Netflix continues to be by far the biggest source for residential internet traffic in North America, and the company is starting to have an impact on Europe’s ISPs as well. Read more »
This week’s IETF meeting in Vancouver has ended without a decision on a mandatory video codec for WebRTC, the proposed standard for real-time voice and video communication. Browser makers, videoconferencing equipment manufacturers and chipset vendors had hoped to finally agree on whether H.264 or VP8 should become the default codec for WebRTC, and Cisco had even mounted an eleventh-hour push, getting Mozilla to agree to implement H.264 — but in the end, no consensus was reached in what I’ve been told was an at times testy meeting.
Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar must really miss his former co-workers. Why else would he keep hiring people away from Hulu? Read more »
Spotify is closing in on another $200 million in funding from Technology Crossover Ventures, a VC firm that previously backed Facebook, Netflix and Groupon, according to a report from Sky News. Spotify previously raised $288 million, and recent reports indicate that the new funding could value the company at $5.75 billion. Spotify said in March that it had 6 million paying subscribers and 24 million active users.
Simple.tv will start selling its second-generation DVR for cord cutters in December – but it’s getting competition from a similar device called Tablo. Read more »
Blockbuster going out of business isn’t just about Netflix winning over DVD rentals — it’s about the end of movies as a product. Read more »
Netflix teamed up with Disney for a super-powered original content deal that will bring more than four TV new exclusive TV shows to the service. Read more »
Samsung wants to provide services that connect its devices across the home. To do so, it’s taking a really close look at what people are really doing with its stuff. Read more »
Autodesk has invested $10 million in Deviantart, a digital art community that has been around for 13 years. Read more »
Second-screen startup i.TV has bought its better-known, but not that much more popular rival GetGlue. i.TV announced the transaction Wednesday, and Variety is reporting that the deal was all stock, and “far less than the $24 million GetGlue had raised from investors.” The acquisition continues a trend of consolidation in the second-screen space that now also has network executives question the value of these kinds of apps.
Comcast is offering broadband, local channels and HBO for $40 a month – but Time Warner’s CEO isn’t worried. Maybe because the sticker price isn’t what you end up paying. Read more »
Technologists tend to forget that normal people have a different take on technology. That’s why they should pay more attention to interfaces. Read more »
There are good movies, there are bad movies, and there’s Sharknado. Missed the trashiest but also most-tweeted-about movie of 2013 when it aired on Syfy in July? No worries, Netflix is giving you another chance to experience it on your own time. Just please, stop tweeting about it.
Cox plans to launch an internet-based TV service, which could compete with both established players as well as newcomers like Intel. Read more »
Google’s new Helpouts platform launches with real-time advice for cooking, home improvement and computer problems. Down the line, its biggest impact could be on health care. Read more »
Netflix is bringing the award-winning documentary film the Square, which chronicles the popular uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, to all of its members in early 2014. The Square won audience awards at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals. For Netflix, it’s the first of a number of documentary acquisitions as the company is looking to take original content beyond TV shows and stand-up comedy specials. Next up could be Hollywood movies, which Netflix would like to get earlier than HBO and other pay TV networks.
JumpCam is launching its Android version less than two months after debuting on iOS. The small startup took this step because for its app to go viral, it really needed to be on both platforms. Read more »
The FCC may finally get rid of its decades-old blackout rules for live sports broadcasts. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t mean that any of these games will be available online. Read more »
Netflix wants to become a major provider of 4K content next year. To prepare for that, it has already started to test 4K streaming. Read more »
There’s Valley celebrities, and then there’s real celebrities — and both don’t always get along. Case in point: Kim Kardashian is suing YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley, alleging that he illegally recorded Kanye West’s marriage proposal to her to promote his new video venture MixBit. Valleywag has the whole lawsuit, which doesn’t have a whole lot of nice tings to say about Hurley, while the Hollywood Reporter focuses on why Kim & Kanye wanted to keep their party private: to sell exclusive rights to TV.
