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.
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]
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.
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.
Both 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.
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.
Discovery 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.
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.
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?
TV 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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