Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Deaf-Blind Woman: “I’m Fed up with CNN!”

Coco writes:

I have been silent til now. Call it apathy. I’m always advocating, sometimes I take a back seat to it, thinking others would notice and take the issues headon. But I don’t see anyone standing up to CNN and telling them off for not subtitling their “video” articles.

I love CNN and it’s the one of four things I first check in the mornings and before I hit the sack. (if you must know, I check facebook.com, cnn.com. gmail.com and sinfully read perezhilton.com). I see awesome, horrible, weird, urgent or boring news titles on CNN.COM. Some of them are done in text. Some done in videos.
And I get disappointed if the article turns out to be video. I don’t understand a damn thing these lips are yapping about.

Today, I saw this title: Facebook Users Hit with Worm.

Uh oh. I must read! I’m a facebook user. So I check this link –

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/03/02/barnett.facebook.worm.cnn

and it leads me to cnn’s video site. Aw come onnnnnnn! I wanna read what they’re saying! I’m a facebook junkie, I need to check it 8287465128 times a day (like the rest of you). So I want to know if my baby is OK?

I’m curious. What is the FCC doing about this? Has internet laws been passed? I have no idea what’s going on with technology these days. I’m tech-illiterate. But I know that this captioned-for-net broadcasts from news MUST HAPPEN. And now.

Someone over there in the USA, the land of the free, SPEAK UP AND WHOOP CNN’S A$$! Its your fundamental right!

Ok, feeling good after speaking up my mind. Looking forward to the day I read subtitles/captions on CNN and beyond.

Tactile love,

Coco

My wife doesn’t hear as well as she used to. Captions and subtitle make her (and our neighbors) happier than just cranking up the sound.

I agree that CNN needs to caption their video news, but I’m not so sure legislation is necessary.

Opinion: Fed Up With CNN @ Tactile The World

My Desk is my Entertainment Center …and vice versa.

Desk in Ballard

My computer is my TV and my TV is my computer, which means my entertainment center must also pull double duty as my desk.

My Desk

The keyboard drawer is deep enough for two keyboards (the very clicky Matais Tactile Pro and the very quiet Apple Keyboard) and wide enough for the mousepad to rest on one side, and iPods/iPhones can rest on the other.

Keyboard Drawer (open)Keyboard Drawer (closed)

Currently to the immediate left of the “stand” is the “component shelf”. This houses my Mac (which had to be configured to output multi-channel sound), My 7.1 amp, my DVD player, my printer, and it used to hold my Roku Netflix Player (before I sold it).

reptel04reptel05

Even though I have a 7.1 amp, I only have 5.1 sound (the amp has a setting to down-sample 7.1 content to 5.1 speakers) right now. I feel no rush to buy another pair of speakers before I get a BluRay player to take advantage of them. I haven’t permanently hung the speakers, because I am planning on spinning the room 90 degrees. The left front speaker is in the corner, as is the subwoofer. The center speaker is directly behind the monitor. The front right is on top of a bookshelf.

reptel06reptel07reptel08

One rear speaker is on top of the filing cabinet, the other on top of the DVD Shelf.

reptel09reptel10
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My Old Entertainment Center

Old TV

My last TV was so giant, only a giant entertainment center would house it. When we moved into a cabin in the woods for a year, it took almost a week for me to get all of it out there. (I had to carry it in a wheelbarrow)

When our year was up, we moved out – but left the TV and entertainment center there.
.

My Ever-changing Desk

My desk is made of industrial shelving.

Desk 1998

Originally built in 1998 as an editing workstation, it has been re-built again and again.

Desk Flat

It has been low and wide, it’s been flat, it’s been bottom heavy, and top heavy.

Desk 2006

The first attempt at turning into an entertainment center was a bit gigantic.

Desk 2008

But now it’s under control. (and broken into three pieces)

march-2009-desk
deskfinal

Hulu is #4 with a bullet!

Erick Schonfeld writes:

Hulu jumped two spots to become the fourth largest video site in the U.S. in February, according to the latest data from comScore VideoMetrix. Hulu drew an audience of 34.7 million people who watched 332.5 million video streams. That is a 42 percent increase in unique U.S. visitors, up from 24.5 million in January, and a 33 percent increase in streams, up from and 250.5 million streams.

