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October 4, 2015


'Lost,' 'Heroes' Most Pirated Shows of 2010

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 3rd 2011 3:15PM
Lost'Lost' and 'Heroes' ended their series runs on top -- on top of the most-pirated shows list of 2010.

According to TorrentFreak.com, 'Lost' logged 5.94 million illegal downloads for a single episode. 'Heroes,' a show with much lower Nielsen ratings, had an episode downloaded 5.48 million times.

The two dramas both had intense fan followings, yet 'Lost' won over critics season after season and maintained decent, though declining, Nielsen ratings. During its time on the air, 'Heroes' suffered a steep loss in both critical acclaim and viewers.

'Lost' was seen by an estimated 13.57 million viewers, 'Heroes' by 5.3 million, meaning more people downloaded 'Heroes' then viewing it.

The rest of the list is below.

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Steve Jobs wants the networks to cut iTunes TV download prices

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 26th 2010 8:40PM
steve_jobs_appleMaybe it's just a coincidence, but on the eve of Apple's next big thing -- something being called the Apple tablet which only makes me think of an aspirin that tastes fruity -- Steve Jobs wants the networks to drop the cost to download TV episodes from the iTunes store.

Could that be the reason Steve is meeting with the executives, to make them see that downloads would increase substantially if individual episodes were $.99 instead of the current prices which are typically twice that amount or more.

There's plenty of reason why the networks should listen to Steve. He's been right a lot more than he's been wrong. The iPod and the iPhone have revolutionized how we listen to music, use our phones, PDAs, etc. Whatever the next big thing is from Apple, it probably involves how to watch TV in a more portable way. Even more than we already are watching with the stuff we're carrying now.

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The Doctor is in...on iTunes, that is

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 23rd 2008 8:30AM

Doctor Who comes to iTunes in the U.S.

Back in February we reported on rumors that the BBC would be distributing some of its more popular shows, including Doctor Who, via iTunes in the U.S.. Well, they are rumors no more. To coincide with this week's appearance of the BBC at the San Diego Comic-Con, the BBC is releasing Doctor Who for purchase and download from the iTunes store.

Now, before you get all crazy and start searching for episodes of the show that featured Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor, the episodes that are being offered are from the new series only. And, you can't purchase and download shows from the current fourth series. However, you can download series one through three. This means you get both Christopher Eccleston as the gritty Doctor and David Tennant as the more exuberant Doctor.

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Amazon to launch video streaming service

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 17th 2008 10:01AM
Amazon Unbox
Amazon is rolling out a new video service today that will either replace or compliment the Amazon Unbox video download store. While Unbox customers have to wait for a video to download before they can begin watching, Amazon Video on Demand will let you begin watching as soon as you've placed an order.

The New York Times reports that Amazon is launching the service for a limited number of customers today, with a wider release scheduled for later this summer. The Amazon Unbox web page has a little button asking for volunteers for a new beta program, so I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that beta=video on demand.

According to the article, videos will be available for rental or purchase. And once you've purchased a video, you'll be able to watch it from any computer. No software installation necessary. In other words, it sounds like the new service is browser-based.

On the one hand, this means Amazon Video on Demand will be compatible with Windows and Mac machines (I'm not going to hold my breath for Linux support), which is great. But it's also nice to be able to save a copy of a movie on your own computer for archiving. What happens if Amazon kills the service in two years. Does that mean you lose your online video library which you've paid for? I'm hoping that Amazon still gives users the option of downloading movies, even if not everyone will need to use that option.

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Analyst says TV industry facing dark days ahead

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 7th 2008 3:43PM
The Walt Disney CompanyIn a piece of news that should surprise very few people, Lehman Brothers has cut the stock ratings on the Walt Disney Company, Time Warner and several other top entertainment companies. The reasons behind this include the rise of legal digital downloading cutting into advertising revenue and the concern of piracy cutting into primary profits such as DVD sales.

"To be clear, our fear is that the damage that digital distribution inflicted on the music industry will replicate itself in the movie industry, and our fears are too great to justify keeping neutral or positive ratings on the creators and distributors of movie and TV content," wrote analyst Anthony DiClemente.

