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Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday news: HD `cascading effect,' Cuban, Digital Cinematography Tiff in the Phillipines, Brightcove, and Metacafe

- In my Sunday Boston Globe column, I wrote about what one TiVo executive called the high-definition "cascading effect" -- once you buy an HD TV, suddenly you need an HD cable or satellite box, an HD TiVo, an HD camcorder, an HD game console, an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, and discs to play on them.

- Mark Cuban has a blog post that asks, `Is the Internet a long tail ghetto?' Worth a read.

- In the Phillipines, there's a debate about whether digital cinematography will be good or bad for the film world there. A critic has written an essay called `The Downside of Digital.' From the Phillipine Daily Inquirer's coverage:

    The [German media critic Tilman Baumgärtel], who is also a professor at the UP Film Institute, said among other things that digital films “just don’t look as good as 35-millimeter.” He warned that the technology “encourages sloppiness” and “breeds its own mannerisms.” He warned that this could “lower the audience’s audio-visual standards.”

    In the long run, Baumgärtel argued, digital films would “make Philippine movies less competitive internationally.” He proceeded to point out lapses and errors in some of the digital films he had watched.

Sound familiar? We heard the same debate here in the late 1990s -- and it isn't entirely resolved among H'wood cinematographers.

- The Internet video distribution company Brightcove is rolling out new features and services today, according to The Wall Street Journal:

    The Brightcove Network has been in test mode for months and already is being used by media and entertainment companies such as Reuters Group PLC, Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks, and Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Until now, only content owners selected by Brightcove could use the network. Now any media company or professional video-content owner will be able to launch a Web video channel at Brightcove. Web sites looking for video can then see what is available at the Brightcove marketplace. The content owner, Brightcove and the Web sites would then share revenue generated from ad sales and sales of the videos.

Brightcove also just launched a site for consumers, which includes a list of 100 videos that are generating buzz, based not on how many times they've been seen in total, but how rapidly they're being shared, and how often they've been watching recently. Cool idea.

- The video-sharing site Metacafe is now letting video creators earn money from their work, according to the Reel Pop blog. (They're already listed on my chart of Web video sites that pay producers for their content.)