Vid-Biz: Comcast-NBC, Sony, Blockbuster

Zucker Outlines Comcast/NBCU Transition Team; the “Operational Transition Team” will be led by Salil Mehta, NBCU’s president of business operations, strategy and development, and Joe Donnelly, CFO of Comcast’s programming group. (Multichannel News)

Sony to Use RealD Technology in 3-D TV Sets in 2010; the maker of Bravia televisions will use technology from RealD to make 3D-capable TV sets starting next year. (Bloomberg)

Blockbuster Launches iPhone App; the new app allows customers to locate the nearest stores and check on the in-stock status of certain titles, while also enabling customers to build and manage their list of online-rental requests. (Video Business)

Blu-ray Disc Association Completes 3-D Spec; the long-anticipated spec calls for every 3-D Blu-ray software/hardware product to work with any compatible 3-D display, regardless of whether it uses LCD, plasma or other technology. (Video Business)

Netflix Sued For Revealing Private Info; the same lawyer who brought a lawsuit over Blockbuster sharing data with Facebook has sued Netflix over sharing user data for its $1 million ratings contest. (TechDirt)

Bambuser’s Video Streaming iPhone App Hits the App Store; mobile streaming startup’s live streaming iPhone application was approved by Apple days after Ustream’s app was given the green light. (TechCrunch)

Pope Reaches Out to Cyber Youth With YouTube, Podcasts; Pope Benedict XVI is on YouTube, has a MySpace playlist, will podcast his midnight Christmas Mass, and will have a webcam broadcasting appearances from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. (Bloomberg)

Showtime Picks Episodic for MMA Initiative; Showtime Sports selected Episodic to power the live online video initiative STRIKEFORCE: All Access. (TVover.net)

Watch The Buzz On Bitly.TV; Url shortener is aggregating the most popular videos shared through its service. (TechCrunch)

Why Content Will Be Key for Mobile 3-D

As the hardware and software components fall into place for 3-D in mobile, content companies need to be ready to take advantage with compelling offerings that fully leverage the advancing technology.

Vid-Biz: Qik, 3-D, MSN

Qik Submits Its Own iPhone Application for Live Broadcasting; with live broadcasting available through a new app from Ustream (details here), Qik has submitted an app with similar functionality for review. (Qik blog)

Entertainment Execs Bullish on 3-D in the Home; the growth of 3-D in the home is expected to complement a similar push in theaters, as most megabudget films will soon be made in 3-D. (Variety)

MSN, NBC, Hearst Partner For Local News Video; the new deals will increase the presence of television news on local MSN subsites. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Blu-ray Sales Strong Over Thanksgiving Weekend; unit sales of Blu-ray players were up 53 percent over the previous year, with computers up 63 percent and flat-panel TV sales up 15 percent. (Video Business)

Fred Davis to Join Quincy Smith at Advisory Firm; the well-known entertainment lawyer is expected to join the CBS Interactive chief at his new banking and advisory firm when it opens in January. (AllThingsD)

NBCU Taps Adgregate Markets for mCommerce Campaign; Universal Studios Home Entertainment will use Adgregate’s mobile ShopAds technology to enable mobile ads and sales of Inglourious Basterds on Blu-ray and DVD. (emailed release)

HBO Launches Ad Campaign to Promote Its Blu-ray Catalog; the campaign will run through Christmas on male-centric shows and networks, including NFL games and on channels like ESPN, Spike, G4 and FX. (Video Business)

HD Cloud Launches Freemium Cloud Encoding Service; the company will offer discounts for high-volume customers and will also offer free transcoding for customers that use less than 2 GB per month. (emailed release)

New Avatar Trailer Is Interactive, Spoiler-Active

I’m still not sure how excited I am about the upcoming James Cameron 3-D opus, Avatar. I want to be excited for it, but — eh, whatever. In an effort to ramp up interest in the pic, 20th Century Fox (s NWSA) today released a an interactive version of the trailer for the film (hat tip to TheWrap), which provides a whole new insight into the movie bunch of spoilers.

The new trailer requires Adobe AIR, and is an actual application that sits on your PC. It presents the regular trailer, but adds “hot spots” to it so you can discover additional information about cast members, or learn about the art design that went into the move. With the trailer living on the PC, the studio says it will be sending updates and new media libraries.

The trailer app also shows you social media feeds from Flickr (s YHOO), YouTube (s GOOG) and Twitter, so you can see what other people are saying about the movie — and there is an option to purchase tickets.

The problem, aside from requiring an update for an app that you’ll have to manually remove from your computer, is that some of the behind-the-scenes stuff flat-out ruins parts of the movie. Granted, given what’s been shown in the trailer, you can pretty much surmise what’s going to happen. But in this interactive version of the trailer, you can access Michelle Rodriguez spelling out the exact moment her character does something that seems pretty pivotal to the movie. The art and design stuff is cool, but not that great.

Overall, for what is supposed to be a movie that will advance cinema into its next era, the “high-tech” trailer its come up with feels outdated.

