Archive for the ‘Google TV’ Category

Google’s Android TV May Be Joining the Race to Take Over Your Living Room

Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Google's Android TV May Be Joining the Race to Take Over Your Living RoomBecause there aren't enough set-top boxes on the market already, Google is reported to have its own new version in the works, just a few years after Google TV failed to gain much traction with consumers. Hot on the heels of Amazon Fire TV, Google's Android TV is said to be already in development.

Low Cost OTT Throw Down – Roku Stick Enters Ring

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Low Cost OTT Throw Down - Roku Stick Enters RingThe low cost OTT throw down is heating up as Roku re-introduces a stick in hopes to keep people away from Chromecast, or more accurately, to reach those who don't want to navigate with their phone but want a more traditional remote control for their TV content. So will others enter the fray soon? By year end will we see a slew of low cost OTT options?

Online Video Weekly News Round up – Turkey Day Edition

Saturday, November 24th, 2012
Online Video Weekly News Round up - Turkey Day Edition

Gobble Gobble up that turkey and cranberry sauce. Give thanks for all the wonderful things we've all got because that's what kind of week it is in America. Meanwhile, I've gone and compiled the interesting news for the week so when you stumble out of that turkey-induced coma Saturday morning, you've got something to help you catch up on what's been going on in the world.

The Mouse Closes Disney Movies Online

Ooohhh..failure, there's something Disney's not used to. That's gotta sting!

In an email to users, the company said the site would be closed as of Dec. 31.

The site allowed visitors to buy and rent movies from the Disney library, including films made by its subsidiary Pixar. It also allowed people who purchased physical discs to stream the movies from the website.

On Monday, movies on the site no longer appeared to be available for purchase or rental. The site said people who had already redeemed disc purchases can continue to stream the movies on the site through the end of the year. People who bought movies on the site previously are being offered refunds.

"The digital environment is rapidly evolving and Disney Movies Online does not have the flexibility that many users today demand," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "We made a business decision to close the service until we are able to provide the greatest value and experience to our customers."

Source: CED Magazine

Video Streaming Means Game Consoles Survive

Research from Interpret found that gaming consoles were still the way to connect for most online video viewers who watch on their TVs in June 2012, when 30% of all US internet users (or 62.5% of all those who streamed video from an internet-connected device to a TV set) used a gaming console to watch online video.

It might change as the game console landscape is evolving and could turn into an all-streaming experience, something many gamers are going to be less than thrilled with. Rather it will probably be more of a download to play scenario which means, you'll still need some sort of game console, or it will be built into your TV soon.

Source: eMarketer

Viggle it Just a Little Bit GetGlue

Viggle has agreed to acquire GetGlue for about $78.6 million in a cash-and-stock deal in which Viggle will pay $25 million in cash and, based on a $1.11 per share stock price, will contribute about $53.6 million worth of stock.

Viggle announced it will operate both brands. GetGlue founder-CEO Alex Iskold will join Viggle as a senior executive and board member and all 34 GetGlue employees will become Viggle employees.

"We will also be vastly increasing the Viggle user base and quadrupling our network partnerships," Viggle Chief Executive Robert Sillerman said in a statement carried by the New York Business Journal.

Google Working on Open AirPlay Competitor

Google is working on an open alternative to Apple’s AirPlay, and it’s hoping to bring a number of device and software vendors on board to provide the industry with an open technology to exchange data between second screens and TV-connected devices.

YouTube unveiled the first implementation of this technology last week, when it launched AirPlay-like video beaming from Android phones and tablets to Google TV devices. But Google product manager Timbo Drayson made it clear during a conversation I had with him a few days ago that this is just the first step. “We really want to move the whole industry forward,” he said.

Google representatives have been talking about bringing an AirPlay-like experience to Google TV for some time, and the company has also worked for years on a closer connection between Android mobile phones and YouTube apps on a variety of smart TV platforms.

Source: GigaOm

Kaltura Pulls $25M

Kaltura, the leading open source video platform, announced today that it had secured an additional $25 million of funding from new investors Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc. and ORIX Ventures, with existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, .406 Ventures and Avalon Ventures participating. With a leading position in the Americas, and growing presence in Europe, Kaltura is now also setting its sights on the Asia-Pacific region.

