Going to the movies was my favorite way to escape a mundane suburban childhood. Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first film where I truly felt the peril of the movie’s hero with heart-racing adrenaline and a first-person perspective. Gripping the seat with both hands, I lived through the moments with Indiana Jones as he narrowly escaped a booby trapped cave, ran for his life through a primitive jungle and was dropped into a den of slithering snakes – barely avoiding certain death, time and time again. In that darkened movie theater, it was hard to imagine anything feeling any more real and thrilling, but the advent of Virtual Reality promises to raise the game, bringing consumers an even fuller, more immersive experience.
Mobile World Congress has traditionally been the playground of the mobile OEMs, highlighting the latest and greatest devices, and creating the loudest buzz possible along the way. To some extent, this fact remained true at MWC 2016, but the real buzz was saved for VR headsets and the 360-degree cameras needed to help build some of this content.
This year’s Super Bowl made headlines, not just for the Broncos’ stunning upset over the Panthers, or the superstar-powered halftime show, but for the 3.96 MM people who streamed the Big Game live. Live streaming provides another point of access for cord-cutters and cable subscribers alike; however, the true revolution lies with the potential for fans to self-curate the game.
Nine years after the launch of Netflix streaming and the advent of apps from early market entrants such as HBO GO, the TV industry appears to have successfully navigated through the five stages of grief evoked by the disruptive Internet age. Indeed, 2016 is the year of acceptance and an affirmation of a transition from cable to streaming TV.
The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.
There is a record store in my local village. It’s a tiny little store – technically half a store as it shares a street number with the store next door – but still, it’s there. In search of one last holiday gift a few weeks ago, I popped in to explore.
A long time ago, in a suburban movie theatre far away, I saw a little-known “science fiction” movie that changed my world forever. The movie that summer – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – captivated my imagination with seamless special effects, fascinating alien creatures, and heart-pounding dogfights in space, raising the bar for all of the films that followed. Star Wars set a new standard for visual f/x, but more importantly, it changed our expectations of blockbuster movies.
I know I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that children have become quieter and more well behaved while dining out with their parents. What used to be an ordeal, with the “under eights” raising a ruckus in public, has become much easier thanks to the smartphone and some streaming video.
It’s September and the pennant race is heating up here in NY. At the time of writing, the Yankees are just one-and-a-half games out of first place, and the Mets hold a commanding lead in the NL East. Over the coming weeks, more viewers will tune in to the game, and October headlines will be all about the playoffs. Meanwhile, TV industry news has been concentrated on cord cutting; as expected Q2 ’15 turned out to be the inflection point where the first sizable number of subscribers canceled their TV service. Playing off the trend toward streaming video, Apple’s annual keynote included an Apple TV app demonstration from MLB.tv. Any fan watching immediately recognized what it means for the future of the game.
There’s a flaw with streaming video that smacks me in the face every now and then. Just when I’m settling into the show of choice, I occasionally get an ugly little message that says “Loading, please wait.” I don’t like it. It reminds me that my TV viewing habits are based on a less-than-perfect infrastructure (the Internet) with varying bandwidth to the home and potential server issues along the way. More importantly, it ruins my enjoyment of the show in question.