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post #61 of 577 Old 05-23-2008, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
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CinemaNow Available Via Windows Media Center

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CinemaNow's library of films is now available through the Online Media channel in Windows Media Center, adding to the ease of viewing Internet content on the TV.

Consumers with Windows Media Center Extenders can download more than 3,400 feature-length films, 3,000 TV episodes and 2,900 music videos to their home computer and view them on their TV. Content is available on both a pay-per-view and download-to-own basis

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post #62 of 577 Old 05-24-2008, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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WSJ: Sundance East

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The event comes at a time of uncertainty for the art-house movie market. In the midst of this, Sundance is trying to build its brand, both at BAM and with digital ventures, such as streaming short films from the festival on Netflix and selling them through iTunes and Xbox videogame systems. About three dozen shorts will screen at BAM, including "Force 1 TD," an 11-minute story about a trio of friends who go on a quest to outfit a miniature horse with a set of sneakers. Though there's not much of a theatrical market for shorts, they're critical for tracking new filmmakers, says Sundance's director of programming, John Cooper. "You really see the root of creativity for the filmmaker."

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post #63 of 577 Old 05-24-2008, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Cable Prices Keep Rising; Customers Keep Paying

This week Roku, a Silicon Valley start-up, began selling a $99 box that streams movies from Netflix straight to the TV. And this summer Hewlett-Packard is expected to introduce a device called the MediaSmart Connect, a sleek box connecting computer and TV that lets users watch Internet videos as well as rent or buy some 6,000 movies through CinemaNow, an H.P. partner.
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post #64 of 577 Old 05-24-2008, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Cable Cuts Cord with WiMax

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While improved video-on-demand services, targeted advertising applications and super-high-speed DOCSIS 3.0 broadband systems were headline items at the NCTA convention in New Orleans last week, perhaps the most exciting new technology on the show floor didn't rely on cable pipes.

That was a demonstration in the Motorola booth of WiMax, the wireless broadband technology that three of the country's largest cable operators, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, plan to use to provide voice and data services to subscribers on the go.

The WiMax services from Comcast and Time Warner will be delivered through Clearwire, a company formed by combining the fourth-generation wireless assets of Sprint Nextel and Clearwire Corp., and which counts those major cable operators and technology giants Intel and Google as investors. The new Clearwire is targeting a network deployment that will cover between 120 million and 140 million people in the U.S. by the end of 2010.
...

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The speed and quality of all the Clearwire services was impressive, reflecting WiMax's potential data speeds of 7 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabits per second upstream. What's more, since WiMax can act as a backhaul for conventional Wi-Fi broadband service, Motorola had also installed a Wi-Fi router inside the vehicle to allow laptop users with conventional Wi-Fi radios to surf the Web using the WiMax connection.

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post #65 of 577 Old 05-27-2008, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Verizon Downloads 'Starz Play' Deal

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A telco, not a cable operator, has become the first to pull the trigger on Starz Entertainment LLC 's new premium IP video service -- and it's a doozy: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ - message board).

Under a deal that ties into a larger, multi-year carriage arrangement, Verizon will market the subscription-based Starz Play service to its 8.5 million broadband customers.

According to a Website dedicated to the offer, Verizon is selling Starz Play for $5.99 per month, providing unlimited access to a library of about 2,500 movies and other video titles, including Ratatouille, Spider-Man 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Later this year, Starz Play will offer titles such as Superbad, Enchanted, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The Starz Play subscription also includes access to a live stream of the linear Starz channel and allows users to share downloaded titles on up to three authorized devices.

Consumers can sign up for Starz Play through Verizon but access it from anywhere in the United States, presumably via high-speed broadband lines run by cable operators and other broadband service providers that compete with Verizon.

"You don't have to reside within Verizon service territory to sign up for this," a Verizon spokeswoman says. All customers need is a credit card. However, existing customers will be able to bundle the Starz Play service on their Verizon bill.

Verizon is selling Starz Play as an add-on initially, though it's possible it could subsidize it and tie it in with high-speed service bundles. Verizon and Starz did not detail how they are dividing the monthly $5.99 subscription fee. The telco was not immediately available for further comment mid-day Tuesday.

Starz Play is a subset of Starz Entertainment's direct-to-consumer Vongo video service, which officially got off the ground in January 2006 and today sells for $9.99 per month. Although Starz Play does offer subscription movie downloads and access to the Starz channel, it does not offer the 200 pay-per-view titles that Vongo offers. Starz has not released any subscriber numbers for the Vongo service.

Among premium video services, Home Box Office Inc. and Showtime Networks Inc. also have Internet-based products in the works that are designed to tie in with their cable and telco affiliates.

Earlier this year, Starz officials detailed some plans for the "Play" offering, noting that it was finalizing contracts with several large operators. Robert Greene, the EVP of advanced services for Starz, suggested that his company could have multiple deals to announce this year. (See Starz Shops IPTV Service.)