In a single month, Hulu overtook Viacom and Microsoft in total viewers and video streams (see January data). And Hulu is catching up to No. 3 video site Yahoo, which streamed 353.5 million streams in February. Fox Interactive (MySpace) was No. 2 with 462.6 million streams. And YouTube once again blew everyone else out of the water with 5.3 billion streams.

Hulu Gains 10 Million Viewers In February, Now No. 4 Video Site In U.S. @ TechCrunch

Social TV is the future.

Sarah Reedy lets us know that TV is getting social:

When this season’s Bachelor used national television to dump his bride-to-be for the runner-up, nearly every Bachelor-loving female reflected her disdain in a Facebook or Twitter status update.

[…]

According to Tracy Swedlow, CEO and analyst with Interactive TV Today, which is hosting a conference next week on the future of TV, social networking should be priority No. 1 for IPTV providers. She said that telcos should start with basics such as enabling live IM chats during popular TV shows — think American Idol, Lost, 24 or any number of prime-time programs — and eventually get deeper into social communication, including video conferencing. And, they should be doing this ASAP.

The article is quite a read, but the money quote is this:

“If you don’t see social TV as one of your highest priority, you are going to get left behind,” Swedlow said. “The Internet is nothing but about communication.”

Is TV the next Facebook? @ TelephonyOnline

Hand Talks Out of Its Ass: Sock Puppet thinks Boxee steals from Hulu.

[Update: Edited for clarity and to fix grammatical errors]

Lately, many people who are ignorant of how the internet and APIs work are showing off their ignorance.

Loren Feldmen does it twice in one video. First by choosing a video host that doesn’t allow embedding (and expecting the internet to still behave like it did in 2006), second by suggesting that Boxee is stealing content from Hulu.

He says it himself at the beginning: Boxee is a browser for your TV. Yet at around the four minute mark he says:

Boxee (now) takes Hulu (ok) AND the content that Hulu cut deals with. Now Lets Talk about the content.

Then he goes on to rant about how taking content is wrong, and that artists deserve compensation.

The problem is: Boxee is no more stealing content from Hulu than Firefox is.

Yes, taking content is wrong. However, no one took anything. You just kinda breezed over that fact.

The content is the exact same content users of the website see in Fullscreen Mode. Boxee is just a browser.

Hulu is still serving up the content and still serving up the ads.

The Sock Puppet thinks that somehow pulling up a website in a different browser makes it “from a different provider”, and that if you use Boxee you aren’t getting your content from Hulu. The rest of his rant is based on this misconception.

Anyway, back to the Sock Puppet:

You guys get so hooked in with the fuckin’ distribution that you forget about the content. The content is having to deal with Charlie Sheen @ $600,000 a week, showing up drunk, so you can fucking watch it on Hulu. Ok. They cut those deals.

OK. There’s so much wrong there. I’ll start with Charlie Sheen. Mr. Sheen works for Chuck Lorre Productions. He does not work with anyone connected with Hulu or it’s corporate parents.

Next, you seem to be using “Content” interchangeably to refer to both “Content Producers” and “Content Distributers”. You’re falling for the same trick the RIAA pulls when it behaves as if they are the ones making the music.

Most television shows are made by independent production companies and are merely distributed by TV networks. (That’s what all those cards at the end of every show are all about.)

The production company gets compensated when they sell (first-)broadcast rights to a block of episodes. Often they will pre-sell the show before filming anything other than a single episode. Often they will seek Network funding to pay for the single episode in return for first pick-up rights. This is what gives laymen the impression that the networks make the shows. The money is flowing from the network, but it’s payment for a delivery. (The network makes money by “giving away” the shows via live broadcast stream, and selling ad time at a rate based on the number of eyeballs the “give away” brings in.)

[This isn’t how ALL TV Procuction is done. Some shows sell all their rights to the Networks including aftermarket (syndication and DVD) rights, others sell their rights to Domestic Television Distributors (who then license them to the Networks), and some shows actually ARE produced in-house (but very little of it is Primetime content). The point is: One all-encompassing label, like “Content” or “Content Provider” gives distributors too much credit and works on the assumption that the producer isn’t going to find a new distributor. (It happens. “Scrubs” jumped from NBC to ABC this year). ]

Anyway, back to the Sock Puppet:

Boxee took TV Shows from the web and put back on your TV

No. They didn’t. Boxee is a browser. It’s a computer program, It doesn’t run on a TV. It runs on a computer. If someone connects that computer to a TV you don’t magically deserve more money because the picture is bigger and the viewer can sit in a comfy chair.

Besides, a digital TV screen is nothing but a computer monitor. Boxee can’t be held liable for the size of people’s computer monitors.

And Now the guys who create The TV

You mean “The guys who distribute licensed shows”

…are saying “Listen. We don’t want it on Boxee”.

How about Opera? Is Safari OK? What about IE?

Dumbasses.

You don’t want it on Boxee? I got news for you. The Makers of that content want it on Boxee, and sooner or later, we’ll have our Nine Inch Nails / Radiohead and they WILL bypass you.

If you’re going to watch TV on a TV, how about this: WATCH IT ON FUCKING TV. IS THAT SO UNFAIR? They’re already dealing with DVRs, OnDemand… they’re paying Charlie Sheen. You’re not.

It is not your customer’s job to support your business model.

If you make less money per viewer because that viewer watched it Via Web Browser vs Via Cable then you got screwed in negotiations.

As we are moving from one type of distribution model to another, all the middlemen are trying to take bigger bites than they used to have.

Content Makers (not distributors) need to realize:
1. the dollar-to-eyeball ratio is the most important metric,
2. the distributers will screw both the people they buy content from AND the people they sell content to, if you don’t watch them
3. the distributers will cloud the subject with red herrings.

People watching Hulu in Boxee rather than Firefox is a Red Herring to distract from the REAL problems with internet video advertising revenue and artist compensation.

If the eyeballs-per-dollar ratio the advertisers are paying Hulu isn’t the same as broadcast/cable/satellite – that’s a problem.

If the eyeballs-per-dollar ratio Hulu is paying The Networks isn’t the same as broadcast/cable/satellite – that’s a problem.

If the eyeballs-per-dollar ratio the Networks are paying the people who actually make the content isn’t the same as broadcast/cable/satellite – that’s a problem.

It’s about the content, not the web site.
The red herring worked. In order to to stress that you should watch it on the Hulu website, The Sock Puppet keeps repeating:

Boxee is just an add-on. A browser. It’s all about the content.

Take your own advice Sock Puppet: Stop focusing on the browser. Stop focusing on the web site. It’s about the content of the stream. Hulu is Hulu in every browser! In Firefox, Safari, IE, or on Boxee; it all comes from the same place and 100% of the in-line ads get passed along. Boxee’s existence in no way lessens the number of streamed ads that get fed to eyeballs.

Hulu’s corporate parents behave as if the point of the endeavor is the website. Content is the bait to get eyeballs to the website (just like a TV network), and ad sales will pay for the website (just like a TV network). Unfortunately, that business model only works if your viewers are coming to see the website itself and only care about the video content as much as the wallpaper and the flash ads.

Advertisers: Hulu can’t deliver on a promise that the number of eyeballs that watched the stream will be equal to the number of eyeballs that saw a banner ad.

Banner ad impressions should be measured independently and sold to advertisers separately from the in-line ads. If they aren’t, then the advertisers should be demanding to know why not. Hulu shouldn’t be bundling all their different advertising methods (banners, pop-ups, in-line) into a single unified price scheme.

If they ARE priced and sold separately, then this is the biggest overreaction to a browser I’ve seen in a long time.

If Hulu was smart, it would license the API for their stream.
It should be done for two reasons: a) to insure proper usage and accurate viewership counting, and b) to allow for a Network TV style price structure where ad revenue for in-line ads would scale up with viewership. The money generated from the website would become “icing on an API cake” rather than the cornerstone of the business model.

Hulu can make more money on a raw stream than their website could ever generate. Remember: It’s about the content. With Boxee, viewers watch shows and ads. What’s the problem?

If you don’t like the dollars-to-eyeballs ratio of streaming your video, negotiate for comparable-to-broadcast rates. Bitching because your viewer is legally watching via a more convenient legally available method is stupid and pointless.

The Sock Puppet finishes up by saying that micropayments are the future, and every show worth watching will be charging. You’ll pay or not watch.

