Linda Moss writes: "DirecTV Inc. is preparing to launch two types of video-on-demand services: one that will be broadcast via satellite and one that will be delivered via high-speed-Internet connections. ¶ The satellite service, available sometime 'over the next few months,' will deliver a limited set of top movies to the hard drives of DirecTV customers with digital-video recorders. Customers would pick a movie off the shelf, in effect, and pay for it at that time. The on-demand offering would also include TV shows from NBC Universal and FX, as well as other content providers. ..." Link: Multichannel News.
See alsoDirecTV to launch video-on-demand service. Link: MSN Money. --Dennis
The FCC's annual Video Competition Report is always full of interesting information. It's just released its most recent one one about which there's a news release on the FCC web site. I'll link the entire report when I can find it. In the meantime, check out the release by clicking the link above, some of which is quoted in the "Continue reading" area below. One interesting finding about usage of television follows here.
"... Americans are voracious consumers of media services. On average, we spend close to 30 percent of our day engaged in some activity involving media, with television viewing the dominant media activity.For the September 2004 – September 2005 television season, the average household tuned into TV for 8 hours, 11 minutes a day. This is almost 3 percent higher than the previous season, more than 12 percent higher than 10 years ago, and the highest level observed since television viewing was first measured by Nielsen Media Research in the 1950s.Within the same period, the average person watched 4 hours, 32 minutes each day, again a record high. ..."
A news article on the report is,Competitors Making Inroads Against Cable. Link: Washington Post. --Dennis
"Earlier this week, UK satellite TV provider, BSkyB, officially launched its long-awaited, PC-based broadband VOD service, "Sky by Broadband." The service--which features content from Sky Movies and Sky Sports, and which appears designed to help Sky meet the competitive threat posed by the VOD services offered by UK cable operators, ntl and Telewest, and by the HomeChoice IPTV platform ... --currently offers over 200 full-length movies (Sky says that it will eventually offer over 1,000 movies) and over 1,000 sports videoclips. It is available free of charge to Sky customers who subscribe to two or more premium channels: Sky World subscribers can access both the service's movies and its sports content; Sky Movies 1 and 2 subscribers can access its movies only; and Sky Sports 1 and 2 customers can access its sports content only. ¶ The new service is powered by peer-to-peer "grid delivery" technology from Sunnyvale, California-based Kontiki. ... Tracy Swedlow recently spoke to Scott Sahadi, Kontiki's VP of business development, about his company's work on Sky by Broadband, about its product roadmap (which includes support for the delivery of live events and integration with IP set-top boxes), and more. ..." Link: ITVT. Swedlow published an earlier interview with Sahadi back in October (link: ITVT). Kontiki is also powering Open Media Network, with which I'm associated as chair of the Public Service Publisher Initiative. --Dennis
"Satellite broadcaster Sky is getting ready to introduce a broadband movie and sports video-download service - Sky by broadband - for its premium subscribers in the UK and Republic of Ireland. ¶ Like AOL's free-to-all, high-quality download service In2TV – now on open trial (see our hands-on report) - Sky's offering requires Windows XP and uses the "secure" peer-to-peer manager Kontiki. It should also provide reasonable quality but perhaps not to the high standard of AOL's Hi-Q Video footage. ¶ Movie downloads will be free to Sky digital customers with Sky Movies 1 and 2 subscriptions. Sports videos will be free to customers with Sky Sports 1 and 2 subscriptions. As yet, there looks to be no plans to offer downloads as separate chargeable services to non-premium subscribers. Indeed, judging from the Sky by broadband site, the idea is to entice new customers to Sky's premium services. ..." Link: Hexus.lifestyle. This is an interesting model for pubcasters to consider -- free downloads if you're a member of your local station. It's one that the Public Service Publisher group, which I chair, has included in its assumptions about future revenue streams. The PSP is collaborating with Open Media Network, also powered by Kontiki, and now in public beta for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers -- soon for the Mac as well. --Dennis
"The BBC and ITV are to launch a free-to-view satellite TV service to cater for viewers unable to receive Freeview digital coverage. ¶ ITV announced plans for the service, to be called Freesat, on Wednesday. ¶ Freesat, to be launched early in 2006, will rival BSkyB and will carry all BBC and ITV digital TV, interactive and radio services plus other channels. ..." Link: BBC News.
See alsoSky launches 'freesat' digital TV. "BSkyB has launched a free digital satellite TV service which offers 140 channels for a one-off fee of £150. ¶ The service, freesat from Sky, is being seen by many as an attempt to rival the success of Freeview, the equivalent service for digital terrestrial TV. ..." Link: BBC News.
Jeff Baumgartner writes: "EchoStar
Communications has launched a mosaic video application that will enable
viewers to watch six TV thumbnailed video channels and access an interactive
menu concurrently. ¶ Powered by OpenTV
Corp. set-top software, the mosaic and interactive elements, offered on
channel 100, follow some earlier work with the technology by EchoStar. In 2004,
the DBS service provider offered mosaics to support the Summer Olympics and for
coverage of the Presidential elections. ¶ A mosaic thumbnail, once selected by a customer, will be transitioned to
full-screen video. ..." Link: CED Magazine. Thanks for the tip to digitalwireless.org. --Dennis
Aline van Duyn writes: "DirecTV Group, the US satellite television operator controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said on Thursday it was “actively engaged” in finding ways to enter the growing market for wireless broadband services. ..."
TVB has posted a DMA breakdown of cable and Alternative Delivery System (mostly satellite, but also MMDS, et al.) penetration. Interesting data. Broadcasters should note that because of dual subscriptions (cable + satellite) by a significant number of households, you can not just subtract these totals from 100% to get the number of over-the-air broadcast only households. Link: TVB. --Dennis