Hulu’s international plans have been the subject of much speculation in recent months as Netflix begins its worldwide expansion. The video streaming service had finally made its first move. Hulu will be available to Japanese users later this year.
Several years ago, I was in Florida for a convention and a shuttle launch. I spent a few days with one of my nephews. One night, all discussion stopped immediately after dinner so we could watch a new sitcom he had become enamored with. Suffering from an untimely attack of good manners, I kept my mouth shut and prepared to suffer through 22 minutes of inanity. Instead, I laughed out loud. The show was The Big Bang Theory, and I immediately recognized it was about me, all of my friends, and most of the readership of MaximumPC. Returning to the left coast, I set the DVR to record every episode.
If you're looking for relaxation, nothing beats living in the country. Even Steve Ballmer would chill out and unwind after spending a lazy day in the shade of a tree with nary a neighbor to be seen. Of course, rural living has a couple of downsides, too, not the least of which is poor broadband penetration. The IEEE wants to tackle that problem. Today, the group announced the publication of the 802.22 WiFi standard, which usurps the "white space" in analog TV frequencies to deliver high speeds over long ranges.
According to the LA Times, one of the mysterious parties that’s been in talks to buy Hulu is none other than Google. Also involved in the preliminary negotiations are Microsoft and Yahoo. Google is reportedly interested in Hulu due to its reach in video advertising, a field Google pioneered with YouTube.
Viacom isn't done ruining everyone's good time. Nope, not by a long shot. The content giant has notified Cablevision that their iPad app, which allows streaming live TV to the device, is not acceptable. The app only works in the customer's home, but Viacom still considers this sort of use to be outside the realm of existing content deals.
We're a little surprised that, up until now, NEC hasn't released a large-screen LCD display with LED backlighting, but hey, there's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late. NEC joins the large-screen LED party with a pair of professional-grade models, the 46-inch X461S and 55-inch X551S. Like nearly all LED displays, both of NEC's new models sport a super-slim profile.
If watching television makes you want to go out and shoot something (preferably something made out of clay and legal to shoot), then Radio Shack might have an offer that's right up your alley. A Radio Shack Super Store in Hamilton, Montana has decided to offer a free gun to qualifying customers who sign up for new Dish Network service.
Looking to replace your janky rear-projection HDTV? There are plenty of options to wade through if you're in the market for a new TV set, including four new models that Sharp has just begun shipping. These all fall under Sharp's LE830 Series Aquos Quattron LED LCD line, which it introduced earlier this year at CES.
Your Mitsubishi brand LCD TV is about to become a relic of sorts. In a strange, and perhaps desperate move, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America is reportedly drop kicking LCD TV production as part of a restructuring process that will also include handing out pink slips. Mitsubishi said its goal is to "reclaim [its] position as the large screen company," but without LCD TVs. How exactly does the display maker plan to do that?
More plant closures are coming as a result of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Toshiba, for example, said it is shutting down a liquid crystal display plant in Fukaya for about a month as the firm assesses the damage and goes about making repairs. Meanwhile, Hitachi is stopping production of small panel LCDs at a factory near Tokyo, also for about a month.
Whether or not the closures lead to panel shortages is still up in the air. The plants in question mostly deal with displays for mobile devices, like smartphones and navigation devices, and could affect the auto industry, Reuters reports.
"Given that car production in Japan is down anyway, a one-month stop in production may not be as problematic as it might seem," said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan. "However, given that the market for smartphones outside Japan is pretty active, supply disruptions there could cause problems for some handset makers of some models."
According to iSuppli, Panasonic's 6th generation LCD fab in Japan was also affected by the quake. That plant produces LCD TV panels for use in Panasonic televisions.