Good Luck stuffing the genie back in that bottle. It worked so well for the RIAA and the MPAA.

.
[UPDATE: Four days after posting, I went back to his site to catch up on the reaction to my Trackback, if any, and found the link gone, the comments closed, and nary a mention of this piece. Read into that whatever you want.]

The Evolution of Television

The evolution of television is really just the continued evolution of our greatest interpersonal communications system. It was born out of language, matured with writing, and continues to evolve today through interfaces such as the web.

Aaron Smith

Warner Bros launches “made-to-order” DVD service

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Warner Bros on Monday became the first studio to open its film vault to “made-to-order” DVDs, as it sought new revenues in a slumping DVD market by making it possible for fans to buy decades-old films.

Warner Bros, owned by Time Warner Inc, made an initial batch of 150 titles available for purchase online at http://www.WarnerArchive.com , including 1943 comedy-romance “Mr. Lucky” starring Cary Grant and the 1962 release “All Fall Down” with Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint.

Sales are not expected to approach those of new releases on DVD, but the service gives Warner Bros another way to make money from a film archive it already exploits by selling titles for broadcast in the United States and internationally.

The on-demand service allows Warner Bros. to avoid the risk of manufacturing too many copies of old or obscure titles and shipping them to retailers because customers directly order only the titles they want to buy.

“This way you’ve completely eliminated the risk of not selling them. You’re not going to make them until they’re sold,” said Tom Adams, president and senior analyst with Adams Media Research.

Warner Bros. said that each month it will make about 20 films and television programs from its archive available for purchase through this DVD-on-demand program.

The new Warner Bros. initiative comes as the movie industry faces declining DVD sales. Last year, amid the ongoing recession DVD sales fell by 7 percent to $21.6 billion, the Digital Entertainment Group said.

Studios are mainly looking to the emerging Blu-ray disc market to counter declining DVD sales, Adams said.

Last year, sales of Blu-ray discs quadrupled to nearly $750 million, the Digital Entertainment Group said.

But with the new DVD-on-demand service, Warner Bros can supplement its sales by appealing to collectors and fans.

The Warner Bros film archive has 6,800 titles. Since it entered the DVD market in 1997, the studio has released only around 1,200 of those titles from the vault. By comparison, the company expects by the end of the year to have more than 300 titles available via the DVD-on-demand service.

“I think ultimately the odds are very good that every film ever made will be available on this kind of basis, because why not?” Adams said.

Warner Bros. is charging customers $19.95 per title, plus shipping, for the new service. Titles also can be downloaded directly to a customer’s computer.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Gunna Dickson)

Via Reuters

Warner Mutes and Deletes YouTube Videos

Jennifer Bosavage writes:

As the battle between YouTube and publishers such as Warner Music Group heats up, increasing numbers of video content publishers are finding that their videos have been stripped of their background music–or they’ve been removed entirely from the site.

Warner To YouTube: Stop The Music! @ ChannelWeb

More on TV’s Autopsy

Media Analyst Don Cole traveled 200,000 miles per year annually for decades visited with local TV stations, cable interconnects, magazines, clients, client prospects, and all sorts of new media sales teams.

He believes that Nothing Can Replace Television and It Almost Has!

He gives wonderful write-up on the progression that the cancer that network tv is suffering from.

He begins with where the symptoms are worst and (ironically) least visible: Local Affiliates.

What I see and hear stuns me. The broadcast media, as a group, are in almost complete denial about what is going on in our world of media. When the relentless march of broadcast fragmentation is brought up, local station people respond with “have you seen our local news. It is extraordinary.” I have and it is not.

Ask industry people about how DVR’s are changing the effectiveness of TV as an advertising medium and the more mature (in age only) say something to the effect that they hope they will be retired before the effects are truly felt in the marketplace. What kind of answer is that?.

He touches on our POV a bit.

Today’s consumers are now in control and they are not going back to being passive viewers again. Life “on-demand’ appeals to people. DVR’s, blogs, You tube, Hulu.com, The Slingbox, streaming video, new cable platforms, and many other possibilities have permanently upset the TV landscape. Watch how a young adult uses media–are you positioning your campaigns to reach young people well or at all for that matter?

…but then goes into Protectionist Mode.

