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Latest Video Download Services & Hardware News - Page 6

post #151 of 577
Mike, thank you for the continuous updates on DDs. I think things are about to get interesting.
post #152 of 577
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hidefny View Post

Mike, thank you for the continuous updates on DDs. I think things are about to get interesting.

Please return your seatbacks and tray tables to their upright and locked positions...We could be in for a bumpy ride.

SD cards to be one focus at CES
Toshiba expected to showcase new line of products


DEC. 31 | Forget DVD burning. At CES next week, consumer electronics companies are expected to turn instead to SD cards, the same as those used to store photos on digital cameras, as a way for consumers to easily download and save digital movies and music for playback on everything from portable video players to TVs.

The idea is that consumers could download movies or music to the cards at home or through retail kiosks and then play the content on any device with an SD card slot.

Toshiba is expected to show off a prototype line of devices with SD slots, while other consumer electronics manufacturers are expected to include the slots in more of their set-top and portable players.

Already a feature on some TVs and set-top players, SD slots are an inexpensive add-on for manufacturers and a cheap storage device for consumers, MOD Systems CEO Mark Phillips said.

In September, MOD announced a partnership with Toshiba and ATM-company NCR to launch new kiosks that offer digital downloads to SD cards.

Phillips expects to see more SD slots in HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, digital video recorder boxes, cell phones and portable devices at this year's show. He notes that even Blockbuster's new 2wire set-top box includes an SD slot.

Competitor Polar Frog Digital reinvented its kiosks in the fall to offer download to SD and micro SD cards and to USB devices. Polar Frog has plans to roll out kiosks to 200 universities, where they will target a consumer base that regularly uses iPods and mobile phones to watch digital video.

Nonetheless, Polar Frog president Todd Rosenbaum isn't as bullish about the future of SD cards as a home entertainment format, believing DVD burning will be more popular because most people already have a player.

I don't see people taking a card out of their Blackberry to download a movie, he said.

Both companies are hopeful that virtual movie inventories stored in kiosks will be more appealing to retailers looking to save money and space in a down economy, finally kick-starting their businesses.

A vast virtual inventory, that's the Holy Grail for retailers, Phillips said

SD Cards vs. DVD burning... Why not both?
post #153 of 577
Thread Starter 
LG Electronics First to Unveil 'Broadband HDTVs' That Instantly Stream Movies
From Netflix


Netflix Members Can Instantly Watch Movies Directly On New LG Plasma and LCD HDTVs

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and LOS GATOS, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- LG Electronics today extended its groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), as the two companies announced the first broadband- enabled HDTVs with Netflix streaming software embedded directly in the TV, requiring no external device. LG's new LCD and plasma "Broadband HDTVs" will display the growing library of movies, TV episodes and high-definition (HD) content that Netflix members can watch instantly directly on the TV with Ethernet connectivity.

Available this spring, the new LCD and plasma HDTVs will join the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, the first Blu-ray disc player to stream movies instantly from Netflix. These products - and five new models of Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems planned for 2009 - will offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes instantly from Netflix. Netflix members owning one or more of the devices pay as little as $8.99 per month for unlimited instant streaming and unlimited DVDs from a catalog of more than 100,000 DVD titles in more than 200 genres.

LG Electronics and Netflix will demonstrate these broadband HDTVs this week at the 2009 CES(R), Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

"Embedding the Netflix streaming software in the television is a natural progression of our partnership with Netflix and our innovative product line," said LG Electronics USA President Teddy Hwang. "This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV."

"LG Electronics was first to embrace Netflix as a streaming partner a year ago, and was first in 2008 to introduce a Blu-ray disc player that streams movies from Netflix," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "So it's fitting that LG is the first to introduce Netflix instant streaming directly to the TV with these next-generation HDTVs."

Netflix began offering its instant streaming functionality on the PC in January 2007 and made the leap to the TV last year via Netflix ready devices such as the LG BD300 Blu-ray disc player. With today's announcement, Netflix will be streaming, for the first time, directly to the TV with no external device required.

