iView And iPlayer Passed The Puck For New Series With Netflix-Style Premiere

After dressing up as the opposite gender and over two decades younger in order to fulfill his single character-based spin-off series Ja’mie: Private School Girl, 39-year-old Australian comedian Chris Lilley won’t be going in drag to revive another of his most popular creations from sketch show Summer Heights High – but will increase the age gap in a series more groundbreaking than most other clues would suggest.

jonah_from_tongaWhile popular characters or concepts of TV shows are often brought back into something of their own, Lilley’s new single-season comedy series Jonah From Tonga is doing the same, but with a twist that could help pave the way for other shows to gain momentum in online broadcasting.

The series, formally announced at the end of Ja’mie’s run, will continue Lilley’s collaboration with partner networks ABC, BBC, and HBO, though the former two will most notably not be screening first on their traditional channels (ABC1 in Australia and BBC3 in the UK), but instead through the networks’ respective online catch-up platforms.

The ABC iView and BBC iPlayer will both participate in a trial of the 6-episode series (in which lead character ‘Jonah Takalua’, having been expelled from Summer Heights High, is sent to a new school in order to ‘get his life back on track’), where all episodes are introduced at the same time in a similar manner to Netflix’s original programming.

However, even more uniquely than Netflix, the opportunity to ‘binge view’ will be in a specific window of time only, closing after 48 hours of its launch on Friday 2 May. For those that don’t have 3 of those hours free to go through the whole series, the TV debut of Jonah in its more traditional ‘linear’ weekly schedule will occur on 7 & 8 May for Australia and the UK (with details on HBO’s American premiere unconfirmed), where iView and iPlayer will start providing more normalised catch-up options from that point.

Laura Waters, a representative of production company Princess Pictures, noted: “Jonah from Tonga is a thrilling series, coming out in the most thrilling era of television. Chris and I will always put the fan’s experience first. We’re so excited that people can choose their own way of getting involved with Jonah.”

BBC iPlayer’s head of TV content Victoria Jaye added: “This is BBC iPlayer’s first collaboration with an international broadcaster to create an online TV event. For 48 hours only, iPlayer audiences will be given access to all episodes of Chris Lilley’s new comedy series Jonah from Tonga. We’re excited to see how this digital event sets light to social media activity from fans both here and on the other side of the world.”

Arul Baskaran, ABC’s head of online and multiplatform, summarised: “We’re firm believers in innovation and improving how technology can deliver outstanding Australian content to audiences no matter where they’re watching, and we’re thrilled to now offer binge viewing of a highly anticipated show from one of Australia’s most respected comedic talents.”

A teaser trailer for Jonah From Tonga can be seen below, as can another controversial occasion in which Chris Lilley portrayed a non-Australian.

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How Samsung Siezed Initiative Following Steve Jobs Death

The rivalry in the smartphone industry between Apple and Samsung is well-documented, but any followers looking to dig even deeper into this battle for market supremacy would most likely bring up this point in any future arguments if they are supporting Apple.

steve_jobs_digital_tributeIt appears as though the ongoing court proceedings from Apple towards Samsung (in which the former are demanding $2b from the latter for five cases of alleged ‘patent infringement’, while Samsung are seeking $6.9m from Apple over two patents) have had to start scraping when it comes to ‘evidence’ being displayed, with Samsung earlier this month showing a leaked e-mail from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs relaying planned future products and planning their future ‘holy war’ with Android operating system owners Google.

In response to that move, an email from within Samsung has been presented at the case, with one sent from Samsung Telecommunications America’s head of national sales Michael Pennington likely to offend anyone who worships Apple and the legacy of the late Steve Jobs.

Pennington’s email, obtained by CNET, displayed his intent to capitalise on Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, more specifically ‘pushing’ their own efforts a little more in the ‘best opportunity to attack iPhone’, as well as bemoaning the amount of overly positive press Apple and iPhone received in the wake of Jobs’ passing.

In part of a chain email sent on 7 October 2011 (2 days after the death of Steve Jobs), Pennington wrote: “Unfortunately, Steve Job’s [sic] passing has led to a huge wave of press coverage of Apple’s and iPhone’s ‘superiority,’ all created by the ‘passionate, tireless, perfectionist…’. The point here is that there is an unintended benefit for Apple, since the external messages by 3rd parties are all highlighting and/or supporting the consumer perception that Apple products are superior, since Jobs’ [sic] was such a visionary and perfectionist. What consumer wouldn’t feel great about purchasing a device developed by such a person.

“Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone. If there is no consensus on the approach I initially proposed, I will stop pushing, but I would like to better understand our strategy so I can align with that.”

While the message seems more like a case of business opportunism and stating perceptions and facts than any cynical outburst on a rival company’s misfortune, it is fairly likely that Apple will hold up certain phrases as examples of exactly why Samsung would have stolen their rounded rectangle ideas…

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Console Wars Sales Update Gives PS4 2 Million Edge

Global media hype in the technology industry in the build-up to, month of, and periods following November 2013 were focused squarely on the release of the biggest next-generation games consoles, and while interest has naturally cooled off a little after such high-profile releases, there is still headlines to be made from how the companies involved (Sony and Microsoft) are performing, with the Japanese challenger living up to their favourites tag and leading the way when it comes to number of units sold worldwide.

ps4_and_xboxoneThe statistics brought to public attention by the NPD Group suggest that the PlayStation 4 from Sony is ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox One by a total of over two million units after around five months of activity, following their respective 15/22 November launch dates in the USA.