As part of the broader deal announced Monday, Verizon's FiOS TV platform has secured carriage of 16 linear networks (including hi-def feeds) from the Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex trio, for the telco's FiOS TV service. The deal also covers associated subscription-VOD fare, including HD-VOD titles.

Edit: It does not appear that you need to be a Verizon broadband subscriber (or even an existing Verizon customer) to sign up for Starz Play.

Starz Play uses Windows Media Player for title viewing.
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post #66 of 577 Old 05-28-2008, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Vusion Exits Stealth-Mode to Reach Massive Audiences with HD Quality Video Over the Internet

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SAN JOSE, Calif., - May 5, 2008 - Vusion, Inc., providers of instant-on, full-screen, HD quality streaming video, today announced its formal company launch, leaving behind its stealth-mode name of Jittr Networks'. Vusion will deliver the industry's first end-to-end online video distribution service capable of providing the scalability and reach to serve true HD and DVD quality video to 95 percent of all broadband consumers.

The high bandwidth fees and limited reach of current content delivery technologies has made streaming video a loss leader for even the most highly trafficked web properties. Vusion's technology has been designed to answer the great demand among media companies and content providers for an end-to-end service to efficiently monetize assets through the delivery of high-quality video over the standard Internet.

Recent industry research shows that the digital media market is the fastest growing sector of the Internet, and video, in particular, will soon represent 90 percent of all Internet traffic, said Elie Habib, Vusion President and CEO. Media companies positioned to provide the highest quality viewing experience with their video content will inevitability generate more page views and deliver better value for their advertisers. Vusion is the first in the market to deliver true 720p HD quality video in the scale, clarity and reliability that the Internet user population demands.

Radical changes in the way that end users access and consume video content are driving both viewers and advertising revenues to rapidly shift from television to the Internet, said Aaron Crayford, Founder and CTO. Our technology is ideally suited for media companies looking to move from delivering short format, low quality video to longer-play, high-definition video in order to better monetize their assets, differentiate their online presence and generate increased Web traffic.

Vusion's Founder and CTO invested four years of research and development to create the next generation core network infrastructure and proprietary WARP technology, which is based on intelligent distributed computing algorithms, in order to deliver truly next generation Quality of Service.

Vusion's advanced WARP technology is a significant departure from traditional content delivery networks. Utilizing a dense architecture with ten times the throughput of standard data centers, WARP enables Vusion's service to scale to tens of millions of concurrent users. By providing the scalability and reach to serve 95 percent of the broadband population, Vusion ensures that the maximal part of the monetizable market will be able to access and stream HD content from its customer's web properties.

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post #67 of 577 Old 05-28-2008, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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TiVo to Offer Movie Rentals From the Walt Disney Studios on Demand

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TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced that TiVo subscribers will soon be able to download movies from The Walt Disney Studios to their broadband connected TiVo(R) DVRs directly from the TV.

Titles will be available to rent through an agreement with Disney-ABC and CinemaNow, a digital entertainment provider of high-quality Hollywood movies and TV shows across multiple platforms, and the latest partner to join TiVo's broadband efforts. The companies will offer the movies for a 24-hour rental period in standard definition, with many also available in high definition.

"We are very excited to be working with Disney and CinemaNow. Adding Disney movies really delivers on TiVo's promise to offer the best television entertainment experience with unlimited content choices that are easy to navigate across broadcast, cable, and broadband using one device, one remote, and one user interface," said Tara Maitra, Vice President and GM of Content Services at TiVo Inc.

"TiVo has always delivered a superior experience," said Dan Cohen, executive vice president of pay television and interactive media, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. "We're pleased that their subscribers will be able to enjoy our extensive catalog of new releases and classic library titles."

The service is available to all broadband-connected TiVo Series2(TM) and Series3(TM) subscribers later this year. TiVo offers more than 30,000 titles through Amazon Unbox, Music Choice and more than 50 other content providers. The company recently announced that TiVo subscribers will be able to access YouTube videos directly on the TV via the TiVo DVR this summer.

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post #68 of 577 Old 05-28-2008, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Amazon To Launch Paid Video Streaming

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Next topic: music and video downloads. Bezos says he is very serious about the business; he says it is in some ways harder because there are so many participants. It has a glamor element, that attracts people; he says they are working on for-pay streaming service that will be unveiled in a few weeks; will start instantly, a la carte for pay. (Hey, actual news!)

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post #69 of 577 Old 05-28-2008, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Iger: Nets Should Embrace VOD

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The Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger told an audience at an industry conference Wednesday that programming networks need to embrace video on demand to survive in the changing media landscape.

Iger, speaking at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York, said that many programmers have been reluctant to provide compelling content to the VOD platform until the opportunity becomes really obvious.