Instantly streaming content from Netflix to the LG HDTVs will rely on a broadband connection and Queue-based user interface. Netflix members will use the Netflix Web site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will automatically be displayed on members' TVs and available to watch instantly through the HDTV. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. With the accompanying remote control, Netflix members will be able to browse and make selections right on the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies. In addition, they will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream.

"The partnership between Netflix and LG Electronics continues to give consumers more and better options for home entertainment," said Hastings.
post #154 of 577
Thread Starter 
Amazon to stream content through Roku box


Amazon.com will make its digital movie and TV titles available for streaming directly to TV sets after reaching an agreement with set-top box maker Roku.

Amazon's 40,000 video-on-demand titles will be available to be streamed on the $99 Roku Digital Video Player, the same box that already streams Netflix content, in "early 2009," the companies said in a statement today. Amazon's sell-through streaming titles will be available the same day they're released on DVD.

Along with companies such as Netflix and Blockbuster, Amazon has been aggressive at trying to attract their customers to its digital delivery service. Last July, Amazon replaced its Unbox video-download service with a video-on-demand service that allows customers to stream TV and movie content in an effort to continue to build media revenue.

Amazon doesn't disclose sales from its digital titles.

The company also has an agreement with Sony in which owners of the TV maker's Bravia HDTV sets can buy a component allowing direct-to-TV downloads, and offers downloads through TiVo digital video recorders.

"Customers can now choose and watch their favorite new-release movie instantly and access all of their titles from their video library," said Roy Price, director of Amazon Video On Demand. "Amazon Video On Demand's large selection makes the Roku Player the perfect choice for hassle-free on demand movie and TV entertainment."
post #155 of 577
It would be nice if Amazon had some HD content, but everything from Amazon is only SD.
post #156 of 577
Thread Starter 
Broadcom To Pack Adobe's Flash Into TV Chips


Consumers with broadband Internet access increasingly enjoy viewing the wide array of video content available to them and it is clear that they want to watch their favorite online video content on their televisions for the best viewing experience, said Dan Marotta, senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. By integrating Adobe Flash support in our latest portfolio of digital television and set-top box solutions, Broadcom will pave the way for an exciting new entertainment experience in the home.

Intel, Adobe to tune up Flash for TV devices


A Flash-CE 3100 combo would give consumers a better viewing experience of Web-based and other videos via digital TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, cable set-top boxes, and audiovisual devices, the companies said.

"Our effort with Adobe is poised to accelerate a rich yet relevant Internet experience on the TV that will provide consumers with access to a growing number of Flash-based applications that will ultimately be enjoyed across a number of screens seamlessly, from the laptop to a MID and now the TV," William O. Leszinske Jr., general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group, said in a statement.
post #157 of 577
Thread Starter 
2Wire® Selects Broadcom's Chipset to Power Its MediaPoint Digital Media Player


Broadcom® BCM7405 Enables the Delivery of On-Demand Internet Content and Personal Media to the TV

LAS VEGAS, Jan 06, 2009 -- 2009 International CES -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced that its BCM7405 digital set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution has been selected by 2Wire, a provider of integrated broadband solutions, to power its new MediaPoint digital media player. The MediaPoint player enables service providers to quickly provide their customers with entertainment offerings delivered directly to their TVs, including movies, video, music and other on-demand Web-based media content, as well as personal music and video content.

In November 2008, 2Wire and Blockbuster Inc. announced that the 2Wire® MediaPoint player would be utilized to provide movie fans with instant access to BLOCKBUSTER® ONDEMAND content, including thousands of titles from the latest movie releases to classic favorites.

"The MediaPoint digital player, featuring BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND, is entertainment made easy. We are bringing Blockbuster, and the thousands of movies in our digital library, straight to customers' televisions," said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster chairman and CEO. "The player is simple to use, delivers DVD quality video, and there's no monthly subscription commitment. We are delighted to bring consumers this great entertainment product."

2Wire is leveraging the capabilities of the BCM7405 STB SoC to further enhance the performance of the MediaPoint broadband entertainment solution to meet next generation service provider requirements and provide a cost effective means to deliver on-demand Internet content and personal media directly to the TV. At this week's International Consumer Electronics Show, Broadcom is demonstrating the capabilities of its BCM7405 on the 2Wire MediaPoint digital media player, accelerating the delivery of entertainment services that bridge the television and Internet together.

