Archive for October, 2002

Chinese broadband uptake to jump 500% this year

China currently has almost three times the number of UK broadband users but Strategy Analytics estimate they will have 37 million by 2008.

Sky and BT strengthen ADSL relationship

Sky and BT have had a strategic relationship for a long time. Initially it was because Sky needed a return path for their STB’s and back then the only realistic provider of this was a BT phone line. Things went a little frosty a while back when there were rumours that BT might use their network to become a broadcaster but it’s now all lovey-dovey again.

Vocera – Wireless-VoIP

While not strictly entertainment, it is broadband and your may well eventually have one at home. This signals the kind of wireless-VoIP product that I imagine has mobile telecom companies shaking in their boots, especially the 3G variety.

The Internet Home Alliance

A gathering of companies who are experimenting with their collective technology products projecting how a broadband-connected household could look.

MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

A new video encoding system is getting close to approval. H.264 or MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding as it’s otherwise known, is thought to be able to reach DVD-quality broadcasts at slightly under 1Mbps. Some are sceptical about it being taken up for STB’s, as it will require about three to four times the computing horsepower needed for MPEG-2 – up to now pretty low power chips have been installed in STB’s. It is thought that the proposal should be ratified as part of the MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group) multimedia standard by year’s end.

Sanity returns to audio webcasting

Sanity returns as audio webcasters and music rights holders have come to a mutually agreeable pricing structure for Internet-based music usage. Broadly, it’s going to be based on the profits they make (as commercial radio currently is in the US) as opposed to the previous ruling based on the number of tracks that are played and the number of people who listen to those tracks.

TiVo viewing habits

The release of TiVo’s viewing habits of their subscribers [PDF] is interesting reading. As I’ve found, TiVo owner don’t watch live TV very much when they have a PVR.

Nokia Bluetooth-enabled STB

Nokia have announced their DVB-compliant Mediamaster 230 S to be released in Europe at the end of Q4 2002. Its major new feature is its ability to transfer photo’s from Bluetooth 1.1 capable cameras to store and view on the TV.

UK ADSL VOD provider wobbles?

Sad news in the UK as rumours that Video-Networks, the ADSL-delivered VOD provider, is in discussions with its backers about its on-going viability.

3D Flat Screen

I don’t know how many of you have seen 3D moving images; I went many years ago to the 3D showing at the IMAX theatre in New York. When you got into the theatre you donned a large, semi-comfortable headset that had an Infra Red sensor on the top of it. The theatre used this to control the speed on the shutters opening and closing over each eye, to ensure it synced with the film projection. The film didn’t feel that 3D until the shark came swimming into the theatre – gasps all round.