But the picture is actually surprising as the availability of legal streams for 2010 box office winners has dropped in the last 12 months. On their face, one might expect sales of legal online streams to see patterns similar to sales of DVDs, even if they would trail the plastic medium. But what’s surprising here is that it appears studios have decided to pull their movie catalogs back offline.
Notice how the pack has six(!) modems, each connecting to different mobile networks. In order to manage your risks, you have to be able to spread them!
As the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show wraps up today, we’d like to share a few secrets. The CrunchGear writing team, with support from TechCrunch TV, provided more than 20 hours of live CES video coverage, taking our viewers right to the industry and media access only exhibit floor. For a look at video highlights, check out ces.crunchgear.com. Hundreds of Twitter questions were answered in real-time, giving our viewers a chance to interact with the company reps and win some giveaways. We also got a lot of questions on how we did it.
The traditional, old-school way of broadcasting a live event would involve driving up a satellite truck with a C or Ku band transmitter. Or, getting a special expensive video fiber circuit connected at the venue. But, that would only allow a video feed from a single location. Otherwise we’d need multiple circuits or time to drive and set-up the sat truck at different locations.
We used a LiveU mobile package provided by our live streaming partner, Ustream. The livepack fits in a custom designed backpack. It takes a firewire input containing video and audio from a camera. We used our Panasonic HVX200a camera and some wireless microphones and a camera LED light. The livepack has 6 data modems and attempts to connect to 3 different mobile phone networks (ATT, Verizon, and Sprint). The signal is put back together by LiveU and then sent to Ustream for live streaming distribution.
The LiveU livepack we used has been out on the market for a year and a half. It’s used by streaming video providers Ustream and Livestream, in addition to broadcast networks. It’s been used at all kinds of sports event and the Grammy Awards. A new HD livepack started shipping last week. It contains 6 to 12 cellular connections (including T-Mobile), and supports Verizon LTE 4G and Sprint and ClearWire WiMax 4G. The new units also feature SDI, HDMI, and analog input, in addition to FireWire. And they output SD and HD to 1080i.
While playing on similar turf as Spotify, Rdio and Grooveshark, Sony’s Music Unlimited is aimed squarely (for now) at the living room. If you’re using it on a Playstation 3, TV or BluRay player, Music Unlimited makes perfect sense. The question is whether there’s a big enough market of people willing to listen to music in their living rooms for the service, which costs £9.99 per month after a 30-day trial, to make long-term economic sense for Sony and the music rightsholders in the long term.
Perhaps Music Unlimited is all about perception. Discard the interface flaws (which could well be ironed out in the future) and think of this as a music-focused complement to the streaming movies offered by Netflix or LoveFilm on Sony hardware, and Music Unlimited starts to find a place in the world.
What is Music Unlimited’s place in the world