Don’t Delete that NBC Olympics App Yet…More Live Sports are Coming

NBC Sports Live Extra

I recently switched phones from a Motorola Android device to a brand new Samsung one and one of the apps I didn’t bother re-installing was the NBC Olympics.  After all, the games are over for another four years…or two depending on how you want to count it.  Now it looks as though I may want to revive that app because NBC has announced that it’s not dead and will be re-branded as NBC Sports Live Extra.

This update has now taken place on both the Android and iOS versions of the app.   The new content that will be streaming live through the app will come from events covered on NBC, NBCSports Network and the Golf Channel.  Before you get too excited, the app will still require users to authenticate, meaning they must prove they subscribe to a cable or satellite package that provides these channels.

It’s both good and bad news for users.  The app isn’t useless and, in fact, will be far from it, but these services are eventually going to have to learn to break away from the traditional models, which are proving every day to be more broken.  Perhaps NBC would be better served by charging a nominal monthly fee for use of the app rather than being beholden to the traditional home providers.  There’s little doubt that will eventually happen, but we aren’t there yet.

 

XBox adds Voice, Gestures with TV Update

Xbox 360

Xbox 360

A new interface for XBox 360 game console users allows you to use your voice to navigate through the games, TV shows, movies and music.

Steve Ballmer showed off this technology back in September, but starting this Tuesday, this becomes reality. It adds not only remote gesture control, but also remote voice commands. Therefore, if you don’t have a Kinect motion controller, you still can control without a remote.

The Associated Press got a special demonstration of the new features. When the Microsoft employee said “XBox Bing ‘Iron Man’,” a search for Iron Man came up. When the employee said “XBox, show movies,” a list of movies from various sources appeared.

With over 57 million XBox units sold, Microsoft is expecting to make a real impact in the cord cutters market. Adding pay channel partners like Verizon FIOS means that XBox will get into the Over the top TV market with a vengeance. You will have to use over-the-air or alternate cable methods to get network TV like NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox.

The real question is how this will affect your household. Will you cut your cord over this update? Will you start to use the XBox as more than a gaming system?

TV Networks Stick Collective Finger in Dike

Over the past twenty-four hours you have probably heard the news that some of the major networks, such as ABC, NBC, and CBS have blocked access from Google TV.  I don’t know if I should be surprised or not.

I’ve grown accustomed to them doing this sort of thing – Hulu (NBC and Fox) blocked Boxee, and didn’t even want your PC hooked to your TV.  But in recent months it seemed to be changing – Hulu is going on set-top boxes, TV Networks are making apps for things like the iPad.

Now in the past day they have tried to suddenly turn back the clock, by blocking the Google TV set-top box.  It seems to go against the tide they had been riding recently to a more open, freely available content future.  They saw this coming years ago as they watched the music industry struggle.  While they have not yet given up their DRM, as music had to, they were finding ways to (mostly) satisfy viewers by rolling out Hulu and placing content on their own web sites, and, as I said previously, even releasing apps and putting Hulu on real TV’s.

They saw bit torrent as their own personal Napster, and they were right to.  It was, and if they don’t figure this thing out soon then it still could be.  There’s no shortage of apps and directories available to even the most casual users to get all of their TV shows while cutting the providers out completely.  And this kind of move is the type that pushes people in that direction.  The music industry has shown that low prices and wide availability can work as a business model.  The TV industry seems bent on showing that low availability can’t work.

Maybe it’s the wide-open, PC-style approach that Google TV takes that is scaring them.  After all, they were never really afraid of a few geeks hooking PC’s to TV’s.  But, when the process gets vastly simplified by a device, then the game really begins to change.  And those high-profile, big-profit hostage negotiations like the one going on in New York between Fox and Cablevision lose their value.

The one thing they don’t seem do get, or maybe they get, but haven’t sensed the urgency of, is that they are running out of room quickly.  As the old saying goes, they are putting their finger in the hole in the dike, but they can’t hold back the flood much longer.  They need to figure out the revenue model for this new technology yesterday.  Blocking access to Google TV is already a flawed plan.  Anybody can go in and change the ID of the Chrome browser and get their access back.  It takes 30 seconds.  And early adopters are the kind of people who know how to do that.  These days knowledge is digital and once it’s out it’s not coming back.  The content producers and networks are running out of time and, even in that race, they are running in the wrong direction right now.

Where Is Hulu Heading?

