News tagged: alternatives
Several pre-registered users have written in to tell us they've received early access invites for an Aereo launch in Baltimore. Now Aereo has officially announced that their live broadband TV service will arrive in Baltimore on December 16. As with other markets the launch will be broad -- technically covering 11 different Maryland counties. Aereo is currently available in NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, and Denver. As noted yesterday, it's unlikely they're going to meet
their end of 2013 20 market launch goal, with most of their "coming soon" markets likely looking at an early 2014 launch.
As many of you know, many pay TV TV DVRs and other set top boxes are far behind in terms of technology and recording capabilities. In addition to the reduced feature set, there is a cost of anywhere between $10-$20 a month in rental costs just to bring the TV signal to your television. story continues..
Netflix has released a new trailer
for their series "House of Cards," which indicates the next season of the company's Emmy-winning drama will arrive on February 14, 2014. While some critics have argued that releasing an entire season of episodes all at once for binge viewing dulls the marketing potential of weekly watercooler talk
, Netflix says that the second season of the show will once again be released all at once. Companies like Amazon have taken a different approach with their original series, releasing a few episodes at a time
. All Internet video companies have turned to original content to help mitigate the soaring cost of licensing fees charged by broadcasters eager to prevent upsetting the traditional TV apple cart.
Upstart live broadband TV provider Aereo is now in nine markets, though that's a far cry
from the 20 markets the company promised by the end of 2014. The Aereo website
continues to insist that eighteen different markets are "coming soon" (including Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Austin and Baltimore), though the company still isn't offering target dates for any of them. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
is reporting that Wisconsin and other surrounding Wisconsin communities are set to go live sometime in the first three months of 2014. Granted, fending off the entire broadcast industry with one hand while trying to launch your product with the other can't be easy.
After 6 years of haggling between Verizon, the New York State Public Service Commission and the City Counsel of Glen Cove, New York, citizens of Glen Cove are one step closer to having FiOS TV service available to them. With 85% of the city already wired for FiOS, all that is needed to start the service is a franchise agreement between the parties. story continues..
Google's interest in Africa as a developing market with huge earnings potential has been exemplified by their White Space broadband experiments there
, though the search giant has turned up the speed a notch on the news they'll be deploying a significant amount number of fiber connections to African cities. According to the Google Blog
, the company's "Project Link
" initiative will begin with Google deploying fiber throughout the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
Back in April, wireless carriers and the government announced
that they'd be collaborating on building a new nationwide database to track stolen phones (specifically the IMEI number, not just the SIM card ID). The goal is to reduce the time that stolen phones remain useful, thereby drying up the market for stolen phones and reducing the ability of criminals to use the devices to dodge surveillance.
Last month we were the first to note
that Comcast was trying something a little different on the promotions front, offering users a bundle of 25 Mbps broadband, about 20 TV channels and HBO for around $40 to $50 depending on the market. Unfortunately for users that promo offer only applied to new customers, and ballooned to $60 to $70 after twelve months, then to $70 to $80 for the last six months of a two-year agreement.
Back in January Cox announced
that they'd be offering users access to a network of more than 750 Wi-Fi hotspots (you can find a network of their hotspots here
and their Wi-Fi FAQ here
). In addition to offering users access to their own hotspots, Cox also belatedly joined the "CableWiFi" initiative that allows users to access shared hotspots in Comcast and Cablevision territories.
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs says that he'd like to see LTE technology deployed on unlicensed spectrum, though he's a bit ambiguous on how exactly they plan to accomplish this. "We’ve been working on this for a while which is, we’re actually putting LTE into the unlicensed bands," Jacobs said in an article at Electronics Weekly
. "Up till now Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have mostly used unlicensed bands. There is a tremendous amount of spectrum that’s been allocated around the world in unlicensed bands." Fierce Wireless
theorizes the technology could use the 3.5 GHz band, which is being eyed for small cells here in the States.
Suddenlink executives recently suggested that the company is seeing a sharp uptick in the number of broadband-only customers who aren't taking TV service. Similarly Charter CEO Tom Rutledge recently expressed surprise
at the fact more customers are going broadband only and forgoing traditional television services.
Dish has offered up a little more detail on an already-announced plan to offer fixed wireless broadband service. Dish announced back in May
that the company would be offering fixed LTE services in a new partnership with nTelos.
The retransmission fees broadcasters charge pay TV operators to carry their content have been the source of increasingly obnoxious conflict
the last few years resulting in all manner of content blackouts and bad behavior
by both sides. And it's only going to get worse. According to a report released last week by SNL Kagan
(pdf), retransmission fees are expected to soar 130% by 2019, at which point pay TV operators will shell out $7.6 billion annually (compared to $3.3 billion this year). Granted it's no skin off of cable operators' teeth since all of those costs are passed directly on to you, increasingly in the form of below the line fees on top of
the usual rate increases (also blamed on programming cost increases).
Tablets are among the coolest and most widely-used handheld devices ever created, right up there with electric razors, cordless drills and digital cameras. A Pew report this past summer
revealed one in three adults in America own a tablet. The tablet – just one of many sci-fi items that made its way to reality – made fictional debuts in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey
, novels such as Isaac Asimov's Foundation
, and in several episodes of Star Trek
, in many shapes and forms.
It's cool that tablet technology is here.
indicates that Intel is looking for around half a billion dollars for their broadband TV streaming project that recently hit a progress wall courtesy of broadcast licensing restrictions
. Reports had already indicated
that both Liberty Media and Verizon were interested in acquiring the technology, though Bloomberg confirms existing rumors
that Verizon would like to offer an IP-based TV service outside of the company's traditional FiOS or DSL footprints, and would integrate Intel's technology into their own solution:
Verizon, one of the biggest US phone and wireless operators, runs the FiOS fiber-optic pay-TV service that competes with cable companies. OnCue would let Verizon sell pay-TV outside the current FiOS footprint. The company has been asking media companies if a streaming service would require new contracts for shows, or whether existing FiOS TV agreements could be amended to include the additional rights, the people said.
Even with Verizon's size and leverage it's not clear they'd have any greater luck at getting broadcasters to loosen their iron grip on programming rights, since they remain terrified of just the kind of disruptive services Intel and Verizon were interested in developing. That's fundamentally the only reason such services haven't seen more traction in recent years, regardless of the company (Google, Apple, Microsoft) attempting it.
Some years ago Verizon froze FiOS expansion to focus on making more money off of FiOS users (rate hikes), improving uptake rates in existing FiOS areas, and converting stubborn DSL users in those areas to FiOS. Speaking recently at an investor conference, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo estimated that the 300,000 DSL to FiOS migrations Verizon performed this year saved the company about 600,000 truck rolls and $100 million
in repairs and maintenance in 2013 alone.
Last week reports emerged
that the FCC was considering rule changes that would allow users to have cell phone conversations above 10,000 feet. It didn't take long for a significant public backlash to the idea to emerge, the Washington Post
stating one agency staffer received hundreds of e-mail complaints saying the changes could create "unbearable noise pollution."
A petition has also appeared on the White House Website
complaining about the potential pitfalls of being forced to listen to others "inane" conversations in a confined space:
On the tail of a wonderful move allowing electronics throughout the use of the flight, the FCC seeks to go TOO FAR in this instance.
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