There is also a terrible danger with the presence of legacy mentalities out there. People sit in meetings and nod vigorously when I say that TV is losing its luster as a sales medium. But, moments later they say something to the effect that the solution to TV’s slow death is simply adding more weight. Add more weight? They will still miss the people that they are missing now! All additional weight will do is add significant frequency to the same folks they reach now who are heavy TV viewers and not always the most desirable prospects.

He does touch on TV’s tool as a currently-ubiquitous communication medium and laments the loss of roadblocks and vertical strikes, but fails to understand that the underlying goal that those tools provided – to get information out to a majority percentage of the population – will not die with it.

Just as the death of newspapers doesn’t mark the end of journalism, the death of TV isn’t killing mass-media.

The middlemen will shift. Those that adapt will survive. Those who would apply radio rules to magazines and billboard rules to TV will try to get TV rules to apply to the internet.

Watch.

Boxee Adds Pandora, PBS, New API (and Fixes Hulu)

Open-source media center Boxee debuted a new Alpha release tonight, adding support for Pandora music streaming, PBS video feeds, and changes that open it up to more multimedia goodness (oh, and fix Hulu streaming, too).

Here’s a look at what’s new in the latest build, as well as the newest plug-in from some Boxee-loving code tweakers:

Continue reading @ Lifehacker

600 People Show Up For Boxee Event

The event, held in NYC, drew a large and diverse crowd

Vincent Polidoro, a 25-year-old filmmaker in New York who persuaded Mr. Clemons to attend the gathering, said he had recently joined the ranks of those who adore the service, which many people use to pipe video from a computer to a TV screen.

“It’s nice to have an alternative way to get content,” he said. “I’m sick of being married to Comcast or some other service provider.” Attending the Boxee event, he said, reinforced the idea that “the Internet is our medium and finally, here is a service that gets how we want to use it.”

Looking around the room and seeing his peers, he said, made him like the service even more.

Tom Conrad, chief technology officer at Pandora, the streaming music service, said he was amazed at the turnout and by the makeup of the audience, which he said seemed fairly mainstream. This could indicate a larger shift in the way audiences are consuming entertainment: “Just the fact alone that 80 percent of Boxee users have it connected to their television, that stat alone amazes me,” he said.

New York Times

NBC Double-Dipping iTunes Customers?

Could it be possible that, after all this time, NBC still thinks that it’s a good business decision to try to squeeze the few internet viewers that actually pay for content for extra payments?

Thomas Fitzgerald writes:

So the season Finale of Battlestar Galactica aired on friday night on the SciFi (sorry, SyFy) channel in the US and I think it would be fair to say that the two hour episode was one of the most eagerly awaited events on television in years. The show has a huge fan base and the much publicized finale was something everyone was gearing up for. Of course a lot of people get their shows off iTunes and this was probably one of the most eagerly awaited downloads since iTunes began selling TV shows. So you can only imagine how pissed off a lot of people were when they decided to split the finale into two parts on iTunes so they could charge twice as much for it.

[…]

People want to pay for content. I know the execs at NBC and every other major studio don’t believe that, but a lot of people are willing to pay for good high quality access to their favorite TV shows. But they don’t like being taken advantage of either. As many commenters on iTunes have pointed out, it’s crap like this that pushes people back to bit-torrent.

Read the whole rant @ It’s crap like this that makes people pirate

Have You Switched From Cable to The Internet? 24% Say “Yes”, another 52% Say “Some”.

An Internet Poll asks: Have you switched from Cable to The Internet?

In early results, 52% says they either stream or download shows, and a full 24% of those who responded answered “Yes! I’ve cut the cable and am a 100% internet TV watcher.”

I’ll keep you posted if things change.

Digg @ Digg.com

Tiny Arrow URL: http://➹.ws/ﱴ

Remember when home taping was going to kill Hollywood?

piratebay-comic

The Pirate Bay.

Boxee MeetUp March 24th in NYC

Speaking of Boxee, if you live in New York (or will happen to be there on March 24), then you should check out the boxee meetup.

They will be releasing a new alpha version during the event and will “share some concrete plans for the beta”.

If you DO attend, send me some pictures.

