Who isn't streaming or planning to stream Netflix content these days? If asked that question yesterday, you could have answered 'TiVo' and been correct. But today we've learned that Netflix and TiVo have partnered to offer streaming downloads by the end of 2008.
This isn't the first time Netflix and TiVo have flirted with each other. Back in 2005, it looked as though the two were going to cozy up to each other before the deal ultimately fell through "indefinitely." Fast forward to today and Netflix now adds TiVo to a growing list of players who either already are, or soon will be streaming the online rental service's downloadable catalog of titles. Other players include Roku and its set-top box, Microsoft with an upcoming dashboard update to its Xbox 360 console, and select Blu-ray players from LG (LG BD300) and Samsung (BD-P2500 and PD-P2550).
The deal with TiVo has already entered the beta stage for select TiVo owners, and an official roll-out is planned for early December. The service will be available to Netflix subscribers who own a TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series3 DVR.
We all have that friend or colleague who simply can't resist passing along a link to yet another "hilarious" YouTube video (and if not, well, you might be that friend or colleague). That's okay when it's a quick 30-second videoclip, but does Dan from accounting really expect us to sit through a 12-minute low quality video that doesn't even begin to get good until the 8-minute and 32-second mark?
No longer do we have to, and Dan can link us to a specific spot in any YouTube clip now that the video sharing site has quietly implemented deep linking functionality. To do so, senders need only add a short tag to the end of any YouTube link in the form of #t=_m_s, but instead of underscores, specify the exact minute and seconds (as designated by the 'm' and 's'). So to skip to the 8-minute and 32-second mark, it would read #t=8m32s.
Nvidia owners with an SLI setup who have dreamed of running multiple monitors have been left in the cold for quite some time now. Stretching your real estate out onto a second monitor forced GeForce owners to disable SLI and reconfigure settings from scratch each time. This could take up several minutes and in some extreme cases, even a reboot. ATI owners on the other hand have had the ability to run crossfire on multi monitors for quite some time now and even Nvidia’s Quadro lineup has a fix in place. The day of reckoning is at hand however for GeForce owners and the wait for a fix may soon be over. According to leaked drivers which were previewed by VR-Zone an update from Nvidia may put the issue to bed once and for all. Screen shots and even a download link to the driver shows SLI multi monitor support in action.
Version 180.10 which Nvidia dubs “Big Bang II” could be rolling out soon and these drivers show that significant progress has been made on the issue. The site currently only offers the 64 bit version and this “leaked” copy features a few limitations which are important to know. Currently only clone mode is available for the second monitor, and 3D applications will match the resolutions on both displays regardless of compatibility. Additionally, these features come with roughly a 5% performance hit acording to 3DMark. Additional program specific conflicts are also being discussed in forums, and Nvidia (understandably) isn’t saying much.
The company has not confirmed the authenticity of these drivers or given any official release date on “Big Bang II”. The suggested launch date of September has obviously come and gone and ForceWare version 178.24 debuted just last week. Since driver releases are traditionally a minimum of one month apart, I highly doubt we will see anything new before late November or sometime in December at the earliest.
It was exactly one week ago that I professed my undying love for Netflix with the same affection often heard from those harboring a grade school crush. At the time, which now seems like so long ago, I thought we had worked through most of our issues, but now I find myself needing to vent.
Today I wake up and find out that should I jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon, it's going to cost me an extra $1 per month. Jessie Teitz, Netflix's VP of marketing, says the surcharge is to cover the "significant cost difference" between Blu-ray and standard DVDs and calls the price hike "pretty modest." And while it may seem silly to begrudge a single George Washington to the one I love, that still works out to a near 6 percent price hike for the 3-DVD plan. And for those of you on the 2-DVD plan for $4.99, the increase works out to a 20 percent jump.
Maybe I shouldn't have let Netflix know how wrapped around its finger I am and only have myself to blame. Or maybe I'm overreacting. After all, I won't be charged anything extra to stream Netflix downloads to my Xbox 360 this fall, nor has the recent Starz catalog caused the subscription rate to rise. I know I'll work through this, I'm just not happy about it at the moment.
Do you feel the same way? Hit the jump and offer up some insight.
Amazon has armed its subsidiary Internet Movie Database (IMDB) with 6,000 full-length movies and TV episodes. Users can watch the video content without spending even a single penny. Video on IMDB had been long overdue and its absence was perplexing.
Sadly enough, though, only a glimpse of the video feature is enough to tell you that it will take quite a long time for video to be the site’s USP. The list of featured videos is too short to be any good.
The incongruity between disparate media formats has denied us a truly universal media experience till now. This is simply not acceptable in this epoch of technology convergence. A consortium called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystems (DECE) is working on improving interoperability between different media and consumer electronic devices. The group includes HP, Intel, Microsoft, Paramount, Sony and Toshiba, besides other prominent CE heavyweights and film studios.
If most people find merit in the notion that digital downloads are going to replace the need for optical storage formats, they will also agree that digital content will have to offer a universal media experience like the hugely successful DVD. “We see this vision of 'buy once, play anywhere,” Mark Coblitz, senior VP of strategic planning at Comcast – a member of DECE, gave the gist of the plan.
DECE President Mitch Singer even welcomed Apple, which runs a popular digital distribution service iTunes, tied to its products, to join the consortium. Do you think that services like iTunes are doomed?
Earlier this summer, both Nvidia and ATI hosted press events to unveil their new hardware—and the excitement about GPU-based encoding was palpable. We were promised that our videocards would make Photoshop faster and better and our GPUs would encode video 10 times faster than our CPUs. In fact, someone lacking tech savvy would have left these presentations thinking, "Wow, these GPU things can make common computing tasks run insanely fast, and there are a couple of games that work with them too." Of course, as is typical, the truly big promises (like 10x faster video encodes) were off in the future, when the software was "ready."
Well, the software's nearly ready. Elemental's Badaboom uses Nvidia's CUDA interface to do lots of the grunt work of DVD ripping by using the GPU instead of your musty old CPU. I've been in the Lab for the last few days putting this app through the ringer. Our test bed for this challenge is an Intel Q6600 quad core, running at a stock 2.4GHz, with 4GB of memory and a GeForce GTX 280 reference board.
Point-n-shoot digital cameras have had the ability to shoot video for quite some time, but the same feature has been noticeably absent among digital SLR (DSLR) cameras. Adding insult to injury, even low end DSLRs typically cost more than high end digital cameras, yet if owners of the latter want to take videos, it meant spending even more money on a camcorder.
Nikon looks to change that trend with the release of its latest digital single-lens reflex camera, the D90, which is the company is billing as the first SLR with video capability. Nikon made it possible to record video by using a faster frame rate and a different way of processing the images.
"The big plus is that you can now shoot video with a great lens," says Steve Heiner, Nikon's senior technical manager.
The D90 will be capable of recording both high definition and standard video clips, but the new functionality won't come cheap. Expect to pay around $1,300 for the D90 with lens when it becomes available in stores next month.
It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.
3D graphics technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 3DFX first laid its Voodoo on the computing world, and today's videocards boast everything from multiple GPUs in a single package to the promise of physics processing. And not just for gaming, fanatical Folders can crunch through more proteins by utilizing their GPU, or decode a high definition movie on their new big screen TV.
Leading the charge into this new era of 3D computing are Nvidia and ATI, two companies who have recently started going at each others' throats with aggressive price cuts and a deluge of new videocards while simultaneously chasing the performance crown. But for all their battles, both old and new, it's Intel, CPU maker extraordinaire, who continues to lead the market.
Find out how much catching up Nvidia and ATI have to do after the jump.