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August 20, 2014

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Hulu heading to mobile phones?

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 17th 2008 2:27PM
Hulu MobileThe CEO of Hulu is dropping hints that the web video platform could be headed to non-PC devices including mobile phones. The move shouldn't come as a huge surprise, since Hulu is no more locked down than the BBC's iPlayer service which is now available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Wii systems.

Broadcasting & Cable reports that Hulu CEO Jason Kilar says some devices like mobile phones are "ripe" for Hulu. That's all well and good, but seriously what I really want to see is Hulu integration with Windows Media Center and set top boxes that will let users watch TV programs on their TV. I know the trendy thing among TV execs these days is to try to figure out how to harness the internet as a new platform for displaying programming that's already available on the television. But for people like me who would rather pay for broadband internet than cable television, Hulu would make an excellent backup to my HDTV digital antenna.

In fact, the networks would probably make more money off of me if they gave me an easy way to watch Hulu on my TV set than they're making right now. Because currently when I want to watch a show, I set up a recording on my PVR. Then I skip the commercials when I watch it. You can't skip the commercials with Hulu, but I'm willing to sit through them if my PVR missed a recording or if my digital antenna was on the fritz.

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Motorola launches mobile TV device

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 4th 2008 3:53PM
Motorola DH01Motorola has a long history of making cellphones, TV set top boxes, and other consumer electronics. Now it looks like the company is launching a product that sort of merges those two lines. The Mobile TV DH01 isn't a phone or a cable box, but it includes features of both.

The DH01 is a mobile device with a 4.3 inch QVGA screen that can tune into live digital TV broadcasts. It can also play back video from a SD/MMC card, and more impressively, it can record TV on a card, storing up to 90 minutes of video on a 256MB card.

The Mobilte TV DH01 can play H.264 and MPEG-4 video, AAC and MP3 audio, and can display JPG, GIF, and PNG images. The DVBH digital video standard is widely used in Europe and Asia, but not so much the US. So while Motorola will be showing off the DH01 at CES in Las Vegas, I wouldn't count on being able to pick one up in the US anytime soon.

[via Media Experiences 2 Go]

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What's next for Verizon FiOS TV?

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 15th 2007 4:00PM
Verizon FiOS 2
Dave Zatz is continuing his investigative reporting on the next generation of Verizon's FiOS TV. A few months back Zatz uncovered some of the basic features included in the update. Now he's back with an in-depth look at Verizon's broadband television service.

First up, Verizon is turning the FiOS TV set top boxes into media extenders. You can already access photos and music from any PC on your home network. The next generation of this technology will let you stream video. And we mean pretty much any video, including MPEG4, DiVX, Flash, and so on. Verizon's software will transcode the video to MPEG2 on the fly for playback on your TV.

Verizon also plans to improve its mobile scheduling service, which lets you set recordings on your cellphone. You can browse a program guide, set recordings, and keep track of upcoming recordings. You can also delete recordings, adjust settings, and use voice search.

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Archos officially launches the 704 WiFi

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 6th 2007 8:47AM
Archos 704 WiFiThis week in as the Archos turns, the company that decided to cram a camcorder into a portable media player is launching its heaviest PMP yet. Sure, we've known this device was on its way for almost a month, but it's always nice to see the finished product.

The Archos 704 WiFi sports a 7-inch, 800x480 pixel touch screen, an 80GB hard drive, and 802.11g wireless. It can handle MPEG-4, WMV, MP3 and WMA files. And there are plugins for H.264, MPEG-2, and AAC support. Battery life is about 5 hours for video playback.

It also comes with Opera web browser preinstalled, as well as a PDF reader.

The only downsides? That big screen means you won't be able to put the 704 WiFi in your pocket, nor would you want to. It's a bit on the portly side, weighing 22 ounces.

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South Park goes mobile, plus Comedy Central and Spike launch new Web shows

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 8th 2007 6:30PM

south parkBoth Comedy Central and Spike TV are launching new Web series this year. Comedy Central plans to launch eleven new series for its Motherload site, including a show featuring Muslim American comedians called The Watch List, and a spinoff of Drawn Together called Judge Fudge.

Spike TV has eight new Web series slated for 2007, including Spike's Hottest Bartenders, Miss March Madness and FMX Prague.

There will also be a South Park wireless application launched in association with South Park Studios that will feature an avatar maker, clips from every season, Q&As with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, messageboards, production blogs, and artwork. Strangely enough, that's pretty much exactly what you can find on the South Park Studios Web site for free. Maybe this wireless app will have things you can't find on the site, but it sounds like they're simply offering what's on the site through a new platform.