But he said the viewing habits of younger viewers will force content providers to allow more of their content to appear on the platform.

Everybody will get there. I can't tell you when, Iger said. I actually believe that consumers, particularly young consumers, are going to be much less tolerant of accessing or getting programming in a linear form on a traditional network and much more demanding of the product they get in a video-on-demand form, meaning individually.

If you're not in that space, you're going to get marginalized, he added.

But there are still issues with the VOD platform, he said.

There are still navigational issues; we also have to make sure that the product that we give them is compelling, Iger said. I think it has to be day and date with the DVD business and the home video business and we've done that in some markets as a test. I think you have to have a rich library, not only the newest stuff but you have to have a lot of older stuff. I think we'll get there.

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post #70 of 577 Old 05-28-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Netflix CEO: Streaming will double subscriptions

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MAY 28 | Netflix expects to more than double its subscriber base within a decade, with video-streaming services fueling growth after DVD rentals peak, the company's chief executive said at an investors' conference in San Francisco today.

The U.S. movie-rental leader via mail will surpass 20 million subscribers and ultimately phase out DVD mailings, whose volume will peak between 2013 and 2018, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said. The company said last month that its first-quarter subscriber base grew 21% from a year earlier, to 8.24 million.

The market that can be reached through streaming is much larger than DVD, said Hastings, who didn't give a specific timeframe on the subscription surge. We should be able to get well beyond 20 million subscribers.

Netflix last week started selling a set-top box that allows subscribers to stream movies directly to their TV sets from Netflix's Web site, marking its first foray into streaming media directly to customers' TVs. Netflix Player by Roku, which was co-developed by digital-media technology company Roku Inc. and can be connected to the Internet via a wireless home network, sells for $99.99.

Netflix said in January that it would develop set-top streaming boxes with LG Electronics and others as it competes with a growing number of movie-streaming or download services, including Apple TV and Amazon.com's Unbox.

Netflix's streaming service for personal computers launched last year and has since boosted its content inventory to 10,000 titles from 2,000.

Hastings said today that he hoped that partnerships with various consumer-electronics companies such as Roku would help enable as many as 10 million customers to have TVs that could connect to Netflix via the Internet by the end of next year.

We named our company Netflix' and not DVD By Mail' for a reason, Hastings said.

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post #71 of 577 Old 05-29-2008, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Apple to Announce Hollywood Deal for Film Downloads, Times Says

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May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is set to announce it will start selling films from four major Hollywood studios for download from its online iTunes store in the U.K. at about the same price as DVDs, the London-based Times reported.

Apple plans to unveil agreements with Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, the Times said. News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. are also set to sign up to the agreement, according to the newspaper.

Unidentified studio people said Apple would not want to undercut DVD prices, suggesting the prices will be between about 6 pounds ($11.89) and 25 pounds, the Times said.

Canada is also expected to be included in the deal, according to the newspaper.

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post #72 of 577 Old 05-31-2008, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Time Warner Cable to offer web to TV link

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Inc plans to offer subscribers an easier way to bring Internet video to their television screens as part of an overall home networking system, Chief Executive Glenn Britt said on Friday.

"Right now it's pretty hard to get Internet stuff on your TV," Britt said at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.

"We're actually going to have equipment we make available to subscribers," he said. "It's actually going to be a new wireless cable modem that will allow you to network everything in your house."

Britt gave few specific details on how the service would work or when it would be available.

"Within a relatively short time ... it's going to be very easy to get Internet TV on your big screen TV," he said, estimating it would take between one to two years to popularize such technology already sold by the likes of Apple Inc.

Apple TV lets users take a movie downloaded to their personal computer and watch it on their television screen.

TiVo Inc lets many of its subscribers select Web video from providers such as The Onion, the New York Times and CNET Networks. The video is downloaded from the Internet to a TiVo set-top box for viewing later.

But web-to-TV technology is still in its early days, due in part to the complexity of making web video look good on higher resolution TVs.

Consumers may also be hesitant to navigate the thousands of web sites that offer unique video, and to buy more equipment in addition to paying monthly cable or satellite fees.

Major cable operators have had success spreading such technologies among their large pool of subscribers, including the digital video recording technology that originally made TiVo famous.

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post #73 of 577 Old 06-03-2008, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Warner begins online on-demand service

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Warner Bros has unveiled an online site that delivers an archive of on-demand shows from its television back catalogue.

Launched as a private Beta, TheWB.com allows users to watch shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Friends and Smallville as and when they want. That is if you're based in the US.

This comes after Warner Bros started adding on-demand movie content to various download services such as: Amazon Unibox, iTunes, Cinemanow, Vudu, Xbox 360 and on a variety of cable channels.

The films currently available on demand include: Michael Clayton, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix and The Assassination Of Jesse James.

