19/12/2009

The regulation of video on demand services - Statement | Ofcom

The regulation of video on demand services - Statement | Ofcom

Ofcom has published the framework for the regulation of Video on Demand (VOD) services. This will cover services like 4OD, ITV Player, and Demand Five which have to be regulated by 19th December 2009 in-line with the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive which covers VOD services that are "TV-Like".

The directive doesn't cover newspaper's on-line content or user generated content. However VOD content covered will not be subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

The regulations will fully come into force in March 2010 when they will cover any "TV=Like" service and many of the Internet TV netcasters will be regulated.

This is meant to introduce a level playing field for all broadcasters but many see it as an unnecessary burden which will just require more bureaucracy.

Programs for example

· must not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality;
· must provide appropriate protection for minors against harmful material; and
· sponsored programmes and services must comply with applicable sponsorship requirements.

Advertising rules cover

· advertising must be readily recognisable and cannot contain any surreptitious advertising or use subliminal advertising techniques.
· advertising must not encourage behaviour that is prejudicial to the health or safety of people.
· tobacco products, prescription-only medicines or medical treatments cannot be advertised.

Time will tell how effective the legislation is as netcaster can presumable more their infrastructure to an area that isn't covered by the legislation.

A Three-digit Number for Non-Emergency Healthcare Services - Designating number “111” | Ofcom

A Three-digit Number for Non-Emergency Healthcare Services - Designating number “111” | Ofcom

Ofcom has introduced a new 3 digit non-emergency medical number 111.

The number will be trialed in various strategic health authorities in 2010 before rolling out nationally.

16/12/2009

Total Hotspots gets Rummbled

Rummble has acquired Total Hotspots (THS). THS already used Rummble's technology to power the THS service whereby users could find and rate WiFi services.

THS has reduced the price of their iPhone application over the Christmas period from £2.99 to £0.59.

Alex Housley CEO of THS now joins Rummble as VP Business to help drive service development and key partnerships.

14/12/2009

WiGIG Alliance beams 7Gb/s at 60GHz

The WiGIG alliance (made up of around 30 companies including Intel and Broadcom etc) have announced that WiGIG will transmit at speeds of around 7Gb/s using the 60GHz band.

This band is either unlicensed or license exempt in many parts of the world (including the US and next year the UK and many parts of Europe).

Initially WiGIG said they'd support up to 6Gb/s, but this has since been bettered. 60GHz does not propagate well and it was envisaged that it would only be suitable for in-room use (under 10m), but new 'beam' technologies will allow greater distances to be achieved allowing for in-building use.

Though there is a WiFi specification for higher speeds (802.11AD) the technologies are seen to be complimentary and since companies like Intel sit in both camps it's likely both technologies will be integrated into WiFi chipsets.

WiFi using 802.11n is expected to support around 600Mb/s so WiGIG offers a magnitude better speeds.

Kodak Zi8 review

Kodak have been making video cameras for a while and the Zi8 is the newest of their video devices. It's a great little video camera with a flexible USB connector that is hidden but sliding a flap allows it to come out so it can be plugged into a USB slot in a computer.

When plugged in, 2 drives are available one has the videos on and the other has Arcsoft video software for Windows. The camera produces .MOV files which are directly accessible using a Mac (they can be read by Quicktime, iMovie etc).

Most people will consider the Zi8 against the popular Flip range of video cameras such as the Flip Mino HD. The Zi8 is definitely bigger (it's about an inch fatter) but this gives it a bigger display. Here the features that the Zi8 has that the Flip doesn't: -

* 2.5" display compared to the Flip's 1.5" display.
* Full 1080p video while the Flip only manages 720p (which the Zi8 can also do if required).
* External microphone jack.
* SD card slot, cards can just be swapped when they're full rather than having to find a computer to download the content to.
* Macro mode for close-up stuff.
* Still capture (i.e. single shots).
* Image stabilisation.
* Zi8 comes with a HDMI cable to connect to a TV/etc.

The start-up time of the Zi8 is also quick and when on presents a list of resolutions that can be used (defaults to the one selected in set-up).

The quality is pretty good and it's easy to use, there's a digital zoom mode (activated by moving the red toggle up and down). The only poor thing is low level light recording which isn't brilliant (sic).

The Zi8 is also generally cheaper than the Flip HD models.

Follow the link to see a video of Valentina performing at the Flowerpot in Kentish Town.