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Fiscal Cliff Talks Reach Partial Conclusion and Continue 

The so-called Fiscal Cliff talks reached a partial vote and have continued between the Executive Branch and the U. S. Congress in an effort to avoid an economic slowdown triggered by both the uncertainty of an unresolved taxation and spending state, should the talks fail, and the stability that most economists say would foster greater confidence once the negotiations are completed and an agreement reached.  The stock markets, worldwide have been behaving skittishly in anticipation that the talks would either stall or be substantially delayed.


Come mid-to-late January a failure to agree by Congress and the president could have resulted in generally higher taxes, a potentially lowered bond rating, increased interest rates and a lowering of confidence in the U. S. economy that could have global implications. This has been avoided by a vote, handling mostly the tax side of the issues. The more budget related issues will take a few months longer to resolve.


How this could affect the broadcasting and related market segments is a bit difficult to estimate but it would likely have acted as a drag on purchaseplans and a possible delay in deploying new technologies such as 4K and further automation. That would seem to have been avoided by the vote. 



USA Adding Jobs - Unemployment Stable 


The USA Labor Department just reported that the U.S. added 155,000 jobs in December, leaving the unemployment rate is unchanged at 7.8%. The pace of hiring in the last month of 2012 almost perfectly matched the level of job growth over the past two years, something that may be helping to encourage the stock markets.


The U.S. has added an average of 153,000 jobs each month in both 2011 and 2012, the Labor Department said, as the economy continues to expand at a very gradual pace. As noted by MarketWatch, companies are hiring enough workers to keep up with growth in the labor force and slowly whittle down the unemployment rate, although millions of people are still struggling to find full-time work and the subtle factor of encouraging some of the longer term unemployed to come back into the job hunt after having given up. 






Actor Jack Klugman dies at 90 
Jack Clugman


Veteran actor of TV, Broadway and movies, Jack Klugman has died at age 90. Klugman is best remembered for TV roles such as Oscar Madison in the "Odd Couple," opposite the late Tony Randall. But, Klugman also starred in many other roles that brought him numerous Oscar, Emmy and Tony nominations, and a number of awards.


Among his film credits was as a juror in "12 Angry Men." Klugman's career spanned more than six decades and featured him in nearly a dozen episodic network TV series in the U. S. and in syndication.  




S. M. P. T. E. New York Section Features 4K Camera Event January 16th


The New York Section of S. M. P. T. E. will feature a 4K camera event at Dolby, 1350 Avenue of the Americas (Ground Floor Entrance on 55th Street) at 55th Street. Presenters include Canon, For-A and Sony and has been organized by cinematographers David Leitner and Mark Forman and industry researcher Douglas I. Sheer, as co-meeting managers. The planned presenters include: Larry Thorpe for Canon, Jay Shinn of For-A and Juan Martinez of Sony.


The event which focuses on both cameras and raw recording methods, with clips being projected in 4K and starts at 5:30PM with a meet and greet period, followed by a demo and PowerPoint segment by each of the presenters. Reservations are recommended - and seating limited -- and can be made by going to the New York Sections website at and registering for the event on-line. 



CES/CEA: HDTV offers more 3D in USA

According to a report from CES/CEA issued on the eve of the annual show, U. S. consumer TV users have grown to expect more from manufacturers in their HD level TV set offerings. CEA provided in their Beyond 2D Viewing: Understanding the Demand for Advanced Television Features, it's a sophisticated TV set buyer these days.

The report indicates that, of US consumers TV set purchasing plans, for HDTV sets within the next 12 months and of those who already own one, more than a fifth bought an app-enabled HDTV, with as many as 90% actually using the apps available on their displays. The study also showed that more than two-fifths of HDTV owners connect their primary displays to the Internet.


3D was becoming more desired by purchasers and the study found that 21% of US homes owned a 3D-enabled TV. The CEA believes that unit sales of 3D televisions reached an estimated 5.6 million in 2012. Therefore, manufacturers continuing to expand to sell 3D apps coupled with content will be extremely will drive new sales. We have written pretty extensively about how we are seeing HD sets usurp and offer 3D as nothing more than an app or feature within them and how 4K has since trumped 3D in consumer interest. That trend seems to be emerging this year. 