"MediaPoint services, enabled by the Broadcom BCM7405, create a new way to access multimedia entertainment content on the television, using any broadband connection," said Jonathan Symonds, Vice President of Product Marketing at 2Wire. "The MediaPoint player lets users seamlessly browse, download and view high quality video and movies, easily discover music stored anywhere on the network and listen to it through the home entertainment system, upload, view and share photos, and access personal networked media content on their TVs."

"The 2Wire MediaPoint player underscores our commitment to enhancing the consumer entertainment experience in the home," said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. "Powered by the BCM7405, the MediaPoint solution gives users the ability to watch movies, video and other on-demand Web-based media content directly on the TV, while allowing service providers to enable customized Web-based services, from online radio to legal music downloading and even photo sharing services."
post #158 of 577
Thread Starter 
Panasonic Blu-ray players add Amazon VOD

JAN. 7 | Panasonic is adding several twists to its 2009 slate of Blu-ray Disc set-top players, including Amazon Video On Demand streaming, portability andin one of the stranger announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this weekVHS playback capabilities.

Panasonic's four new BD Live-enabled players will all come equipped with the manufacturer's branded Viera Cast Web connectivity technology, which will offer streaming content from Amazon's VOD service for the first time. Other available Web programming will come from YouTube, Google's Picasa Web Album, Bloomberg and a weather channel, which have been featured within certain Panasonic Viera Cast TV models launched last year.
post #159 of 577
Thread Starter 
Sony builds Web connection in TVs


CES: Video streaming will no longer require additional accessory

By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 1/7/2009
JAN. 7 | Sony Electronics has added built-in Web connectivity for the first time with its new XBR9 and Z-series TV models, matching other manufacturers’ drive to enhance products with easier Internet accessibility.

These TVs will offer automatic streaming programming from Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube and Yahoo, among other Web services through an integrated Bravia Internet Video Link. Previously, Sony offered the Bravia Link for its TVs as a separate accessory, which was sold for a few hundred dollars.

Amazon VOD represents one of the latest content services Sony has added to its Bravia Link stable in September 2008.
CES: Video streaming will no longer require additional accessory
By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 1/7/2009
JAN. 7 | Sony Electronics has added built-in Web connectivity for the first time with its new XBR9 and Z-series TV models, matching other manufacturers’ drive to enhance products with easier Internet accessibility.

These TVs will offer automatic streaming programming from Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube and Yahoo, among other Web services through an integrated Bravia Internet Video Link. Previously, Sony offered the Bravia Link for its TVs as a separate accessory, which was sold for a few hundred dollars.

Amazon VOD represents one of the latest content services Sony has added to its Bravia Link stable in September 2008.

Other companies announcing Web enhancements at CES are Samsung with its first wireless Blu-ray players and Panasonic with the addition of Amazon VOD to its Viera Cast line of TVs and Blu-ray players.

“Internet-based content is driving the evolution of home entertainment,” said Randy Waynick, senior VP of Sony Electronics’ Home Products Division. “Our new networked Bravia models deliver streaming videos, access to digital files and real-time information that transforms the TV into a true multi-media hub.”
post #160 of 577
Thread Starter 
Netgear Unveils Verismo-Based TV Set-Top Box


Netgear announced its new Internet TV Player, the ITV2000, set-top box at CES today. Based on Verismo's VuNow, the compact box lets users watch live Internet television programming from around the world, check out web video and access premium content. From the press release:

[F]or the Internet families who enjoy online video, and for those who are geographically displaced from their preferred television content, such as international sporting events and Bollywood productions. It streams content from popular sites such as BBC.com, CNN.com, ESPN.com, EuroSport.com, NBC.com, PGATour and TMZ.com, as well as video powerhouses YouTube, Google Videos, Yahoo Videos and MetaCafe. NETGEAR's Internet TV Player supports streaming of live TV broadcasts from Internet sites around the world, and premium, paid movies on demand such as CinemaNow.com, in addition to downloaded videos from sites such as **********.

The ITV2000 plugs into your TV and does not require a PC to work. To give you a sense of the functionality, here's a video demo Liz did of the Verismo box in action last year.