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Hulu lately, and I am trying to figure it all out.  There’s Hulu Plus, rumors of an IPO, content questions…the list goes on.  So, what do we make of it all?

Let’s start with Hulu Plus.  For those not familiar, Hulu Plus  is the recently announced, and released, paid version of Hulu.  You can get full details on what’s available in Plus here.  In a nutshell, though, you get every episode from the current season of all shows on ABC, NBC, and FOX, plus all episodes from past seasons of many of the shows.  This comes with a price tag of $9.99 per month.  That’s not a bad price – a whole lot cheaper than any cable or satellite subscription.  There’s no trial though.  You have to pay right from day one, which has been a big drawback for many consumers.

There have also been recent rumors of a Hulu IPO [initial public (stock) offering].  I would have to say it’s a fairly credible rumor based on it coming from the Wall Street Journal.  Based on that story, Hulu may be worth as much as $2 billion on the market and they are looking to use money raised from stock to land contracts from other content providers.  With only three networks on board there is plenty of room for expansion.

That segues nicely into the last question – content.  Obviously an IPO would allow them to have the funds to really negotiate some big time deals – think CBS, HBO or maybe even Disney.  But if that doesn’t pan out, then how do they build relationships to gain more content?

So, we have looked at the three aspects of what Hulu is doing and/or trying to do right now.  Where does that take them?

First, let’s look at Plus.  It’s a good offering.  After all, everyone’s chief complaint had always been the shifting content.  Any given show you wanted had only certain episodes available and those seemed to change regularly.  So this is a solid win for them.  But, what about subscriber numbers?  That seems to be kept secret from every source I checked.  Everyone talked up Plus when it was announced, but how many actually signed up?  Or, maybe more telling, how many signed up expecting a trial only to find that they had to pay from day one?  We need numbers, combined with ad revenue (which is different from every source), to determine how they are really faring.

Second, the IPO (or rumored IPO).  If it’s true, and if the valuation ($2 billion) is in the right ballpark then that solves a big content issue.  More content available, even if it’s only in Plus (and I would assume most would be) means more users.  That much money, or even close to that much, would allow for negotiations for big content providers.  Every major provider added, such as an HBO, would add huge amounts of value to Hulu and their revenue.

And third, the content question.  This one pretty much hinges on number two.  If the IPO happens, and goes as laid out in the WSJ, then this is moot.  But, if not, then where does Hulu turn to add subscribers?  They have a decent stream of revenue from ads, plus whatever they are getting from Plus subscribers, so there is some money to work with.  In this case they will need to work with smaller networks to get content.

So, let me come to a conclusion, such as it is, here.  We know nothing about the Plus subscribers and, therefore, nothing of the revenue from the program.  The IPO is a rumor, although fairly well based.  If it happens then Hulu has the money to go after the big fish,  But that doesn’t mean they will land any of them.  I think Disney is out of the question for now.  I think CBS and HBO are possible.  If they don’t do the IPO then they go after smaller content providers.  I would think Comedy Central would be on top of the list.  Having The Daily Show would really be a feather in the cap.  But, it can’t go in Plus, because it’s already free on Comedy Central’s web site.  Showtime might also be possible, and they have some sought-after original content.  Then all of the others – Discovery, History, WB, USA, etc.

It seems that they can make it without the IPO and without making a lot off of Plus (if they get something like The Daily Show in their regular feed).  So, they are viable for the foreseeable future.  But, I think, as they stand now, they are not in the best place.  They will definitely need revenue to add either one or two big providers or several smaller ones.  And, depending on who they add, will make the difference of if the content goes to Plus or not.  But some, no matter how much it hurts them, will have to go to the regular, free feed.  After all, that’s what brings the initial views.

GNC-2010-06-22 #586 Simply a Monster Show!

Cover a huge amount of ground tonight, there are some real gems in amongst the regular content as well that I talk about that are not in the show notes so listen in to not miss anything. It is great to be back in Hawaii with nothing on my travel agenda. I had a great time with the meet-up in Rochester where we talked shop and where I shared some of the plans for this show going forward.

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Insider Links:
Music of the Sun!
50 Years of Space Exploration Image!
Working Lightsaber!
ePrint to lead to Spam Prints?

