As part of its efforts to explore wireless opportunities, Showtime has introduced a new “mobile store” at its Sho.com Web site, where viewers can buy ringtones and cast photos for the popular show “The L Word.” The mobile store is part of a larger wireless effort at Showtime that has included text messaging, chats and polling. The network plans to introduce additional wireless content for other Showtime originals this spring, including “Fat Actress” next month and “Queer as Folk” in April.
Hi-Def Rollouts on Tap for NAB
Visitors to the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas in mid-April can expect to see from leading broadcast manufacturers new product introductions that embrace high definition. Thomson has seen an increase in the use of its Grass Valley HD technology, concurrent with the increase in HD programming across cable and broadcast outlets. Thomson plans to introduce at the show a new single-format HD camera, the LDK 4000, for local stations and small production studios. The camera starts at $58,900, compared with $91,800 for Thomson’s high-end camera.
Vizrt plans to showcase a number of HD-ready graphics products, including an HD version of its character generator and a localized version of its weather software that allows for HD production. Server maker Omneon said it will introduce a new server system that lets broadcasters play back content simultaneously in high definition and standard definition. Pinnacle Systems plans to launch HD versions of its popular standard-definition products, such as its character generators.
Also on display will be new automation options for broadcasters. OmniBus Systems will introduce an upgraded version of its OPUS suite of content-management products that includes new automation products for transmission, device access and operation, and facilities operations.
Thomson said it will introduce a new system called Ignite that links the newsroom, control room and next-generation automation software used at TV stations. The system will let stations produce and air live news and entertainment using only one or two operators, Thomson said. It is also designed to help stations share content on the Internet.
Finally, broadcast equipment provider heavyweight Harris Corp. plans to demonstrate a solution for mobile content that will allow broadcasters to create content, move it through the production chain and deliver it to mobile devices, as broadcasters start to move into the world of delivering content to cellphones.