March 2, 2009

More Online Access for Cable?


Look for some of the more prominent cable stations to go online either for free or a small fee in the near future. Media conglomerates such as those behind HBO, MTV, TLC, Discovery and Animal Planet are in negotiation. The reason for for the discussions are that there are already so many networks that offer their programming online for free, yet cable networks must pay them for content. Included in the companies are Time Warner, Cox, Viacom and Comcast, who has dubbed the initiative "On Demand Online." No doubt this is the shape of things to come and we will do our best to keep an eye on its progress.


Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 16, 2009

Pioneer to Drop TV Products


Pioneer Electronics announced that it is leaving the TV business and will cut 10,000 jobs by March 2010. Instead they will concentrate on car and home electronics such as DJ equipment, cable TV set-top boxes and audio products. In a recent DisplaySearch report, the company ranked fifth in the plasma TV market, down 9% from the previous year. If you want to purchase or already own one of their TVs, Pioneer says it will still provide after-sales service. Our first audio receiver was a Pioneer and they certainly are experts when it comes to sound. We hope the move saves the company.

Note: No sooner did we hear the news about Pioneer, Vizio also announced that they are getting out of the plasma business, partially due to the popularity of LCD. Co-founder Laynie Newsome claims that they don't sell as well when displayed in bright lighting and. The company plans on focusing on its own line of LCD sets.

Via Twice

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 3, 2009

Interview: Todd Juenger Tells US Most Watched Super Bowl 2009 Ads


The folks at TiVo do more than just put out a fine product. For 7 years they have been assessing the watching habits of viewers during the Super Bowl and determine which commercials are most watched, trends, and most popular plays during the game. The analysis is based on data from 20,000 anonymous TiVo users during the event.

We interviewed TiVo Exec. Todd Juenger who gave us the inside scoop. Note that they get these results overnight, so the delay of the telling was only dependent on our slow typing skills. (Pull out your magnifying glass for the fine print.)

So break down the winners for us.

What we are measuring here is the highest, overall audience for each commercial. It's not a popularity contest or a vote. It's not a survey. It's measured by taking anonymous data so the metric is most viewed commercials. The baseline audience comes from anybody who is watching the game on TiVo. But they also do a lot of rewinding and fast forwarding, so when they watch commercials multiple times, that adds up to higher ratings.

Drum roll, please. Here are the top ten.

1. "Enhanced?"
2. Bud Light Lime: "Summer to Winter"
3. "It May Be Time"
4. Doritos: "Crystal Ball"
5. Transformers: "Revenge of the Fallen"
6. "Moose Head"
7. Bud Light: "Man Thrown out the Window"
8. Pepsi: "MacGruber/Pepsuber"
9. Dennys: "Thugs"
10. Coke Zero: "Mr. Polamalu"

The top 2 spots were the last two spots to run in the game. I think they ran at the 2 minute warning. That was the apex of overall viewership in the game, so clearly they got the most views. It's not that they were re-viewed but just seen more. That was a risky move because if the game is no good or people have tuned out they lose, but it turned out to be a great strategy.

A good contrast is that the other GoDaddy's and Doritos ad ran in the first quarter of the game and didn't make the list. The spikes are made from people watching them over and over again.

The graph is a second by second measure of the number of people watching the game. It can go up or down dependent on fast forwarding and rewinding. The biggest peaks in the first half are the commercials. If you contrast that with the fourth quarter, you see a gradual upslope as the game got more intense and exciting.

The other thing that was really different about this year's Super Bowl, some spikes are not aligned with commercials. They are points of the game, but we have never seen that before. The Super Bowl is all about the commercials.

What about the Harrison play?

It's right before halftime, the second highest in the first half that wasn't a commercial. Then that big drop is because a lot of people were rewinding to watch it again. Which may be the reason that the 3D commercials didn't do so well. They were behind in time, so they just fast forwarded to the Boss.

We really liked the 3D commercials.

Those were much talked about and highly promoted but did not do so well. The 90" ad for "Monsters vs. Aliens" was #49 on our list and the SoBe ad came in at #34. As we looked through the data, a lot of it was explained by their decision to run them at half time. A lot of viewers zapped straight through to Bruce. Or maybe the concept itself wasn't compelling enough for people to keep their fingers off the fast forward button or get their 3D glasses ready.

After those ads came on, we commented that another one should have been in 3D. Soon we were thinking they all should have been.

The thing that really should have been in 3D was during the halftime show when Springsteen slid into the camera and almost fell off the stage. He was coming right at you!

How well did Bruce do?

He had a better showing in our data than most half time performers going back to Janet Jackson. He had a steady audience that was as big as the game. I find it interesting that we can look inside his audience and see which parts were most exciting. He started out strong with "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out." There was a downward slide until he played "Born to Run." When he got to "Workin' on a Dream," the obligatory new cut, the audience dropped significantly, but when "Glory Days" came on, it jumped up to its highest level. You can see it in the graph, which we have made public for the first time.

Do you think overall the ads weren't as good this year?

We gauge peoples' reactions. There is no data to see if they are better or worse. I think it was a strained environment to navigate for a Super Bowl advertiser and that may have resulted in a lot more misses than hits this year. Super Bowl is all about excess ($3 million dollars per spot,) big stars and big productions. It's not a climate now for excess.

On the other hand, the tone of the commercials seemed kind of harsh. Slapstick humor and physical comedy work in the Super Bowl, like the Doritos ad "Crystal Ball" or the Bud Lite ad where the guy gets thrown out of the window. Maybe we are just processing things differently these days. As I said before, the ratings were higher during the game in the second half than the commercials. That is either because the game was spectacularly good, which it was, or the ads weren't that good, or maybe both.

