Western Digital TV – HD Media Player Review

[ad_1]

These days, everyone wants to be able to watch all their media easily. And of course, why not, with media coming from so many places… digital cameras, video cameras, cell phones and naturally, the Internet. You also don’t want to have to physically swap your DVDs or Blu-Rays discs because that’d be, well, un-North American! 750-something doughnuts a year, we Canadians eat. It’s gotta take a toll somewhere.

But in all seriousness, playing all the different media you might have is never an easy task. Let’s look at the options some of us might have.

XBOX 360 – Somewhat capable, but suffers from codec incompatibility, no built-in WiFi, loudness and other issues. Amazingly, the 360 is reported to be able to read HFS+ (Mac) partitions which I like for a number of reasons, while the PS3, a non-Apple competitor company’s product, cannot read HFS+ or NTFS. Even more amazing still, the 360 can’t read NTFS. I’d love to know what happened behind the scenes… was there a disgruntled employee(s) who said,”let’s stick to the MS man baby! HFS but no NTFS!! HAHA! There!” The menu, sorry, Dashboard works pretty well for a console, but not so much in my opinion as a media center. Finally, the 360 just uses too much darn power.

Sony PlayStation 3 – Considered to be a good media player by many, it doesn’t meet with the same sort of fanfare in my house. It can’t handle MKVs, even though the files within that container are usually OK for the PS3, it can’t take files larger than 4GB, it can’t stream these sorts of videos from a PC (and even if it could, its 802.11g speeds would hold it back). Also can get loud/hot like the 360, and it takes a lot of power. Aside from that, the PS3 having a Blu-Ray player is its saving grace. That, its Blu-Ray boot up speed and the fact that it can decode the lossless formats internally make it a decent player. I even like the XMB to a point where I don’t mind using it for organizing pictures and music, but since it can’t handle my MKV video collection, it too, unfortunately, has to receive a thumbs down.

Wii – Hah. I’ll discuss the 1080p media center capabilities of my original Game Boy next.

Popcorn Hour – This was one of the first proper media center thingys that had all the requisite features on paper. Hard drive, included, along with WiFi, RSS Bit Torrenting skills and the ability to play back MKVs and high-bitrate 1080p video. Only problem is, it didn’t do it well. First hand reports abound of the player stuttering, freezing, and generally sucking at playing back 1080p video.

Various other networked media streamers – These all work decently well for pictures, music and even SD video, but then again, so do the 360 and PS3 with TVersity. Nay, the real test is full-bandwidth 1080p video, and I’m afraid both the players and their skimpy wireless connections are not up to the job.

HTPC – This would be the only real solution for a long time. I even have posts detailing what they do and how to put them together. Why do these work? Because they’re just computers connected to TVs. Dual-core CPUs, lots of RAM and fancy videos ought to make short work of anything you can throw at them, at least in theory. Having owned HTPCs since I was able to connect an S-video cable to my Radeon 9700 Pro back in the day, I can tell you that the experience is not as smooth as it should be. Why? Because we’re using Windows! XP Media Center Edition was just XP, and Vista has Media Center built in, so that Media Center is just an application that runs on top. BSODs, freezes, slowdowns and other issues will still happen, especially if you use the box for other purposes, such as downloading in the background. That, and the incredibly complex setup procedure was seriously annoying. You have to of course install Vista, but then the codecs, and making sure that things are being upconverted and handled properly, sound is being output through the coax or toslink or HDMI the way it should, and then finally calibrating the video output was a chore and then some. Most of these problems go away when using Plex with a Mac as your HTPC. It’s one of the best media center frontends I’ve seen, and it’s incredibly efficient with its processing, playing video back smoothly that won’t in VLC or Quicktime with Perian. Still, it’s quite an investment (well, it’s actually a depreciating asset, but let’s not split hairs) to buy a whole PC, and that too a Mac. Your only aesthetically-acceptable option would be a Mac Mini, and their price-performance relationship is unheard of (in a bad way).

WD TV HD Media Player – Finally, that brings us to the object this review is about, the Western Digital TV HD Media Player. No one was expecting this thing, at all, at this price, and certainly not from WD. But none of that is important.

