Flicks with a pulse on where technology was headed
You can yell, "Beam me up, Scotty!" all you want, the only thing that will happen is you'll elicit a bunch of bemused stares from passersby wondering if you've bonked your head recently. The sad fact is human teleportation devices don't yet exist in 2013, and even if they did, the tremendous lag would make it extraordinarily impractical. Such is the reality of science that it doesn't always mesh with our fantastic visions of fictional futures filled with flying cars and other implausible technologies. In other words, reality sucks compared to what we've grown up watching on television.
Redbox Instant opens to the public with a small catalog and big ambitions.
Redbox Instant is now an official player in the streaming game now that it's open to the general public. The movie streaming site is a joint venture by Coinstar and Verizon, giving the service a fair bit of financial backing and marketing muscle, though the first order of business should be to beef up its catalog of titles. At launch, Redbox Instant offers around 4,600 titles, far less than competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The Acer H6510BD projector offers instant 2D to 3D conversion in HD with no extra software required.
Acer on Thursday announced that it's H6510BD projector for displaying 3D movies and games is now available in the United States. The H6510BD features Full HD 1080p support and converts 2D content passed through the HDMI port to 3D on-the-fly without any extra software. It also supports all the popular 3D technologies, including Blu-ray 3D, DLP 3D, and Nvidia 3DTV Play.
Microsoft scored a console exclusive agreement to keep Redbox Instant off of the PS3 and Wii U.
Microsoft's Major Nelson blog has revealed that the "Redbox Instant" video service by Verizon is coming to the Xbox 360 "in the very near future." The Xbox 360 is the exclusive gaming console launch partner, which means Sony (PlayStation 3) and Nintendo (Wii U) can do nothing but sit on the sideline and wait their turn. If you're already a Redbox Instant beta participant, keep your eyes peeled for an email with a unique code to access the app on Xbox 360 in the coming days.
Walmart's disc-to-digital in-home service will "convert" your existing movie collection to UltraViolet digital copies starting at $2 a pop.
It's not just tablet makers and hardware manufacturers in general making a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Retailers have joined the party, including Walmart, which used the annual convention to announce that it's expanding its in-store Disc-to-Digital service to allow for the same service from the comfort of your home. As an aside, Wally World also launched a new Facebook app that provides access to exclusive movie content and allows users to decide what movies are sold in-store and online.
Android users rejoice, Vudu is now available (for certain tablets).
At long last, Vudu is finally available for select Android tablets. The new app arrives at Google Play about a year after Vudu launched to iOS, and it brings with it access to more than 100,000 movies and TV shows to supported tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. Vudu says it plans on expanding support to include "many more tablet models and smartphones" in the near future, though stopped short of offering up any specifics.
Die hard fans of the iconic Star Wars franchise are freaking out after learning that George Lucas just sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion, but after suffering through a trio of sequels that brought Jar Jar Binks into the world, maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Regardless, it happened, and Disney is already planning a new Star Wars movie, which it's targeting for a 2015 release.
Forget about making room on your entertainment center for yet another set-top box, Roku's Streaming Stick packs the same functionality into a package that's no bigger than a typical USB flash drive. Roku first unveiled the device at the beginning of the year with a promise to ship it in the second half of 2012 for anywhere from $50 to $100. Making good on that promise, Roku today said its Streaming Stick will be available to purchase in October for $99.99.
With Google's recently launched Nexus 7 tablet encroaching on what had been Amazon's territory led by the Kindle Fire, the e-tailer is busy beefing up what it hopes will prove a trump card. You can't stream Amazon Prime Instant Video to the Nexus 7, but you can on the Kindle Fire (provided you didn't root the device and feed it Ice Cream Sandwich), which will now enjoy access to an even larger catalog courtesy of an expanded content licensing agreement with NBCUniversal and New Media Distribution.
Several changes to the way Hulu operates could be in store for the streaming video service, according to a leaked internal memo deemed confidential. The three-page document indicates a desire by parent companies News Corp. and Disney to take control of how Hulu operates, and specifically in regards to freeing up current-season content from the shackles of exclusivity so that previously restricted programming could be licensed to third parties, such as YouTube.