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Thursday, March 13, 2008

YouTube Hearts TiVo ... Video Overload on the Net ... ShoWest Report ... And More

- YouTube and TiVo have gotten together to deliver YouTube videos to about 800,000 TiVo users who have the right box and the necessary broadband connection. TiVo has never shared any stats on how many of their users are getting content from the Internet this way (and likely won't, anytime soon). TiVo did an earlier deal with Brightcove; the new YouTube link won't be active until later this year, says the Wall Street Journal.

- Could video kill the Internet star? Here's a NY Times piece worth reading. Steve Lohr writes:

    Moving images, far more than words or sounds, are hefty rivers of digital bits as they traverse the Internet’s pipes and gateways, requiring, in industry parlance, more bandwidth. Last year, by one estimate, the video site YouTube, owned by Google, consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.

- The LA Times offers a good overview piece of what has been happening at the ShoWest convention in Vegas this week... mostly excitement about digital 3D. Jeffrey Katzenberg was there plugging 'Monsters vs. Aliens,' the spring 20009 DreamWorks Animation release, and its first in 3D. Katzenberg says the extra cost is about $15 million; he hopes there will be 3000 to 5000 screens capable of showing 3D by the time it is released.

- Imax and Texas Instruments have apparently done a deal to use TI's DLP (digital light processing) chips in a new kind of projection system being designed by Imax. (It's not clear yet who will actually make the projectors.) The Hollywood Reporter writes:

    Imax...has since its inception 40 years ago used 70mm film to distribute and exhibit movies. By converting to digital, it will dramatically change its business model as digital distribution removes print costs -- about $22,000 for a 2-D print and $45,000 for a 3-D print -- from the equation.

    Imax's move to TI is a blow to Sony because Imax had been developing a digital system that employed two Sony 4K projectors and proprietary technology.

- I've been having a good time using Hulu in the beta test period. It helped introduce me to 'Arrested Development,' and I actually didn't mind going out to rent the DVDs of episodes that weren't available on the Hulu site. I also deepened my knowledge (and enjoyment) of '30 Rock,' a show I catch on TV only occasionally. I didn't mind the commercials; the one thing that occasionally bugged me was the fact that you can't store video on your laptop for later viewing (IE, put a show on pause, wait for the whole thing to stream, and then start playing). That makes Hulu tough to use with spotty Internet connections, or if you want to store a show while you're sitting in the airport and then watch it on the plane. (I tried.)

But on the whole, Hulu does a lot right... including allowing you to embed the videos anywhere.

Dan Carew, a blogger in Hong Kong, has a very different opinion, since users outside the US are barred from Hulu (likely because of NBC and Fox's distribution contracts in foreign territories.)

Here's the NY Times story on Hulu's launch.

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