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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



Showtime Has My Vote: Down With DVD Screeners

January 31, 2008 4:34 PM

Let’s bring an end to useless DVD screeners.

I’d be happy never to receive a screener DVD from a network again. So I’m going to follow Showtime’s lead of nixing DVD screeners. I don’t want the silver discs, either. I don’t want cardboard boxes or envelopes to recycle or jewel cases to wonder about how to recycle. I don’t want to be responsible for more oil used in more trucks to deliver DVDs by mail or UPS. Public relations executives, send me your TV shows, your videos, your screeners online!

Showtime Networks partnered with Internet TV provider Brightcove today to send the Showtime programs eligible for Emmy consideration to Emmy voters online. That’s right—not in the mail, not via UPS, not by FedEx.

Starting Feb. 15, Showtime will offer full seasons of its original shows via the Brightcove player to Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members for balloting. The shows will be available throughout June on Brightcove’s new player designed specifically for hi-def, hi-res, full-screen viewing.

Showtime said it’s the first network to offer shows online for award consideration. The network hopes others will follow suit. “It’s much more economical, ecological and also makes it easier for the member,” said Richard Licata, Showtime executive VP of corporate communication, in a phone interview.

However, the Emmy effort is not 100% digital. Showtime still will send three DVDs via mail, although that’s down from 20 last year. I asked Mr. Licata why they’re sending any discs in the mail.

“The demo of the TV Academy does have some members who may not be as technically confident, so it’s always kind of been a baby-step type of thing. This is a way to bridge it and get started,” he said. “And if there are older members who are not as comfortable online, they will see two great episodes from every one of our shows.”

Showtime has my vote.

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Comments (2)

chaderik:

brilliant! why hasn't anyone else done this yet! go Showtime, they really deserve props on this.

Erik S.:

Sorry Daisy. The Showtime online screeners are awful. Slow, choppy, don't let you fast forward or rewind or watch in a small screen.

Thumbs down!

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