The box can connect to your home network wirelessly or via Ethernet, and you can access your own media like music and video by connecting a USB device into the ITV2000 or by accessing media stored on Netgear ReadyNAS storage products.

The ITV2000 will be available this summer, priced at $199.
post #161 of 577
Thread Starter 
SDXC Signals New Generation of Removable Memory With up to 2 Terabytes of Storage


LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- CES Booth South 3 #31277 -- The next-generation SDXC (eXtended Capacity) memory card specification, announced today at the 2009 International CES, dramatically improves consumers' digital lifestyles by providing the portable storage and speed needed to store weeks of high-definition video, years of photo collections and months of music to mobile phones, cameras and camcorders, and other consumer electronic devices. The new SDXC specification provides up to 2 terabytes storage capacity and accelerates SD interface read/write speeds to 104 megabytes per second this year, with a road map to 300 megabytes per second.

The SDXC specification, developed by the SD Association, leapfrogs memory card interface speeds while retaining the world-leading SD interface. Specifications for the open standard will be released in the first quarter of 2009. SDHC, Embedded SD and SDIO specifications will also benefit from the new SD interface speeds.

"SDXC combines a higher capacity roadmap with faster transfer speeds as a means to exploit NAND flash memory technology as a compelling choice for portable memory storage and interoperability," said Joseph Unsworth, research director, NAND Flash Semiconductors, at Gartner. "With industry support, SDXC presents manufacturers with the opportunity to kindle consumer demand for more advanced handset features and functionality in consumer electronics behind the ubiquitous SD interface."

Turning mobile phones into media centers

SDXC allows users to enjoy more from their mobile phones. Larger capacity and faster transfer speeds allow for expanded entertainment and data storage. A 2TB SDXC memory card can store 100 HD movies, 60 hours of HD recording or 17,000 fine-grade photos.

"With SDXC, consumers can quickly download higher quality content to their phones, including games, video and music -- giving consumers a richer media and content experience," said James Taylor, president of the SD Association. "The SD interface already has proven itself valuable in mobile phones. Now, SDXC memory card capabilities will spur further handset sophistication and boost consumer content demand."

Shooting pictures at the speed of life

SDXC is also the first memory card specification to provide 2TB storage without hindering the high-speed performance necessary for high-end photography. It will provide maximum speeds even when the SDXC specification achieves its maximum 2TB storage capacity.

"SDXC is a large-capacity card that can store more than 4,000 RAW images, which is the uncompressed mode professionals use, and 17,000 of the fine-mode most consumers use. That capacity, combined with the exFAT file system, increases movie recording time and reduces starting time to improve photo-capturing opportunities," said Shigeto Kanda, general manager at Canon. "Improvements in interface speed allow further increases in continuous shooting speed and higher resolution movie recordings. As a memory card well suited to small-sized user-friendly digital cameras, the SDXC specification will help consumers realize the full potential of our cameras."

SDXC will enable camcorders to provide longer, professional level HD video recording with a small form factor.

The SDXC specification uses Microsoft's exFAT file system to support its large capacity and interoperability in a broad range of PCs, consumer electronics and mobile phones. The exFAT system was designed for increased compatibility with flash media, from portability of data to interoperability with multiple platforms and devices on removable media.

"The SD Association is committed to answering and anticipating consumer demand for easy-to-use memory card storage that is interoperable in any device with a matching SD slot," Taylor said. "The SDXC card gives consumers a new, yet familiar, high-performance card that will be used in hundreds of manufacturers' device offerings."
post #162 of 577
Thread Starter 
Netflix, Vizio to stream films to high-def TVs


LOS ANGELES, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Online DVD rental company Netflix Inc said on Wednesday it reached a deal for viewers to watch movies from Netflix on Vizio high definition televisions through Vizio's 'Connected HDTV' Platform.

This follows an announcement earlier this week that new LG Electronics Inc TV sets will soon screen Netflix (nasdaq: NFLX - news - people ) movies directly from the Web without an external device.
post #163 of 577
Thread Starter 
MOD Systems Signs Warner Brothers and Paramount Digital Entertainment


2009 International CES

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MOD Systems, an industry-leading provider of digital media delivery systems for retailers, today announced it has signed the first major U.S. studio agreements to distribute digital video from Warner Brothers and Paramount Digital Entertainment via downloads to SD cards in retail stores. The agreements enable MOD Systems to offer physical retailers a vast digital inventory of standard definition titles, including new releases, and make titles available to consumers in conjunction with availability from leading online providers.

