New Motorola Televation enables live-streaming TV around your home

By on June 14, 2011 at 6:30 AM.

New Motorola Televation enables live-streaming TV around your home

Motorola Mobility announced the Televation on Monday, a new device that plugs into a Wi-Fi router and uses your home network to stream live television to connected IP devices. Once it’s plugged into a router, it will automatically translate programming from MPEG-2 to MPEG 4 and match a device’s resolution to display content properly. Motorola is also providing Android and iOS SDKs so that its customers will be able to develop custom applications for finding shows and other content offered by cable providers. “Consumers love entertainment, and want easy access to TV no matter where they are in the home,” said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. “Coupled with the explosive popularity of tablet devices, this represents a terrific opportunity for MSOs [multiple system operators, or cable companies] to increase customer satisfaction while generating new revenue.” Unfortunately, it sounds like Televation will not be a direct-to-consumer product, and will instead be offered to Motorola’s cable partners, so pricing has not yet been announced. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Microsoft to debut Xbox LIVE ‘Diamond’ subscription TV service at E3

By on June 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM.

Microsoft to debut Xbox LIVE ‘Diamond’ subscription TV service at E3

We’ve been keeping our ears to the floor for news on what Microsoft has in store for the E3 trade show, which kicks off early next week, and we’re finally starting to hear some mumblings. According to winrumors, Microsoft is finalizing media partnerships and plans to debut a new Xbox LIVE subscription TV service — currently being called “Diamond” — during its press conference. Xbox LIVE Diamond should allow Xbox LIVE customers to watch streaming television provided by Microsoft’s content partners, although it’s currently unclear how much the subscription will cost. The Redmond-based company has also recently trademarked “Fusion Vault, “Fusion Genesis,” and “Fusion Sentient,” and it reportedly has a music and video discovery service dubbed “Ventura” in the works, too. We’ll be reporting from E3 next week in Los Angeles where we’re sure to hear plenty more. More →

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PlayOn issues new streaming TV API, adds 25 new channels in two days

By on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

PlayOn issues new streaming TV API, adds 25 new channels in two days

PlayOn on Wednesday announced the availability of a new API that makes building channels for the company’s streaming video service easier than ever. PlayOn’s new “dead simple” PlayDirect API allows partners to create new channels by simply specifying a URL for the video feed and then selecting the video’s viewable area. Since making the new API available just two days ago, PlayOn has already added 25 new channels including Food Network, Disney Channel Live, Lifetime and TV Land, which are now available to stream to computers and mobile devices. “By opening up the PlayOn technology platform to third party developers, we are able to expand the content available to PlayOn users,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Just like Apple’s app store brought new features and functionality to the iPhone, we plan on seeing a host of new channels in PlayOn.” 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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Apple owns just 4% of video streaming market; Netflix dominates with 61%

By on March 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM.

Apple owns just 4% of video streaming market; Netflix dominates with 61%

The NPD Group on Tuesday released market share data for digital video streaming in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Netflix continues to dominate the market with its Watch Instantly service. 61% of digital movies streamed in the U.S. are served by Netflix, and its closest competitor is Comcast, which sits at a distant second with 8%. Interestingly, Apple sits in a three-way tie for the No. 3 spot with just 4% of the market. Apple’s refreshed Apple TV was deemed by many to be a success last year, with sales having surpassed 1 million units this past December. Even when combined with iTunes movies streamed to computers, however, the Apple TV still hasn’t helped Apple make a dent in the digital video market. With new players like Amazon and Redbox entering the space and Netflix still going strong, Apple may have to be a bit more innovative if it hopes to make a dent in the market. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Facebook streaming movie trial sets sights on Netflix

By on March 8, 2011 at 10:11 AM.

Facebook streaming movie trial sets sights on Netflix

The Warner Bros. blockbuster The Dark Knight has become the first title to be made available for rental on Facebook, giving us our first glimpse of what ultimately could be a truly disruptive home entertainment product. Executives at Netflix, Hulu, Redbox and other similar services were no doubt squirming in their seats on Tuesday morning following the announcement that users can now use Facebook credits to rent The Dark Knight for $3. One rented, the movie can be streamed directly from the movie’s Facebook fan page for 48 hours. “Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, in a statement. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.” Warner Bros. said it also plans to make digital movies available for purchase via Facebook. Hit the break for Warner Bros.’ full press release. More →

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Netflix and CBS ink two-year content deal

By on February 23, 2011 at 5:24 AM.

Netflix and CBS ink two-year content deal

Netflix on Tuesday announced a new deal with CBS that will bring shows from the CBS library to Netflix’s portfolio of streaming content. The news comes on the same day Amazon finally debuted its new streaming video service for Amazon Prime members. Netflix and CBS did not disclose the terms of the deal, saying only that it will bring CBS content to Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” service for the next two years. CBS also has an option to extend the deal for another two years. Content covered by this new deal includes episodes of new shows such as Medium and Flashpoint, as well as full seasons of shows like Frasier and Cheers. “We are thrilled to be bringing CBS shows to Netflix and are looking forward to growing our relationship over time,” Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “Netflix is now the only online premium subscription service with shows featured on all four broadcast networks and dozens of cable TV’s biggest brands.” Hit the break for the full press release from Netflix. More →

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Redbox clarifies plans for subscription-based streaming Netflix rival

By on February 18, 2011 at 2:00 AM.

Redbox clarifies plans for subscription-based streaming Netflix rival

In a meeting with analysts, Redbox President Mitch Lowe reaffirmed the Coinstar-owned company’s plans to launch a Netflix “Watch Instantly” competitor this year. Coinstar CEO Paul Davis first confirmed the forthcoming service last year during an earnings call, though he would not specify whether the company’s Internet streaming service would utilize an all-you-can-eat pricing model or and a la carte model. Lowe has now confirmed that the service will be subscription-based, but he did not indicate price points for the service. Redbox currently owns and operates a large network of unmanned DVD rental kiosks located throughout the country. These self-service kiosks, which are stocked with new releases and popular recent titles, allow customers to rent DVDs for as little as $1. Redbox still has not revealed a partner for its upcoming streaming service, though rumors suggest Amazon may be the most likely candidate. More →

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Microsoft to demo Windows TV product at CES

By on January 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM.

Microsoft to demo Windows TV product at CES

According to an unconfirmed report in The Seattle Times, Microsoft is preparing to demonstrate a new home entertainment product set to combat Apple TV and Google TV. The rumored service will supposedly be demonstrated this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Said to be powered by a “stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs,” a customized version of Windows Embedded is the likely candidate for this type of product. The devices are also said to feature a UI similar to the Windows Media Center interface, and will include a “polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content.” While no manufacturing partners were revealed in the report, an initial round of Windows TV boxes will apparently go on sale later this year for around $200. More →

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One-click Netflix button coming soon to TV, Blu-ray remotes

By on January 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM.

One-click Netflix button coming soon to TV, Blu-ray remotes

As Netflix continues to barrel into living rooms across the country, the thriving company announced new agreements Tuesday that will enable one-click access to its streaming video services on compatible partner devices. The new deal will place a dedicated Netflix button, complete with the Netflix logo, on remote controls that ship with various consumer electronics including Watch Instantly-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players and set top boxes. Manufacturers on board include Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Dynex (Best Buy’s in-house brand), Haier, Memorex, Boxee, Iomega and Roku. The deal is big news for Netflix, and it stands to substantially increase brand visibility. Netflix claims that there are currently more than 250 devices on the market compatible with its streaming video service. Hit the break for Netflix’s full press release. More →

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