You won’t have to wonder about when Netflix will start streaming much of its its exclusive and original programming — the company has provided scheduling for seemingly all of it in one shot. To begin with, it’s renewing the weird-yet-familiar cartoon BoJack Horseman for a third, 12-episode season that will arrive in 2016. Can’t wait that long? Longmire, the rescued A&E crime series, will make its Netflix debut on September 10th of this year, while a documentary about Keith Richards, Under the Influence, is due on September 18th. There are a slew of comedy specials arriving between August 14th (Demetri Martin) and December 18th (Mike Epps). Aziz Ansari’s comedy series Master of None will show up on November 6th, and Chelsea Handler is hosting a four-movie documentary series that’s “coming soon.”
Not all is sunshine and roses in Netflix land, however. The service has confirmed that it will axe Lilyhammer, its first original (or rather, pseudo-original) show, after its third season. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos claims that Netflix is a fan of the mobster-in-Norway series, but that it has turned into an “economically challenged deal” due to the partnership with Norwegian broadcaster NRK1. While Netflix wanted to maintain tight control over Lilyhammer and its distribution, that just wasn’t possible under the agreement. Whatever the reasons, it’s a sad day… Netflix’s early experiment with producing content has come to a close.
If you’ve been livestreaming the Super Bowl and missing out on all of those commercials, that’s about to change. Variety reports CBS will stream all of the ads during the game in February, so those watching via the internet will be privy to the same quality entertainment each time there’s a break in the action. In the past, advertisers have had to choose a streaming option on top of the regular broadcast slots. If you streamed this past February’s game, you likely noticed the same handful of commercials on repeat. That’s why. This time around, though, CBS is said to be treating all of the ad spots equally and advertisers will have to consider delivering content in both places. The report also indicates that CBS plans to charge a record price for each 30-second spot — likely more than the $4.5 million NBC commanded this year. What’s more, the network won’t let companies “opt out” of the livestream either. In recent months, NFL content has made a big splash online with clips on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube alongside Yahoo’s plans to stream a regular season game from London.
[Image credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images]
Cablevision isn’t the only big US internet provider offering HBO Now — Verizon* is also joining the fray. Anyone with broadband on Big Red can now use their existing account to sign up for the cord cutter service, complete with the usual 30-day trial run and $15 per month subscription. It’s ultimately not much different than subscribing yourself, and you’ve probably already done that if you were determined to watch Game of Thrones or Veep without paying for traditional TV. Look it at this way, though: if nothing else, it’s a token kindness from a telco that’s known for trying to stifle net neutrality and otherwise limit the success of internet video services.
Just days after BT began selling its Ultra HD box online, broadcasting rival Sky appears ready to show off its own 4K hardware. The Telegraph reports that the pay TV provider is just weeks away from launching “SkyQ,” an Ultra HD set-top box that will reportedly let subscribers watch or record at least four programmes at once. Like the EE TV box, Sky’s player will also share broadcasts across smartphones and tablets, as families increasingly shift towards smaller screens.
Sky’s 4K player has been a long time coming. Originally known internally as “Project Ethan,” the box will play a major part in its battle against BT, which has already made inroads into its sporting coverage over the past couple of years. While BT’s Ultra HD box relies on YouView, SkyQ will be more customised, which includes Netflix-like navigation that makes it easier to view live TV but also on-demand content.
While Sky may possibly be only a little late to market with its own 4K box, the launch of the device was originally scheduled for next year. However, with the rise of BT and increased competition from other TV providers, the company decided to hasten its release. There’s no word on exactly when we’ll see SkyQ or whether Sky is ready to deliver Ultra HD content, but we’ll likely find out more as the company prepares for the kick-off of the Premier League season.
Filed under: HD
Source: The Telegraph
More and more smartphones, TVs and wearables like Apple’s Watch now use OLED displays, but only two companies mass produce them — Samsung and LG. LG is trying to stay on top of demand by building a new 1.05 trillion won ($900 million) flexible OLED plant in Korea. Starting in 2017, the 6th-gen line will spit out four times as many screens as the current-gen plant thanks to a larger “substrate” sheet size. The plastic-based displays are aimed at smaller next-gen devices that can benefit from the bendability like automotive displays, cellphones and wearables.
Most of LG and Samsung’s high-end smartphones and smartwatches already use OLED displays (P-OLED and AMOLED, respectively). Some — like LG’s G Flex 2 “banana” phone and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge — specifically take advantage of the flexibility. But, it’s other companies — the Vivo X5, Oppo R7 and 2nd-gen Motorola Moto X all have OLED-based displays, for instance — that are creating demand for the technology. LG said it will eventually build another plant for larger, TV-sized displays that uses the same 6th-gen tech. Samsung also recently pledged $3.6 billion toward OLED production.
