Which streaming device is right for you

Find out which streaming device is right for you | Tulsa World: "Apple, Roku, Boxee and others manufacture separate devices focused on streaming. These tend to be small and inexpensive and often enable much more content than you'd get with smart TVs and Blu-ray players. Each device has different capabilities. So investigate which setup is right for you. . . . What's this about streaming media files from your computer?  This is a special feature offered by a few devices. The Western Digital TV Play box, which sells for $79.99, can stream files from a PC. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 also have the capability. So can Apple TV, but only if you have iTunes or a Mac. A downloadable app for Roku called Plex can also enable PC streaming. However, each method can only play certain file formats, such as .avi. If the files are in the wrong format, they won't work. You can convert your files into formats these receivers can recognize, but an easier method is the downloadable TVersity PC app. . . . ." Read more at http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=52&articleid=20130317_52_E1_CUTLIN463062

Or if you have a "smart" TV, just stream directly from your computer! One tip--find out if your device will stream YouTube--some of the streaming devices do not.

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ABC live streaming app for tablets and smartphones

When old TV media break free of the cable/satellite stranglehold?

NYT: ABC crafting live streaming app for tablets, phones: "According to unidentified sources speaking with The New York Times' media desk, ABC is currently working on a mobile application to bring its broadcast programming to mobiles and tablets. Unlike CBS' offering, which offers a select choice of programs 24 hours after airing on broadcast TV via its mobile app, ABC's is said to sync up with existing cable and satellite providers to provide live TV on-the-go -- a first in the television industry. Beyond just offering cable and satellite customers a way to extend their viewing options, the app is said to potentially extend the reach of ABC's ad network at a crucial moment when traditional broadcast network ad revenues are being threatened by other mediums taking a piece of the pie."

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YouTube now has more than 1 billion users per month

No wonder Google shut down Reader--when you have a service like YouTube growing so fast:

YouTube Averaging More Than 1 Billion Users Per Month
YouTube's growth can be attributed to the changing content consumption habits of a new generation of Web users. The popular video sharing site YouTube—which has helped launch the careers of a slew of entertainers and made celebrities out of ordinary...


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Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers

Brandon G. Withrow: Will 2013 Be the Year of the Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers?: " . . . We cord-cutters are far from being the biggest threat to traditional markets, however. There is a burgeoning generation of "cord-nevers," those that grew up on alternatives to paid TV and thrive as part of a culture whose first instinct is to go to the Internet for what they want to watch. Cord-nevers, who are notoriously difficult to count, have already established their viewing habits. Cable has to do more than get them to revert to old habits, since they don't exist; it has to change an entire worldview. Despite cable's lack of foresight, however, the options are growing. With Hulu and Netflix producing original programming, and YouTube and Amazon following suit, shows will be trending on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus that cable cannot touch. For us cord-cutters and cord-nevers, there's never been a better time to make our push for a better marketplace. Netflix's House of Cards turns traditional TV upside down, creating a form of binge-watching with HBO quality that nearly eliminates my weekly trip to Spoilertv.com for previews. . . ."

Yes, antennas are an option for cord cutters, if they work | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog: "Wrote one representative reader: I do want to point out a distinctly low-tech solution to watching a show like the Oscars. Get a decent antenna and watch broadcast TV in high definition for free. Unless you have a recording device you’ll have to watch the commercials, but otherwise the price is right! Because of space constraints, and the fact that the story had started to feel rambling, I decided to drop one anecdote from Sunday. Near the beginning, after I realized that the app was going to be a dud during the actual awards ceremony, I decided to run out to Best Buy for precisely that reason. I picked up a $20 digital antenna and was amazed to see that I suddenly had almost 40 free channels. The problem was, none of them were ABC. So this might only be a solution for some, or I might have to go back and pay up for an “amplified” digital antenna. But in any case, my basic point stands: That the cable and broadcast industry needs to gets its mind — and business model — around the coming age of online TV."

