Sound & Vision Tech Tidbits April 2017

Sinclair’s TBD is a digital multicast network aimed at millennials. Multicast means TV stations will carry it as a secondary channel, allowing broadcasters to seek new revenue while leaving traditional network and independent channels intact...

Smart TV Platforms are consolidating. Ten TV makers are using Roku and Chromecast in lieu of rolling their own...

Interactive Movie Extras are being added to Com- cast’s X1 video platform. Titles from Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, and Universal will get elements such as photo galleries and video clips that are updated as the movie unspools...

The AT&T–Time Warner Merger drew fire from consumer groups Public Knowledge and the Consumer Federation of America. Pointing at companies like Comcast, Charter, and Verizon, they say “reject- ing the merger will be an important step in stopping the growth of the tight oligopoly on steroids”...

AT&T Fiber rolled out its 1-gigabit broadband service to Greenville, SC; Little Rock, AR; and Sacramento, CA. That makes 46 metro areas nationwide, fulfilling a company commitment...


No-Ad Basketball got a tryout on Fox Sports 2. The pay-TV channel telecast a women’s basketball game in December with a main live stream, two additional live streams for the coaches, and live audio...

The Retrans War took a new turn when Sinclair Broadcast Group suggested that Frontier cable subscribers switch to satellite TV providers. Frontier viewers lost access to ABC affiliates in the ongoing financial tug of war between broadcasters and networks (who want to be paid more for content) and cable systems (who want to pay as little as possible)...

Triple-Play Packages are turning into triple cord-cutting, says Ovum’s third-quarter numbers. AT&T and Windstream suffered declines in all three categories while Comcast, Charter, and Mediacom lost only pay-TV subscribers...

Millennials and Males bulk large in the growth of video streaming, says Limelight Networks. Sixty-eight percent of millennials watch more than two hours of online video per week, versus just over half of viewers in general, and figures for men and women are 58 and 45 percent, respectively...

Hulu’s Got Disney movies for the first time—not surprising, since Disney is one of the streamer’s owners. But that won’t stop the studio from launching its own streaming service this year...

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Free DirecTV Now? That’s what T-Mobile is offering to AT&T Wireless subscribers who activate two lines and transfer their cell numbers to T-Mobile ONE. So T-Mobile is using an AT&T-owned video service to poach mobile customers from AT&T—cue demonic laughter...

“Library Depth will no longer be a competitive advantage for VOD products,” says Tom Williams of VOD platform builder Ostmodern. He points to sports, indie films, and other niche content as the keys to VOD’s future, even as major studios “take content back” from the likes of Netflix, creating exclusives for their own streaming services...

Denon’s HEOS multi-room wireless speaker ecosystem has upgraded its firmware to include Control4 drivers. Your installer will enable you to access music services from the Listen menu, access commands for stations and playlists, and play high-resolution audio files from media servers and USB-ins...

Sony and Google Home have teamed to enable the former’s receivers, soundbars, and wireless speakers to stream music and video via the latter’s voice control. For a list of products receiving the necessary firmware update, see blog.sony.com/press/sony-announces-audio-and-video-products-that-work-with-the-google-assistant-on-google-home...

Spotify’s Jump In would let non-subscribing mobile users choose individual tracks in select playlists. But the company can’t implement the feature until the major labels allow it in their content deals...

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Gracenote, the giant in music databases, has changed ownership from Sony to publisher Tribune Media in 2014, and now from Tri- bune to TV ratings mogul Nielsen—arguably a better match for the metadata provider, since Nielsen is also in the content-about-content business. The deal was worth $560 million in cash...

New Music Choice streams on TiVo boxes from RCN and Grande Communications, offering 75 ad-free audio channels and 25 video channels with more than 20,000 music videos. The original Music Choice is a TV Everywhere app for Android, iOS, and browsers...

Online Video Advertising Fraud is raking in millions as the Russian hackers behind operations like Methbot generate 300 million video ads per day on falsified websites. Ad security firm WhiteOps found that using bot-blocking technology results in 22 percent higher brand engagement while increasing the cost of advertising by only two percent...