AT&T agreed on Sunday to buy the satellite television operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion, trying to tilt the balance of power with media companies as the market for broadband Internet and video shifts.
With the acquisition, AT&T becomes the latest telecommunications giant seeking to establish an even greater reach.
According to the survey, 41% of users experience problems watching a video on a mobile device and 37% experience problems on their fixed internet connection at home due to speed limitations or blocking of content by service providers.
If you needed any more proof that design matters, take this: Last year’s redesign of the Hulu Plus app for smart TVs and connected devices resulted in an increase of over 30% in average minutes viewed on each of those devices, Hulu representatives recently told me at CES 2014 in Las Vegas
...Defining television as video content you watch in one specific environment or using one particular method (while online video content is some unknowable “other”) creates a line of demarcation that gets hazy when you consider a show like Arrested Development, which jumped between the two relatively intact. As author Warren Ellis recently wrote, “I think it’s worth admitting, now, that ‘television’ has become one of those legacy words, like ‘phone,’ that we use to point at a thing, without really fully describing it. It certainly doesn’t mean what it used to.”
“We don’t actually believe there is such a thing as digital video. It’s all just TV,” said Jon Heller, co-founder and co-CEO of FreeWheel, which works with companies to monetize content within the new media space. “No one buys kitchen television, in terms of advertising, the same way that they don’t buy living room television or bedroom television. It is all just TV.” The difference, he says, is that the audience now has more choices about when and where they watch, and the television industry needs to figure out how to deal with that diffusion.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will give a keynote address Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 7) on day one of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, yet another sign of how much the annual gadgetfest has changed. The Web has become just as important as the hardware.
And like Yahoo itself, which looks to transform from an information web site to an video/entertainment service, the CE industry is evolving, reassessing past projects and future goals. Consequently, companies are getting more creative and entering fields they once feared.
For instance, Intel, once a behind-the-scenes chip maker, flirted last year with launching a video streaming service that would compete with Netflix. It appears that Intel will now attempt to sell the guts of the service to a company more suitable to run it, such as Verizon. But Intel's Net TV initiative, Polaroid's unveiling of a 4K TV and Amazon's reported plan to launch a video set-top is evidence that what was once black is now black and white. Tech companies can't be pigeon-holed anymore.
The arrival of 4K TVs in stores and in some peoples’ homes should be thought of as the first phase of more substantial evolution of television. 4K resolution is a subset of Ultra High Definition (UHD) television, which includes higher frame rates, enhanced & more precise color, and better use of the luminance range of modern flat-panel TV displays. Each of those UHD enhancements can create a rich visual reality for consumers that goes beyond even cinematic experiences. Thus, the 4K/UHD should not be thought of as a “one-and-done” phenomenon. Instead, UHD should be thought of as a roadmap for making television better and better for years to come.
Apple is in talks with Comcast to enter into a deal to allow Apple to launch a streaming TV service over Comcast’s cable network, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said that Comcast and Apple were discussing privileged access for traffic to reach Apple TV boxes over the Comcast network. Apple hopes to deliver live and on-demand programming and cloud-based DVR services to Comcast subscribers, according to the Journal.
According to the report, discussions between the pair are at an early stage.
Apple was previously in talks with Time Warner Cable, which is subject to a takeover by Comcast, over joint TV activities.
Reports of the discussions between Apple and Comcast follows the deal struck last month between Comcast and Netflix giving the latter direct access to Comcast’s network rather than having to deliver its content via third-party content delivery networks.
CANAL+ Group has selected Quadrille’s QUADRIFAST™ Push VOD technology for integration in its set-top boxes to provide innovative VOD services to its subscribers.
Quadrille’s patented Push technology allows operators to offer their subscribers, using content pushed in advance to the subscribers set-top boxes’ hard disk using any type of network (satellite, terrestrial, cable, IP), a wide range of services, such as: catch-up, subscription or transactional VOD.
Google’s VP9 video codec is getting a major boost today. While Mozilla, Google’s own Chrome browser and a few video players like FFmpeg started supporting VP9 over the course of the last year, what was mostly missing from Google’s ecosystem for this highly efficient video codec was hardware support. As Google announced today, however, virtually all major hardware vendors will soon support VP9 natively in their products and allow Google’s YouTube to stream HD content up to 4K directly to computers, TVs and mobile devices.
These new hardware partners include ARM, Broadcom, Intel, LG, Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia, Panasonic, Philips, Qualcomm, RealTek, Samsung, Sigma, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.
The trend of ‘cord thinning,’ cutting one or more pay-TV services, is on the rise, with 16.9% of people decreasing or removing services in Q3, according to new research by video search and recommendation firm Digitalsmiths.
The consumer trend survey noted a sequential rise in chord thinning from 13.4% in Q1 and 14% in Q2 with premium channels proving the highest-ranking service that was cut. However, 17.2% of consumers said they had actually increased their cable or satellite services.
“While survey results on cord-cutting and cord-thinning prove customer retention should remain a focus among pay-TV providers, the latest growing trend is cord-cheating. A topic Digitalsmiths introduced in Q2 2013, cord-cheating refers to the continuing trend by consumers to seek on-demand video content from third-party services and OTT services as an alternative to their traditional pay-TV provider,” said Digitalsmiths.
The survey found that 48.2% of respondents are now using subscription OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu, while 28.7% said they use third-party pay-per-rental services such as iTunes.
By comparison, 72.9% of respondents said they never purchase from their pay TV provider’s VoD catalogue.
In terms social media’s influence on viewing habits, Digitalsmiths found that 15.4% tweet or post what they are watching on TV to social networks, while 30.8% said they choose to watch something based on a TV show or movie’s social buzz.
On-demand, mobility and binge viewing are among new consumer habits impacting every aspect of the TV content supply chain — from story creation to distribution — according to a new report by consulting giant Ernst & Young Global Limited.
EY identified six TV trends from the analysis of thousands of hours of interviews with executives from media and entertainment companies. Specifically, the report found that TV storytelling will evolve to make better use of a multiplatform user/viewer environment. Multiple screens that work seamlessly together will enable new story arcs and create greater opportunities for content producers to innovate with their audiences. Metadata that enables synchronization between screens will be a key enabler.
A lot of stuff happened in 2013, and it was an especially eventful year in the TV market.
For the first time mainstream TVs with 4K resolution, all of them LED LCDs, appeared--and then promptly fell in price. After years of fits and starts, the first OLED TVs went on sale -- and stayed expensive. 3D TV basically died with the ESPN pullout, and Evolution Kits, input lag and projectors were all newcomers to CNET's ever-evolving TV reviews process.
The biggest change happened on October 31, however, when Panasonic solemnly announced that it would no longer manufacture plasma TVs. For picture quality enthusiasts the world over, the question immediately became "What's next?"