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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.


Best Buy embraces digital delivery of home video: Yahoo! Tech November 4, 2009

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Best Buy Co. is trying to nudge consumers away from its stores’ DVD aisles by making it easier for them to rent and buy movies over high-speed Internet connections.

The largest U.S. retailer of consumer electronics is setting up its digital delivery service in partnership with CinemaNow, which has deals with the major movie studios.

The software making it possible to shop CinemaNow’s video library will be included on all the Web-connected devices sold in Best Buy’s more than 1,000 U.S. stores. That means consumers who buy flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray players, personal computers and mobile phones from Best Buy would be able to get downloads of videos the same day they are released on DVDs.

The alliance marks the latest step away from the DVD format. Consumers are getting more ways of finding home entertainment with just a few clicks instead of traveling to a video rental store or waiting for a disc to be delivered through the mail.

Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and DVD-by-mail pioneer Netflix Inc. all have been winning over consumers with their own digital delivery systems. Blockbuster Inc. also has a deal with CinemaNow that lets people rent movies over the Internet.

Netflix gave an indication of the growing popularity of new video-delivery methods in its earnings report last month. It said that 42 percent of its subscribers streamed at least 15 minutes of video through its Internet-viewing service during the last quarter, up from 22 percent at the same time last year.

via Best Buy embraces digital delivery of home video by AP: Yahoo! Tech.

Slideshare: How Netflix Fosters A Culture Of Success August 10, 2009

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Take your time and look at this slideset. Great ideas! I would like it in my company, which I currently work!

What makes a company successful with their employees, partners, and customers? Culture is perhaps the biggest driver. I spent time reading these slides (you should invest 10 minutes) to understand what makes Netflix so unique. Out of these drivers, which ones does your company actually live?

It was interesting that working harder isn’t valued as much as working smarter. I once worked at a company where they would hire 3 mediocre people to accomplish the job of 2 people and pay those three less than the average as they were easily replaceable (it didn’t work out for them). A top salary was the most important, as the employees could then apply it towards whatever benefits they preferred.

Here’s a link to their Google Finance chart, their stock continues to rise during the recession. Love to hear your reactions

via Slideshare: How Netflix Fosters A Culture Of Success « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

Netflix Watch Instantly coming to Windows 7 Media Center August 1, 2009

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Netflix on Windows 7

In what is sure to be just the start of many announcements surrounding Windows 7 in the next few months leading up to the general release, Microsoft demoed Netflix on Windows7 Media Center at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting. No hard release date yet or big surprises here as Vista owners got this access some time ago and Extenders still don’t support Silverlight. The good news though is that the app will be full touch screen capable, so for those with the right hardware you’ll have the same great improvements you have in the rest Windows 7. Media Center fans might also be happy to hear that more features were promissed in regards to “TV on the PC.” (Fast forward to 1 hour and 2 minutes in the video via the read link to see the demo)

via Netflix Watch Instantly coming to Windows 7 Media Center.

Xbox Live update details announced July 17, 2009

Posted by andre in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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Microsoft just announced the details of the next Xbox Live dashboard update, which should start rolling out in waves later this summer. Highlight features include support for Games on Demand (coming in August), a slew of Netflix updates including the ability to browse the library and manage your queue, the long-awaited Movie Party system that allows Gold members to share a flick in a virtual theater, and a ton of other little tweaks like user ratings, avatar enhancements, friends list sorting, and a streamlined Party invite system.

via Xbox Live update details announced, includes Games on Demand support, Netflix Movie Parties, game ratings

Will TV Ever Get an App Store Moment? — GigaOM Pro July 1, 2009

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Today’s TV application marketplace is in a similar, pre-App Store state today: lots of competing software platforms, a growing number of connected devices (but none dominant) and a fairly small number of apps. So, when will the TV have its App Store moment?

To answer that question, it pays to compare the two markets further. Much like the mobile market, PayTV has been controlled by the iron fist of the carriers over the past decade, leaving little room for innovation outside of DVRs and high-definition video. While some interactive features have been integrated, particularly by IPTV providers, there has been little to no development of open application marketplaces by carriers.

