Thursday, June 21, 2007


Me being this book aint too far from the truth, really:

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

VeohTV - what's that all about then?


ehh.. well, yes. Just got into work early Thursday having had a farewell-bash for colleague Tommy who's leaving us to go to Stockholm and work with eye-tracking cameras and stuff. So, slightly hungover and very tired, I open my mailbox to find myself invited to betatest VeohTV, internet-based television.

Yet another one, you think? Yeah, that's what I thought too. But VeohTV has got some features that I like. First off, it's a free software. Just install and watch,
basically. What do you watch then? Not broadcast tv, of course, but clips on the web, from all sorts of sources - ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, YouTube, MySpace, Google, Yahoo... you name it. VeohTV has a funky EPG which learns what you usually like to see and recommend stuff that you might also want to check out (haven't tried that yet, will be interesting to see how it works, if it's really intelligent or not) and of course the nifty feature of being able to record the material onto your computer.

Verdict? None yet. But with all the Joosts and Babelgums and Joox and Stage6, I am seriously beginning to wonder who'll come out on top in the end. Perhaps someone will buy them all and mash them up into a great big next-great-big-thing-thing?

Will get back to VeohTV once I've had the chance to try it out a bit more.

On another note - CONGRATULATIONS to fellow Finns Saku et al at Broadcasters / Zodiak! Their format "Pin Code" (basically - there are lots of money on a bank account, the contestants must find out the correct pin code to get to the money) has been optioned into several territories - including the US and Spain. Well done - perhaps the Finnish television business is going somewhere finally?

On the other hand, our format "The Space Trainees" is optioned into three territories, including Australia and Poland, so we're not that far behind :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nokia and DVB-H in Malaysia

The mobile tv circus rolls on and on. Latest news is that Nokia will partner up with Malaysian MiTV to roll out mobile tv offerings on the DVB-H platfom in the second half this year. As is stated, the people of Malaysia will "be able to watch the latest news, engage in music videos and documentaries or even catch their favorite TV series anywhere, anytime directly on their mobile devices".

Have we heard this before? Yes we have.

Furthermore, all the talk about this venture is about the technology - "there's no streaming and lag associated with it. You will be able to switch between channels instantaneously, and on top of that, the picture quality and reception will be better than any video streaming service available today." So it's great, it works, and it's still the same content, on another device.

What I'm personally still waiting for is, however, something that goes the other way around - not implementing a technology that just lets the audience watch the same content on another device, but rather content that has been developed to fit just that particular device. So far, there have been precious few attempts to develop anything new and exciting.

Mobile tv - still needs some tuning, methinks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Music, handsets and an iPhone killer.. or is it?

If you buy a new phone within the next 12 months (as many many MANY will do, myself included I hope :) you'll probably find a new icon in the menubar, right next to all the usual Calendar and Gallery icons. It'll be called Music Station, and it will be pretty nice, but a bit nasty as well.

See, iPhone is coming out on the market shortly. It's a really nice device, as can be seen on numerous places all over the 'Net. Now, the drawback is that the iPhone will be tied up to a specific operator. In the US it'll be AT&T, and so on - and in order to avail themselves of all the possibilities iPhone offers, the users must sign up to that said operator. As far as has been reported so far, the iPhone won't be downloading tunes off of iTunes either, which makes Music Station all the more intriguing.

Thing with Music Station is that it lets you subscribe to all the music available from most major labels and a lot of indies as well, for 2.99€ a month. Download all you want, listen all you want - as long as you subscribe. And here's the nasty part - if you stop subscribing, you can't listen to any songs anymore, not even the ones you've downloaded. But the playlists are stored, so as soon as you start paying again, you can listen again.

What to think of this then? Well, with iTunes being priced at $0.99 per song, it's a helluva lot cheaper. Still, with iTunes you get to keep the song... My gut feeling is that as long as the players behind Music Station can get the telecom industry behind their product (and it's looking good so far) they have a good chance of upheaving iTunes hold of the market. Must see to it that it's included in my next phone ... :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Know what you're going to be downloa... eh, I mean WATCHING?

Just read some comments that buyers from the Big Companies had made about which new tv series they think are going to become hits in the near future. Some of them were a bit interesting...