More Americans opting to cut cord on traditional TV | Internet & Media - CNET News: "While the vast majority of U.S. residents own televisions and watch them regularly, more and more people are opting to toss their cable plans and use other devices for entertainment. A new report by Nielsen finds that those people who have elected to go "Zero TV" have more than doubled since 2007. Currently, more than 5 million people don't have broadcast television in their home, while in 2007 just 2 million didn't. . . . According to Nielsen, 67 percent of these cord-cutters get content on other devices; 37 percent use their computers, 16 percent use the Internet, 8 percent use smartphones, and 6 percent watch on tablets. Other reports over the last year have shown that many TV owners also use their tablets and smartphones to supplement whatever they are watching. According to a report by Forrester last year, 85 percent of U.S. tablet owners use their device while watching television."

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Conde Nast launch of original programming

Conde Nast launches slate of original programming " . . . Conde Nast is launching a slate of original Web series, continuing the publisher's push to expand its stable of magazines into multimedia programming. Conde Nast will debut on Tuesday online channels on YouTube and other video destinations for Glamour and GQ. The digital programming is just the start of plans for Conde Nast to spin off video series from many, if not all, of its magazines - even, potentially, The New Yorker. In 2011, Conde Nast launched Conde Nast Entertainment to develop and produce movies, TV shows and Internet offerings based on its magazine brands. Dawn Ostroff, formerly president of entertainment for the CW network and an executive for Lifetime Television, came aboard to spur the multimedia expansion. "This is by far one of the most exciting parts of what we're working on at CNE because it really is the future," says Ostroff. "It extends the reach of our brands, it really allows us to tap into a new audience, and we have the opportunity to be one of the first innovators in this space." The four Glamour series include four- or five-minute-long shows like "Elevator Makeover," in which hosts Jessica Harlow and Theodore Leaf quickly remake a girl's appearance in a long elevator ride. Among the four GQ shows are a workout guide called "Fighting Weight" and "The Ten," in which celebrities share the 10 items they can't live without. "This is just our first step, but clearly as we go forward, video is going to be a huge part of what we do here," says Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive. She also stars in one of the videos, one that tracks her during a day of covering Fashion Week. "In the future, this will be a huge part of what my staff - the brand staff - does. . . ."

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Second Screen Industry Set To Explode

BII REPORT: Why The "Second Screen" Industry Is Set To Explode - Business Insider: "And mass acceptance isn't even necessary: All that matters is that a significant minority of viewers develop this habit (especially if they are highly engaged viewers). In the U.S. alone, TV ad spending was $18.4 billion in the third quarter of last year, a $74 billion annual run rate. If mobile can carve out even a small share of that pile of dollars via second screen channels, it would boost the mobile industry tremendously. Second screen isn't really a new activity: It's a natural update to the old ways of engaging with TV, like the old office water cooler conversations about last night's football game or popular TV drama. Moreover, second screen-type behaviors were already popular on desktops and laptops, before mobile came along and made it a lot easier to participate. Second screen apps and sites are bridges: They bring together the powerful but increasingly fragmented world of television media, and the fast-growing but still undeveloped digital realm. For TV-centric advertisers and content producers, second screen provides a channel through which to test out digital strategies while still remaining tied to familiar territory"

LocateTV is a great find - John Dvorak's Second Opinion - MarketWatch: " . . .  LocateTV.com is a site that monitors all the networks for two weeks in advance. It’s particularly useful for finding movies just hitting the screens. The user joins the system and then plugs in any and all movies he or she wants to watch. Once a week you get an email telling you if any of your selections are going to be playing and where they are playing and at what time. The user can then program them into the DVR or just watch as they appear. I, for example, have programmed the system to tell me when any Woody Allen movies are playing. . . . "