Web-only

As well as offering famous shows for perusal, the site will also host web-only content. This will include a new web show created by Charlie's Angels director McG, the online mystery drama Sorority Forever.

Aiming at the 18-34 audience, the site also offers a variety of new features such as an editing app, WBlender, that allows you to create your own TV mashups. There's no word however if you can upload your viral' work to YouTube and the like as that, in theory, would still be piracy.

Speaking to the Guardian, a spokesperson for Warner Bros UK said that the company has no plans to launch the site in the UK, leaving another on-demand shaped hole for Brits everywhere.

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post #74 of 577 Old 06-05-2008, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Japan's top film rental chain offers high-definition downloads

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TOKYO (AFP) Japan's top film rental chain Tsutaya on Thursday unveiled a download-on-demand broadband service, letting customers rent titles from home without going to the store.

The service by Tsutaya, which counts 27.2 million members at its 1,330 branches across Japan, is the latest sign of the growing market for high-definition television in Japan.

Tsutaya, part of the Culture Convenience Club (CCC) Group, will start the service Friday by allowing downloads of the first season of hit US television series such as "Heroes," "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives."

A customer can download a title and watch it over a 48-hour period using Actvila, a portal set for interactive services launched by Japan's major television makers.

Tsutaya plans to raise its catalogue of downloadable titles to 2,000 by the end of the year via agreements with four major Hollywood studios -- Paramount, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney and NBC Universal.

Renting a full-length movie through the service will cost 735 yen (seven dollars), with a lesser price for shorter films.

Use of the service requires high-speed fibre-optic connections, which are gradually replacing ADSL lines. Nearly 12 million of Japan's 48 million households have a fibre-optic Internet service.

Tsutaya hopes that the new service will pull in more customers with higher disposable incomes in the 40-50 age range.

Actvila was developed by Japan's major television makers -- Sharp, Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba and Hitachi -- and is compatible with several dozen models of plasma or liquid crystal display sets.

Prices of such high-definition televisions have been on the decline, creating a larger market of viewers.

Japan has been a leader in digital television broadcasts, which require advanced sets, and plans to end analogue broadcasts entirely in 2011.

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post #75 of 577 Old 06-10-2008, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Disney streams catalog movies online
Finding Nemo, others, air a week after ABC broadcast


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JUNE 10 | Disney.com will begin streaming full-length movies at its site for the first time, which is intended to boost the Wonderful World of Disney summer TV series.

The Web site will make such films as Finding Nemo, Monster's Inc. and Peter Pan available one week after their broadcast on ABC.

The network will air the films, also including Haunted Mansion, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Princess Diaries 2 and Freaky Friday, as part of ABC's Saturday night Wonderful World programmingblock.

Finding Nemo will be Disney.com's debut feature, with streams available now through June 13. The online schedule is rounded out by Monsters Inc., June 16-20; Haunted Mansion, June 30-July 4; Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, July 7-11; Princess Diaries 2, July 14-18; Freaky Friday, July 21-25; and Peter Pan, Aug. 4-8. The movie offering is featured prominently on the site's home page.

The Web site also will stream Camp Rock, featuring Disney Channel favoritesthe Jonas Brothers on June 23, following its TV premiere on the network on June 20.

Streaming full-length films on Disney.com takes our commitment to delivering world-class online entertainment to the next level, said Paul Yanover, executive VP and managing director at Disney Online. This is a wonderful partnership with ABC, and just another example of how Disney's unmatched, high-quality content can be leveraged on multiple platforms.

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post #76 of 577 Old 06-11-2008, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Silverlight 2 Beta2 Released

Among the new features:

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Adaptive Streaming

Beta2 adds support for "adaptive streaming" - which enables you to encode media at multiple bit-rates and then have a Silverlight application dynamically switch between them depending on the network and CPU conditions.

This enables much richer end-user media experiences - since it makes it possible for content providers to provide both lower-end and higher-end bit rate versions of a video, and then have Silverlight choose the optimal one to use based on an end-user's machine hardware and network capacity. If while watching the video the machine or network conditions change, Silverlight can automatically switch to a more appropriate bit-rate without any buffering or interruption glitch.

Silverlight's support for adaptive streaming is extensible - which enables anyone to plug-in their own logic to control where the media content comes from, and what bit-rate should be used. This means that any CDN or media delivery provider can easily integrate their systems with Silverlight and deliver super high quality video delivery.

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post #77 of 577 Old 06-11-2008, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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post #78 of 577 Old 06-17-2008, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Cisco Sees a Zettaflood of IP Traffic - Driven by Video

Driven primarily by an explosion in online video, total IP traffic is expected to reach half a zettabyte by 2012, according to new research by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

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With traffic nearly doubling every two years, the Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts IP traffic to increase by a factor of six from 6.6 million exabytes per month in 2007 to 44 exabytes per month -- or an annual run rate of 522 exabytes per year -- in 2012. (A zettabyte is 1,000 exabytes. Or, it's a 1 with 21 zeros behind it, for you non-math geeks.)

