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Business, Cable, Consumer Electronics, Engineering

CES 2013

I was at CES 2013 to support a demo we had running at the Intel Booth
(see story). I got to walk a lot of the floor and saw some interesting things. The overall theme of the show was BIG Tvs and anything for iPad and iPhone. The amount of accessory vendors was overwhelming. The main Electronics Manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and LG made huge showings this year. Most of them focused on the 4K (4 X HD) technology as well as pushing the limits of OLED. Everyone had the largest OLED screen (How is that possible?). Here are a few things i found interesting.

 

 

4K and OLED

The screens have become so crisp that you believe that you are looking through a window into someones house not looking at a TV. There is a lot of hype around this but no one has talked about the amount of effort or cost associated with all of the production houses updating their cameras to film in this format. I think it will be awhile before we see 4K channels on our cable account.

BIG Tvs

They are soooooo big we will all have to upgrade our homes to fit them. Lets say the 110″ Samsung eventually comes down to the 3k-4k price range, where do you put it? Can your meager walls support the weight? Will to pure light output give you a tan?

Tablet Phone Accessories

Everyone is making accessories for your phone and tablet and the Shenzen province of China made a huge showing. I am sure none of us even knew how to pronounce Shenzen before Apple started producing devices there. They have everything for your tablet or phone. Cases, Stands, Speakers, Earphones, Toilets….. Toilets? Yes they have a potty training toilet with a integrated ipad dock to keep your child on the potty longer. I said they had everything.

Life Systems

Also being shown was a gamut of lifestyle devices. You may know FitBit as a leader but there were a lot of followers. Many devices track everything you do each day in a effort to show you problem areas in your life. I need a device that tracks my Cheetos consumption. I’m sure that would show a problem area.

Telepresence

As a “Work from Home” guy who travels to Philly every month i have to admit this intrigues me. There we at least 4 companies showing this technology. One of the companies Beam offered the highest level solution which allows a company to have multiple devices per location and a webservice that allows any user to take a device and use it at the location. Starting price for this technology? 16k. Is it really that beneficial?

Cool People

I got to meet some of my favorite Web TV personalities from the Revision 3 show Geekbeat.tv. Cali Lewis and John Pozadzides. They were both very cool and down to earth we talked for a little while about technology and had a great time, i hope to get to hang with them again some time.

Geekbeat

 

 

 

 

 

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Business, Cable, General

Would you pay for Hulu?

If you can see this blog then you probably know what Hulu is. For those that do not it is basically free tv on the internet. There has been controversy back and forth on Hulu with most people loving the service. I like Hulu and have enjoyed shows/movies on it mostly because of three reasons;

  1. Because it’s FREE
  2. It’s on demand
  3. It’s FREE

Well for all of you enjoying Hulu or one of it’s many partners, this announcement was made 10.21.2009:

“I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.” – Chase Carey – News Corp. Deputy Chairman

I am curious what they are trying to say exactly. Are they saying people only find TV programming valuable if they pay for it? Maybe they are saying that Advertisers don’t think it’s valuable enough unless people are paying. What is a meaningful subscription model? Let’s see what you think with the below poll, what would you spend for monthly Hulu service?

How Much Would You Pay For Hulu?

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Some facts on Hulu:

Despite more than 40 million unique visitors and 500 million free online streamed videos, Hulu continues to lose about $33 million annually. It shares ad revenues with content owners. Still, Hulu’s three broadcast network owners lose an estimated $920 in ad revenues for every 1,000 viewers who substitute the PC for the TV – Analyst Laura Martin.

If Hulu does go to a subscription model it better well come with a box i can hook up to my TV. If i am paying monthly then i want a traditional viewing experience. The one think i don’t think they are getting is that people use Hulu because it is easy. More importantly it’s easier than torrenting a movie or show. As soon as you start charging then torrenting seems easier to some. If they are concerned about the value of the content then make better content don’t charge to imply value. If ad revenue is an issue there must be a better way of engaging the audience while keeping the content free to the user.

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Business, Cable, General

Jericho, Neilsen and the Future

Folks, something interesting happened the other day. Last Friday CBS announced that Jericho was going to be canceled, again! I happen to be a fan of the show in a time when the majority of TV is considered garbage in my mind. Most of you may recall what happened last time the canceled Jericho, the viewing community responded by sending boxes upon boxes of nuts to the studio. This action prompted CBS to bring the show back for a second season and see how the ratings do. This time around they averaged 6.8 million viewers.

6.8 million viewers seems great but isn’t to the TV community. Let’s look at what popular ratings are, wow, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (13.3 mill), SAMANTHA WHO? (9.6 mill), AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY (18.8 mill). In fact the 6.8 million Jericho viewers are just behind CRIMINAL MINDS, it just wasn’t enough.

This brings me to the real reason for this post. Neilsen is an archaic system. We use a sample group of 5k people to determine what 99 million homes are watching. With the vast technology we have at our disposal the best we can do is attach a little black box to someones cable line to determine what people like? In just that last few years we have developed Personal Video Recorders (DVR, PVR, Tivo), web streaming shows (cbs.com, hulu.com) and downloadable content (iTunes). Neilsen does no take into consideration any of these sources, in fact when CBS reinstated Jericho they asked people NOT to DVR/Tivo the show because they would not get accurate ratings. According to Tivo’s website Jericho was in the Top 25 most recorded shows (week ending in 3.25.2008). I would not be surprised if the total viewers on these three other mediums were well over another 1.5 – 2.5 million.

If i were Neilsen i would be looking at how i could roll new viewing methods into my ratings calculations.

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