It’s time to accept the fact that targeted ads are no longer restricted to your browser. Facebook is stuffing them inside your mobile apps, Apple might put them in your thermostat, and now The Washington Post is reporting that Comcast and NBC Universal are bringing targeted advertisements to your television. Much like the intelligent political ads that Dish and DirecTV announced earlier this week, the newly-minted NBCU+ service will “allow marketers to target groups of consumers that fit certain demographic and interest profiles.” More →
Ever since they were first unveiled, ultra high-definition televisions have been little more than a pipe dream for the average consumer. With prices soaring as high as $150,000 for the largest models, many had begun to write off the whole idea of ultra HD until the prices began to dip below Lamborghini levels. Although prices remain much higher than many are willing to spend, The Wall Street Journal reports that a 4K future could be closer than ever. More →
It has been a year since the CALM Act was officially implemented and promised to curb the volume on those raucous commercials that manage to eke out an extra few decibels from your television. Paul McNamara at Network World has taken a look at some of the data to try and decide whether or not the law has actually had any effect. According to the FCC, there are fewer complaints this year, although in this case, “fewer complaints” still means about 20,000. More →
The cord cutting phenomenon seems to be extending beyond cable subscriptions. An IHS report projects that global TV shipments are expected to fall from 238.3 million units in 2012 to 226.7 million in 2013. The decline from 2011 to 2012 was 7%, and although sales were expected to pick up slightly this year, the original estimate of a 2% decrease in shipments has now ballooned to a 5% decline, making this the second consecutive year of TV sales falling significantly. LCD TVs will only see a 1% decline but the fading plasma segment of the market will drop 27%, CRTs will see a precipitous 40% dip, and rear-projection TVs will all but disappear. More →
As alternatives to cable television have become ubiquitous over the past several years, cable subscribers have begun to question whether the monthly fee is worth paying. Although “cutting the cord” (a.k.a.: dropping cable) is already starting to become a widespread phenomenon, some reports suggest that more people than ever are considering leaving cable behind. Consulting firm Magid Advisors reports that “2.7% of pay TV customers say they are thinking about cutting the cord in the next year.” That number was only 2.2% last year and 1.9% in 2011. Younger people are even more likely to cut the cord, as many as 4.4%, although certain irreplaceable perks, such as ESPN, have many subscribers keeping their cords intact.
4K TVs are beautiful, but they are also extremely expensive. Most of the major TV manufacturers have already unveiled their Ultra HD offerings, but the question remains: When will the average consumer be able to afford them? Speaking to Trusted Reviews, one United Kingdom retailer believes 4K resolution TV prices may be cut in half within the next year. More →
The global pay-TV subscriber base is expected to top 900 million in 2013 according to recent estimates, driven largely by increased popularity of IPTV services and growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Market Research firm ABI Research says the global pay-TV market added almost 47 million net subscribers in 2012, pushing the global user count to 864 million. In 2013, however, the firm expects growth to slow as North American and Western European markets become saturated. More →
If you’re one of the few privileged enough to be able to afford Sony’s (SNE) $25,000 84-inch 4K resolution LED TV, you can probably buy a few 4K resolution cameras and go to town filming your cat in Ultra High Definition. With over 8 million pixels to push, Sony’s 4K TV looks superb if the content is running at full 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. Of course, the price tag isn’t the only drawback for Sony’s 4K TVs — the lack of native 4K content. More →
Have reports of Apple’s (AAPL) death been greatly exaggerated? Predicting the inevitable demise of the most successful consumer electronics company in the world is something of a pastime for many news outlets. Every leader eventually falls, of course, but predicting how and when is a sure way to attract attention. And so in Wednesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, an opinion piece proudly proclaimed that “TV will be Apple’s undoing.” More →
As if there was any doubt Sony’s (SNE) giant 84-inch 4K resolution LED TV would be expensive, Sony has finally priced its upcoming XBR-84X900 TV. The flat screen with a whopping 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution and integrated speakers will sell for $24,999. While Sony will start taking preorders for the TV beginning Thursday, September 6th, it won’t actually be available until November. Early adopters can find demo units at select Sony stores before deciding if 4K is worth the investment. Beyond the TV’s ability to scale 1080p content to 4K resolution, the XBR-84X900 also has SimulView (two-player gaming without split screens), full 3D with passive 3D glasses and large library of apps, videos and music services expected from a high-end HDTV. Sony’s full press release follows below.
A report on Thursday suggested that 400,000 American homes cut the cord last quarter, ditching cable and satellite television services to get their home entertainment elsewhere. A number of people argued that the massive figure didn’t account for the 275,000 subscribers that switched to AT&T’s (T) U-Verse and Verizon’s (VZ) FiOS service. What Reuters’s figure also doesn’t account for, however, is the estimated 280,000-300,000 subscribers Charter (CHTR) and Cablevision (CVC) are expected to report having lost during the second quarter. More →
Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” painted a scary picture of the future in a number of ways. For privacy advocates, one of several nightmarish technologies used in the film allowed outdoor signs and billboards to play targeted interactive advertisements by scanning the eyeballs of passers-by in order to identify them. Such technology isn’t widely available yet, but Intel plans to take a big step toward a future chock-full of invasive ads when it launches a new TV advertising platform that makes use of facial recognition to target ads to viewers. More →
BGR has learned from a trusted source that Apple is planning to demonstrate a brand new version of the Apple TV operating system next week at WWDC. This new OS is said to be much more feature-complete than the current OS that runs on the Apple TV, and is apparently the one that Apple’s upcoming HDTV will run. Yes, that one.