QuickLinks - Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology
Issue no. 200 - 14 June 2001
- Cable Giants Refuse to Sell Ads to Internet Competitors
(New York Times)
As the battle to provide high- speed Internet service heats up, the cable television giants are increasingly using a defensive tactic: refusing to sell advertising time to phone companies to promote D.S.L., an advanced telephone network technology that competes with cable modems.
- Microsoft launches TV deal
Microsoft launched the world's first commercial roll-out of interactive television on broadband set-top boxes. The launch in Portugal, with TV Cabo, the local cable television company, marks the company's first deployment in a market which could eventually generate billions of dollars of revenues.
- Sega and Sony to Link Game Consoles Via Internet
Japanese game maker Sega Corp and Sony Corp (news - web sites)'s game unit plan to enable users of their consoles to play video games via the Internet.
- The ultimate couch-potato machine
Television is changing as it goes digital. The result will not only be better-quality pictures and sound but also personal TV, with viewers able to tailor the programmes they watch and even take part in them. How much money this makes for programme-makers or broadcasters, whoever they turn out to be, is not so clear
Issue no. 199 - 4 June 2001
- From goggle box to chatterbox
Soon your TV could be talking to your PC and telling it which webpages to load. A US company has produced a gadget that reacts to audio signals embedded in TV programmes and tells your PC to surf over to webpages related to that show.
Issue no. 198 - 28 May 2001
- Can Television Survive the Internet?
Canadian webcaster JumpTV wants to operate like a cable TV company over the Internet, paying the same kind of royalty fees cable companies pay for the right to retransmit off-the-air television signals to their customers. JumpTV said filter technology from U.S. company Quova can pinpoint Web surfers by country, region and even ZIP code. The technology checks users' Internet protocol (IP) addresses, which are usually assigned to the user's Internet service provider.
- USA - FCC head to push for a lighter media and telecoms regime
Michael Powell, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, has set out a radical agenda for rolling back regulation of media and telecommunications which could spark a wave of consolidation on both sides of the Atlantic. The influential regulator's plans for a lighter touch over the so-called New Economy puts him on a collision course with his counterparts in Europe, who are considering a range of stricter controls to encourage competition.
- ETUDE : L'IDATE se penche sur l'avenir des WebTv
Malgré le scepticisme flottant autour de l'avenir des webtV, l'IDATE prévoit une amélioration, notamment grâce aux innovations technologiques. Mais de nombreuses incertitudes subsistent.
- Flash graphics land prime time on TV
The entertainment industry is learning new tricks from the Web that could dramatically reduce costs and recast a widely used Net animation technology as a significant offline production tool.
- From Shortwave to New Wave
(Los Angeles Times)
Radio: BBC pulls the plug on 1930s technology by moving its World Service to the Internet in North America.
- How to skin a potato
It is proving hard to make money out of interactive television. The most disappointing use of interactivity has been for shopping, or "t-commerce". Sport, games and betting are promising.
- Industry ponders impact of TiVo patent
Competitors and industry watchers of the interactive television market aren't sure yet what to make of TiVo's new patent. The digital video recording pioneer announced that it has received a broad patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a "multimedia time warping system." The patent, which TiVo filed for in 1998, is described in the application as an "invention allowing the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program."
Issue no. 196 - 15 May 2001
- Australian Govt Abandons Interactive TV License Auction
The Australian government has canceled a planned auction of licenses to provide interactive television, or datacasting, services nationwide. The cancellation was partly due to a lack of interest in the licenses and the likely lack of competition in services. This also reduced the potential return for the government on the sale of public airwaves.
Issue no. 194 - 23 April 2001
- What's holding up media convergence?
Convergence is a lot like the weather: Everybody's talking about it, no one can control it, and how you prepare for it depends on where you are.
Issue no. 193 - 3 April 2001
- Europe to Lead iTV Revolution
Digital TV will surpass PC-based Internet penetration in Western Europe by 2005, making DTV-based interactive services, the more popular means of accessing the Internet by the middle of this decade, according to the Yankee Group.
- Strategic confusion, internal politics lead to failures online
The TV networks may have scaled back their online initiatives, but that doesn't mean they've abandoned all hope for the Internet. Rather than running their online operations as separate, broadly focused entities, the networks are using Web sites as extensions of hit TV shows. Those that have worked best are ones that lend themselves to online interactivity, such as game shows and reality programs. But executives are trying to repeat the formula with popular sitcoms and dramas.
