Month: January 2011

FCC Opens Up the Space Between

January 31, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last Wednesday, the FCC issued an order that names nine companies as the joint administrators of a database that will govern the use of an unlicensed section of the broadcast spectrum known as "white space". These are the frequencies between television channels in a given regional area. Not all channels are assigned in a given market, so those frequencies are available for other uses locally. The problem is that you...

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Sharp Goes for Elite Line

January 28, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Pioneer made top-of-the-line plasma HDTVs when it exited the television business. It was known for its Elite brand, which was sold through professional AV retailers. Sharp has now decided to resurrect the brand and license it for its own LCD HDTVs. Pioneer will still use the brand on its home theater products and Blu-ray players. Presumably, Sharp has access to the Elite brand name in part because it owns a...

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TV Panel Prices Continue to Fall

January 27, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
In the latest PriceWise report, DisplaySearch reports that large LCD television panels dropped another 1% to 2% for the wholesale price across a wide range of sizes in January. Some of the biggest movement was at the 42" size, with the typical panel dropping from $245 to $240. A 120Hz LED edge-lit 42" panel also dropped $5 from $335 to $330. Apparently, December sales did not measure up to expectations,...

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People Won’t Pay for Content, Right?

January 26, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Ah, the wonder that is the Internet, where you have access to all the content in the world, and it's free. And for those parts that aren't free, they should be free, right? That seems to be the attitude of a lot of people, and I agree that there is a lot of good and generous work that has been done in the spirit of free content on the Internet....

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Microsoft Sues TiVo; So What?

January 25, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The story is breaking that Microsoft has sued TiVo for alleged patent infringements. What fascinates me is that so many industry pundits are ready to jump in with an explanation of the suit and its implications for the two companies and their markets. Here's what I think we know for sure about this lawsuit: We'll probably never know the story behind it. I checked in with a couple of my...

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Roku Adds Live Channel

January 24, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Roku is one of the network media players that lets you turn your HDTV into a "Smart TV" by adding an Internet connection. In general, this means that you can access streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The company has announced that it will start carrying its first "linear" channel of programming: WealthTV. Instead of on-demand programming of existing episodes and movies, the WealthTV channel will stream its...

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Mobile Video Taking Up Bandwidth

January 21, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Do you watch video on your smartphone? The odds are good that you don't. A study released by Bytemobile shows that only about 10% of users were responsible for 90% of the total mobile network traffic in 2010. And of this total traffic, 40% is video. The company forecasts that video will grow to be 60% of mobile traffic this year, as people start watching longer video -- TV episodes...

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Retransmission Wars Avoided… This Time

January 20, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Good news! Broadcaster Sinclair and Time Warner Cable have worked out an agreement on retransmission, at least in general terms, and will extend the agreement that expired December 31st until February 21st, to give the two sides time to finalize the details. Sinclair did not pull any of its programming from the cable service during the dispute. In December, the Hearst Corp. managed to reach settle retransmission agreements with DirecTV...

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Comcast Gets NBC-U Approval

January 19, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The FCC and the Justice Department have given their approval to Comcast's take-over of NBC Universal, which it is buying from GE. The nation's largest cable company will now have control of a major Hollywood studio (and all that goes with that), providing it with unprecendent vertical integration. The FCC tacked on a few conditions with its blessing, ranging from more programming in Spanish to adding 1,000 hours of local...

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Netflix Limits Access to DVD Queue

January 18, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Bottom line: Netflix really wants out of the physical DVD business. And the company is doing its best to hasten its exit. It has been widely reported that the company's director of product management, Jamie Odell, announced that subscribers will no longer be able to add DVD titles to their queue using network media players, connected TVs and Blu-ray players, or mobile devices. If you want to add a title...

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