YouTube, the video sharing site that turned six years old this week, is for the first time giving users the ability to view thousands of 3D videos in stereoscopic 3D on their Nvidia 3D Vision PCs and notebooks, Nvidia announced today. Not everyone gets to participate in the fun, at least not right off the bat. Thanks in part to the ongoing web standards war, the ability to view streaming stereoscopic 3D visions with Nvidia 3D Vision-enabled PCs is exclusively available to Mozilla's Firefox 4 (and above) browser.
YouTube has a message for video uploaders who run afoul of copyright law: You better check yourself before you wreck yourself. To help offending users check themselves, anyone who receives a copyright notification for one of their videos will be required to attend "YouTube Copyright School." This entails watching a copyright tutorial video and taking a quiz afterwards to make sure you didn't simply hit 'play' while you head out to go smokin' in the boys room.
We're still a long, long ways off from living out a Minority Report lifestyle, but the next time you turn on your Xbox 360 console, you'll be prompted to accept an update that adds even more razzle dazzle to your Kinect, if you have one. The update adds Kinect support for Netflix, so you no longer have to grab your controller to sort through titles and fire up movies in your queue.
We're big fans of Cisco's Flip digital video cameras. They're great for taking spontaneous HD videos on-the-go and quick uploading to your favorite social networking portals. Sadly, it looks as though Cisco is conceding the ultra-portable HD camera market to the growing number of capable smartphones and will cease producing Flip cameras. That's only part of the story.
Some analysts believe Google paid too much for YouTube when the search giant acquired the video sharing portal in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Whether or not Google overvalued the site ultimately remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the sultan of search is dipping into its treasure chest and will pour another $100 million into YouTube to fund low-cost original content designed exclusively for the Web.
Amazon Prime Members can now enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows, Amazon announced in a press release. Prime Members, who already pay $79 per year for free two-day shipping and other benefits, don't have to fork over any additional fees for the service. And if you're not a Prime Member, Amazon hopes this new addition will prompt you become one.
Amazon today said it reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in LoveFilm International Limited, a European DVD-by-mail subscription service very similar to Netflix.
"The deal is a winner for the members who love LoveFilm because of its value, choice, convenience, and innovation in home entertainment," said Simon Calver, Chief Executive of LoveFilm. "With Amazon's unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members' experience across Europe."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though TechCrunch claims to "have it on good authority that LoveFilm was valued at around $312 million for the purposes of the acquisition." Amazon already owned a 42 percent stake in LoveFilm before going all in by scooping up the remaining 58 percent.
In addition to DVD-by-mail rentals, LoveFilm also offers a streaming service accessible via PCs, PlayStation 3 consoles, and some HDTVs. It will be interesting to see what Amazon does with this acquisition, and how it will affect Netflix's plans to march into Europe.
Netflix has been around for over a decade and began life as a video rental-by-mail business, but it's the company's streaming service that's proving to be its bread-and-butter business model. Starting today, Netflix is offering a U.S. streaming-only subscription plan for $7.99/month.
"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. "Today's action reflects the tremendous customer value we've injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month, and what our U.S. members tell us they want."
Not a bad deal for those interested only in streaming content, though for everyone else, prices are going up. Both the 1 DVD and 2 DVDs at a time rental plans are increasing by a $1/month, while the rest are seeing higher price hikes. Here's how it breaks down:
1 DVD: $8.99 --> $9.99
2 DVDs: $13.99 --> $14.99
3 DVDs: $16.99 --> $19.99
4 DVDs: $23.99 --> $27.99
5 DVDs: $29.99 --> $34.99
6 DVDs: $35.99 --> $41.99
7 DVDs: $41.99 --> $48.99
8 DVDs: $47.99 --> $55.99
In other words, prices are going up $1/DVD for all except the 2 DVDs plan, which rises by $0.50/DVD. The only plan not seeing a price increase is the 1 DVD (limit 2 per month) plan without unlimited streaming service attached, which will remain $4.99/month.
The hardware masochists over at iFixIt.com have given the new Boxee Box its official right of passage into the electronics world, which requires gutting like a pig and laying out the digital organs for all to see.
iFixIt said it was hard to ignore just how much taller the Boxee Box is compared to the Apple TV and Logitech Revue devices, but that its build quality rivaled Apple's and was much more solid-looking than the Revue. Adhesive holds the lime green rubber base in place, and underneath that sit four #1 Phillips and two #2 Phillips screws.
From the looks of things, the Boxee Box isn't terribly difficult to get into, though we don't recommend doing so unless you have a real good reason to void your warranty and potentially turn your $200 box in a pricey doorstop.
Take the multi-page, pic heavy journey right here.
Let's face it, Netflix and Hulu rule the streaming media world, both are awesome, and we all want our devices to support them. That hasn't really been a problem with Netflix, which has burst into our living rooms via set to boxes, consoles, Blu-ray players, and scores of other devices. Hulu? Now that's another story.
Well, we have some great news folks. D-Link's new Boxee Box just launched and it supports Netflix, VUDU, and Hulu Plus. Not right away, mind you, but both Netflix and Hulu Plus will be supported "before the end of the year."
On the hardware and connectivity side, the new media streamer comes powered by an Intel processor and includes HDMI out, an Ethernet port, Wireless-N, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, S/PDIF and composite audio connectors, and a SD card reader.