[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Friday, January 06, 2006

The story from CES: Video, video, and more video

I'm dubbing it the Year of Video at the Consumer Electronics Show. Will this show soon merge with NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters conclave)? And if it does, how will you ever get a cab in Vegas?

Longer post on the way... but numerous people I ran into yesterday were talking about the 102" plasma screens that LG and Samsung are showing here... digital cinema is now one of four "pillars" of Sony's strategy, according to CEO Sir Howard Stringer... and I've seen some nifty portable audio/video players about the size of a box of Tic-Tacs. Cinemanow CEO Curt Marvis said yesterday that even though he's been predicting for several years now that legally downloaded movies will break through, he thinks 2006 is finally the year. I'm talking to Movielink later today, and Vongo had a booth at a media party I went to Wednesday night at the Bellagio.

Two news items from the show that fit into this "Year of Video" theme:

- Intel unveiled its Viiv platform. Here's a piece from PC Magazine. John Spooner writes:

    ...Viiv represents a larger effort to bring together a mass of content and show it on a range of devices, including televisions and handhelds, allowing them all to seamlessly access and share music, movies, television and other media.

    "What consumers have today is an internet video experience that's experienced in front of a…PC" from only about two feet away, Otellini said. "What consumers really want—what they tell us they want—is a big screen [which can be seen from afar and operated via a remote control] in the living room or in the bedroom."

The celebrity cameos at Intel's event included Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, and Danny DeVito. More details were revealed about Clickstar, Freeman's nascent Internet movie distribution venture:

    ClickStar, founded in part by Freeman, was created this summer in an effort to offer first-run movies via broadband within weeks of release in theaters. The company, in addition, aims to host movies created exclusively for Internet distribution, they said. ClickStar's first online film premier will be a comedy titled `10 Items or Less' and will star Freeman and Paz Vega.

    "The idea is for people to control their own material from start to finish and get in front of audience that wants to see it," Hanks said.

    Intel will tap Google Video to allow users to consume video on their television and on portable devices wherever and whenever they choose, the chipmaker said in a statement, released Thursday night.

It's unclear to me whether Hanks and DeVito are now on board with Clickstar - that'd be big news. But what has changed about Clickstar's plans is very interesting - they're no longer talking about simultaneous release (like Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner). This press release from the company says their first film will appear on Clickstar "within weeks of its theatrical release." That, to me, sounds like a film that will have a small, short theatrical release. `10 Items' starts shooting next month.

- The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will announce today that it is adding commerce functionality to Google Video, allowing anyone to sell video downloads for cold cash. Of course, CinemaTech told you about Google's plans a month ago.


Post a Comment

<< Home