The company has raised $17.5 million to develop its new set top box. The idea is that consumers shouldn't need 12 different devices in their living room to access all the media that's available to them. And they shouldnt' need a full fledged computer either.
There aren't a lot of details yest on exactly how the Building B platform will work. It's possible that the box could be sold as a standalone product to supplement your cable or satellite TV service. But it seems more likely that Building B will try to sell their boxes to television service providers as a way to provide VOD/online video.
While some content will be delivered through a traditional broadband connection, it looks like Building B also plans to use a wireless, over the air delivery method for other content.
Nickelodeon is a place where things are happening. This post is a place where I will tell you what those things are. Yes.
Last Day of Summer, in which a boy lives his final day of summer over and over again. It premieres on Nick on July 20. The movie stars Jansen Panettiere, who voiced a character in not one, but TWO Holly Hobbie videos. How many of us can say that? How many people besides myself know what the hell Holly Hobbie is?
This week, TCM.com, the site for Turner Classic Movies, launched a cool little video site called the Media Room that features a bunch of movie trailers and clips from its library of classic films.
On occasion however, you will be able to watch select feature-length films. Currently, you can see Living on Love starring James Dunn and Whitney Bourne. Other films will follow, including Rafter Romance, A Man to Remember and Double Harness.
I think this is a really cool idea, especially for folks who might not be familiar with some of these old movies. This new site gives people a chance to watch trailers and clips and get an idea of what the movie is about so they can decide whether or not they'd like to see it. There are always trailers and clips available for current releases, but not as many for older flicks. I myself have already been checking out the clips for Tod Browning's Mark of the Vampire, a movie I'm curious about since one of Browning's other films, Freaks, is probably one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.
[via Hollywood Reporter]
At least, it will be starting on July 1.
Pipeline, CNN's broadband site that was launched in 2005 under a subscription model, include four live streams plus archived video footage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CNN never talked about how many people actually subscribed to the service, but I must say this seems like a good choice for CNN, considering how the majority of online content, news and otherwise, is offered for free and supported by advertising. If you charge, folks will simply go somewhere that doesn't.
In addition, CNN will also be redesigning the site for its relaunch.
So there you have it, news junkies: now you can have CNN playing on your computer, FOX News on the TV, NPR on the radio, ABC News on your iPod, and your butler reading you the New York Times all at once. It'll be like getting shot in the face with a machine gun of information. Yee ha.
Comedy Central is gearing up for its second "Comedy Central Test Pilots" competition, a contest that allows amateur comedic filmmakers to create their own series for inclusion on Comedy Central's Motherload broadband site, and for the chance to have their series included on the upcoming late night showcase Web Shows.
Submissions will be accepted starting June 1 through July 10. Last year, a sparsely-animated series called "Awesome Friends" won the competition, which I found somewhat surprising since I didn't find that particular series all that funny. Apparently, though, other people did, which completely challenged my theory that everyone thinks exactly the same way I do. I'm just now coming to terms with this.
Anyway, the first round of winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and shown on both Comedy Central's site and on AtomFilms. The final winner, however, will be decided on by regular ol' online viewers like you and me.
The BBC is taking advantage of this customer demand, forging ahead with plans to offer every program aired by the British network online with a new iPlayer service. At the same time, Internet TV platform Joost is moving closer to an official launch.
The survey of 2500 broadband customers was conducted by Motorola and shows that 35% of respondents want the ability to pause, rewind, or fast forward live television broadcasts.
So it's either inevitable or a bit unfair that TiVo has reduced the number of telephone numbers users can use to download data for their boxes.
TiVo says some customers might notice that they are running out of program guide data, or that their daily telephone calls are failing. There are two solutions. Either users can choose a new dial-in number, or they can connect their Series2 or Series3 boxes to the internet over a home network.
Does this signal the end of dialup? No. But it's not cheap to maintain telephone lines throughout the country. The more users TiVo can convince to connect their TiVos to broadband connections, the less money the company has to shell out in phone bills.
[via TiVo Lovers]
Previously I mentioned a new Web series for Comedy Central's Motherload site called "Crash Course in Comedy." Well, the first couple lessons from comedian Ted Alexandro are up with more to follow over the next month.
These new webisodes are somewhat different than other offerings on Motherload, as amateur comedians can actually upload their own performances to demonstrate what they've learned from the online instructions. In theory, I suppose it's an interesting idea, but the segments suffer from a kind of schizophrenia by trying to be both funny and informative at the same time. I'm not a comedian, but I think most established comedians would tell you that stand-up comedy, or any kind of comedy, isn't something that can be taught. One either has a knack for it, or they don't, and no amount of lessons are going to turn you into Steve Martin anymore than piano sheet music will turn you into Beethoven. The only thing that can turn you into Beethoven is a "spirit meld" orchestrated by a mystical wizard; I think everyone knows that.
Check out one of the first lessons after the jump.
In addition to all that, Medium and Identity will also begin streaming full episodes in March. That brings NBC's total of full episode streaming series to 13 when added to The Apprentice, Heroes, 30 Rock, Las Vegas, Friday Night Lights, Passions, Studio 60, and My Name Is Earl. The network also plans to make the full seasons of Heroes and Friday Night Lights available, starting with the pilots, beginning in the spring.
If the show improves on Studio 60's questionable numbers, it could be the end of Matt and Danny. I think things are just going to get murkier than ever though. Nothing about the pilot grabbed me and made this must see TV. The show is just as awkward a fit for the post Heroes slot as Studio 60.
I would expect it to perform much the same. Look for a disappointing drop-off out of Heroes and a sound defeat facing CSI: Miami. Something in the 2.5 to 3 times the viewership area. Where the network goes from there is anyone's guess.
The network is a heady, hipster mix of politics, fun and music. Some of the best programming so far - Heavy Metal in Baghdad, a five-part series in which the filmmakers search for Baghdad's only heavy metal band Acrassicauda. The short series presents a unique take on civilian life in Iraq. Soft Focus - former Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius interviews musicians like Chan Marshall, Will Oldham and Ian Mackaye. Dos and Don'ts and Friends - alternative comics and other off-kilter folks hold forth on still images of sexy, sexy people doing sexy, sexy things.
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the brains behind Skype and Kazaa, are preparing to launch the first global television network later this year. The new service, called Joost, has already garnered interest from Endemol TV (Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal and 1 Vs. 100), September Films (Beauty and the Geek, Bridezillas) and the Indy Racing League, all of which will be providing content, though what that content will be is unknown at the time.
The creators hope to provide entertainment for viewers using a format that will also allow content providers to keep their shows safe from piracy. The new venture already has several advertisers lined up, which is no doubt due to the popularity of both Skype and Kazaa.
Speaking as a viewer who isn't exactly tech-savvy, I have to say that the success of Joost will come down to how easy it is to use. I've said before that a large part of YouTube's success is that it's incredibly simple to find and watch videos. As long as Joost doesn't over-complicate things and actually provide worthwhile content, it might be worth checking out.
I think it's a great idea. One could argue that if everyone is able to watch the show online, they won't come back when it debuts on the network. I think the positives outweigh that negative though. As the fall season gets into gear that prime time window gets awfully crowded. And since most viewers don't have dual tuner Tivo, 2 VCRs, and a PC at the ready to catch everything they could possibly want to see, giving them the ability to watch your shows at their convenience can only increase exposure. If the show is good, they'll be back for more.
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