Today on the Net: Panasonic is adding online video-on-demand services to its connected HDTVs, Cisco wants to strike a deal with NBC to distribute Flip cameras to Olympic athletes again and Sony wants to be tops in 3-D TV sales, despite a slow start.
Another year is almost in the books, which means it’s time to look back at the stories that got the most eyeballs on NewTeeVee over the course of 2009. This year, Michael Jackson and Barack Obama were big draws, as one might expect. But two other things stand out: the growing popularity of Hulu (and desire of international viewers to check it out), and the importance of live events online, as people searched for streams of the Presidential Inauguration and Jackson’s memorial service. (See our Top Ten Post lists for 2007 and 2008.)
So without further ado, here are our top stories for the year:
1. Pioneer’s Kuro Killing: A Tipping Point in the Plasma Era by Jose Fermoso, published February 21
2. Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online by Liz Gannes, published January 14
3. The Megawoosh Waterslide Viral: How It Was Really Done by Janko Roettgers, published August 11
4. Hulu Blocks Hotspot Shield Users by Jackson West, published May 6
5. How to Watch Hulu Around the World by Jackson West, published May 4
6. Where to Watch 2009 Super Bowl Ads Online by Liz Gannes, published January 30
7. Apple to Stream First Live Concert to the iPhone Tonight by Liz Gannes, published August 7
8. Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD by Chris Albrecht, published September 12
9. Will Hulu Become a Blockbuster? by Liz Shannon Miller, published December 28
10. Watching the Michael Jackson Funeral Live by Liz Gannes, published July 7
Cisco Systems (s CSCO), long known for routers and switches, is trying to increase its footprint by expanding into consumer markets. And it is doing so by acquiring a lot of companies. In the past, it snapped up Linksys and KISS, and now there are rumors that the company could buy Pure Digital, the company behind the hot-selling Flip video cameras, according to TechCrunch.
The report pegs the acquisition price at $500 million for the San Francisco-based startup that has raised about $68 million over its 7-year lifespan. The deal is almost done, a Silicon Valley insider told us. We are looking for more confirmations and additional details about the rumored transaction. As with most M&A deals, it isn’t over till ink dries on the paper.
In January this year, Cisco CEO John Chambers said that the San Jose, Calif.-based company was ready to start buying again. At the time, Chambers said that a good acquisition for Cisco would be company that has 100 people and a product consumers are lining up to buy. The company recently raised $4 billion from the debt market, which points to smaller, more focused acquisitions that might need cash. Pure Digital would certainly fit that description.
In November, Deloitte ranked Pure Digital fifth on its list of fastest-growing companies in North America. Earlier that same month, Pure released an HD version of its popular portable video camera (see it in action here).
New Video Chat Options From Google and TokBox; Plugin allows video chat embedded within the Gmail interface (CNET), while TokBox now lets users watch and discuss YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations and video mails together. (emailed release)
Pure Digital Ranked Fifth on Deloitte’s 2008 Fast Technology 500; maker of the Flip Digital video camera made the list of fastest-growing companies in North America with reported revenues of $54.6 million in 2007, an increase of 44,667 percent from 2003 revenues of $122,000. (emailed release)
ConAgra and MSN Partner for Comedy Series; The Working Lunch aimed at building buzz for the Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers line of foods. (AdWeek)
YouTube Brings Back Project: Direct; short film competition requires the use of a red phone prop, winner gets a trip to the Sundance Film Festival. (YouTube Blog)
Joost Appoints Jason Gaedtke to CTO; can his technical guidance help the once high-flying startup regain some of its lost luster? (emailed release)
ExtendMedia Launches OpenCASE 3.0; product manages the publishing and delivery of digital content across PCs, televisions and mobile devices. (release)
BoinxTV Now Shipping; video tool for podcasters comes in either a sponsored edition ($199) or an ad-free edition ($499). (The Apple Blog)