Tuesday Links

Grades are in, and the meetings are over. Summer is (unofficially) here, and so are some links:

  • A fascinating article about the Raleigh-based company behind the Mohu leaf, a TV antenna that picks up free over-the-air TV HD signals. The antenna itself sounds very cool, but I’m even more intrigued by the tone of the article, which depicts the company as a cros between a Silicon Valley upstart and an old-fashioned Radio Boys-style discussion of gadgetry.
  • It’s old news by now, but Warner has purchased Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes and is now planning its own video on demand service. There has been some discussion of the fact that it could be a conflict of interest for a movie company to own a website that aggregates movie reviews. But Warner’s continued move toward their “Digital Everywhere” initiative is probably the bigger issue here.
  • On a related note, Netflix may soon begin offering its streaming service in some Latin American countries, most likely Mexico and Brazil.
  • There is also an interesting discussion of the possibility that Netflix might cut deals with television networks to help to support struggling TV shows, such as the deal between NBC and DirecTV last year to keep Friday Night Lights going.
  • Matt Dentler discusses an article by Brian Stelter reporting that TV ownership has declined (very slightly) for the first time in over twenty years, as measured by the percentage of households owning sets, with a drop from 98.9% households with sets down to 96.7%. Stelter spells out some of the causes: with the transition to digital signals, many lower-income families may have been unable to afford the newer, more expensive sets, plus many younger consumers have likely decided to consume TV on their laptops and mobile devices, with Matt succinctly concluding that “at the end of the day, a monitor is a monitor, no matter if it transmits television broadcasts or a broadband connection.”

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