jbaumgartner's blog

Amazon Building a VR Team

Get complete coverage of VR trends and technologies.

 

Indicating that it's poised to follow Netflix and Hulu into the VR world, Amazon, which also runs a subscription video streaming service, is on the hunt for some virtual reality expertise.

 

Study: 49M U.S. Homes Connect TVs to Internet

About 49 million U.S. Internet homes now own some type of connected-TV or connected-TV streaming device, an increase of about 6 million homes, or 14%, over the past year, according to a new report from NPD Group.

 

The study, based on a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. consumers conducted in Q4 2015, found that the latest numbers mean more than half (52%) of all U.S. Internet homes have at least one device in the growing category.

 

The Netflix Effect

In a fresh study that probably won’t aid Netflix in its negotiations to secure digital rights to shows from cable networks and other programmers in the traditional pay TV sphere, the OTT giant was responsible for about half of a the 3% decline in the U.S. TV viewing audience last year.

 

That’s per Moffettnathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, who presented his findings this week in an updated report under the heading: Is Netflix Killing TV?

 

Comcast Revs Up Some 360 Video

Offering a taste of 360-degree video, Comcast has expanded on its NASCAR title sponsorship by posting a short virtual reality video that gives viewers an immersive view of the Homestead-Miami Speedway and a chance to ride shotgun with driver Daniel Suárez (fittingly in the Arris car).

 

Google Might Cast a Wider Video Net

Signaling a possible next step in Google’s video- and app-casting strategy, Vizio is gearing up to integrate Chromecast-like capability in some new TV models “as early as this spring,” Variety reported Wednesday, citing multiple people familiar with the arrangement.

 

According to the report, Vizio will back up that plan by teaming those TVs with Android-powered tablets that would as a fancy, dedicated.

 

What VR Content Do Consumers Want?

As virtual reality platforms for the high, middle and lower ends of the market continue to enter the market, there’s still an ongoing debate about what kind of content will resonate in these immersive environments.

 

Metrics Matter

Despite every effort to deliver the best user experience, how do you really know it’s the best if you’re not measuring the right metrics?

 

Liberty Global Curbs its Enthusiasm for 4K

Liberty Global is preparing for 4K video, but the MSO doesn’t believe the new, pixel-packed format will necessarily be a must-have, at least in the near-term.

 

The MSO is “in wait-and-see mode,” Michael Fries, Liberty Global’s CEO, said Tuesday on the company’s Q4 earnings call.

 

VR: A Platform With Potential

Virtual reality and 360-degree video have become a growing priority for the pay TV industry, particularly among programmers, so I dipped my toe into the platform to see what all the fuss is about.

 

My first experience with VR was with Google Cardboard, a very inexpensive way to get a taste of the technology and some of the content that’s being developed. There are plenty of Cardboard apps available, and I found the whole apparatus easy and accessible, though the experience had that poor-man’s VR feel to it.

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