CNET Has New Groundbreaking Video Player

CNET Has New Groundbreaking Video Player

Late last month, CNET Networks quietly released a superb new Flash video player. The player is beginning to propagate CNET’s news and reviews videos. It was developed in house. Here’s what I think is very different and powerful:

*The player has a pop-up window for a text description along with hyperlinks to related stories. This is extremely valuable as videos don’t always present the entire story. The text can provide crucial context. Plus the text can be updated, so when an archival video becomes timely, the data can be updated. Very cool.

*There is a closed caption functionality. CNET is committed to transcribing all its video — a great benefit to the hearing impaired and for others at work who can’t listen. Presumably all the metadata will maximize search.

*I think the most clever piece of the new player is the pop up for related videos. This utility appears on the embedded player as well. So, viewers of the embed player who choose a relate video are taken back to CNET. I guess you could call it a widget within a video player.

*The player is embeddable, meaning the code from CNET videos can be place on blogs. This is not new for the industry, of course. The Wall Street Journal was the first major publisher to provide an embeddable player over a year ago, which was reported first on Beet.TV. Nonetheless, for bloggers being able to publish CNET video is very exciting.

Since I couldn’t get to San Francisco to report this story, I am grateful to producers at CNET who shot this interview with CNET TV chief Mark Larkin yesterday and shipped us the file. Amazing shoot! Our own David Kavanaugh edited the piece.

Mark give a great overview of CNET TV and a demonstration of the new player. You can see the new player below.

— Andy Plesser

Randall Rothenberg, Head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau

Here is Randy Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau on the implication of viral video and advertisting.

Adobe Media Player is a “Huge Step Forward” In the Tracking of Downloadable Media v2

Adobe Media Player is a “Huge Step Forward” In the Tracking of Downloadable Media v2

Whether or not the new Adobe Media Player (AMP) enjoys widespread adoption, the technology solves the critical issue of tracking the viewership of downloaded files, says Mike Hudack, CEO and co-founder of

While most downloaded video files come through iTunes, publishers like the Washington Post and advertisers have difficulty knowing if the files are watched and for what duration. The Adobe Media Player provides these analytics.

As many as 200 shows on are going to be seen on the AMP, Mike told me. Beet.TV is already up.

Dynamic advertising insertion is a big part of advertising on the Adobe Media Player. Integrating the ads for is YuMe, Mike told me in this interview.

Jayant Kadambi, YuMe CEO, told me yesterday that his company is both integrating overly ads into the AMP platform and providing access to the company’s advertising network. Its work for is its first implementation on AMP, he said.

Other smaller online video publishers with AMP channels include Revision3, stimTV and MyToons.

I caught up with Mike last Tuesday at the Contentinople conference where he was the keynote speaker.

— Andy Plesser

Disclosure: publishes Beet.TV video files and represents us in sponsorship sales.

Samsung Has “Full HD” Camera with Flash Memory — Shipping in May for $900

Samsung Has “Full HD” Camera with Flash Memory — Shipping in May for $900

In a neighboring Chelsea art gallery last week, Samsung had a little show for some of its newest digital devices. David took our non-HD Panasonic over for this report.

He got a demonstration of the not yet released Samsung HMX20, a small and powerful camcorder with an 8GB internal Flash memory drive and a slot for more. The camera can shoot in full HD for 90 minutes with its existing memory.

Samsung_schmx20c_prov_350_2 By full HD, this shoots in 1080p 30 or 60 frames per second. Samsung’s first Flash memory camcorder shoots in 720p.

As I understand it, camcorders with Flash memory take use less battery life, which is important. I am told that the camera can shoot for 90 minutes on one charge.

The new camcorder, which was announced at CES in January, will ship in May and it has suggested retail price of $899, we have learned.

Looks like the shift to HD is becoming inevitable and affordable for many of us content creators.

David also saw an impressive LCD monitor that allows users to access RSS feeds through a remote.

— Andy Plesser

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EdgeCast Provides CDN Services at “Half the Price of Akamai,” CEO Tells Beet.TV

EdgeCast Provides CDN Services at “Half the Price of Akamai,” CEO Tells Beet.TV

EdgeCast is another of the scrappy upcoming content delivery networks (CDN) which is vying for a piece of the market for the distribution of big files around th Internet. The Los Angeles company has raised $10 million with most coming from Disney’s venture fund.

In just 9 months, the company has landed over 100 customers. Last week in Manhattan at the Contentinople conference, I caught up with James Segil, CEO of EdgeCast.

Edgelogo His company is taking on giant Akamai — who Jim refers to as legacy operation, much like United Airlines and he likens his company to Jet Blue. Like Jet Blue, EdgeCast has entered the market with low fares. He told me that EdgeCast charges some 50 percent less than Akamai for comparative service.