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Microsoft adds TV shows to Zune Marketplace

by Brad Linder, posted May 6th 2008 1:35PM

Zune Marketplace

You know how Apple's iTunes store was once music only, and then the company added TV and movies? Yeah, replace the word Apple with Microsoft and you've pretty much got today's news. Well most of it, anyway. Microsoft has rolled out an updated version of its Zune Marketplace software. And while movies are nowhere to be seen, there are about 800 episodes from popular TV shows available for purchase at $1.99 a pop.

Titles include South Park, The Office, Heroes, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Robot Chicken, and Rock of Love. All of the shows are from NBC Universal, MTV, or Turner. While the pricing in competitive with Apple's iTunes Store, it'd be nice to see a slightly larger content library. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that if the networks currently on board sell a decent number of TV episodes, we'll see other networks join soon enough.

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Heroes tops the list of most pirated TV shows of 2007

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 3rd 2008 8:22AM

With 2.5 million downloads, Heroes is the most pirated TV show for 2007And here I thought it was According to Jim. Who knew? Maybe this year.

Until then, NBC's Heroes is the number one most pirated TV show of 2007, according to a list compiled on TorrentFreak. Nearly 2.5 million illegal downloads were made of the super-hero program, with the BBC program Top Gear coming in second at about 1.2 million. Others on the list are Battlestar Galactica (706,000), 24 (524,000) and Scrubs (tenth on the list at 427,000 downloads).

Here's my question concerning all of this...why is this still illegal?

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Wal-Mart closes video download store

by Brad Linder, posted Dec 28th 2007 11:02AM
Wal-Mart video store closes
The Wal-Mart video download store died in its sleep last week after a Hewlett-Packard pulled the plug on the technology that powered the store. The video download service was just a year old. RIP.

But seriously, I'd kind of forgotten that Wal-Mart was even in the video download business. The company entered the market with a big splash last year, and then kind of didn't draw much attention to itself. When I think of video download services these days, I tend to think of Amazon, CinemaNow, MovieLink, Vongo, or even Vudu, but not Wal-Mart.

This isn't to say that Wal-Mart wasn't making some serious money off of video download sales. But the company is the number one DVD retailer in the US, so any money they were getting from downloads was probably small potatoes in comparison.

Wal-Mart is reportedly not looking for a new technology partner at the moment. If you've already purchased movies from the Wal-Mart video download store, you can continue to watch them as much as you like on your current computer. But thanks to DRM, you cannot transfer those recordings to a new computer.

[via paidContent]

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NBC launches free video download service

by Brad Linder, posted Nov 10th 2007 5:29PM
NBC Direct
NBC has launched its anticipated video download service, and I'm a bit underwhelmed. Oh, don't get me wrong, the videos look great, and they're about $1.99 cheaper than any TV shows you're going to download from Amazon or iTunes (in other words, they're free, but come with commercials). But the video download experience leaves a bit to be desired.

You can download the NBC Direct video player from NBC's website. Because the videos use Microsoft DRM, the player will only work on Windows. And as far as I can tell, there's no way to transfer the videos to a portable device.

TV shows will be available for 7 days after their air date, and once you start watching you have 48 hours before your video self destructs. There is a button you can press to get another 48 hours if you need it. Meanwhile, Hulu, the online video site that NBC and News Corp recently launched allows you to watch the last 5 or so episodes of most TV shows that are currently on the air.

Hulu also has a much larger selection than NBC Direct. Right now, the only shows you can download are The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Bionic Woman, and Life.

[via Mashable]

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Jaman releases movie rental hack for Apple TV

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 28th 2007 1:00PM
Jaman Apple TVThe Apple TV is a $300 box designed to let you watch iTunes content on your TV set without plugging your computer directly into your TV. It streams content from your Mac and the internet over your home network.

While Apple has yet to authorize third party development on the Apple TV, hackers have been adding applications to the box pretty much since the day it was released.

