When we reviewed the Vudu back in September, we said "only feature films are available, but Vudu says that TV shows are on the roadmap." Vudu made good on that pledge today, adding 12 TV shows to its content roster. Episodes are available for $1.99 each--the same price you'd pay for TV shows on Apple's iTunes Store.
TV content on Vudu is said to be "in beta," but it should be available to all Vudu owners as of today. The initial dozen shows offered are: 24, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Family … Read more
As part of its Open Content Platform, CNET Networks has created a variety of HTML widgets from five of its Web properties--CNET, GameSpot, Chow, BNET, and TV.com--that anyone can stick on his or her own Web site. After completing a short registration form, publishers can get CNET technology videos (widget), GameSpot game reviews (widget), TV.com interviews and features (widget), business-oriented arcticles and videos from BNET (widget), and food-oriented features from Chow (widget).
The HTML widgets come in a variety of shapes and flavors. Some widgets, such as CNET Personal Tech, TV.com, and Gamespot, serve their content in a standard 300x550 size. BNET provides articles and videos for business managers in three sizes--160x800, 300x500, and 500x360. Most prolifically, there are two different shapes (160x800 and 300x550) of four types of widgets from the food-focused Web site Chow--recipes, stories, videos, and message boards, including localized message board widgets for New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.… Read more
I despise e-cards.
Not because of their stigma, which suggests your neglect and lack of planning in sending someone an honest-to-goodness paper card, but because the majority of the sites I've used over the years are packed to the gills with gaudy advertising and difficult to navigate UI. That experience ultimately ends up falling on your recipients, who are sent there to dig through the muck to get their Flash-animated hello.
Back in October, I wrote about the Norton Fighter, a Kamen Rider-inspired mascot for Symantec in Japan to help the company sell Norton 360 to the denizens of the Floating Kingdom. Did I say sell? I meant, "fight honorably and do great battle to protect from evil." Or something.
Anyway, whoever's marketing Norton 360 sure knows its audience. The company has now put out a series of long commercials, filmed on grainy stock and in the Technicolor style of the '70s, showing the Fighter doing his best to not only defeat the evil Botlas, but also to … Read more
You might remember some time ago that Michael Bay proved he's a Sony fanboy by ranting about how Paramount would never get a Transformers 2 from him, because it had switched to support HD DVD exclusively. Obviously, once the sugar high from his Kool-Aid had worn off, he retracted the statement and said that 300 on HD DVD was pure ownage.
NICASIO, Calif.--Search for sounds tagged with the word "funny" in Skywalker Sound's library of more than 120,000 effects, and you get precisely 510 results.
Among them are "animal cow," eight different forms of "human hiccup," six forms of "tuba comedy," and many, many more.
It's vital that the sound design and post-production arm of George Lucas' Lucasfilm empire has such a massive proprietary database of sounds. Its sound designers are tasked with coming up with just the right effects to create things like "rat (point of view)&… Read more
We have invitations for the closed alpha of Knocka. Read the end to get yours.
I don't care for the content on the new video site Knocka. But I really like the concept.
Knocka is an Internet television network. It has "channels" of streaming content. Unlike video sharing sites like YouTube, users can't randomly select videos to play when they wish (except clips they've already seen in a stream), nor can they embed Knocka vids in other sites. Kncoka is a destination site, not a media library.
But even though Knocka can be watched in passive mode, like television, interactivity and community are a big part of the Knocka equation. Viewers can text chat with each other in a window under a running show, and can engage in person-to-person Webcam video chats with their friends. And content is chosen through a combination of user voting and editorial oversight. On the current alpha site, users can vote on clips that play in the channels, and the voting will affect the rotation of a show: Good vote, more plays; bad votes, less. Eventually, Knocka will let its users further upstream in the editorial process. It will let users vote on videos in the submissions bin to help decide what makes it into the channels themselves.
At the moment, content is coming from some existing producers, like Aniboom and Rocketboom, as well as from users. All content is being funneled into just three channels: Music, Extreme Sports, and "Kandy," aka the lingerie channel. (There's also an overview channel.) More channels will launch soon.
Knocka puts glitzy and loud promos and graphics around the videos, making each video stream feel like an MTV production. The Web interface is also very good. It offers a decent amount of social interaction without getting in the way.
While I really like the Web interface and the concept, I found a lot of the videos on the service just plain crude. But that's only my opinion, and I'm not the target demographic. Knocka, currently, is aiming for a much younger viewer than me, with aspirations to launch channels for different audiences later.
Also coming soon, CEO Nir Erlich told me, are more live video features, like live shows that put audience members in the middle of the streams. Erlich thinks that it will be easier to pull viewers into these live shows than it will to grab people to watch the live streams on sites like uStream and Operator11. Or, I suppose, Justin.tv.
Erlich says Knocka is about, "Moving from an unlimited number of channels to a limited number. But structured." It's an old-fashioned concept, more reminiscent of television channels from the 1950s and '60s than what we currently think of as a modern video service that tries to offer everything to everybody. Knocka is not the only video site based on focus over quantity, though. There's Current, a higher-brow content and video company that is also trying to put social engineering on video consumption, and there's Mania TV, another show-based video service.
I found Knocka's social interface intuitive and fun. I complained about the rotten videos and voted them down, but I had a good time doing so. This is a very intriguing video platform.
In a slight departure from my regular tone here on The Digital Home, I wanted to share an experience with you that has helped me regain my love for old video games and force me to reconsider my thoughts on what video gaming should be.
And although it wasn't one of the most welcome consoles in the history of video games, I truly enjoyed my Sega Dreamcast. Was it perfect? Certainly not. After all, this is a console that was advanced when it came out and disgustingly obsolete once the Playstation 2 hit store shelves just one year later.
But for all of its bad (can you say Sega's awful business practices?), the Sega Dreamcast was one of the greatest consoles of all-time.
Success in this business isn't always measured in sales and revenue, sometimes it's measured in what it does for the average person. And while Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo left Sega in their wake, the Dreamcast provided an experience that acted as the forerunner to many of the consoles we enjoy today.
Simply put, the Sega Dreamcast was great when it was released on 9/9/99 (in the US) and I'm a firm believer that Sega should release Dreamcast 2 on 9/9/09.… Read more