CableCARDs cable can’t?

Promising so much since I began looking at the technology at IBC2004, CableCARD hasn’t delivered anything yet into the Asia-Pacific/Pacific Rim region I work in.

Combined with Common Interface Conditional Access Modules, CableCARD could allow an interoperability landscape to flourish amongst HDTVs, Set Top Boxes, media centres and content services.

Do we know what The Next Great Standard for TV is? No, and I’d never pretend anything different.

But the two standards mentioned above exist now, and if used in combination by an end user (such as an HDTV with a CableCARD in Slot 1, and a Neotion CAM in Slot 2) could create a display with aftermarket, yet built-in, IPTV, smartcard-based decryption and MPEG4.

if they were in general release

Robert Altman, a player’s Player, dies aged 81

Although never a rabid fan of every single piece of his output, making the opening scene of The Player occupy an entire reel, without editing, took a maverick instinct. That instinct served him well in an industry known for its fickleness.

Rather than link to a traditional obituary, try Bloomberg’s retrospective.

All of us who love movies certainly needed Altman, who died today in Los Angeles at the age of 81, ending the most improbable career of any major American movie director.


When he died, Altman was the youngest “old” director in the business. He never stopped experimenting; he never lost the ability to be astonished.

Web 2.0 Summitary

Web 2.0

Originally uploaded by R.J. Friedlander.

(Summit + Commentary = Summitary)

Om Malik encapsulated the Summit right at the end of his overview.

Here, we’re so far ahead of the curve, it’s a race to see who can be cynical first.

Twice at the Web 2.0 Summit, we had funny conversations with people on the topic “what will be the online pet food of bubble 2.0”? Nominees on the floor are social bookmarking sites and mommy-oriented social networks.

Video VC POVs

The quotes, and rollcall, are the best part of Constance Loizos’ somewhat meandering look at the online video (platform) market.

Looking for the next X, the MySpace of Y, and the of Z in two-dot-oh video sites harks back to the “” (inter alia) debacles of Web One; there’s plenty of opportunity to create self sustaining businesses, but everything can’t win, and you can’t “YouTube” every concept.

Those groups creating entire environments, and rounded platforms, for digital audio-visual media including video are potentially being lost in the hype of revveryoutubenetscapebrightcove.

Some people are talking about the realities and the flipsides, such as Fred Wilson:

I have no idea if we are headed for another bust. I sure hope not. But having lived through the 2000 bust with a portfolio that was not “bust proof”, one of the things I think about all the time is how to build a “bust proof” portfolio.

Business 101 Assignment: Consider these VC/C-level-Exec viewpoints, via their notable-quotables, and design an investment portfolio that tracks, but bucks, the trends in order to avoid negative market confluence.

They still want to know that programs reflect the particular values of their product; you largely can’t get that right now at a YouTube.


Despite what everyone in Silicon Valley likes to think, it’s not in advertisers’ interest to abandon broadcast and cable networks. That’s still where the money is.

Todd Chanko, JupiterResearch

[seeing] a huge move toward higher-end content because cheaper bandwidth and tools are making it more affordable to produce and distribute quality programming online.

Jason Pressman, Shasta Ventures

I don’t think it would be accurate to say that there’s a shift strictly to more quality video. Rather, I think there’s plenty of room for top-of-the-pyramid programming online and YouTube and lots of stuff in between.

Josh Bernoff, VP Forrester Research

I now spend about 60 percent of my time looking at video-related start-ups.

I invested as soon as I was invited to [in Revision3]. I would have liked a bigger piece of Revision3. It costs nothing to create these shows. They can just roll out a new program, and if no one likes it, they can try another.
Mike Maples, USD$15m microfund manager

Two years ago, I spent 20 percent of my time on the space. Today, I’d say I spend at least a third to a half of my time.

Jim Breyer, Accel Partners

I don’t want to announce anything until we’ve locked up what we want to do. But we may create derivatives of our core (TV and movie) programming and we may do some original programming.

Ross Levinsohn, CEO Fox Interactive

The Way Of Sony

Naturally, it’s first-generation, and may be enabled only for the Sony branded parts of your livingroom and jacket-pocket.

But free content downloads as 8Mbps MPEG-4 (H.264/AVC) should yield great HD results: I have done tests at those rates and have had only positive reviews so far.

P-TV sample screenshot

Imagineering the approach Sony may take, I can see harmonious, elegant and profitable integration amongst the Sony properties of:

  • So-net
  • Walkman
  • Playstation Portable
  • Wega and Bravia
  • SonyEricsson

There’s no shortage of commentators ready and willing to pile scorn on Sony’s choices based on a creative set of interpretations of Sony’s failures and shortcomings.

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