We’ve been led to believe that good things come in small packages, and it seems that this tiny device may be a proponent of that idea. It’s unbelievably small, at least to my eyes, which are used to seeing acceptable 1080p playback from big boxes that contain massive coolers atop multi-core CPUS breathing hot air, sucking electricity down and adding to the racket and sweltering heat produced by the other components inside that (usually) ugly box. This thing has no fans, is pretty green and gasp… actually does what its supposed to! Setup could not be easier, and I think no AV device in history has been easier to set up, physically. The power cable, the HDMI cable… and you’re done. Yes, this is also the case with many other HDMI devices, but this thing is tiny, and it only has a few jacks, so it’s very hard to mess it up. No physical buttons are on the unit, so it’s switched on by the remote. A more-white-than-blue LED lights up for power, and if you have a USB device plugged in, it’ll flash or light up, depending on whether it’s scanning the drive or is ready to go. I encountered a problem early on. After setting up the easy cabling and getting into the menu, I found that it would not recognize my external 1 TB hard drive. Alarmed, I immediately copied a 720p TV show to my Patriot Xporter flash drive and plugged it in. After a few seconds of inactivity, it started flashing and the videos came up. Still, if it wouldn’t read 1 TB hard drives, it’s not really an effective 1080p media center now, is it? I updated the firmware, and then it finally saw the drive. I noticed speed improvements as well! Hopefully this thing will get better and better with each firmware update.

This baby will play just about anything digital you can find. From old-school DivX encodings to the latest super-high bitrate 1080p MKVs, this will handle them all. More surprisingly, it seems to have no trouble playing them. They are no signs of a struggle! I put on a specially ripped version of the Godfather, barely compressed from the original, taking up about 20 GB. It started playing right away, faster than my gaming computer could start playing it(and that has a 4 GHz Yorkfield and 8GB of RAM). VLC and other players sometimes have a lot of visual imperfections playing back high-resolution high-bitrate video, but there was no such macroblocking, other than any present from compression. If you haven’t compressed your Blu-Ray rips much, or, you’ve just copied the stream file from a Blu-Ray disc (which it WILL play!), the video will look superb. Sound is as good as standard Dolby Digital or DTS gets (if you’re connected through composite, it won’t decode DTS though), but currently, it doesn’t do DTS-MA or TrueHD as far as I know.

The interface is a little like a simplified, vertical-scrolling Windows XP-coloured Sony PS3 XMB interface. Sounds a bit like Windows Media Center, right? It’s not unlike it actually. Though the menus are a little simplistic, they get the job done and I can’t complain much. The only issue I have with the interface is that each icon should have the corresponding text near it, not down in the bottom-right corner. A small niggle, really. The device has the ability to create libraries for you, but I disabled this feature as I have my own organizational structure on the drive, and also, it
seemingly takes forever to index a 1 TB drive. One more caveat here is that it can’t do this for HFS+ formatted drives, and I think it’s because it can read them, but not write to them.

After using the device for a few hours, I can say that I’m very satisfied with it. It switches between videos easily, resumes videos where you left them off, and never falters during playback, no matter how demanding the video file is. At this point, I have just one niggle… the remote is too small for adult male hands, and the buttons require a lot of effort to push. Sounds like a small issue, which can easily be resolved by using other kinds of remotes (programmable, Harmony etc.). At $139 Canadian, this is a great deal since it can do what HTPCs can’t do as reliably or as quick, for hundreds less. It also trumps every other media solution on the market, including the consoles.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

[ad_2]

5 Simple Steps to Be a Media Star

[ad_1]

This series of articles are focused on how to become known as an expert. Today we will focus on how to gain media attention.

Dale Carnegie said in his famous book – How To Win Friends and Influence People, “babies cry for and grown men die for”. We all want attention and recognition. We seek media attention to get our name splashed in newspapers, radio and TV. Not only is it something we personally want but it is also a great strategy to gain expert status and get clients.

I have been written up in print, interviewed on radio and TV. Did you know one appearance on TV can catapult you into fame and launch your career into the stratosphere? Fawn Germer, who I recently hear speak, was featured on Oprah. She has leveraged it to the hilt. We all know what can happen if you are seen on The Oprah Show. Businesses become hugely successful and a million books are sold! Dr. Phil and Dr. OZ started as guests on The Oprah Show. Now they have their own shows.

So how do you get attention of the media?

Here are 5 simple strategies:

  1. Find an angle that will appeal to the media: It is quite easy to look up what current stories are already being covered in the media. Just find an angle to latch on to the story. It is not enough to say that you are a chiropractor or a massage therapist. What is new, unique or newsworthy about your profession?
  2. Prepare you story: Once you know the angle, create a pitch that is easy for you to communicate. Human interest stories are featured all the time. Pick a struggle and how you or a client overcame that struggle.
  3. Get a list of reporters: Today it is easier to find reporters on the internet. Social media has made reporters and journalists much more accessible. Pick the target market you want to focus on and find the reporters who cover such stories.
  4. Call or email them: Depending on the information you have and how timely it is, you can just pick up the phone and call the reporter. Make sure you are aware of simple protocols. TV, radio and print media – all have different strategies in collecting and sharing information. Pay attention to when and how you should approach the media.
  5. Build a relationship: I consistently write comments to the reporters. You will be amazed how many of them will reply back. Make it a habit to communicate with them so you can be recognized. Today the media is required to build a following and be in touch with their audience.

These simple and effective strategies will help you start moving towards being a media star.