The State of Streaming TV: Early 2009 Edition

When I cut the cable six months ago, there was almost nothing to watch online (legally). Now you can get almost every network TV show, many cable TV favorites, watch live sports, get cable and network news, local weather, and even watch full un-cut movies – legally and free.

I’m beginning to see more and more articles about cutting cable and streaming everything. I don’t think the internet is quite ready for that. I still download over half of my content, but I am streaming more and more.

After my technophobic brother took to Hulu, I started wondering how far streaming has come in six months and how newbie friendly it is. Most of the Networks are doing a good job pimping their websites, so I figure this is how most newbies would take their first steps.

Broadcast Networks: Primetime

ABC
http://abc.go.com/

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The American Broadcasting Company’s page is filled with clicky goodness, and free episodes is in large red lettering. OK, it’s a giant advertisement for their linear-delivery network – but it seems internet-delivery friendly enough. A loop of 8 short videos plays in a flash player and they do a pretty good job of explaining the ins and outs of watching TV on the web between the commercials for Scrubs and Desperate Housewives. If only watching the episodes themselves was as simple.

ABC still insists on using their Full Episode Player, which is a separate browser plug-in. The last time I used it it was slow to load, choppy to navigate, and had only one episode of each show online at a time. Yikes. I was reluctant to click it. I shouln’t have been.

What a great improvement! Not only in stability and speed, but in usability.

There isn’t a very big archive, but if you want to watch new episodes, ABC.com has you covered.

Choose a Show

Choose a Show


Choose an Episode

NBC
http://www.nbc.com/

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After ABC’s clean site the National Broadcasting Company’s site looks like a barrage of text, a newspaper.

I scanned the page several times before I saw Watch Video or Watch Full Episodes.

Their navigation system is confusing, and what shows up on the page depends on how you navigate to it. If you first click Watch Video in the toolbar then choose a show, you can never get to the same info as you would have found had you clicked “Watch Full Episodes”.

010309nbc-2010309nbc-3

NBC’s site has a lot of content, but considering it’s all mirrored at Hulu, It’s hard to find a reason to go to NBC.com.

CBS
http://www.cbs.com

010309cbs-1

010309cbs-2 The Columbia Broadcasting System is the farthest behind. The page is one giant advertisement for their liner-delivery method. It’s filled with clips, re-caps, behind-the-scenes fluff pieces, and teaser-trailers for upcoming episodes. The kind of shovel-ware content that DVD producers have been calling “Special Features” so every release can be called a Special Edition. Every click on their site brings another auto-playing video Blackberry ad.

010309cbs-4CBS makes the availability of full episodes less-than-obvious, and when you DO find them CBS makes you join a chat room in order to watch it. Yes, you can opt out but you have to log in first. I chose Late Late Show with Craig Fergeson… which, after a looong load time, I joined in progress. It didn’t start at the beginning! Clicking “Watch By Myself” starts it from the beginning. I guess you can’t be social AND watch from the beginning unless you have impeccable timing or a lot of patience.

010309cbs-4010309cbs-5Also, CBS viewer is the only Flash Player I’ve ever seen with advertising logos. The social interaction allows you to put the Intel Inside logo and chime on the video, for everyone else watching to see. I don’t know what to say.

CBS has a YouTube Channel, but the content is just as lame.

FOX
http://www.fox.com

010309fox-1

News Corp. owns 20th Century Fox which owns FOX Television which owns FOX on Demand. F.O.D. is easy to navigate and content is plentiful. The site even seems to put a priority on streaming over broadcast. Didn’t see it when it was on the air? Watch it here! Watch it now! it invites.

It even has little niceties like when an episode will show up online and what episode in the list is currently playing.
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The CW
http://www.cwtv.com

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Born from a union of Warner Brother’s The WB and Paramonunt’s UPN, The CW is the hot network for young adults. The Full Episodes link on the main page is small, but the content makes up for it. During the regualr season, all the latest episodes are available for instant viewing.
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However, today, there are only a handful available for viewing.

PBS
http://www.pbs.org

010309pbs-1

Like CBS, the Public Broadcast System’s home page is a barrage of text. Watch Episodes is easy enough to spot, but the collection of videos is a just a fraction of PBS’ archive and it doesn’t seem to be updated with any regularity. Perhaps we should get the new President to put more than just his weekly address on YouTube.

