500 million Virgin Pieces!

Virgin TV

Virgin TV

No, before you inform the authorities about some kind of Virgin mass sacrifice in the woods of Wisconsin or something, I’m talking Internet TV…..calm now? Good.

So what’s 500 million the pieces? This is the pieces of broadband video content last year viewed on virgin, with the BBC’s iPlayer accounting for almost 20% of programmes watched!! Wow, that much! Yes!

This once again re alliterating the push of Internet TV as a forerunner in the way in which we consume TV now.

This is all coming with news of last months crash of Kangeroo, the joint venture between BBC, ITV and Channel 4 which has left the channels to rethink their strategies, with channel 4 following suit with an online version of its 4oD service.

Although I think the BBC is just cushy where it is….who knows perhaps somesort of TV integrated with the Internet might come along to help?….

The Internet saves the day!…

http://www.cruftslive.tv/

Crufts, that beloved dog show broadcast on the BBC for more than 40 years, will/was not this year, due to claims that it bred unhealthy dogs.

However that didn’t stop Crufts who looked for the help of Sunset+Vine, who will produce a live television feed to be shown on the Crufts site: www.crufts.org.uk free of charge and a catch-up video-on-demand service costing £1.99 per day or £9.99 for complete access until the service is closed at the end of March.

So once again the internet steps in when TV cant or in this case won’t. Another example of how we have found and been given more ways to watch television on an interactive level.

Give that dog a bone!

http://www.cruftslive.tv/

TV is evolving…

Internet Television

Internet Television

Yep, you heard me just like in natural selection, those that don’t evolve to adapt the new environment simply get left behind or are picked of one by one by it’s stronger rivals and predators.

What do I mean by this? Well let me explain.

With the launch of Samsungs new internet-enabled TV in partnership with Yahoo in the spring, which basically allows users to access the Internet while watching TV, we have to ask ourselves how true is the idea that TV broadcasting will move to the internet. Well it’s true in some sense as we have seen with the BBC’s own Frankenstein iPlayer, BBC themselves were even surprised. Although VOD services have clinched it back as we have seen in the previous blog on iPlayers virgin success.

However, we still go to the internet to reach those out limits which the TV cannot provide…..until now.

It seems the physical TV is trying to reclaim it’s top spot by incorporating the internet into its new wardrobe of features. It doesn’t stop there Myspace has also revealed it is to be the First Social network on TV.  The new TV application framework called the Widget Channel, co-developed by Intel and Yahoo will make it possible for internet streams to come through the television.

MySpace users will be able to “receive friend updates, read and reply to messages, receive friend requests, publish status and mood updates, see updates from friends and browse profiles and photos”

The Samsung and Yahoo partnership means viewers can access a wide-range of web-based channels or websites powered by the Yahoo Widget Engine through a TV set.

But how will this change anything? Will we still run to our computer to watch youtube or visit our favourite social networks leaving the television gathering dust or with this change will the TV once again be cool and unneglected?

Is this an evolutiuon that reflects it’s envirmoent or simply an aethic modification to better itself and stand out. Is it more peacock than eagle?

BBC iPlayer

bbc iPlayer

bbc iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is a website which allows you to catch up with programmes which have been shown on BBC channels in the last 7 days. It allows users to watch them on the website through Click to Play (streaming). This works on Windows, Macs, Linux, Nintendo Wii and iPhones etc. Examples of working on iPhones, Windows and Nintendo Wii’s will be shown in the next few weeks on my blog posts. BBC iPlayer only allows viewers to watch their own BBC TV Content from the past 7 days for United Kingdom users. It also allows them to download TV programmes and store them on to users’ computers for up to 30 days if their computer supports the BBC iPlayer Download Manager. For outside of the UK users can only listen to the BBC radio programmes.

iplayer bbc

iplayer bbc

Picture A.

As you can see in picture A, “s” means subtitle. When you press this button it will automatically show subtitles and when you press it again the subtitle will go. In the interactive way it is not much to allow audiences to play with compared to Hulu. It is not allowing audiences to leave comments or open a topic to discuss for example. The videos are able to watch in two different qualities: normal and high quality. High quality requires fast internet connections of at least 1Mbps.

iplayer interactive BBC

iplayer interactive BBC

Picture B

Picture B shows the BBC iPlayer’s comparisons other TV websites in which it allows people to share this link with other networks such as Del.icious, Facebook, Digg, Reddit and others.

Hulu

Hulu was founded in March 2007 and is co-owned by NBC Universal, News Corp and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu‘s mission is to help people find and enjoy the world’s premium video content when, where and how they want it.

