Net connected TV could approach half a billion homes
Sales of internet video devices are forecast to increase by nearly 80% this year, with the most significant uptake in the form of network connected televisions and Blu-ray disc players. Lower prices, the addition of network connections and the prospect of 3D video will help make Blu-ray a more compelling consumer proposition, with forecast shipments of 28 million connected players next year. In five years there could to be almost half a billion households able to view internet video on television.
BBC iPlayer passes 100 million requests a month
The BBC Trust is conducting a consultation to gauge reaction to the iPlayer, two years after its official launch. The BBC iPlayer received over 100 million requests in December 2009. One in eight requests came from games consoles. The Sony PlayStation 3 contributed 8% of all requests, while the Nintendo Wii logged 3%. Together they accounted for more than the Apple Mac platform. Mobile usage was minimal at less than 1%. The most popular programme received over a million online requests, representing a seventh of its total viewers.
ITU sets vision for future generations of 3DTV
The International Telecommunications Union has set out a road map for 3D TV implementation. The initial levels defined by the ITU distinguish the different approaches to encoding stereoscopic images that are currently being employed and deployed. They also serve to demonstrate that stereoscopic 3D TV is not really three-dimensional, but simply adds further depth information to a two-dimensional representation. The ITU envisages that in 15-20 years there will be systems that will accurately mimic the way our eyes and brains perceive the visual world.
3D adds spectacular new dimension to television
3DTV was one of the main themes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with manufacturers hoping to harness interest in 3D cinema, as demonstrated by the box office success of movies like Avatar, and bring it into the home. They hope this will be supported by new standards for stereoscopic 3D on Blu-ray discs. A number of 3D television channels are also planned. Some see 3D as the next natural evolution in media technology after high definition. 3D may add a new dimension for displays, but it is important to keep it in perspective. Less than one per cent of televisions sold this year will be 3D capable and only a small proportion of programming will be available in stereoscopic formats.
Microsoft Mediaroom extends beyond managed networks
Microsoft has launched a new version of its Mediaroom platform, allowing operators to deliver services over the open internet as well as across managed networks. Services can be viewed on set-top boxes, Xbox 360 games consoles and in Windows Media Centre on Microsoft Windows 7, as well as any web browser supporting Silverlight and soon compatible smart phones.