Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 28, 2006 0 comments
To speed the entry of the telephone companies into the video-delivery business, Congress is in the midst of rewriting the franchising rules, substituting national for local authority. Conspicuously absent from the national franchise legislation soon to hit the Senate floor is any mention of "buildout"—that is, an explicit requirement that new video providers serve all homes in a locale. Instead the bill would require the FCC to gather information on patterns of deployment and make an annual report to Congress, flagging any patterns of discrimination. Would that relatively relaxed regulatory approach make it easy for telcos to ignore poor folk? Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg flatly denies it: "We have never engaged in redlining or cherry-picking, and we never will. It is a violation of federal law, and it runs counter to our 100-year legacy of great service to customers. Our deployment strategy speaks for itself. We are serving diverse communities in every state where we are building our FTTP network, and the cable industry's claim is yet another red herring aimed at stifling choice and competition." Media activists will be watching closely. To be continued tomorrow.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 23, 2006 1 comments
Seeking to lure back declining audiences, theater owners may be about to silence blabbering cell phone users by jamming their phones. "I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," the president of the National Association of Theater Owners told a conference, and really, don't desperate times call for desperate measures? Churches in Mexico already jam phones, albeit in defiance of Mexican law. Our own feckless feds also forbid it, and if the subject came up, regulators would probably cock an ear for valuable advice from the wireless industry. But cutting the inane chatter just might increase the quality of the moviegoing experience—along with digitizing projection, easing off on abusive volume levels, and banning Tom Cruise from the screen forever.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 10, 2010 0 comments
TiVo's victory in a prolonged court battle may force EchoStar to pull the plug on eight million Dish Network DVRs.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 29, 2009 0 comments
Toshiba may be contemplating a move into Blu-ray. If it happens, the move would be quite a turnaround for the company that developed Blu-ray's superb (but ill-fated) competitor HD DVD.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 15, 2008 0 comments
Rocky road is a tasty type of ice cream. It's also the forecast some analysts are making for Tru2Way, the latest attempt to provide the consumer with the holy grail of digital cable readiness.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments
Warner currently releases high-def DVDs in both Blu-ray and HD DVD. But the studio may be about to concentrate on Blu-ray only, an executive recently hinted.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 03, 2009 0 comments
One of the key distinctions between PlayStation and Xbox is that Sony's game console has Blu-ray support and Microsoft's game console is Blu-less. However, change may--may--be in the wind.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 13, 2008 1 comments
I was dozing through a commercial break in the 10 o'clock news when I heard something that woke me right up. It was the "Prelude No. 1 in C Major" from Book I of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, the Rosetta Stone of western music. The experience was akin to finding a fifty dollar bill in the street, which incidentally also happened to me recently. What advertiser would be brilliant enough to feed Johann Sebastian Bach to an unsuspecting TV audience? None other than McDonald's, promoting its Angus Third-Pounder. This über-burger can be purchased in three varieties: with lettuce and tomato, with bacon and cheese, or with Swiss and mushrooms. The ad--which I swear I've seen before, but with a less elevating soundtrack--shows an average guy who takes his first bite of a Third-Pounder and is so transported that he tries to push his chair back from the table, to savor the golden (-arched) moment, only to find the chair's bolted to the floor, so he settles for a sip from his giant drink. I'd have run out into the street and bought an Angus Third-Pounder immediately, just this once, were it not for the seeded bun. I don't eat whole sesame seeds. Anyway, there you have it, an odd alliance between the nation's most notorious gristle pusher and a composer who had a direct line to God. And I have no complaints about this. Far from it. Will wonders never cease.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 28, 2007 0 comments
Zune may be about to start making download decisions for you. The name of the Microsoft patent application in question is "Automatic delivery of personalized content to a portable media player with feedback." That says it all, doesn't it?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 11, 2008 0 comments
The DTV transition took over a whole metro area for the first time this week. Folks in Wilmington, North Carolina are getting digital signals exclusively in a trial run for the overall U.S. DTV transition which is scheduled for February 17, 2009. That's when analog broadcasting will stop entirely, with analog signals surviving only in cable, satellite, and other non-antenna systems. Wilmington is just experiencing the future a few months early.

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