MOD Systems offers a new avenue for consumers looking to access Paramount Pictures movies on-the-go, with a solution that is quick, convenient and compatible across a wide range of devices, said Alex Carloss, executive vice president, digital distribution, Paramount Digital Entertainment.

MOD Systems' growing digital entertainment catalog for retailers includes nearly 4,000 titles from major studios as well as independents such as Anchor Bay Entertainment, First Look Studios, and Image Entertainment. The catalog also includes nearly 4 million music tracks.

The catalog is part of the MOD Retail Enterprise System, which handles all aspects of securing, ingesting, and fulfilling digital content in retail stores. With digital distribution, retailers are empowered to fill customer needs at the point of sale through download to a device or SD card. This approach eliminates the need to order, stock, or return traditional pre-packaged media.

We're excited to work with Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures to provide retailers with a digital video solution, said Mark E. Phillips, CEO of MOD Systems. These agreements validate our commitment to be at the forefront of developing solutions that offer rights management, interoperability, and content protection. Digital downloads to SD cards via interactive kiosks from our partner NCR give retailers a new way to increase content and device sales and ultimately better compete.
post #164 of 577
Thread Starter 
Panasonic plans 64GB SD card


SD memory cards are due for a serious capacity boost this year with the arrival of a new format dubbed SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity).

This next-generation of SD technology will be capable of storing up to 2 Terabytes of data.

According to the SD Card Association, the SDXC standard will be released in the next few months, increasing the storage capacity of SD cards from 32GB up to 2TB.

Massive storage, incredible speeds

SD read/write speeds will also get a turbocharge, soaring from SDHC's 6MB per second to 104MB per second at launch. The SDXC roadmap ultimately calls for 300MB per second transfer speeds.

Panasonic certainly believes in the specification. "Panasonic supports the announcement and development of the SDXC standard," said a spokesperson, "and plans to launch a 64GB massive capacity SDXC Memory Card, which will have more capacity than the currently available 50GB dual layer Blu-ray Disc."

To put things in perspective, a 2TB SDXC memory card could store 100 HD movies, 60 hours of HD recordings or 17,000 high-quality photos. An early nail in the Blu-ray coffin, perhaps?

Pricing and availability for Panasonic's SDXC Memory Cards are currently under wraps. Expect more information later this year.
post #165 of 577
Warner Brothers and Paramount Digital Entertainment sign up for movie delivery to SD cards

post #166 of 577
Thread Starter 
Blockbuster ramping up in VOD space


Taking a page from Netflix, Blockbuster is set to announce today a partnership with Sonic Solutions for building VOD capabilities into a variety of consumer electronics devices.

Without naming names, Blockbuster said that it expects the partnership's VOD technology to be built into DVRs, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, mobile phones, Internet-connected television sets and other devices.

Blockbuster already has deals in place for a digital movie service with 2Wire and Vizio TV, while Sonic has done likewise with LG, Archos, Samsung and others. Blockbuster also owns Movielink, and that Internet-based VOD service has been integrated into Blockbuster.com.

Sonic, parent company of CinemaNow, will power the content-delivery system, while Blockbuster supplies the branded consumer interfaces.

Blockbuster has been playing catch-up to Netflix in this arena, with the latter having struck deals for putting VOD capabilities into TiVo boxes, Xbox game consoles, Blu-ray players and other devices.

Unlike Netflix, which has no brick-and-mortar retail presence, Blockbuster intends on selling the electronic gadgets that are built to play the VOD content provided through the Blockbuster-Sonic partnership at many of its 7,500 stores.

Similar to Netflix, Blockbuster has 90,000 DVD titles available through its DVD-by-mail service, though only 10,000 are available for digital delivery.
post #167 of 577
Thread Starter 
Netflix Survey: Would You Pay an Additional $9.99 Per Month for HBO Shows?