Vid-Biz: Viacom, Kyte, 3-D

Viacom Lawyer Compares Suing File Sharers to Terrorism; general counsel Michael Fricklas admits that suing end users for online copyright infringement is “expensive, and it’s painful, and it feels like bullying.” (Ars Technica)

Kyte Opens New Offices in UK, Germany; white-label video management company makes a big push with new hires and customers in Europe. (Kyte blog)

Glasses-Free 3-D Coming Soon; according to Thomson Reuters, 3-D-related patents have grown dramatically, led by CE makers such as Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba. (Wall Street Journal)

New Teevees Should Be Able to Meet California Energy Requirements; manufacturers are confident they will meet 2011 requirements with future HDTV sets. (NYT)

EchoStar Pitches Place-Shifting to Cable Companies; its Sling set-top box allows a subscriber to access TV programming from a PC, laptop, BlackBerry or iPhone. (Cable360)

Nintendo Launches Wii Pay-Per-View Service in Japan; Wii no Ma (Wii’s Room) has 120 titles at launch, including episodes of “Sesame Street” and “Pokemon.” (Variety)

Plain Ole HD? Pshaw! Get Ready for Ultra HD!

That beautiful 1080p picture you’re enjoying? Well, you may as well just chuck it in the garbage, because Ultra High Definition is coming. Research firm In-Stat put out a report today saying that while it will take some time before the UHD market hits a critical mass of 5 percent household penetration, over the next five to 10 years, companies in the TV ecosystem will be able to experiment with business strategies to turn UHD into a strong business for the long haul.

UHD offers 16 times the resolution of Blu-ray along with 22.2 multichannel three-dimensional sound. Current proposals for UHD have the technology coming in two flavors: 7680 x 4320 pixels (8k resolution) and 3840 x 2160 pixels (4k resolution).
Based on its research, In-Stat predicts that broadcasters will begin offering UHD content to an addressable market of UHDTVs between 2017 and 2022. UHDTVs will approach 5 percent of European homes until 2021 and will then shoot up to 28.2 percent by 2025.
Many of you might have already been planning to dump your 2-D TVs when 3-D sets hit the market. Michelle Abraham, principal analyst for In-Stat, said during a brief phone chat that they expect 3-D TVs to hit the market first, but the 3-D peanut butter will get into the Ultra HD chocolate as the desire to create a more immersive experience will mean that UHDTVs will incorporate both 2-D and 3-D technology. And then your mind will be officially blown.

Nvidia’s New Server Thinks in 3-D So Your Phone Doesn’t Have to

Example of the types of images the server produces.

Example of the types of images the server produces.

Nvidia (s nvda) is moving further into the business of selling hardware, rather than just chips, with its new reality server that uses its graphics processors to offer photo-realistic 3-D images. The server uses an array of GPUs and Nvidia’s iray software to serve up the realistic imagery associated with special effects in movies through the browser on your PC or phone. Read More about Nvidia’s New Server Thinks in 3-D So Your Phone Doesn’t Have to

The 100-Inch 3-D Frickin’ Laser TV

It’s not every day you hear of a seven-employee startup making its own TV, much less a 100-inch laser 3-D TV, but that’s what a bootstrapped company called HDI out of Los Gatos, Calif. has done. Chris and I went on a fieldtrip to HDI HQ last week to see the set in action.

3D screen video game play

HDI’s 100-inch TV gives off a 1920 x 1080p image from three RGB laser-illuminated micro display imagers. It’s not thin like plasma or LCD, but it’s nice and bright and refreshes quickly at 360 Hz. HDI thinks it can sell the TV for $10-15,000, undercutting what people are used to paying in the home theater market. HDI’s TV can also do 2-D (in fact, it was only in the middle development that HDI realized it could combine 3-D with such a nice screen). The demo unit weighs 80 pounds, is 10 inches deep, and draws 190 watts of power.

Panasonic’s 103-inch 3-D TV, by contrast, weighs hundreds of pounds, takes in something like 1.5 kilowatts, and costs $75,000. HDI’s first prototype was finished last month, and at the moment there are only two working TVs; HDI is trying to develop a portable projector version so it can do a roadshow.

Five-year-old HDI spent three years getting this particular technology working, but now it’s in a bit of a rush. The Blu-ray 3-D standards are to be decided this December, and HDI is worried they will go the way of NVIDIA graphics chip standards for PCs, which are based on a system that uses special shutter glasses, which are synced via infrared and help viewers alternate right and left eyes so they can parse 3-D video. HDI’s system is based on the alternate model of dual output TVs and passive polarized glasses.

Read More about The 100-Inch 3-D Frickin’ Laser TV

Is Augmented Reality Just the Beginning of the 3-D Revolution?

Augmented reality — a group of technologies that marry the virtual world with the real one — has been around for decades, and has traditionally required the use of expensive and specialized equipment. But the proliferation of smartphones that have cameras, displays, and even GPS and other sensors on them has enabled a whole host of new mobile applications — Soundwalk, Wikitude and Layar, for example — that offer a glimpse at how online digital information and offline physical worlds could be combined. With such tools, virtual and real worlds have moved one step closer to one another. Read More about Is Augmented Reality Just the Beginning of the 3-D Revolution?

5 Reasons 3-D Video Will Come to Our Living Rooms

3dLet’s face it, there are some skeptics out there when it comes to 3-D.  Some point to competing standards, others to the kitsch factor, and almost all point to the glasses. But not everyone’s a hater. In fact, Sony and Panasonic see the technology as a savior for their living room business. So will 3-D make it in the home?  Chances are it will, and here are five reasons why: Read More about 5 Reasons 3-D Video Will Come to Our Living Rooms