 Odd TV Artifacts Seek Permanent Home

James Comisar has what many would consider strange collecting habits when it comes to TV shows. For more than the past 25 years, Comisar has accumulated the entire stage set of the Johnny Carson (Tonight) Show, George 'Superman' Reeves Cape and full costume, Dr. Spock's pointy ears from Star Trek and other highly quirky if historic memorabilia. In all, Comisar has amassed over 10,000 such iconic TV gear. What will a museum want to do with Carl Reiner's hairpiece worn in the old Sid Caeser program, "Your Show of Shows" is somewhat unclear. But, clearly the collection is unique. 



Thousands Sign a Petition to Deport CNN Host Piers Morgan   


In reaction, no doubt to his on-air anti-gun stance in the wake of the Newtown massacres, several thousand viewers have banded together by petition to have the commentator and host of "Piers Morgan Tonight (9PM Eastern). Morgan has taken a very aggressive stand against gun violence and proliferation so many guns in private hands in the USA, reputed to be in excess of 300 million handguns, rifles, shotguns and other automatic or semi-automatic weapons.

Now gun activists have decided to fight back, calling for the deportation of the British citizen, who replaced the aging and retired Larry King last year.  Morgan has found this effort more amusing than anything else and despite the 25,000 signatures already amassed doesn't seem fazed by the campaign. Interestingly, a similar petition has been recently circulated to encourage Macy's to drop Donald Trump who acts as one of its advertising spoke-persons. Gun violence has been steadily increasing in the U. S. and among children - as evidenced in the recent Sandy Hook case. In all, 561 children lost their lives to guns between 2005 and 2010 in the USA.     
Al Jazeera in Takeover of Al Gore's Current TV 


Qatari-owned broadcasters Al Jazeera has made an acquisition offer for Current TV, a cable channel owned by former U. S. Vice President Albert Gore and partner Joel Hyatt.  The deal once fully consummated would give Al Jazeera, who have fashioned themselves as a Middle Eastern version of CNN, a U. S. based foothold and daily cable presence. That said, the move would also allow for a new point of view to be heard in mainstream America, in the same sense that BBC America or French TV or CCTV (the China broadcaster) are.


The price tag for the creation of Al Jazeera America by usurping Current TV, is reportedly just over $500 million USD. And, up to 60 million homes were being reached by the Current TV network, and they are expected to catapult Al Jazeera America into an instant audience. The offer was accepted after a similar offer was seen from TV and radio personality Glen Beck, whose politics are very different from those of the former Vice President.


While this news was met with some initial hostility and reactions such as that of Time Warner which promised to de-list the channel, it is believed that the majority of the carriers will continue to carry the channel slot in the new ownership, seen by some as akin to airport gate access. 





Apple TV Seems Unlikely to Launch in 2013


APPLE TV The coming year is unlikely to see the launch of Apple's much heralded television product, according to research and analytics firm BTIG Research. BTIG reports that despite Apple CEO Tim Cook's repeated statements that TV is an item of great interest for them the development of Apple Television and its introduction are not likely to be released in 2013. The so-called 'next big thing' of Apple remains at bay because of concerns over the legality of the managed/special service exception to net neutrality rules, TV Everywhere usage restrictions and solidifying nationwide coverage/accessibility.


While Apple is focused on ensuring high quality of service and to leverage existing programming contracts, we expect others such as DISH and Intel to launch over-the-top, virtual MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] services in 2013. Once done, Apple TV could be huge, but it is not without some stiff competition and serious blocks.  



Digital Cinematography Study Expected to Publish at Beginning of February


 D.I.S. Consulting is expected to publish its newest study report, Digital Cinematography World tm 2013 early next month. It's the first of four studies due during the first quarter of 2013, with the others being a study in batteries, one in professional photography and another in radio equipment. Among the features of the new report are coverage of cameras, camcorders and D-SLRs, lenses, tripods, displays, audio recorders and microphones, editing systems, creative software and graphics and more. 






Battery & Charger Study to Publish in mid-February 


D.I.S. Consulting's popular battery & charger study has been re-charged and will be re-published next month after a several year hiatus. The study, conducted over the past two months, which looks at both professional batteries and chargers among end-users, worldwide, will be released in mid-month and covers brand shares of both parts of the power supplying business and in all major power technologies and applications. Called Battery & Charger World tm 2013, the prospectus is found at the D.I.S. website.  



Legendary Agent Jim Murray Dies at 85
Jim Murray, a longtime agent who in the 1970s ran ICM's offices in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, died Dec. 16 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief illness, his wife said Wednesday. He was 85. He was a big part of the Las Vegas scene for four decades and represented such stars as Tony Bennett, George Burns, Phyllis Diller, Jerry Lewis and Joan Rivers. 


