by Steve Smith on Jan 17, 2:44 PM
Back in the earlier parts of this decade, we digerati watched the broadband penetration numbers like hawks. We not only haggled over whose "broadband household" numbers were correct, but even over what bandwidth constituted "true broadband." We awaited high-speed access to achieve a "critical mass" that would then propel many business models like online video, gaming and VoIP into viability. To some degree this proved true, but I think that the habit of accessing digital video habitually tended to trail bandwidth a bit. For me and others I knew, the early bad experiences with online video stuck with us well …
by Steve Smith on Jan 14, 11:12 AM
For several weeks in my house we have been a bit flumoxed about what to call the Logitech Revue controller we have to pass around the living room. "Here's the rem..." my partner usually begins, only to stop herself in mid-sentence as she realizes this QWERTY slab surely can't qualify as a "remote." Seems like a small thing, but relying on a keyboard to go anywhere on your TV does prove cumbersome over time. As she passes it, her finger will hit some control button and send us into a Google TV zone we haven't seen before. And frankly, I …
by Steve Smith on Jan 13, 12:07 PM
Old-time online video fans will remember that AOL has gone to the realty programming trough several times before. A series of shows, some executed and some just planned, go back a half a decade or more. There was the Mark Burnett project "Gold Rush" (did that ever come off?) and a "Project Freshman" which was to chronicle a group of college newbies, of course. That some of us can't recall whether any of these shows even came to debut episodes gives us some idea of the track record of episodic Web reality programming, especially when Yahoo and AOL get mixed …
by Steve Smith on Jan 12, 10:55 AM
"I really like this TV," my generally gadget-averse partner raves about the Dish Network/Google TV setup we recently installed. Actually, she isn't talking about the hardware but the software. "Buffy is on all the time." She has been trying to convince me for years that Buffy The Vampire Slayer was "the best TV show ever," and I still politely try to appreciate its charms form time to time. But between the Chiller and Logo channels (all powered by the Google TV search box) she can find Buffy almost 24/7 now. I had better learn to like it.
by Steve Smith on Jan 11, 11:52 AM
When the history of media gets revised for 22nd Century textbooks, no doubt there will be a chapter on how online search changed just about everything in the early part of the 21st Century. The rise of real-time audience demand for certain news stories is upending traditional notions of editorial categorization. We are seeing at most news and information sites the quick construction of content pages around breaking stories, the aggregation of content around rising search and social media trends, and a general disintegration of the usual buckets of content categories. In online video, the problem of collecting the right …
by Steve Smith on Jan 10, 10:35 AM
Just a quick reality check. Those of you renting or buying movies over Apple TV or Amazon On-Demand may be on the cutting edge of the market, but it is still a thin edge. Even as the old DVD sales and rental market collapses, consumers are still embracing next-gen tangible media. According to new forecasts and figures from Screen Digest, the share of the $18.5 billion (for 2010) home entertainment market coming from subscription TV VOD, Internet-based VOD and digital sell-through of film and TV amounted to 12.2% or $2.3 billion. In fact, the growth curve for Blu-ray disc sales …
by Steve Smith on Jan 7, 1:22 PM
After watching UK music artist Jessie J's inaugural video on VEVO, we're not sure how much active promotion this lady needs. After all, "Do It Like a Dude" has a lot of crotch grabbing, 'motherf**k'ing and enough scary sharp things pasted to her black lips in one sequence to extinguish most healthy male fantasies. In other words, this charming act almost sells itself. And yet VEVO is getting behind this provocateur with their new Lift program that advances emerging artists.
by Steve Smith on Jan 6, 10:56 AM
Like the idea of Hugh Hefner still scampering about the mansion in full (Viagra-fueled) horniness, there is something comfortable and quaint about the resilience of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue franchise. We are so awash in easily-grabbed Internet porn, how is it possible that anyone would get even mildly excited about arty images of semi-nude undernourished models who ran out of novel ways to hide their nipples years ago? It defies reason. But bless their hearts anyway. Hef and SI still can play pretend naughtiness for us...for some weird reason.
by Steve Smith on Jan 5, 11:42 AM
We already know that video is a tried and true branding vehicle. It is one of the reasons marketers are driving the video segment onward and gaining confidence in the Web medium. But what role does video play in the actual purchase funnel? What does it do for the consumer when he or she is in the process of deciding to buy in a category and making brand distinctions, or pulling the trigger on a buy?
by Steve Smith on Jan 4, 12:22 PM
There are more tech stories than any mere mortal critic (and we are very mortal) can track coming out of the upcoming digital orgy that is Consumer Electronics Show. And so the previews start early so brands have some chance of poking through the crescendo of press releases, high profile keynotes and expo floor report that will hit later this week. Intel comes out of the gate with an early announcement that its new Sandy Bridge CPU chipset will be coming soon. For digital video mavens, this is one Intel rollout that reaches into the realm of streaming media and …