Tag Archives: ota

Channels brings Khan Academy to Television

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.41.07 AMKhan Academy was founded in 2006 by Salman Khan who started tutoring a cousin remotely using Yahoo! Doodle. After creating a few videos he decided to move them to YouTube. Today, Khan Academy’s mission is to “provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. All of our resources are completely free forever, regardless of whether you’re a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology.”

So why is this so important? The videos are hosted on YouTube and are free to anyone, anywhere, who has a computer or tablet and an internet connection. Most of the courses are pre-college and allow learners to take ownership of their education. Khan Academy is designed for computers and tablets, but with Mohu’s Channels, the lessons can be streamed directly to a TV, turning the TV into a vehicle for learning and the living room into a lecture hall.

The premise is simple. Khan Academy hosts, via YouTube, hundreds of mini-lectures on math, history, finance, Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.46.10 AMeconomics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and computer science. One of the simple, but most innovative features of many of the videos is that they abandon a traditional “lecture” format and instead the instructor walks the student through the  problem solving process using just a dark screen, colored “markers” and a voice-over. Listening and watching the instructor demonstrate his thought process (and make mistakes in real time) is less daunting to the viewer and the colored markers make the lectures more engaging.

Khan Academy also includes test prep for several standardized tests including the SAT. The latest development for Khan Academy is its partnership with the College Board to create free online test-prep materials for the redesigned SAT which debuts in 2016. With parents paying up to $900 for test preparation classes this next step could help close the income gap  among students often seen in standardized tests.

In future blogs Mohu will feature the weird and wonderful content available on YouTube. And with Channels coming out soon all this content can be streamed directly to your TV.

New Over-the-Air (OTA) Content Premiering this Weekend

ResurrectionThree new interesting over-the-air (OTA) shows are premiering this weekend.  The broadcast networks often tweak their line-up in March–think of it as OTA “spring cleaning.” Of course all shows will be available free to anyone with a Mohu Leaf, Mohu Curve or Mohu Sky antenna.  A lot of new content is coming out in March, so get ready for some great viewing.

Two shows coming out belong to a science-fiction/supernatural genre though so far there don’t seem to be any aliens, zombies, space travel or vampires, but you never know. The third show is a “sequel” to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos that aired  in 1980.

Resurrection premieres on Sunday, March 9 on ABC at 9 pm ET. ABC has saturated prime time with trailers for it, but in case you missed it, Resurrection is about a small town in Missouri whose deceased residents start to return. The tag line is “What if someone you lost…returned?” The first person to return to his family is a young boy named Jacob who died 32 years ago and wakes up in rural China in the present. Based on the trailers, his family, doctors and clergy struggle to make sense of his sudden reappearance.

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Why OTA+Streaming Content+Web = "A Cord-Cutter's Dream"

The TV and cable industry are undergoing a lot of disruptions and the only thing consumers can be sure of is that more disruptions are on the way.  Aereo will be appearing before the Supreme Court in April. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, is about to gobble up Time Warner Cable. The combined company will be in a race to the bottom in customer  service while it provides broadband to 40% of US households.  And Netflix inked a deal with Comcast in which Netflix will pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast’s subscribers. It’s enough to make a consumer’s head spin.

But, Mohu to the rescue! Our Channels product, currently available via Kickstarter and shipping in June of this year, will solve your TV woes and make TV watching simpler and more enjoyable. We may be fully funded on Kickstarter, but there are still units for sale on Kickstarter. Don’t miss out! Channels combines our top-selling Mohu Leaf with a small device that hooks up to your TV’s HDMI port. Put those all together and consumers can get great over-the-air (OTA) content, streaming content and internet. No switching of devices or inputs and it’s easy enough (really) for a child to set up. Channels has a fully integrated channel guide so users can see what’s on OTA and the full QWERTY keyboard remote makes searching for content a cinch.

But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what industry leaders have to say:
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Top Ten Reasons to be Cord-Cutter

1. Be smart and don’t waste money on cable  The average cable bill is $84/month. Multiply that by 12 months/year and you just saved $1000. Whoo-hooo!

2. Your cable bill will never  go up because…you don’t have cable. TV is free. The way it was meant to be.

3. OTA (over the air) shows are excellent–there’s fine viewing out there–sitcoms, dramas, crime shows, kids’ programming, local and national news and the venerable 60 Minutes is still ticking.

NFL on TV, NFL Broadcast TV, OTA NFL4. The Super Bowl, the World Series, the Oscars, the Olympics and the Grammys are all OTA.

5. The Mohu Leaf hanging in your window is a great conversation starter. Surprise and amaze your friends with free TV.
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The Olympics and an Antenna

Every Olympic Games has its share of drama, controversy and often politics. This year, the Sochi Olympics seems to have more than its fair share–cost overruns, snow (or lack of), the injury-inducing slope style course, etc. But once the games start, with a magical opening ceremony and the Parade of Nations, everything takes a back seat to the games themselves.

Parade of nationsTrue story–I had settled in to watch the opening ceremonies on Friday night when a friend who is a hard-core Netflix viewer called  in a full blown panic because she couldn’t watch the opening ceremonies. She didn’t have an antenna and found out  she couldn’t stream the Sochi Olympics from NBC’s website without a cable subscription. So I unhooked my Mohu Leaf and drove it over to her house so she and her family could watch the opening ceremonies.

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Top three questions people have about OTA


Is OTA TV still around?

Yes. It never went away. If anything, there are more channels today with better quality than you remember. This is because in 2009 the U.S. switched over to a digital form of broadcast. Digital means that all of the picture and sound of TV gets broken down into little 1s and 0s that computers understand, then beamed over-the-air to your TV, which then turns those 1s and 0s back into pictures and sounds. Neat, isn’t it? It makes me think of the scene with Wonkavision from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Continue reading

Top 3 questions people love to ask about a tv antenna

tv antenna, ota, antennaThere are some questions that consistently come up regarding a tv antenna, so I thought we could benefit by having a post about it. It’s a subject with a lot of science behind it–which is why we try to keep it all in the background!–but it couldn’t hurt to know a little bit more about a product that you’ve invested in. Many of our engineers spent years developing antenna tech for the U.S. military, so believe us when we say that we’ve thought these answers through. These will eventually go into a much larger frequently asked question page with many more questions and their answers.

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Why House of Cards is good for tv antenna users

From right: David Fincher, Beau Willimon, Robin Wright, Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey

From left: David Fincher, Beau Willimon, Robin Wright, Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey

All right, let’s talk about House of Cards. In terms of internet-streaming cord-cutting, HoC is the first award-winning, public-binging, movie star-starring and beautiful-looking show that didn’t come from cable, satellite or any other form of television (and yes, I’m into hyphens today). It was available exclusively on Netflix. This is a good thing for antenna users because the better that non-OTA shows do, the better OTA shows have to do to compete.

Netflix won three 2013 Emmys for HoC, and it’s now possible that BAFTA’s could be in store for the show. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has torn up the rule book for its British Academy Television Awards and the British Academy Television Craft Awards to make web-based broadcasters eligible to enter for the first time…While the BAFTA net has widened, only web-based broadcasters who commission content will be allowed to apply.” Continue reading