Source: Press Release

YuMe Turns Focus to Tablets

This is one of the weirdest trends in online video, tablet-tailored ads. Because it's SO different from other formats. Some announcements have simply been "our ads are tablet-compatible" but YuMe has put more effort into theirs.

YuMe, the leading provider of digital video brand advertising software and services, today announced availability of the industry's most extensive portfolio of tablet-specific ad units and a new tablet video product offering. The new ad units, part of the YuMe Ads product offering, give brands and agencies the shortest time to interactive tablet video ad unit delivery in the advertising industry, and include both ready-made and custom execution options. With the new ad units and ad offering, tablets can now be targeted in highly-effective independent campaigns, or as part of multi-screen video brand advertising campaigns on the Connected Audience Network .

Infinite Tablet Advertising Options, Quick Turnaround 

YuMe's development of Mobile Flip  and other tablet-oriented ad units gives brands and agencies an infinite number of ready-made as well as custom designed interactive video advertising options to effectively reach this rapidly growing audience.

This is far better than some other announcements of late. YuMe actually has an SDK to go along with it.

 Integrated Tablet SDK and YuMe Ads Framework - YuMe's state-of-the-art, lightweight software development kits (SDKs) are now available for tablet devices. Premium publishers use the SDK to quickly monetize their tablet audience and applications. The YuMe Ads Framework is designed from the ground up to support multi-screen video advertising by determining the tablet or other viewing device, then adapting the video ad size, layout and encoding accordingly.

Source: Press Release

From Video Footage to Branded Product

Cap That ™ (www.capthat.com)the first social, custom merchandise technology to capture any video or photo moment and transform it into personalized product, has integrated with Instagram to transform images from the popular photo-sharing app into fully customized creations. Today, Cap That also publicly announces its $2.3M Series B investment, acquired from Intertainment Media Inc. – one of Canada’s leading technology incubators – to bankroll its first-to-market video-capture, custom product creation platform.

Cap That empowers all Instagram  users to import their full image library and sample their photos on any one of dozens of products, including apparel, canvas prints, laptop skins, game controllers, iPhone cases and over 50 other unique designs. Providing additional image-tailoring options, the platform elevates the filters that have made Instagram wildly popular with even more customization tools. With the two services combined, users now have access to a new, made-to-order product creation experience more diverse and engaging than any other on the web.

Source: Press Release

 Project Primetime Integrations Make It Easier to More Effectively Monetize Professional Video

By combining content analytics from Adobe SiteCatalyst and revenue analytics from Adobe Auditude, we break down the legacy silos and empower ad inventory managers and revenue executives to make the most profitable ad decisions for their campaigns. Available as an “out-of-the box” solution, SiteCatalyst content analytics are used to automatically create audience segments in Adobe AudienceManager, our data management platform. Then, with the integration of AudienceManager and Auditude, Adobe’s ad serving technology, these segments are automatically available in Auditude, and can be used to serve ads accordingly. Use cases include enhanced audience segment targeting or the ability to optimize your ad load/experience to find that optimal balance between content and ads. This increased insight and customization of the ad experience aids in maximizing the value of video content.

Source: Adobe Blog Post

Adobe Primetime Media Player

The Primetime Media Player allows for a richer, more robust viewing experience on desktops and mobile devices within apps. With seamless ad insertion and native support for protected playback built into the Player, consumers will enjoy faster video load times, fewer playback errors, and a less obtrusive advertising experience.  In short, it just feels like TV.  Consumers will also enjoy greater control over their content experience with support for closed captioning and multiple audio tracks (e.g. Spanish or English) when provided by the video publisher.  The end result is a positive online video playback experience where the consumer gets what they want – when and how they want it.   And, importantly, Primetime Media Player gives publishers and distributors a clear way to drive revenue from their online video experiences, without compromising user experience or audience reach.

Some benefits of the Primetime Media Player include:

  • High-quality Multiple Bit Rate (MBR) video playback support.
  • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) support on iOS and Android.
  • HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) support on desktop and Android.
  • Content monetization, including ad insertion capabilities and seamless ad insertion with native integration through Adobe MediaWeaver.
  • Better insight into your consumer viewing habits and stream quality with native integration with Adobe SiteCatalyst.
  • Content Protection and Business Policy Enforcement through Adobe Access – Full DRM and Protected Streaming with selectable output control and key rotation for linear, live and on-demand video.

