Wednesday, August 09, 2006

@Home launches TV channel for and by viewers

After the slogan: every can be a publisher, now the slogan everyone a broadcaster can be a broadcaster can be introduced. The Dutch network operator @Home, part of the Essent Kabelcom group, is launching a TV channel, named ZiZone which will be filled with movies and television programs produced by subscribers to @Home. (If you look atr the site, you will notice that the site is still under construction; one could not wait with the press release…)

The service follows the pattern of YouTube, Video Google as well as some Dutch services such as Shoobidoo of KPN and the recently launched VideoTalent by the broadcasting station NCRV. Anyone can enter a movie, which will be made available on the site. This pattern has become fashion on internet. CurrentTV started the fashion on cable. And this idea has now been partly copied in the Netherlands by @Home. The network operator claims in the press release that ZiZone is a “next generation video site… unique in Europe”; the usual press release whipped cream, I would say.

People will be able to enter movies through internet. By entering the producer might be selected to have his/her movie broadcasted on the cable network. Viewers will vote to see their favourites on Dutch cable on the channel TV Digitaal. As Dutch cable channels are seen as television channels, they have to follow regulations. As such @Home will be unable to have a full television counterpart of its internet ZiZone. Essent Kabelcom will bundle four or five of the favourite movies in a carousel of about 20 minutes and show them to the 200.000 subscribers to the digital television channel TV Digitaal (out of the 1,8 million analogue cable subscribers)

The site has been produced by the video company Brevidius Multi-Media Projects, which also takes care of the hosting. Brevidius is an old hand at multimedia video projects. Together with @Home, it takes editorial responsibility for ZiZone

Any one can produce a take-off on an advertisement or weather news or give an impression of his/her holidays. Movies will be put in categories. For the time being movies will be uploaded through internet. But if ZiZone is a success @Home will also start to upload movies produced with a mobile telephone/handy/cell phone.

Like the other sites mentioned, ZiZone is another expression of citizens’ entertainment and journalism. Although entertainment is most in the foreground, also serious television journalism can be practised. On the internet site the movies can be called up ad random. On a television channel, not analogue, but digital, only 20 minutes has been reserved for showing citizens entertainment and journalism. It looks like ZiZone makes a safe start.

The service has been launched by @Home, part of Essent Kabelcom. This company has just been acquired by venture capitalists and will be merged with the cable operator Casema. It is not known whether ZiZone on TV Digitaal will be offered to digital TV subscribers of Casema.

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Blog Posting Number 469

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