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YouTube streaming music

How YouTube could ignite streaming music: Go mobile, go free | Internet & Media - CNET News: " . . . . YouTube is already the dominant, legal source of music, especially for younger people, and that's precisely the audience the labels want to capture. A Nielsen "Music 360" report from last August found that fully 64 percent of teens listen to music through YouTube rather than any other source. Moreover, YouTube boasts 800 million unique monthly viewers. If YouTube can migrate even a sliver of those to a mobile service and lure a portion of them to pay, it will very quickly outflank all rival services. Much work is still to be done, of course, and temperamental music execs could still scuttle the deal and trip up Google's plans. Or Google could come out with a bad product. Or Google's move could end up educating the masses, helping fuel growth for the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, and the many others. Or Apple's long-rumored iRadio could turn into something meatier and upstage Google's efforts. But for now, Google, the company that has irritated so many in the record industry for so long, is looking like the labels' best bet to hitch a ride on what looks like an unstoppable migration to mobile."

YouTube to launch music streaming service, take on Spotify - Fortune Tech: "YouTube, the world's largest digital repository of streaming media, will launch a subscription music service later this year. The service has its own negotiating team and operating unit but will likely have some overlap with new features also rumored to be coming to Google's Android music platform, Google Play. The two new services are defined by their respective places in the Google (GOOG) empire: Google Play for Android is a digital locker for music -- users buy, store, and sort a collection of tracks; but on YouTube's coming service, anyone can listen to tracks for free. Both services are said to be adding a subscription fee that will unlock additional features. For the YouTube-based service, this will likely mean ad-free access. . . ."

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YouTube redesign - One Channel layout

YouTube’s redesigned ‘One Channel’ layout is now available for all users - The Next Web: "Google launched its new ‘One Channel’ redesign for YouTube in a limited trial last month and now the new layout — which includes cover photos and trailers — is available for all users. A post on the YouTube Creators blog explains the benefits that regular YouTube channel owners can enjoy, now that all the feedback and early experiences from the pilot are documented and on board: The main focus of this update is to make your new channel look great on browsers across all screens and devices. It will also help you convert more visitors into subscribers with a slot for a channel trailer, and you can customize how you organize your videos and playlists so it fits your programming strategy. This redesign doesn’t represent a huge aesthetic shift but Google has embraced a design which has much in common with the Google+ look and feel on the desktop. Smaller channels and new creators will enjoy the benefit of a more visual experience — thanks to channel cover images and trailers — but there is less freedom to tweak the layout, which could frustrate more established players. . . . "

Tumblr to Introduce Mobile Advertising to Help Achieve Profit - Bloomberg: "Tumblr Inc., the six-year-old blog network that months ago began letting advertisers pay for prominent placement, expects to make its first annual profit this year after extending the feature to smartphones. In the first half of this year, companies will be able to promote their posts and blogs to bigger audiences on Tumblr’s mobile application, similar to the way the Web version works, Vice President Derek Gottfrid said in an interview yesterday. Closely held Tumblr has already tested the product internally and is looking to sign up advertisers to debut it, he said. The number of people using Tumblr’s mobile product has quadrupled over the past six months, edging closer to the number on the Web . . . "

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Time Warner Cable and other ISPs Bandwidth throttling YouTube and Vimeo video

Bandwidth throttling on Youtube and Vimeo with Time Warner Cable
"A test where one Youtube HD video and one Vimeo HD video were loaded with two different internet connections (bench marking the connections using speedtest.net before the tests) One connection was a Time Warner Cable Internet service rated for 30Mbps down, 5Mpbs up. These speeds were verified by speedtest.net. I can also verify these speeds are consistent based on things I do like download large games from Steam. The other connection was a Verizon 4G iPhone set up as a Personal Hot Spot. LTE bandwidth in my home ranges from 15-40Mbps down and 4-25Mbps up whenever I do speed tests.
. . . .
You can actually see what server Youtube will serve you video from by going to: http://redirector.c.youtube.com/repor...
. . .
Published on Nov 20, 2012"  more info at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB8UADuVM5A

see also the YouTube streaming results at your location: http://www.youtube.com/my_speed#