Show Links:
Apple is Tracking you now!
California Electronic Plates = Ads
Slingplayer for Android.
Did iPhone 3G get left behind?
iPhone 3g Spoiler.
Cool Updated Apps!
Kindle 189.00 Battles Nook.
HyperMac and my Back Story!
Unlimited Data with At&T missing from iPad Selection.
Army Blimp.
Windows Media + DVR = Good Start!
Mobile Apps where do we go from here?
Boston.com Big Picture Oil in the Gulf.
ISS captures Southern Lights.
Twitter Annotation.
TPN Weekly.
Website Dev tools.
Google Search at 72%.
French find Passwords in Wi-Fi data!
Soyuz Docks at ISS.
Microsoft Messenger in App Store?
Cell tips while traveling abroad.
Australia all in on Fiber!
Sony’s Move with Google TV.
Elgato EyeTV.
How much is your Facebook data Worth?
Schools Blocking Google SSL connections.
Coalition files Comcast / NBC Brief to FCC.
Telcos hiring all ex Government employees to rig Legislation.
Your Brothers DNA in Police Hands?

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!



GNC-2010-05-28 #579 Where is the Gremlin

I swear if it is not one thing it is another. You will get the low down mid-show, but I am batting a thousand here the last couple of shows. Feel like a total Rookie.. I am being tested and reminded that no mater what you do the machines have a mind of their own from time to time.. It’s just how the ball bounces really. Fun for all in this show that’s for sure.

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Listener Links:
Sony’s paper-thin ‘rollable’ flexible OLED display
HTML5 Post breaking it down.
Opt Out Google Analytics Tracking.
Group wants States to Investigate WiSpy.
File Sharing heats up in Irish Republic!
Gizmodo gets another phone.
School Laptop Webcams easily Hacked!

Show Links:
Can we stop it?
Privacy Over Rated?
Id’s needed to buy Pre-Paid Phones ?
Video conferencing to cost more?
ABC’s Ala carte Plan.
Mifi on your Wrist?
Zune to Lower Monthly Subscription?
Sling Player Mobile for Android.
Overscan what is it?
NBC & Time Warner say no to HTML5?
Are you still using a Feed Reader?
Google TV to change the Game.
Apple Market Cap greater than Microsoft.
Google Buzz ReShare.
Can you trust HR outsourcers?
Check out Caffination Podcast
The Online Video Encoding Wars.
Authors Sell your books through Apple.
Google “Hey big Spender”
Has Japan lost their MoJo?
Apple refuses to comply to License terms.
Atlantis Last Landing.
I’m Innocent!!!!!!
Senator turns up Heat on Comcast/NBC deal!
Android Tablet not ready for Prime Time.
Surprising Cell Phone Survey.
You don’t want this Phone Company!
Fake BP Twitter poster Exposed.
YouTube Moderator Tool?
Google TV Not a Walled Garden.
Norton Everywhere.
Mach 6 Airplane aka 3550 MPH.
Job Title: Destroy IE6.
From the Dumber and Dumber Department.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!


GNC-2010-02-18 #553 Live in Texas

Probably advisable not to be in the Ustream chat with a pizza handle, I will ban you. He folks hopefully this show encoded ok the last one had some issues. I replaced it but not before about 25,000 of you had downloaded it. Lots of tech tonight and some stimulating questions for you to respond to.

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Show Links:
Sony to end OLED sales in Japan.
Pay for goods on Facebook with Paypal.
Google buys and kills Remail?
School Spied on kids with Laptop Webcams?
Jobs says Flash is to power hungry?
BSOD during last Tuesday patches? You have a Trojan on your PC!
Advanced testing to get kids Graduated by 10th grade?
Don’t spam a Judge!
Australian Copyright Industry has it backwards!
Patent Shell Company Game!
NBC delayed Telecast causes spoilers!
YouTube allows blocking of content to set top boxes?
NY Times $20-30 for iPad edition :)
Your P2P files not subject to search warrant!
What a View!
Next Shuttle mission delayed!
Is that a Wi-Fi signal in your Sim Card?
256gb USB Stick?
NEC does 16gbps USB 3.0 Connection.
Entourage Delayed!
HP Slate to be Cheaper then iPad?
Inside Olympics Mission Control.
Orange Peel = Ethanol
Windows Phone 7 Strategy!
Andromeda Images x3
Should Google Apologize?
Time Warner Pricing out of Site!
Netflix and watch Instantly!
Smartmobs is this not the truth!
iPad Shippments!
WordPress has short outage!
Dumber and Dumber!

