OnLive's cloud-based gaming service launched in June with Wi-Fi support conspicuously missing from its armory. While OnLive's lack of Wi-Fi support was never really a pressing concern for the vast majority of the world's population, it did matter to both the service's early adopters and detractors, with some admittedly ardent fans even stooping to such abject lows as building Ethernet loopback adapters to pass off their Wi-Fi connection as a wired one.
Home theater PCs are the ultimate digital entertainment systems, capable of delivering everything from movies, games, YouTube videos, and more. Connect one to your home network and you can access all your music, digital photos, and digital home videos, too. We show you how to create the ultimate “HTPC” on this issue’s bundled disc.
In an interview today, Intel's Paul Otellini said that the first Google TV devices should show up this month. Otellini did not specify if he was referring to the Logitech Revue or the Sony Bravia TVs, but Logitech is considered to be further along in the development process. Intel has been working closely with Google to bring Google TV to market.
The Intel head also discussed how he feels Google TV will stack up against the Apple TV (which contains no Intel chips). Otellini takes issue with the move to a streaming only device for the Apple TV. He said the Google TV solution will be better because of its unrestricted use of the "full internet". We assume that is a dig at Apple's aversion to Flash.
Still, he thinks both products can find a niche in the market. If Otellini is right, consumers will be able to decide later this month as both products become available. Are you looking at getting either one of these?
Netflix announced last week a deal with Epix valued at $900 million to bring more premium content to their streaming service. While this is great news for users, don't expect any of the high-quality shows from Time Warner owned HBO to end up on Netflix anytime soon. HBO Co-President Eric Kessler recently explained, "There is value in exclusivity. Consumers “are willing to pay a premium for high quality, exclusive content.”
HBO has plans to launch a streaming service of thier own called HBO Go in the next six months. A Netflix spokesperson expressed their desire to work with HBO saying, "Compete with us or collaborate with us, but we would much rather work with them.” It seems HBO feels they can adequately compete with Netflix, having already secured content deals for their online service with Comcast and Verizon.
No word yet on how much HBO Go would charge, but it's probably going to be more than Netflix's rock-bottom $8.99 per month (the minimum account with full streaming access). How much would you pay to access HBO shows like True Blood and The Sopranos?
Hulu is quickly taking over the market for online streaming television, and the company may be ready to test its importance by going public. An initial public offering (IPO) is said to be in the works, and the company may end up valued at around $2 billion. The move could happen as early as this fall.
Hulu is partially owned by News Corp, Disney, and NBC. The comany has seen small, but steady profits as of late, $100 million last year. This makes the possibility of a $2 billion valuation confusing. Analysts are cautious citing the weak IPO market. Hulu's saving grace could be the high volume of ads thy serve, 566 million in June. Investors may also see hope in Hulu's new $9.99 Hulu Plus service.Will you be snapping up Hulu stock in the event of an IPO?
Cox Communications is getting out of its element a little bit by announcing that it will soon start offering TiVo Premier DVR boxes with access to Cox's Video On Demand service.
"We recognize that consumers are attracted to a growing range of devices that enable them to access broadband content and interactive capabilities," said Pat Esser, President of Cox Communications. "With TiVo Premiere, Cox is providing consumers even more choice. Our subscribers will not only have access to TiVo's user experience but Cox's robust Advanced TV offering including On Demand service."
According to Cox, this is the first time a cable operator has opened up its entire video on demand library to a retail DVR. As part of the agreement, Cox says it will actively promote TiVo Premier to its subscriber base, offer up support for TiVo Premiere as an optional set-top, and provide free installation of TiVo Premiere boxes purchased at Best Buy and other retail and online outlets.
As much as we love our streaming Netflix service, if there's one gripe (and it's a pretty big one), it's that the catalog of titles isn't anywhere near as fleshed out as we'd like it to be. But hey, at least Netflix is headed in the right direction, as evidenced by a deal with premium cable channel Epix reportedly valued at over $900 million.
Who the frak is Epix, you ask? Epix is owned and operated by Studio 3 Partners, a joint venture that includes Viacom (Paramount Pictures), MGM, and Lionsgate, all of which we're willing to bet you have heard of.
Under terms of the near $1 billion deal, Netflix will be allowed to stream titles from all three studios 90 days after they make their debut on Epix, giving the streaming service access to a greater number of big name titles.
The first such titles will start to trickle out on September 1st.
We recently told you about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) attempting to get IP addresses of suspected pirates from Ustream and Juntin.tv. UFC's parent company Zuffa LLC claimed that several IP addresses were streaming pay-per-view UFC content to tens of thousands of individuals. Zuffa is only pursuing those accused of streaming the content, not the viewers. Today, Ustream has announced that they have complied with the subpoena and handed over the IP addresses.
Ustream has gone a step further by updating their video monitoring tools to take down copyrighted content more quickly. Zuffa's CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta seemed to make it clear in recent House Judiciary Committee testimony that they would be pursuing this matter aggressively. He claimed in his testimony that UFC was losing "tens of millions" because of these streams. Maybe fuzzy math, but Ustream took them seriously. Juntin.tv has not said if they complied with the order as of yet.
Do you think Zuffa should be going after the streamers like this, or is there another way?
Pay-per-view events are big business, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) isn't in the mood to share. After seeing their live events streamed on both Justin.tv and Ustream, the organization is going after both sites, presumably with a choke-hold of some sort. Well, more likely the subpoena they have obtained to force the disclosure of the infringing IP addresses will take care of everything without the need for physical violence.
UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC claims that during an event on January 2, more than 36,000 viewers tuned into an illegal stream on Ustream and Justin.tv that originated from a single IP address. Six weeks later, the same IP address hosted a stream of a pay-per-view event for 78,000 fans. It is unclear if there are additional streamers involved in other incidents. Both streaming sites have been working to keep pirated content off their services, but it's a losing battle. Some automated content fingerprinting is in use, but content makers have to work closely with the sites; something that has not happened in the case of UFC.
The UFC is apparently only after individuals that uploaded the content, not those that watched it. It's unclear if the sites will be forced to hand over the information. Do you think Ustream and Junstin.tv should give in and release the data?
Our first experience with Ultra Wide Band technology left us decidedly unimpressed. Gefen’s UWB-based Wireless USB Hub was both overpriced and uninspiring (who wants to pay $400 for a limited-range USB hub?).
Fortunately, we’re feeling more encouraged about UWB’s prospects after spending time with Warpia’s poorly named but pleasant-to-use Wireless USB PC-to-TV Audio/Video Display Adapter. The, umm, Wireless USB AV adapter is simple to install. Just plug one end into a USB port on your PC, and the other end into your TV via HDMI. (The unit has VGA and 3.5mm analog ports, as well.)