Microsoft is giving European Xbox One owners a way to watch live TV without paying for cable.
TV broadcasters are making their own contribution to the growing mobile video market with Dyle, a service that plucks their programming out of the DTV airwaves and renders it on mobile phones and other small-screened devices. A Samsung Galaxy phone will be the first Dyle device.
Broadcasters have been looking for a carrier guinea pig to test out their mobile digital TV service, and on Wednesday they found one. MetroPCS has agreed to sell an Samsung Android phone embedded with a chip that will pluck digital TV signals directly from the airwaves.
You can now get video on your iPhone or iPad from many sources, but grabbing over-the-air local TV directly, which is still the best (legal) way not to pay for TV hasn’t been a possibility. That’s going to change, thanks to iOS-compatible mobile DTV receivers.
Apple TV Won’t Be Your Cable Box; Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer says adding cable tuning to its set-top box “just doesn’t fit Apple’s business.” (Business Insider)
Stream5 Raises Funds; Munich-based online video company gets “seven-figure sum” from new investors KfW and angel Klaud Wecken and existing funders DuMont Ventures and Tiburon Partners. (peHUB)
Microsoft Officially Launches Live Smooth HTTP Streaming; also previews offline digital rights management in Silverlight 4 at IBC in Amsterdam today. (release)
Magnify.net Signs Mediaite; service will collect videos based on keywords for the media news site and its sister pub GossipCop.com. (TechCrunch)
Rob Zombie’s Movie Goes VOD Before Theatrical; Starz Media to debut The Haunted World of El Superbeasto on pay TV VOD platforms on Sept.7, a week before the film’s release in theaters. (Multichannel News)
Cable Cos Lose Bid to Get Satellite Tax in California; the rush to get the 5 percent tax instituted ran out of time, will get postponed at least until next year. (The LA Times)
More than 99 Percent of U.S. Homes Able to Receive DTV; at the end of August, only 710,000 homes could not receive digital signals. (Nielsen)
Study: DTV Switch to Boost Pay TV Subscriptions; analysis from Wells Fargo Securities says cable will get 475,000 new subs, satellite will get 137,000 and telcos will get 41,000. (MediaWeek)
Thomson Reuters Acquires Streamlogics; terms of the deal not disclosed; Streamlogics provides webcasting-based services to enterprise, government and pharmaceutical organizations. (The Business of Online Video)
OWLE Mount Augments iPhone Video; snap-on device provides better grip to reduce camera shake, a bigger lens and an outward-facing microphone. (CrunchGear)
“mememolly” Takes Over Rocketboom News Desk; the “right-handed vegetarian Scorpio” has the tenth most-subscribed YouTube channel in the UK. (Tubefilter)
VH-1 Takes Great Debate to the Masses; show that pits pop culture icons against each other will use out-of-home screens and social media sites to let viewers join in. (MediaWeek)
Roughly 10% of HD TV Owners Don’t Have HD Service; 46.3 percent of homes have HD sets, and 35.9 percent get HD programming. (TV by the Numbers)
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to Charge for Some Videos; Martha University will experiment with selling how-to videos for anywhere from $5.95 to $12.95. (paidContent)
CBSNews Launching New Web Series; The Tomorrow Show and In Sickness and in Health are two new series, and Washington Unplugged is becoming a daily series. (MediaWeek)
Katalyst Developing I Pledge for TV; show started online and will follow celebs as they do charity work for causes they believe in. (Variety)
Microsoft Messes Up its DTV Transition; Windows Media Center users experience problems as Microsoft didn’t update servers and online component to reflect frequency changes. (The Green Button)
Will Sprint Thwart Sling Media’s 3G Palm Pre App Plans? Sling’s hopes for 3G support on the smart phone could be dashed by Sprint, which is locked into an agreement with MobiTV. (GigaOM)
TV stations across the U.S. shut down their analog transmissions on Friday, and so far, the national switch to digital television appears to be going without any major hiccups. Broadcasting & Cable reports that the FCC’s DTV help line received a record 317,450 calls on Friday, but there was no “widespread disruption” to over-the-air broadcasts.
The LA Times writes that retailers also had enough DTV converters stocked to meet consumer demand.
Though things went smoothly for the most part, some markets, like in Cincinnati, were experiencing heavier-than-expected help call volumes and topographical issues.
Despite the easy transition, FCC Chairman Michael Copps said his agency’s work isn’t done yet. In remarks about the DTV transition (PDF), Copps wrote:
“But in a broader sense, the transition is not over, even for those of us who dutifully connected our converter boxes by yesterday’s deadline. Because despite the understandable focus on June 12, the DTV transition is not a one-day affair. There will be a period of adjustment as we all figure out how to make this new technology work in the real world. Some consumers still need to get converter boxes. Others will have to move or adjust their antennas or perhaps even buy more powerful ones in order to receive the channels they should be receiving.”
Last night I went out to dinner with my dad and he brought me a little something he thought I would like. In retrospect, the gift is so close to being completely non-functional, it’s more sentimental than physical. It’s a Sony Watchman (s SNE) portable TV from the early ’80s, which actually works perfectly on four double-A’s. We were able to watch the NBA finals unobtrusively from the comfort of our restaurant table. The black-and-white picture is astonishingly crisp — that is, until you knock the dial, and the screen goes to static.
Most of our local broadcast stations are still coming through, though as the evening wears on they’re due to wander off into the moonlight. For now, here’s a video tribute to analog oldteevee. My little Flipcam doesn’t like to focus when it’s as up close and personal as it has to get with the tiny Watchman screen, so believe me when I say the picture is great.
[qi:032] After a fourth-month delay, the DTV transition, which will enable several services to run on the 700 MHz spectrum that had long been used for analog TV, will kick off tomorrow. For the string of companies affected by the delay, it will be a sweet way to end the week. Verizon (s vzn) can finally begin its LTE deployment, Qualcomm (s qcom) can expand its MediaFLO service to new markets including San Francisco and Miami, and Cox Wireless can move ahead with its launch of 3G and 4G trials on the spectrum. Still, it’s estimated that 3 million Americans will be left in the dark because of the transition.