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Tips for Successful Web Videos

Dos and Don’ts for Successful Web Videos
Are your online video views low? Here are some tips — from production tricks to content editing — to keep your audience engaged. . . . INTIMACY . . . Close-in camera shots and a conversational, even conspiratorial, tone works well. If you are uncomfortable on camera, your video will be uncomfortable to watch. . . . PERSONALITY .. . . ENTHUSIASM . . . ATTENTION Grab your viewers quickly or risk losing them. If you have something interesting to tell people, just jump right in and tell them. If you don't get to the point quickly, viewers are unlikely to stick around to find out what it is. . . . CAMERAWORK . . . It may not be enough to set up a camera and talk into it, especially if the focus and lighting are less than ideal."

Opera gears up at 300 million users: "Opera Software today announced reaching the milestone of 300 million monthly users across all its browser products on phones, tablets, TVs and computers. "300 million marks the first lap, but the race goes on," says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. "On the final stretch up to 300 million users, we have experienced the fastest acceleration in user growth we have ever seen. Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market." To provide a leading browser on Android and iOS, this year Opera will make a gradual transition to the WebKit engine, as well as Chromium, for most of its upcoming versions of browsers for smartphones and computers."

Does your copy of Office 2013 die with your computer?: "Can you reinstall Office 2013 on your new PC? Don't expect a simple answer from Microsoft. In the push to shift customers to the Office 365 subscription model, Microsoft has rejigged the licensing conditions on retail copies of Office 2013 such as Office Home & Student 2013. People tend not to read this sort of fine print, but this bit is kind of important. According to the fine print, retail copies of Office Home & Student 2013 are now single-license, so you can only install them on one computer. Some people interpret this as meaning that the retail license is now similar to the OEM license, which covers copies of Office that come pre-installed on a new computer. Under an OEM license you can only run Office on that specific computer. If you buy a new computer, you can't uninstall that OEM copy of Office from your old computer and reinstall it on the new one. You could transfer a retail copy of Office from your old computer to your new computer, at least you could until now. Advertisement If you read fine print, the licensing conditions have clearly changed between Office 2010 and Office 2013."

Branding the Visual Web | Digiday: "One challenge for brands, however, is that some images work better in particular environments. Gap, for instance, has learned that shoes do well on Pinterest and polka dot patterns on Instagram. Images are clearly important to storytelling. But they’re also simply more effective at getting people’s attention when they’re used to a stream of information rushing past. Expedia, for instance, uses imagery in Facebook updates that makes people stop. An image of a beautiful beach scene in the dead of winter makes those in the frostier parts of the country pay more attention — and be more likely to convert, according to Sarah Gavin, director of social media at Expedia. “The way I would put it is, a picture is worth a thousand words,” she said. “Especially nowadays, when people have less of an attention span, we are finding that people will actually transact when the image is inspiring enough.”"

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Cable taking the fast train to oblivion

Cable is taking the fast train to oblivion: " . . . . And yet every sentient person in the media business not being directly paid to support this charade knows cable is on a fast train to oblivion. How fast is one question. . . . We all know, and are altering our habits accordingly, that vast portions of television content, current and past, are available through other outlets that bypass cable. The cable industry regularly rushes to announce that "cord-cutting" is a limited issue, when virtually everybody has cut it or is flirting with the possibility of cutting it or being harangued by their children to do so. What's more, habits, behavior, expectations and a fundamental sense of rights of the American media audience are going the opposite direction from the thing that most sustains the cable business: that you want a little but have to pay for everything. That's called bundling. The future is called à la carte — you buy what you want when you want it (and if it's not available with that sort of ease and reasonableness, you steal it). Oh, and cable technology stagnates, while digital technology ever improves. . . . Detroit saw foreign cars coming and did nothing. The music business saw its products being stolen and hardly blinked. No need to mention banks and bad mortgages. Such hubris is combined with, perhaps, a human inability to truly appreciate the pace of change — it will come, everyone can acknowledge, but not yet. And that complacency contributes to the belief that change is manageable. Time Warner has a notion called "television everywhere," in which, as a concession to the changing world, if you continue to pay it — that is, continue to do what you have always done — Time Warner will give you access to its shows on your other devices. This is negotiating with the inevitable — and accommodating the de facto. (And, by the way, whose HBO Go account are you using?) Money, of course, is one of humankind's greatest natural drugs. As long as the cash is coming you feel good and believe you have time to find a solution, even though, save for an extraordinary innovation which nobody has yet to quite get to work on, the end is preordained. The cable programming business — running, practically speaking, on consumer inertia — doesn't work anymore, and shouldn't. It's too costly and inefficient. It will die. This is easy: There will not be a cable business in five years, or at least not a healthy one. . . ."