The Primetime Media Player also offers fully compliant Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) features:

  • Render in-stream closed captioning with built-in support for user-based rendering overrides
  • Native support for multiple audio tracks

Source: Adobe Blog Post

Shazam TV Ad Tagging Makes Threefold Growth On Brand Engagement

Shazam's TV ad tagging platform has been running in the US for more than 18 months and it recently launched in Ireland with Adforce. Now, the media discovery firm has teamed with Frank N. Magid Associates to measure the impact Shazam-enabled TV ads are having on consumers.

The concept invites TV viewers to use the Shazam mobile app to 'tag' ads, which will redirect them to more info and exclusives about the brand/product. The report shows those who used the platform are three times as likely to interact with the brand through follow-up actions after seeing the ad than people who did not use Shazam.

Source: Mobile Entertainment

 


Weekly Online Video News Round Up – Dead Camera Edition

Saturday, November 17th, 2012
Weekly Online Video News Round Up - Dead Camera Edition

On Monday we were on site for a night of shooting and the brand new, less than a month old, Canon 60D stops working and won't start up. ARGH! A whole day lost. But that doesn't mean you lose out on the weekly news round up. So here's what's what, who's who and the hows and whys of what happened this week in online video.

Google Stomps Print!

During the first six months of 2012, Google generated more money in advertising revenue than all U.S. print publications combined. Google brought in $10.9 billion in ad revenue in this time period, while U.S. newspapers and magazines brought in $10.5 billion.

There are a couple caveats to this, however. First off, the data here factors in Google’s global ad revenue, rather than just the ad revenue it generates in the U.S., so it’s not entirely a fair comparison. Second, this analysis does not factor in revenue that comes from ads placed on newspaper websites.

Source: Mashable

YouTube Updates Android App For One-Tap Sharing To Google TV

Google has announced a new YouTube feature for Android and Google TV that pushes YouTube content from an Android phone to a Google TV. Now you can watch all your favorite YouTube videos on your HDTV — if you happen to own a Google TV set-top box. Initially, the feature work only with Android (2.2 and later) and Google TV (2.1.2) only, but Google hints that other platforms getting the feature in the future.

Source: Wired

Android Power!

Nearly three out of four smartphones in the world are now running on Google's Android operating system, according to a report on third quarter sales released Wednesday.

Android now accounts for 72.4% of the market for smartphone operating systems, up from 52.5% in the period a year earlier. A big chunk of that gain was attributed to Samsung, which sold 55 million smartphones. The bulk of Samsung's smartphones run on Android.

Source: LA Times

Vevo Expands Into Europe, Partners With Yahoo On Ads

Vevo, the music video website founded by music majors Universal and Sony, is to break into mainland Europe, launching in France, Spain, and Italy. Other markets where Vevo is available include the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.

The service, which is also backed by EMI Music, is aiming to attract music fans who currently watch hundreds of millions of videos each month via its channel on YouTube to its own Vevo.com website.

Source: The Guardian

Brightcove Cloud App Update

Open Plugin Architecture and Partner Integration

The new App Cloud plugin model makes it easy for developers to extend the native functionality that is built into App Cloud. Other hybrid app technologies offer native plugin capabilities, but developers soon find that the available plugins are frequently out-of-date, largely unsupported, and more trouble than they are worth. App Cloud developers can choose from a growing library of fully tested and fully supported App Cloud plugins, such as a native media uploader, native audio player, or in-app email composer, as well as plugins that integrate with third-party cloud services such as Google Analytics or comScore Digital Analytix.

Adding a pre-built plugin is as simple as copying a directory into their App Cloud project and including a JavaScript file. Brightcove’s cloud compilation service then automatically embeds the new functionality in the customer’s application and produces binaries ready for distribution through app stores. Developers will also be able to build custom native plugins of their own using the soon to be released App Cloud plugin development kit (PDK).

New Push Notification APIs

This release also delivers a significant expansion of App Cloud’s integrated support for push notifications. App Cloud developers can leverage a new set of client and server APIs to send individual push notifications to a particular app user or group users into custom-defined segments. For example, a news application could create segments focused on topical areas, allowing users to specify their interest in particular topics, while opting out of others. By targeting notifications by segment, developers can increase user engagement by notifying users only when content is relevant to their interests.

