Netflix spinoff Roku has been doing quite well as of late. Roku has sold over 500,000 of their streaming boxes, which steam content from the likes of Netflix, Pandora, TwiT.tv, and Revision3. With revenue doubling last year to $75 million, Roku is looking to expand, and may be planning an IPO.
If Roku is able to raise the expected $30 million, their next step could be to kill your cable. Roku is currently recruiting content providers to create channels. They hope to be able to offer 100 channels of on-demand programming this year. “We’re not far away from the time when you’ll be able to get the same kinds of channels that any cable operator can offer,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood.
Would this sort of service get you to drop your cable?
HP is pretty geeked about the upcoming season of "Project Runway" on Lifetime, in which contestants will have the option of using computers to sketch designs. Can you guess which PCs they'll be using?
"Technology is what's next in fashion design. Forward-thinking designers are exploring new ways to use technology in the design process," said Barbara Schneeweiss, vice president of Production and Development for TV and Feature Film at The Weinstein Company.
Throughout the season, you'll see contestants ditch their sketchpads in favor of Intel-equipped HP TouchSmart PCs and TouchSmart tm2 notebooks. Expect to see a lot of the tm2, which can be rotated and converted to slate mode.
Next season's winner will walk away with a $50,000 prize package from HP and intel to create, design, and run their own business.
Let's put this one in perspective. In 2009, OEM manufacturer Foxconn (otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry) shipped between 1-2 million LCD TVs. But that's a drop in the bucket compared to the company's goal in 2010, which is to ship a minimum of 12 million units on an OEM/ODM basis.
Should Foxconn ultimately meet its goal, it would become the second largest TV contract manufacturer in Taiwan, trailing only TPV Technology.
One of Foxconn's biggest (and newest) customers includes Samsung, who has been buying panels from Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). CMO will soon merge with Innolux Display, a subsidiary of Foxconn, making this new relationship possible.
Other TV clients in 2010 will include Sony, who is expected to purchase 5 million units, LG (2 million), and Vizio (1-2 million).
We always take rumors with a large grain of salt, but as far as pre-release speculation goes, news and rumor site Fudzilla has a knack for being right on the money. And if their latest claim turns out to be true, DirecTV will announce the world's first satellite 3D-HD channel next month during CES.
What isn't known is when the channel will actually go online, though it's likely to coincide with the next DirecTV satellite the company plans to launch into space early next year. If all goes to plan, that satellite will be online and operational by March 2010.
That means new 3D hardware if the fad is to take off, which would be a tough pill to swallow for anyone who just plunked down a wad a cash for a flat-screen LCD TV. But if it's any consolation, Fudzilla says it's been hearing chatter that most of DirecTV's recent HD and HD DVR receivers will support the 3D-HD standard with a simple firmware update.
You've probably seen a handful of big screen LED-backlit LCD televisions the last time you strolled through the TV section in your local electronics store, and in 2010, you'll be seeing a lot more of them, says iSupply.
More specifically, the market research firm says global LED-backlit TV shipments for 40-inch and larger models will jump nearly 8x in 2010 to 18.8 million units, up from 2.5 million units in 2009. iSupply attributes the nearly eight-fold increase to consumer demand, a push for green technologies, and a willingness by various parts of the TV supply chain to oblige on both of these accounts.
"Panel makers have been investing heavily in LED chip makers or have been developing their own internal technologies in order to take advantage of what they believe LED-backlit TVs bring to the table: differentiation, innovation, low power consumption, and of course the potential to reap the benefits of higher revenues," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for TV systems at iSupply.
Looking beyond next year, iSupply says LED-backlit LCD TVs in the 40-inch or larger category will explode to 112.1 million units in 2013, by then claiming 83.2 percent of the market. By comparison, large screen LED-backlit LCD TVs claim just 6 percent of the market currently.
