TunerFreeMCE's Martin Millmore posted an example of what Hulu is doing to restrict its content, which at first meant that "no new programs will be added to Hulu in TunerFreeMCE at the moment." However, Millmore was quick to update the Vista MCE add-in to version 2.6.7, which he says works with Hulu's new encoding, albeit while running a fair bit slower.
According to Engadget, Boxee will also have an update available for Windows and Linux users before long with a workaround in place. Once that happens, it will be interesting to see how Hulu responds, who some feel is at the whim of its content providers, and not evil aliens (if such a separation exists).
In an attempt to better compete with streaming giant Netflix, Blockbuster this week announced a new deal to begin transmitting movies to TiVo users.
"This relationship with TiVo is step one in getting into the places that consumers care about," says Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster's senior VP for digital.
As part of the deal, Blockbuster will start selling TiVo DVRs in its retail stores later this year. However, neither company was willing to divulge how many of Blockbuster's nearly 4,000 stores will participate. Nor is it known what movies will be available, as "The studios and we are trying to figure it out," Lewis added.
Due to begin in the second half of 2009, Blockbuster's OnDemand will feature content to both buy and rent, and will be integrated into TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs, Blockbusters says.
Barring any changes, TiVo owners with Blockbuster accounts will pay up to $4 to rent a movie and then have 30 days to begin watching. Subscribers will then be given a 24-hour window. Alternately, movies will be available for sale at up to $20 a pop, but DRM will prevent subscribers from copying purchased content over to DVD.
After seven years of stealth development at Rearden Labs (a startup incubator), OnLive today unveiled itself as a new game service to deliver on-demand games. Basically, instead of running your games on a PC or console at home, you connect your HDTV to a small MicroConsole which receives compressed video from a remote server that actually renders and processes your games. The immediate benefits of the service is its low entry cost, since you don't have to build a high-end gaming PC or invest $500 on a next-gen gaming console. Games purchased with OnLive are activated on remote servers and the only data that is streamed to you is gameplay video and audio. You never have to download software, patches, or handle physical media. Think of it as video-on-demand but for games.
We met with OnLive's founders at Rearden Labs last week to get a sneak preview of the service, try out some games, and grill the developers about how OnLive actually works.
Think streaming video is impractical for gaming? You might be surprised...
Some users of Netflix’s streaming service have groused about dwindling performance in recent times. The dip in performance has not only nettled users but also engendered speculation as to its cause. The most plausible conjecture is that video streams are being deliberately throttled by Netflix.
“Also, routing to different ISPs in the same region may be quite different, thus performance may also be quite different, even for neighbors, if they are connected to different ISPs. Moreover, congesting points can rise and fall with ISP configuration changes and other conditions,” Hunt wrote.
Sometimes you just want to browse and listen to your album collection at the office without having to load it all into a portable music player. Pandora and Last.fm are great web services that can help you discover new music, but they won’t let you specify your own music playlist. Streaming music from within a home network is easy with iTunes and Windows Media Player; what’s trickier is getting access to your 100GB music library while away from home. We’ll teach you how to turn your library into an Internet radio station with Apache server software and a little-known program called netjukebox. You’ll be able to browse your collection via a gallery of album cover art, stream custom playlists, and even download entire albums as zip files.
The first thing you'll need to do is set your desktop up as an Apache server.
Netflix continues to enjoy immense popularity as a subscription-based movie rental and streaming video service, a business model which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously said would stay the same going forward.
"We don't plan to enter the pay-per-view segment, where Apple, Amazon, Sony, and others focus, or the ad-supported segment, where Hulu, YouTube, and other compete," Hastings said in July 2008.
Maybe success has gotten to Netflix's head. Since Hastings' statement, Netflix has made major gains to its streaming service, which is now found on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, offered through a standalone Roku player, integrated into select Blu-ray players, and even is available on some TiVo units. More homes than ever now have easy access to Netflix's streaming catalog, and a new customer survey seems to suggest that Hastings and company might be reconsidering Netflix's position as a subscription-only business. One of the questions being asked is whether customers would be willing to pay an additional $10 per month to stream "HBO original series and movies."
It's unclear how quickly Netflix would make new episodes of, say, Big Love available for viewing after first appearing on HBO, or whether new episodes would be available at the same time. But what is clear is that Netflix has become too large to ignore other business models. Even if survey respondents shoot down the idea of a $10/month HBO add-on, one has to wonder how long it will be before additional services find their way onto Netflix.
Would you pay a premium for HBO content through your Netflix account? Hit the jump and sound off.
B-list actors and Hollywood washouts taking refuge on YouTube may soon find competition from more talented (or at least more popular) A-list actors. According to The New York Times, the social video site is close to inking a deal with the William Morris Agency that would have the Hollywod talent agency putting its clients in made-for-web shoots.
The deal is not yet complete and neither YouTube or the William Morris Agency are commenting on the situation, but The New York Times claims to have talked with people close to the situation who say this is YouTube's most ambitious attempt to date to expand its video library with professional level content.
Should the deal go through, it remains to be seen how many prominent actors will show an interest in acting for YouTube, but it should be noted that the William Morris Agency represents the likes of Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Quentin Tarantino, and more, as well as famous producers and musicians.
You can already get hitched online, so why not webcast your funeral when you're dead and gone? More and more funeral homes have started offering such a service, making it possible for out-of-towners unable to make the trip to still attend a loved one's funeral, while simultaneously checking the latest sports scores in another tab (just the way Firefox envisioned it).
One such funeral home offering live (dead?) webcasts is Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service. The company first started streaming funeral services to families with relatives serving in the military, and now anyone can sign up at the any of the company's 11 locations. To prevent just anyone from watching the service, viewers must enter a password 15 minutes before it starts.
The Schoedinger funeral home says its webcasts have been popular and expects other funeral homes to follow suit. The practice has also attracted the attention of webcasting companies, who offer packages to funeral homes consisting of tripods, cameras with microphones, cables, and other webcasting necessities.
Odds are you’re carrying at least one or two devices that double as a portable media player. We’d also bet that if you’ve spent any time at all trying to watch video on such a device—be it a cell phone, personal media player, smartphone, laptop, or pretty much any other device that’s not a DVD player—you’ve experienced compatibility problems. Right now, you need a thorough understanding of the codec, resolution, and container capabilities of all your devices in order to perform an advanced task like ripping a video for use on an alternate player or streaming content from your PC to, say, your Xbox 360 (by the way, we show you exactly how to do that here).
Hit the jump to learn more about the future of media playback.
We're not going to make any comments about your multi-platform setup at home, because it's okay to accept that your PC can live alongside your Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii without major squabbling between the systems. But what do you do when your devices want to interact with each other? How do you get all of those movies, music albums, and Internet feeds on your PC to show up on your console and television set?
There are a bunch of solutions on the Internet today for streaming media from your PC to your console of choice. But that doesn't mean all of them are good. In fact, you'll never know whether a given tool works for you unless you spend the requisite half-hour installing it, configuring it for streaming, firing up your console, trying to connect to your PC, et cetera. It's a process. But at least allow us to do our part in reducing your streaming nightmare. We've rounded up a batch of our favorite freeware applications for streaming media from a PC to a console, as well as a handy encoding tool in case you still can't get your huge movies to work just right.
Click the link, press Start, and we're off to World 1-1 of media transcoding!