Another thing that stuck out to me this year was that last year one of the E*Trade ads was the winner, the one where the baby spit up. They ran two of the same kind this year. One came in at #52 this year. It may be that the execution was better last year, or that it's a little hard to advertise brokerage services and that Wall St. environment. Some of them (companies) work with the idea that if you have a winning concept, stick with it. Budweiser does that and so did E*Trade, but they weren't as successful.

If you have ever seen the Clydesdales, how can you compare those beautiful horses with a baby that's been altered by computer?

I have seen them and you are right, they are magnificent and I am reminded of that every time I see a Super Bowl commercial with them.

Because of the economy, it seemed that many of the advertisers were spending less on production.

The one that sticks out in my head was the one for Vizio TV (#63.) It looked like a screensaver and could have been made by high school students but they must have gone for that look. I was struck with the opposite feeling with the NBC promos. Those felt more like paid commercials, at least from what we are used to, like the ones with Leno and Conan.

I agree. Thanks for talking to us, Todd.

Thanks. It's been fun.

Via TiVo at TiVo DVR

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII Advertising in 3D


If you haven't yet, run, don't walk to your nearest grocery store, Target, K-mart or Dollar General and get your 3D glasses so that you can watch the crossover commercials that will be going on tomorrow during Super Bowl XLIII. One comes from Dreamworks' new "Monsters vs. Aliens" which will be out March 27 and the other is from Pepsi's SoBe Lifewater. Then, you can watch "Chuck" in 3D Monday night. You might get so excited you will rush right out and order Captain EO and "Jaws:3D." Better hurry. Only 125 million pairs are available.

P.S. Stay tuned. Next week, we are going to interview Todd Juenger, an exec from TiVo who will let us know all the winning and losing spots.

Via I4U News

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 28, 2009

OVGuide - Online Movie Guide


Online video sites are popping up faster than we can keep track of, so it is only logical that there is now a site to help us all out. The OVGuide features almost every site that exists with descriptions and ratings. They also list top movie/TV searches, tools and resources, their suggested picks, as well as categories and type of viewing. Think of it as an online TV guide without the specifics or tacky interviews.

Via OVGuide

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 27, 2009

Netflix Streamers Comparison


Last week, engadget decided to compare Netflix streaming devices and went into incredible depth in their assessment. They included:
the Roku,
Samsung BD-P2500
LG BD300
. The winner? Although they like the Samsung for picture quality, there were no losers. They suggest newbies start off with the Samsung or LG to play your discs and the Roku for its lower price. You can read the entire review on the link below.

Via engadget

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 21, 2009

Now You Can kwiry Your TiVo


kwiry is a handy, free service that allows you to text reminders to your PC from your cell phone. When you see a trailer of a movie, find something you want or remember a bill you need to pay, you simply text a message and send it to 59479 (kwiry) and it will save it for you. Track it on their site, in your email, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. The company recently added a new capability that can turn that text into TiVo recordings. Type in "TiVo 30 Rock" and they will set it for you. Life just doesn't get any easier than that.

Via kwiry

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 19, 2009

Smart-Leaf Oasis, for Those With Little Space


Pick the room your family hangs out in most of the time, then get yourself an Oasis. This Smart-Leaf PC from Originatic can sit on a counter or be mounted on a wall for those in cramped quarters. Make honey-do lists, check stocks, news, Facebook and other sites or do some video conferencing. It features a standard keyboard and touchpad with a touchscreen option. The slim all-in-one device features an internal TV tuner and can be adapted for multiple applications with WiFi and Bluetooth capability, a VGA port, an adjustable webcam, an 8-in-one SD card reader and incredibly, 8 USB ports. Prices start at $1899.00.

Via Originatic

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 13, 2009

Program Away From Home With FiOS TV


Those fortunate enough to have Verizon as their carrier and subscribe to Home Media DVR can now get FiOS TV free. This clever technology allows you to set your digital video recorder remotely. Set the time, browse, search, review, add or change, or delete shows you have already viewed. It also has parental control. The software is compatible with Verizon Wireless enV2, Voyager and Chocolate 2. The software is free as long as you have the service and can handle up to 7 TVs. Imagine your slightly overweight spouse/partner's surprise when he/she gets home, turns on the tube, starts pigging out on pizza and sees "The Biggest Loser" come on the screen.


Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 30, 2008

Netflix Steaming Coming to TiVo - Now in Beta

Netflix is taking over the world! It seems almost every week we here some great news about Netflix and we're really excited about news that Netflix and TiVo are linking up. According to

Netflix streaming will be coming to TiVo DVRs by the end of 2008.

The ability to stream Netflix movies and TV shows will begin beta testing for select TiVo owners immediately, with an official roll-out scheduled for early December. It will be available on TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series3 DVRs (not Series2 or DirecTV models).

The service will effectively be identical to the Netflix feature available on the LG BD300, Samsung BD-P2500, and BD-P2550, Roku Player, and--as of mid-November--the Xbox 360. That means that existing Netflix subscribers can stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows directly to their TV over a broadband Internet connection on an "all you can eat" basis, with no additional charges beyond the existing Netflix and TiVo service fees.

The other interesting part of the article is about HD streaming:

Separately, CNET has confirmed that Netflix's nascent HD streaming capability will soon be coming to all Netflix-compatible devices, not just the Xbox 360. However, the Netflix HD library will be starting with a very small selection (just 300 titles), and will require significantly higher bandwidth than the standard-def streaming that's currently available.

Does it feel like Christmas to you too?


TiVo at Amazon

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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