San Jose Mercury News

Friday, February 07, 2014

Tuning in Olympics made easier with new tech

It marks the first time the app has been available on a set-top box and the first time that Olympics coverage streamed over the Internet has been easily available on a TV. In the past, if you wanted such streaming video on your TV, you either had to plug your computer into your television or use a program to wirelessly stream video from your computer to it.

The app could prove popular with Comcast customers, said Brett Sappington, a director of research at Parks Associates, ...read more

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Roku steps up competition with Apple

The company is adding features and content to stay ahead of Apple, its nearest competitor. Roku makes the most popular streaming products used by consumers to watch films and TV shows from subscription services such as Netflix, according to researcher Parks Associates. With M-GO, Roku is offering sales and rentals as well.

Roku, which has sold more than 5 million boxes in the U.S., makes four models that retail for $50 to $100. It has 37 percent of the market for such device ...read more

Monday, April 08, 2013

Microsoft to sell Mountain View-based Mediaroom unit

The deal is a good one for both companies, said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, a consulting firm. It positions Ericsson to be a major player in an industry that's consolidating. And it allows Microsoft to focus on one of its core products rather than having to compete with some of the giant telecommunications service companies that are starting to dominate the IPTV market.

"At a certain point, Microsoft had to make a decision on where to place it ...read more

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Is a smart home in your future?

1.5 million: The number of home automation systems installed in the United States in 2012, according to ABI Research. That was nearly double the number installed in 2011.
8 million: The number of home automation systems ABI expects will be installed in the United States in 2017.
6 percent: The portion of American households that have a smart or connected thermostat, according to Parks Associates. Also, the portion of American households that have connected security cameras.
...read more

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Netflix signs blockbuster deal to stream Disney movies

The deal with Disney will return to Netflix some of the content it lost when it failed to renew its agreement with Starz. Netflix reportedly offered Starz some $300 million but couldn't come to terms. Since then, the company has repeatedly emphasized that its subscribers watched relatively little content from Starz.

Netflix's streaming service has been criticized for not having a great enough diversity of content, and in recent quarters its subscriber growth has slowed. Clea ...read more

Monday, December 05, 2011

Microsoft to update Xbox with new features, entertainment channels

Since it launched, the Xbox 360 has offered more than just games. Even before the latest update, owners could access video from providers including Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus and ESPN.

But Microsoft has been continually adding new entertainment services, making it an ever-more compelling digital media hub, said Kurt Scherf, principal analyst with Parks Associates, a market research firm.

"You can't help but be impressed with what Microsoft has done with living room entert ...read more

Monday, October 10, 2011

Netflix reverses decision to split its video streaming and DVD services

Yielding to uproar from customers and shareholders alike, Netflix (NFLX) on Monday reversed its decision to split off its DVD service and rename it Qwikster. Instead of launching an all-new website for DVD customers, as it promised just three weeks ago, it will maintain one site for both its streaming and DVD services.

Netflix's misstep could be costly because it came as competition is ramping up, said Kurt Scherf, principal analyst at Parks Associates, a market research firm. ...read more

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hard-core gamers turning to social networks

It's not just time. "Camelot" players also spend more money. The average social game on Facebook succeeds in getting between 2 percent and 5 percent of players to spend money on the game, according to Pietro Macchiarella, an analyst with Parks Associates. Most pay to get special powers to advance faster in the games or to customize their games or avatars with virtual items.

From the article, "Hard-core gamers turning to social networks" by Alex Pham, LA Times

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