Time Warner has rolled out a new TV viewing option for its customers to enjoy from the safety of home (and only from home). Live TV streams are now flowing to compatible web browsers for those with Time Warner TV and internet services. The TWC TV web app is in beta, but supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Although, the service does have a number of catches.
Wireless spectrum: it’s what powers mobile communications and wireless carriers have an insatiable taste for more, more, MORE of it. The need for more spectrum is the reason Sprint keeps bailing Clearwire out of financial hot water and why AT&T is pushing so hard for a merger with T-Mobile. Verizon has pretty much been the only major carrier that hasn’t engaged in major spectrum-related deals this year – until now, that is. Today, Verizon announced it has reached a $3.6 billion deal to gobble up 122 spectrum licenses from three major cable companies.
Irony, your name is Anonymous. The hacktivist group tosses DDoS bombs around with callous ease in an apparently never-ending quest against government and corporate “tyranny,” all behind the smiling, blank Guy Fawkes mask featured at the end of “V for Vendetta.” Sure, a silent crowd full of masked Anons can be creepy, but here’s the funny part: each Guy Fawkes mask bought by an Anon member puts cash into megacorporation Time Warner’s pockets.
Verizon, which is sitting on top of the world today, didn't take kindly to Time Warner's advertising campaign pitching an "advanced fiber optic network." The National Advertising Review Board wasn't buying it either and has ordered Time Warner to stop referring to its network as "fiber optic," leaving Verizon as the sole major fiber provider to the home, Arstechnica reports. But if Time Warner's network isn't fiber optic, what is it?
In a recent New York Times Interview with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, the subject of Netflix came up. Bewkes held firm to the assertion that Netflix is actually a very small player with no power to affect the industry. He compared the disc rental and streaming company to the Albanian military, strangely. "It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?" Bewkes quipped. "I don’t think so."
The Time Warner chief continued to rail against Netflix claiming they had undermined the video rental industry. We would have to agree with that, considering the state of Blockbuster. Still, Bewkes maintained that Time Warner did not know Netflix would cause consumers to shift away from purchasing and renting from brick and mortar stores. We're struck by how well Mr. Bewkes manages to lay out Netflix's notable impact, while at the same time saying they are not significant in the market.
All this comes back to the Starz deal that allows Neflix to stream many newer releases. Time Warner owns Starz, and Bewkes insinuated they might not renew the deal when it expires in a few years. Whether or not production companies see Netflix as a major player, the service is winning over consumers. When the Starz deal, expires, content companies might have no choice but to deal with the juggernaut that is Netflix. Some, like Bewkes, have demanded that Netflix charge more to better support content licenses. How much would you pay for Netflix streaming, assuming more licensing deals came through?
Time Warner today is launching its Look Back service, which gives subscribers an alternative to sites like Hulu for viewing shows after they've already aired. With the Look Back service, viewers can catch up on TV episodes up to three days after they've been beamed to TV sets, Reuters reports.
The service is launching nationally to nearly all of Time Warner Cable's roughly 13 million customers and includes support for 24 channels, including ABC, NBC, Discovery, and the Food Network.
Look Back users will be able to play and rewind previously aired broadcasts using their remotes, but won't be able to fast forward through commercials.
"This gives consumers more options so they don't have to think about whether they have set up their DVRs to record a show, Look Back does so automatically," said Melinder Witmer, Time Warner Cable's Chief Programming Officers.
Popular video streaming service Hulu is rumored to be talking to both Time Warner and CBS about adding additional content to a possible paid version of the site. The details aren't yet available, but sources say the new content would roll out behind a pay wall of some sort starting in September.
If Hulu could tempt CBS, it would be a major coup for the company. They already have support from Fox, NBC, and ABC. Adding the fourth major TV studio could be a selling point for many consumers. If the September date does hold up, the timing seems perfect for a new season of TV to be available online. We could also see the rollout of the Xbox 360 and iPad Hulu apps at that time. It would make sense for Hulu to make the biggest splash possible when the pay service finally opens up.
It's not clear what benefits a paid Hulu account would provide. What sort of features would you need to see before paying up?
If Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, and DirecTV get their way, you'll soon be able to watch television shows and movies on your computer and other digital devices, so long as you subscribe to both television and high-speed Internet services. The plan is part of an industry-wide 'TV Everywhere' initiative, but not everyone is stoked about the idea.
Fearful that television service providers will dominate the online video landscape, push out smaller competitors, and charge consumers unnecessarily high monthly subscription fees, public interest groups have begun sending out letters to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the TV Everywhere plan.
"TV Everywhere is designed to eliminate competition at a pivotal moment in the history of television," said Marvin Ammori, a law professor at the University of Nebraska and senior adviser to Free Press. "The antitrust authorities should not stand by and let the cable cartel crush Internet TV before it gets off the ground."
Naturally, the cable companies and TV service providers don't agree.
"That fact that market participants are experimenting with models in addition to fee- or advertiser-supported models is not a sign of anti-competitive conduct," said Kyle McSlarrow, chief executive of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. "It is a sign of a dynamic and rapidly changing market in which no one knows the ultimate outcome."
Things aren’t looking great for AOL as it is in the process of shaking Time Warner loose. The once dominant internet company has announced that 100 layoffs will be happening soon. After that AOL plans to ask for voluntary departures, possibly with some sort of buyout system. If that doesn’t produce the desired results, employees can expect heads to roll.
In an earnings call last week, Time Warner reported that AOL revenues were down 23 percent from last year. Sources say that those figures mean AOL will need to cut about 1000 jobs through various means. The larger layoffs could coincide with AOL’s departure from Time Warner. It will be a rough holiday season for some AOL employees. It almost makes you miss the golden age of the free AOL disk.
Yikes - it was discovered that a vulnerability in a Time Warner cable modem and WiFi router being used by 65,000 customers makes it possible for a hacker to remotely access the device's administrative menu and wreak havoc, To deal with the problem, Time Warner said it hopes to have updated firmware from the router manufacture to push out to customers soon.
"We were aware of the problem last week and have been working on it since," said Time Warner spokesman Alex Dudley.
"From within your own network, an intruder can eavesdrop on sensitive data being sent over the Internet and even worse, they can manipulate the DNS address to point trusted sites to malicious servers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks," Chen wrote on his blog. "Someone skilled enough can possibly even modify and install a new firmware onto the router, which can then automatically scan and infect other routers automatically."
Time Warner said it is working to find out if the same or a similar vulnerability also affects other models.