[ad_2]

Snappy Sound Bites Will Turn a Tv Appearance Into a Huge Success

[ad_1]

Anyone wanting to be a guest on Oprah or Good Morning America must learn to master the fine art of generating sound bites for television. Television thrives on sound bites – those brief, quotable remarks that will be repeated again and again on television news and talk shows. Sound bites are the pearls that flow out of our mouths into the ears of TV producers and onto the airways.

If you want to be quoted, you must convert the message points in your book into sound bites. To do this remember that analogies, bold action words, emotions and personal examples, attacks and absolutes make good quotes and sound bites. The highly personal, classic sound bite has action, emotion, and attacks – all of these elements will work to make reporters swoon.

My experience as a publicist and book marketing consultant has taught me to shy away from humor which can be a tricky business. What seems funny to colleagues, friends, or family at 5:30 p.m. may not seem so funny the next morning when you read your comments in USA Today. Sarcasm and teasing types of humor usually don’t work well in the media because you lose control of context and, in the case of print media, you lose the ability to communicate with your voice and facial expressions. The humor that is most effective is self-deprecating humor.

What about YOU? Are you skilled enough in producing sound bites to earn an interview on local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.

TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.

Here’s TJ Walker’s Sound Bite Checklist:

1. Create sound bites that are 10, 15 and 30 seconds.

2. Work an example into the sound bite.

3. Clichés make good quotes and sound bites. Reporters can’t write clichés, but they love quoting other people using clichés.

4. Humor makes good quotes and sound bites but the problem with using humor in front of the media is that someone somewhere is likely to be offended, resulting in a permanent public record of your remarks. So, quip if you must, at your own expense and your own risk.

5. One great way to get your message quoted by reporters is to state your ideas in the form of a rhetorical question.

6. Opposition quotes make good quotes and sound bites. Opposition quotes remain a favorite of reporters, but use them only if and when they are appropriate to your message.

7. The first letters from the following: Analogies, Bold action, Emotions, Attacks, Clichés, Humor, Pop culture, Rhetorical questions, and Opposition quotes spell out A BEACH PRO. The higher number of A BEACH PRO elements you use, the greater your chances are of being quoted. If you have not used any A BEACH PRO elements, you will not be quoted.

8. Absolutes are absolutely quote worthy. If I say “We will be the next champions” that has a better chance of landing in the story than “We are hoping to win.” Saying “Our company is the top performer in this field” would be another example.

9. Recycle your quotes. If one worked well with another media interview in the past, use it again.

10. Populate your quotes with pop culture references.

11. Put analogies in your answers, use bold, action-oriented words, let your emotions flow freely, and attack your way to the headlines.

Memorize that checklist but understand that a sound bite is only one aspect of a successful television appearance. You also must be concerned about your total message, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate.

As a book publicist I’ll prepare questions for our clients ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Often times the television host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. That’ll help you because you’ll know what to expect and you can respond with the “sound bites” you’ve already developed.

The bottom line: Prepare some clever answers and snappy sound bites ahead of time, rehearse them every day and you’ll sound like a pro turning your TV appearance into a huge success.

[ad_2]

Digital Media Players

[ad_1]

In this growing world, technology is growing at a super speed and the media player is becoming the most important alternative of using information and storing with CD players and computers. You will find that these players must be available in every household item. The strong advantages of these devices are convenience, people can store a large amount of information right in their hands.

Modern people have stronger interest in the latest technology because they usually have disposable cash in their hands. Educated and young customers should buy these products with wisdom. It’s important to make comparisons between different types of devices and choose the device that meets the individual customer’s needs.

People can use these players are used for playing songs such as audios and videos and to store information. In CD players you can store as much as 30 songs and no more, and you have to change the CD every 20 to 30 songs in the CD player, so it’s better to go and choose digital player. On the other hand, digital media player can hold thousands of music files at one time and play them. The number of songs really depends on the amount of memory space available on the device.

The more gigabits the digital media player holds, the higher the price. The digital player can have 2gb, 4gb and 8gb that can hold songs somewhere between 300, 800 and 1500 etc. And you can store at least 10 hours of video space in 4gb player. Some people want to play all types of files and on the other hand, some people remain stuck to certain types of files. As compared to mp3 device the mp4 device is relatively new one. The new name means the next version of digital media player.

[ad_2]

History of the Media, Radio, and Television

[ad_1]

When were the forms of media created? When did advertising first show up? Who owns the media?

Creation of the various forms of media

*

Newspapers & Magazines ~ 1880

*

Movies ~ 1910

*

Television ~ 1945

*

Cable Television ~ 1980’s

*

Satellite Television, Internet, Digital Communication ~ End of the 20th century

In 1920, radio was first developed, primarily for use by the military, strictly for sendingHistory of the Media – Old Radios messages from one location to another. David Sternoff, the then-president of RCA, first had the idea to sell radio sets to consumers, or what were then called radio receivers. However, consumers needed a reason to buy radios, so RCA was the first to set up radio stations all over the country. Between 1920 and 1922, 400 radio stations were set up, starting with KBKA in Pittsburgh. Stations were also set up by universities, newspapers, police departments, hotels, and labor unions.

*

By 1923, there were 600 radio stations across the United States, and $83 million worth of sets had been sold.

The biggest difference in radio before and after 1923 was that the first advertising was not heard on the radio until 1923. RCA at the time was made up of four companies:

*

AT&T

*

General Electric

*

United Fruit

*

Westinghouse

United Fruit was one of the first global corporations, and one of the first to advertise on the radio. The AT&T division of RCA first thought about selling time on the air to companies, which marked the start of “toll broadcasting.” WEAF was the first station to operate this way, causing widespread outrage, and accusation of “polluting the airwaves.”

Because of this controversy, the practice of selling advertising time was called “trade name publicity.” Sponsors linked their name with a program on the air, rather than advertising a specific product in a 30 second “commercial” as we know it today.

Why did AT&T decide to experiment with charging companies for air time?

AT&T was not making any money from broadcasting at the time since they only made transmitters, not receivers. They only made money when new radio stations bought the equipment required to broadcast. They did not make money from consumers buying radios.

AT&T also started the practice of paying performers for their time on the air, rather than only volunteers, which was standard practice for radio content up until that point.

The first radio network

In 1926, RCA set up the first radio network, NBC. They decided it was more effective and efficient to produce shows in New York City, and then link the main radio station with stations all across the country, connected by AT&T (another RCA company) phone lines. (Now television networks are linked by satellite to their affiliates).

This was the beginning of the network affiliates system. The ideal network makes sure everyone in the country is capable of listening to their signal. NBC at the time had two philosophies:

*

Radio content was a “public service,” whose function was to sell radios.

*

Radio content was designed to generate income from advertising.

History of the Media In 1927, the second network was formed. It was CBS, started by William Paley. Paley was the first to think that networks could make money strictly from advertising, not even getting involved in the sales of radios. Like AT&T, CBS did not make radios. From the start, they made their money from selling advertising.

The rising of radio networks caused the Radio Act of 1927 to be passed, which established the FRC, or what is now known as the FCC, to allocate broadcast licenses. The need for such an organization was brought on by the fact that airwaves are limited resources, and broadcasting itself is a scarce public resource. By the 1930’s, the structure of radio have been set by the commercial format, although advertising never dominated radio like it would television later on.

In the 1920’s and ’30’s, radio programs were divided into two groups. Sponsored shows, which had advertisers, and unsponsored shows, which did not. The radio station paid for the unsponsored shows. The sponsored shows, on the other hand, were created entirely by the company sponsoring the show; advertisers were totally in charge of the radio station’s content. The content became advertising. Radio set the precedent for television, in that the same companies that controlled radio early on went on to control television.

Soon thereafter, television inherited the structure of radio. In the ’40’s, during the rise of television, RCA also held a monopoly on all television sets sold. By 1945-1955, advertising had taken over all of television. Television was organized around the premise of selling things. The entire television industry was creating a political atmosphere of suspicion and fear. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the founder of McCarthyism, which was based on the fear of Communism, and the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee, began to question people involved in television about their beliefs and associations.

What affected television in its early stages?

*

Politics (McCarthyism / HUAC).

*

Blacklists: From almost the inception of television, many writers, directors, and actors were considered to be pro-Communist and/or un-American.

Certain topics were totally off-limits at the time for television, particularly issues of race relations in the 1960’s. Overall, networks were not happy with the political situation for television in the 1960’s, both in terms of the blacklists, and of the fact that when every show had one sponsor, that sponsor controlled the entire program. Networks preferred to control the program, by way of moving to multiple sponsors/advertisers, where networks would retain control of the show, and advertisers would buy time in between the programming.

In the 1950’s, networks decided to eliminate the practice of sponsors controlling the shows with a move to spot selling, or advertisements between programs, as we know it today. What caused the move to spot selling?

1.

Discovery of fraud in the quiz shows on television. Quiz shows were extremely popular at the time, and were liked by the networks, the sponsors, and the viewers alike. It turned out, however, that quiz shows were largely fixed. Charles Van Doren on “21” became a huge star due to his repeated wins, until it came out that the whole thing had been fixed. In the case of “The $64,000 Question,” the owner of Revlon was personally hand-selecting the winners and losers on the show.

2.

It was becoming financially difficult for just one advertiser to support an entire show.

Around this same time came the inception of ratings to measure a show’s popularity. Ratings, quite simply, measure the number of people watching a show. To understand why ratings are so important, it’s crucial to understand how the television industry works, through three questions, and their respective answers:

1.

Who owns television? [The networks]

2.

What is sold on television? [Viewer’s time, not television shows]

3.

