Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 30, 2007 0 comments
"Train wreck" and "digital disaster" were just a few of the words being flung at the DTV transition in Congress last week. Analog television broadcasting is scheduled to end on February 18, 2009. And elected representatives are fretting that some analog-TV viewers may not have gotten the memo. Since those who watch also vote, they deem this a problem.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
If you like your iThing-docking speakers chunky and bass-hip, the Earthquake IQ-52W/B ($475) may be worth hearing, though it wasn't demoed on the floor.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 09, 2009 0 comments
EchoStar, the owner of the Dish Network, is accumulating debt from the recently merged Sirius XM Satellite Radio Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper speculates that this "could be the first salvo in an attempt to take control of the battered company," either inside or outside of bankruptcy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 30, 2009 0 comments
It's been just three months since the completion of the DTV transition and the Federal Communications Commission is already thinking of violating the agreement it made with television broadcasters when they switched from analog to digital broadcasting. In a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the FCC is thinking of taking back some DTV spectrum and reallocating it to wireless broadband.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 25, 2011 2 comments
A clash is shaping up between DTV broadcasters and other potential users of their spectrum. Broadcasters are getting ready to defend the spectrum they received in the DTV transition which concluded in 2009. But some in the federal government say much of that spectrum that would be better used for expanded cellphone networks and a new generation of wireless internet service.

What The New York Times describes as "an old media vs. new media lobbying battle" is now underway.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 08, 2006 0 comments
Contrary to an earlier report, it looks as though France won't become the first nation to demand interoperability in music downloads and portable devices. A laudable copyright law revision has been not only watered down but totally negated. Among the key changes, the words translatable as "open standard" have been changed to "protected copy." If you're an attorney fluent in French, take a look at the proposed amendments from the Commission des Affaires culturelles. The committee's handiwork is already being cited as a victory for Apple, which had bitterly condemned the bill's original wording as "state-sponsored piracy" and a mortal threat to iTunes. The resistance is still resisting—see eucd.info and stopdrm.info—but the prospects for consumer-friendly legislation have deteriorated. The French senate is expected to vote by mid-month.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 19, 2006 0 comments
If you want to predict the future of the music industry, don't just talk like a pirate. Think like a billionaire. According to Mark Cuban, owner of HDNet and the Dallas Mavericks, the music download business may be in for a major consolidation. Forget about iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, he says. Instead look at what Google has just done in the video file sharing realm: Pay $1.65 billion for YouTube and offer the television networks an estimated $100 million for the right to use portions (as opposed to all) of their programming. Cuban likens it to the moment when Microsoft took over the desktop by selling Office as a $99 upgrade back when word processors, spreadsheets, etc. sold for $500 each. Then he crunches the numbers: If Apple sells a billion tracks a year for 99 cents each, and pays 70 cents per song to the music labels, the music industry gets $700 million, and the biggest labels get $575 million of it. But what if deep-pocketed Google offered that same $575 million to the major labels for the right to use just some of their content free--not their whole catalogues, just hot songs and clips? After all, music executives are already openly rebelling against Apple's rigid pricing. Cuban finishes with an intoxicating rush of speculative questions: "Would it be worth it to Google to pay $575 million and up per year to completely turn Apple upside down? To completely pre-empt their ability to sell iPods? To potentially introduce a new hardware device, or partner with someone who has one? To sell advertising around the music rather than the music itself? Is there a traditional Google arb here of 70 cents per song vs. 70 cents of advertising around the song? Could it sell that much advertising online to justify giving the music away?... Could [Microsoft] position the Zune as the de facto winner by spending $575 million per year with the music labels and giving the first billion songs away to Zune owners?"
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 02, 2007 0 comments
The third generation of HD DVD players is likely to break through the $399 list-price barrier, the second generation already having done so at the street-price level. List prices may even hit $299 a little farther down the road, according to a Toshiba executive quoted in PC World. Look for details at CES next week. Unless the Blu-ray camp matches the deal, HD DVD will continue to retain the advantage in price. Another breakthrough came last week in the first HD DVD hack. This could be bad news for HD DVD. While the format uses the same AACS content-security system as Blu-ray, Sony's format adds an additional layer of BD+.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 28, 2010 0 comments
Now that the Federal Communications Commission has granted limited use of selectable output control to the entertainment industry, the "window" structure of video releases may be in for radical change. Video providers are more likely to offer hot movie titles via video on demand before disc release. But two clouds lurk on the horizon. The VOD will be very expensive to consumers. And it may antagonize theater owners.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 16, 2011 0 comments
Unnamed sources cited by a little-known publication assert that Apple's iPad 3 will be 3D capable. It would be totally irresponsible to pass on this kind of unsubstantiated rumor.

Mea culpa.

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