|Video Technology Magazine||December 2005|
Digital Video Tradeshows for 2006
Some of the major shows comming up next month are:
January 5-8, 2006
I am already booked and ready to go for CES
Some of Products That Debuted at CESVideocassette Recorder (VCR), 1970
Laserdisc Player, 1974
Compact Disc Player, 1981
Digital Audio Technology, 1990
Compact Disc - Interactive, 1991
Mini Disc, 1993
Radio Data System, 1993
Digital Satellite System, 1994
Digital Versatile Disk (DVD), 1996
High Definition Television (HDTV), 1998
Hard-disc VCR (PVR), 1999
Digital Audio Radio (DAR), 2000
Microsoft Xbox, 2001
Plasma TV, 2001
Home Media Server, 2002
HD Radio, 2003
Blu-Ray DVD, 2003
HDTV PVR, 2003
HD Radio, 2004
IP TV, 2005
In early November CBS revealed that it had been in talks with Apple to offer its content via iTunes after ABC made hit shows available through iTunes.
CBS also said recently that it was in talks with Google about video on demand and video searching.
Many people are compairing Yahoo! streaming to iTunes but there are some very large fundimental differences. With iTunes this is download then play, where with Yahoo is a stream. Streaming offers more control to the content owners, but doesn't allow the video to be copied off to a portable media player for later viewing.
This is part of a longer term direction for Yahoo that I wrote about last month Yahoo's Hollywoodification.
TiVo teamed up with Yahoo to allow customers to program their devices through Yahoo's Web site.
Vying for Remote Control Washington Post
Even though CBS hasn.t given the "official" cancellation notice to the THRESHOLD team, word is out that the show has been terminated.
"This marks another exciting step forward as we continue to expand our content franchises to broadband," said Larry Kramer, President, CBS Digital Media. "'Threshold' is an exciting new drama with a compelling mystery component that lends itself to Internet audience appeal.
Currently there are short streaming clips on the site but no Episodes.
I will miss this Show.
NBC Universal has signed a deal with Wurld Media to make some of their movies available for download via a secure P2P network in 2006. There hasn't been a price released yet, but the movies include what you would get on their existing video-on-demand and pay services plus around 100 older movie titles. Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires.
A recent Slashdot thread on how NBC is planning to offer on demand movies, and this NPR story on The Changing Face of Television has me asking: How will content (be it TV, movies, old, new) be distributed? I also include books -- content is content, the medium for the content changes but good content will always sell. Has anyone thought to try a pay-on-demand for content ie., subsidize the production costs by getting the audience/fans to pay for new episodes, thus skipping the broadcast networks? I know there was a campaign to raise money, in this way, to save Star Trek Enterprise, and there was an attempt to bittorrent a Star Trek Spoof recently on a pay-for-download basis. For shows with a decent cult following (eg., Firefly, Arrested Development, etc.) isn't it possible to fund the production without network participation (assuming all license agreements can be cleared?
The Eye Ball is a spherical, throwable WiFi camera designed to precede police into areas where there's no direct line of sight. It's manufactured by O.D.F. Optronics, Ltd, an Israeli maker of vision-based systems for the defense, security and consumer electronics markets. Remington Arms Co. has won approval from the Federal Communications Commission to sell the Eye Ball domestically, with law enforcement being likely buyers. The cost is about $4,800 for two EyeBalls (who would want just one?), which apparently also includes video monitoring gear.
Almost all of the major Cable operators did a wide scale roll out of "Video on Demand" eariler this year(2005). Testing had begun in Late 2003.
Time Warner, Adelphia, Comcast, Rogers, SHAW, Cogeco, RCN, Mediacom, COX, AT&T.
For many years the politics of content liscensing made doing this almost impossible. Even now HBO ondemand doesn't stream all of the movies they play, I suspect they can not get the rights to offer it over there VOD service.
Founded in 1995 Diva Systems as a spin-off from SRI International and David Sarnoff Research Center, DIVA had developed a high-speed, massively paralleled supercomputing video server called the Princeton Engine and depolyed the OnSet ITV Network. It looks like they filed Bankruptcy in 2002, then won a $39.5 Million dollar settelment from Gamstar-TV Guide Int in 2003. It was at www.divatv.com
To my amazement, Adelphia, started the service with almost no mention. There was no advertizing and nothing in the mail. A new menu option just showed up one day on my cable box and I discovered it when flipping channels by accident.
Adelphia and Comcast, that I have persoally tried in Northern and Sourthern California, started off working well earier this summer, but for the past few months, both have become unusable, where the video stalls and sputters, the menu system crashes and burns, spitting out error messages and dumping back outside. Even when it was working well the menu's were very slow, and now after spending several minutes to get down to a Movie, it will fails and youhave to keep starting over and over again, before getting through. I have tried this at many locations.
