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YouTube multichannel networks stake claim to the future of TV

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:20:00 GMT

YouTube and the importance of 'fanbases' as opposed to 'audiences' came to the fore at the MIPTV conference in Cannes

There are new fanbases to be found on YouTube for digital producers and traditional TV firms alike. YouTube loomed larger than ever before at this year's MIPTV programme market and conference, dominated since it was first held in Cannes in 1965 by broadcasters and producers but which now has a heavy input from multichannel networks (MCNs), digital producers and individual YouTubers.

Trends included a shift in the language and key metrics of YouTube. Alex Carloss, its global head of entertainment, suggested the online video giant's power is less about audiences and more about fans. "An audience tunes in when they're told to, a fanbase chooses when and what to watch. An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fanbase shares, it comments, it curates, it creates," he said.

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Apple working on another set-top TV box, documents suggest

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:18:48 GMT

Comcast-Time Warner Cable planned merger pitch to US government states Apple working on set-top box that is not Apple TV

Apple is working on a new set-top box besides its existing Apple TV, new documents reveal.

A regulatory filing made by Comcast and Time Warner Cable to the US Federal Communications Commission pitching their planned merger specifically mentions that Apple is exploring the "development of an Apple set-top box".

Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box.

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Google looking to turn Chromecast into an at-a-glance TV dashboard

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:00:57 GMT

Streaming stick could turn TV into an info centre showing weather and news when not streaming content

Google is looking at enhancing its Chromecast streaming stick with an information dashboard for the weather, local news and personal photos.

Examination of the code of a recent update to Googles Chromecast by asjmcguire on Reddit has revealed dormant components geared up for pulling data about the local weather from the internet and displaying it in simple icon form, as well as other at-a-glance information.

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Google Chromecast: the 11 best apps

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:40:25 GMT

Chromecast, which streams video, photos and games to the TV, has hundreds of apps. Here is our pick of the best

Despite Google only listing nine applications as compatible with Chromecast in the UK, there are well over 100 apps and games available across Android, iOS and Chrome that are compatible with Googles new streaming stick.

Most are freely available in from the Google Play store, the Chrome store or Apples App Store with some paid-for exceptions. Finding the apps can be difficult, however, limited to a search of Chromecast in the various app stores.

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Virgin Media talking to Amazon about taking its video-on-demand service

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:42:13 GMT

Tom Mockridge confirms cable network's interest in Prime Instant Video, which recently bought third series of Ripper Street

Virgin Media has held talks with Amazon about putting its video-on-demand service Prime Instant Video on the cable network and is " certainly open" to the idea, according to Virgin's chief executive officer Tom Mockridge

Last year Virgin struck a deal to show Netflix programmes such as Breaking Bad and House of Cards via an app on Virgin Media's TiVo set-top boxes.

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Google Chromecast review: simple, fast internet TV

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:53:59 GMT

Googles media adapter plugs straight into your TV to stream YouTube, Netflix and BBC iPlayer

Googles Chromecast is a small dongle that plugs into a spare HDMI port on your TV to stream media from the internet to the living room screen using your smartphone, tablet or computer as a remote.

The tiny stick requires a connection to your home Wi-Fi network, and is powered by USB like most smartphones and tablet computers. It promises to stream content like Netflix, YouTube and the BBC iPlayer straight from the internet using your Android, iPhone, iPad or computer as a remote.

Star rating: 3/5

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Yahoo aspires to mirror the success of Netflix's House of Cards

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:14:04 GMT

Dawn Airey is planning more original content 'emblematic' shows for the internet company's global television audience

Yahoo is to bring a number of "emblematic" TV shows to its online audience, as it looks to increase its original content and mirror the success Netflix has achieved with its streaming of House of Cards.

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Erik Huggers, senior vice president of Verizon on the future of connected TV video

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:37:00 GMT

In the first of the 2014 Changing Media Summit's world view keynote interviews, former head of future media at the BBC Erik Huggers talks with chair Rory Cellan-Jones about the future of connected TV in the US and the wider world. Erik is now president of OnCue and senior vice president of Verizon, the global technology firm that has recently purchased Intel's media assets. Continue reading...

Googles Chromecast streaming stick set to go on sale in the UK this week

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:41:13 GMT

Googles eight-month UK delay of smart TV dongle tipped to end Wednesday

Googles Chromecast Wi-Fi dongle for streaming music, video and games to the television is expected to be available from Wednesday in the UK.

The Guardian understands that the Google media dongle will be available from Wednesday through high street consumer electronics retailers, although pricing is unknown.

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BBC3's Zai Bennett: 'It's perverse the station will cease to be a linear channel'

Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:03:00 GMT

The channel controller on BBC3's awards and successes and the challenges it faces as an online offering from autumn 2015

When I joined BBC3 in April 2011 I inherited a channel which said it was "Never Afraid to Try New Things". I rather liked that mission statement and in the past three years every show we have made has tried to live up to those ideals of innovation and creativity, answering only to our young adult audience.

BBC3 is the leading young adult TV service in the world; it's more popular than Channel 4 for 16-24 year olds and from 10pm each evening it is the biggest channel for 16-34s bar none. In its rich history BBC3 has had some exceptional successes. We've rightly heard a lot about Gavin and Stacey, Little Britain and our recent comedy hits like Bad Education and The Revolution Will Be Televised but let's not forget that BBC3 is also the only channel in the UK that makes documentaries and current affairs specifically for the young adult audience. From Our War to The Call Centre via Tough Young Teachers, BBC3 tackles the most serious of subjects, but delivers them in a unique way that young adult audiences find compelling.

