Month: February 2012

Beam Me Up, Samsung!

February 29, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Samsung has announced the Galaxy Beam, a new Android smartphone with a difference. In addition to all the features you'd expect to find in a computerized phone for your pocket, it has one additional attraction. The phone includes a 15 lumen projector, built right in. No, this isn't a high-definition display, but the way things are progressing it may not take long to reach that. It's only standard definition (not...

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Comcast Dips Its Toe in the Streampix

February 28, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The writing on the wall of every pay-TV headquarters is "Evolve now or die!" Some companies appear to reading this with more clarity than others, and there also seems to be a difference of opinion on what the term "Now!" means. The latest move in this attempt to switch from gills to breathing air comes from the largest cable company in the country. Last week, Comcast announced its new Streampix...

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Free All-Star Concert in March

February 27, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Are you a Dead Head? Or perhaps a fan of Scott and Bryan Devendorf of the National? What would you say to the opportunity to attend a concert featuring the Devendorfs and Bob Weir of the Greatful Dead? They will be performing at a one-time-only event called the "Bridge Sessions" on Saturday, March 24, which is a fund-raiser for HeadCount.org. The bad news is that it will be held at...

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More Bad News for Sears

February 24, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Times have been tough for Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart retail stores. In the fourth quarter of 2011, which is the season that retailers hope to post most of their profits for the year, Sears reported a loss of $2.4 billion. As a result, the company is looking to raise money by shedding some of its assets. According to the company's announcement, it plans to sell...

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Retransmission Saga Continues

February 23, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One step forward, maybe two steps back. One major retransmission dispute is now resolved. After nearly two months, the Madison Square Garden (MSG) channels have been turned back on for Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers. This did not happen until the New York governor and state attorney general weighed in to put public pressure on both parties to settle. One reason that make the negotiations particularly sticky is that MSG...

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HBO Arrives on Samsung Smart TVs

February 22, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Nearly a year ago, Samsung and HBO announced a partnership that would let consumers stream HBO content to Samsung TVs. You would have to be an HBO subscriber to access the service, which meant that you had to be signed up with a pay-TV service. Since then, you could get this HBO Go content on your computer, iPad, iPhone, Android smart phone, or even a Roku box. But not a...

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More TV for Wii

February 21, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
There are almost 40 million Wii video game consoles installed in U.S. households. And now a partnership between Nintendo and Hulu has brought Hulu Plus to the Wii. For $7.99 a month, viewers can add the service that provides access to many television shows and movies, and unlike the free Hulu service (which apparently still is not available on the Wii), you are not limited to the last five episodes...

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The Power of Aggregated Data

February 20, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
What do people really watch when they watch the SuperBowl? Thanks to the new world of connected entertainment systems, TiVo has a very good idea. By monitoring an anonymous sample of 41,666 households equipped with TiVo DVRs, the company can compile a map of "live and same-day" viewing of content that was watched at "play" speed on the systems. And guess what? People really do like the SuperBowl commercials. According...

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FCC to Revisit “Must Carry” Rules

February 17, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I've already written a bunch about the problems with retransmission fees and how pay-television subscribers get caught in the squeeze between their services and the content providers. Many people don't realize that there is a fascinating flip-side to this problem, which is known as "must carry". It works like this. Every three years, local television broadcasters have to make a choice. They can either make their content available to local...

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Over-the-Top Over-the-Air

February 16, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Would you pay for a service that lets you watch over-the-air broadcasts on your tablet or smartphone? That's what a company called Aereo (formerly known as "Bamboom") plans to launch just such a service for New York City residents starting next month. The company is building a system of thousands of tiny television antennas; each one is the size of a dime. These capture free broadcast television signals over the...

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