XM is down. As in: Many (all?) subscribers are without radio. Sounds like XM pushed a software update which took one of their satellites offline. I suppose this could happen to anyone (like RIM), but right about now if I were still a XM customer I’d be pondering cancellation. Sirius probably is.
Forrester Research recently came out with a bold claim that paid internet video downloads have no future. The report claims that paid downloads will give way to ad-supported models.This claim waivers on one major issue: will quality internet video only be a mainly ad-supported business? And the answer is most definitely no.
The reason is mainly tied in with DVD sales and the fact that content owners will not want to switch to a questionable ad supported business when they have a lucrative DVD sales. However, they will be prepared to offer paid video downloads in addition to selling DVDs. Mike Wolf of ABIResearch is also thinking along the same lines.
This is something we can clearly see happening today with a variety of paid movie download sites such as Amazon Unbox, and a lack of legitimate free streaming TV episodes and movies. Continue Reading…
Comcast published the results of a study earlier this month claiming that viewers preferred Comcast HD signals to HD transmissions from Dish Network and DirecTV. The study was conducted by Frank M. Magid Associates with oversight by Accenture and the law firm Loeb & Loeb.
Now DirecTV is suing Comcast for claiming better quality HDTV in its advertising. According to the complaint, the study does not sufficiently substantiate its claims.
You can head on over to NewTeeVee for a discussion of why DirecTV is pursuing this lawsuit. In the meantime, I have to wonder how relevant a HD test like this is to actual viewers. So much of HD quality comes down to the original source material, and the quality of video recorded for broadcast varies widely today. There’s also the issue of how good your HDTV display is, and how the video has been compressed during the encoding process.
In short, you can’t get the best HDTV by simply picking one television service over another. It just ain’t that easy.
A ZNF reader posted a comment that I couldn’t resist sharing. Speed Matters is an activist site that advocates universal high-speed Internet access across the nation. The site’s authors argue, among other things, that the US definition of broadband is too slow and that policy makers should directly address speed and access issues.
The site also has a great speed test for determining how fast your broadband connection runs. The test isn’t perfect because, according to the FAQ, it only tests a finite number of servers and may not have access to the one closest to your location. However, it’s a fun application and hopefully at least roughly accurate. My results are above. Not too shabby. (Thanks, Laura!)
Hot on the heels of TiVo dropping the Series3 Rewards “price” and my speculation that units are not selling like hotcakes comes a $200 rebate. The S3 retail price is still listed at $799, though several vendors have been selling it around $600. If those numbers hold, it’s conceivable one could pick up a unit in the neighborhood of $400… which is almost a reasonable price. Given the short redemption period (5/27 – 6/16), I assume this is a trial to tweak sales (during the slow summer sales season). Or maybe they expect the Comcast Moto TiVo to launch during those dates.