Availability

App Cloud’s new plugin architecture is now available to all customers, including users of App Cloud Core, the free open source version. The native media uploader and in-app email composer are built into version 1.12 of the App Cloud SDK. Additional free plugins, including the native audio player and Google Analytics plugins, are downloadable from the open source plugins repository hosted on GitHub. The comScore Digital Analytix and DRM plugins are currently expected be released later this year. The new push notification APIs are available immediately to customers with subscriptions to the App Cloud Pro or Enterprise editions.

AOL Expands Video Reach With Kaltura Partnership

The AOL On Network announced that it has partnered with Kaltura, the leading open source video platform. The partnership will make the entire AOL video library of more than 420,000 premium videos available to companies using the Kaltura Platform.

Kaltura’s publishers will be able to access and search the AOL video catalog, then add premium, short-form video to their own accounts. By having access to this massive repository, Kaltura publishers will be able to expand their own video library with more premium content, increase total inventory, and leverage a number of revenue options to boost revenues.

Source: Herald Online

Live TV Viewing Dips, Cross-Screen Digital Use Up

Live television viewing continues to lose ground -- albeit slowly -- as time-shifted programming and multitasking with smartphones and/or tablets gains ground. Nielsen's new cross-media platform report shows live viewing in the second quarter of 2012 averaged 4 hours and 18 minutes a day, down five minutes a day from the second quarter of 2011.

Source: MediaDailyNews

YouTube Pairs Android With Google TV

On Tuesday, Google announced a new YouTube feature for Android and Google TV. The feature pushes YouTube content from an Android phone to a Google TV. Now you can watch all your favorite YouTube videos on your HDTV — if you happen to own a Google TV set-top box. Initially, the feature works only with Android (2.2 and later) and Google TV (2.1.2) only, but Google hints that other platforms getting the feature in the future.

Source: Wired

Encoding.com Updates

Universal Closed Captioning

The most powerful and flexible closed caption workflow in the market

Supporting closed captions is a critical component to expanding the size and demographic of your video's audience. The FCC has now mandated that all content broadcast on television must include closed captions when delivered to Internet and mobile devices. Closed captions are delivered in many different formats and require a diverse set of tools to automate within your media workflow. We researched production broadcast workflows in detail and built a feature set that is more robust and flexible than any other on the market. Using the API, you can now extract, mux, or copy closed captions files in all major formats, including cea-608/708, DFXP, SAMI, SCC, SRT, TTML and 3GPP Time Text

Brand New User Interface

Our enterprise-grade API feature set is now available in the browser

While we have continuously innovated our API based feature set over the last 5 years we felt the industry was long over due for a professional video encoding workflow in the browser. After 9 months of intensive development, we are proud to announce a completely redesigned browser based toolset for professional video encoding in the cloud. New information architecture and a many new features are available including a complete management interface for vid.ly, universal video service,

Ultra Fast Desktop Uploader

Up to100x faster than FTP, powered by Aspera

Now you can rapidly upload batches of huge source files to the cloud with the Ultra Fast Desktop Uploader powered by Aspera. After the accelerated upload, you can configure multiple output renditions and delivery points using the Encoding.com web interface.

Source: Newsletter

WebM for Wii

Just when I thought WebM was dead...

 YouTube launched its first-ever native Wii app Thursday, making it possible for users of the game console to watch videos without relying on the game console’s Opera browser. The Wii app looks somewhat similar to YouTube’s recently-launched PS3 app, with an interesting technical twist: Most videos consumed through it are streamed in Google’s WebM open video format.

Source: Gigaom

So YouTube is still using WebM on its backside transcoding it seems.