010309pbs-2

Broadcast Networks: News and Sports

ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com

010309abcnews-1

ABC News pulls up like any other news site. In fact, the Watch Video link is so subtle, you might underestimate how Streaming Friendly this site really is. Like it’s parent channel’s site, ABCNews.com use the Full Episode Player, but instead of being designed around Prime Time Programming, it centers on ABC’s News division. Good Morning America, Nightline, World News Now, 20/20… they’re all there in their entirety.
010309abcnews-2

NBC News and NBC Sports
http://www.nbc.com/News_and_Sports/
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/

010309nbcnews-1

Not very video friendly at all. With some clicking around I found some clips of the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams hosted on an msnbc server.
010309nbcnews-2010309nbcnews-3

CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/

010309cbsnews-1

Not very video friendly at all. The word Video is in TINY print, then it’s mostly just clips. Full Episodes are rare and hard to find. I’d give it a C+.
010309cbsnews-2010309cbsnews-3

Cable Networks: Primetime

ABC Family
http://abcfamily.go.com/

010309abcfamily-1

I used to think of this as the easy to use ABC Network site but with the radical improvement to the Full Episode Player @ ABC.com and ABCNews.com, ABC Family now seems clunky. There’s lots of content, both new and vintage, including some Made-for-TV movies. Full Episodes, Clips and Previews are well balanced.
010309abcfamily-2

A&E
Bravo
The Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet
E!
Food Network
HGTV
Lifetime
MTV, MTV2, and MTV Music
TBS
USA Network

Cable Networks: News and Sports

FOX News
CNN
MSNBC
CNBC
ESPN

Internet Original: News

The Presidential Address
Associated Press

Internet Original: Sports

????

Cable Networks

[NOTE: I wrote this fragment of an article on January 4. By January 6th, much of it was outdated. By January 15th all of my notes for the unwritten article were outdated, too. I’m publishing the article fragment as an “artifact of a long time passed”. Yes, two months ago is a long time.]

Internet Television Test, Week 38: Using an iPhone 3G as my TV remote [Updated]

My Mac doesn’t have a remote control. It predates the Apple Remote by a year (and even if it didn’t, towers don’t have IR sensors).

I could buy a USB IR sensor and an Apple Remote, buy I’d also have to buy software to make the IR sensor work. Total cost: $50+

For $30ish, I could just buy a RF remote with a USB dongle, but then I wouldn’t have the sleek Apple Remote. Instead, I’d be controlling my Mac with something that looks like a garage door opener.

Eight months have passed. IR remotes got worse and RF remotes got better, but I never bought either one.

Instead, my wife got an iPhone.

[She’s nearly got me convinced that I can’t live without one, but I’m holding off as long as I can. My trusty Nokia 6102i is barely two years old, but is breaking. Scotch tape has been holding it together for almost two months, but the other day a small metal piece popped out of the hinge and disappeared into the fourth dimension. Now, every time I flip it open it gets a little worse. I just need it to survive until June/July when the new iModels come out.]

On her phone we have VLC Remote, Remote, and Rowmote.

Currently Rowmote is getting the most use. It integrates directly with Front Row and behaves exactly like an Apple Remote, but Remote’s new iTunes DJ integration looks like fun.

The only problem is: When she’s not home, I don’t have a remote controller!

UPDATE: The guys at Boxee shot out an e-mail letting me know that they have a remote in the App Store, but until I get a new Mac or Boxee shows some PPC love, I’ll have to admire from a distance.

Shirky is Wrong!

So sayeth Dave Winer:

I was bothered by Clay Shirky’s piece about the death of newspapers that got so much play over the last few days, and finally figured out why as I wrote this piece. He says that journalism is being replaced by nothing. This is why the press likes his piece so much, it’s been their main theme: You’ll miss us when we’re gone. The problem with this thesis is that while the press as been declining a new decentralized press has been booting up. I talk about this toward the end of today’s piece. The sources who no longer trust the journos, or aren’t being called by them when they have something to say, are going direct. This is what replaces journalism. It’s happening everywhere (Shirky’s piece is a great example of it). Sometimes the thing that’s hardest to see is what’s right in front of you.

I didn’t realize I was stepping into a pile of Shirky when I referenced it yesterday.