Netflix sent out a survey to customers asking if they would be willing to pay an additional $9.99 per month for HBO shows. Netflix already has more than 700,000 customers paying an extra $1 per month for Blu-ray titles, so they're already setup to collect the fee. Could HBO use another million or two subscribers via Netflix?

Here's a screen capture of the survey:

Would you pay an additional $9.99 for HBO shows such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Entourage, Big Love, and movies such as Jumper, Gladiator, and I am Legend?
post #168 of 577
Thread Starter 
Epix Eyes May Launch As Broadband Portal


Las Vegas The Paramount Pictures/MGM/Lionsgate cable and broadband venture now has a name, Epix, and launch dates: May for the broadband portal and October for the linear cable channel.But will it be a pay service, as originally touted?

Mark Greenberg, president of the joint venture, Studio 3 Networks, said operators will be given wide latitude to perhaps launch Epix on the digital tier to give access to HD content to a wider viewing pool. One won't see the channel on lifeline basic, he clarified, as that won't fit the business model. But operators will have broad flexibility in placing the channel in a way to boost satisfaction on high-definition content. And he explained the name, ending with x, is meant to signify cross-platform.

Greenberg had no affiliations to announce to reporters at the NATPE conference. He compared the difficulty of launching the new service to that of the regional sports cabler, Big 10 Network. Critics said there was no room for another sports network, adding there was already too much football on TV, but four weeks before launch, the channel had many affiliation agreements in place. He said epix should have agreements to announce about a month before launch.

Viewers will be able to view content from the theatrical vaults of the partner studios on a pay-per-view basis before the channel launch, but that is not the long-term business plan. The studios want cable subscribers to view, after they are authenticated as cable subscribers, content online with DVD-like extras, such as script notes or audition tapes, he said.

The studios will also give their channel an advantageous release window: content from those studios will appear nine months after their theatrical window. Competing pay channels, for instance, offer theatricals 10 to 11 months after their theatrical windows.

At launch, viewers will have immediate access to films including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Cloverfield, Defiance, Drillbit Taylor, The Duchess, How She Move, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man. The channel will also have the rights to all 17 remastered James Bond movies as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The studios have expiring content deals with Showtime Networks, but they and the pay service were unable to reach a future licensing agreement, leading to the creation of Epix. CBS-owned Showtime reportedly wanted to pay less than it has in the past for theatrical releases.

Greenberg was also excited with nuggets from the archives of the participating studios. For instance, epix will offer a 1960s CBS series Ian Fleming series, in which "Jimmy Bond" was a CIA agent. Other Bond-like programming includes Woody Allen's Bond spoof of Casino Royale.

Just as other channels are creating original programming to solidify their brands, Epix will also feature original content. Greenberg predicted the channel will introduce one or two new originals in the channel's first years. Originals could be comedy or events, too, he said. But the sports veteran said sports are not likely on the channel.
post #169 of 577

Broadband Reports has learned that Charter will be updating their acceptable use policy (AUP) next week, setting the stage for clear usage caps and potential overage fees. A source familiar with the plans tells us Charter will be imposing a 100GB cap upon any Charter connection of 15Mbps or less, and a 250GB usage cap for broadband tiers "over 15 Mbps up to 25 Mbps." Documents shared with Broadband Reports make no mention of Charter's new 60Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 tier, which was launched last week in one market.


It's an idea being toyed with by several carriers; AT&T and Time Warner Cable are both currently conducting trials that charge users up to $1.00 per gigabyte. The idea appeals to investors who like the additional revenue, but it also allows carriers to monetize and/or control alternative video delivery.

post #170 of 577
post #171 of 577
Thread Starter 
Wall Street Journal:

Internet Killed the Video Star


It may be an entertainment company CEO's worst nightmare: waking up, looking in the mirror and seeing a music-company CEO.

That day may be here sooner than anyone in Hollywood would want to believe. Straws in the wind in recent weeks suggest that the recession may be accelerating a structural change toward free or low-cost Web video -- either television or movies -- and away from traditional delivery methods, such as cable TV or DVDs.

