In This Weeks’ Edition — September 6, 2013

Here Comes the 4K Content
– Sony Launches Online 4K Store with 70 Titles, More Coming

In addition to announcing 4K TV sets and projectors at IFA, Sony announced Video Unlimited 4K, an online video store that offers 4K content, native and not upscaled, for rent or purchase. The store opens with over 70 movies and TV shows including many viewers’ must see “Breaking Bad” from AMC.

Sony said there would be over 100 titles in the store by year-end.

However, consumers can only access the store with Sony’s 4K media player, the FMP-X1, which only works with Sony’s 4K sets. It’s an Apple-like approach and can only succeed if Sony has the best 4K sets and the “most-est, best-est” 4K content… Full story here.


4 Lessons from the TWC-CBS Dispute

Football fans must have been glad to hear Time Warner Cable and CBS have now reached a resolution to the contract negotiation dispute that lasted about a month. We and others predicted the two would make nice before the American football season begins next week.

The few details of the resolution that leaked out have been thoroughly analyzed, and consensus has ruled CBS was the victor. But here are four more lessons learned from the dispute.

From an outsider’s perspective, it is really laughable that the TWC-CBS dispute was over content that is already made available for free over-the-air (OTA) to everyone in the US with an antenna that costs less than $100. What’s more bizarre is that it was the pay TV service that abhors antennae, Time Warner Cable, not CBS, that floated the idea of handing out free antennae to viewers… Full story here.


The Dawning of the Age of Virtual Pay TV Operators
-Virtual Operators Capitalize on Technology and Low Cost Entry
-‘Basically Anybody Can Put a Service Together’
-Don’t Expect an End to the Bundle, Though

There’s no more denying that virtual Pay TV operators are coming. There are already a number of broadband-delivered TV services in Europe. Magine has launched in Sweden and Spain, and in the UK, and BSkyB’s Sky has an OTT-only offering.

In the US, Intel is planning to launch its broadband-delivered pay TV service by year end. News surfaced this week from the newspaper The Oregonian, reporting that Intel was testing STBs – or perhaps they are better called net-top boxes – among about 1,000 employees.

The virtual pay TV operators, known as “Vpops” have one huge advantage over traditional pay TV services, and that is the cost. “The costs involved in delivering over the top are so much lower than the traditional network approach that cable or satellite take, that basically anybody can put a service together,” Colin Dixon industry observer and chief analyst of nScreenMedia, told The Online Reporter. “It’s remarkable when you think about how little money it takes to start something up like this, and how well it’s scaled… Subscribe for the full story.


The Wearable Revolution Will Come, But the Smart Watch Is Not the Catalyst

The fall cat-walk season for mobile devices has started in earnest, with the IFA electronics show – the closest Europe comes to January’s CES extravaganza – kicking off in Berlin, and Apple’s launch set for Tuesday. It must be a sign of the desperation of the smartphone industry, as margins fall and designs commoditize, that the bid to surprise and delight jaded consumers and analysts this year revolves around the “smart watch.” Yes, the wearable computing trend has huge future potential to change behavior; create new device and software markets; and deliver growth for those that respond innovatively. But all that will take a decade to evolve – and the smart watch is not, except in the most simplistic sense, the herald of the wearable revolution.

There are actual interesting mobile devices out there at IFA – Sony’s upgraded, waterproof Xperia; Samsung’s enlarged Galaxy Note 3; and many others to come, all sporting the latest technologies in display, processing and apps. But the watches have grabbed the headlines, perhaps because they may herald the next big shift in how users communicate and compute – having moved from static to mobile activity, and from local content to the web, now they will embrace wearable gadgets, making devices that sit separately from the body into an old hat… Subscribe for the full story.


For more of this week’s The Online Reporter, subscribe:

  • ‘The Horror Show’ Is the Newest Niche OTT Service in Town
  • Target Will Have to Work to Make ‘Target Ticket’ A Success
  • The Video Search Engine Blinkx Pivots Toward Curation
  • Consumers’ Love for Amazon Could Make It a Potent OTT Service
  • It’s Going to Be a Hot Holiday in the Gaming Console Industry

About the Author

The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to

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