- UK - Millionaire goes interactive
Viewers of ITV quiz Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? will be able to play the game through their remote controls when it is launched on digital television. An internet version of the show will also be launched - so the public can play against television contestants and other net users via their computers.
Issue no. 192 - 26 March 2001
- Verzahnung von Internet und Fernsehen beobachten
Die zunehmende Verzahnung von Internet-Anbietern und Programmanveranstaltern sollte nach Ansicht des Medienwächters Prof. Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker verstärkt unter die Lupe genommen werden.
- UK - The Communications White Paper
(House of Commons)
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report. see in particular Content regulation.
- USA - FCC weighs interactive TV rules
Consumer groups are pushing federal regulators to write rules for interactive television, but the companies that will deliver that service argue that it's hard to regulate an industry that barely exists.
- MTV to Mesh Its 2 Channels With Web Site
(New York Times)
Looking to evolve with its youthful audience, the MTV cable network is reinventing itself again: It will integrate its two cable channels with its Internet Web site to create what its executives are calling "a multimedia version of the MTV brand."
Issue no. 190 - 12 March 2001
- Canada - CRTC at centre of Liberal turf war
The Canadian government will establish a special task force to determine the future of the federal broadcast regulator, which is at the centre of a power struggle between the Industry Minister, whose department is responsible for telecommunications, and the Heritage Minister, whose department is responsible for cultural content.
- Sony will go it alone in age of interactive TV
Sony will seek its own fortune in the brave new world of interactive TV, pulling out of a joint venture with three of its biggest rivals.
Issue no. 188 - 24 February 2001
- ZapMedia, Samsung Team On Entertainment Convergence
ZapMedia and Samsung will produce an entertainment convergence product. The "Samsung ZapStation" will allow consumers to access digital audio and video entertainment and surf the Internet without a computer.
Issue no. 187 - 17 February 2001
- UK - Threat to press on the Net
The Government’s White Paper on communications appears to be trying to bring Internet content under statutory regulation, based on the notion that the Internet is an extension of broadcasting. The other major flaw is the fact that the BBC has been largely excluded from the centrepiece of the legislation - the creation of a single regulatory body for the communications industry.
- BCE Set to Marry High-Speed Internet, Satellite TV
BCE, Canada's largest telecoms company, unveiled plans to integrate high-speed Internet and satellite television services, which among other things would allow customers to "time-shift" their TV program schedule.
- Milia 2001
La huitième édition du Milia se tient à Cannes du 10 au 14 février. Le grand marché international du multimédia a choisi pour thème principal, cette année, les contenus multi-plateformes destinés au grand public. Du PC à la télévision interactive, en passant par l'Internet, le téléphone mobile et les appareils nomades, le salon consacre la multiplication des nouveaux réseaux de diffusion.
Issue no. 184 - 20 January 2001
- USA - Cable Companies Win One in the High-Definition TV War
(New York Times)
In a sharp setback for the nation's broadcasters, the Federal Communications Commission decided to deny television stations the right to force cable companies to transmit both their digital and analog signals as they slowly convert to high-definition television.
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
- UK - One regulator in broadcasting
The communications white paper proposes that a single, powerful regulator will cover broadcasting, telecommunications and new media. The body will have wide-ranging controls to maintain standards, ensure that no single company dominates the market, and will even attempt to police the internet. see A New Future for Communications: New Regulatory Body to be Created (DTI - DCMS). see also: Internet content, Current arrangements for negative content regulation, Videos, DVDs and computer games, Regulation of advertising. PressUK offers mixed bag with communications paper, Tiers are not enough (FT), Special report: Communications white paper, Summary of changes proposed, Ofcom to tackle internet content standards, A load of old flannel? (Guardian).
- The great convergence gamble
Like AOL-Time Warner, Vivendi is betting big that the Internet is now ready to transform traditional media.
Issue no. 181 - 10 December 2000
- Microsoft, Thomson to Roll Out Digital TV in Feb
Microsoft and Thomson Multimedia unveiled an analog Internet-compatible TV which they hope will secure them a foothold in a market worth billions of euros ahead of the switch to digital TV transmission.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
Issue no. 177 - 12 November 2000
- USA - Cable open access ruled unconstitutional in Florida
AT&T and other cable TV companies scored a victory in Florida, where a federal judge ruled that requirements, known as open access, to open cable lines to rival Internet service providers are unconstitutional, violating First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the press because cable companies distribute information.
