It’s just bad news all around.
Keep calm and eat, drink, and be merry.
This holiday season TV manufacturers and retailers will be pushing 4k ‘Ultra HD’ TVs to consumers. The next evolution in High Definition television boasts 4-times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs, hence the name “4k.” But while most major …
The dust is settling a bit from yesterday’s suprise announcement that everything George Lucas once held near and dear is now the property of The Walt Disney Company®©™, with Lucas finally putting the nails into the coffin of his filmmaking career by pocketing $4.05 billion in cash and stock. [UPDATED, 11/1/12]
If the title grabbed you, then I did my job as a blogger, which I think is what a lot of bloggers tend to do, especially when it comes to everyone’s favorite tech piñata, Netflix. Seems this is one of those weeks for the Los Gatos, California company, mostly because, as usual, shareholders in their wisdom feel the company is overvalued, needs to raise rates for subscribers, or should better position themselves for a merger with (take your pick) Amazon, Hulu, Apple, etc. etc. ad absurdum (Comcast?!? Really?!?).
It’s a question we’ve received in our inbox several times over. Have you found yourself searching for HDNet on your channel guide, only to come up with nada? Early this summer, the channel was rebranded as AXS.tv, following a joint venture formed between founder Mark Cuban, American Idol host/media producer Ryan Seacrest, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), and Creative Artists Agency. Some have responded to the rebrand calling it the “worst in TV history.” Others are less concerned with the name brand and more concerned with any future changes in programming.
Even though Blockbuster sent a bottom-dwelling collection agency after me for a late charge on an out-of-state account that was over 10 years old, I believe with new ownership from Dish Network the one-time household name can be saved. But Dish must make some quick moves to save the dying giant, and the ol’ school method of doing business isn’t going to work.
I’m ashamed to say it but with the convenience of Netflix, iTunes and Amazon On Demand the Blu-rays are just sitting there collecting dust. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Batman Begins twice in the theater and a couple times on HD DVD but I have no motivation to open the Blu-ray. The Patriot is sitting there as well in the stack and I know it’s gonna look great but damn I know that story almost by heart after seeing it over a dozen times on TV.
Is 3D really going to change the way we watch TV? And, if less than 1% of U.S. households* own a 3D television today why even report on it? Because like it or not 3D is the future of TV. We just don’t know what format it will be.
If you attended CES 2011 you would have been fully immersed in 3D innovations amidst the tablet hype and drooling over TV/internet integration. This year there were quite a few companies showing off 3D sets in all different sizes and formats, along with new innovations in eyewear.
Netflix has said it is removing the the “Add to DVD Queue” from streaming devices, which would force you to log-on to your computer to manage your DVD/Blu-ray Disc queue. Bad idea? We think so. And, so do many of the 400 who have already commented on the Netflix blog.
See the thing about Netflix is you get into their New Arrivals category for Instant Watch and see Shutter Island and you’re like “Cool, Shutter Island” but then you realize it’s just SD which looks terrible on a big TV and you’re left with a choice: Watch it in standard-def or add it to the disc-by-mail queue?
Then you see Death at a Funeral (a must-see with comedians Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence), Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Law Abiding Citizen, and your girlfriend spots The Bounty Hunter (Jenny Aniston & 300‘s Gerard Butler). But lo and behold they ALL only stream in SD.
The recent news that Comcast will charge more for viewing video content over the internet rather than traditional broadcast cable follows the trend of many TV service subscribers to “cut the cord” so to speak and go with internet-only video delivery. Netflix, who is seeing large increases in usage during peak hours, recently made a deal with content delivery network Level 3 to handle what could be double capacity this upcoming year as Netflix is now offerng a streaming-only service and is generally still taking on new subs at a rapid pace.
Last month George Lucas confirmed at a convention that the Star Wars saga would release on Blu-ray Disc. Now, the director says Star Wars will be converted to 3D, with Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace to be the first shown in 3D theaters in 2012 (possibly mid-February). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the six Star Wars films will be released sequentially every year.
Nielson Co. released a study that showed most TV viewers are basically annoyed with wearing 3D glasses. What’s more, 89% of those tested admitted to being aggravated with not being able to do anything else while wearing the glasses. What the study revealed is that 3D glasses are one of the biggest deterrents when a customer is considering purchasing a 3D TV.
According to The Wall Street Journal retail giant Amazon.com may challenge the Netflix streaming product with a service of their own. Apparently the company has been in talks with NBC, Time Warner, News Corp. and Viacom to get content distribution rights to TV shows and film titles. If things fall into place, Amazon hopes to get the service launched this holiday season.
It’s hard to believe the company that opened thousands of stores nationwide and lead the movie rental business soon after launching in 1985 could possibly go belly up. But video-on-demand, kiosks, and movies-by-mail may have toppled the giant.
While the US team lost to Ghana in the Round of 16 matches at the 2010 World Cup, all was not lost if you consider how much this team has done for soccer in the US. Viewership of the FIFA World Cup has grown 68% since the tournament last took place in Germany in 2006. And, US top rated players have received much more attention than they have in the past, most noted is team captain Landon Donovan who has made late night appearances and may be asked to play for the English Premier League team Manchester City.