Optrix Expand Video Capture with New XD Sports Case Accessories

Product Highlights:

Glidepro – Hand Stabilizer
-    Ideal to capture smooth and steady videos anywhere
-    Eliminates the shakes typically associated with hand-held filming
-    Utilizes same technology found in professional filmmaking equipment

Dolly – Flexible Roller
-    Ideal for tracking shots, time lapse, artistic work and capturing travel videos
-    Large wheels provide smooth movement
-    11” adjustable arm allows for unique angles and positions

Monopod – Extendable Arm
-    Ideal for self-portraits, high/low angles, self-videos and POV shots
-    Extendable arm provides access to hard to reach camera angles and positions
-    Lightweight portable design extends up to 3 ft

Flex – Flexible Tripod
-    Ideal for usage from unique angles, including poles, tree branches and more
-    Flexible legs secure your XD Sport to virtually any surface
-    Compact size makes it a perfect travel companion


The Weekly Online Video News Round Up

Saturday, October 27th, 2012
The Weekly Online Video News Round Up

It's another week and there's all sorts of news popping up as usual. Later this week we'll get the much-hyped Windows 8 and that might change a few things. If you haven't read up on IE 10 in Windows 8 and how it's handling Flash (or not) then catch up on that quick. Now on with the regular news.

YuMe and Kaltura Working on Turnkey Video Monetization

YuMe, the leading provider of digital brand advertising software and services, and Kaltura, Inc., developer of the first and only open source online video platform, have partnered to offer turnkey video monetization solutions to Kaltura publishers. YuMe has joined the Kaltura Exchange video solutions marketplace to allow publishers to insert in-stream video advertising and effectively monetize video content, providing the means to easily and reliably scale video advertising operations.

YuMe has developed a plug-in, available in the Kaltura Exchange, which provides all the functionality of its advertising SDKs — such as custom ad units, advanced reporting, and advertiser brand safety controls — to the Kaltura Video Player. The YuMe-Kaltura plug-in enables immediate access to YuMe's ACE for Publishers 4.0 ad management system as well as a dynamic connection to a large pool of brand advertisers through YuMe's Connected Audience Network. By simply establishing an account with YuMe, customers gain immediate access to these benefits.

Six3 Wants to Replace Text Messaging with Video

The London-based company Six3 has launched a new video-sharing app by the same name that will enable users to send short video messages as easily as sending a text. Whether it is a business traveler trying to stay in touch with family, or a teenager connecting with friends, the app aims to combine the convenience of texting with the intimacy of video.

Users can also record a message, which must be less than 63 seconds long, and send it to other people using the app, or email it and send it to Facebook contacts.

It can also be used to send public messages via Facebook and Twitter and there are Instagram-style filters, that can add color, or contrast and other effects, that can be overlaid on the videos.

Source: Reuters

Rovi Expands Advanced TV Advertising Footprint in Europe

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), driving digital entertainment innovation, today announced Sony has become the latest manufacturer to use the Rovi Advertising Network to monetize its connected TV platforms in Europe. In collaboration with Rovi, Sony is enabling brands and agencies advertising in the UK, Germany, and Italy to engage consumers by delivering high-impact campaigns as part of the content discovery experience on its connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players. Sony becomes the most recent consumer electronics maker in Europe to join the Rovi Ad Network, which represents the largest Smart TV Ad footprint in the region and includes connected devices from nearly all leading manufacturers. In addition to supporting Sony in Europe, Rovi enables and sells advertising space on Sony BRAVIA® TVs and select Blu-ray players in North America, where it has produced, delivered, and measured hundreds of campaigns for a wide assortment of conventional and entertainment brands.

HiSense Gets into Google TV and Android HDTV

Hisense, the consumer electronics behemoth behind Best Buy's Insignia and Dynex TV house brands, is going up-market with Google TV and Android-enabled TV sets meant to compete against the major HDTV brands. It's announcing nine new television lines, including LED and LCD models, plus the Hisense Pulse.

The Pulse is a $99 Google TV box that converts any HDTV into a smart TV. It features a dual-sided remote control with a QWERTY keyboard on one side and a touchpad plus numeric keyboard on the other, built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI output and a Google Chrome browser. It will be available initially at Amazon next month.

Read more: Hisense announces Google TV, Android HDTVs

Netflix Profits Dropping

Netflix Inc.'s (NFLX) third-quarter earnings declined 88% as the online movie rental company's higher subscription costs pressured margins, though subscriber growth met its expectations.

Still, shares tumbled 15%, to $58 after hours, as the company's subscriber rolls were below some Wall Street estimates and as the company projected a possible fourth-quarter loss. Through the close, the stock has fallen 15% over the past three months.

Netflix added about 1.2 million U.S. subscribers to its online video service from the previous quarter, bringing the total to 25.1 million. The company in July forecast a total of 24.9 million to 25.7 million U.S. streaming subscribers in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Raymond James had expected Netflix to report 25.4 million domestic streaming subscribers at the end of the quarter, while Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. expected a total of 25.6 million subscribers.