Issue no. 176 - 5 November 2000
- King of interactive TV? It's Britain
Nearly four million households will have interactive TV by the end of the year according to research firm IDC confirming that the UK is leading the world in this area.
- Net Animations Nibble at TV's Turf
(New York Times)
The Internet is morphing into a more offbeat version of television that is often more profane and always less formulaic than its broadcast and cable counterparts.
Issue no. 175 - 29 October 2000
- Sony, others to start digital broadcast services
New set-top boxes will enable viewers to store entertainment programming on memory devices and watch it later, or to access the Internet via TV. Four Japanese electronics giants will create a joint venture to standardise technology for interactive broadcasting and storage-type datacasting.
- Vereinigung von Fernsehen und Internet fern
Der Weg zu mehr Gemeinsamkeit zwischen Internet und Fernsehen scheint noch weit. Während die interaktive Dominanz des Internets wächst, stolpert das Fernsehen noch ziellos ins digitale Zeitalter, meinen Experten.
- Will TV lovers pay the Ultimate price?
Microsoft announced pricing for its UltimateTV satellite service, which allows customers to record their favorite TV shows onto a hard drive, surf the Internet, and play along with game shows. UltimateTV puts Microsoft in direct competition with the pioneers of digital video recording: TiVo and ReplayTV.
Issue no. 174 - 21 October 2000
- UK - Blair's law of convergence
There may be only months to go before the next general election but Tony Blair's government has not lost its sense of ambition in at least one sphere: industry regulation. Having brought together oversight of banking and securities under the Financial Services Authority, it is now putting the final touches to an overhaul of media and telecommunications law.
- DTT's Wobbly Start In Nordic Markets
(Multichannel News International)
Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway are often linked together in mind (and sometimes in reality) as a homogenous Nordic bloc. But on some matters they are out of step. That is definitely the case for the introduction of digital-terrestrial television (DTT), which is going up against more established cable TV and direct-to-home platforms.
Issue no. 173 - 15 October 2000
- High hopes for set-top boxes prompt speculation on acceptance
(Wall Street Journal on MSNBC)
The next generation of set-top boxes, set to make their global debut in Europe, will closely resemble PCs and will be far more than dumb conduits for digital television. Cable company United Pan-Europe Communications NV will launch its provocatively named Set-Top Computer in the Netherlands.
- UK Set-top rivals to battle it out over net TV
Two companies, Powerchannel and Freebox, will soon be giving away set-top boxes that let consumers surf the net via their TV for only a nominal fee. One claims its gadgets will even play DVD movies and support high-speed net access once it becomes widely available.
Issue no. 172 - 8 October 2000
- Sony merges wireless Web-surfing pad with TV
The consumer electronics giant announces the Airboard, a wireless Web-surfing device and television that also acts as a remote control for DVD players and stereos.
Issue no. 171 - 1 October 2000
Issue no. 170 - 24 September 2000
- BCE, Thomson Combine Canadian Portal, TV, And Paper
Communications giant BCE announced a CDN$4- billion deal that will pool its Sympatico Internet portal and the soon-to-be-acquired CTV in a new company that will also contain the national Globe and Mail newspaper of Thomson Corp. and its related Internet and business-TV enterprises.
- AT&T Broadband Disses Microsoft in Set-Top Box Deal
(The Industry Standard)
In a blow to Microsoft's interactive television business, AT&T Broadband plans to test Liberate Technologies' software in set-top boxes later this year and will deploy the boxes commercially if all goes well.
- Clicking Outside the Box
(New York Times)
For 50 years, television was something viewers just sat back and watched. Now a new crop of systems, collectively known as interactive television, allows people to use their remotes to take over some of the power of the director to control what appears on the screen.
- Internet-Angebot parallel zum TV-Programm
Der Unterhaltungselektronik-Hersteller Loewe will in Zusammenarbeit mit dem ZDF dem TV-Zuschauer zusätzliche Informationen per Internet zugänglich machen. Die neue Loewe-Geräte wählen nach einem Knopfdruck auf der Fernbedienung eine neben der laufenden Sendung übermittelte Internet-Adresse an.
Index page see also Audiovisual | Internet access and use | Telecommunications
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