Hulu is trying to develop innovative technologies that deliver the best satisfied experience to the audiences. Hulu HD gallery is making HD-quality videos available to view for their audiences.

The Most exciting source that I have read is that Hulu currently receives closed-captioning data for some of their shows and is committed to expanding their library of closed-captioned content. Closed-captioned content is identified by the “cc” icon that appears next to a video title. When “cc” is available on the video that audiences want to watch they can turn on captioning by clicking on the “cc” button that appears to the left of the volume control in the video player window, then selecting a language.

Although when I first started to search hulu the first message that I saw shows: “Sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed from within the United States”. (Picture A).

hulu

hulu

However I believe eventually Hulu‘s commitment to making its content available worldwide will be realised. If Hulu achieve what they say they will then I believe the number of viewers will increase sharply and eventually it may even interrupt some major televisions or media’s businesses’ in effect. For example I am an international student who always need subtitle’s help in order to fully understand the TV contents. Currently China, Japan or other Asian countries that I know who very much enjoy watching American TV such as Prison Break, 24 and Lost. However in their original countries they don’t have these TV programmes. This creates a big gap in the market. Those audiences who can only download from internet and who are trying their best to find sufficient subtitles are often faced with bad quality media or the idea of illegal downloading. If Hulu is committed to making its content available worldwide I believe people will love to enjoy watching TV or Movies in a site like hulu.

Web TV

Although I cannot view hulu’s videos yet when I am conducting my research I am very excited about the fact that this technology is becoming available. It already has my attention and I am sure it has others too. It has a variety of channels to allow different audiences to choose to watch by their own interests. You can also see in the picture below that I have highlighted the web tab. Web video contents are original from the web like the Web TV-Bebo-The London Affair blog that I have posted about earlier. Some people are seeing this gap in the market to start filming their Web TV. Although it is not mature in the market yet I believe it will grow in the future.

hulu

hulu

In the above picture it also shows hulu has a HD gallery which allows you to watch your shows in a high definition. It may affect the business of digital TV (such as Sky and Virgin). For example customers are paying installation fees to Sky and they also pay monthly memberships as well. However if hulu is introduced in the UK I am sure the number of people who subscribe to Sky will be decreased.

Advertising in Hulu

Hulu is introducing a new way of showing advertising in their video clips. Hulu videos will have advertisements as it is free charge for viewers. Hulu has introduced an interactive way that customers can choose to watch advertising at the beginning of the video or during the video. At the same time customers can choose what type of advertising that they would like to watch. It has helped the advertisings companies choose the right audiences to watch their advertisings instead of wasting lots of money focusing on the wrong customers. For example if you are showing a handbag advertisement to male viewers it is a waste of money. Instead of that a male customer can choose to view car advertisement and he can choose to view his favourite brand car advertisings.

Hulu Web TV

Hulu Web TV

By looking into the above screen capture from the Hulu site, it shows their video clips are not only shown on the TV but are also interactive with their viewers. On the left hand you can see “Embed” which allows people to copy their source to other sites in order to allow other people to watch the video as well. “Share” allows people to send this video link to their friends or groups. on the bottom of this screen capture it also shows three tabs, Main, Reviews and Discussions which all allow viewers to do more things than just watch a video only.

Web TV-Bebo-The London Affair

Web TV is becoming more popular but there is still a long way to go until it is fully and legally introduced to the UK audiences. Recently I attended a ‘guest speaker’ talk about ‘The London Affair‘ (2007, London. Writer/Director Nicholas Jones, Grassroots Media).The London Affair is a small volunteer based drama series based on the lives of 5 people based in london. It has five short films for the new London-based production company, aimed at the mobile-phone/ download market. The project began as a hobby, filming and directing was a hobby of the creator. However after they posted their film clips on bebo lots of people were loving them and the number of viewers increased massively. They were promoted to a front page slot on Bebo and enjoyed huge amounts of success. They are now trying to get another half a million pounds in funds and investments/advertising rights in order to continue their project.

A five short film of ‘The London Affair‘ are able to view on Bebo.

The London Affair

The London Affair

Sweney & Conlan (14th June 2007. Media Guardian Site: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/jun/14/itv.bbc) have reported that the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV are planning to joint venture to develop a vind deo downloads service that will “do for broadbawhat Freeview did for digital TV”. It is called “Project Kangaroo”. This plan aims to create a “one-stop shop”, media player for viewers to download their favourite TV shows and eventually the viewers will eventually be able to download TV and watch from thier computer but also they can download the TV show directly to their TV.

Sweney, Mark (4th February 2009. Media Guardian Site: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/feb/04/project-kangaroo-blocked-by-competition-commission ) reported that Project Kangaroo has been blocked from launching by the Competition Commission.