The Google TV platform is facing its first major challenge as ABC, CBS, and NBC are all blocking TV programming on their websites from playing back on Google's Web-TV service, the Wall Street Journal reports. That means Google TV owners are unable to watch full-length episodes of popular shows like "The Office" and "Survivor."
"Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners' choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on a platform," a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.
This latest move underscores the divide between Google and major media companies, the latter of which aren't convinced Google's business model can fairly compensate them. What should be concerning for Google is that other networks might follow suit. Fox Broadcasting and Viacom's MTV both support the platform, but a Fox spokeswoman warned that "a firm decision has not yet been reached."
It looks as though video streaming site Hulu is on the verge of dropping the price of their Hulu Plus service dramatically. The pay service, which launched in June for $10 per month, could be cut in half to only $4.95 a month. This may be an indication that Hulu has been unable to lure in enough users during the beta period to make the service viable.
Hulu Plus as designed to bring in a second, and presumably larger, revenue stream. But lacking selection has apparently stifled demand. Many of the shows Hulu offers additional content for on Hulu Plus are from the studios that own stakes in Hulu including Fox, NBC, and ABC. Most cable shows are left out of the Hulu Plus line-up.
We're forced to wonder, is this an indication that Hulu won't be getting a better selection? If they could beef up the catalog, keeping the $10 price point could be a possibility. Since they are lowering the price, that could be a sign that it isn't getting much better than this. Would you subscribe to Hulu Plus for $5 a month?
We're reminded today that back in the late 1990s, Warner Bros. was looking for leverage in their negotiations with Blockbuster. The studio took on a small ownership stake in the then fledgling Netflix. The other major studios followed suit. This was all prior to Netflix's 2002 IPO. All the movie studios sold their shares about a year after that.
This was probably a financial blunder of epic proportions. Netflix is hugely popular, and its stock is trading over $150 per share. It started at $15 in 2002. Aside from the monetary cost, the studios have to contend with the fact they could have had some control over this extremely popular entertainment option. As it stands, they may find themselves benefitting less from their interactions with Netflix.
What might have been if Hollywood had kept their stakes in Netflix? Maybe Blockbuster would have fared better if Netflix was being managed by the studios. Or perhaps we wouldn't be enjoying the plethora of streaming options on Netflix.
Provided you live in the United States or Canada, Netflix is now available as a download from the Wii Shop channel. The Nintendo Wii is the last of the three major consoles to offer disc-less Netflix streaming, while the Xbox 360 had it all along.
"At this time of year, consumers have a near-insatiable demand for family entertainment," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "And this simplified Netflix access will help bring families together more quickly, more easily and in more ways than ever before. More than 3 million Wii systems have already connected to Netflix, demonstrating how easy the service is to set up and use."
The new Will channel doesn't cost anything, though you will need a Netflix plan starting at $8.99/month. Netflix has been available on the Wii since April 12, 2010, but prior to today streaming Netflix content required the use of a disc. This is a nice upgrade, albeit limited by the Wii's max 480P output.
Microsoft tied up the exclusive rights to disk free Netflix console streaming, but all things must come to an end, and I’m sure most PS3 owners are more than happy to count this odd business deal among them. Starting today US viewers can download the new disk-free Netflix application from the Sony Store, even though the actual service behind it won’t go live until tomorrow.
Early impressions of the new Netflix PS3 interface is overwhelmingly positive with support for 1080p, 5.1 surround sound, and even closed captioning if the title supports it. With the Wii capped at 480p, the Xbox 360 capped at 720p, the PS3 which will support resolutions up to 1080p is starting to look like the superior solution. Very few titles will support the higher resolutions at launch, but this will no doubt chance fairly quickly.
Do you intend to start using your PS3 for Netflix over your previous solution?
Initially, mobile handset vendors will have to embed a special chip to enable WHDI connectivity, but Amimon hopes to change that by adding a small logic to Wi-Fi’s MAC, paving the way for a “WHDI in software IP” solution, offering vendors “low-cost, low-power, virtually zero-latency, high-range wireless video capability for free.”
It is common knowledge that Google’s wet dreams are almost exclusively comprised of browsers. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the search giant sees a browser in every TV. According to Rishi Chandra, a senior product manager at Google, the time when all TVs will ship with built-in browsers is near. He made these comments while talking to CNN’s Google blogger Seth Weintraub.
Chandra is confident that GoogleTV will escape the miserable fate of similar undertakings before it. He believes they got the timing all wrong, whereas “we are at a tipping point” now. The company expects GoogleTV to be a graduated hit, a la Android, rather than an instant hit.
Owners of the PS3 have been able to watch Netflix streaming content on their consoles for some time now. The only problem is that it required a special streaming disc to be in the machine. But according to Sony, a new disc-free Netflix streaming solution is coming to the PS3 on October 18. The application will be free and it will be installed to the console like other apps.
The interface is completely redesigned, and includes search capability. Users will finally be able to add items to the queue right from the PS3. Netflix on the PS3 will also be serving up 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound, when the content supports it. Other Netflix solutions are stuck at 720p for the time being. If that's not enough, the PS3 will also support subtitles.
The UI looks slick in the video, but that might be trickery. We'll reserve judgment until the app rolls out, but it will be nice to get rid of that disc once and for all. Any Netflix subscribers taking another look at the PS3 as a streaming device?
If you live in the US, odds are you've used Hulu. You probably even think it's a cool service. But do you think it's worth $2 billion? That's apparently what Hulu thinks they're worth according to a report from Reuters. Sources say that Hulu is looking to raise $200-300 million in an IPO, which would value the entire company at about $2 billion.
The official filing should hit the SEC late in 2010, meaning the IPO will happen in the first half of 2011. Sure, these are some big numbers, but investors are still skittish. Hulu's entire business model relies on their network partners continued generosity. If they chose not to license content to Hulu, the site would quickly die. As it is, Hulu has to pay nearly half its ad revenue to content partners.
The recently launched subscription service is perhaps another way to pull in some cash, but it remains to be seen if Hulu can attract significant numbers of users. Still more, can they get the content deals to fill out the selection? What do you think Hulu's future holds?
In addition to free healthcare, Newegg, and some of the best bacon in the world, Canada now has access to Netlfix's streaming service, the online movie rental company announced.
"Jessie Becker here, delighted to tell you that today our neighbors to the north (or 'neighbours,' to use the Canadian spelling) can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes from Netflix to TVs and computers for only CDN$7.99 a month," Jessie Becker, of Head of Marketing, Netflix, announced in a blog post.
This marks the first time Netflix has ventured outside of the U.S, and depending on how things go, more territories are likely to follow.
"For now, we're focused on Canada," Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix, said. "If we succeed in Canada, we will certainly look at other markets.
Hastings said "Western Europe, Latin America, Asia, or Russia" could all be future destinations, adding "It's unlikely to be Africa, but other than that, all continents are open."