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10.11.2002
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
iBlast launches Game Silo

iBlast has finally achieved liftoff with Game Silo, its new video game service.



Game Silo requires customers to purchase a wireless receiver and antenna from iBlast that connects with a Windows personal computer.iBlast recently launched this new service.

Company CEO Michael Lambert calls it “the first efficient electronic means to deliver games and high-resolution marketing materials to customers’ PCs.”

Game Silo requires customers to purchase a wireless receiver and antenna from iBlast that connects with a Windows personal computer. (After an introductory discount and mail-in rebate, these receivers cost between $80 and $100, depending on configuration.) For a fee of $9.95 a month, Game Silo customers get a constant stream of demo versions of games, preview videos, software updates and other game-related content. Subscribers can download full versions of games from publishers at retail prices or rent games for about $3.00 for five days of use.

iBlast was formed in 1999 by a consortium of broadcast station owners, including Tribune Broadcasting, the Gannett Company, Cox Enterprises and the Washington Post Company. Viewed at its creation as a revenue enhancer for terrestrial broadcasters, iBlast was designed to harness extra bandwidth in a television station’s DTV signal and distribute data to personal computers. Currently it has about 250 participating stations.

While broadcast datacasting could potentially be used to bypass the Internet for video-on-demand and music distribution, iBlast chose to launch the service using gaming as its first content category. Game Silo is now available in Los Angeles, San Francisco/San Jose, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego. Seattle/Tacoma will be added in late October with more cities being gradually added.

With most electronic games now larger than 100 megabytes in file size, reliable Internet distribution of titles has traditionally been a major challenge for publishers and users. Using the transmitters of digital television stations, iBlast is capable of delivering up to ten gigabytes of game content per day, all of which is stored on the user’s PC hard drive.

iBlast is the largest U.S. broadcast datacaster. Along with other entrepreneurial start-ups pursuing various datacasting business models, it has struggled through difficult economic times and a sluggish transition to over-the-air digital television broadcasting.

Although 250 stations are involved with Game Silo, other over-the-air broadcasters have resisted allowing third-party companies such as iBlast to use their spectrum for shared financial gain.

For more information, visit http://www.gamesilo.com.

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