Who are the customers of television? [Advertisers, not viewers]

This might be a counterintuitive concept for some. The networks, which own television, areHistory of the Media – Old Television the buyers of shows, not the sellers. On the other hand, they sell our eyeballs, so to speak, to advertisers. Networks want the maximum possible profit from buying and selling time, both viewers’ time, and advertisers’ time.

The primary measure of television ratings, which determine the price of that time being bought and sold, is AC Nielsen, an independent company which provides information as to who watches what on television. Currently, about 4,000 households are used to represent the national viewing of television. In the 1980’s, only 1,200 households were used. Some households have an electronic device installed on th
eir television which tracks what they watch, while others keep a diary of viewing habits.

There are two measures for determining a show’s audience. One is the rating, and the other is the share.

*

Rating: Percentage of total homes with televisions tuned into a particular show.

*

Share: Percentage of those watching television at a particular time who are tuned into a particular show.

The share is always greater than the rating. Ratings are more important for advertisers, and share is more important to the networks.

Example:

*

Total households with televisions: 150 million

*

Total households watching television at 8pm on Monday nights: 90 million

*

Total households watching American Idol at 8pm on Monday nights: 45 million

*

Therefore: Rating: 30, Share: 50

It’s important to note how many factors can skew the results. Shows cost producers much more than the networks typically pay them for those shows. The way for producers to make money is by getting the networks to renew the show, in order to have a shot at making money from syndication on other channels, also knows as reruns. That is the case when individual stations (say for example, the Miami affiliate of ABC wants to carry Seinfeld), buy the rights to a show from the producers of that show. Shows that last only one season, for the most part, lose millions of dollars. One of the most important factors in whether shows will be renewed or not is their rating.

This brings us to how ratings can be skewed. For example, if a show has a 20 share, and it needs a 25 share to be renewed for another season, what might the producers do? In principle, they need to convince another 5% of the people watching television when their show is on to watch their show; this is no simple task, as that involves convincing millions of people. However, since the ratings are based on those 4,000 Nielsen households, that means that they could convince just 200 Nielsen households to watch their show, which would increase the share from 20 to 25. This is why Nielsen households must be kept totally secret from the networks. When the Nielsen households have leaked to the networks, one way which they got people to watch their show was by offering viewers a small sum of money for filling out a survey about a commercial which they were told would play only during a particular show. Since they had to watch that channel while their show was on, this would boost the share.

Once ratings are determined, advertising prices are set by two factors:

* The size of the audience.

* The demographics (income, age, gender, occupation, etc) of the audience.

In short, the job of television programs is to collect our time as a product, which they then sell to advertisers. Programs have to support the advertising, delivering viewers in the best possible state of mind for buying when the time for the commercials comes, which brings us to the Golden Age of Television.

The 1950’s are considered the “Golden Age of Television.” During this time, something called the “Anthology Series,” where different actors each week took part in a show gained History of the Media – I Love Lucypopularity across the board…that is, with everyone except for advertisers. The anthology series format was not right for advertisers, as it covered topics which involved psychological confrontations which did not leave the viewers in the proper state of mind for buying the products shown to them between program segments. The subject matter of the anthology series was of the type that undermined the ads, almost making them seem fraudulent.

This brought up the question of what to network executives actually want shows to do? The answer is not to watch a program that makes them feel good, makes them laugh, or excites them, but rather to watch the television for a set amount of time. With so many new shows being proposed, standards began to be intentionally, or unintentionally, laid out for what shows could and couldn’t do. Risks could only be taken at the beginning and/or end of shows. Laugh tracks were conceived to tell the audience when to laugh. Programs began being tested with audiences prior to being put on television and/or radio. Show writers now had to write shows that would test well.

Naturally, this caused many of the same elements and themes to appear in all shows. This was the beginning of recombinant television culture, where the same elements are endlessly repeated, recombined, and mixed.

This same culture is what perpetuated the idea that people watch television, not specific shows. While people certainly choose to watch certain shows instead of others, people less commonly choose to watch television instead of other things. People watch television. Regardless of what was on, television viewing rates were extremely stable.

[ad_2]

Media Series: Issue 5 – Television Advertising

[ad_1]

Overview of TV

Television is the big dog when it comes to media dollar expenditures. There are a number of reasons for this but the obvious one is that more people spend more time in front of their TVs than any other media source. For hitting the masses, there is really no better opportunity from a media standpoint than TV. In short, TV has a proven track record of getting to consumers and shaping their behavior.

Upside of TV

Some of the upside I mentioned above, but there are a number of very good reasons why TV advertising can be advantageous.

