TWiT.tv

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The TWiT Netcast Network
TWiT minilogo.png
Owned by Leo Laporte, TWiT LLC
Country United States of America
Language English
Broadcast area Worldwide, via Internet
Headquarters 140 Keller Street,
Petaluma, CA
Website http://twit.tv/
Internet television
Live Webcast TWiT Live, (Free, available in English)


The TWiT Netcast Network or TWiT.tv, the operating trade name of TWiT LLC, is a netcast network run by technology broadcaster and author Leo Laporte. TWiT.tv gets its name from its first and flagship product, This Week in Tech. The network began operation in April 2005 with the launch of This Week in Tech. Security Now was the second podcast on the network, debuting in August of that year. Currently the network hosts twenty three regular podcasts and live streaming shows covering various topics including Apple, Microsoft, Google, computer security, social media and current technology news. It also hosts special live shows from important events and breaking news, such as Apple and Google keynotes.

TWiT founder and owner Leo Laporte, in an October 2009 speech, stated that it grosses revenues of $1.5 million per year, while costs are around $350,000. Later on October 24, 2009, Leo said during TWiG that revenues for the year would be closer to $2.5 million. In August 2012, Leo posted on Reddit that TWiT had grossed $4.2 million in 2011, and was on track to gross $6 million in 2012 [1]. Originally, the network started solely from his own funding as well as setting up a contribution system similar to the public radio model (but not tax-deductible). As the network has grown, a market for advertising in podcasts also developed, and most of the current shows carry advertising. On December 12, 2009, a message on the network's website stated that Leo was going to modify the company's funding: advertising would be used to run the company, and any contributions would go solely for his salary. However, this caused such a sudden increase in donations that he has unofficially stated he would limit how much he takes as income, and save the rest in a fund for future projects, such as a new studio. TWiT gets its name from its first and flagship podcast, the popular This Week in Tech and the logo design originated from a traditional logic gate symbol of an "AND gate" turned on its side.

History

In January, 2005 several former TechTV hosts got together for dinner after covering that year's MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, California. Leo Laporte happened to have a recording device with him at the time and decided to record the conversation they were having about their experiences at the expo and the technology industry in general. He published that recording on his website and within a few days it had been downloaded tens of thousands of times. A few months later TWiT was created. Today TWiT employs nearly 25 staff in full or part-time positions.

Revenge of the Screensavers logo

Originally the show was called Revenge of the Screen Savers, but the cable channel which had purchased TechTV complained, so the name of the show was changed to 'this WEEK in TECH'. Shortly after, the TWiT.tv domain was registered and the show was being produced weekly. Due to the success of the flagship show Leo Laporte was able to start producing more tech related shows.

Tom Merritt joined the staff of TWiT LLC on June 1, 2010, leaving CNET. He currently broadcasts a 30–40 minute show, Tech News Today every weekday, and Leo is setting him up to be the Chief TWiT successor.

On July 24, 2011, the network moved from their former building, the "TWiT Cottage", two blocks north, which had been in use since 2004, to a larger building known as the "TWiT Brick House" at 140 Keller Street, Petaluma, CA. The new building cost in excess of US$1.2 million.

Live Video

Main article: TWiT Live
TWiT Logo used from 2005 to 2011

Starting on April 30, 2008 Leo Laporte began broadcasting live video from his studio in Petaluma, CA at live.TWiT.tv . The format at times is free flowing, however it mostly serves as a live video feed of TWiT Network podcast creation. Guests usually appear via Skype for their respective podcasts, occasionally appearing via telephone when the Skype network has been down. Guests may also appear live in the studio if they are in the area. Production was handled by Leo himself using a NewTek Tricaster Broadcast in the old TWiT Cottage studios, but is now handled by various specialist staff using a Tricaster 850 Extreme streaming to flash video sites BitGravity, Ustream.tv and Justin.tv for the main TWiT Live page. Viewers can interact with the show through either Ustream and Justin.tv's chat rooms or through an IRC chat room. There is an approximate time delay of 5 seconds on the live stream.

TWiT Live has been used to air live coverage of large tech events. Leo produced live coverage of the 2009 Apple WWDC complete with a live pirate video stream from the auditorium floor. The current record for coverage on TWiT Live is the "24 Hours of the iPhone" event in July 2008, tracking the launch of the iPhone 3G around the globe as it went on sale in every timezone at 8am local. Leo stayed on air for the full 24 hours with only a few quick breaks. Calls were taken from people in line around the world, TWiT regulars, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Leo gave away 10 iPhone 3Gs during the broadcast complete with free audiobooks from Audible.com.

In January 2010, Leo Laporte and the TWiT team covered Consumer Electronics Show live from a stage in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They covered two parties, Digital Experience Press Event and ShowStoppers Press Event live though an in-house built wireless broadcasting rig using a tablet computer which connected a camera and two microphones together and was streamed though EVDO and 3G cards. The broadcasting rig was made by TWiT's former Vice President of Engineering, Colleen Kelly. The trip to Consumer Electronics Show was sponsored by Ford Sync, Audible.com. Audio and Video podcasts were made and published on iTunes and on the TWiT website. It was the first time in a six year gap that Leo Laporte visited Consumer Electronics Show after the take over of TechTV. Laporte also announced that he was hopefully going to be back at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011 which he did.

In May 2010, Leo announced that TWiT would do more live coverage of major events and breaking news. Since then, they have covered events such as Google I/O, WWDC, E3, Maker Faire, Dragon Con, South By Southwest, Macworld Expo, and the Consumer Electronics Show. They have also covered breaking news such as Eric Schmidt stepping down as CEO of Google, Hewlett Packard's acquisition of Palm, Inc, Steve Jobs' resignation and death, the verdict in the US portion of the Apple vs. Samsung case, and various press conferences and keynotes from companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook.

Awards

This Week in Tech was the recipient of the 2005, 2008, and 2010 People's Choice Podcast Awards Technology category. Tech News Today was the recipient of the 2012 International Academy of Web Television award for Best News Web Series. This Week in Computer Hardware, Home Theater Geeks, NSFW, This Week in Tech, MacBreak Weekly, TWiT Live Specials, iPad Today, Tech News Today, The Tech Guy, This Week in Google, and Windows Weekly were named Best of 2010 in Podcasts by iTunes Rewind [2]. In 2011, This Week in Tech was named the Best Technology Podcast Overall and TWiT Photo was named to Best New Technology Podcast by iTunes Rewind [3].

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