Video may have killed the radio star, but Vdio, the online video equivalent of Rdio, will do battle with Netflix for streaming supremacy. Up until yesterday, Vdio was a secret project headed by Skype creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, along with a modest team of heavy hitting players who aren't accustomed to failure, people with experience from Skype, Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. Does Netflix have anything to worry about?
Hulu is officially off the auction block, which means Google is going to have to be content with YouTube, Apple will have to find another way to boost its Apple TV platform, and Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, Dish Network, and all the rest who were interested no longer need to concern themselves with what was gearing up to be an epic bidding war. For whatever reason, Hulu simply had a change of heart.
Remember when YouTube was little more than an online video portal filled with crappy videos shot in blurry SD? You could argue that much of the content still sucks, but at least the picture quality is much improved with so many HD uploads. Google has begun taking a proactive role in improving the actual content too, and as 2012 rolls around, you'll be able to watch scheduled broadcasts with professional actors, just like cable and satellite TV.
Good news for fans of the hit TV show "Mad Men." Netflix hammered out an agreement to stream reruns of "Mad Men" after the show's initial airing on cable network AMC. As part of the deal, Netflix will fork over between $750,000 and $900,000 per episode to Lionsgate, the show's producer.
Twentieth Century Fox and Netflix today announced an amended and expanded non-exclusive digital distribution agreement that will add more titles from Fox's TV and movie library to Netflix. The multi-year agreement gives Netflix instant access to the first season of "Glee" and the first two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy," with additional seasons being added annually. Also on tap is "Ally McBeal" and "The Wonder Years."
The hit series "Dexter" is getting axed from Netflix's streaming service. So is "Californication" and every other current, original series. It's the agreement CBS's Showtime and Netflix came to when reworking an expiring streaming content deal, and quite frankly, losing popular shows like "Dexter" simply sucks. But it's not all bad news for Netflix.
Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and hope like hell you don't get gored. That's the lesson Netflix is learning as it tries to compete with cable channels like HBO and Showtime, both of which attract viewers with original series like "The Sopranos" and "Californication." It appears likely Netflix will also try its hand at producing an original television series of its own, and spend a lot of money doing so.
Time Warner, parent company of Home Box Office (HBO), announced the expansion of its authenticated online video streaming service, HBO Go, to more than 1,400 movies and TV shows. The expanded content essentially doubles HBO Go's catalog, which now includes every episode of The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Deadwood, as well as current shows like Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, and True Blood.
There's a new firmware revision available for Boxee Box owners that finally adds Vudu support, which Boxee has been promising since late 2010.
"Vudu on the Boxee Box means: access to the largest selection of HD movies on-demand, new releases (same day as DVD), thousands of movies available for rental at $2 for 2 nights (in standard definition). We are psyched," Boxee's Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post.
To celebrate the occasion, Vudu is offering every new user who signs up on the Boxee Box a $5.99 credit towards a first rental or purchase. If you own a Boxee Box, you should have received the update by now, but if not you can force the issue by heading to Settings > System > Update.
The latest firmware release also adds a boatload of enhancements and bug fixes, but still no Netflix. Not to worry, Boxee says it's "still on track for a release later this month."
For those of you who received a Boxee Box for the holidays and were disappointed to find out that both Vudu and Netflix aren't yet supported, don't despair, both are coming soon.
"We're sorry that Vudu and Netflix will not be available on the Boxee Box until January," Boxee's Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post. "I know many users will be upset. I am disappointed that we couldn't make it happen in time for the end of the year. However I'd ask that you put your faith in us. There are countless devices with access to these services available, but I'd like to think you chose Boxee because we offer something different, in our approach, in our commitment, in our passion, in the way we communicate (whether it's good stuff or bad), and in how quickly we move on the stuff that matters most to our users."
Ronen says that Vudu should be up and running by the end of next week, which the Boxee team hopes will be enough to pacify users until Netflix joins the fray at the end of the month. So why the delay?
"While both services are up and running in our offices on the Boxee Box, we need some more time to test each application to make sure they are ready for launch," Ronen explained.