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Ronseal Made Us Watch Paint Dry

Industry News

There was an unexpected highlight on TV on last Friday. Sadly, it wasn’t any of the actual programmes, but a new advert for Ronseal.

The advertisement consisted entirely of three minutes of a man painting a fence. Yes, that’s right. A man was filmed painting a fence with Ronseal. For three whole minutes.

The three-minute film, created by BJL, shows a man using Ronseal to paint a fence in silence, pausing only to drink a cup of tea and observe his handiwork.

Genius marketing perhaps, but certainly annoying as hell.

The ad was created by Karl Stones and Richard Pearson at BJL, who said:

Gogglebox viewers are the ultimate TV critics and we were determined to produce a film which would stand out and give them as much to talk about as the rest of the programme.

“Channel 4 have been incredible partners to work with. Their ‘born risky’ ethos was perfect for this ad break.”

It has also been supported by 4Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative agency, who recreated Channel 4’s idents as part of a co-brand ten-second intro to the broadcast.

James Smith, Ronseal’s marketing director, said:

“We continue to be straight and open about the fact that for many people DIY isn’t always the most exciting task. We don’t glamorise DIY.

“We know our products won’t change your life but they will help get a difficult task done quickly and easily. Never is that message more important than on a Friday night before a Bank Holiday weekend.”

There’s also an extended cut for anyone wanting to waste a further 10 minutes of their life.

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Netflix to add data saving feature to Apps

Industry News

Netflix makes constant changes to its movie and TV streaming platform. Some of those are small, and some are major; most don’t make a huge difference to the way you watch videos though.

One major floor of the popular streaming service is that it uses gargantuan amounts of data, especially if you’re streaming in high definition.

Yes, that’s great when you’re connected to a WiFi network with the capabilities, but what about when you’re on a data plan?

Sadly, we’re not all blessed with unlimited data plans, so Netflix is going to be incorporating a data saver option that doesn’t go all-out on video quality, in order to save your precious mobile data. This will be in the form of an opt-in option in its mobile apps for iOS and Android.

It is understood that Apple devices will get the feature first, but it’ll roll out completely soon after. Unfortunately, the company isn’t specifying just how much data you’ll save, but it will be based on Netflix’s own algorithms that they can adjust in the future rather than a specific bitrate or resolution cap, which the company thinks might be confusing for users.

One last thing to note is that this feature will also be separate to the existing per-profile playback quality settings, which are global across the web and smart TV and mobile devices.

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Could a new joint BBC and ITV streaming service be on the cards?

Industry News

The BBC has reportedly held talks with ITV over the launch of a new Netflix-style streaming service.

The talks, which are understood to also involve NBC Universal, the owner of the producer of shows including Downton Abbey, centre on the potential to develop a subscription TV service.

The service is likely to mostly focus on providing older, archive TV content, not the first-run of shows, although it is understood there would be a certain amount of original commissions.

While Britons pay £145.50 per year for free access to BBC content, the corporation has noted that streaming services such as Netflix have successfully extended the shelf life of a number of series.

Unlike BBC iPlayer and ITV player, which remove content after 30 days, this new service would retain programmes for a much longer period of time.

In contrast, Netflix has more than 75 million subscribers globally. Since launching in the UK in 2012, it has attracted more than 5 million users paying £5.99 a month.

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CO2 pollution could be used to make enormous solar batteries

From the Author

For many years environmental scientists have been struggling with the questions of how to store solar energy for later use, and what to do with the CO2 from coal plants that has been captured.

Both of these problems could well have been solved in one fell swoop by industry giant, General Electric. Scientists from the company plan to use the CO2 as a giant, excess energy battery.

The technology involved aims to make gas plants between 25 and 50 percent more efficient. Just by tapping the plant’s exhaust waste and using this stunning new process, CO2 output would be significantly reduced.

Senior engineer for the company, Stephen Sanborn, says “The result is a high-efficiency, high performance renewable energy system that will reduce the use of fossil fuels for power generation”

If we are lucky, this could be happening in the next 5 to 10 years.

Let us all hope that these new ‘planet saving’ innovations continue to be developed.

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Morgan Freeman to Guide The Way

Industry News

We can’t all be blessed with a deep, smooth, majestic voice like actor Morgan Freeman, but now you can, at least, have him give you driving directions.

Just fire up the Waze mapping app (which is owned by Google these days) and fiddle around with the settings, then you’ll be off to the supermarket with Freeman’s gentle guidance.

Sadly, this isn’t a permanent option. The 78-year-old actor’s voice in the Waze app is a promotional gimmick for Freeman’s upcoming film London Has Fallen, the sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen. In the movie, Freeman plays US Vice President Trumbull. Yes, this is more or less an ad, but at least, it’s a clever one.

If for some reason you haven’t already, you can download Waze here, and switch to Freeman by going to the Settings in the app, then Sound > Voice Language > Morgan Freeman. Enjoy!

