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Sports Fans Drive HD TV Sales

January 25, 2006

With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, it’s not surprising to hear about how sports fans are driving HD television sales. According to a new survey "Inside the Mind of the HD Sports Fan" conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Sports Video Group (SVG), these same fans more readily adopt new technologies that quickly deliver sports content than non-sports fans.

The survey was unveiled at the first TV Sports Summit held at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month, as reported by Millimeter’s HD Focus newsletter today. Highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly 60% of high-definition television owners consider themselves sports fans
  • Nearly 50% of HDTV owners cited HD sports programming as the primary force behind their HDTV purchase
  • Sports fans said their favorite sports to watch in HD include the Super Bowl (78%), World Series (44%) and college football bowl games (41%)
  • 39% of HD sports fans are extremely disappointed when a sports event they want to watch is NOT in high-definition
  • 65% of HDTV sports fans say sound is an important component of their sports viewing experience

Obvious Fact File: Mobile Viewers Like To Watch Shorter Clips

January 20, 2006

From the obvious facts file: A report by Starcom USA released earlier this week (and reported on MediaPost) shows that four out of five early adopters of video iPods and other mobile devices prefer to watch short programs when they are mobile; they are apparently quite happy to watch longer TV programs on (can you believe it!) a television.

Now I don't know how many of you have either watched a full TV show or seen someone watching one on a mobile video device, but I can't image staring at that small screen for 30 minutes, 60 minutes or two hours.  It's no wonder that small portable TVs (those with 3 x 3 screens) never took off big in CE. 

This reminds me of the discussions about how watching TV on your computer was going to be the next big thing.  Seems like the smaller the screen, the less likely anyone wants to watch anything on it for any length of time.

Google Talk and VoIP on Sony PSP?

January 18, 2006

SIPThat's popular blogger, Erik Lagerway pondered in a blog post last year if the Sony PSP would one day run a VoIP (Voice over IP) client. In fact, he hinted while working at Xten (now CounterPath) that they could should be able to "hack together" a softphone for VoIP on the PSP handheld gaming console. Erik wrote in May 2005:

Looks like Sony has their crosshairs clearly focused on providing a feature-full portable communications and entertainment system. Since we can browse the web on this thing, and it has a USB port, Wi-Fi and a TCP stack you would think we should be able hack together a softphone for VoIP.

2006 the year of IPTV?

January 12, 2006

Is 2006 the year for IPTV? Certainly seems that way with all the releases I've been getting in email lately, including this one below, which lists broadband data and 400 IPTV channels. 400 channels? 400 CHANNELS!?!?!

Search Me: Now Video Search Goes Mainstream

January 12, 2006

Video search -- just what we needed!

Not too surprising to find the big players in search (Google, Yahoo!) now looking at video; makes sense with all of the video and visual programming and files we now have crammed into our computers, mobile phones, handhelds (and the list goes on).

AOL doesn't want to be left out of the party, so it's recent purchase of Truveo, which now makes AOL a leader in video and search services (apparently). Seems this will help AOLers shift through its recently launched video service, which offers thousands of hours of old television shows for free.  Ads, like in the good old days of B&W TV, will foot the bill.

Fans of classic programs as Welcome Back Kotter, Babylon 5, Lois & Clark, La Femme Nikita and Growing Pains rejoice!

Macworld 2006: Apple's Annual Festival Opens Today

January 9, 2006

What's Up with Windows Media Center: Is This the Year?

January 6, 2006

Is this the year Windows Media Center is going to happen?  Interesting article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about how Microsoft ("the technology industry's perennial late-to-the-game player") is now taking a leadership position  in home entertainment software with its Windows Media Center.  Apparently the decision to relax a requirement for a TV tuner has gotten PC makers really interested in supporting the product -- and hence sell more of their own products, too ("you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back).

Of course, Media Center's incorporation into the next generation of Windows, called Vista, is expected to add even more momentum.

Adding to all of this fun, PC World Magazine just reported today that Microsoft's still-in-beta Windows Live Messenger will link to the Media Center OS to give users more access to content of their Media Center PCs.  This would include the ability to remotely record TV shows, find programming information and share news about all of this with their Messenger buddies.

Anybody try the site yet?

Slingbox works with Mobile Devices

January 3, 2006

Slingbox plans on adding a software client to complement their popular Slingbox streaming video content hardware device. According to IP Democracy:

Place-shifting pioneer SlingBox is slated to announce
at CES this week a new software client that allows any Windows Media-capable device to serve as a viewing platform for a customers' multichannel video or PVR service. This is a phenomenal development given that SlingBox is cutting across the top-line business priorities of motion picture studios, TV program producers, cable operators, wireless phone providers and even Apple Computer, which hopes to build a business on mobile video.

IP Democracy hits the nail on the head when it states, "So far, not a peep from the litigious studios, or even a threatened lawsuit from cable or satellite operators. I suspect that it's difficult to come up with a legal rationale against what Sling is doing -- this is not unauthorized copying or transmission of content.

Audio FX Force Feedback Headphones

December 28, 2005

I don't know about you, but when I'm watching a DVD or playing a video game I want full surround sound with the bass cranked way up so I can "feel" the explosions of a frag grenade or feel the footsteps of the T-Rex as he stomps closer. There's only one problem with enjoying lots of bass and high volume - the people around you; husband, wife, neighbors, etc. might not want to hear it or feel the bass reverberating through the floors, especially late at night which is "prime-time" video gaming time! Sound was meant to be felt, especially when immersed in a video game. So what's an bass addict to do?

Well, no worries, just put on the Audio FX Force Feedback Headphones ($49.95) which will let you "feel" every explosion and every impact due to its unique force feedback characteristics - all without disturbing the neighbors or waking up the kids or "significant other".

XBox Live Diamond Card

December 23, 2005

We all know Microsoft is positioning the Xbox 360 as the central hub combining games, home entertainment and lifestyle, but today Microsoft took it to a whole other level by offering their Xbox Live Diamond card "perks card" for all Xbox Live members. I just got the email at 6pm last night. Best of all, it's free to get one if you are an Xbox Live member. Won't be long now before Microsoft offers a credit card I suppose, especially considering their rival Sony already offers a SonyStyle credit card, and in fact I already own one.

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