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Half of Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Users Are Streaming to the TV February 28, 2010

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According to a newly published study from TDG – the nation’s leading new media research consultancy – almost two-thirds of Netflix users that subscribe to a home broadband service are now viewing the ‘Watch Instantly’ streaming video service. One-third of broadband-enabled Netflix subscribers view this streaming video exclusively only on their PCs, 8% view the content exclusively on their TVs, and 24% use both their PCs and TVs.

“Netflix is now the archetype for over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services,” notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. “Not only has Netflix eclipsed its immediate competitors in terms of online DVD rental, but it has quickly become the ‘gold standard’ for new OTT streaming services.”

The implication of TDG’s research is significant: one-half of broadband-enabled ‘Watch Instantly’ users now view streaming video on their TVs, a phenomenon unimaginable just a few years ago. As Greeson points out, this speaks volumes about the maturation of streaming video technologies that, until recently, had delivered an inconsistent experience that left regular TV viewers wanting.

via Half of Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Users Are Streaming to the TV – Press Releases.

Amimon creates wireless networks to connect PCs and TVs | VentureBeat November 18, 2009

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Chip maker Amimon is announcing today that it has created wireless modules that can connect computers and high-definition TVs so that consumers can effortlessly watch PC content on their TVs.

The devices could make it a lot easier to watch PC-based Internet video such as Hulu.com videos, flash media, digital photos and games on a TV. Based on the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) wireless standard, the new chips can be embedded into notebook computers or netbooks, which are smaller than laptops and are meant for surfing the web. The modules can wirelessly transfer data from the computer to the TV screen, which would also have a wireless module attached to it, at high speed. It would be fast enough to smoothly transfer HD video, the Herzlia, Israel-based company says.

The modules (pictured) are pretty small and can transfer HD video wirelessly throughout a home. The notebook computers with the WHDI modules are expected to be on the market in 2010. Amimon’s WHDI wireless chips use the 5-gigahertz radio spectrum to transfer data wirelessly.

Amimon raised $10 million in funding in July.

Amimon’s latest chips can transfer full high-definition video, which is defined as video in the 1080p format running at 60 frames per second. The previous chip set could only do 1080i video at slower speeds. The new chip set is compliant with the WHDI industry standard and is expected to ship in customer products in 2010. […]

via Amimon creates wireless networks to connect PCs and TVs | VentureBeat.

IPTV news – ZillionTV downsizes with staff layoffs October 13, 2009

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ZillionTV, a US-based provider of over-the-top video services to a retail set-top box which is backed by media giants including Disney, Fox, Sony and Warner Bros, has reportedly laid off around one third of its 100-member workforce.

According to news website Paid Content, a former employee has revealed that the company has made considerable layoffs, after apparently struggling with its business model. ZillionTV emerged from stealth mode last March, planning to offer an ISP-supported IP video service, featuring a rewards programme that encouraged users to watch ads, as well as requiring a US$ 100 activation fee.

However, the company has recently indicated that it will also offer a direct-to-consumer version of its set-top box in areas not covered by its operator partners, the names of which it has not as yet revealed.

via IPTV news – ZillionTV downsizes with staff layoffs.

Blu-ray Disc continues to go from strength to strength in Europe « Blu-ray Disc Reporter August 26, 2009

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Close to one in ten homes across Europe will be Blu-ray enabled by the end of this year, according to a report issued today by Futuresource.

Homes using BD Players

With falling prices, increased retail promotion and growing awareness all helping to drive Blu-ray Disc demand across the continent, the report predicts that this figure will continue to rise. It is expected that over 20% of European homes will be BD enabled by the end of 2011.

In line with this growth, sales of BD movie titles are expected to top 31m by the end of 2009 – a more than three-fold increase on the 9m sales recorded in 2008. (more…)

Macrovision re-invents itself as Rovi, kicks off with new guide “Liquid” July 17, 2009

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Hold on to your hats folks because the company that we love to hate is turning over a new leaf by kicking off its old DRM shoes and leveraging its acquisition of Gemstar in a big way. What we mean is that this is the first time in the history of Macrovision that we can remember being excited about an announcement; and boy does it make perfect sense that it comes with a new company name. Rovi’s first consumer product should be available in various HDTVs next year, and among the new jazzed up looking guide you can expect a full DLNA client that is designed to be a single access point for all of your content. This includes internet sourced content like Slacker radio, YouTube XL, BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand, and CinemaNow; as well as anything you might have on your PC like pictures, music and even videos. Add in a little social networking from sites such as Flixster and we might have ourselves a new way to watch TV. No word yet on what new TVs will feature Liquid, but we’d expect to hear more at CES ’10. The full release is after the jump. […]

via Macrovision re-invents itself as Rovi, kicks off with new guide “Liquid”.