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Knight Rider and Magnum get animated

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 10th 2006 12:09PM
Knight RiderA mobile media company called Player X is teaming up with Universal Mobile Entertainment to create special, two-minute animated "retrosodes" of popular 80s television shows Knight Rider and Magnum, P.I. The animated short form episodes promise to take a "tongue-in-cheek" look at the two popular series. Was there some other way to go about this project other than "tongue-in-cheek?" Perhaps not.

This is the first time a major Hollywood studio has allowed a mobile company to essentially remake and capitalize on branded properties like Knight Rider and Magnum. Once produced, the "retrosodes" will be distributed over 85 global carriers, offering the content to 1.8 billion people.

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Animal Planet widens focus

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 6th 2006 12:01PM

animal planetDiscovery Communications recently formed Animal Planet Enterprises, a new multiplatform company with a strong focus on providing resources for pet owners. Besides maintaining the Animal Planet network and online sites like AnimalPlanet.com and Animal Planet Beyond, the new company has also acquired sites like PetFinder.com, Pets Incredible and PetVideo.com. The online and mobile aspects of the company will also include resources and tools for pet owners.

I grew up with all kinds of cats and dogs, but I currently don't own any pets of my own. I have to ask, though, do those of you reading this who have pets think you would use a "resource" like this? I think it'll be interesting to see if the animal lovers Animal Planet caters to will embrace this new company.

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Miami Ink artist makes phones cool

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 19th 2006 6:49PM
razrIf you're a fan of the TLC series Miami Ink, and especially tattoo artist Ami James, you might find this interesting. James has been picked by Motorola to etch cool "tattoos" onto their swanky RAZR phones. The new phones will be available by Christmas, so if you know somebody who loves tattoos and overpriced phones but doesn't actually want the tattoos on their body, this would probably be the perfect gift. RAZR's can sell for as much as $300 or even $600 for special models, but if you mail me your current mobile phone I'll draw a picture of Snoopy on it with a Sharpie for ten cents. Trust me, that's way cooler than whatever the hell James is doing.

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Lost and Desperate Housewives to become mobile phone games

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 14th 2006 12:05PM
Gameloft logoToday, game developer Gameloft is going to announce a multi-year agreement with Touchstone Television; under the agreement, Gameloft will develop mobile phone games based on Touchstone-produced shows. It will also be announced that the first two shows to get the mobile game treatment will be Lost and Desperate Housewives.

Now, with all the mysteries and symbols and codes that float around Lost, I can easily see how that can be made into an engaging game. But Housewives? What are they going to have the game players do in that one? Have Gabrielle sleep with the housepainter instead of the gardner? Have Bree kill another husband? Give Lynette another screaming kid? Since Gameloft has also made The O.C. into a video game, I'm sure they're capable of creating something interesting. But I don't think a Housewives game would hold my interest while I take the train into the city.

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Would you watch an entire episode on your cell phone?

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 13th 2006 9:31AM
hbo logoHBO just inked a deal with Cingular to make episodes of Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm available to for viewing on cell phones. This is the first time cell phone content comes in the form of an entire episode, rather than just video shorts. Although, the deal also includes a series of Entourage original video shorts starring Kevin Dillon.

I'm not so sure that I could handle squinting at my tiny cell phone screen for 30 minutes to watch an entire show. It's hard enough to do on a video iPod. Any takers?

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TV Guide on the go

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 17th 2006 3:32PM

TV Guide; Lost; Josh HollowayTV Guide's mobile entertainment division has signed a deal with Cingular Wireless to offer streaming video content on Cingular's mobile devices. The only thing definitely guaranteed is an "on-demand version of TV Guide Channel."

I would imagine if the service does well, it won't take long for episode previews and clips to be offered as well - just like Verizon's V-Cast video service. I find these services odd though. Do people actually pay a couple bucks so they can watch something like next week's Lost preview on their cell phone? I don't think I would pay for it unless it came with a lot of perks.

[via Broadcasting & Cable]

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CBS' The Courier on TV and online

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 18th 2006 2:21PM
BASE jumperOn January 24, CBS will debut a "micro-series" called The Courier. The first sixty-second segment of the show, which will air during the first commercial break of CSI: Miami. It will be followed by shorter segments which will also air during the first commercial break of the 9 p.m. hour during following days. The series will conclude on February 1. The series will center on a man who must perform death defying feats in order to save his kidnapped wife. Famous BASE jumper Iiro Seppanen will star. The series will also be available online and via mobile phone.

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