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Roku beats Googles Chromecast to the UK with a TV streaming stick

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:00:25 GMT

Rokus tiny new Streaming Stick plugs directly into the TV for instant access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube

Roku has shrunk the streaming set top box down to the size of a USB stick that plugs directly into the television.

The new Roku Streaming Stick slots into a TVs HMDI port making any television smart and providing a full video streaming experience with access to 750 apps or streaming channels including the BBC iPlayer, 4OD, YouTube, Netflix and access to a personal videos or music stored on a smartphone or tablet computer.

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BBC's Ripper Street saved by Amazon

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:20:23 GMT

Series three of axed Victorian detective drama will be available first on Prime Instant Video and aired later on BBC1

Period crime drama Ripper Street, axed by the BBC, will be returning for a third series on Amazon's video-on-demand service.

Amazon confirmed on Wednesday that filming on the third series will begin in May and be exclusive to subscribers to Prime Instant Video, formerly its LoveFilm VoD service, but will be aired a few months later on BBC1.

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BT needs to up its game in the pay-TV market

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 00:05:34 GMT

Ambitious BT knows it must add films drama or entertainment programming to keep up with BSkyB

After its deep-pocketed swoops on top-flight sports rights, the next major move for BT could be into film and entertainment with its TV director casting an admiring eye at the impact of Netflix's political drama House of Cards.

Rival BSkyB's model is built beyond sports on exclusive deals with the "big six" Hollywood studios for blockbuster films, securing top US dramas such as Game of Thrones and Mad Men, and spending £600m a year into making its own TV shows such as Fleming, a biopic of the Bond author.

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How Netflix's rivals stack up

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 00:05:00 GMT

Offerings from Blinkbox, LoveFilm, Apple and Sky's Now TV compared

The oldest UK online film service is now owned by Amazon but its roots are more pedestrian. In the early 2000s Paul Gardner and Graham Bosher launched Online Rentals, trading as DVDsOnTap in Harlow, Essex, while William Reeve and Alex Chesterman founded ScreenSelect in Acton, London. The two competed fiercely, their customers ordering DVDs via the internet that would then be sent to them by post.

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I swapped my TV for Netflix, and here's what it taught me

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:56:13 GMT

When I moved, I gave up my television and while I might not be able to discuss the latest reality shows, I have better things to watch and I can see them when I want

I used to work with a guy who didn't have a TV. He announced it proudly at any given opportunity. Someone would make a cultural reference and he would say as drily as his secret glee would allow "The Bill? What bill? I don't know what you're talking about, because I don't have a TV."

I hated that guy.

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Microsoft Xbox One prompts outrage after YouTube stealth-marketing stunt

Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:04:52 GMT

Undisclosed money paid to YouTubers featuring Xbox One in gaming videos prompts backlash

Games video creators on YouTube have reacted angrily to a stealth marketing campaign for Microsoft's Xbox One which paid bloggers for posting favourable videos.

The revelation that Microsoft paid extra for positive videos featuring at least 30 seconds of Xbox One game footage and for the tag "XB1M13" on the popular YouTube gaming channel Machinima has prompted confessions and complaints from gaming YouTube video creators.

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The 10 best web series of 2013

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:00:01 GMT

From surreal sci-fi invasion comedy The Power Inside to hard-hitting death row documentary One for Ten, it has been an eclectic but wonderful year for web TV series

If television is the brash younger sibling of cinema, then online web series are its screaming newborn grandchildren. As it's a medium still very much in its infancy, a whole host of questions remain unanswered. How long should an episode be? How do you keep fickle viewers coming back for more? Will they ever make any money? Until those answers are found, online filmmakers will continue to explore the possibilities of the nascent form, occasionally with wonderful results. Here are the best examples from 2013.

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Sky to open movie rental service to non-subscribers

Wed, 04 Dec 2013 07:01:22 GMT

Satellite TV giant takes battle to Netflix, LoveFilm and Blinkbox with app available on on Youview and Roku set-top boxes

Sky is to open its movie rental service to non-subscribers for the first time, looking to compete more directly with video-on-demand services including Netflix, Amazon's LoveFilm and Tesco's Blinkbox.

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Blockbuster to close remaining stores as video rental chain calls it quits

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 21:23:21 GMT

Once-ubiquitous video rental chain filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and has been unable to compete with Netflix and Redbox

The American strip mall staple Blockbuster is closing its remaining stores by early January, according to parent company Dish.

Dish announced on Wednesday that it would shutter Blockbuster's remaining 300 stores and its distribution centers. As many as 2,800 employees will be laid off according to Reuters.

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Add a streaming device to your old TV for a multi-channel world

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:11:00 GMT

Devices such as Roku 3 enable streaming content on your television. Here's our guide

If you only ever watch catch-up to avoid paying a TV licence, being totally out-of-synch with watercooler conversations (not to mention TV Twittering) is probably only worth enduring if the idea of subsidising the BBC makes you froth at the mouth.

However, if your name isn't Richard Littlejohn and you'd like to access the world of online TV and film via your gogglebox, and you don't want to upgrade to a smart TV, there is an alternative. You get yourself a media streaming device which connects your TV to your Wi-Fi to give you comparable TV and film channels (or apps) to a Smart TV. This sounds simple enough, but with the vast number of TV streamers available, each with their own combination of free and paid-for streaming services, the challenge is in finding the right one for finances and viewing habits.

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