Now, not everybody agrees on the exact numbers. Research company IDC recently predicted that by 2011, there will be 1.8 zettabytes of traffic in existence -- anywhere.

Cisco says that much of the growth of data traffic has come in the past few years. Traffic grew 55 percent in 2007, and is expected to grow 63 percent in 2008.

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post #79 of 577 Old 06-17-2008, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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HP MediaSmart Connect Makes It Easy to Enjoy Digital Media from Any HDTV

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PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced that HP MediaSmart Connect, a digital receiver that brings digital media from around the home or the Internet(1) to any HDTV, is now available for pre-order.

Whether digital videos, music and photos are stored on a notebook across the room or a desktop in a home office,(2) HP MediaSmart Connect can find and display them all in a single list on any HDTV.(3)

Additionally, the digital media receiver can connect people to a wealth of online content from wherever they watch TV. Consumers can, for example, rent or purchase thousands of day-and-date release movies from CinemaNow, share and purchase photos from Snapfish (http://www.snapfish.com) and discover new Internet(1) radio stations from Live365.

First announced as part of the HP product launch at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, HP MediaSmart Connect features a sleek design with a piano-black finish as well as HP’s exclusive “Zen” Imprint design and ambient blue lighting.

“HP MediaSmart Connect is an ideal complement to any HDTV,” said Carlos Montalvo, vice president of marketing and services, Connected Entertainment Business, HP. “Consumers can use it to enjoy videos, music and photos – once trapped on PCs – on their big-screen HDTVs. Show and tell has never been more fun.”

Extender for Windows® Media Center offers extended world of entertainment

HP MediaSmart takes advantage of Extender for Windows Media Center technology, giving owners an additional set of features using PCs with Windows Vista® Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate operating systems.(4)

Consumers can enjoy a world of content from online services such as Vongo, MovieLink and FOX Sports. Windows Media Center also features the Internet TV Beta, which offers more than 100 hours of video from MSN, including new shows from providers such as A&E, Bio, CNBC, DIY, Fine Living, Food Network, FOX Sports, HGTV, History Channel, iFilm, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC News and StupidVideos. Consumers with a PC that has a TV tuner(5) can record and watch broadcast TV through the MediaSmart Connect on their HDTVs, too.

“With HP MediaSmart Connect, HP is bringing to market a compelling Media Center Extender device,” said Ron Pessner, general manager, Connected TV division, Microsoft. “Connected CE products like these are delivering engaging consumer experiences for today’s digital lifestyle. The new MediaSmart Connect will enable people to extend their entertainment to their HDTV from a Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate-based PC – delivering innovation as a result of our relationship with HP.”

“HP’s new MediaSmart Connect delivers the finest Media Center Extender consumer experience,” said Richard Doherty, research director, Envisioneering Group. “HP has heeded consumers and engineered in everything from DivX support to Windows XP compatibility, all propelled by HD-quality 802.11n wireless connectivity.”

Streaming digital media to HDTV made easier

HP MediaSmart Connect can connect to other UPnP- and DLNA-compliant devices, and as part of the HP MediaSmart family of products, it also can access personal content from the HP MediaSmart Server or HP Media Vault. HP MediaSmart Connect can stream digital media over wired and wireless(6) (802.11a, b and g, and dual-band draft 802.11n)(7) networks and features two USB ports as well as an HP Pocket Media Drive bay (drive sold separately) for easy transition of digital media from HP PCs.

HP MediaSmart Connect makes it easy for the whole family to enjoy photos, music and videos together in front of a big-screen TV by supporting a wide range of video, audio and image formats, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DiVX, XVID, DVR-MS, WMV and WMV-HD; MP3, WMA, WMA Pro and AAC (unprotected); JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG.

HP MediaSmart Connect owners can choose to connect to their HDTV through an HDMI port or component video with optical audio out.

Connected entertainment industry experts discuss the HP MediaSmart Connect

HP, in conjunction with Microsoft and retailers Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City and Newegg.com, will conduct a series of webinars to discuss and demonstrate the capabilities of HP MediaSmart Connect. In addition, these experts will spark conversation and shed light on the future of connected entertainment. Consumers can sign up to attend a webinar at www.microsoft.com/hpmediasmartconnect.