I believe Shirky is “half right”. He’s right about everything that’s crumbling, but he’s wrong about the lack of a replacement.

In a world of interconnected hypertext, I thought the irony was self evident. I was mistaken.

The (unspoken, and therefore way too subtle) joke was: “OH, noes! Print News is dying and there’s no replacement yet! We better build one!”

The newspapers think they have a lock on news and the death of their news distribution company means the end of news gathering.

Writers will starve!

Newspapers can’t conceive of not being the middlemen between well researched, well written journalism and the reader. Newsmen can’t conceive of a system where they don’t work for a “newspaper”. They get off on a tangent trying to redefine what a “newspaper” is (so the status quo isn’t inturrupted so much).

One side argues that they need to switch from dead trees to web pages and the other side complains about comments on fan blogs getting as much weight as “real newsmen”. Both sides think they need to hurry and neither side realizes that they’ve already been replaced.

They just don’t see it
The replacement was here before the old way started failing. It’s true in music. It’s true in Television and Movies. It’s true in news.

The RIAA thinks they have a lock on music distribution and they preach that the death of their music distribution company means the death of music writing and recording.

Musicians will starve!

The networks think they hav lock on “tv” distribution. They say that the death of their video distribution company means the death of well written, well acted, well produced television.

Actors will starve!

And if they mention the internet at all?
Blogs are unreliable! MySpace is Filled with Amateurs! YouTube Videos are all home videos!

Nevermind the fact that blogs became reliable, MySpace bands got big and Big Bands got MySpace, and The President of the United States got a YouTube Channel.

When I (poorly) made a sarcastic reference to Shirky yesterday, I should have written:

“OH, noes! TV is dying and there’s no replacement yet! We better build one!”

None of these “old media” players understand that the replacement is here already.

TV is dead. What’s to replace it?

Linear delivery, aka “broadcast”, aka “Television as we know it” is dead, but no one has told it, yet.

The old powers are clinging to a delivery/business model that no longer works, demanding to know what’s going to replace television.

To paraphrase Clay Sharky: When someone demands to know how we are going to replace television, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution.

Clay Shirky writes:

They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.

There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.

He wrote it about newspapers, but everything he says applies to television too.

Social Television. Do Couch Potatoes Connect?

Every activity has a Social Networking angle. First it was just the online companies, trying to get you to IM. Then the entertainment companies trying to sell you music or movies. Then activities like drinking soda to buying shoes came with secret games and online cliques.

It was only a matter of time when anti-social activities attempted to get social. It happened with gamers, why not couch potatoes?

In my attempt at “social television”, I signed up for LivingSocial and Twitter, and activated the “Social” settings in Netflix, and the Hulu Social Network.

I’ve dragged my feet in creating a Neurotic Nomad Myspace or Facebook page, hoping that OpenID would allow me to take a lazy way out, but apparently it doens’t work that way.

Now that I’m set up, I should open up the dialog.

What’s the biggest question plaguing you right now when it comes to online TV?

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(crickets)

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The Hulu Social Network

Hey! Hulu has a social network. Finally a reason to log in.

Somebody “Friend” me.

Television’s Autopsy

Paul Graham writes:

The TV networks already seem, grudgingly, to see where things are going, and have responded by putting their stuff, grudgingly, online. But they’re still dragging their heels. They still seem to wish people would watch shows on TV instead, just as newspapers that put their stories online still seem to wish people would wait till the next morning and read them printed on paper. They should both just face the fact that the Internet is the primary medium.

Why TV Lost

How To Replace Cable with the Internet: Ten Boxes Reviewed

Part 3 of my series keeps getting postponed because of the fast-changing landscape.

In the mean time, Cnet is reviewing the Top 10 boxes that can help you replace television with the internet.

The over-all verdict:

I’ve done a little digging through the CNET Reviews archives to highlight the top 10 boxes/computers for accessing video-on-demand content via the Web. Here’s a brief summary of each, in no particular order. You can see at a glance what makes each one cool and what makes it not so cool. And you’ll get a general idea of how much each one costs.

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t found a box that offers me everything from all the top movies and TV shows to the best local and live TV programming. But the market is still evolving. And I promise you that the landscape could look very different in another 18 months, so stay tuned.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.