Everyone seemed to agree that there was no new Super Hit like "Heroes" or "Desperate Housewives" on the horizon, but nevertheless, there were quite a few interesting ones on their way. One was the reminds-me-quite-a-lot-of-Sex-and-the-City series "Cashmere Mafia", a series featuring amongst others Lucy Liu, about ambitious and sexy women in NYC, forming their own club... well, I for one like to watch series with sexy women, so I'll give it a shot :).

Lucy Liu, soon to be seen strutting her stuff in "Cashmere Mafia".

Another series is "Gossip Girl" featuring Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars"-fame - a series about young elite adults in upper class NYC, lots of sex and drugs and stuff like that. Well, I like sex and drugs and stuff like that, so I'll give that one a shot as well :)

The cast of "Gossip Girl"

Another series premiering on ABC this autumn is "Dirty Sexy Money", which is a bit more along the lines of old shows like "Dallas" or "Dynasty" - an idealistic lawyer who is connected to the wealthy and powerful Darling-clan (in NYC, of course :) and slowly but surely is drawn into the land of, yeah, you guessed it - dirty, sexy money. Donald Sutherland is in it - on the other hand, name a show where Donald is NOT in the cast... can't think of one. Well, seeing as I like money, I'll probably give that one a shot as well.

Lots of other shows as well, but I'll mention just one more - "The Sarah Connor Chronicles". This is a show that will premiere on FOX in the US in early 2008, reportedly. If the name sounds familiar - well, it should. Sarah Connor is/was in the Terminator movies - you know, getting chased around all the while by Arnie in Terminator, then being protected by Arnie along with her son in Terminator II, and then... she wasn't in Terminator III, was she? Can't remember. Still, this new series is about what Sarah and her son John did in the years between Terminator II and III. Should be action-packed and probably great fun. Sadly, no Arnie in it though - might be he's too busy being the gov'nor. And, seeing as I like terminators, I'll probably watch that as well. (Btw, the one playing Sarah Connor, wasn't she in "300" as well?)

Yeah, we're mean. That's 'cause we're in a Terminator spin-off, that is.

Now my fingers are bleeding. Better do some work as well :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When two worlds combine

As a developer of interactive and cross media tv formats, I find it really interesting what production company and format developers Endemol and their partners at gaming firm Electronic Arts are up to at the moment. It's called "Virtual Me" and will "bridge the gap between computer games and television shows", as the companies put it in the release statement earlier this spring.

It's quite simple, really. The viewer can create his or her own avatar online (much like for instance Second Life), through software provided by Electronic Arts. With this avatar, the viewer can then participate in virtual versions of top tv shows, like "Fame Academy" or "Deal or no Deal", as provided by Endemol.

Pretty neat, right? For once, everyone can be on television. Well, virtual television that is. Just goes to say - the imagination is the limit when it comes to the new forms of entertainment, freely crossing over media borders and creating new and exciting possibilities.

Virtual Me will premiere in connection with hit format "Big Brother" soonishly. Keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Babelgum, Joost, Vuze, Microsoft Surface...there are so many of them!

Just started testing Babelgum as well (you all know, that Joost-competitor). Must say that at the moment my bucks are on Joost in that particular battle, as I find the usability of Babelgum a bit less intuitive and straight-forward. Might just be me, but I'm finding it hard to easily get to what I want to look at - or even find anything that I might want to look at. Joost gives a quicker and clearer overview of content on the service, which in my book gives them the clear advantage.

Hadn't noticed, but Azureus, the Bittorrent client that is the most downloaded client of them all, has also gone legit in the past months. Their service - Vuze - has made deals with a lot of content providers, such as Showtime Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bennett Media Worldwide, G4, A&E Networks (including A&E, History, and Biography channels), National Geographic, and Starz Media (this I copypasted from their website, sorry :) - and are offering up SD and HD content to all subscribers. Another competitor to Joost and Babelgum, hooray!

Also,if you want to watch movies, anime, cartoons or tv-series, you can visit Joox. It is a portal to the Stage6 service on the platform, and my god do they have lots of content. Good quality as well, even on old stuff like Fawlty Towers. LMAO indeed.

Finally, looks like Microsoft have gone all aestethic all of a sudden. Check out the new Microsoft Surface, available later this year, which is a desktop integrated into a 30" table screen. It's interface looks really really neat, and there seems to be lots of nifty details and features in it. Have to get me one soon :)

Microsoft Surface, looking good. But will it bug? ... OF COURSE IT WILL!