Date Time Guest expert

Tuesday, June 24 10 a.m. PT Ed Bott - Independent blogger for ZDNet.com
Thursday, June 26 1 p.m. PT Ian Dixon - TheDigitalLifestyle.com
Tuesday, July 8 10 a.m. PT Patrick Norton - Tekzilla.com
Thursday, July 10 1 p.m. PT Mike Garcen - MissingRemote.com

Pricing and availability

HP MediaSmart Connect can be pre-ordered beginning today from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, CircuitCity.com and Newegg.com. HP MediaSmart Connect includes an HDMI cable, a learning remote control that can control four additional devices, and a $20 CinemaNow movie certificate. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $349.(8) More information is available at www.hp.com/mediasmartconnect.

If that last link doesn't work - try this: http://www.hp.com/united-states/camp...ex.html#/Main/

From newegg.com

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Brand HP
Model x280n
Features
Features Play your music, photos, and video from any Windows-based PC in your house on your HDTV

Direct access to OnLine Media Services

Integrated Windows Media Center Extender functionality

HP Pocket Media Drive bay

Built-in wired and wireless networking - IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n

HDMI, Component video, and digital audio outputs

Media playback from USB-based portable storage media
Spec
Specifications Video Output: 720p (60 Hz) 1080i

Video Formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@ML, MPEG-2 MP@HL, MPEG-4 ASP, DivX, WMV, WMV-HD, DVR-MS, H.264 (MP4)

Photo Formats: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG

Music Formats: MP2, MP3, WMA, WMA-Pro, AAC (m4a)

Online Services: Snapfish, CinemaNow, Live365, and others

Media Servers: WMP11 or UPnP and DLNA-compliant servers such as HP's Media Vault and MediaSmart servers

Digital Rights Management: Windows Media, DivX

Windows Media Center Extender

Automatic Content Aggregation

Mass-Storage Media (Read only)

Color: Piano Black

Finish: Gloss with "Zen" pattern
Connectors HDMI Out: 1

Component Out: 1

Stereo Analog Audio Out: 1

Digital Audio Out: 1 (Optical)

USB Ports: 1 rear, 1 front

HP Pocket Media Drive Bay: 1

Wireless: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

Ethernet Adapter: 1 (10/100-Base T)
Power Requirement Power Supply: 100-240V AC 50/60Hz

Power Consumption: 22 Watts
Dimensions 8.5" x 8.5" x 1.8"
Weight 3.5 lbs.

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post #80 of 577 Old 06-19-2008, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Apple Renting & Selling Over 50,000 Movies Per Day

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CUPERTINO, CaliforniaJune 19, 2008Apple® today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded over five billion songs from the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). iTunes is the number one music retailer in the US* and features the largest music catalog with over eight million songs. Also, iTunes customers are now renting and purchasing over 50,000 movies every day, making iTunes the world's most popular online movie store.

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post #81 of 577 Old 06-26-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony to start digitally distributing movies before they come out on DVD

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As you may know, Sony owns a movie studio. That studio is releasing a big budget Will Smith superhero movie this Summer called Hancock. When Hancock is available to buy in a few months, guess where you will first be able to buy it? Not iTunes, not even DVD, but Sony's own digital distribution service to be launched this Fall, Sony chief executive Howard Stringer told an audience in Tokyo this morning.

This is part of Sony's plan to make its television and video game divisions profitable once again. Its new Bravia line of televisions will be able to receive downloads via the Internet without hooking up to cable or satellite. The same will likely be true for its Playstation 3 video game console, which will roll out its digital movie download service this summer.

If it can get access to Sony movies before they are released anywhere else, that could certainly help the company move more units as well as give it a foothold in an arena it's already late to: Digital distribution in the living room.

Both Microsoft and Apple have a big head start on Sony in that realm with their Xbox 360 and Apple TV devices respectively. Neither of those companies owns a movie studio however.

The move is somewhat interesting though by Sony. After all, it is the key proponent of the Blu-ray high definition disc format, which only recently beat its HD DVD rival (which Microsoft had backed). Blu-ray is also a key component of the PS3, and Sony appears to be undercutting it if it starts sending movies digitally before they come to that format.

This is a big step towards legitimizing digital distribution as the wave of the future for video. The Hollywood studios are still terrified of the digital piracy that has crippled the music industry, but the shift is inevitable. It's good to see Sony taking the lead in innovation and forward thinking once again.

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well this is a great source of video downloads and softwares
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post #83 of 577 Old 07-06-2008, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Netflix's Online Movie Dreams

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Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku, best known for its networked music player SoundBridge, in May rolled out a set-top box that streams Netflix (nasdaq: NFLX - news - people ) movies. The company, in which Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix owns a minority stake, says it sold out its first shipment in three weeks. To keep up with demand, Roku has ramped up production in its factory in Asia and is air-freighting units to the U.S., says Tim Twerdahl, Roku's vice president of consumer products.

Twerdahl wouldn't disclose sales figures, but he says Roku calculated initial shipments based on sales of competing digital delivery products such as Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) TV and Vudu. Twerdahl also says the Roku player won't be limited to Netflix. Later this year, a simple software update will allow the box to stream content from other "big name" providers.

