Interactive TV & Video Category

Anything to do with news and websites related to interactive television and video on the internet.

Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Interactive TV & Video, NBC, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on April 19, 2012

London 2012 LogoWith 100 days to go until it all kicks off, NBC has taken the wraps off its London 2012 Olympics website in order to build hype ahead of the event. With the unveiling came some good news: that the U.S. network has finally seen the error of its ways and reversed a stupid decision it made for Beijing 2008.

Beijing 2008

NBC was heavily criticized for its coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

It began with the opening ceremony, which NBC decided to show 12 hours after it happened in order to grab the most number of viewers and best ad revenue. Not everyone wanted to wait, however, and they ventured online to see the spectacular as it happened instead.

Then came the issue of ‘bottling up’ certain key events, effectively refusing to stream them live online in order to save them for TV viewers. This meant Usain Bolt breaking the 100m World Record wasn’t seen until hours after it had happened. Fans expressed their disappointment at the strategy.

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Playstation HomePS3 owners who are also users of Playstation Home can now watch films and TV shows completely for free from right within the PSN’s virtual world thanks to Sony teaming up with Crackle. And UStream is set to follow along shortly.

Playstation Home and Crackle

Playstation Home is a free social network/virtual world/gaming hub which is available to all PS3 owners signed up to the Playstation Network. You create an avatar, enter Home, and can then explore, chat, shop, and generally mess around at your leisure. And all for free.

Crackle is a website offering free movies and TV shows, as well as original content. There’s a wide range of films available on the site, as well as trailers and clips. They’re all of a classic nature, it’s fair to say, as in you’re not going to be able to watch Avatar or The Dark Knight on there for quite some time, but there is little cause for complaint when it’s all free.

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Chill LogoWe all remember Sunday afternoons spent vegging out watching television, with the channel being viewed being chosen by the holder of the remote control. But those days of watching TV collectively have passed, haven’t they?

Chill

Chill began life as the Turntable.fm for online video, with people taking it in turns to show their choice of video clip to a roomful of avatars. It worked rather well, strangely. But Chill has bigger ambitions, which it is now realizing by adding the likes of Hulu, Vevo, Livestream, Ustream, and Justin.tv to its line-up.

This is social viewing. Not a new concept but one that continues to bubble under the surface of mainstream appeal. Chill is hoping people will come to its site at show time in order to watch videos together and generally make a party out of the experience.

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Hulu-LogoThis week has been a big one for Hulu. Not only has it officially announced it has hit the one million paying subscribers milestone, but it has rolled out its deep Facebook integration which sees real-time social viewing finally become a reality.

Hulu Hits Milestone

Hulu has officially hit the 1 million milestone for paying subscribers. CEO Jason Kilar announced the news on Wednesday ahead of the f8 conference (more on that later). In the same speech during a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Kilar stated Hulu would be investing “over $375 million in content this year.”

These 1 million plus customers all subscribe to Hulu Plus, which became an option last November for those seeking more from the service. I didn’t think the extra content and features being offered would be enough to persuade many people to sign up, but I was clearly wrong on that score.

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Google+LogoGoogle+ may have just received a phenomenal boost from another Google property. That being YouTube, obviously. If lots of people actually want to watch videos together and chat about them. Do they? Really?

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ is the search giant’s latest foray into the world of social networking. And it’s already doing a lot better than their other attempts to enter the territory currently dominated by Facebook and Twitter.

One of the core features of Google+, and the reason Facebook fought hard for Skype integration itself, is Hangouts. This is group video chat with up to 10 people able to share a video chat together about anything and everything. Or more likely, nothing whatsoever.

Google+ Hangouts has had some YouTube integration from the beginning, but it has just been improved a great deal.

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Posted in: BBC, Broadband Video Companies, Interactive TV & Video, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on August 8, 2011

BBC iPlayer LogoAs an avid user and fan of the BBC iPlayer, and someone who accesses it regularly through a PS3, I’m pleased to see iPlayer for TV getting a much-needed and long-awaited upgrade. This is no paper thin makeover, instead this is a feature-packed update.

BBC iPlayer

The BBC introduced the iPlayer, its magnificent television-on-demand catch-up service, more than three years ago now, and it has grown both in stature and usability massively in that time. Thanks to regular updates it is now intuitive and easy-to-use, yet offers a lot of features.

As well as being available on computers, the iPlayer can be accessed on a wide range of devices, including connected-TV platforms and mobile devices such as the iPad. The latter now has an international version, and the former has been given a plentiful upgrade.

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Tic Tac ToeYouTube isn’t just the premier destination for videos of mad animals and even madder humans, although there is an abundance of those kinds of clips. It’s also home to movies, television shows, music videos, and games. That’s right, good, old-fashioned interactive entertainment.

Inventive YouTube Videos

There have been lots of inventive YouTube videos over the past few years, most of which have been posted on our sister site WebTVHub. These include Annoying Orange, and virals from Old Spice and Tippex.

And now we have a new game to suck all our time away from us: a YouTube version on the classic Tic Tac Toe. Unfortunately, what is the simplest game when played with pen and paper is a little trickier to recreate on a video site.

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