Hackers have added RSS feeds, support for non-iTunes videos, and the ability to upgrade your hard drive. Now Jaman has released the first commercial plugin for renting movies from the Jaman service. But since Apple doesn't support any 3rd party Apple TV applications, the only way to install the Jaman player is by hacking your TV. In other words, don't expect any support from Apple if you wind up messing up your system. In fact, even Jaman says they won't offer support for their Apple TV software.

If that last paragraph didn't scare you off, you can find a detailed review and installation guide at Apple TV Hacks.

[via last100]

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NBC brings new shows to iTunes despite dispute

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 26th 2007 2:04PM
ChuckRemember how NBC and Apple had a big fight over iTunes pricing?

First NBC said they were going to pull their episodes from the service because Apple wasn't giving them enough flexibility in pricing. Then Apple accused NBC of wanting to charge $4.99 per episode. And finally, NBC said they didn't need Apple anyway, and went over to Amazon, where the network offered up the pilot episodes of four new shows for free.

Yeah, well it turns out you can buy those shows from Amazon, or you can buy at least two of them from iTunes. It turns out you can buy episodes of Chuck and Journeyman from iTunes. Both shows premiere this week on NBC, and have been available for a few weeks from Amazon Unbox.

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NBC launching free download service

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 19th 2007 7:05PM
NBC watch onlinePretty much every TV network and its sister offers up a way to watch popular shows for free online. Just hop on over to a network website and you'll find a way to watch recent episodes of everything from Heroes to Girlfriends.

And of course, you can download many of the same shows for a fee from services like iTunes and Amazon Unbox. But NBC is preparing to launch a new service that's a combination of the two. NBC Direct will let you download videos to your computer for free. They'll include advertising, and you'll only be able to watch for up to a week after a program's original air date. But you can download a video and watch it on the go when you don't have an active internet connection. No buffering needed.

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Sony prepping Playstation 3 HD video download services

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 10th 2007 5:30PM
80GB PS3It looks like Sony's got some big (and possibly desperate) plans for the Playstation 3. Not only has the company slashed $100 off the price of the 60GB PS3 gaming console, but Sony is also introducing a new version with an 80GB hard drive.

So what's the extra storage for? Sony tells Newsweek's LevelUp blog that it's part of a plan to let users download and play online games -- and also to download high definition video content.

Microsoft has already been selling HD video downloads for the Xbox 360 for the better part of the year. And seeing as how Sony kind of has its own movie studio, there's no big surprise here.

Few details are available regarding the planned video download service. But given that Sony announced its PS3 price cut and new model just days before the E3 convention, it's probably a safe bet that there'll be some news before the week is out.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

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Order Amazon Unbox movies from your TiVo

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 10th 2007 8:00AM
TiVo and Amazon UnboxTiVo and Amazon have tightened the integration of Amazon's online movie download service with TiVo set top boxes.

In March, the two companies launched a partnership that lets you buy and download movies and television from Amazon Unbox to your computer, and then watch those videos on your home network-connected TiVo.

Now, the companies are eliminating the two step process, allowing you to order and download movies directly from your Series2 or Series3 TiVo. All you need to play is a broadband connection and an Amazon Unbox account. You'll have to enter a 5-digit code on your remote control to order movies, which should keep the kids or house guests from filling up your TiVo.

The update makes TiVo a serious competitor for the AppleTV and other devices that bring internet video to your television set.

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Idol Gives Back content available on iTunes

by JJ Hawkins, posted Apr 30th 2007 12:31PM

Idol Gives Back on iTunesIf you somehow found yourself feeling unsatisfied after last week's inspirational "Idol Gives Back" smorgasbord, you can always head over to iTunes for a second helping.

For a limited time, iTunes is offering video and audio versions of the performances as well as some exclusive content that wasn't televised during the original air date.

While you can expect to pay a nominal fee for everything you download, all proceeds will be distributed to relief organizations within the U.S. and Africa via the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund.

Although "Idol Gives Back" has already brought in $60 million in donations, it's nice to see some ancillary methods like this iTunes arrangement continuing to bring even more money to the charitable cause.

Check out the American Idol official Fox Site for more details.

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