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Why The Wii May Not Win The Crown

It’s no overstatement to say the Wii reinvented gaming. Among the current generation of gaming consoles, the Wii has raced ahead of the pack, with more than 50 million consoles sold. But this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo suggests that Nintendo has gotten winded halfway through the race. Microsoft, which stole the show at E3 this year, could be charging ahead to take the lead.…

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Why Boxee Must Evolve or Die

While it’s annoying to those who have fallen in love with the Wonder Twins power combo of Boxee’s software and Hulu’s content, the reality is its hard to make a good life for oneself as a parasite without a host, and currently there is no doubt that Boxee is a parasitic application. In other words, its an app that draws its sustenance from a larger life-force (read Hulu) — one that doesn’t particularly enjoy pests buzzing about its head. So what should Boxee do? In short, it should embrace its roots and look to the Internet, not big media, to find its hits.…

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How Microsoft Can Save Media Center

When I learned that Linksys and HP were killing off their Windows Media Center Extenders, I wondered: Where did Microsoft go wrong? When the company launched its Media Center Edition in 2002, it was a visionary attempt to create a unified media platform for TV, music and other media that could eventually reach around the home. A few years later, the launch of Media Center Extenders — devices that allow you to play content from a Media Center PC anywhere in the home — showed the company moving ever-closer to this vision. But for some reason, Media Center never delivered on its original promise.…

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Memo to Cable Cos: Cord Cutters Aren’t The Issue

It seems the press has caught cord-cutter fever. Reading a recent Washington Post piece, you’d think we’ve entered some sort of Pay-TV apocalypse in which robots battle hipster armies who consume all their video entertainment on Macs, at least when they’re not making music videos. Others are more skeptical, estimating that only a tiny fraction of users have actually canceled their pay TV services. Regardless of who's right, cord cutting is a red herring.…

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The Future of Pay TV Services

Breakthroughs in digital media technologies have converted media consumers from spectators into participants. This transformation has impacted all aspects of the media value chain, from content creation through delivery to the consumer experience itself. The interactive nature of the broadband Internet has set high consumer expectations for other media outlets, particularly video services, and for all manner of personal communications. These trends have resulted in significant changes to the pay-TV landscape. Older technologies such as cable TV are facing off against newer entrants such as telcos providing IPTV services, and cable, IPTV and satellite providers are all trying to figure out how to deal with Internet video operators who can go direct to consumer without investing and maintaining their own delivery network. This report examines the impacts of the growth of IPTV on satellite and cable providers, and how all of providers will react to the growing threat (and opportunity) of broadband video.…

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Is The Age of the Web Tablet Finally Upon Us?

Tablet PCs have been around since the early '90s, and web tablet concept prototypes have been making the jump from cocktail napkins to white boards over the past 10 years with no real breakout hits as of yet. With rumors about a potential Apple iPad lighting up the Internet the past few weeks, is this really the dawn of a new age, or are we setting ourselves up for more disappointment as the web tablet solidifies itself as a perpetual good-in-theory-bad-in-practice product category?…

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IPTV Market Snapshot

After a slow start, IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, has become established as a legitimate pay TV alternative to satellite and cable. Now that several IPTV operators have each attracted more than 2 million subscribers, IPTV has begun to attract the attention of media companies and advertisers that are keen to bring content to any screen that happens to be in the consumer’s hand. And therein lies the rub. Have we begun a period of fragmentation in which no single service provider owns the subscriber, or, just the opposite: Have technology advances made it possible for individual service providers to serve every screen via a unified service platform? Early indications are that both situations are likely to occur, as the largest operators deploy convergence and personalization tools, while consumers capture what’s missing via the Internet.…

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Real Networks Throws Haymaker With “TiVo for DVDs”

For the last 10 years, Real Networks has resembled a past-his-prime boxer. Ever since the Internet world said “thanks, but no thanks” to the company’s streaming formats and yes first to Windows Media, then to Flash, the Seattle-based Internet media pioneer has been taking wild swings in hopes of connecting a knockout punch. While the company has periodically landed glancing blows — as with its lawsuit and legal settlement against Microsoft — most of the time, it swings and misses. That has been reflected in its large losses in 2008 and languishing stock price. Real has recently thrown one last haymaker by opening up a potentially promising — and very risky — line of business.…

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On Twitter, Does Reciprocity Matter? It Depends.

Twitter is a kind of Rorschach test. Why you find (or don't find) it valuable depends on your motivations. Want to be center of attention? Try to gain followers no matter how similar your interests are. Own a business? Twitter is your online marketing channel for shoe-shoppers. You're an analyst? Twitter may be your new Google Reader.…

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Connected Consumer Wrap-up: Q1 2009

Despite the economic gloom, first quarter has been fairly positive for online video. A few companies have had to shut down, others have seen layoffs, but overall, the market appears to be embracing this new frontier in entertainment. Even the big networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), the stalwarts of oldteevee, are making inroads into newteevee. The remainder of 2009 promises just as many advances as have occurred over the past quarter.…

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