The two big makers for Cable Boxes are Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta. In November, 2005, Scientific-Atlanta announced an agreement to be acquired by Cisco. A special meeting of shareholders has been called for February 2, 2006 to vote on the deal.
Also many come with the Codec's in closed source (black box) libraries, which solves many of the IP liscencing issues, but can prevent even the smallest of changes to these codec's that can make it difficult to fix problems or use these close codec's in anything other then the intended applications. Also I found with some of them, it's not possible to write your own DSP code to use your own codec source code, so adding GSM, OGG, Driac to one of these is not possible.
Many like the Nexperia and Sigma Designs come with a high performance DSP core and a lower performing MIPS core(or similar) that can run PSOS, QNX, uC-Linux or some other embedded OS and is used as a user programmable commuinications controller, providing Disk/DVD-Rom , Ethernet or other I/O and is programmable by the developer.
In no particular order:
(Oak TeraLogic died 2003) had Cougar and Janus chips/platforms, was Aquired by Zoran.
Still working on this article, please send your opinions, addition and corrections...
FiringSquad has a hands-on look at ATI Catalyst 5.13 drivers for the Radeon X1800XL, with a focus on video quality. They say it's the greatest leap in video quality technology for ATI since the original Mach64-VT. They triple their HQV Benchmark DVD scores by adding diagonal filtering, unusual cadence detection, and even noise reduction. On top of the video quality improvements, the new drivers enable ATI's hardware H.264 support as well as hardware transcoding. Best of all, Catalyst 5.13 will be a free upgrade scheduled to be released to the public next week.
Broadband Reports and Techdirt posted The Technology Liberation Front's article that said apparently half of all High Definition Television (HDTV) owners don't actually use the HD capabilities of their set, and nearly a quarter think they are watching high definition video when they actually haven't set it up correctly. Set-top box maker, Scientific Atlanta's survey, noted that HDTV sets will be in approximately 16 million homes across the country by the end of the year.
Ars Technica is reporting that Apple has added eleven new and classic television shows from NBC, the Sci-Fi network, and USA. The new shows include Alfred Hitchcock, Battlestar Galactica, Monk, Surface, Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, Dragnet, Law & Order, The Office and most importantly: Knight Rider!" From the article: "Steve Jobs took the opportunity to toot Apple's horn, stating that since the inception of video downloads on the iTMS, they'd sold nearly three million individual items. In addition to the sales figures, the PR from Apple stated that their current offering of video stands at approximately 300 episodes. All in all this looks like a slam dunk for Apple as they're rounding up their distribution deals and diversifying their suppliers. If the rumored deals with FOX and CBS are true then Apple will have a dominating lead in this market, much like their current domination in the digital music distribution arena."
NBC Universal TV Group president Jeff Zucker said the discussions between NBC and Apple had started before those between Apple and Disney. What is different about the Apple-NBC deal, Zucker said, is its scope - more shows including sports, late night and daytime fare - and more platforms - NBC, the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel.
Zucker said NBC Entertainment's "digital strategy is for our content to be available anywhere and everywhere and so this is just the next step in that strategy."
The shows will go for $1.99 each, just like the Disney shows, and include: "Law & Order," "The Office," "Dragnet," "Battlestar Galactica," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and older programs such as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Dragnet" and "Knight Rider."
First-run prime-time programs will be available after they run on the US West Coast, said Apple and the General Electric-controlled NBC.
Financial terms, including the deal's length, were not disclosed, except for Zucker's statement that the deal is "definitely not exclusive."
The Floodgates Have Opened
TiVo will enable certain models to copy recorded movies and TV shows to Apple iPods and Sony PSPs.
Founded in 1988 Archos based Igny France has been making portable video and audio players since 2000.
EchoStar, the operator of DISH Network, is now allowing Archos to copy content recorded on an EchoStar DVR
CinemaNow will allow the Archos to download and play movies after then have have been downloaded to a PC.
Canal+ can use the Archos as a DVR by attaching it directly to the Canal+ STB. link here
These Canal+ folks are soemone to keep an eye on.
Class 725, Interactive Video Distribution Systems on the US Patent office web site.
Modulus Video Inc Makes High end H.264 MPEG4 AVC encoder capable of HD. used MPEG-2 TS over UDP.
I forgot to mention Cisco Systems Inc., the Router company, recently agreed to buy Scientific-Atlanta Inc., a maker of set-top boxes, making a clear play to deliver programming to televisions through the Internet.