Following the success of House of Cards, Netflix has launched its next original series, Hemlock Grove. All thirteen episodes of Hemlock Grove were made available to Netflix subscribers early this morning albeit to lackluster critic reviews. Hemlock Grove is based on a 2012 novel penned by Brian McGreevy, a supernatural thriller that is set in a small town in Pennsylvania. The plot revolves around the murder of a teenage girl, and the odd and unorthodox residents who are potential suspects. The show stars Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, and Penelope Mitchell.
The horror genre is more forgiving than many others, and as such, even with the series being panned for not having much of a storyline, it may find success with the Netflix audience. Netflix invested $45 million in the production of the first season, and so far over 1,400 Netflix members have rated the show an average of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
What's next for Netflix? The fourth season of Arrested Development. All 15 episodes of the cult hit will hit Netflix on May 26th.
Showtime has announced that the upcoming eighth season of Dexter will be the last for the popular series. The announcement came alongside the reveal that Dexter season 8 would begin on Sunday, June 30th. Showtime broke the news first on the Dexter Facebook fan page alongside a two-minute sneak peek where Dexter and Deb have a particularly intense conversation. If you haven't yet finished season 7, you'll wanna skip this one, since it has some pretty obvious spoilers in it. We've embedded the clip for you after the break.
What do you think of the news of Dexter coming to an end?
Read More | Dexter Facebook
Netflix's Neil Hunt wants to make 4K streaming a thing in your home. The Netflix exclusive House of Cards, headlined by Kevin Spacey, is the current target for 4K streaming, says Hunt. As it turns out, much of the series was shot in 4K.
"Our own original House of Cards was shot in 4K," Hunt said to The Verge. "It's being mastered in full HD, but the raw footage, or a good chunk of it, was shot in 4K, and we hope to have some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year." Hunt believes 4K "will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else," and he plans to deliver the ultra high definition format through Netflix within the next couple of years.
Read More | The Verge
The Internet video on demand streaming giant has been given the green light to share your Netflix activity among your Facebook friends. The added functionality is off by default, but users can turn it on and pretty much allow others to spy on what they're watching and liking. Thankfully, Netflix added another feature that will hide specific videos that you deem unworthy of sharing. The caveat is that you don't forget to click the "don't share this" button on a specific video.
Read More | Netflix
TiVo has finally launches the TiVo Mini, the first DVR extender offered by the company. Previously offered through a partnership to Suddenlink customers, the TiVo Mini allows the user to stream content from a TiVo Series 4 unit (either a Premiere 4 or XL4,) thus allowing you to view your recorded TiVo content on a television where you don't have a TiVo in the mix. You'll also have to make sure you can plug the TiVo Mini into Ethernet or MoCA, as that's another requirement--no Wi-Fi here. Additionally, you can also stream live TV to the mini as well, provided that one of your four tuners is available and free. Lastly, the Mini will also provide access to other services that tie into TiVo, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora. Think of it as a TiVo Stream, but for another television instead of for your iOS devices.
You can pick up the TiVo Mini now for $99.99, and you'll have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99 to use it. Alternatively, you can pay a one-time fee of $149.99 for a lifetime subscription, making the TiVo Mini actually cost $249.98.
Read More | TiVo Mini
Media streaming enthusiasts have a new toy to play with! The new Roku 3 has launched and is ready to wage war for its place in the living room against other streaming alternatives like the Apple TV. The Roku 3 has improved internals, new glossy hockey puck hardware look and a much needed revamped user interface to navigate those 700 channels. However, it still doesn't have YouTube!
As far as internal hardware specs go, the Roku 3 is now housing a dual-band Wi-Fi, assuming it now runs in the 5 Ghz frequency. Inside, it has a new faster processor which is said to be much faster than its other variant predecessors, like the Roku 2 XS. Additionally, it has a USB port, ethernet, HDMI, SD card slot, and digital in.
Read More | Roku
The Sonos Playbar is a product that filled us with excitement when it was announced, and we are back with our Playbar review. With the Playbar, Sonos enters the home theater market with a pretty sound strategy--provide a soundbar that puts out a 3.0 sound signal, and allow it to be paired with the Sonos SUB for those who want 3.1 sound…then, make it even better by allowing two Sonos PLAY:3 speakers to be used as a full on 5.1 surround sound system.
Of course, for the ultimate Sonos 5.1 setup, you'll have to pay an additional $699 for the SUB and $598 for the two PLAY:3 units, an additional $1,397 above the $699 price of the Playbar. So, while we will touch on the 3.1 and 5.1 configurations, we are here to bring you a Sonos Playbar review that focuses on the standalone abilities of the ambitious soundbar. Has it been worth the wait? We explore the answer in our full Playbar review--read on.
The Sonos Playbar is an exciting piece of gadgetry coming from one of our favorite companies, and it's now been announced that it ships on March 5. The Playbar connects to your television using a digital optical cable, offering massive sound through its nine drivers. Since it's a Sonos device, you can also play all your music through it as well. Throw in a Sonos SUB and a pair of Play:3 units, and you've got yourself a 5.1 surround sound system. March 5th is the date, and you can pre-order it now for $699.
TiVo has announced that the Flingo suite of streaming apps is now available on TiVo Premiere boxes. If you're unfamiliar with what this means, Flingo basically provides multiple channels of streaming video content, including programming from A&E, History Channel, TMZ, Showtime, and about 200 other content sources, alongside 70 apps. Flingo will also be creating exclusive content apps specifically for the TiVo Premiere through "Launchpad for TiVo." "People are demanding access to online streaming content from the comfort of their own living room, and TiVo’s offerings has evolved to support that demand," Tara Maitra, SVP and general manager of content and media sales at TiVo Inc., said in a statement.
In a way, this is like turning your TiVo into a Roku set top box. We'll be checking it out later today.
Read More | MarketWire
Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
Read More | Sonos
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