  • TV gives you instant credibility. Consumers just seem to believe things they see on TV.
  • The ability to combine sight, sound and motion adds dimension and realism to your advertising campaign.
  • Through program selection, you can target your audience pretty effectively.
  • No medium offers greater mass global impact. Depending on your budget, TV has almost unlimited reach and a high percentage of people have more than one TV.
  • The creative opportunity is larger for TV. If you have the cash, you can take a camera anywhere and create incredible presentation.
  • Since it is generally a leisure activity, consumers spend a lot of time in front of a TV and they have the ability to immediately act on many buying impulses.

Downside of TV

TV advertising is not without its pitfalls, though, and any one of you reading this could list off some of the reasons as easily as I could.

  • To really hit the masses, broadcast TV is best and commercial spots are very, very pricey. Cable offers more affordable options but then you don’t hit the masses as well.
  • Research shows that you need significant repetition (at least 5-7 viewings) for your message to sink in. To get 5-7 viewings, you need to be on a lot more than that. Pricey.
  • Before you even buy commercial spots, you need to spend significant dollars to create a high quality ad. You can do it for less but generally not very well.
  • Much like radio, your commercial spot comes and goes and when it’s out of sight it falls out of mind. That is, unless you buy more spots.
  • As a rule, people don’t want to watch commercials. The turn on the TV to watch the program. With more and more channels available, it’s easy to skip the commercials.

Main Thing To Know About TV Advertising

Television is the largest target of media dollars for a reason and it’s attractive for a lot of reasons. My problems with TV are that it is very expensive (when done properly) and it’s somewhat inefficient no matter how well you do it. My advice is, if you have the brand and the budget to do it right, TV can be money well spent. You need to have a high quality ad, lots of repetition and the right commercial time. If you’re not sure you have the budget, then you don’t have the budget. You’re much better off not doing it than doing it poorly.

[ad_2]

Glorifying Social Media – When Television Met Twitter

[ad_1]

There is no denying the prominence of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter over the past couple of years. Although these social media platforms did not exist a decade ago, they are now firmly integrated into modern society. In fact, it is incredible how much our lives are influenced by social media. We not only communicate online, but we also “tweet” and “digg” and “bookmark” and “favourite” and share all kinds of content. Any event of interest, regardless how insignificant it may be, is almost guaranteed to be reported via multiple online avenues. Whether it is a tweet or a blog post or a viral video, the buzz spreads rapidly across the Internet. After all, we are the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter generation – we live and breathe through social media.

In particular, the rise of social media brought upon an interesting phenomenon within the traditional media format. Recently, the world watched its first ever situational comedy inspired by a Twitter account. Crassly titled $#*! My Dad Says, the show features William Shatner as a cantankerous old man with a wide array of snappy one-liners, while his son records these remarks on the Internet. The actual Twitter account has almost two million followers; the sitcom premiere debuted to an audience of over twelve million viewers. Let those impressive numbers sink in first, and then you better realize that it was an anonymous old man – who would never have been famous without the Internet – drew this much attention and popularity.

At first, the concept of a Twitter account sounds laughably absurd – how could an actual television show sustain based on the random tweets of less than 140 characters? As it turns out, $#*! My Dad Says is no different from the standard laugh track comedies on CBS, complete with Shatner’s distinguished way of delivering a ha-ha punch line (or any line at all, really). Yet, it is the idea behind the sitcom that displays the most originality. Think about what the show has accomplished by its mere existence: a social media icon is being celebrated in network television! Can you imagine getting a TV show based on your disjointed thoughts online? Can you imagine being famous because of your Twitter account?

While Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter grow more dominant in our culture, it is becoming increasingly clear that social media has no boundaries anymore. Its influence extends beyond the Twitterverse or a primetime television show; it affects our modernity as a whole. This essay will analyze deeper into the seamless integration between social media and traditional media, as well as the unsettling repercussions of this recent pop culture trend.

The Facebook movie and the Twitter sitcom are just two recent examples among numerous success stories. Several high-profile entertainment bloggers have quit their day jobs so that they can become full-time online gossipmongers. HBO is in the works of producing a comedy called Tilda, featuring Diane Keaton and Ellen Page, about a fearsome blogger loosely resembling Nikki Finke. In addition, there are hundreds of minor Internet sensations made famous by their viral videos, and sometimes their fame extends to lucrative opportunities in the entertainment industry. For example, that YouTube kid is on The Amazing Race with his father a few seasons ago. In fact, YouTube is like the hub of revolving online celebrities; their stardom fades in and out over time. Leave Britney alone, anyone?

Since a sizable portion of social media users belong to the younger demographic, it is no surprise that a number of youth-oriented programs feature social media into the show’s premise. For example, iCarly showcases three teens that discover the success of their webcast as they become online celebrities. Balancing the normalcy of adolescent life along with the abrupt Internet fame makes iCarly unique from the other television shows. Similarly, while the targeted demographic of Gossip Girl is aimed towards a slightly older audience, it showcases an anonymous blogger that spreads scandalous gossip on the Internet and how this inadvertently affects the lives of several privileged young adults. Gossip Girl covers the darker side of social media, where the online anonymity poses a threat to real-life privacy.

