Apple close to deals for iCloud movie streaming

By on October 13, 2011 at 9:01 AM.

Apple close to deals for iCloud movie streaming

Apple is reportedly close to inking deals with major movie studios that would allow the Cupertino-based company to stream movies to its iOS devices and PCs via iCloud. Los Angeles Times on Wednesday reported that Apple has been meeting with movie studios and is currently closing licensing deals that will allow its customers to purchase movies through iTunes and then stream them from iCloud to mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, or even to Mac computers or Apple TV. The service would be similar to Hollywood’s just-launched UltraViolet product, though it would remove the requirement that customers purchase physical media before streaming content to their devices. The LA Times report states that Apple is expected to launch the service in late 2011 or early 2012. More →

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Rumored 'iTunes Replay' service won't launch soon according to report

By on August 8, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

Rumored 'iTunes Replay' service won't launch soon according to report

Apple’s upcoming “iTunes Replay” service is indeed in the works, but the company has yet to sign “cloud agreements” with at least four of the top-six film studios in Hollywood that are necessary in order to launch the service, CNET News reports. As such, the site calls earlier reports that suggested an imminent launch premature. Apple is reportedly working on a service that will allow iTunes users to stream and re-download movies purchased through iTunes. Such a service would require Apple to sign new licensing agreements with motion picture studios in order to secure the appropriate rights that would allow Apple to serve content from the cloud and to multiple devices. According to CNET News, negotiations for these rights could “drag on for months.” The report also mentions a possible hurdle for Apple: HBO. HBO has agreements in place that grant it exclusive digital distribution rights to new movies from three of the six major film studios — 20th Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. — for a certain period of time. HBO’s deals have caused problems for streaming services in the past, and it looks like Apple could be the latest victim. More →

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Hulu mulls ad-free option in addition to standard, Plus plans

By on August 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM.

Hulu mulls ad-free option in addition to standard, Plus plans

Hulu has confirmed that it is considering a third subscription option that would allow users to stream ad-free TV shows and movies for a higher monthly fee. “We’re currently an ad supported service but are looking into the option of a higher priced ad-free option,” a Hulu representative stated from an official Twitter account. Hulu made several additional comments to the same effect on Friday from its customer support Twitter account. The move would be an interesting one; Hulu dropped the price of its Hulu Plus premium subscription service to $7.99 last November, presumably due at least in part to slower than expected consumer adoption. A new pricier plan in spite of the recent price drop, that could also potentially anger network partners, is a tough pill to swallow —especially as the company looks for a buyer.

More →

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Netflix beats Hulu Plus in social streaming showdown [infographic]

By on July 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM.

Netflix beats Hulu Plus in social streaming showdown [infographic]

When we last heard from social media listening firm Mashwork, we learned that future smartphone buyers were much more interested in purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S II than the 4G-friendly Motorola DROID BIONIC. Mashwork is back on Monday with some more interesting findings: according to the firm’s latest research, 45% more people prefer Netflix over Hulu Plus than vice versa. Pulling data from 10,283 relevant tweets between June 28th and July 6th, 2011, 29% of all users prefer Netflix over Hulu Plus for streaming movies and TV shows, while 20% prefer Hulu Plus over Netflix. Also of note, 51% of those accounted for in Mashwork’s study use both services and are hoping to cut the cord with their cable or satellite TV providers. Hulu certainly would like to have been positioned better in the study; Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed at a recent Allen & Co conference that Hulu owners NBCUniversal, News Corp and Disney/ABC Television Group are currently trying to sell the company. Mashwork’s full infographic follows below. More →

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Amazon plans to stream movies to own-branded tablets, researchers claim

By on June 13, 2011 at 9:00 PM.

Amazon plans to stream movies to own-branded tablets, researchers claim

Amazon has plans to offer a streaming movie service tied to its forthcoming own-branded tablets, researchers at Detwiler Fenton claim. According to the research team, Amazon’s streaming movie service will be available to early adopters of Amazon’s tablet for free. The revelation seems obvious, but the Boston-based research firm’s claim could be the first well-sourced confirmation of the service, reports of which were purely speculative until now. It is also believed that Amazon’s tablets will feature deep integration with Amazon’s Cloud Locker streaming music service, and the Amazon Appstore will likely be a point of focus as well. BGR exclusively reported last month that Amazon is working on a pair of tablets — the dual-core “Coyote” and the quad-core “Hollywood” — that will give the company new revenue streams to compliment its dedicated Kindle eReaders. More →

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Netflix app can be installed on any Android phone without rooting

By on May 25, 2011 at 6:47 AM.

Netflix app can be installed on any Android phone without rooting

To say Android fans had mixed emotions earlier this month when Netflix finally released its Android app is an understatement. On the one hand, the app is finally here, which is obviously great news. On the other hand, Netflix only made the app available on five of the many, many Android phones currently on the market. But we have good news for those of you with an Android device not currently supported by the Netflix app: your pals over at xda-developers forum have figured out a workaround that will let you install the app and stream all the movies and TV shows you can handle — and you won’t even need to root your phone. The workaround is tested and working on plenty of devices and it couldn’t be easier to do; you’ll just have to change a setting and then install one of the Netflix apps linked in the xda thread. Of note, most AT&T devices won’t be supported until a fix is implemented, but that should be coming in the near future. Check out the via link below for the how-to, and the files you’ll need can be found through the read link. More →

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Amazon CEO says ‘stay tuned’ for Amazon tablet

By on May 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Amazon CEO says ‘stay tuned’ for Amazon tablet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview earlier this week to “stay tuned” for news on the company’s plans to release its own tablet. Bezos wouldn’t come out and confirm the tablet, but he took particular care in clarifying that such a device would not replace its popular line of dedicated Kindle eBook readers. “We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” Bezos continued. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see where Amazon is headed with all of its recent product and service launches, of course. An Amazon-controlled Android app store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, Kindle… it all adds up to a self-contained ecosystem that will allow Amazon to issue a complete package when it finally does release its first tablet. More →

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Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

By on May 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM.

Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes on Tuesday, Amazon has placed orders with manufacturers to build its first tablet PC. The report claims Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has received orders for between 700,000 and 800,000 tablets from Amazon, and the finished devices should begin shipping in the second half of this year. Earlier rumors suggested an Amazon tablet would launch this summer, so the timing of this new report further supports those claims. Amazon has built several successful devices with tablet-like form factors — it’s Kindle eBook reader is the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.com — but this would be the company’s first device to venture beyond eBooks. Amazon’s tablet, which is said to be based on the Android platform, will like showcase several Amazon products and services such as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s digital music store and the company’s new Cloud Drive digital music locker service. More →

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Dish’s Blockbuster buy approved by judge

By on April 7, 2011 at 11:46 PM.

Dish’s Blockbuster buy approved by judge

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Dish Network’s winning bid and gave it the OK to acquire Blockbuster for $320 million. Dish’s bid topped other bidders including Cobalt Video, a group of hedge funds lead by Monarch Alternative Capital, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn earlier this week at an auction for Blockbuster’s business and assets. New York Judge Burton Lifland gave his approval in bankruptcy court, and Dish will now assume control of 1,700 remaining Blockbuster locations, the company’s DVD-by-mail business and its streaming video business. Now that a judge has approved the deal, Dish is expected to pay roughly $228 million for Blockbuster when factoring in the value of the fallen video giant’s remaining cash and other assets. Proceeds from the sale will help Blockbuster’s creditors, which include multiple movie studios and Carl Icahn, reclaim a portion of the $1 billion they are collectively owed. More →

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Dish Network wins Blockbuster auction

By on April 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM.

Dish Network wins Blockbuster auction

Pending approval at a hearing scheduled for Thursday, Dish Network will acquire Blockbuster Inc. following an auction that took place earlier this week. The company’s winning bid was approximately $320 million but the acquisition is expected to land at about $228 million in cash, taking into account Blockbuster’s inventory, available cash and other adjustments. Blockbuster was put up for sale at an auction on Monday following its recent bankruptcy filing, and several companies competed for control of Blockbuster’s business and assets. Dish’s winning bid topped several other bidders including Cobalt Video, a group of hedge funds lead by Monarch Alternative Capital, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn. “Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for Dish Network,” said Dish Network’s EVP of sales, marketing and programing, Tom Cullen. More →

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Motorola Mobility acquires Internet TV company Dreampark

By on March 24, 2011 at 3:32 AM.

Motorola Mobility acquires Internet TV company Dreampark

Motorola on Wednesday announced that it has closed a deal to acquire Swedish IPTV software company Dreampark. The terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, were not disclosed. Dreampark’s core software product is called Dreamgallery, a middleware solution that allows operators to provide services over television networks. Motorola will integrate Dreamgallery and other Dreampark solutions into its Motorola Medios software suite. “This transaction enables us to continue to enhance our Medios software portfolio and capitalize upon the convergence of wireless technology, media, mobile computing and the Internet,” said Motorola Mobility’s SVP and GM of Converged Experiences, John Burke, in a statement. “With the acquisition of Dreampark, Motorola Mobility will strengthen its ability to provide systems integrators, service providers, enterprises and content providers with innovative solutions for deploying converged media experiences. It’s great to have the Dreampark team on board.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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CBS will remove some Showtime shows from Netflix

By on March 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM.

CBS will remove some Showtime shows from Netflix

CBS confirmed today with Dow Jones that it will pull some of its Showtime television shows from Netflix, and apparently Netflix is pretty shocked by the news. A Showtime spokesperson said that it will remove the episodes of shows that are currently still airing on television from Netflix’s portfolio when the current partnership deal between the CBS and Netflix ends this summer. “We’re perplexed by this,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesperson told Dow Jones. “We have great Showtime shows available on our service, and we expect to continue with those shows. We have a very good relationship with CBS and all its channels.” Two popular shows that are currently offered by Netflix and are still airing are “Californication” and “Dexter.” As big “Californication” fans here at BGR, we’re pretty bummed by the news. More →

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Netflix APK for Android leaked, lacks streaming support

By on March 16, 2011 at 9:02 AM.

Netflix APK for Android leaked, lacks streaming support

The Netflix APK has been pulled from a prototype of the LG Revolution, the first Android smartphone to offer full Netflix support, by a guy named Alex Smith. And thanks to Mr. Smith’s handiwork, the Netflix APK is now readily available to anyone who wants to give it a whirl, but you’ll only be able to use it to manage your Netflix queue and browse movies. The app alerts you that it “could not reach the Netflix service,” if you try to stream a movie, which is probably due to the DRM issues that have been responsible for a full Netflix on Android client delay in the first place. Netflix has yet to publicly disclose when a fully functioning client would be available for the Android platform. More →

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