In addition to Roku, Netflix has also partnered with LG Electronics and two other suppliers of set-top boxes. Microsoft's (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) Xbox is said to be a potential partner.

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post #84 of 577 Old 07-14-2008, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Netflix to Distribute Films on Microsoft Xbox 360

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July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. will deliver movies over the Internet to owners of Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 video- game console under an agreement the companies will announce today, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

The accord, set to be unveiled at the E3 video-game conference in Los Angeles, will give Netflix, the largest U.S. mail-order movie service, a way to offer film rentals to 12 million Xbox users, said the person, who declined to be identified since the announcement isn't yet public.

Netflix, with 8.2 million customers, already offers movies on computers. In May, the Los Gatos, California-based company began streaming films to TVs equipped with a $99 converter box from Roku Inc. Netflix hopes that delivering movies to TVs on demand will help it grow to 20 million users, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings told analysts on May 27.

"It's a totally different proposition, so it's quite important, said Paul Jackson, a Forrester Research Inc. analyst in London. "In the future, everything is going to downloads. It's ludicrously inefficient to ship all those silver disks.''

...

Less Inventory

Netflix spokesman Ken Ross declined to comment on the agreement, as did Katie Abrahamson, an outside spokeswoman for Microsoft. In a June 9 interview, Hastings said Netflix was working on deals to embed its movie-streaming software in devices from three major consumer-electronics companies.

Fewer movies are available online or on demand through viewers' televisions. Netflix has Internet rights to 10,000 movies, compared with more than 100,000 available on DVD, according to the company's Web site. On-demand TV service is included in Netflix plans costing $8.99 to $23.99 a month.

The gap will close as studios negotiate online rights deals for old movies, Hastings, 47, said in May. The lure to studios is that they will capture nearly all of the money Netflix now spends on postage, about a third of its revenue, Hastings said.

"If you were the studios, you would want this to happen,'' said Hastings, who is a member of Microsoft's board.

Digital distribution will help Netflix expand internationally, Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Michael Olson wrote in a May 29 report.

The more flexible service should also help reduce customer cancellations, Forrester's Jackson said.

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XBox 360 to stream Netflix movies

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Hastings hopes to add about 8,000 more titles to the streaming service during the next 18 months.

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post #86 of 577 Old 07-15-2008, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony Begins Offering Video Downloads On Playstation 3

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Sony Corp. began offering a video-downloading service Tuesday for its PlayStation 3 videogame console, part of its aim to broaden its audience and grab a piece of the growing content-downloading market.

The launch also reflects the fruits of a three-year push by Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer to revitalize the company by getting its business units to work more closely with one another.

Sony said its video service will let users rent or buy movies and television shows produced by major studios and production companies -- including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures -- and watch them on TV sets through its PlayStation Network in the U.S.

Sony's video-downloading service will face stiff competition from rivals like Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc., which are already a step ahead in such services. Microsoft on Monday announced a deal with Netflix Inc. to stream movies over the Internet to the Xbox 360 game console.

Park Associates, a market-research and consulting firm, estimates that annual revenue from Internet video, including ad-based and user-paid services, could reach $5.3 billion by 2010 and $12.4 billion by the end of 2012 in the U.S. alone.

Sony hopes to gain an edge in that market by letting users take programming they have purchased and view it on their handheld PlayStation Portable devices as well as on TV sets. The company previously said it plans by March 2011 to make the service available through other key products, such as its Vaio computers, Walkman music players and Sony Ericsson mobile phones.

Announcing the service at E3, the game industry's big annual conference in Los Angeles, Sony said its TV-show rentals will cost $1.99 per episode and that movie rentals will cost $2.99 to $5.99. Movie purchases will start at $9.99. Some of the programming will be viewable in high definition.

Sony's new service will be a test of how well the company has been able to change its traditional hardware-oriented mindset and move toward integrating software, services and content in a way appealing to consumers. Mr. Stringer has been laying the groundwork for that transition by promoting executives with strengths in software and content.
...

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post #87 of 577 Old 07-16-2008, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Netflix: We'll Try Silverlight

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In its attempt to open up streaming video functionality to non-PC users, Netflix Inc. could begin using Microsoft Silverlight as its video platform of choice, according to a company representative.

In a phone interview with Contentinople, Netflix director of corporate communications Steve Swasey says the video rental company could look to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s new OS- and browser-agnostic video platform.

The main issue is that, currently, the Windows-based DRM solution that Netflix employs only works on Windows. Microsoft's PlayReady DRM is designed to work with Silverlight across platforms, but, according to Microsoft, the Silverlight 2 plug-in won't be available until later this fall.

"We're looking at Silverlight and we've actually said some very complimentary things about Silverlight against other platforms," Swasey says.