By promoting social media so heavily into television and film, the entertainment industry has sent a message that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are integral elements in our everyday lives. It seems that a Facebook account is even more significant than an e-mail address or a cell phone number. It seems that relying on Twitter updates and viral videos are more preferable than reading an actual news article. It seems that blog posts will revolutionize the journal industry sooner enough. As the number of television shows and films about social media increases, this trend indicates that we cannot function in society without some sort of social media platform or social profiling account. How else will you communicate with your acquaintances? How else will you manage your friendships and relationships?

I am in the school of thought that relying on any technological medium too much can lead to disastrous results. Social media may have eased our communication processes, but it also oversimplified our abilities to form coherent and insightful thoughts. After all, how profound can your tweets be if it only permits you 140 characters per message? And anyone who bothered to look at the comments section under a YouTube video, especially regarding controversial topics, can witness a wide array of banality. Even Facebook, with its frequent breach of privacy, has an unsophisticated system of categorizing your profile details, such as the “It’s Complicated” option for your relationship status. (Of course, they don’t care about what you put in your profile, as long as you are part of the demographic metrics for the prospective online advertisers. Single male in his thirties who uses Facebook a lot? How about clicking on the online dating site advert in the sidebar?)

Social media does not pose any life-threatening perils, although there are some incidents of online stalkers or worse, but we should still be informed about its obvious limitations as a communication medium. Don’t assume that social media is essential just because it is promoted everywhere in films and television shows. Do not misjudge its prevalence as a form of necessity. As consumers, as online users, and as human beings, we should take a critical look of social media as a form of the new traditional media. If these social media platforms are here to stay, where do we fit in? Are we satisfied with being defined as the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter generation?

[ad_2]

LED TV – Don't Be Fooled, Understand the Technology First

[ad_1]

Thinking of buying an LED TV, well….Stop! Before you spend in excess of $1500, you need to cut through the jargon and hype to truly understand the technology that you’re actually spending your hard earned money on. TV manufacturers and the media are very good at convincing us that the latest products incorporate the most cutting edge technology and are a must have. Lets get real here, to the average consumer most of this jargon is just down right confusing.

A new range of LED TVs that have hit the market with a big buzz. Samsung have crept through the backdoor and have released the 7000 series range boasting LED technology.

That’s great…but what is this LED technology thats being boasted?

Current LED TVs – The Truth The term ‘LED’ stands for Light Emitting Diode and as you may well know LEDs are used in many of our devices at present, however in terms of the current line of LED TVs, the actual LEDs are used for the backlight of the TV ONLY and not the TV display themselves. If you consider that current TV technology uses CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorecent Lamps), there is no doubt that an LED backlight is a more efficient form of backlight.

However, the important point here is that the LED television’s display is actually LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), it is the backlight only that is made up of LEDs. So there are two major technologies at use here; LCD for the display and LED for the backlight. In essence a more advanced form of LCD TV.

When you compare this technology to a true LED display TV. Displays such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) will self illuminate, utilizing an internal thin layer of LED for its display only.

The fact that the ‘LED TV’ term has been used to describe a type of LCD TV is a cunning move on Samsungs part, but genius in terms of marketing, since it capitalises on the current buzz in the TV market of true LED display TVs such as Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV.

LCD TVs with LED Backlights – The Improvements Now that we’ve established that this is LCD TV with an LED backlight, lets look at how this new range of TV improves on current TV technology such as plasma and standard LCD in 3 key areas:

1. Picture Quality Quite simply, the picture quality has been improved over standard LCD and Plasma, because the range of colours have increased. The utilization of Light Emitting Diodes as a light source instead of traditional lamps provides a higher contrast ratio because the LED produces blacker blacks and whiter whites, this is the key to achieving quality images on screen.

2. Environment LED Technology consumes less power than current backlight TV technology, making a saving on your energy bills.

3. Slimmer Models. Since no provision for a conventional light source is required, LED TVs can be made ultra thin, this makes for a thin, sleek, more attractive model.

Decisions, Decisions If you are in the market for a TV now and want a picture quality in advance of current standard LCD and Plasma ranges on the market, then you cannot go far wrong with an LED TV.

However, if you are in no hurray to purchase a television at this present time and require a TV with technology that will keep it at the forefront of cutting edge, in terms of LED technology, OLED TV is the real deal. Laser TV is another option to explore.

Both are emerging technologies and require patience as they find their place in the market with the correct size screens for your home. These TVs may also require you to dig a little deeper into your bank balance.

The moral of the story is to understand the technology behind the product in great detail before you part with your money, the choice is yours.