Digital Diary: Are We Suffering From Mobile App Burnout?
" . . . This seems to correlate with a larger study by Nielsen, which found that the average number of applications per smartphone was rising, but that the amount of time people spent using apps had not changed much. The most heavily used apps were Facebook, YouTube, the Android Market, Google Search and Gmail. Onavo, a company that helps people monitor their data use, estimates that only about 1,000 applications have at least 50,000 users in the United States. The rest remain far from the mainstream. For the typical app, less than half the people who download it use it more than once, said Guy Rosen, the chief executive of Onavo. . . ."

Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing: " . . . . By September 2013, when the next TV season begins, Nielsen expects to have in place new hardware and software tools in the nearly 23,000 TV homes it samples. Those measurement systems will capture viewership not just from the 75 percent of homes that rely on cable, satellite and over the air broadcasts but also viewing via devices that deliver video from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, from so-called over-the-top services and from TV enabled game systems like the X-Box and PlayStation. While some use of iPads and other tablets that receive broadband in the home will be included in the first phase of measurement improvements, a second phase is envisioned to include such devices in a more comprehensive fashion. The second phase is envisioned to roll out on a slower timetable, according to sources, will the overall goal to attempt to capture video viewing of any kind from any source. Nielsen is said to have an internal goal of being able to measure video viewing on an iPad by the end of this year, a process in which the company will work closely with its clients. . . ."

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Redefining TV viewership

The definition of TV viewership is getting a modern reboot--

Billboard 100 & Nielsen TV Ratings Start To Catch Up With The Online Reality: " . . . New York Times reports that, as of this week, YouTube plays will be part of the The Billboard Hot 100 formula. We can thank the phenomenal viral success of Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” for kicking the chart into the YouTube era. After nearly two years discussions with YouTube, Billboard suddenly pushed ahead with its methodology update in response to the breakout success of “Harlem Shake”. It will debut at number one this week. Billboard does already incorporate data from Spotify and other streaming sources. The definition of TV viewership is also getting a modern reboot. Nielsen Co. will expand its TV Ratings to include data from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and other streaming services viewed from set-top boxes, and TV enabled gaming systems, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The target for year-end apparently is to add iPad viewing into the mix. . . ."

YouTube gets its Space in place - Los Angeles Times: " . . . YouTube has been moving aggressively to support partners and the content they create, including a $100-million investment in programming. Recently, the company began evaluating its funding of 100 original channels to decide which will receive a subsequent round of backing. The site expects that 40% of these programmers will get fresh financing. This wealth of resources is available — for free — to YouTube's creators. "What we've learned over the last couple of years is the act of bringing creators together causes good thing to happen," said Tom Pickett, vice president of global content operations for YouTube. "They cross-promote each other, they teach each other, they crew for each other. There really is this community element to being YouTube creators. In a few markets, we want to see if we can help facilitate that." YouTube has opened similar creator spaces in New York and London, and an additional one is slated to open in Asia. In Los Angeles, it anticipates admitting at least 25 YouTube channels into classes each quarter, starting in January. Applicants will propose a project, and YouTube will evaluate the candidates based on a channel creators' commitment to the platform, dedicated resources and willingness to collaborate."

