Comcast and Apple. Why now?

The news feeds are buzzing about a potential deal that will enable Apple to locate its own servers on Comcast premises.   This comes hot on the heels of the announcement of a similar deal being worked on by Netflix and Comcast.   These are big players with deep pockets, so there’s clearly a lot going…

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Enough already! Things broadcast should move past in 2013.

While the end of the year inspires many to take stock of their lives, it is significantly more fun to take stock of everyone else’s life.
So, in the spirit of cleaning the broadcast industry’s technology slate and giving us all a fresh start, we at Positive Flux have looked into our collective crystal ball and compiled a list of things that we feel that will not, or at least should not, be seen after 2013.
Some of these are small. Others, perhaps, are the pet peeves of minds that spend a lot of time staring at schematics and contemplating efficient workflows. They are, however, all things that we see in the field every day. Many have long passed their useful expiration dates. We hope you enjoy this list and invite you to add your own contributions for consideration in the comments section.

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Free VOD service coming to an iPhone near you: Broadcasters introduce MyDTV

Back when US broadcasters first received their digital channel assignments for HDTV, they began to dream up additional services which could be launched on top of the live HDTV service.

It’s been a long time coming, but a commercially viable contender for the first of these was announced yesterday by Fischer Communications and Hubbard Media who introduced MyDTV multi-screen service.

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Proxy Workflows and Web Services Score Big for Sports News Challenges

The stage was set

We recently completed a project for a client launching a new sports cable network. The client needed a new sports-oriented newsroom to review and log sporting events including soccer, baseball, and basketball. They wanted to be able to view all of the sporting events on desktops, log the best parts, edit material in low resolution, add effects in high resolution, transfer the content to the control room for playback, and do it all with a tapeless file-based workflow.

And, one more thing…we had roughly 120 days from concept to launch.

Oh yes, and we would be working with an already on-air system.

This project was going to be a sporting event of its own!

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Stephen’s Axioms: The impact of workflow in a multi-media environment

In our last blog entry we reported on some of the new workflow tools coming out of the NAB convention. But, what is a workflow tool and why is it relevant?

I’d like to begin the discussion by quoting an old friend, Stephen Angelovich (who passed away far too early, seemingly a lifetime ago). Stephen was a partner of mine at NBC Universal and one of the best software & systems architects I’ve ever met. Although I had written software, before I met Steve, I believed that setting up electronic systems was difficult – Once we got the hardware in place, any rough spots could be fixed later with software. Stephen taught the lesson that “Hardware is easy and Software is hard.”

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NAB report preview: Explosion of formats driving change for content owners

We are just back from an exhausting, but educational four days at the 2011 National Association of Broadcaster’s convention and wanted to report on a few trends we saw.

The industry is experiencing exponential growth in delivery of content for nonlinear viewing on an expanding number of platforms.   One person we spoke with observed that there are already over 80 different interfaces and devices supporting the personalized delivery of television.  Lurking beneath all this excitement lay significant challenges in cost and scale for content owners.

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