In rounded numbers, the score appears to be 7,000,000-5,000,000 in PlayStation’s favour, with Xbox suffering the fall-out of their controversial build-up campaign.

Speaking of their current success, Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House stated as part of an official press release on the matter: The response from the global gaming community for PS4 has been overwhelming and we are truly humbled that gamers are selecting PS4 as their next generation console of choice. The PS4 journey has just begun, and although we are still facing difficulties keeping up with the strong demand worldwide, we remain steadfast in our commitment to meet the needs of our customers, and surpassing the wildest expectations of gamers by delivering new user experiences that inspire and engage. We look forward to unveiling many of these experiences to our fans in the coming months.”

Xbox executive Yusuf Mehdi, meanwhile, stressed the positives of his company’s product performance, summarising: “The new generation is off to a strong start, with global Xbox One sales outpacing Xbox 360 by more than 60% at the same point in time, a true testament to your love of console gaming.”

The bad news for Xbox, though, in spite of having the best selling game across all platforms in March (Respawn Entertainment’s first-person shooter Titanfall), they were again outsold by the PS4 during the month-long period, and with no immediate signs of that trend reversing, have Microsoft learned any lessons for the next time they try develop and market a games console?

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Sky And TalkTalk Team To Battle BT Broadband

While a quick response to their recent study will be what they would have wanted, British media regulators Ofcom might not have been as pleased on a first glance at the latest news of the broadband industry, after well-known providers Sky and TalkTalk are joining forces to create a broadband service that rival the market-leading prowess of… BT.

talktalk_in_the_skyWhile it is in fact Virgin Media who were the stand-out performers when it came to coverage for its subscribers (at nearly double the speeds of all other service providers including BT, Sky, and TalkTalk), it is in fact the coverage in quantity that BT hold that the new collaboration is seeking to challenge.

The two companies are noted as agreeing to pool together their resources in order to place infrastructure of their own in the form of fibre optic cabling across several UK cities, a move planned in order to end the the pair’s reliance BT’s ‘Openreach’ infrastructure.

Planning to debut the project in York (England) and two unconfirmed British cities in 2015, the initiative will take place in co-operation with 1gb/s fibre optic network providers CityFibre.

TalkTalk’s chief executive officer Dido Harding summarised: “This marks TalkTalk taking its first steps into investing in building infrastructure as part of our mission to make British homes and businesses better off.”

While the move is confirmed by Sky as one which should give both companies much higher speeds in their areas of direct coverage to broadband consumers, it has also been announced (fairly obviously) that the partnership starts and ends with planting the tubes, with all other aspects falling under the category of traditional business competition…

Mad Men Lead Jon Hamm Markets Himself EducatiOnally

While the most focus on him right now will be regarding a certain final series of a certain AMC period drama that premiered this Sunday, Mad Men star Jon Hamm, as in the manner of his character Don Draper, will consider any means in marketing if it has the potential to be successful, made a celebrity guest appearence on long-running hit children’s educational programme Sesame Street for the second time in his career (the overwhelming first being pictured).

sesame_street_sculpture_jon_hammDespite daytime PBS and nightly AMC being two wildly different markets, Hamm adapted to his temporary new surroundings of high-profile colourful puppets, one of which was his designated tutor character Murray Monster, who gave him an exercise fit for any advertising agency meeting room, brainstorming words that begin with the letter ‘O’.

The actor managed to display his prowess with 4 words in spite of only needing 3, and left the honourary appearance following a fun sketch and hopefully improving the knowledge that young children have of the letter ‘O’, even if he was probably not what they tuned in to see.

The appearance of Hamm can be seen below, as can the teaser trailer for his day job in the 1960′s, an unlikely cross-over between the two shows, and of another occasion in which he provided work that was not in the guise of Mr. Draper, the only link to this article being that the parody character he voiced began with an ‘O’:

Samsung See Through Google’s Headset Plans?

Although it was believed that like many technological breakthroughs, Google’s stint as the sole provider of ‘wearable technology’ headsets would not last all that long as rivals quickly caught onto the concept enough to release their competitors, but it appears as though the delays spent fine-tuning the Google Glass might have caused a reduction in this period.

samsung_earphone_south_korean_patentIt becomes a discussion point after the news that South Korean company Samsung are developing an augmented reality headset of their own, according to a patent filing (pictured) in their native country.

The recently-discovered document is registered under South Korea’s national Intellectual Property Office, with details suggesting their intentions to build something similar in its core concept to Google Glass, in that it is a headset containing a display placed over one of its wearer’s eyes.

Listed under the codename ‘Earphone’, the image has triggered rumours that Samsung’s device would feature mobile phone functionality, amongst other features, as it becomes clear that Samsung and potentially other companies might be closer to the progress of Google Glass than you would originally think, potentially aided by the numerous pushbacks Google have called on their own release date.

While none of that should not stop them from getting in first later this year, with Samsung reportedly planning a formal announcement of their augmented reality headset at an IFA event in September in Berlin (Germany), will Google (who yesterday provided a limited one-day release of their preliminary ‘Explorer’ model) still realise their dream of having the highest-profile presence in the new market later this year, or will their thunder be ruined somewhat with a release by Samsung possibly not that far behind theirs?