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt on Wednesday warned that with more TV content being put on the Web, "we are starting to see the beginnings of cord cutting where people, particularly young people, are saying, 'All I need is broadband. I don't need video.'" Such a shift would endanger cable-network revenue, he said. But it would also eventually hurt the studios that supply the programming.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger on Tuesday night had to explain a 64% drop in studio operating income in the December quarter caused by lower DVD sales. He said the DVD business may be suffering more than just a cyclical downturn. Increasing consumer choices, including videos available in many different outlets, may have a long-term impact on the DVD business, he said.

Indeed, Netflix last week said its "instant-watch" online service, which lets mail-order subscribers stream TV shows or movies, is being used in "ever greater numbers."

Major studios generate about 75% of their nearly $19 billion in annual U.S. feature-film revenue, post-theater, from sources like DVDs and TV sales, estimates Adams Media Research. Cable networks often generate more than half of their revenue from fees paid by cable and satellite operators. Both these pots of money are at risk.

Admittedly, the media companies control the content and can choose to pull it back from the Web or to raise the price they charge online services for their content. But they also need to respond to consumers' demands, by putting more content online. After all, the music industry tried to hold back the online flood and was almost drowned in the process.

So how should the industry respond? By continuing to embrace the Web, rather than retreating. Some executives at Time Warner Cable have floated the idea of limiting access to online TV-network video only to those who subscribe to cable-TV video packages. So far, the idea hasn't gained momentum, which is fortunate. Given the amount of content already on the Web, it isn't likely to work.

Instead, the media companies need to rethink how they operate. Mr. Iger seems to have the right idea. He outlined plans to cut costs in Disney's home-video business and to be choosier about movies that get made.

What they can't do is ignore reality. To misquote Stephen Stills, there's something happening here and what it is, is increasingly clear.
post #172 of 577
Thread Starter 
From Reuters:

Netflix says 1 million Xbox members use movie service


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Online DVD company Netflix said on Thursday that one million Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console users have activated Netflix's movie streaming service in the past three months since the two companies formed a partnership.

Netflix said the Xbox LIVE community has watched 1.5 billion minutes of movies and TV episodes through its Watch Instantly video service, but did not say how many subscribers it has actually gained from the partnership.

Netflix, best known for renting DVDs by mail, is the only company offering a subscription-based streaming video service as other rivals like Amazon.com, Apple, and Blockbuster compete with a la carte, pay-per-view rentals.

Analysts have been watching for data on the alliance as an important gauge of the emerging market for movies delivered over the Web, particularly as traditional media companies like Walt Disney this week have reported declining DVD sales and said the traditional business for delivering home video needs to be revised.

Netflix last month said its stronger-than-expected quarterly results were propelled by growth in its Web video streaming service and that streaming was "energizing" its growth.

Netflix has offered the Watch Instantly streaming service for over two years, but it was originally only available on PCs. It has since offered streaming Netflix video from the Internet through various devices, including the Roku settop boxes, the Xbox, LG Electronics products and others.

The Netflix application offers Xbox LIVE Gold members, who pay $50 a year to Microsoft for various different applications, the ability to instantly view content from Netflix on a TV via the Xbox 360 system if they are also members of Netflix service, priced at around $9 per month to include Watch Instantly unlimited streaming.

Netflix's library of about 12,000 titles for instant viewing includes mostly older Hollywood titles as major movie studios have resisted making new releases available digitally for subscription services.

Netflix offers newer titles on DVD or high-definition Blu-ray Disc through its mail-order service, through a library of more than 100,000 titles.
post #173 of 577
Count me as one who came back to Netflix strictly because of the video streaming and also being available on my Xboxes and my TiVos.
If I needed to buy a box specifically for access to the streaming content I would have never come back to Netflix.
post #174 of 577

Universal, Fox, Summit shut VOD-DVD window

post #175 of 577

What are they talking about with the references to "window"????

Apparantly, you have to know their industry jargon.
post #176 of 577
Originally Posted by JimP View Post


What are they talking about with the references to "window"????

Apparantly, you have to know their industry jargon.

The timing of when a movie becomes available for viewing. The first window for example is theaterical. The last one is on free TV. All others in between.

Traditionally, digital downloads were in a window (release time) after DVD which didn't leave a whole lot of people who were interested in the movie as they would have had ample opportunity to view it other ways. This is what is changing.

