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  1. #1

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    Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Studios back VOD system ZillionTV

    Device allows viewers to pick ads of interest

    By Paul Bond
    The Hollywood Reporter
    March 4, 2009, 09:00 AM ET


    ZillionTV's VOD system

    DVD, DVR and VOD are old school. Now meet ZillionTV. The company, backed by several major studios, is set to introduce Wednesday an ad-supported VOD system in which commercials are tailored to viewers who can't fast-forward through them.

    ZillionTV allows viewers to choose the categories of advertising that is most interesting to them, and commercials fitting the bill are inserted into TV shows and movies that are streamed via broadband onto TV screens.

    Content comes from Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox Television and Disney, all of which are equity stakeholders in the new company. Forty other partners also supply content, and discussions are under way with Viacom and CBS.

    ZillionTV operates through a device it calls ZBar that it supplies for free, though to make it work users must pay a one-time activation fee of up to $100, said CEO Mitch Berman, a TV industry veteran who helped found E!

    ZillionTV won't launch to consumers until the fourth quarter, when such TV shows as "30 Rock" and "Smallville" and movies like "The Dark Knight" will be available on demand. By year's end, ZillionTV will have rights to 15,000 titles, Berman said.

    Users maneuver through the ZillionTV interface with a motion-sensing remote similar to a Nintendo Wii controller. "The whole screen on your TV becomes interactive," Berman said.

    The remote has a "Buy Now" button so advertised items can be purchased on the spot through a virtual store operated by Visa, the credit card company that also is a ZillionTV stakeholder.

    Plus, there's a rewards program: The more commercials watched, the more points earned.
    Studios back VOD system ZillionTV

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Very interesting. One thing not mentioned, is the content in HD???


  3. #3

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Good question.

    From their site:

    Are the Programs Broadcast through the ZillionTV Service in Standard Definition (SD) or High Definition (HD)?

    The ZillionTV Service currently supports standard-definition video. High-definition resolution is expected to launch soon.

    ZillionTV | Homepage

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Ah, a service no-one wants, providing no real benefits! It's another CueCat. Yeah, I know you don't remember what that was...

    Which genius decided to flush money down this toilet?

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Well, it would mean goodbye cable TV. Downside is you wouldn't likely be able to access it through a cable company's ISP. Well, they'd have to make a decision on that one: lose a cable customer, or lose a cable customer AND an internet customer?

    So, how much would that cost, to get rid of cable TV and pay for stuff on a per-view rate? Web site doesn't have a list of prices with the products. I can olnly assume that better programs will generally cost more.

    I think if we got rid of cable TV we just wouldn't watch TV at all. Which is, of course, why we don't get rid of cable TV.

    Also, I'm checking their web site: they need to see "if it's available in my area"? It's the freakin' internet! What would be the problem here? (Besides having a cable ISP, which I don't, although Verizon FIOS might be available soon.)

    Also, I'll need Viacom on that list of providers for my family's Comedy Central / Nick fix.

    Lastly, I see it requires a 2.7Mbps bandwidth. Not sure if I have that at home.

    I'd STILL want the DVR's capability to download what Zillion has, in case of a disruption of service.
    Not sure whether live sports events will be available or not.
    More likely to put Netflix out of business once the HD feature is available. Why pay to wait for a DVD when it's available for some PPV price right now -- well, in 4th quarter, pending greenmail buyout of services by cable companies and Netflix?
    Last edited by sediment; 03-04-2009 at 04:50 PM.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Downside is you wouldn't likely be able to access it through a cable company's ISP.
    Actually, I don't think the FCC would allow a cable company to selectively block this sort of content. If you pay for internet access, you have a right to download whatever you want within the bandwidth limitations set by your internet provider. They don't have a right to block content which they feel is of a competitive nature to their other products.

    Comcast and others have already been sanctioned for similar bandwidth throttling issues for selective sites and services.

    The new FCC is committed to Net Neutrality, so this is a good time for services like Zillion to launch - and all the more reason for a better broadband policy (availability and increased bandwidth) in the US.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Disney & others studios back ZillionTV VOD

    Ah. So expect more bandwidth access to cost more? I see that FIOS (not availble in my area) already does this.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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