Read more: WSJ


The Weekly Online Video News Round Up

Saturday, October 27th, 2012
The Weekly Online Video News Round Up

It's another week and there's all sorts of news popping up as usual. Later this week we'll get the much-hyped Windows 8 and that might change a few things. If you haven't read up on IE 10 in Windows 8 and how it's handling Flash (or not) then catch up on that quick. Now on with the regular news.

YuMe and Kaltura Working on Turnkey Video Monetization

YuMe, the leading provider of digital brand advertising software and services, and Kaltura, Inc., developer of the first and only open source online video platform, have partnered to offer turnkey video monetization solutions to Kaltura publishers. YuMe has joined the Kaltura Exchange video solutions marketplace to allow publishers to insert in-stream video advertising and effectively monetize video content, providing the means to easily and reliably scale video advertising operations.

YuMe has developed a plug-in, available in the Kaltura Exchange, which provides all the functionality of its advertising SDKs — such as custom ad units, advanced reporting, and advertiser brand safety controls — to the Kaltura Video Player. The YuMe-Kaltura plug-in enables immediate access to YuMe's ACE for Publishers 4.0 ad management system as well as a dynamic connection to a large pool of brand advertisers through YuMe's Connected Audience Network. By simply establishing an account with YuMe, customers gain immediate access to these benefits.

Six3 Wants to Replace Text Messaging with Video

The London-based company Six3 has launched a new video-sharing app by the same name that will enable users to send short video messages as easily as sending a text. Whether it is a business traveler trying to stay in touch with family, or a teenager connecting with friends, the app aims to combine the convenience of texting with the intimacy of video.

Users can also record a message, which must be less than 63 seconds long, and send it to other people using the app, or email it and send it to Facebook contacts.

It can also be used to send public messages via Facebook and Twitter and there are Instagram-style filters, that can add color, or contrast and other effects, that can be overlaid on the videos.

Source: Reuters

Rovi Expands Advanced TV Advertising Footprint in Europe

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), driving digital entertainment innovation, today announced Sony has become the latest manufacturer to use the Rovi Advertising Network to monetize its connected TV platforms in Europe. In collaboration with Rovi, Sony is enabling brands and agencies advertising in the UK, Germany, and Italy to engage consumers by delivering high-impact campaigns as part of the content discovery experience on its connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players. Sony becomes the most recent consumer electronics maker in Europe to join the Rovi Ad Network, which represents the largest Smart TV Ad footprint in the region and includes connected devices from nearly all leading manufacturers. In addition to supporting Sony in Europe, Rovi enables and sells advertising space on Sony BRAVIA® TVs and select Blu-ray players in North America, where it has produced, delivered, and measured hundreds of campaigns for a wide assortment of conventional and entertainment brands.

HiSense Gets into Google TV and Android HDTV

Hisense, the consumer electronics behemoth behind Best Buy's Insignia and Dynex TV house brands, is going up-market with Google TV and Android-enabled TV sets meant to compete against the major HDTV brands. It's announcing nine new television lines, including LED and LCD models, plus the Hisense Pulse.

The Pulse is a $99 Google TV box that converts any HDTV into a smart TV. It features a dual-sided remote control with a QWERTY keyboard on one side and a touchpad plus numeric keyboard on the other, built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI output and a Google Chrome browser. It will be available initially at Amazon next month.

Read more: Hisense announces Google TV, Android HDTVs

Netflix Profits Dropping

Netflix Inc.'s (NFLX) third-quarter earnings declined 88% as the online movie rental company's higher subscription costs pressured margins, though subscriber growth met its expectations.

Still, shares tumbled 15%, to $58 after hours, as the company's subscriber rolls were below some Wall Street estimates and as the company projected a possible fourth-quarter loss. Through the close, the stock has fallen 15% over the past three months.

Netflix added about 1.2 million U.S. subscribers to its online video service from the previous quarter, bringing the total to 25.1 million. The company in July forecast a total of 24.9 million to 25.7 million U.S. streaming subscribers in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Raymond James had expected Netflix to report 25.4 million domestic streaming subscribers at the end of the quarter, while Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. expected a total of 25.6 million subscribers.