Speaking with Jim, I learned that EdgeCast is the CDN and thus for for Beet.TV videos — which stream very nicely, thank you.

“Velocix Takes Drug Dealer Approach”

I love this headline from the NewTeeVee’s post by Chris Albrecht on the news that U.K.-based Velocix is giving away free CDN services in the hope of getting pubilshers, eh addicted. Om Malik wrote yesterday about Voxel, another start-up that is aiming to take business from Amazon’s S3 business.

— Andy Plesser

Battery Life Makes Livecasting Short Lived — Could Fuel Cells Help?

Battery Life Makes Livecasting Short Lived — Could Fuel Cells Help?

Many pioneering videobloggers including Robert Scoble, Jeff Jarvis, Steve Garfield and Sarah Meyers are using a Nokia mobile device to stream live video to the Web. Most upload to a Web sharing platform such as QIK and Flixwagon.

Some journalists are using the phones for news gathering.

Camera phones are great, but live video streaming only goes about 30 minutes, Sarah Meyers told me in this interview.

She says that the limitation of battery life is the biggest issue facing her as a livecaster.

Fuel Cells On the Horizon for Mobile Devices

I came across this cool video piece reported by CNET’s Michael Kanellos about advances with fuel cells which will power cell phones and cameras in a year or so. The image below is a prototype Samsung Black Pearl with fuel cell attached. One of these cells will surely keep Sarah going and going and going.

— Andy Plesser

BitTorrent & Comcast are Working on Technology to “speed the delivery of video in the years to come”…..and P2P is Green!

BitTorrent & Comcast are Working on Technology to “speed the delivery of video in the years to come”…..and P2P is Green!

Half of Internet traffic is carried on peer-to-peer networks. For Internet Service Providers handling this traffic, new network management technologies are being explored and implemented.

After highly publicized “throttling” of P2P traffic by Comcast and subsequent FCC inquiry and Congressional uproar, Comcast and BitTorrent have entered into a pack to to develop technology to properly manage P2P traffic. Comcast announced a separate initiative with P2P platform Pando.

Earlier this week in Manhattan at the Contentinople conference, I interview Erick Klinker, CTO of San Francisco-based BitTorrent. He explained that his company is working closely with Comcast and other ISP’s in solving network traffic issues.

The work is also future leaning. In this interview, says BitTorrent is working with ISP’s on a “new generation” technology which will “significantly speed the delivery of video in the years to come.” We didn’t get details, but this will be something to follow.

P2P is Green!

Since I interviewed Eric on April 22, Earth Day, I asked about the environmental value of P2P technology. He explained that P2P can deliver and scale the video needs of the Net without the addition of a single energy-hogging server farm.

— Andy Plesser

ScanScout Has Big Deal for Overlay Ad Implementation

ScanScout Has Big Deal for Overlay Ad Implementation

ScanScout, the Boston-based ad network that has been one of the leading innovators in providing overlay advertising into video streams, has just announced a big publisher agreement with Broadband Enterprises.

Earlier this year, I interviewed Waikit Lau, ScanScout’s co-founder and CEO. Waikit gives an overview of the value of overly ads and the business proposition which is both an ad network and a white label solution.

Congrats on this big win.

— Andy Plesser

Soon All Quality Control Will Be Hi-Def QC

Standard Def TV Quickly Going The Way of The Dinosaur
by Rick Recco
Best buy has just announced that they will cease to sell standard definition televisions. From now on only hi-definition TV’s will be available. I expect other big chains to begin following suit rather quickly. And why not. The price of 16:9 HDTV televisions has come down drastically over the past couple of years to the point where you can get one for about the same price as a drastically inferior old style SD TV.

Case in point. I recently went into a Circuit City with the possible intention of buying a SD, (having no idea how far the prices for HD had come down.) I found a big, heavy, bulky 27 inch model for $299.99. As I kept looking I found HD’s for as low as $399.99 Needless to say I walked out of the store with a brand new, sleek, light weight Olevia 27″ HD for only $100 more then I would have paid to go old school. Now the model I bought was on sale, and you can still easily pay $1000, for a bigger unit by a bigger company, but for one third the price, the Olevia was a fantastic deal. I also looked at a 27″ Akai HD, with a built in DVD player for the same price but opted against it as I was not happy with the volume level when playing a DVD.

Standard Def, will still be around for quite awhile for the die hards, (and for those who still pay $25,000 for a used Digi-beta) but why bother. Soon enough most QC will be HD. It’s the wave of the future.

Welcome To The QC Central Blog

Welcome to the QC Central blog. This will be the place to go for the latest news, and trends in all technical facets of the film and television industry. Stay tuned for the posts