Viodi View

Viodi View – 09/14/11

Across the nation, back to school nights are in full swing. This is a great opportunity for teachers, parents and administrators to meet and set the tone for what will, hopefully, a productive school year.   Technology will play a big part in improving productivity, at least if the use of Google Docs by my 7th grader’s language arts teacher is an indication (I suppose a kids’ excuse for not turning in assignments will change from, “The dog ate my homework.” to,  “Google swallowed my spreadsheet.”).

Focus on Youth at the Media Innovation Summit:

Having tracked the impact of technology on youth in the Viodi View and ViodiTV for a several years, it is exciting to work with the Media Innovation Summit to help shape the session regarding youth and their use and impact on technology. We have some cool and unique speakers that will help us and I am looking forward to shaping the rest of the agenda. Readers, if you have any particular points you would like to make sure are covered or any speakers you would like to hear from, let us know.   More to follow, but set aside November 30th to December 2nd and plan on making the trek to Santa Clara.

Looking to the New Generation for Answers

Broadband and community were two recurring threads of a panel conversation at the 2011 Independent Show regarding ways that family run cable businesses can set themselves apart and remain relevant in the 21st century.  Three of the four panelists were 2nd or 3rd generation leaders and brought a younger generation’s perspective to the challenges that face businesses that, arguably, are mature.   NCTC president Rich Fickle, who moderated the panel, summed up his impressions of working with panelists and their companies when he said that , “These guys are entrepreneurial and [their companies] are built to last.”

Their businesses, like most small operators, had their roots in providing services where larger companies failed to serve. Geographically, the panelists serve small towns and rural areas.  They are family owned and operated, which, as the panelists agreed, provides a different mindset than an outside investor-owned company. This mindset helps both in the deployment and adoption of broadband and other ancillary technologies that will help their rural communities survive and thrive.

Click here to see the thoughts of these leaders on topics, such as:

  • What do family-owned Operators provide that are unique or an advantage?
  • Trends in Media
  • Grooming New Leaders for a Transition – What Does It Take?
  • What about Cord Cutting?  Is it a  panic situation?

Click to View Video Interview with Levi Maaia

Back to Local

Local coverage of civic events was a justification for allocating spectrum to the broadcast industry, says Full Channel, Incorporated’s Levi Maaia.  In this interview, filmed at the 2011 Independent Show,  Maaia suggests that broadcasters are not meeting this obligation and provides an example of how the broadcasters fell short in his area.  Click here to watch the video and see how, by  investing in the resources necessary for creating local content,  Full Channel was ready to capture the memories of the nation’s oldest Independence Day parade.

FCC Reinstates Video Description Rules, But More To Come by Robert Primosch

[Editor’s Note: Robert Primosch is a Partner with the Washington, D.C.-based, communications law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP]

Providers of video, voice and/or data services (and their vendors) should be tracking the FCC’s implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“Accessibility Act”).   Congress passed this legislation to provide the disabled community (including those who are visually or hearing-impaired) with improved access to modern communications services and technologies.

The Accessibility Act directed the FCC to take a variety of actions over time, including reinstatement of its video description rules for television stations and providers of Multichannel Video Provider Distributors or “MVPDs.” Video description is “the insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue.”  In effect, video description attempts to do for visually impaired subscribers what closed captioning does for those who are hearing-impaired.

Click here to read the entire article.

Tweets and Short Thoughts

  •  Let the White Space revolution start – the first white space database trial begins, according to the FCC.  Click here for a demonstration of white spaces.
  • China Mobile and Clearwire Announce Collaboration on TD-LTE Devices – Is an investment in Clearwire from China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator (by subscribers), next?
  • Netflix Quietly Caps Streams Per Household – surprising this didn’t happen sooner – but, in the end it didn’t happen, at least for now.
  • Fame is fleeting but the internet is forever…originally said a couple of years ago by one of the characters of the Disney show, Phineas and Ferb.  Still as relevant as ever.

The Korner – And Now for Some Happy News

The Search Institute is a great resource for raising healthy kids.  We first referenced this organization in 2007  report on rural youth and their use of technology.  The Search Institute has a newsletter that provides parenting tips tailored to various age groups.  In today’s newsletter, they reference a site, called “Happy News” that curates positive news from across the web.  What a great and simple idea.  With content that spans news, sports and lifestyle, this could be a good source of material for independent operator’s web portals.

And for those you in the Twin City area, the Search Institute’s documentary on the topic of  what makes families strong will be broadcast on September 25th and 26th.

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on independent telcos’ efforts to offer video to their customers. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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