[ad_2]

Everything Needed To Know About Satellite TV

[ad_1]

Similar to cellular telephones, many people around the world use Satellite TV. For some people, this is the only way to receive television signals, but for others it is simply a way to view more television channels than what standard cable providers provide. There are television providers in Japan, Europe, South America, and basically all over the world.

Satellite TV has existed since the 1960s, though it did not become popular until later when it became more accessible. The first TV company was in the Soviet Union, however it did not send TV signals directly into homes until 1976. Until then, there was a central antenna that received the signal and the signal was sent out to the homes of the people. This new technology did not appear in North America until some years later, but has now become extremely popular.

Direct broadcast is the mode that is typically used today, which is not the same as the earlier version. This direct broadcast is where the individual has his or her own satellite antenna and receives a signal that goes straight to his or her television. Today, signals are digital as opposed to analog, which means more or less, they are able to be broadcast at a higher frequency.

Typically, due to the laws of physics, a higher frequency wave will travel a shorter distance. This higher frequency often translates to better quality whether the medium is radio, television, or internet. However, because digital signals are better quality than analog signals, it is now possible for satellite TV to be broadcast in digital.

Currently, there are two major providers in the United States. These providers offer anywhere from 250 to 1000 channels. They charge for their service based on a series of packages, which are groups of channels. Typically, if the customer wants more channels, he or she will have to pay extra. Most of the time, there is a basic group of channels that the company deemed most customers would want, and then each subsequent package will have more channels. Most packages are a mix of sports, news, movie, and educational channels.

In recent years, HD television has become popular, and therefore, most providers offer High Definition service. This typically requires a larger antenna and a special high definition television, However, in many countries these are becoming cheaper and more accessible to the public.

The technology is being improved every day. Through technological innovations that allow the interaction between television and internet it will be possible, and is in some cases, to use the internet with the equipment provided for the satellite TV. It is already possible in many instances to listen to digital music with the satellite equipment.

It is thought that this form of television may not as disruptive to the environment, since to broadcast to homes, there does not need to be a wire connected from the home to the television provider. For people in more remote locations, where the cable companies cannot provide the wire connection, this may be their only option.

[ad_2]

The Truth About Media Addiction

[ad_1]

There is no denying that in the past few decades, TV has become the main hub of several forms of entertainment. At the beginning, turning on the television meant tuning into a few different shows on a handful of networks, with the occasional long feature film thrown in for something really special. But, as the yeas passed, other forms of entertainment found a welcoming home on television screens, namely films from VHS to Blu-rays and video games from a variety of different systems. The latter now represent a significant portion of the entertainment industry with millions of people playing each year. Many believe that video games are actually more popular now with young people than any other form of entertainment.

When television began, all of the shows that you could tune into were very neutral in their tone and purpose. Now, all manner of opinions and images can show up on your TV screen. Are these mediums influencing our emotions and thoughts? And, are people spending too much of their time in front of screens these day? As we added color to television sets, the answers today don’t seem to be black and white.

Are people really addicted to gaming, TV and films?

All of this has led many to believe that TV, video games and films might be an addiction. For example, in an article for the Scientific American Magazine, professors of Journalism and Media Studies Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi came with a uniquely insightful definition for the potential harms of TV that, while more general in scope, is no less accurate:

“When the habit interferes with the ability to grow, to learn new things, to lead an active life, then it does constitute a kind of dependence and should be taken seriously.”

Now, it seems that we have gone far beyond simply using television as a harmless means of entertainment at the end of a long day or for a few hours on the weekend or after school. There are children and teenagers who spend an average of 9 hours per day plugged into some sort of media, not including what they use at school.

What causes this addiction?

The first thing that comes to mind when searching for what exactly makes people addicted to TV, gaming and films is that they are entertaining content. And while this might be true in a few cases, it is hard to think of any content being great enough to justify the excessive number of hours a day that people spend in front of screens.

The amount of time that teens spend in front of the television has doubled in just the last decade. The key to this increase seems to be related to another problem of modern society: Stress. According to Charles N. Ropper, PHD and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), just as people addicted to drugs and alcohol often consume them to escape from reality, people addicted to TV, gaming and films also seem to use TV to find relief from stress. In fact, the rise of celebrity reality shows, the latest Lady Gaga’s music video, films like the Breaking Dawn series or video games like the latest Angry Birds: All seem to be intended to keep people craving more.

All of these, coupled with our anxiety and desire to forget about the day-to-day problems, can turn TV into the perfect escape. For a few, this escape can become an addiction. One that is virtually free and ready on demand.

So, what is the solution? It might lie in going back to the basics and what people used to do for fun “back in the old days” before we all had televisions, computers and games systems in our home. Exercise and getting outside are proven to relieve far more stress than television or video games ever have. Another killer of stress and anxiety for many is getting out into the world and interacting with others. Extra curricular activities like sports, music or dance are great ways to get teens involved, interested and inspired to live life beyond their multiple screens.

[ad_2]