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Five reasons why you should buy the $99 Google TV — Online Video News

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Logitech dropped the price of its Revue Google TV set-top to $99 this weekend, down from $249, after consumers all but ignored the device for more than half a year. Some folks may see the price reduction as yet another indicator that Google TV failed, but I think that a $99 Google TV box deserves a second chance.

Here are five reasons that make the $99 Logitech Revue worth buying:

1. The browser. This one is a biggie. A browser on your TV changes everything. Yes, Google TV has been blocked by virtually all major broadcasters, so you won’t be able to watch any videos from ABC.com or Hulu. However, you will find yourself in countless situations where current events and live concerts are streamed online, and most of them will be viewable just fine from your Google TV browser. Coachella? Check. NASA TV? Check. Professional video game players battling each other online? Check.

I know, the skeptics out there will still say, “But I don’t want to surf on my TV.” The good news is: You don’t have to, at least not in the traditional sense. There are now dozens of websites optimized for viewing on browser-based TV platforms. Check out some of them in Google TV’s Spotlight Gallery. YouTube on TV alone is so much better than any of its previous iterations on connected devices.

2. The Android remote app. Google TV remote controls have been the subject of a lot of mockery. I actually like the Revue keyboard, but I have to admit it’s not something I want to have on my lap all the time either. Luckily, there’s a really good Android app to control your Revue available, which not only simplifies the experience, but even offers voice input. It’s powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, so searching for a TV show is as easy as getting directions while you drive.

Read the other three reasons here: Five reasons why you should buy the $99 Google TV — Online Video News.

Written by Kees Winkel

August 2, 2011 at 17:32

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Why Verizon should buy Hulu — Online Video News

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The search for a Hulu buyer continues, with reports emerging that the company is making pitches to a wide range of media and technology companies. While much of the press so far has focused on the big technology companies — Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and the like — little attention has been paid to the other potential buyers. Verizon, in particular, seems like a good match for the company, as it has shown a willingness to invest in online video, but not at the expense of its traditional FiOS TV business.

Business interests are aligned

Google and others in the tech world are all about innovation and disruption, but that’s not necessarily what ABC, NBC and Fox want from a buyer. With Verizon, they’d be getting a partner they’re already doing business with. More importantly, both Verizon and the broadcasters have the same interests, and neither will blindly support growth at Hulu at the expense of live TV viewing or fewer people paying for FiOS.

Verizon, therefore, is less likely to balk at crippling terms in Hulu’s recently renegotiated rights deals. Some reports suggest those deals could extend the time between shows being broadcast and becoming available online by up to a week, rather than being up on Hulu the day after they air.

Read on: Why Verizon should buy Hulu — Online Video News.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 9, 2011 at 17:44

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The tablet will be the center of the connected lifestyle

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By Rick Schwartz Jul. 4, 2011, 6:30am PT at GiGaOm

It’s no secret that tablets are booming, with more than 25 million iPads  sold to date and 50 million expected to be sold this year. Tablets are taking our entertainment experience in a new direction, and in the next two to five years, the tablet could serve as your universal remote control. All of which means the future of the digital home is already here.

The tablet’s sizable screen offers a mobile alternative to watching movies and shows on a traditional TV, and touch capabilities make it the ideal remote for controlling connected TVs and stereos around the house. The tablet’s advent has shaped the direction of our industry, and with it “anytime, anywhere” entertainment is now a reality. As a result, how we experience video and music has been change forever.

A TV in your lap

The tablet isn’t going to replace our desire for a big screen TV, but with optimized video on-demand apps, like the ABC Player , BBC iPlayer and Comcast Xfinity TV , it has become the preferred second screen device for watching TV shows. At the moment, there are still some drawbacks to video content apps, since not all of them are currently available for both iPad and Android tablets — and most still have a limited amount of programming available. Also, there are plenty of heated legal battles going on regarding content rights, causing some apps to wait on permission for iPad streaming. But it seems inevitable that content limitations will lift and a more robust offering of online content (i.e., sporting events, premium movies and more) will be accessible for streaming.

Control freak

Although many tablet users have already used a tablet to watch a TV show or movie, most aren’t aware it can be used to control their TVs or Blu-ray players. Remote control apps are available from Apple, Control4, Dish, LG, Roku, Samsung, Sony and TiVo, and these apps allow manufacturers to provide a level of control beyond a simple handheld remote. Some are customizable and have multiple screens and even allow gesture-based commands. Imagine changing the channel by simply flicking your wrist; it’s now possible.

