If I may go off on a rant here for a moment, I actually investigated getting FiOS installed in my house. Verizon didn't even have a fiber optic cable anywhere near me that they could run to my building. And I live only a few miles from Manhattan.
Despite that, by offering a set fee for both FiOS and cell phone service, Verizon is providing something that cable competitors can't duplicate. It's a smart move on the part of the company. Since I already have Verizon Wireless, I can only wish that they got off their lazy asses and laid some more fiber optic around my neighborhood.
In the meanwhile, I'm stuck with my sadly deficient cable company (satellite isn't an option due to the nature of my condominium). For those who have FiOS, how is it? Would you be excited about packaging that with your cell phone service?
Of course, that's $80 on top of the $300 you pay for the movie downloading device. You can shave $30 off the price if you buy the Wireless Kit bundled with the set top box. Or you could invest in a $100 Netflix Player by Roku and watch the lousy selection of videos Netflix streams over the internet to your heart's content.
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.
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.
Sony Pictures and Comcast have teamed up to launch an on-demand network focused on horror films. Being someone who loves horror movies, I was excited about this news initially, but the more you read about it the less exciting this venture seems. The network, which will launch by Halloween and has no name as of yet, will be dedicated mostly to re-airing films from the vaults of Sony and MGM. That's fine and all, but most horror fans probably already own the movies in some capacity anyway. Sony and Comcast are aware of this, so they're hoping to sweeten the deal by doing a multi-platform launch, debuting the channel online at the same time it debuts on television (wireless will come later). The online portion of the new network will feature DVD-like extras for the real horror connoisseurs. One of the proposed wireless additions is "horror ringtones," which could actually be pretty cool. I'd love to have a ringtone of Freddy saying, "I'm your boyfriend now!" a la the first Nightmare on Elm Street. I guess I'm just weird that way.
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