Why Apple Needs to Get into the TV Business | MIT Technology Review: "And as Apple showed with the iPad and iPhone, it doesn’t have to invent every aspect of a product in order for it to be disruptive. Instead, it has become the leader in consumer electronics by combining existing technologies with some of its own and packaging them into products that are simple to use. TV seems to be at that moment now. People crave something better than the fusty, rigidly controlled cable TV experience, and indeed, the technologies exist for something better to come along. Speedier broadband connections, mobile TV apps, and the availability of some shows and movies on demand from Netflix and Hulu have made it easier to watch TV anytime, anywhere. The number of U.S. cable and satellite subscribers has been flat since 2010."

Microsoft's "Scroogled" Campaign Against Gmail Wins 0.002% Of Users: "It’s been a week since Microsoft went on the attack against Gmail, launching its “Scroogled” campaign portraying Gmail as a privacy monster that reads your emails for ad targeting purposes. How’s that been working out? To date, the Microsoft-backed petition against Gmail’s practices has gained about over 6,000 signatures — equal to about 0.002% of Gmail’s user base."

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Mozilla developers demonstrate screen-sharing using WebRTC

Mozilla developers demonstrate screen-sharing using WebRTC. | MIT Technology Review: " . . . there is an easier way: an open standard for delivering real-time communications, like a pipe directly from a browser to another computer. That technology is called WebRTC. . . . Programmers will be free to implement it on their sites and use it to transmit live video and audio; the quality of the stream will adapt to the speed of an Internet connection in real-time—perfect for mobiles devices. The video (above) shows a Mozilla demonstration of a shared browsing experience. Notice how the video stream is not bound to a single page, and how you can drop browser tabs and documents to a friend while you explore together. Google is leading the charge on WebRTC development—probably because it will play heavily in the forthcoming HTML5 app economy, which Google is also pushing—but it’s the W3C that will decide what goes into the final spec in late 2013. In fact, WebRTC has already been implemented, in its current form, in Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Ericsson was first to release a mobile WebRTC-enabled browser called Bowser, which has been available on iOS and Android since last year. . . . "

Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing: " . . . . By September 2013, when the next TV season begins, Nielsen expects to have in place new hardware and software tools in the nearly 23,000 TV homes it samples. Those measurement systems will capture viewership not just from the 75 percent of homes that rely on cable, satellite and over the air broadcasts but also viewing via devices that deliver video from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, from so-called over-the-top services and from TV enabled game systems like the X-Box and PlayStation. While some use of iPads and other tablets that receive broadband in the home will be included in the first phase of measurement improvements, a second phase is envisioned to include such devices in a more comprehensive fashion. The second phase is envisioned to roll out on a slower timetable, according to sources, will the overall goal to attempt to capture video viewing of any kind from any source. Nielsen is said to have an internal goal of being able to measure video viewing on an iPad by the end of this year, a process in which the company will work closely with its clients. . . ."

House of Cards: Netflix subscribers say the series will make them less likely to cancel.: " . . . some data supporting my hypothesis that House of Cards is a ploy by Netflix to prop up its new brand identity as a quasi-network. According to a survey by Cowen and Co. released last week, 86 percent of Netflix subscribers said having the access to watch House of Cards makes them less likely to cancel their subscriptions. One important caveat is that a majority of subscribers surveyed also said they'd cancel their Netflix subscriptions if Netflix raised its current $7.99/month price. So Netflix can buy brand loyalty, but it comes at a (lower) price. . . ."

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Popular streaming channels: Netflix: The king of movie and TV show streaming. $7.99/mo. YouTube: User-submitted videos and some original programming. Free. Hulu Plus: TV shows days after they air and some movies. $7.99/mo. Amazon Prime: A strong Netflix competitor with other Amazon benefits. $79/year. Crackle: Movies and TV mostly from Sony's library. Free. Vudu: Movie rental site owned by Walmart. Fees per movie

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