Read more: WSJ


What Are the Best Smart TV Options for the UK?

Sunday, October 14th, 2012
What Are the Best Smart TV Options for the UK?

As the integration of web and TV gathers pace, and the profile of online video continues its meteoric rise, what is the best choice for smart TV viewers in the UK? I've been looking at some of the Smart TV devices on the market and thought I'd give a quick run-down of the options available.

Whether it’s a Smart TV that you’re after, or a device incorporating the technology (such as a set-top box, Blu-ray player, or game console, there's plenty to choice from. The ever-burgeoning range and choice of OTT  ‘Over The Top’ content (online delivery of video and audio without the Internet service provider being involved in the control or distribution of the content itself, eg Netflix and Lovefilm) having a Smart TV or a set-top box allows the content to stream to you easily.

And it’s not just useful for entertainment – the world of business and current affairs is embracing Smart TV. For example, the BBC's News application for connected TV brings the latest news reports to your TV screen, on demand. The service is started, stopped, and navigated via the remote control.  It has been designed as a complement to the BBC's live 24-hour news channel, and is updated around the clock with the latest video reports from around the world.

List of Smart TV, Connected Devices for the UK

Here is a quick overview on some of the leading contenders for your hard earned cash:

Apple TV Sets the Bar!

As is common in the world of tech, apple set the bar:

Apple TV box itself is small, and comes with nothing more than a remote control and a power lead. You don't need to be a mac user it's a plug 'n play device;  in my local Apple store this device is on display plugged into a Sony Bravia tv via a HDMI rather than an Apple monitor.

Apple TV Third Generation is the latest edition: it now plays blueray quality streamed 1080p video: meaning now you can access HD movies via your Netflix account, which recently launched in the UK – Also with iCloud you can instantly access content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

With the Airplay app you can control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store.

There are some existing requirements however:

  • iTunes 10.5
  • A Wi-Fi network or Ethernet network
  • Broadband Internet connection and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p
  • HDMI cable.

Second generation Apple TV users can install the new Apple TV user interface via a free software update. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080 HD.

Sony and Google TV

Sony is also releasing the NSZ-GP9 Internet Blu-ray Disc Player with Google TV. This combines Google TV and Blu-ray playback, and offers voice search functionality. These releases mark the first time that Google TV devices are available outside the United States, and are available in the UK this month. A responsive on-screen keyboard and wide selection of apps is a good start from Sony, but it can't disguise the disjointed presentation and lack of app store. Sony has placed a strong emphasis on video content.

Samsung Smart TV

Hot on its heels is London 2012 sponsor, Samsung's Smart TV also features voice control. Samsung has gone to town with apps. There are many pre-installed, and a comprehensive apps store to add more. Most smart TV functions are easy to use.

Let's Get Connected

As a sign of how far we have already travelled down the Smart TV road, according to a report from the researcher NPD In-Stat, only about 12 million U.S. households have their Web-capable TVs connected to the Internet. The estimates are that about 25 million U.S. TV households own a set with the built-in network capability. Also, In-Stat predicts that 100 million homes in North America and Western Europe will own television sets that blend traditional programs with Internet content by 2016.

As for the UK? Of the 107 TVs of all sizes that UK consumer group ‘Which?’ tested in 2011, 37 were Smart. They expect to see more in 2012. In Panasonic's range of TVs for this year, for example, only the entry-level models don't have internet connectivity.


Weekly Online Video News Round Up – Don’t Wear White Edition

Saturday, September 8th, 2012
Weekly Online Video News Round Up - Don't Wear White EditionLabor Day has come and gone. So put away those white pants, summer's over. Meanwhile, the rest of the universe chugs along at its standard pace which means, we've got news to round up and collect for you to peruse over your Saturday morning coffee (or cartoon commercial breaks). Brightcove Offers Instant Play via Zencoder ...


OTT Popularity Scares TV Makers into Building a Common Connected TV System?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
OTT Popularity Scares TV Makers into Building a Common Connected TV System?

Yeah, it's a weird bit of news but it seems that fear of Apple and Google taking a big slice of their TV viewer's time and business, was motivation enough for some of the largest TV manufacturers to get together and build exact what I said we needed, a single common system for connected TVs.