For the last two decades, cable companies haven’t paid so-called retransmission fees to over the air broadcasters. In return, the broadcasters have received prime locations on cable systems. With the recent decline in ad revenues, that’s seeming like a less favorable arrangement for the likes of Fox. News Corp (owner of Fox and associated channels) is now going after Time Warner Cable demanding those fees be paid. If Time Warner doesn’t relent by week’s end, News Corp plans to pull their content from Time Warner’s system.
News Corp owns 27 stations including Fox, FX, and National Geographic. The fees would likely cost Time Warner about $1 per subscriber each month. The cost would probably be passed on to customers. However, Time Warner has thus far refused to pay up, triggering an ad war. Both sides have started running opposing ads designed to get customers riled up.
The whole thing feels like another attempt by Rupert Murdoch to extract more value from his existing properties. “We realize this is going to be a tough challenge, but we’re determined to take a leadership position in creating an economic template for the future,” Murdoch recently said to investors.
The tide has been turning this way in recent years, but most broadcasters only get pennies per subscriber. CBS reportedly struck deal with Time Warner for about $.50 per subscriber. The demands from News Corp are substantial by comparison. Who’s in the right here? Do you think they’ll reach a deal at the last minute; is someone just bluffing?
Are you hoping this whole 3D TV thing will just blow over? Well, if the newest rumor turns out to be true, that’s looking less likely. According to everyone’s favorite, the “unnamed source”, DirecTV will be making an announcement at CES indicating their intention to begin broadcasting 3D high definition content as early as March of 2010.
The rumor also says that the 3D content will require only a firmware update on existing set-top boxes to access the 3D content. Still in question is what sort of goofy-looking glasses people would need to wear. The 3D channel will reportedly offer an assortment of sports, movies, and TV series. All content should meet the recently agreed upon 3D specifications. The 3D video will require customers to buy one of the new 3D capable HDTVs expected to debut at CES, and new HDMI 1.4 specification cables.
Most vows to sport a thinner frame don't begin until everyone starts making out their New Year's resolutions, but LG is already off and running with what it claims is the world's thinnest LCD TV.
Not that the company's previous ultra-thin LCD was flabby, but at just 2.6mm (0.1 inches) thick, LG's new 42-inch model is a full 50 percent thinner than its predecessor. It also one-ups the model it's replacing by incorporating an LED backlight system.
Other specs include full HD (1080p) with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. And as for weight? Just 4 kilograms, which converts to about 8.8 pounds.
No word yet on price or availability, though LG said it plans to display the ultra-thin set at CES next month.
It’s the Holiday season, and that means a lot of time catching up with relatives on the phone or in person. You can make those long-distance calls a lot more personal though, by setting up your living room TV to act as a video phone.
And really, setting up a video chat session on your living room PC isn’t all that hard. We’ll show you how you can get started video chatting with just three simple steps: Finding the right connector, setting up a webcam, and installing video chat software.
We’ll warn you ahead of time: this guide is written to be a little more newbie-friendly then our usual how-tos here at MaximumPC. Now, we’re not forgetting our power-user fans, but we wanted to make this guide something you can send to your parents and other relatives, so that they can get in touch for the holidays.
Google has decided to dip its toe in the stream of anonymized user data coming from TiVo. By subscribing to the TiVo data, Google hopes to make ads more useful to both advertisers and viewers. Google’s angle for selling TV ads is that they will only charge for the ads that are actually watched. So, if most people skip an ad, the channel makes almost nothing on it.
Online it’s easy to track impressions via clicks, but having the same scheme on TV upsets the people running the networks. Google already has a similar deal with Dish Network, and this deal just extends their statistical powers. Eventually, the data Google wields will make it painfully clear to advertisers how few ads people actually watch. This has the potential to erode the financial foundation of many television networks.
Neilson data has long been the guiding force behind the value of ads, and the networks are
understandably concerned about possible changes. Google contends this arrangement will simply lower the barrier to entry for TV ads. Will TV networks go along with the plan?