DVD Catalyst Newsletter 98 Ė 03-22-13
Thank you for reading the 98th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.
Again this week mostly website stuff, but aside from that, Iíve also been working on DVD Catalyst. Of course the internal links to certain sections of the website needed to be adjusted to point to new articles and guides, but in addition to that, Iíve tweaked and adjusted a few things here and there as well. More about that a bit below, but first this weekís tech news:
Tech news this week was minimal. Of course a bunch of tech-websites milked last weekís Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, with a nice spread of detailed posts on certain new features and functionality, but that was mainly it. A few things did catch my interest though.
A few weeks ago I mentioned something about ďsmart watchesĒ. With releases of the Pebble and a few others, people have been speculating on Apple working on an iWatch, and this week, Samsung publicly mentioned that it is working on a smartwatch of its own, hoping to beat Apple to the market.
With both Apple and Samsung at the top of smart phone sales, being out before the other will of course increase their chances on cornering the market in their favor.
But, with Google also working on one,
it will be quite interesting race to see who comes up with what.
Personally, I have no interest in the smart watch though. As a child, I dreamed of having a TV watch,
but since I have been using cell phones, I havenít had the need to wear a watch. Of course I can see the uses behind it, but considering that these smart watches work best in conjunction of a smart phone, and to respond to whatever is displayed on the watch, you need to use your phone anyway, its uses seem quite limited.
Some new rumors regarding the new XBOX. It appears that, rather than running from the disk itself, games for the new XBOX would need to be installed to the harddrive. Of course sites linked this back to rumors on a block against used games, but to me it seems to make more sense as making digital-download versions identical to that of store-bought ones.
Of course it is all speculation and rumors, so there is no telling what will happen. Maybe these rumors are orchestrated by Microsoft themselves to get an idea of the publicís opinion before anything is set.
Apple got sued for the DRM-technology it uses for its digital content. I am eager to see where things will go with this law suit, but I doubt that this will lead to an abandonment of DRM altogether, but who knows.
Google released itís new Keep service/app. An easy note-taking app, accessible through either the browser or through an app, it enables you to create sticky notes, todo lists in a variety of different ways.
I havenít done anything with it myself, but with 5600+ 5-star reviews on Google Play, quite a few people have and like it.
Iím finishing up the new website. The majority of content that is needed is on there, but there are still a few things here and there Iíd like to add for completeness. The big thing with the new website is to make things as easy as possible to find, and of course to make tools4movies.com and dvdcatalyst.com one and the same.
Some people might remember that in August of 2008, www.dvdcatalyst.com was, thanks to some communication issues between the domain registrar and my hosting company, lost.
Late 2011, it switched ownership from the company that held it hostage for 3 years to one of my competitors, who decided to use it for malicious intent.
When I finally got the website back around June of last year, I put up a new website design, but with tools4movies.com being the home of DVD Catalyst for 4+ years, it started to get confusing.
The new website features a look that resembles the clean design of dvdcatalyst.com and the wealth of information of tools4movies.com.
With the website almost ready, the majority of my time this week was spent on the DVD Catalyst application itself.
Of course the web-links, for the FAQ, user guide etc. needed to be changed to the corresponding locations on the new website, but in addition to that, new profiles (a lot of them) needed to be added, and a few things needed to be tweaked.
One of the biggest changes is the memory usage of DVD Catalyst itself, something that should make it work a bit nicer on older, memory-limited computers and laptops. Of course the conversion process itself prefers faster processors, but memory is now less of an issue.
The update will also mark the end of the 4.3 beta. The new ďBoosterpack2″ conversion engine that was the reason for running a half-year long public beta will make its way in the official version.
There are still a few things Iíd like to adjust, but those will be determined after running DVD Catalyst on some of the older and limited-performance systems I use for testing.
HBO is considering a HBO-Go like service without a cable subscription.
About time !
I donít think cable/sat provider companies will be pleased, but I really hope that they make this a reality.
Since the introduction of the VCR, TiVo and DLS/Cable (highspeed) internet, TV service providers are having a struggle with the way consumers watch TV. Rating companies like Nielsen are now finally adjusting in order to incorporate DVR and online viewing into their ratings, Dish Network, with its Auto-skip Hopper-feature is finally fighting for the consumers interest, but unfortunately the majority of companies are still holding on to the old ways.
How many channels do you have?
Iím not entirely sure, but even if I ignore the duplicates (SD & HD of the same channel), we have about 300 of them, and between my wifeís 4 channels and my 3, we watch 7 of them. Thatís it. Some of the channels my wife watches are outside the basic group, and we both like HBO, so that is a premium on top as well. My subscription runs at about $100/mo, and 98% of what I pay for I donít watch.
If I could get the 7 channels we watch for half of what I pay now, so $50 for 7 channels vs. $100 for 300 channels, Iíd do it in a heartbeat.
Subscription companies are forced to buy their content in bundles. Media providers offer a collection with the good channels along with a collection of less popular ones, and in order to get a reasonable price (or a license to broadcast those channels), the service providers are forced to get the bundle, and even forced to broadcast all channels.
Last month, Cable Vision started a lawsuit against Viacom over these practices.
It is a risky move, because these media companies have ruled the service providers for quite some time now, and they will not go down in a fight easily. Push too far, and you can end up looking for your content elsewhere.
In my area, every year or 2, one of the local channels is causing havoc. Because it has the local news, it thinks itís all big and bad, and as of such, it wants more money, or the cable company doesnít get the broadcast, and every time, some new deal is worked out, with an increase in the cable bill as a result.
But the biggest wrong on TV is advertising. When ďcableĒ first started, it was all like HBO. The local channels are free and broadcasted over the air, but cable was a premium service at a premium price, and no advertising.
For free stuff, I can understand the advertising, but if the content is paid-content by means of a cable or satellite subscription, why are my shows cluttered with commercials?
When Dish Network introduced its auto-skip feature, it was instantly sued by 3 broadcast companies.
What confuses me is that if my money goes to a provider, and they have to pay a fee per subscriber to the broadcast companies, why am I forced to deal with commercials. A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of Arrow on the official website. Considering it was free, of course it had commercials, but to me it seemed that those were shorter in time than they are when I actually watch the show on live TV. Some shows, like American Idol are so loaded with commercials that a 2 hour show actually translates in less than 1 hour of actual content. And we as consumers pay for watching it that way.
Because of these shenanigans going on with TV, a lot of people are cutting cords and switching to services like Netflix, Amazon and Redbox and iTunes. With the introduction of DVRís, people are already watching their shows at their own time, rather than waiting at home for a certain show, so not having access to a show right when it airs isnít an issue anymore, but unfortunately, many TV channels are still in the stone-ages, and donít have an online access method.
A bit short this week, but things were a bit quiet this week, and with my head in website and development stuff for most of the time, I ran out of stuff to write about.
Thanks again for reading the newsletter, and see you next week,
DVD Catalyst is the easiest and most affordable software available for archiving your movies and TV shows from DVD and for converting popular (AVI, MKV, ISO etc) video files into the right file format for PCs, smartphones and tablets.
Convert DVDs with a single click of the button, convert 1 or 100 video files in batch-mode by using Drag & Drop, remove black bars, include subtitles or closed captions.
It includes pre-configured device profiles for 1000s of devices, including the latest Apple devices (iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPhone 5) Barnes & Noble NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9, Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and much much more.