In my recent connected TV article series I spoke about how the fragmentation might be the single worst thing to happen. It makes building apps difficult because each manufacturer has something different which means you can't just plug and play, you have to tweak it to get it just right.

One OS to Rule Them All

But now, Toshiba has joined LG and Philips in talks to create one system for all of their connected TV platforms. They're hoping that will keep their connected TV products relevant in a world where OTT boxes are becoming more and more acceptable. Google TV, Apple's product, Roku, Boxee, and a host of others are making their way into homes as are connected Blu-Ray players, game consoles and putting the squeeze on the TV makers.

Personally, I think they should have been working on it last year. While at CES this year everyone had their connected TVs on display and everyone had their own system which resulted in everyone having their own SDK.

For app developers, it's a nightmare. That's why Android and Apple are so enticing, you can build the app once and it will work on the OS and many of its devices, with some tweaks here and there. One app, minor tweaks and mass appeal. For connected TV, while many systems are based on HTML, CSS and Javascript, they aren't standardized and each implementation is different.

LG and Philips were already working on this with the Smart TV Alliance, now with the addition of Toshiba it seems like it's finally gaining some ground.

Outside Looking In

Samsung thumbed its nose at the alliance apparently. Since they've got the largest chunk of the TV market currently they seem to feel that they don't need to worry. But if it actually pulls developers away, it could start to dip into that market share. Sony also has its own system with the Sony Entertainment Network that also ties into its Playstation devices. They've always gone their own way in tech and pricing, so I don't see them joining in anytime soon either.

At least one Sharp TV is set to use the system. If Panasonic and Vizio were to sign on to the Smart TV Alliance and utilize the standardized system it would mean that pretty much Samsung and Sony are the only ones on the outside. Samsung ships about 19% of all LCD TVs sold and LG is at around 13% worldwide (Q1 2012 numbers) so this might be a way for LG to add value by making it easier for apps and services to be made meaning more content. Wouldn't you rather program it one for multiple TV platforms instead of coding for each separately?

Tags: Android, Apple, Boxee, connected TV, Google, Google TV, Internet TV, Panasonic, Playstation, Roku, Samsung, smart TV, Sony


YouTube Extending Google Reach to Connected TV with VOD?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
YouTube Extending Google Reach to Connected TV with VOD?

I think I predicted this some time back but I can't find that article. That happens quite often to me as I like to prognosticate rather frequently. Anyway, it's been reported that YouTube will open movie and TV video-on-demand for connected TVs by the end of the year. Their first major partner, Philips.

This sort of makes sense as part of Google's continued expansion into the living room. We've already got the larger Google Fiber project taking shape down in Kansas City (or up if you're in the south) and that seems aimed at reshaping the cable/satellite/MSO landscape. Now, they're looking to reshape the streaming premium video-on-demand landscape as well. This time it's testing it out in Europe.

While you can rent movies via YouTube on Google TV, you haven't been able to do so via other TV platforms and even the Google TV rentals have been quite limited. This step, moving away from their own platform and toward another connected TV platform could be the baby step, the toe in the water that ends in them rushing headlong into connected TV and allowing rentals anywhere they've got the license to do so and can find a hardware partner.

It's almost certain to make the other big TV manufacturers, LJ and Samsung, sit up and take notice. It seems to me that having YouTube on board as a major VOD partner is a pretty big selling point, or rather, it could be in, in the near future. Just about every platform under the sun has Amazon, VUDU, Netflix, etc. Almost none have YouTube and depending on how much money Google is willing to invest in licensing of content for rentals, it could see them start to pull new movies away from other outlets.

Plus, YouTube already has a pretty robust advertising angle attached to it meaning that it could begin generating more revenue for them and suddenly open up a massive amount of inventory. I've been predicting that the end of the year will see a major expansion of the connected TV install base and this might be Google believing me and aiming to be there when the dust settles. A report just came out stating that only 29% of U.S. TV buyers are looking at Internet as a major factor in new TV purchasing, but it's also been reporting that 30% of U.S. households already have a connected TV.

It's odd that they decided to start this over in Europe and only in 'select European countries' which smacks of it all being a test market run.

I still think they have the power to turn it around quickly and do a rapid expansion in the U.S. by year end as well. After all, this is Google we're talking about.

Tags: Google TV, Internet TV, licensing, movies, VOD, Web Video Industry News, YouTube