That could be a boon to non-PC users that are also Netflix subscribers. Despite being available for a year and a half, Netflix has yet to make the streaming functionality available on Mac OS or other, non-Microsoft operating systems.

...

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post #88 of 577 Old 07-18-2008, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Amazon Bows VOD Service

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Amazon.com July 17 reportedly began beta testing a proprietary video-on-demand service that gives consumers access to about 40,000 movies and TV shows for streaming and download.

Titles and pricing were not immediately available.

The service, which includes most major studio fare with the exception of The Walt Disney Co., whose programming is earmarked for Apple's iTunes, underscored a heady week for digital distribution of entertainment.

Netflix and Microsoft July 14 confirmed long anticipated scuttlebutt the online DVD rental pioneer would begin streaming movie and TV content via the Xbox 360, and Sony Corp. announced a digital movie and TV service through the Playstation 3. Separately, Lionsgate July 16 said it would increase availability of free clips of its feature films to third parties on YouTube.

Amazon also inked a deal with Sony Electronics that would connect the VOD service to Sony's line of Bravia high-definition televisions via a proprietary $300 wireless Internet video link.

The VOD deal appears to circumvent Amazon's Unbox download service, which reportedly has generated minor traction among consumers due to its special software requirements and limited availability beyond the PC.

Wireless connectivity between the TV and the Internet was a consistent forward-looking theme in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Many experts say consumer electronics manufacturers are on the verge of bridging the formidable gap between the TV and Web.

Creating this on-demand available-everywhere access to premium content is going to be very attractive to consumers, said Robert Jacobs, senior manager at Sony Electronics, as reported by the New York Times.

Analysts say the news may put pressure on Blockbuster Inc. to ready previously announced plans to re-launch download movie service Movielink. The Dallas-based rental company has said it intended to incorporate the service into a revamped Web site, among other venues.

Edward Woo, media analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, said he had expected Blockbuster to make an announcement during the second quarter. The recent developments, he said, could expedite matters.

It's now past the second quarter, so maybe soon, Woo said.

A Blockbuster representative was not immediately available for comment.

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post #89 of 577 Old 07-27-2008, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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CBS goes high-def online, gets more TV viewers

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CBS is embracing online video even more. This week is launched the CBS HD Gallery, offering high-def clips and full episodes of shows including CSI, Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and The Big Bang Theory.

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post #90 of 577 Old 08-01-2008, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Netflix Partners With LG to Bring Movies Straight to TV

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SAN FRANCISCO Netflix, the DVD-by-mail company with more than seven million customers, has a new strategy that may one day make those red envelopes obsolete.

The company wants to strike deals with electronics companies that will let it send movies straight to TV screens over the Internet. Its first partnership, announced Wednesday night, is with the South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics to stream movies and other programming to LG's high-definition televisions.

The partnership will extend a novel feature from Netflix, announced a year ago, that allows paying subscribers to watch any of 6,000 movies and television shows on its Web site free. But that service can be accessed only with a personal computer.

Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, said he hoped to strike other such deals and that Netflix would soon be viewed as a movie channel that might appear on myriad devices.

We want to be integrated on every Internet-connected device, game system, high-definition DVD player and dedicated Internet set-top box, he said. Eventually, as TVs have wireless connectivity built into them, we'll integrate right into the television.

The move could help transform Netflix from a successful company with a cumbersome dependence on physical media and the Postal Service into an important player in a rapidly emerging digital media landscape.

That landscape has recently been characterized by a frenzy of experimentation, as technology and media companies try to figure out how to bring the unlimited media choices of the Internet to the traditionally restricted confines of the television.

The players include cable, satellite and telephone companies. Newer entrants include Amazon.com, which lets customers buy movies over its Unbox service and download them to their TiVo boxes. Wal-Mart, which experimented with movie downloads on its Web site, pulled the plug on the service last month when Hewlett-Packard, its partner in the project, stopped supporting the technology.

Then there is the digital media heavyweight Apple. At the annual Macworld expo opening on Jan. 15, the company plans to announce a deal to allow users of its iTunes service to rent films from some Hollywood studios and watch them on their computers and iPods.

Richard Doherty, research director of the Envisioneering Group, a market research firm, said Netflix's model had the virtue of being free to existing subscribers and relatively easy for consumers to understand. You're already a subscriber and you don't pay anything extra. That's called a slam dunk in most businesses we follow, Mr. Doherty said.

The companies said LG products with Netflix's movie service would begin shipping in the second half of this year. They did not say which devices would have it.

Mr. Doherty, who was briefed on the Netflix announcement and LG's other plans to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, said LG could integrate the Netflix service into a future version of its dual-mode HD DVD/Blu-ray DVD player, which now sells for $799, and a new line of high-definition TVs with wireless connections to the Internet, among other products.

...

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