The good news is that there are many more hardware options for acquiring and using apps for on-TV display than there are for mobile apps: game consoles, media adapters, third-party hardware (such as Apple TV), computers and, increasingly, the TV itself.  The combined force of such diverse enabling technologies is likely to be harnessed to eventually create a real market. Because of the more bountiful options for hardware and connectivity in the TV space vis-a-vis mobile (where control of the network and handset is nearly required), the door for new entrants can be kicked open more quickly. Once someone gets the right mix of a well-tuned storefront, a bounty of enticing apps, and good on-screen experience, the consumer will see the light.

Some alternatives have shown early signs of success — particularly game consoles. Xbox Live has proven there is a market for downloadable games with Xbox Live, and has also had success outside of the gaming category with Netflix Instant Streaming. But even accounting for Xbox Live Arcade and Netflix360, a similar tectonic shift for TV apps equivalent to the arrival of Apple’s App Store has yet to occur.

Right now, the odds-on favorites in a TV-app market are Microsoft, Apple and Nintendo, all of which have end-to-end hardware, software and online delivery assets, not to mention robust app development environments (a key difference from carriers and traditional consumer electronics players). Google and Yahoo could also seize opportunity here; Android is soon to appear in set-top boxes, and Yahoo’s widget platform has proved quite popular. Lastly, don’t count out players like Boxee and Vizio.

The underpinnings for a TV app revolution are already in place. While there’s no clear winner yet, the rise of connected TVs and associated platforms and the continued push by scrappy competitors to control the third screen mean the TV application market place will soon be as vibrant as Potsdamer Platz in the summertime.

via Will TV Ever Get an App Store Moment? — GigaOM Pro.

Sorry, There’s No Way To Save The TV Business June 13, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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Henry Blodget posted the following:

The traditional TV industry–cable companies, networks, and broadcasters–is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago:

In denial.

There are murmurings on the edges about how longstanding business models will come under pressure as Internet distribution takes over.  But, so far, the revenue and profits are hanging in there, so the big TV companies don’t really care.

Specifically, the TV industry’s attitude is the same as the newspaper industry’s attitude was circa 2002-2003: Stop calling us dinosaurs: We get digital; We’re growing our digital businesses; We’re investing in digital platforms; People still recall ads even when they fast-foward through them on DVRs; There’s no subtitute for TV ads.  And traditional TV isn’t going away: Just look at our revenue and profits!

After saying all this same stuff for years, the newspaper industry figured out the hard way that, eventually, reality intrudes, that you can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle.  And over the next 5-10 years, the TV industry will figure this out, too.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell:

As with print-based media, Internet-based distribution generates only a tiny fraction of the revenue and profit that today’s incumbent cable, broadcast, and satellite distribution models do.  As Internet-based distribution gains steam, therefore, most TV industry incumbents will no longer be able to support their existing cost structures.


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.

Plex » Netflix has never looked this good April 15, 2009

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A lot of people have been asking for this, and now your wish has been granted: Netflix on Plex. Tens of thousands of instantly playable movies, and a gorgeous interface with fanart, high resolution posters and rich metadata.

Major props to Scott for doing a brilliant job with this plug-in. He’s already hard at work at the next version.

The Netflix plug-in requires the latest version of Plex.

via Plex » Netflix has never looked this good.

Is internet TV the key to à la carte? March 30, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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There’s been a lot of controversy over the years in regards to à la carte cable programming, and more recenlty, Hulu no longer playing nice with Boxee. The two are related to each other because in both cases, consumers think they’ll lead to cheaper content. And let’s be honest — both seem appealing because we want to spend less money for the same content. The problem, of course, is that if we’re spending less money, then someone is going to lose that revenue; and it goes without saying that any decent business model requires more revenue, not less. So those big corporations collecting all of those subscription fees are obviously going to have a problem with the idea. Now the conundrum comes in when you throw Netflix in the mix. Rather than nickel and diming you to death (much like your cable company), Netflix wants to give you an all-you-can-eat buffet for a monthly fee. The irony here is that while Hollywood loves subscriptions when it comes to cable TV, that’s not so much the case when it comes to Netflix. The reason is simple — we know you see this coming — it’s because the monthly fee is about three times that of a Netflix bill.

via Is internet TV the key to à la carte?.