Service Providers Have Home Networking Hole to Fill

Service providers have a huge opportunity in front of them with home networks, according to a Forrester report out today — but they need to move quickly. The firm found that around 33 percent of U.S. households — or 39.3 million — have a home network, which they use to connect their devices and move digital content around. That’s up only 5 percent from last year, but the slow growth is something on which service providers can capitalize, as Forrester expects that 62.9 million U.S. households will have home networks by 2013. Victory, however, is by no means assured. Read More about Service Providers Have Home Networking Hole to Fill

For Plasma TVs, Being Better Isn’t Enough

PlasmaIt really doesn’t matter much whether or not plasma HDTVs have better image quality than competing LCD models. It’s a bit like arguing whether LCoS rear-projection high-definition TVs are better than LCD flat panels, or whether HD-DVD is superior to Blu-ray. It doesn’t matter, because the war is over. Just like LCoS rear-projection and HD-DVD, plasma has lost on the field of battle — the retail showroom — and arguing about it isn’t going to change the outcome.
Sure, the plasma market is still more than a dead man walking. The technology holds onto about 7 percent market share, according to DisplaySearch; in order of magnitude, that’s about the same as Apple’s hold on the personal computer market. And the forecast is for plasma to maintain roughly that same share going forward.
The problem is, you don’t survive in the technology world by standing still. Most companies rely on growth and new markets to fund the return on the mind-boggling investments that it takes just to keep a seat at the table in these games. And the LCD HDTV makers are looking at a future in which they will divvy up all the expansion in the marketplace, as well as sales that convert from the disappearing cathode ray tube (CRT) segment. Read More about For Plasma TVs, Being Better Isn’t Enough

Is an Apple HDTV a Realistic Possibility?

apple-lcd-hdtvLately, there have been some murmurs that Apple is prepping an HDTV of its very own. Such a device would seem to be the logical next step for the evolution of Apple TV, the progress of which seems to have become somewhat stagnant of late.
Like our own Liam Cassidy, Michael Wolf over at GigaOM Pro isn’t convinced (subscription required), for a few very good reasons. For one, he cites the high price tag and lack of subsidization, by comparing it to AT&T’s iPhone arrangement:

TVs would not have any such subsidization, nor would they have the fairly attainable prices of the iPhone (any Apple television would likely carry a price tag of $2,000 or more), putting it out of reach for many households.

Of course, that could be offset by a deal with a cable/satellite provider, but I think Apple’s FCC headaches over their relationship with AT&T will have them squeamish about such partnerships for a while to come.
What do you think? Will there be an Apple HDTV? What price point and features would make such a device attractive to you?

Vid-Biz: Upfronts, TiVo, Hulu

Broadcast Networks Cut Upfront Ad Prices; estimates peg the decline at 15 to 20 percent off last year, dipping to $7.5 billion, a dollar figure not seen since 2001. (The LA Times)
TiVo Gets Rovi’s Data; DVR service will get access to Rovi’s metadata, which includes info on more than 1 million TV series episodes, 400,000 movie titles and 13 million music tracks. (Multichannel News)
More Online Video Ads vs. Higher Prices, That is the Question; CBS trying to figure out how many ads viewers will tolerate, Hulu just wants to charge more for fewer ads. (BusinessWeek)
Pure Pwnage Going to Canadian TV; web series gets an eight episode order from the Showcase channel. (Tubefilter)
More than Half of Americans Have an HDTV; 53 percent of U.S. households have HDTVs (it was 35 percent in 2008) according to CTAM; 69 percent of those have HDTV service. (Multichannel News)
Sims Creator Looking Beyond Games; Will Wright considers himself an “entertainment designer” and is working on new ideas that go into TV and movies. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Vid-Biz: Pay TV, Streamlogics, OWLE

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)

Vid-Biz: Discovery, Do-Gooders, Starz

Discovery Channel Mines the Vault; clips from 23 years’ worth of shows get new life (and ad dollars) on the web. “‘Cheetahs are still killing gazelles the same way they did 3,000 years ago,’ Doug Craig, the senior vice president for digital media production, said, ‘and on top of that, we don’t have to pay residuals.'” (The New York Times)

Google’s Top “Do-Gooders” to Be Announced Tomorrow; video contest asked the masses to come up with the next great idea, many of them have to do with climate change and you can vote for your favorite. (Earth2Tech)

Starz Said to be Creating Tom and Sam WebComedy Series; former Arrested Development writers developing the series about two guys from the future stranded in the present. (MediaWeek) (See original episodes at Tom And Sam Are Stuck) UPDATE: A Starz representative said there was nothing to confirm about the MediaWeek’s story, and that the network is in talks with many different creators about a number of different projects.

