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In Brief

Just hours after releasing its new Android app, YouTube is following up with a new iOS app that brings most of the new features to iPads and iPhones as well. This includes the ability to scour for new videos while you’re watching one, with a kind of picture-in-picture mode, as well as advanced preview capabilities for Chromecast and other DIAL-capable devices. Check out all the details on YouTube’s blog, or download the app via iTunes.

In Brief

Streaming locally stored videos and music with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick just got a lot easier: Android hacker Koushik Dutta released an app this weekend that streams any video from your phone’s gallery, Google Drive or Dropbox to a Chromecast device within the same network. And the best thing: It’s not based on Google’s SDK, so you don’t need to jump through extra hoops to make it work. Check out a video of it here, and download the latest release of the Android app here.

In Brief

Just when you thought that those enterprising third-party Chromecast developers have tried everything, they’re taking it one step further: Leon Nicholls, who previously experimented with local content playback, online shopping and other cool stuff on Chromecast, has managed to hook up his Kinect to a web app running on Google’s new TV stick. The result is a video playing via Chromecast that can be controlled with simple gestures, and us wondering what folks like Nicholls come up with next.

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On The Web

Adap.tv, the ad exchange that AOL agreed to buy for $405 million last week, may have a problem with ads running on bogus sites where they are viewed only by bots, according to an Adweek report that quotes multiple researchers and ad buyers, some of which deemed between 30 and 80 percent of Adap.tv’s ad impressions suspicious. The company denies any wrongdoing, but it may just be part of a bigger problem in an industry where hidden ads are standard practice.

On The Web

A number of companies including Apple, Intel, Sony and Google have reportedly been trying to secure rights to build an online pay TV offering, and now we’ve got news about the first brokered deal. Sony struck a preliminary agreement to stream Viacom’s TV stations online as part of its still-unannounced TV service, the Wall Street Journal is reporting today. Expect more of those deals to become public over the coming months.

In Brief

ESPN is opening up streaming of the ESPN3 feed on its WatchESPN iOS app to college students and military personnel that use an on-campus or on-base Wifi network. The cable network, which previously only served up live streams on iOS to pay TV customers,  is slated to announce the change as part of the relaunch of its iPad app Thursday. The new app comes with a revamped UI and a number of new features, including the ability to watch a live stream and an archived video at the same time – because, what else is there to do in a dorm room, right?

(Updated at 7:50am to clarify that this only covers ESPN3 live streaming.)

On The Web

Looks like cord cutting isn’t exclusive to the U.S. anymore: The Hollywood Reporter is pointing us to a new study that shows declines for Canadian pay TV operators for three consecutive quarters, and quoting one of the study’s authors with the words: “Interestingly, the cord-cutting situation in Canada mirrors what is happening south of the border.”

In Brief

Ariana Huffington herself penned a post on Huffington Post Tuesday to remind us that the site’s live video offering HuffPost Live just turned one. And guess what: it’s going well. HuffPost Live generated over 445 million video views in its first year, reaching more than 13 million unique visitors a month. Visitors spend an average of 22 minutes viewing HuffPost Live videos, of which there are now more than 9000.

In Brief

Google+ users are now able to share SoundCloud widgets directly within their stream, thanks to a new cooperation between Google and the audio sharing service. SoundCloud was quick to point out in an emailed press release that this marks the first such integration of audio within Google+, but I’d expect that it won’t be the last, and that we are going to see a lot more third-party media sharing on Google+ within the next few months.

In Brief

Cyanogenmod developer Koushik Dutta managed to bring Chromecast support to any app that uses Android’s default media player. This hack could one day allow anyone running Cyanogenmod to beam any audio or video content to their TV — think AirPlay for Android. Check out a demo video on Dutta’s Google+ page. Somehow, I doubt this will find its way into the next version of Android. Google seems to be more keen on getting media app developers directly involved.

In Brief

Users of the Roku iOS remote control app can now stream videos directly from their phone to the Roku player. The update to the app, which was first spotted by the Verge, went live in the app store today, and the Roku blog states that it will come to select Android devices soon.

The new feature should make it easier to play local content on a Roku player, but we a still holding our breath for a more complete mirroring solution like Miracast coming to the device. Miracast maker Broadcom announced a partnership with Roku at CES, but we haven’t heard much about it since.

On The Web

Ever wondered how Netflix comes up with all those movie recommendations? Wired interviewed two of the company’s engineers, who talk about the logic behind its algorithms, the fact that people don’t rate movies as much as they used to and those 40 people that hand-tag videos for Netflix all day long. An interesting read, even if you don’t always agree with Netflix’s suggestions.

In Brief

Redbox Instant by Verizon, the streaming service that combines a Netflix-like subscription plan with DVD rentals through Redbox kiosks, launched its app on Roku devices Monday. The new app will be available on all second- and third-generation Roku devices, and offer access to some 5500 movies as part of the subscription plan, according to Redbox. GigaOM first reported in May that Redbox Instant was planning to launch on Roku devices, and the company now  seems to be eyeing Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter.

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