Don’t like that your Slingbox setup is dishing out ads when it wasn’t before? You’re not alone. Two viewers have sued Sling Media for allegedly pulling a “bait and switch” on existing customers, serving them ads that they hadn’t actually agreed to see. It’s tantamount to fraud, according to the lawsuit, and it’s particularly egregious when many viewers paid $300 or more for their set-top boxes.
If successful, the lawsuit (which could become a class action) would ask for both damages and a ban on Sling serving ads to anyone who hasn’t explicitly allowed them… which, at the moment, is most Slingbox users. The company isn’t commenting on the suit, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s willing to go to trial rather than settle out of court. After all, it’s counting on that ad revenue to replace the money that Slingbox M2 buyers would otherwise pay for the SlingPlayer app — at $15 or more per app, that’s not exactly chump change.
Via: Multichannel News
Source: Top Class Actions
While Netflix has focused on rolling out more original content to more countries over the last couple of years, we haven’t seen as many updates to its software as we used to. Last week the streaming video service said it would start optimizing its mobile apps, but first up is a tweak for the TV apps you probably use more often. Netflix says this is the first major change its TV apps have had since the new look rolled out in late 2013, and it will start or resume video as soon as you select a title, while keeping the info on the screen (check after the break for a GIF showing how it works). An earnings report earlier this year mentioned bringing video “forward” in the TV experience, and this seems to be a part of that plan, delivering what Netflix says is a more cinematic experience.
Source: Netflix Blog
As handy as a Slingbox can be for watching TV away from home, it’s not as good a deal as it sounds. You usually have to shell out another $15 or more just to get the Slingplayer streaming app for your phone or tablet. Sling is starting to see the light, however. It’s shipping a $200 Slingbox M2 bundle that lets you download the Slingplayer Android and iOS apps for free, not just the desktop versions. While this kit costs $50 more than what you’d pay for the M1, it’s potentially less expensive if you want apps for multiple mobile devices — especially if you’re not the only one that wants to watch. You’ll have to endure “seamlessly integrated” ads for the privilege, but that could be a small price to pay for viewing your favorite shows on every possible screen.
Xiaomi has just unveiled its Mi TV 2S, the latest model in the company’s growing Mi TV range. This new 48-inch version sits between the company’s first 49-inch TV and the 40-inch model released earlier in the year.
The Mi TV 2S is a large 48-inch TV which is capable of 60Hz 4K content decode through its HDMI 2.0a ports. The TV boats a sleek looking design with a 9.9mm super thin aluminum frame. At the launch presentation, the company also boasted about superior clarity, color and contrast compared to some TVs from rival manufacturers.
Xiaomi’s latest TV is powered by a quad-core MStar 6A928 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. The Mi TV 2S also comes with Xiaomi’s Android 5.0 based MIUI and a load of additional content from providers including Youku, BesTV, PPTV, and others.
As we have come to expect from Xiaomi, pricing is as competitive as ever. Mi TV 2S prices begin at Rs. 2,999 ($480) for the standard edition, while the cinema edition costs a little more at Rs. 3,999 ($645). The Mi TV 2S will be available in a wide selection of colors, including pink, blue, green and gold.
At the launch event, Xiaomi also launched a new water purifier, which complements the company’s air purifier designed for the Chinese market.
The Last Starfighter tested the limits of early computer-generated movie graphics, and it’s about to explore uncharted waters once again. Original writer Jonathan Betuel is developing The Starfighter Chronicles, a related TV series (about alien law enforcement, not an arcade fan turned hero) where virtual reality should play an important role. If you’re watching through a VR headset, certain scenes will have more to them than what you’d see on a regular screen — you could look around a spaceship, or see every aspect of a battle. You’re probably not going to find this on conventional TV (current broadcast tech wouldn’t allow for VR), but it would literally add a new dimension to online streams and app-based video.
The project is something of a gamble. It’s still in the early stages, and there’s no guarantee that networks or streaming sites will want to pick up a show simply because it has a VR hook. Remember how Captain Power‘s interactive TV experiment lasted for just one season? Betuel is drawing on help from online video gurus at Surreal.tv to make this real, however, and there are already “potential suitors.” If everything goes according to plan, this could give VR a foothold in the TV space… even if it’s just a nice-to-have extra.