DeleetDelete Your YouTube Comments; embarrassed by what you wrote about a video? Now you can remove your commentary on videos. (YouTube Blog)

Just Fifty-six Percent of HDTV Owners Get HD Service; 17 million households with HDTV sets are not watching programming in HD. (Multichannel News)

Affine Systems Tracks TV News on YouTube; in partnership with TVbytheNumbers.com, firm finds Fox clips get more views on YouTube but watchers spend more time on CNN’s. (release)

Heavy Launches YouTube Channel; original programming from the men’s network to be distributed across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. (emailed release)

Vid-Biz: 3D TV, Tech Spending, TheWB.com

From HDTV to 3-D TV; big TV manufacturers like Panasonic, Samsung and Texas Instruments are rolling out 3D-capable sets at CES this week. (The LA Times)

Consumers to Cut Back on High-Tech Product Purchases; Forrester Research survey finds 51 percent of respondents saying they will spend less on tech this year, though 44 percent haven’t changed their minds about buying a new TV set. (The Wall Street Journal)

TheWB.com Attracting 250K Unique Viewers a Month; 62 percent of current visitors to the site are female, Sorority Forever has generated 7.3 million plays. (The New York Times)

Ambrella Unveils New System-on-a-Chip for Hybrid Cameras; the new A5 platform is designed for capturing HD video, mobile video and high-res stills. (EE Times)

DTV Switch Winners and Losers; roundup of impacts of the upcoming switch says winners include TV makers and retailers, losers include the networks and the environment. (MediaWeek)

Battlestar Galactica Via Facebook; TV series retold through a series of updates on the social network. (io9)

Vid-Biz: Mogreet, DTV, Octopuses

Mogreet Signs Fox Searchlight; mobile greeting company will allow users to send video messages featuring clips from Juno and Napoleon Dynamite. (VentureBeat)

Confusion in the Digital TV Air; Consumers Union survey finds 90 percent of the country is aware of the upcoming switch, but 25 percent think it requires subscribing to cable or satellite and 41 percent think every TV needs a converter box — even those already connected to cable or satellite. (The New York Times) Despite this confusion, however, the Nevada Broadcasters Association declared its recent digital TV test a success, though the call center set up for response was overwhelmed. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Octopuses Like HDTV; Australian researchers suspect that the eyes of the eight-armed sea creatures are too sophisticated for the 24-frame-per-second rate of standard-def TV. Seriously. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Slow Going for Consumer Electronics Sales; inventories of goods like TVs are piling up and could force price pressure, which would put the squeeze on lesser-known brands. (BusinessWeek)

iTunes Offers 99-cent TV Episodes; for a limited time, get episodes from the current seasons of Fringe, Numb3rs and the CSI Franchise (sorry, octopuses, offer is for standard-def shows only). (Reel Pop Blog)

TV Shipments, Revenues to Drop in ’09

With the econo-pocalypse in full swing and unlikely to get better anytime soon, DisplaySearch predicts in its revised “Q4 ’08 Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report” that LCD TV revenues will fall year-on-year for the first time since those flat-panel sets were introduced in 2000, and that 2009 will be the toughest year yet for the TV industry and supply chain (hat tip to CE Pro).

What will drag the market down? (And don’t just say “the economy.”) Falling TV prices along with reduction in shipment growth for both LCD and plasma TVs. DisplaySearch projects that global TV shipments in 2009 will fall to 205.3 million units from 206.4 million units in 2008. LCD TV revenues are forecast to plummet 16 percent year over year to $64 billion in 2009, and total TV revenues will drop 18 percent year over year to $88 billion.

displaysearch1

The market’s already starting to feel the pinch right now. A recent Nielsen report said that 23.3 percent of U.S. homes owned an HDTV, but that number won’t be jumping up this quarter. An NPD Group survey found that one-third of people who were considering buying an HDTV could no longer afford one. And earlier this month, DisplaySearch had predicted a 1-2 percent decline in sales during the fourth quarter of this year.

HDTVs in Nearly a Quarter of U.S. Homes

New research from Nielsen out today notes that 23.3 percent of U.S. households owned an HDTV set as of Nov. 30. According to Nielsen, that figure is more than double what it was when the company started tracking HDTV sales in July of 2007.

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Nielsen’s numbers are lower than an earlier study by Leichtman Research Group, which found that 34 percent of U.S. homes had HDTVs. Nielsen shows a steady growth of HDTV sales over the past 17 months, but manufacturers who were hoping for a big jump this holiday season may find themselves disappointed.
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