9 05 2007

Here are some articles that I have read, watch me tie them into each other. First up is a piece on what happens at a network when the US show they have been showing suddenly disappears off the air, because it was cancelled in it’s homeland. Its a tough one, because if a network waits until its a hit before deciding on the schedule, you may have lost a few hundred thousand potential viewers to downloading.

Next up, an article about  the challenges facing broadcasters, both US and around the world, on the redistribution of their content illegaly. Youtube is the standard bearer and the lawsuits often start with them, but there are hundreds of others just waiting to take their place. Combined with the new wave of sites set up just to link to the content, it is very hard to point the finger at one culprit.

And finally, with the upfronts taking place next week, TV Squad have put together a look back at 2006 upfronts with 20/20 hindsight, just to give you an idea of what everyone was talking about, and which shows failed miserably despite the hype. Enjoy.

45% of Europeans watch TV online?

3 05 2007

Techcrunch have posted the results of a survey conducted by Motorola in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom that says that 45% of Europeans now watch TV online. Although I knew it was happening, I had no idea it was to this extent. Because I work in the industry, I am surrounded by people who watch TV on their PC/Macs, and in the last year or two I have noticed more and more of my friends and colleagues bingeing on TV, especially serialised drama, at the weekends in bed on their laptops.

One thing this survey doesn’t make clear however, as Techcrunch rightly points out, is *how* these Eurocrats are consuming this TV. Do they mean Bittorrent downloads of TV shows, or legal streaming? Or maybe even 2 minute news bulletins? And what were Motorola trying to prove with this survey anyway? That european consumers want to watch TV on their mobiles, on the move? Because I am not sure they do.

ITV to launch on-demand programming

2 05 2007

I wrote this paragraph disparaging ITV’s attempts to join the rest of the TV world in this 21st century, but I thought I would re-write it, give them a chance to prove themselves and just report the news for now, leaving the sarcastic remarks until they fail miserably (oops, sorry that just slipped out).

ITV yesterday announced that they would be relaunching as a destination to catch up on all their shows from the last seven days (Craig David would be so proud), as well as creating new “360 degree” shows, which encomass mobile, broadband and the good old fashioned idiot box. Good luck to them I say, I hope it’s free, high quality, and easy to use. (That wasn’t too hard for me was it?)

BBC iPlayer

1 05 2007

Today the BBC trust approved the Beeb’s plans for the iPlayer. This fancy bit of software will let you catch up on any show for the next 7 days, and even download and store them for a reasonable period of time, you all know the rest by now. Really exciting developments that I believe will change TV for the better, with more people more willing to catch a show they missed because of their hectic life, or a scheduling conflict, or some such.

My only gripe is a personal one, as a mac user. One of the changes imposed on them by the trust was to make the iPlayer available to those not using a Microsoft operating system in “a reasonable time frame”, thought to be two years. Yesterday a BBC spokesman said they may not be able to do that, with their plans to roll the software out on cable boxes first, then other operating systems, but that depends more on the third parties involved.

I would love a bit of iplayer action, but I’ll be damned if I have to use Windows or join Virgin Media to get it before 2010.

Who wants mobile TV?

30 03 2007

Have you ever met anyone wants to watch television on their mobile phone? Yesterday BBC announced a deal with 3 UK networks to stream full programs to 3G mobile phones. Last week NBC launched a service with Verizon to stream their programs to users of the V-cast service. Everybody I know owns a mobile phone, but I’ve never come across a person who said:-

Do ya know what would make this better? If I could watch TV on it!! Yep, good old TV, with grainy audio and a 2 inch screen. And I’m willing to pay for the privilege too!

As some of you may know, in the UK the analogue spectrum, bandwidth if you will, to broadcast a high definition signal over the air will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. the likely outcome of this is that the deep pocketed phone networks will outbid the broke-arse BBC and ITV. A government spokesman the other day said, and I’m quoting this from memory, that the government don’t know if the people would prefer mobile TV or HD over the air in the future, and that industry don’t know either but would be a better judge. Shall I tell you who really knows??? Me. I don’t care how high the quality it is, watching streamed TV on any sort of screen you can hold in your hands is always going to be no more than a convenient thing to pass the time, never the full blown dolby digital eye-poppingly sharp experience the so many shows today demand. There, I’ve said it.

Playstation Home

2 03 2007

Playstation HomeWhen I return from my travels, I will expect Sony to have announced this. It’s the online network service that they should have originally launched with the console, but may just be in place by the European launch date.

Early details revealed by Kotaku suggest a cross between Xbox live and the virtual console/Mii’s of the Wii. If it combines the best of those two services, that will be better than what PS3 is offering right now. But how does it relate to my TV lifestyle, I hear you ask? Well this statement in the patent filed to the FCC sounds like something that may interest me.

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The Burg

16 02 2007

The Burg is an online TV show that has been described by Wired magazine as this generations Friends. I’m only halfway through the first ep so I can’t vouch for that, but what I have watched is decent so far (kind of reminds me of It’s always Sunny) and I trust in Wired and so I thought I would bring it to your attention. Click here to go to their website, or here to subscribe to the show as a video podcast in itunes.