Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  August 23, 2007 — Leave a comment

A periodic roundup of relevant news… Dave missed while vacationing.

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  • DVB-T tuners, DVR functionality, and placeshifting coming to European PS3: Sony
  • Logitech Harmony 1000 reviewed: PC Mag
  • Paramount and Dreamworks sell out to HD DVD: TiVo Lovers
  • YouTube video advertising arrives: Yahoo

New TiVo HD Hits Retail

Mari Silbey —  August 23, 2007 — 5 Comments

If you’ve been waiting to buy the new TiVo “lite”, now’s your chance. Purportedly, TiVo’s retail partners are fully stocked – including Best Buy, Circuit City and (as seen below) online at Amazon. We’ll have to wait and see if sales of this lower cost HD DVR have any impact on TiVo’s profit outlook.

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Last week DivX released their 10-Q and while I was able to find the time to tune into their conference call, I didn’t get a chance to read through the actual document until this past weekend.

In the filing I didn’t find any bombshells or new lawsuits, but there were a few details on some of DivX’s recent acquisitions that did reward my curiosity. According to the filing, DivX made two purchases over the last quarter.

In May 2007, the Company made an equity investment in a private corporation that aggregates and distributes art via its web community and facilitates an open forum where artists can exhibit their artwork and build community around that art in an effort to drive commerce. The Company’s investment consisted of $3.5 million cash for which it received certain shares of the private corporation’s Series A Preferred Stock and entered into an advertising and marketing agreement. The Company has preliminarily allocated approximately $650,000 of the investment to the advertising and marketing agreement, based on its estimated fair value, and the remaining $2.9 million will be carried as an investment.

DivX doesn’t name the actual artwork site in their filing, but since I already knew that they had purchased a piece of DeviantArt, this one wasn’t hard to figure out. Originally, I had thought that they were only partially behind the $3.5 million investment, but according to the filing, it looks like they put in all of the cash. DivX doesn’t disclose how much of a stake they got for their money, but they do disclose that it is less than 20%.

Continue Reading…

…And a DVR in Every Home

Mari Silbey —  August 22, 2007 — 8 Comments

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I remember when Motorola (yes, my employer) rolled out its first HD DVR years after TiVo and ReplayTV first hit the market. There was some general concern about Motorola being late to the game, but the truth was that DVRs hadn’t really made a splash yet, at least in terms of mass adoption.

Today, Leightman Research Group says that one in every five US households has a DVR, up from roughly one in thirteen in 2005. (NewTeeVee picked up the story) That’s pretty big growth, and yet TiVo isn’t seeing much of the profit compared to the cable and telecom companies that have swept the market. It’s an old story. TiVo is expensive. Leased set-tops from operators are cheap.

The situation could still change of course if and when Comcast starts rolling out TiVo software on Motorola set-tops. (Cox also has a deal with TiVo in place.) We’re supposed to see initial trials in New England this month. Will TiVo hit Comcast markets in the next nine days?

Adobe Goes H.264

Mari Silbey —  August 21, 2007 — 2 Comments

The Web’s most-used video software, Adobe Flash, will now support the H.264 codec for high-definition display. Will more online HD video bring the Internet to its knees?

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