In the past, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Colbert have also lent their voices for this app.

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The Marketing Meal Deal

Company News

Introducing the BVC Marketing Meal Deal…

Get a professional video production that can be used to promote your business across the web plus a complete on hold package, featuring welcome, on hold and out of hours messages for just £799 + VAT. Interested?

If that’s enough to whet your appetite, give us a call on 0844 683 0008, drop us an email at info@thebvc.co.uk or fill in the contact form below.

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Netflix cracks down on Proxies

Industry News

Netflix might be cool with you sharing your password, due to complex licensing issues with content providers and now it’s spreading its reach around the world, the streaming service is cracking down on proxy users.

Netflix Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture David Fullagar explained in a blog post that the company will frown upon any users spoofing a fake US IP address through proxies and “unblockers.” Essentially telling users to be patient, Netflix is in the process of working out the content licenses to make all of the same movies and TV series available in 190 countries.

“Over time, we anticipate being able to do so,” Fullagar said. “For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location,” he added.

Don’t think this isn’t just a polite request, either. In the coming weeks, the service will also begin penalizing those using proxies and unblockers. When this goes into effect, Netflix subscribers outside of the US will only be able to access content normally available to the country in which they reside.

So get in your last few days of your sweet, sweet US Netflix access if you’re a proxy user. It won’t be here for much longer.

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YouTube ditches its Webcam Capture

Industry News

The webcam capture feature will not be available on YouTube after January 16, 2015, the feature which lets users record videos with webcams directly to YouTube.

When you use Webcam Capture now, you’ll see a little warning near the top of the screen about the feature’s upcoming disappearance.

YouTube’s Webcam Capture first showed up way back in 2006, a short time after Google acquired YouTube. It uses Adobe Flash, and it’s accessible through YouTube’s upload page. Sadly, though, these days the feature is just not popular.

Previously, if you had a webcam built in or connected to your computer, you could record a video on YouTube and upload it directly to the site. This feature will be turned off because it is rarely used and is built on technology that is no longer supported.

You can, however, use software on your computer to record and save a webcam video, and then upload the video to YouTube. Popular software includes Photo Booth for Mac OS X and Camera for Windows 8+. If you have another OS, you may need to look up how to record videos using your webcam by referencing your device manual or searching online.

If you have an iOS or Android phone, you can record videos with your camera and upload them with the YouTube app.

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ITV ditches ITV Player for The ITV Hub

Industry News

ITV Player is dead and is to be replaced by the ITV Hub. The streaming player is updated with a new name, look, and feel.

The ITV Hub will replace ITV Player and itv.com and will launch later this year across mobile, PC and connected TV. Live streaming of ITV’s TV channels, which now accounts for over 30% of usage on PC and mobile, will be at the heart of the new service, offering audiences a more compelling TV-like experience across all devices.

In addition, the service will extend its digital reach to become available for the first time on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and the new Freeview Play service. The desktop PC service is completely new and will see a merger between ITV’s on demand pages and show websites.

ITV can also reveal that, in time with the launch on ITV2, new episodes of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy and American Dad will be available on The ITV Hub – the first time a PSB channel has offered the hit shows in its VOD service.

The new, dynamic branding and colour palette is based on the dot above the ‘I’ on each of the ITV channel logos – ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, CITV and ITVBe – reinforcing the message that the on demand experience is a natural extension of our linear TV channels. The dots are able to interact, change size and morph into other shapes.

Paul Kanareck, ITV’s Director of Online, said: “With over 11 million registered users and 726 million long form requests last year alone, our VOD service has come of age, with live TV right at the core of our proposition. Our product and content offering has improved dramatically and we look forward to sharing further detail of our ambitious developments at The ITV Gala in November.”

Rufus Radcliffe, ITV’s Group Marketing Director, said: “We have created an exciting new brand identity for The ITV Hub which will present all of ITV’s family of channels and services front and centre with a distinct, digital look and feel building off the success of ITV’s rebrand. We are looking forward to fully unveiling it later this autumn.”

The ITV Hub was designed by ITV’s in-house agency, ITV Creative, with Creative Director Jon Yeo.

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Apple TV is now available for preorder

Industry News

It has been a long time coming, but the long-rumored Apple TV is a thing you can finally plunk down your money for.

The new device, which is the first to feature an App Store for third-party applications and games, as well as a new touched-based remote, and Siri integration, is available in two different storage capacities. The 32 GB Apple TV is £129 while the larger 64 GB version is £169. The first orders will begin shipping later this week, beginning on 30th October 2015.

Whilst home deliveries are due to begin this week, retail availability of the Apple TV has not yet been announced. Apple’s online store simply states that in-store pickup of the new Apple TV will be available soon.

You can still buy the older Apple TV, too, which is priced at £59 after a recent price drop, and is particularly appealing to iPad and iPhone users thanks to its AirPlay feature, which allows you to stream content from your iOS device directly to the Apple TV to watch on your television.