Another huge advantage these apps have over a traditional remote is their ability to quickly search an electronic program guide to locate a channel, making the tablet a universal remote for the connected home. For the best experience, use a tablet with an integrated IR blaster and universal remote control app. Vizio’s new VIA tablet has this and is compatible with most CE devices. One thing we’re going to see take off in the near future is “follow me” technology, or the ability to begin a show on your TV, leave the house and then pick up where you left off on your tablet.

The tablet as a digital media adapter

Digital media adapters, like the Apple TV, are no longer your only option for connecting an older TV to your network: Some of the newer tablets, like the Advent Vega or the BlackBerry PlayBook, have HDMI jacks. This makes it easy to send media from your computer, the cloud or the tablet to your TV. It’s too early to say how well tablets will work for this application, but power management issues could be a problem if you can’t prevent your tablet from going to sleep. Even though your tablet may not have a dedicated HDMI output, you can purchase an accessory like the Apple Digital AV adapter to provide you with an HDMI out for your iPad. Toshiba’s Thrive tablet, which comes out in July, has a full-sized HDMI jack, so it doesn’t require a special cable or adapter.

Connected home software for tablets is still a relatively new technology, and we’re seeing improvements every month. Next-generation tablets will be pre-loaded with DLNA-certified or AirPlay-enabled applications, encouraging more consumers to give the software a try.

While it’s too soon to predict the extent to which tablets will replace laptops or traditional TVs, it’s certain they have an important place in the connected home and will undoubtedly be a staple in the future of consumer entertainment.

Rick Schwartz is a senior product manager for PacketVideo’s media management software for PCs and mobile devices. Prior to joining PV in 2008, Schwartz was a product manager at Liquid Audio, overseeing the team that created the first secure online music distribution system, and a product marketing lead for Gateway’s Desktop PC division.


Written by Kees Winkel

July 5, 2011 at 12:01

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The words “Facebook” and “Twitter” have been banned from French TV – Social Media

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Here’s an interesting little bit of news for you. We’ve learnt that regulators in France have banned the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ from use on TV and radio.

Some people might say that the French have acquired an unfair reputation for being obsessed with frustratingly pedantic rules and regulations, but this latest ruling would suggest that reputations are sometimes earned.

French broadcasting regulators have issued the following ruling: TV and radio show hosts must refrain from uttering ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ unless it’s in direct relation to a specific news story on the subject.

So, for example, a French TV presenter is barred from saying something like: “Follow us on Twitter for more updates on this story”. No reference must ever be made to connecting to Facebook or Twitter to discover further information on a news story.

And why would French regulators wish to impose such a ban? Well, it seems that mentioning Facebook or Twitter is deemed to be promoting commercial enterprises, according to French broadcast regulator CSA.

Read the rest of this weird story @ The words “Facebook” and “Twitter” have been banned from French TV – Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 4, 2011 at 09:37

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TV in a Card brings video to brochures and greetings cards

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Here’s Gizmag with a nice little ‘mobile’ gadget. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a moving picture worth even more. Now a company in the UK is enticing businesses to go beyond the confines of eye-catching text, colorful graphics and product photos with TV in a Card.

The brainchild of Russell Lawley-Gibbs and Robert Green, a standard TV in a Card folder has A4 (297 x 210 mm / 11.7 x 8.3 inches) dimensions and opening the cover reveals a 4.3-inch, 320 x 240 resolution, 16:9 aspect LCD display powered by a custom board with built-in storage for about 30 minutes of video footage. There’s an included speaker and headphone jack, and the Li-ion battery lasts about 1.5 hours before needing to be charged via the included USB port.

via TV in a Card brings video to brochures and greetings cards.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 9, 2011 at 14:03

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Trends and data for the three screens – TV, Internet and mobile

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U.S. online ad spending in 2010 is projected to have reached a record $25.8 billion, up nearly 14 percent from 2009. This is the first year that more money was spent on online advertising than in newspapers and leaves the online industry second to television in terms of annual ad spend.

Advertising growth online is fueled by audience trends and ROI, and the statistics show that consumers are spending an increasing amount of time online and using mobile devices, as Colin Knudsen and Chris Ensley report in their column in today’s Mobile Commerce Daily. Read and comprehend the dazzling figures from the US and just imagine what the numbers for Europe might be.

 

Written by Kees Winkel

April 4, 2011 at 09:21

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