The Digital Download

gazing at the digital video horizon

Archive for April 2009

DVD down 14%, Digital up 19% in Q1

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Some interesting extrapolation today after Digital Entertainment Group’s Q1 report. NewTeeVee highlights the half billion dollars of digital download revenue reported in that quarter, and looks at the ad sales component. Others are watching the interaction of emerging formats against traditional DVD, with digital revenue now more than twice the $230 million from Blu-Ray. And The Carpetbagger underscores that putting it all in one pot, home entertainment numbers were down 5% since last year – with a very nice image of the DVD, setting over the Hollywood hills.

Written by nvdigital

April 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm

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90 degrees of Tribeca

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As summer weather pops in for a visit this weekend, cinephiles will find the cool theaters of TFF a pleasant contrast.

Some juicy docs are presenting this year – SHADOW BILLIONAIRE, about  DHL founder’s disappearing act – involving a WWII seaplane, the South Pacific, and teenage prostitutes clamoring after billions, promises crackling drama.  Two docs from abroad import even more sunshine: THE LOST SON OF HAVANA (Cuba) and ONLY WHEN I DANCE (Brazil).

And taking a break from foreign productions with his latest WHATEVER WORKS, Woody Allen kicked off Tribeca with this wake-up call to the New York Film Commission:

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“I can’t really afford to shoot in New York because it’s too expensive for me. I can make the money stretch further if I’m shooting in London or shooting in Barcelona.”

What we’re browsing on the iPod, under the umbrella, this weekend:  The Wandering Soul Murders // Sprawling From Grace // Comic Book Confidential // A Jihad for Love // America Betrayed // New Flavors // Hare & Hound Classic // Twist // Cold Play

Written by nvdigital

April 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm

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Towards greener pastures

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Happy Earth Day! Enjoy these enlightening docs the greenest way – digitally – and don’t forget to hit the lights!  A Crude Awakening // Beyond Global Warming // Flow

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Written by nvdigital

April 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm

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Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HahShoah

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In memory of the millions who perished, a few stirring films to recommend today: “Partisans of Vilna” chronicles the amazing endeavors of Jewish resistance fighters, and “My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports” tells the story of the children ferreted out of Germany to a safe haven in London. As the Huffington Post reminds us in a piece on the strength and success of survivors, “The survival rate for children was far lower: Seven percent made it through the Holocaust.” The Volokh Conspiracy blog has a moving personal account of David Bernstein’s great aunt’s life, and death, in Nazi Germany.

And inspiring to the core, “The Ritchie Boys” were a small contingent of German Jewish intellectuals run out of Germany by the Nazis, who exacted the perfect revenge–returning to Europe as U.S. soldiers to defeat the enemy. (One wonders if Tarantino was aware of these guys – the real deal – when penning his upcoming “Inglourious Basterds.”)

Written by nvdigital

April 21, 2009 at 10:17 pm

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Time Warner says, no free lunch

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shutterstock_60644The New York Times had a story yesterday about Time Warner Cable’s failure to jump start an “a la carte” rate card. The COO attempted the analogy of two friends at lunch- one eats a salad, the other a steak. Should the friends split the bill down the middle? How unfair is that to the light eater? Interestingly, the plan was to increase the rates (substantially!) for the big eaters.

Like a “no star” restaurant review the paper destroys the metaphor, and hints that the motivation for the rate hike is actually their eroding monopoly on entertainment coming into the home through that coaxial cable. The article states:

Cable systems in the United States use the same technology and have roughly the same costs. Comcast told investors that the hardware to provide 50-megabits-per-second service costs less than it had been paying for the equipment for 6 megabits per second.

With Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and others at play, it seems that cable behemoths just might be relegated to their business roots of being utility companies.

You can’t blame them for trying to price all streaming and downloading companies out of the game. You just can’t let them get away with it.

The article is worthy of a read (registration required)– NYT: As Costs Fall, Companies Push to Raise Internet Price

Written by newvideogroup

April 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Columbine, looking back 10 years

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itunes_aprilshowershome1 Director Andrew Robinson survived the shootings at Columbine High School ten years ago today, and now, with the release of his feature film on that experience, he hopes to raise funds for school programs.

Fifty percent of first week’s box office and $1 from every download of the movie will be donated by the filmmaker and IndieFlix to schools and charities that support art in education.

“Given the current state of the economy and the subject matter of the film, I could not in good conscience release April Showers in a traditional way,” said Robinson. “Schools need our help more than ever and if a film like April Showers can help turn a negative into a positive by shedding light on aspects of a story never told and also give back to the community that supports it, then it’s a win-win.”

April Showers features Tom Arnold, Illeana Douglas and a budding cast including Kelly Blatz, Daryl Sabara, Janel Parrish and Ellen Woglom.

And where are we with gun violence and school safety today? The answers are not comforting. Slate offers this piece on the four most useful lessons of Columbine.

Written by nvdigital

April 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

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This Week: Graffiti, Religion and Soap. And Sean Penn.

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Red Hook, Brooklyn gets a close up as an urban landscape that is different things to different people – a canvas begging for art, a squat, a development opportunity, an architect’s fantasy – in A HOLE IN A FENCE, a love song to the border between haunting urban decay and rampant development; Ikea, of course, plays a role in this doc. CONSTANTINE’S SWORD explores religion as a weapon, and we meet the real Dr. Bronner, who uses soap as his weapon a quirky spiritual quest to rid the world of dirt of all kinds (All-One!) in DR. BRONNER’S MAGIC SOAPBOX.  And… Sean Penn narrates the doc WITCH HUNT, the story of a small town district attorney who convicted dozens of innocent working class moms and dads. The kicker? He remains in office today.

More to explore: 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests //  Freedom State // Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories // Romero // Cafe Society

Written by nvdigital

April 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm

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