Murray survived the November 1980 fire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that killed 85 people. While another one of his clients, country singer Mac Davis, performed at the hotel, Murray was staying on the 20th floor. Born Murray Fusco, Murray began his entertainment career as a drummer in the Army Air Corps and with The Glenn Miller Band. At one time, he performed with singer Edie Gorme. Murray got a job in the mailroom at MCA (the talent agents) in New York in 1943, eventually rising to senior VP. 




Mike Hopkins, 53, Oscar Winning Sound Editor


Mike Hopkins


Award winning sound editor, Mike Hopkins died in a rafting accident in rural, New Zealand, during the making of the latest "Lord of the Rings" film. Hopkins credits also included several other Peter Jackson films and the 2006 "King Kong" and 2007 "Transformers."  




Oscar Voting Technology Hits Security Snag


Ever careful about voting secrecy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has hit a snag based on their updated and more difficult to pierce firewalled security system that, members say, is beyond their ability to log into.  As a result, the deadlines for voting have had to be extended. This has led some contenders to suggest that they fear many voters will not have had time to screen their nominated films. Apparently the firewall and log in requirements were a bit more secure than normal human Academy members could deal with, even with the help of their teenage children. 



Barnes & Noble Nook Declines


The nation's leading retail bookseller, Barnes & Noble has put a lot of its marketing eggs in the Nook Division and the concept of e-Readers only to encounter punishing competition from other readers including Kindle, iPads and that has resulted in the Nook division being down by 13% and B&N, overall, by 10.9%.


Patti Page Dies at 85


Patti Page "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" singing star, Patti Page, has died. The 1950s sensation, Page was also known for her rendition of the "Tennessee Waltz" and carved out a major career in the days after World War II ended. She also made a major comeback in the past decade, and managed to eventually get honored by the Grammy's even though her career mainly predated the Grammy start. A lot of Page's success came from her many radio roles. 


White Plains Newspaper, Journal News, 'Outs' Legal Gun Owners   


The Journal News, citing laws that make revealing permit owners of handguns and other weapons, has published their exact locations throughout its publishing areas, in map form, north of New York City, in both Westchester and Rockland counties, attracting the ire of both owners and non-owners, alike. Additionally, a blogger has listed the home addresses of Journal News staffers, in part as a result of the furor, the Journal News has had to hire armed guards based on death threats received from outraged gun owners. The newspaper cited New York State law that made their release of the information on permits legal. In some states, there is a debate underway about routinely revealing such information about gun ownership. 



Michelle Norris, NPR Host, Returns after Leave


Michelle Norris

After a 15 month leave, during a period in which her husband served the Obama campaign, Michelle Norris has announced her plans to return to active work at NPR this month. Norris was best known for her hosting of "All things Considered," the afternoon news program.  During her recent leave, Norris poured her time into the "Race Card Project," intended to spur conversation about race issues. 


Some Firms are Requiring Staff to Turn off Smartphones "And, some turn of phones at home" 


Iphone China

 Concerned about staff distraction with their smartphones, a number of large firms are requiring employees, during inside hours, to turn off their smart mobile phones and concentrate more on company work. At the same time, employees are looking more toward unplugging from their smartphones during their off hours so as to not be constantly be at the beck and call of employers. 


A Pew Research center study found that 44% of adults slept with their phone near the bed and in an 'on' position. Now a move on to have phones off during 6PM to 6AM hours is winning wide approval. The on-all-day trend is most severe when companies are still start-ups and the urge to be in contact the most strong. The new trend has been called a 'Digital Diet,' by some, indicating that more and more smartphone owners are realizing that it is healthier to limit their use than have it become all-pervasive.  


Sony May Develope MSO Service To Compete with Cable

While Sony Corp. will have one of the largest displays this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one venture that's expected to stay under wraps a little while longer is a potential multichannel TV service that could be competitive to  cable technology. The new service could be predicated the use of linear channels similar to typical pay-TV content but delivered via a broadband connection. 


Cable operators are usually limited to serving a specific geographic territory, but this technology utilizes a virtual MSO approach and could possibly allow vendors to offer TV services to subscriber nationwide or even globally. Sony has not been on record yet about this possible move and therefore may see its speculation as just that, speculation. It could, however, be a game changer between the world of broadcast and cable. 



D.I..S. Consulting Corporation 

Box 22

Livingston Manor, NY  12758-0022

 Phone: 917-692-0975


Dis Consulting Corporation

D.I..S. Consulting Corporation
Box 22

Livingston Manor, NY  12758-0022


(917) 692-0975

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