Target’s streaming service baits and switches?

This evening I rented Atlas Shrugged Part III in HD ($5.99) from Target’s streaming service, “TargetTicket.com”. When I tried to watch it, the only option I got was SD. So… what’s the deal Target? And you can’t give the excuse of ‘oh your download speeds weren’t fast enough’, because the speed test I ran before starting the video shows 108Mbps. FAR more than is needed to stream HD on Netflix even. Bait and switch.   Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt? Addendum: I submitted a trouble …

Voting on ads…

For several years I’ve felt like there’s something missing from ads – specifically video ads. More specifically, web-based video ads. Voting. We all remember those especially good ads. The kid reading the ingredients on a container of Breyers ice cream; Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” campaign; Connect Four’s “Pretty sneaky sis!”. Of course, those ads were all pre-internet, so the way they rated commercials was by sales and by advertising teams crunching sales numbers. But so many ads are just awful and there’s no way to let …

Netflix bait-and-switch?

I’m a HUGE fan of Netflix. I started with them around 1998, when they only offered DVDs. They were the first major player in what became the streaming video market. Today, I looked up a movie I’ve wanted to see – “Due Date”. When I did the search on Google, the page on the left is what came up… when I hovered over the movie poster, the “Play” icon was displayed, with the text “Start Your Free Trial to Watch”. Once I signed in, I went to play …

Netflix to lose business to Redbox

Netflix just announced that they’re raising prices again. It seems that they are trying to phase out DVDs for streaming. Of course, discs ARE dead, but they aren’t quite gone yet. And that includes Blu-ray. (That’s part of why the studios are pushing Blu-ray sales so hard right now, because they know it’s got a short sales-life.) Even with that in mind, I’ll say that Redbox has a good shot coming up here very soon… I was a big fan of Redbox when they first started, and rented …

Streaming media and home entertainment…

I’ve recently helped a few friends get setup with "media centers" as their home entertainment systems. They’ve all been centered around using a small form-factor computer to ‘power’ things, and central to that is Microsoft’s Windows 7 and Windows Media Center. I was lucky enough to be a software tester at Microsoft around 2001 testing the first version of Window Media Center Edition (MCE) and it was exciting back then. It’s now been 10 years – and it still hasn’t caught on. But, I’m confident that’s about to …

SmoothHD.com

Microsoft does it again… www.SmoothHD.com is a demo of streaming hi-definition video. They have several samples, and it’s pretty amazing. At full screen, the video looks fantastic on a big monitor, and I’m really blown away.