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Streamlined Cable TV in a Card

Streamlined Cable TV in a Card
Published: December 30, 2004

"[...] the CableCard, a small metal card (a so-called PC card, actually, like the ones designed for laptops) that slides into a slot on the back of many new high-definition TV sets from nearly every manufacturer. The CableCard's simple mission is to eliminate your cable box. The card stores all the account information that used to be monitored by the box, like descramblers for your movie channels - a bit of circuitry miniaturization that's about 15 years overdue.

Life without a cable box is blissfully simple. The cable-TV cable from the wall plugs directly into the TV. You change channels using the TV's own remote control. (Both the box and its remote go back to the mother ship. Incidentally, getting rid of the box makes an especially big difference when it comes to smaller screens, like kitchen-counter TV's.)

Losing the box frees up one power outlet on your wall, one valuable input on the TV and one component's worth of space in your equipment rack or wall unit.

Furthermore, if you ever move, you won't have to learn how to use a new cable company's box. You'll operate the same TV using the same remote in the same way.

Eliminating a detour through the cable box also spares your video signal an analog-to-digital conversion or two. As a result, the picture may be noticeably clearer and sharper (depending on which box you had and how it was wired to your system)."


The BitTorrent Effect

By Clive Thompson
Wired Issue 13.01 - January 2005

""All hell's about to break loose," says Brad Burnham, a venture capitalist with Union Square Ventures in Manhattan, which studies the impact of new technology on traditional media. BitTorrent does not require the wires or airwaves that the cable and network giants have spent billions constructing and buying. And it pounds the final nail into the coffin of must-see, appointment television. BitTorrent transforms the Internet into the world's largest TiVo.

One example of how the world has already changed: Gary Lerhaupt, a graduate student in computer science at Stanford, became fascinated with Outfoxed, the documentary critical of Fox News, and thought more people should see it. So he convinced the film's producer to let him put a chunk of it on his Web site for free, as a 500-Mbyte torrent. Within two months, nearly 1,500 people downloaded it. That's almost 750 gigs of traffic, a heck of a wallop. But to get the ball rolling, Lerhaupt's site needed to serve up only 5 gigs. After that, the peers took over and hosted it themselves. His bill for that bandwidth? $4. There are drinks at Starbucks that cost more. "It's amazing - I'm a movie distributor," he says. "If I had my own content, I'd be a TV station.""


Marantz PMD660 Hand-Held Field Recorder

Press Release

"The rugged PMD660 is a solid-state recorder with easy one-touch digital recording to cost-effective Compact Flash media cards. Uncompressed WAV files can be recorded at 44.1 or 48 kHz, and high quality MP3 files can be recorded in mono (at 64 kbps) or in stereo (at 128 kbps). Using a standard 1 GB Compact Flash card, the PMD660 can record over 1 hour stereo and 3 hours mono of uncompressed audio, over 17 hours of stereo MP3 and almost 36 hours of monaural MP3 audio."


La télévision, le véritable impact du P2P

Par Cyril Fievet le 16/12/2004

"En France, la disponibilité depuis peu d’un utilitaire, eD2K History, destiné à suivre l’évolution des fichiers les plus demandés sur le réseau eDonkey, montre clairement un lien entre la diffusion d’un film à la télévision et la popularité du fichier correspondant sur le réseau P2P. Après un passage TV, les demandes du fichier augmentent significativement, parfois d’un facteur deux ou trois, comme le souligne Ratiatum, qui propose une interprétation du phénomène : “Internet devient un véritable substitut au magnétoscope” (d’autres interprétations sont néanmoins possibles)."


The End of TV as We Know It

By Frank Rose
Issue 12.12 - December 2004

"Combine VoIP, truly high-speed broadband, and totally on-demand TV - and you've got such a compelling proposition that the Bell companies figure the only way to survive is to do likewise."