Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
The Internet equipment maker Cisco
Systems reported a 36 percent jump in profit in its second fiscal quarter
yesterday, benefiting from growing demand for bigger, faster networks that can
handle video. ...
... Much of the company’s growth is coming from increased spending by cable
companies, telecommunications carriers and others to upgrade their equipment to
send and receive video programming — something that typically requires
high-performing networks. These companies are counting on video and other new
services to drive the next wave of growth. ¶ “If there’s a ‘killer app,’ it’s video,” [Cisco CEO] Mr. Chambers said. He added that the
basic ingredients of today’s networks, including the routers and switches that
are Cisco’s bread-and-butter products, also contributed to the company’s strong
Spencer Reiss has an article on Joost (née The Venice Project) that does a particularly good job explaining its architecture. Be sure to click on the thumbnails (or buy the Feb. 2007 print version). Link. Wired. --Dennis
[Atish Gude, Sprint’s senior VP of mobile broadband operations] said that while Sprint eventually wants to embrace the open
Internet-centric model for devices that connect to its WiMAX network —
browseable devices and open platforms — the company is still wrestling
with whether it should lean toward a closed or open model when it
launches. “Do you start with an open model, or start with a closed
model and move to an open model,” he asked. ...
The Venice Project, from Kazaa and Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, has been dubbed this week Joost (though since they're Scandinavian, I don't know if it's pronounced yoost or with the English j). Here's a sampling of articles.
In John Walko writes:
... The service, which combines file-sharing software and broadcast television over the Internet, is expected to launch by June and is already undergoing private trials in a number of countries and with several content providers, including companies such as Dutch TV-production group Endemol and Warner Music. Some advertisers such as T-Mobile and chewing gum maker Wrigley are already backing the venture. ¶ The backbone of what is now called Joost is a secure P2P streaming technology that allows content owners to bring TV-quality video and ease of use to a TV audience, though Zennström and Friis stress it is not a file-sharing application or a video download service. ¶ Like other "on-demand" services, Joost will let viewers watch a show when they like and pause and rewind programmes. According to the founders, the main aim is to improve the quality of video content viewed online on sites such as YouTube. The service will be funded through advertising once subscriber numbers have picked up. ...
Link: EE Times. Thanks to Ralph Hogan for the tip.
From Anders Bylund, Meet Joost: Skype founders' video service renamed and relaunched. Link: Ars Technica.
I don't normally post news releases verbatim, but I've been working closely with Open Media Network for nearly two years, and the HP and TiVo (requires TiVo Desktop release 2.4, due out this month) functionality being announced is, IMHO, very important. --Dennis
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Open Media Network, which brings non-commercial and public broadcasting content to viewers via the Internet, today announced that its service is the first to enable consumers to enjoy OMN's higher definition, Internet-downloaded video -- on television sets.
Until today, Internet-downloaded video shown on TV screens has been of poor quality, as the technology used to deliver video over the Internet has been optimized only for small screens, such as an iPod or PC screen. Open Media Network’s technology, which uses the highly advanced VeriSign Intelligent Content Delivery Network for delivery, has been optimized for viewing on HP’s ground-breaking HP MediaSmart TVs. OMN programs can also be downloaded on a TiVo digital video recorder and viewed on TV sets.
OMN’s programming was demonstrated by HP to members of the press attending the Consumer Electronics Show [Jan. 7] in Las Vegas at the Digital Experience press event. VeriSign is showcasing the service on PC screens at its CES booth ... . Users can go to www.omn.org to download quality content now.
“We’re seeing many companies announce plans to make it possible for viewers to watch Internet-downloaded shows on their full-sized TV screens, but none have yet been able to deliver it in the HD or DVD quality that people have come to expect when watching television,” said Mike Homer, OMN’s founder and CEO. “Through OMN’s work with HP and VeriSign, we’re able to bring vibrant, clear and exciting non-commercial television programming to the state-of-the-art HP MediaSmart TVs. The much-heralded marriage of TV and the Internet has arrived, and you can see it with OMN.”
Open Media Network brings leading non-commercial films, public broadcasting TV shows and video blogs to the online public. OMN boasts a library of excellent educational and documentary programming—free and fee-based—including content from producers such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National
Geographic, thought-provoking podcasts from leading National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates, and leading independent producers.
In addition to viewing OMN’s library of popular public broadcasting content on HP MediaSmart TVs and TiVo DVRs, the service supports playback on most digital media receivers (DMR) and also allows for seamless synchronization with iPods and Windows Mobile-based portable media players.
OMN is a public service dedicated to bringing "media that matters" to the public via the Internet. It gives viewers easy TV Guide® -like access to previously hard-to-find content created by public broadcasters, educational institutions, non-profits and community-based organizations. Based on VeriSign's advanced media delivery technology, OMN provides free and paid audio and video downloads in HD- or DVD-quality. It lets viewers watch their programs on their computers or
take their personal OMN libraries mobile. More information can be found at www.omn.org.
Each year, Sprint ... pays other companies a bundle to connect cell-phone calls over parts of the network that it doesn't control. In industry parlance, the process is known as "backhaul" and it pertains to a short but expensive stretch of the network controlled by big phone companies ...
... That's where Sprint's new network, based on WiMAX technology, could play a key role. By using WiMAX over that crucial leg, Sprint Nextel could cut network operating costs by two-thirds ...
Link: BusinessWeek. Another indicator that IP to the dashboard is getting close. --Dennis
... The peer-to-peer video project threatens to disrupt television distribution in the same way that free calls over the internet are disrupting the telephone industry. ¶ The Venice Project aims to combine the best things about television with the power of the internet, to provide viewers, content owners and advertisers with more choice, control and creativity. ¶ Unlike some other initiatives, it is not a file-sharing application or a video download service, but delivers streaming video-on-demand over the internet. ...
Link: informitv.com. Information is still pretty thin, but this gives more information than most articles on the Venice Project and provides some screen shots.
OK, I'm working my way through my feeds alphabetically. Om Malik has even more information and screen shots in, Inside the Venice Project & Exclusive Screenshots. Link: GigaOM. --Dennis
One problem faced by those of us who are streaming media over the Internet is that the more successful you are, the more bandwidth you consume. It's as if the electric bill on your transmitter went up incrementally with each new listener or viewer. As streaming grows in popularity among listeners -- and it has been growing rapidly -- this problem is going to increase proportionately. There are technologies to mitigate this, such as IP multicast, and the NAB Radio TechCheck publication has carried a report [PDF] on an interesting new one called gridcasting developed by the Danish company, Octoshape. The European Technical Review has published an article on a test using the Prix Europa concert: