Microsoft shutting down MSN TV this September

DNP Microsoft shutting down MSN TV this September

Just after celebrating the service’s sweet 16th, Microsoft has announced it will be shutting down MSN TV on September 30th. To help ease the transition, Redmond is offering current subscribers free access to MSN Premium through December 31st. After that, customers will have to pay the standard rate of $10 per month or $90 per year. Naturally, the modern service isn’t compatible with MSN TV’s defunct hardware — save it for your makeshift Linux cluster.

Users will have to switch their email addresses to Outlook accounts and copy any saved content (bookmarks, Scrapbook photos, et cetera) to SkyDrive before September if they want to access it in the future. Of course, folks that miss the WebTV experience still have other equally unwieldy options. The shut-down was inevitable, but we can’t help feeling at least a little nostalgic for the service’s 640 x 480 view of the web.

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Via: The Verge, All Things D

Source: MSN TV

This Week: 5 Great TV Moments for Independence Day


Hulu Top 5
1 SNL's Immigrant Tale
Cornelius Timberlake arrives on Ellis Island
JT’s great, great grandfather predicts that his great, great grandson shall one day bring sexy back. (1 min.)
2 Bloomberg Outlaws July 4th Sparklers
In defense of sparklers
Colbert fires back after New York City Mayor Bloomberg tries to ban the 4th of July staple.
(5 min.)
3 American Dad! Sings About U.S.
America: It’s not the worst place in the world
Why is our nation so great? “American Dad” Stan Smith can tell you why–through song and dance. (2 min.)
4 SNL's American Gothic
SNL shows us how the painting “American Gothic” was made
It was actually pretty complicated. (5 min.)
5 The Simpson's Star Spangled Banner
“The Star-Spangled Banner” on “The Simpsons”
Here’s a throwback: Relive Lisa’s jazz mentor Bleeding Gums singing a soulful version of our national anthem. (1 min.)

Xbox 360 Sky Player down, relaunching ‘in phases’ today

via Joystiq [Xbox] by JC Fletcher on 10/28/09

While the Xbox 360 Sky Player apparently launched in the UK yesterday as planned, things veered away from the plan almost immediately thereafter. The service was “suspended” shortly after launch, for what must be the best possible problem in Microsoft’s eyes: too many subscribers.

“Unfortunately due to the unprecedented levels of simultaneous demand,” a statement on reads, “we did not have the capacity to satisfy all service requests and therefore temporarily suspended all access to the service.” The service is being reinstated in phases today, presumably with some upgrades in place to deal with the demand. An earlier statement (reproduced on Engadget) specified tomorrow as the target date for the relaunch — it seems likely that all users will be returned to their regularly scheduled programming then.

Life-size Cylon Centurion will be awkward when the Galactica finds Earth

Here’s the scenario: The survivors from the Twelve Colonies finally find Earth and are invited into your living room, only to find a hulking Centurion model proudly displayed. Awkward. Still, if toy designer Fred Barton had entered our “Make A Cylon” contest (which has now ended — stay tuned for the winner!), he would have had a pretty good chance of taking the crown with this life-size Cylon centurion.

The 300 lbs model is a full seven feet of Cylon goodness built from fiberglass with metallic details, and has a working visor light just like the ‘bots on Battlestar Galactica. It stands atop a display base that’ll let first-timers know what TV show it hails from, and an internal stereo sound system plays the endless hum the Cylons seem to always make. So, yeah, by now you’ve worked out this ‘bot isn’t cheap, and it isn’t: $7,900.

If the name Fred Barton sounds familiar, that’s probably because you’ve seen one of The Robotman’s other life-size celebritiy robots, such as Robby from Forbidden Planet, or C-3PO from Star Wars. His Cylon is officially licensed by Universal Studios.

Check out the gallery for more of the Cylon Centurion.

Battlestar Propaganda Posters: So Say We All

via geeksugar — Geek is chic. by geeksugar on 3/31/08

My BSG obsession has hit an all time high now that I’ve not only re-watched the third season, but have also seen the ten webisodes (did you know about these!?) and checked out the movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor (spoilers if you haven’t seen all three seasons!). So it would be fitting that I scoop up one of these BSG Propaganda Posters ($30) just in time for the season four premiere this Friday. Thanks to Petty Officer Calamari for bringing these to my attention, I’ll be prepared and my apartment will be fully dressed for the BSG party I’m planning on April 4.

Coming together in a pack of five, these posters – officially approved by Laura Roslin, of course – are made of heavy duty 100 pound satin paper and are a whopping 22-inches by 17-inches wide, for maximum viewage. This is no joke people, this is war. We can use all the soldiers we can get.

A TV so big it needs to go on the outside of your house


via DVICE by Adam Frucci on 2/7/08


At this point, having a 60-inch TV won’t win you any neighborhood mid-life-crisis contests, as everybody is getting giant TVs these days. Now, you need to take it to the next level if you really want to prove to everyone how desperate you are to distract yourself from the looming shadow of death’s cold grip.

What could be better than installing a gigantic drive-in theatre screen on the side of your house? You can’t get a TV much bigger, and it shows that you’re in touch with your childhood in the era of drive-ins while staying rooted firmly in the present. Wait, you were alive when drive-ins were still popular? Man, you are old! No wonder you’re freaking out.

The Cool Hunter, via BornRich

Super Bowl Ads Are Designed To Fuel Mindless Buying

via Consumerist by Carey on 2/3/08


Companies are paying $90,000 per second tonight to get their products before our recession-fearing eyes, and they plan to get their money’s worth. Tonight’s advertisers will use an array of tactics designed with one purpose: motivating us to buy their products.

The Super Bowl is the advertiser’s carpet-bombing run. 140 million Americans—almost half the country—tune into the game at some point. Advertisers expect a massive crowd, and we don’t disappoint. Viewership has remained stable since the eagan era:


But the cost of the average 30-second slot has skyrocketed to over $2.7 million, almost R $90,000 per second


Last year advertisers paid $2.5 million per slot, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see prices rise to over $3 million next year, vastly outpacing inflation. Advertisers willingly drain their bank accounts because they are able to squeeze value from their investment, which is why Fox sold all but ten ad slots by October.

Advertisers are increasingly using their Super Bowl advertisements to drive integrated ad campaigns that send traffic to their websites or other venues. The goal isn’t to micro-target existing demographics, but to use kitschy gimmicks focusing on brands or products to reel in a broader swath of people.

The prize is what Pete Blackshaw of Nielsen calls “monday morning chatterbacking,” a phrase that makes us want to slit our wrists with a Hello Kitty butter knife. Still, traffic to advertiser’s websites does rise by 50% the day after the game. This year, Fox is trying to drum up added synergy with fellow News Corp property MySpace. Advertisers who buy Super Bowl slots have the option of buying complementing ads—quizzes, trivia, junk like that—on MySpace, which Fox will promote during the game.

Super Bowl ads try to pass themselves off as entertainment. YouTube will highlight cutesy ads, and people will treat them as fresh content. Over a third of us watch the game just for the ads, and may even keep an eye open for one or two in particular. That’s fine. Just remember that you are watching advertising. The goal is not to entertain, but to get you to spend.

Super Bowl 2008 [Ad Age]


via Ohlala Mag by Steph & Alek on 12/30/07


The Tudors will be back on March 30 … I know it seems like so far away, but here is the first look at the poster for the second season. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry with Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn. source

+ JRM is Henry VIII
+ Henry Cavill Naked in The Tudors
+ The Tudors by Francois Rousseau

RCA TV From 1954 Wins Wired "Greatest Gadget of All Time" Contest


Wired magazine just wrapped up its Greatest Gadget of All Time contest where readers voted for their favorite gadgets in a bracket-style elimination tournament, and the winner was the RCA CT-100 color television from 1954. Runner-up was the John Bird Sextant from 1757, a navigation device responsible for helping many of our ancestors find their way across the Atlantic Ocean. These two classic gadgets beat out the iPod, the iPhone, lots of different computers and everything else. But when you think about it, that RCA color TV was a truly revolutionary gadget.

Although it wasn’t the first NTSC color TV set to ship to consumers (that honor goes to Westinghouse, which first shipped its color TV set in February, 1954), the RCA Victor CT-100 was the first to ship in volume, with the company planning a production run of 2000 TVs. The CT-100 had a 15-inch screen, 37 tubes inside and in its console form factor weighed 175 pounds. It was first shipped in late April, 1954, and sold for $1000, the equivalent of about $7500 in today’s money.

Other manufacturers such as Motorola, Admiral and Hoffman also shipped limited quantities of color TVs in 1954 at similar prices. Later that year, RCA rolled out a 21-inch color receiver, and by two years later, the color TV revolution had temporarily stalled. Even though color TV prices had dropped as low as $495, that was still too expensive for most consumers. Also slowing sales to a crawl was the fact that few color broadcasts were available and there was a perception that color TVs were unreliable and difficult to adjust. Color TV sales didn’t really take off until about ten years later.

[Wired and Steve’s Vintage Color TV Page]

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Up close with the Ford Airstream’s 360-degree TV

We had an opportunity this week to spend a few minutes mesmerized by the tube (literally) television mounted prominently to the floor of the passenger compartment in Ford’s Airstream concept van. Granted, the big news here is that brick-like aerodynamics and hydrogen power make for strange bedfellows, but the bizarre display comes in a close second. Inhabitants of the van’s quarters are theoretically able to use it to watch movies, but the thought of kiddies scrambling around a pole to catch the action on the other side of the picture is going to be a nightmare come true for parents of the distant future hauling down the highways and bi-ways in this thing. For what it’s worth, the images looked extraordinarily bright (perhaps disturbingly so for the interior of a vehicle) and plenty crisp, but we’ll ditch the movies — we think could stare at that faux lava lamp for hours.