Plair was doomed to fail when it tried to establish an expensive, Chromecast-like product three months before Chromecast came out. Now, it’s trying again with a different approach. Read more »
Don’t hold your breath for a Netflix app on your Comcast set-top box: Netflix has started to strike deals with pay TV operators abroad to run its app on their devices, and CEO Reed Hastings recently told investors that he would love to be on Comcast’s gear as well — but Comcast cable operations CEO Neil Smit said during the company’s earnings call that this is “not really a high priority” for Comcast, according to Home Media Magazine. On the same call, Comcast also announced that it lost 129,000 video subscribers in its most recent quarter, 12,000 more than during the same time period last year.
Google’s Nexus 5 launch came with few surprises, but Android 4.4 aka Kitkat shows off how Google wants to dominate international markets, and make everything searchable. Read more »
Pandora made it official Thursday and added Chromecast support to its mobile apps. Users can now launch personalized stations straight from their phone or tablet. Read more »
Cisco may have landed a surprise coup to push for H.264, but Google still thinks that VP8 is the best codec for real-time communication on the web. Read more »
Peter Chernin’s media company is buying a controlling interest in Crunchyroll, reports AllThingsD. The report puts the money spent at less than $100 million, noting that Crunchyroll has raised $5 million to date. Crunchyroll is specializing in the import of anime TV shows, and the company operates a growing subscription business. For more on Crunchyroll, check out my interview with the company’s CEO Kun Gao.
Is Intel looking to get rid of its TV project, or get a partner on board to finally get it launched? The company is talking to Verizon to explore either of those options. Read more »
After long resisting proprietary media formats, Mozilla has agreed to add H.264 to its browser. The move is made possible through a partnership with Cisco, which wants to press the industry to agree on the format for real-time communication. Read more »
Google is now automatically editing videos uploaded by Google+ users to turn shaky, fragmented camera phone clips into shareable videos with soundtracks and video effects. Read more »
Ever wanted to share a short video of the thing you just saw on TV? ConnecTV’s new app lets you do just than in a Vine-like fashion. Read more »
Automatic video editing app Magisto just got a whole lot of new cash, thanks in part to Qualcomm and SanDisk. Read more »
Smart appliances need friends too: Samsung wants to make it easier for your fridge, AC and washer to talk to your TV set. Read more »
Media center app maker Plex launched a feature Monday that allows users to store their videos in the cloud and then play them back on any device with a Plex app on it, including Android and iOS mobile devices. Cloud Sync, as the feature is called, was first shown off at CES, and is now available to paying PlexPass subscribers. Interestingly, Plex doesn’t offer its own storage locker, but instead hooks into Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and other cloud storage offerings, with the ability to spread your files across all of your lockers. Time to sign up for more free cloud storage accounts?
Samsung is taking a page out of the Chromecast playbook by allowing developers to launch media playback straight from a mobile device. But Samsung’s new multiscreen SDK also supports gaming and more. Read more »
Here’s a suggestion for Apple: Forget about building that long-rumored huge flatscreen TV for the living room, and make a small touch-screen TV for the kitchen instead. Read more »
Simple.tv’s new DVR for cord cutters will come with a sticker price of $250 and go on sale in mid-December, according to a product page on Newegg.com. Read more »
We all love binge viewing — but not everyone loves Netflix: FX and Turner are looking to get the rights to stream entire seasons of shows, as opposed to just the last five episodes, to allow their viewers more binging. Netflix is opposed to those demands, and studios have learned to love Netfix’s cash. But which role is cable playing in all of this? Vulture has a fascinating story about one of Hollywood’s next battle lines.
Google TV devices from LG are getting updated to a more recent version of Android. Next up: a new name for the TV platform. Read more »
HBO doesn’t want to sell you direct access to its programming online. But Comcast now came up with an offering that is intended to lure in all those who only want HBO. Read more »
Amazon’s long-rumored Roku killer may be facing delays, forcing the company to postpone a launch until next year, according to a Verge report. The device, which is based on Android, has been in the works at Amazon for more than a year, and the company hired a bunch of Google TV developers from Logitech to work on it after that company decided to get out of the connected TV space. Amazon’s TV box is going to have third-party apps, but obviously also feature Amazon’s own services — but now we might have to wait until after the holiday season to find out how it stacks up against Roku, Apple TV and Co.