Movie studios launch Epix, 720p streaming service for films – Ars Technica June 8, 2009

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Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM have joined forces to launch Epix, an HD television channel and accompanying online 720p streaming service. Thanks to an innovative business model, you won’t see a charge for either service.

Like Hulu, the Epix movie service is a joint venture formed by the content owners; in this case, the service is powered by the movie studios Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM. The Epix TV network will air movies that are in the “pay-TV” window, those weeks before a film appears on DVD in which it is available on pay-per-view or HBO, among others.

That doesn’t sound so new, but Epix will be bundled directly into cable packages; under the current business model, it will never appear as a separate charge on the bill and will never have to be added to a package. If Epix can convince enough cable operators to sign on (it isn’t yet announcing partners), the service will have an immediate competitive advantage over pay-TV channels with an additional monthly fee.

But the best part is that Epix viewers can access the same material online, on demand, at Epixhd.com. Ars spoke with Emil Rensing, chief digital office at Epix, who says that watching films online will be a two-click experience with full support for 720p streaming.

The video is offered through Flash and is multi-bitrate enabled; the player checks the available bandwidth every ten seconds to see if a larger or smaller stream is required. Epix currently creates six different encodings of each film which range from full HD support all the way down to 500Kbps (cell phone quality).  […]

via Movie studios launch Epix, 720p streaming service for films – Ars Technica.

SlingPlayer for Mac HD browser plugin beta launched June 6, 2009

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OS X Slingbox users can finally enjoy HD streams, now that the web based SlingPlayer for Mac HD originally planned to launch in Q1 has been released. It’s still carrying the beta tag, and SlingCommunity users have noticed some issues with audio and picture quality at this time. Another downer? A lack of access to older SlingPlayers, you’ll need a PRO, PRO HD or SOLO and Intel based Mac to come to this h.264 encoded party, but if the requirements meet your setup, fire up Safari or Firefox and head on over.

Read – Sling.com Enables OS X Slingbox Streaming
Read – Sling.com HD access for Macs (finally!)

via SlingPlayer for Mac HD browser plugin beta launched.

Nielsen stats find 33% of U.S. households with at least one HDTV May 22, 2009

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A good six months after the Leichtman Research group published figures pushing HDTV penetration over one third of the U.S., Nielsen’s February survey has produced similar numbers, indicating a rise from the 23% it found prior to the holiday season. Whatever the cause for the jump and the discrepancy, there’s plenty of numbers to digest, for those into that. Want to know how many televisions (including SD) the average HDTV owner has? 3. There’s still a gap between those who have an HDTV, and the 28% actually able watch HDTV broadcasts, assumed to exist not only because of a lack of consumer education, but also that people are unwilling to add to their cable/satellite bill on a monthly basis to tune in to HD. Punch the read link for the full breakdown, we’re sure there’s an interesting factoid or trend buried in there somewhere.

via Nielsen stats find 33% of U.S. households with at least one HDTV.

via: TV remains Americans’ screen of choice as viewing continues to rise.

Americans watch on average approximately 153 hours of TV each month at home, up 1.2% from last year, according to the latest quarterly results from Nielsen’s Three Screens report, which goes on to say that they may choose to consume video on the best screen available, but traditional TV remains Americans’ screen of choice.

(more…)

Hulu agrees international TV deals May 7, 2009

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Hulu, the US online video service owned by NBC Universal, Fox and Walt Disney, has signed its first batch of content deals with international television producers, the first step towards a full global launch of the service.

The company was set up 18 months ago by the media companies as a viable alternative to YouTube for professionally produced content. But Hulu is still only available in the US although the group said on Wednesday it was in talks to launch the site in eight of the leading broadcast markets.

via FT.com / Companies / Media – Hulu agrees international TV deals.

Coming Next: Using Your PC as a Cable Box – Is there a chance for MCE, Nero LiquidTV, etc. April 8, 2009

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While the top executives at the Cable Show last week were jockeying to cut deals to distribute major cable networks over the Web (for paying customers), the engineers in the background were talking about a completely different approach to getting cable programs onto computers.

Right now, video signals are transmitted over cable systems in a method called QAM, which is designed specifically for set-top boxes and cable-ready TVs. Computers and other digital devices need special hardware add-ons in order to receive the cable programming.

But what happens when you want to watch the Food Channel in the kitchen, and (horrors) you only have a laptop there?

New technology will let cable companies feed programs onto your home network in the standard formats used by the Internet. That way you could simply run video software, such as Windows Media Player or a special program given to you by your cable company, to watch any show on your cable system on your PC, game console or smartphone.

via Coming Next: Using Your PC as a Cable Box – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

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