's properties, including, Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Sports, and cable networks SPEED, FX, Fuel TV, and Big Ten Network will use the broadband video platform's capabilities. The video platform will also serve as a key component for FNG's authenticated broadband video, or "TV Everywhere" initiatives.
Kaltura's core platform will serve as the foundation of FNG's broadband video platform, however, Kaltura and Fox Digital Media will work to co-develop and customize a proprietary system that serves the collective and individual needs of FNG's digital properties. FNG's video platform will address the backend workflow needs of its online video, including ingestion, transcoding, metadata collection, asset management, distribution, delivery, publishing, authentication, monetization, and analytics. Videos from the system will be distributed to FNG's owned and operated digital websites and applications and will enable both player-based and file-based syndication to leading online and mobile publishers, such as, hulu, MSN, Dish Online and other FNG MSO partners.
Live Video Streaming
ESPN Live Streaming App for iOS
ESPN said Thursday that it has made its flagship cable sports network available live on Apple Inc.'s mobile devices for subscribers to pay-TV service from Time Warner Cable Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks.
Customers of those providers can download the free software from Apple's App Store, enter some information confirming their subscription, and view ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com on their Web-connected iPad, iPhone or iPod just as they appear on a regular TV but without commercials.
FreeWheel Expands to UK with Sky
Via Press Release, well notification of a pending press release really
FreeWheel will announce its expansion into the UK with the opening of its London office and its newest customer, British Sky Broadcasting. Sky joined FreeWheel in part because of FreeWheel's track record of managing mobile video advertising, especially as mobile video views in the UK are on the rise. FreeWheel is already working with a number of customers internationally, and also has systems integrations with several international partners.
Online Video Industry
Webby Awards Online Video Nominees
Via email (see, I do read my email)
The Webby Awards have announced the massive pile of nominees for 2010 and the online video section is far too massive to list in an article. So I decided the best way to approach this, was to stick it in here, write it up by hand and drop you a link. So there you go.
You might recognize some names from the nominees as we've written about them. Names like: iJustine.
OK, so they totally went the corporate route and really kind of dropped the ball. I'm sure Jeremy will have tons to say about their viral nominees which are:
- Aides Graffiti
- Bed Intruder Song
- Rated Awesome
- The Digital Story of the Nativity
- The Sandpit
I'm only familiar with one of them. Either I'm completely out of touch, or they are. Like I said, Jeremy will cover this more I'm sure.
Mobile DTV to Reach Two-Thirds of US Homes in 12 Months
Via CE Outlook
As Mobile DTV inches toward a broad launch, its promoters announced that the digital TV service for portables (and car TVs) will reach 2/3rds of all U.S. households, or about 71 million homes in 12 months.
Since December, more than a dozen new stations have turned on Mobile DTV for a total of 76 stations in 32 markets. (Click here to view a chart). In a year, another 130 stations are expected to convert for more than 200 in total.
Plus, there are all manner of actual devices coming for this including hybrid TVs, etc.
LG Shows Tweet-TV, Mobile DTV and 3D
Via press release
Tweet-TV with Mobile DTV
In collaboration with Roundbox, LG is demonstrating the new "Tweet-TV" mobile DTV application that will allow viewer "tweets" to be displayed interactively on a mobile DTV receiver while a program is airing. A Harris MDTV transmitter will deliver viewer tweets that are received as data files and displayed in a transparent panel over a portion of the LG mobile DTV screen, a prototype version of an LG Android smartphone.
Glasses-Free 3D Mobile DTV
In the Las Vegas demonstration, the 3D signals are being internally transmitted at the Convention Center to receivers throughout the North Hall. Receiving the signal is LG's prototype receiver built around the LG2161 demodulator chip and LG-exclusive 3D formatting circuitry that combines the side-by-side left and right images for seamless viewing without the need for 3D eyewear commonly used for 3D TVs.