Release windows have been key to movie industries' profits. The sell the same property multiple times based on when it is available for viewing (windows).
post #177 of 577
The studio brain trust seems to be focused on eventually renting movies at the same time they are in the theater. Currently they are begging the FCC for permission to force people to buy new TV's to make this work. Currently they are just focused on cable and Satellite delivery but it would definitely expand to downloads as well.

Sony takes up HD-blocking Selectable Output Control fight
post #178 of 577
Thread Starter 
CNN: More US Consumers Drop Cable, DVDs As Content Moves Online

SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- For an idea of what's vexing U.S. entertainment industry executives these days, take a look at how Todd Mundt in Louisville, Ky., watches television and movies.

Eager to save money, the public radio station employee canceled his cable- television subscription, opting instead to get his favorite shows from a host of free streaming video sites, including Hulu.com, a joint venture of General Electric Co.'s (GE) NBC Universal and News Corp. (NWS). Rather than rent DVDs from Blockbuster Inc. (BBI), Mundt streams movies from Netflix Inc. (NFLX), a cheap and convenient substitute.

Mundt estimates he's saving at least $50 a month by getting his entertainment over the broadband connection he would pay for anyway just to have access to the Web. His prowess at finding entertainment online has also made him the envy of friends and colleagues.

"A lot of my friends take a look at my setup and say, 'Cool, how do I do that? '" Mundt said.

Mundt is one of a growing tide of consumers that over the last year or so have begun cutting their cable television subscriptions and shunning DVDs as more content becomes available online and faster broadband connections reach more parts of the country. Now, with the economy in a tailspin and consumers pinching budgets, the trend is picking up speed even though high-definition offerings and live events are still hard to come by.

No one knows how many people have cut their cable subscriptions, though some estimates have put the figure at about 1.1 million, or 1% of U.S. households with televisions. But already the trend is being blamed for shrinking performances at entertainment giants like Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC). Both companies blamed slipping revenue in part on the trend at earnings conferences last week.

DVD sales have also been hit. The Los Angeles-based Digital Entertainment Group estimates DVD sales in 2008 fell 8% to $21.6 billion from a year earlier, while DVD rentals were flat.

Cable and satellite television operators, who rely on subscription-based TV for about half of their revenue, are likely to be the biggest losers from the trend.

"People, particularly young people, are saying all I need is broadband," Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Glenn Britt said recently. "The danger here is...people will choose not to buy subscription video."

Internet delivered movies also threatens to undermine the $14 billion in revenue that movie studios generate by distributing their titles on DVDs. That's because many consumers are asking themselves why they should buy a disc when the same movies are available over the Internet, often at a big discount or for free.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is among the major U.S. studios to take notice. Disney said its studio revenues were down 26% last quarter and earnings before items were off 62% because of a soft DVD market driven in part by people accessing entertainment online. Already the shift has prompted Disney to shrink its home- video business.

"Consumer choice grows, we all know this to be true," Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said recently. "This clearly has had an impact on broadcast television and may have a long-term potential impact on the DVD business."

Not all companies will suffer and already potential winners are starting to emerge.

Netflix, the online DVD rental and movie streaming company is a favorite among converts to online entertainment. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company offers unlimited movie streaming from its 12,000 title catalogue for just $9 a month.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), both of which operate successful online streaming services, are also already benefitting, as is software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). In the past three months, owners of Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles have bought packages that let them stream Netflix titles over their game machines and have watched 1.5 billion minutes of programming over that period.

Makers of hardware that connect Internet connections to television sets are also expected to see a booming business. While it doesn't disclose numbers, sales of Netflix's Roku device are thought to be soaring. Meanwhile, sales of Apple's Apple TV unit sales tripled in its last complete fiscal quarter.

Free video Web sites are also winners, though their payoff is muted because most rely on advertising revenues, which have fallen with the recession. Hulu is among the upstarts offering free, higher quality videos like NBC's "Office".

Meanwhile, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) YouTube, and Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO) video Web site have seen increased use as well, according to a January report by comScore.
post #179 of 577
I see VUDU has permanently cut their prices in half for their boxes.

post #180 of 577
More indepth article about Universal, Fox and Summit releasing titles day/date on VOD.

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