Category Archives: Blu-ray

Twixxer: As seen on TV


If you’re new to social media (and who isn’t?), here’s a brief rundown. Social media is a revolutionary new way we can all stay in touch by typing and even watching video. Like on TV. The 10 things you must know:

1. Blu-Ray — gives you really, really high-res video in your home, on your TV.

2. DVD — gives you plain high-res video in your home, on your TV.

3. PC — gives you sort-of-fuzzy video in your home, almost like a small TV, but adds lots of text in things called files or web pages, glowing like a TV.

4. Web site — used to be text and pictures, now filled with video, like your TV.

5. Cell phone — used to be sound, then added text, then pictures, and now even video, like your TV!

6. Blogs — used to be web logs, or web pages, but now has cooler name, and includes everything found on a web page except it’s all written by you, even with video by you, like your own broadcast. On TV!

7. Twitter — used to be called text messaging, except now you can do it to many people at once, and they can do it back at you, sort of like a text-messaging conference call. Not like TV 🙁

8. Tiny URL — Ok, this one is complicated. You see, Twitter text messages only allow 140 characters (we think), so this is a web site that converts long URLs into, yes, tiny URLs, so you can send long web site addresses to your friends within Twitter, so they can immediately and joyfully see your brief text message and click out to a big web page, that might even include video, like a TV!

9. Twixxer — a new variation on Twitter that makes your Twitter feed look much like a blog, which resembles a web site, except even now with video, like a PC screen or DVD, just like your TV!

10. Fax machine — hey, sometimes Twitter and Blogger go down, so now you can write down either Tiny URLs or real URLs and fax them to friends when all the other social media shuts off due to server errors, but the fax should still go through so your friends can access the web when everything finally turns on, and punch in the addresses, to boot up the text and video and relax and enjoy — just like watching TV!

Questions? Find me on Twitter. I’ll be typing a video. You know, like on TV.

Apple TV and the end of 1to1 marketing


The most interesting thing missing from Apple’s presentation yesterday wasn’t a new iPhone. It was 1to1 marketing.

Steve Jobs spent much of his keynote at the Macworld conference trying to turn Apple TV from a toy into a serious attempt to control America’s living rooms. U.S. consumers spend billions each year on home movie rentals, video and music, and yet no one has figured out how to own the entertainment market. Apple TV now makes it easy to get video-via-internet, but there are still too many pipes leading to the den. Netflix sends envelopes via mail and is toying with wireless internet delivery. Blue-ray and HD DVDs are still fighting over the next disc format. Cable sends movies with a click. Consumers are still confused and we all still have three or four remotes.

Back in the 1990s, 1to1 marketing was supposed to break through such competition. The idea was to identify the customers with the most financial value, figure out their unique desires, and then to personalize content or service delivery in a way that competitors could not match. If anything calls for personalization, it would be the entertainment content consumers receive — since we all have such varied interests. You’d think if 1to1 personalization works, technology leaders such as Apple would be all over it — giving us iPhones that remember our contacts in ways competitors couldn’t, and personalized video or music recommendations so good we’d never switch from iTunes to Amazon. Netflix has offered a $1 million prize to anyone who can improve its collaborative filtering by more than 10%.

But the public and media seem to yawn. We don’t want personalization as much as we want the next, hot gadget. A lot of Apple’s new video interface makes it easy for users to pick from menus, not get pre-customized recommendations. There are only two ways this can play: Either 1to1 personalization is a true competitive advantage and the world’s communications leaders are ignoring the opportunity, or maybe customers need far more than personalization to drive entertainment impulse purchases.

We think 1to1 works, but that its control panel now lies directly with consumers, not business intermediaries. Why should anyone wait for Netflix or Amazon to tell us the next thing we’d like, when we can now find it ourselves with a click? Navigating choices has now become simple with search engines that can pinpoint any whim anywhere from the internet; video will follow this path. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers saw the future back in 1991. They just didn’t see that true personalization would eventually be controlled by each individual themselves.

Just in time for next Christmas, a Blu-ray victory


You probably saw two types of high-definition DVD machines stacked up in stores before Christmas, and probably didn’t want to drop $500 on the wrong format. Today Warner Brothers, who sells 1 out of 5 DVDs in the United States, announced it will back only the Blu-ray format and not HD DVDs. This might get most consumers off the fence.

Wired guru Chris Anderson notes that while most entertainment and content is migrating online to free or almost-free models, Hollywood films on gold disks probably have another decade of life:

DVDs … increase the file size such that it is impossible to download. That is going to give them another five, probably 10 years to figure out their next business model.

Here’s to more lines on the screen. Happy Friday.