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!



GNC-2009-10-12 #519 Off to Vegas!

Ok folks one show at home and then off to Vegas, there will be no Friday show this week due to BlogWorld and New Media Expo make sure you check out some podcasts over at TechPodcasts.com. I will be back with you from Florida a week from today with a early evening live show.

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Listener Links:
Mac Network Issue Link
Australia Dust Storms aftermath findings.
Newspaper End Times
Zune HD review from GNC Winner!

Show Links:
Judge does not punish Lawyer
Some Startup Commentary
Snow Leopard Killing user Accounts!
Hyperdrive testing at Hadron Collider? Whats Next?
The inventor of web says he is sorry!
Apple Time Capsule has its own countdown!
More info on Comcast Botnet Battle!
Ultimate Media Converter.
Digital iPhone Cheapskates?
Winer on Future Safe Archives.
Windows Mobile 6.5 Bad reviews!
Sidekick Failure due to Third Party.
T-Mobile allows cancellation of Sidekick Contracts!
What caused the Sidekick Failure?
Data, Data, Data Everywhere!
Photoshop on iPhone!
Twitter not doing Videos Native.
New Jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.2 Available.
100 Years of the Sky is Falling.
App that can save Lives.
45 Vintage Fonts.
More details on Font Suite against NBC.
20 Fantastic iPhone Apps for Parents!
The battle against company behind Pirate Bay.
10 Billion to get schools and Libraries wired with Fiber!
NASA Happy Public Disappointed!
Dyson Blade free Fan “Amazing”
Zune MarketPlace for Mac?
Brit hacker may find new home in Fed Pen!
Getting a unemployment check do not have ads on your Blog!
IOC not happy with Olympic Pictures with CC License.
Radio Stations to pay Performance Fees (Serves them right)
Gourmet Magazine dead because of Bloggers and Twitter Users?
Redskin Fans Read Up..
Soyuz and Clown back from ISS.

GNC-2007-11-30 #321

I catch you up on the latest info here at the new house, talk about podcasting and cover a pile of tech news.

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Listener Links:
Venus History
Water Solutions 1
Grey Watergator
Wet Wheelie
Java Promoting Open Office
Listener Opinion on Java and Open Office
Red Monday an Original Podcast Series

Show Notes:
Father of Podcasting Dave Winer’s take on Podcasting
Spammers Giving Up?
Use iPhone on Laptop
Be a Google Search Expert
EFF FInds Comcast Packet Shaping Trafic
MSNBC on EFF Comcast Findings
FBI Bot Roast II
Mobile Phone 3.3 Billion?
3G iPhone
Cyberbulling
Comcast Bandwidth in 2008
Warner Music Loosing Money
EMI to Slash RIAA Donation
Verizon going GSM
DSL Speed Growing Outside US
Digg Google Search
Cool Video Implementation
White Label RSS Aggregator
Netflix and NBC
Microsoft changes the iPod
P2P Traffic Increasing
Pay Per Post Bloggers Crying
ISS May Have Air Leak
Mars Rover Spotted
Hackers Hijack Search Results
NASA Outlines Mars Mission
Sprint Need No Money!
DontCensorMe.com

Gems I Found
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Extreme Data Recovery
Data Center Building

GNC-2007-09-25 #304

Glad to be back in the saddle and I have a great opportunity for everyone to participate in a cool fund raiser that I am kicking off in this show.

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Listener Links:
SketchCast.com
VOIP Privacy
Voyager Images
Pretty Funny from Woot.com
ImageStation Shutdown
Linksys Kiss 1600
Mac Backup Article 1
Mac Backup Article 2

Show Notes:
Lots of HD Channels but no HDTV
New Solar Panels
Men on Mars by 2037
Coolest Tech Job Ever
Amazing Magic Trick
Cybercrook turned Snitch for FBI
Starbucks 50 Million Songs
Don’t mess with this Donkey
Microsoft to buy Stake in Facebook?
Cool Pictures
RIAA Looses Another One
NBC Very Foolish
iPhone headset Adapters
Downgrade to XP for Real
Mini Camcorder
FeedDemon Popular Topic
CleanScore
F.B.I. and Cyber Crime Priority
Gmail Mobile Improves
One Laptop Per Child Promotion
DocuSign a service who’s time has come.
Mars Water
Free Phone calls NOT!
Germs turn into Super Germs in Space