Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed a bill that would make it illegal to share your password on subscription-based entertainment services like Netflix, Pandora, or Hulu Plus. As the AP explained, the bill is intended to stop hackers who sell batches of passwords, but it could extend to the average user who lets friends or family members watch a movie using their Netflix login or listen to music streams on Rhapsody.
"What becomes not legal is if you send your username and password to all your friends so they can get free subscriptions," bill sponsor Rep. Gerald McCormick, a Republican, told the AP.
This deal marks the first time that Miramax movies have been available through a digital subscription service, Netflix said.
Starting June, subscribers will be able to access movies Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Bad Santa, Scream, Spy Kids, The Piano, and Kill Bill. Netflix will add "hundreds" of Miramax titles, which will be added to Watch Instantly on a rotating basis, the company said.
"From day one, we've been very clear about the importance of digital and our desire to respond to the significant pent-up demand for our films—delivering to consumers whenever and wherever they want," Mike Lang, CEO of Miramax, said in a statement. "This agreement is an important first step in our digital strategy. Netflix has always been a trailblazer, with a tremendous track record of innovation and quality customer service. We're thrilled to now be in business with them as we build and revitalize the proud Miramax brand."
Just under a year from when Google and Logitech first unveiled the first Google TV, otherwise known as the Logitech Revue, Google I/O 2011 is this week in San Francisco with some real hope for the platform. Google just signed a deal that brings thousands of videos YouTube.
Content, content, content. Without it, you're as dead in the water as the some extended cable channel at 3 a.m. The only reason that fools like me own one is the vague hope that Google might see the light, open its pocketbook, and perhaps give us some real content to watch.
It's odd, in a way, that consumers could even gripe about such a thing. A few bucks to Netflix or to Hulu opens up a wealth of fresh and archived content that should keep the most devoted couch potato rooted for weeks. But there's something inutterably frustrating about visiting a website and seeing content blocked—blocked!—just because you own a particular piece of hardware.
It seems likely that Samsung will announce its Google TV devices this week, in addition to a Chrome OS netbook. With Logitech reporting just $5 million in sales for the Revue, it would seem that the supply will outstrip the demand.
But with Google's deal that brings rentals to YouTube, there's hope for the platform yet. While Google TV doesn't look likely to dominate the media streamer market, let's look at what Google could do to make the next generation of Google TV succeed.
Netflix is considering a plan that would allow subscribers to watch concurrent "Watch Instantly" streams on the same account.
Similar to how Netflix DVD customers can opt to have more than one DVD out at a time, Netflix streaming customers could add a customer to their account, allowing one person to stream a movie on a laptop while another person watches on a tablet, for example.
The move comes as Netflix starts to think of membership opportunities as it relates to individuals rather than households.
"As streaming has become central to our business, we believe there may be an opportunity to change our focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship, since streaming is viewed on personal devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as on shared large screen televisions," Netflix said in a note to investors.
As a result, Netflix said it plans to start offering the concurrent streaming plan later this year, though "we are still thinking about how to best do it." It also thinking about a price point that might encourage multiple accounts in one household, like a Netflix family plan.
When the iPhone was launched in 2007, I met with Phil Schiller, SVP of World Wide marketing for Apple, and Greg Joswiak, the Apple VP in charge of marketing the iPods and iPhones. During the meeting they showed me the iPhone's many features and shared their goals for the device, which has now become a major business for Apple.
During that meeting, they made a comment that I believe is really the heart of Apple's secret sauce and the cornerstone of how it continues to outsmart its competitors. They laid the iPhone on the table, with it turned off, and asked me what I saw. I told them I saw a 3.5 inch blank screen. They said that from Apples point of view, the "magic" of the iPhone is strictly in the software. And, they de-emphasized the hardware.
Yes, the iPhone was a slick smartphone with a great screen and, at the time, it broke new ground in smartphone design, and Apple was very proud of that. However, with the iPhone turned off, it had very little value. But once it was turned on, the iPhone's OS and apps turned it into a completely different device. While it was a phone, the software made it much more—it became a vehicle for applications. It also had another component that really made it sing and dance; it was also an iPod and was tied directly to iTunes. Now it morphed into a much broader multi-purpose device. It was a phone, a vehicle for apps, and an iPod, which made it a great personal mobile entertainment system.
"Mad Men" fans might not get a new dose of Don Draper until 2012, but Netflix has inked a deal with Lionsgate to stream all seasons of the show via Watch Instantly.
The first four seasons of the AMC drama will be available to U.S. viewers on Netflix starting July 27. Canadian customers already have streaming access to the show.
"Mad Men has been and continues to be a representation of TV at its best and Netflix is proud to be the syndication home for this acclaimed series," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said in a statement. "This deal secures long term instant access to an iconic show for Netflix members for years to come."
The deal is noteworthy because Netflix is paying for the syndication rights to "Mad Men"; reruns will not air on other broadcast or cable TV channels.
Days after Showtime said it will pull some of its original programming from Netflix's Watch Instantly, Starz has announced some changes to its Netflix lineup, saying it will delay the Netflix debut of "Camelot" for 90 days.
Starz is set to debut its original series, "Camelot," on April 1. As reported by the LA Times, Starz was originally scheduled to debut "Camelot" via Netflix Watch Instantly on April 2, but will now wait 90 days until the show is viewable online.
Starz also plans to delay movies, though a Netflix spokesman said there are "no changes to movies." As the LA Times notes, however, the companies' current contract expires in 2012, so the movie delays could be added to next year's negotiations.
Starz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An alleged Android app for Netflix leaked on the Internet on Thursday, but doesn't appear to stream videos yet.
Android Police discovered and tested the app on an EVO phone, but couldn't get anything to stream.
"Everything looked good up until the point where I actually wanted to watch a movie – and then...nothing," blogged Will Shanklin.
Last November, Netflix blamed Android's fragmentation issues for not being able to offer a Netflix app on all Android phones. Netflix does, however, have streaming apps for the iPhone and iPod touch as well as an updated iPad app. Boxee finally added a Netflix app last month after multiple delays due to security issues.
Thanks to a software update for Apple TV announced Wednesday, owners can now stream live and archived U.S. NBA and MLB games. The Apple TV update version 4.2 also adds 5.1 Dolby audio to Netflix streaming.
Starting at $64.95 a year, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) "League Pass Broadband" lets you follow seven teams, while a $99.95 option lets you watch games from all 30 teams, amounting to more than 40 games a week during the season. However there is a location-based blackout period, meaning that you'll only be able to access your subscription in the state or zip code in which you purchased it.
Meanwhile Major League Baseball's "MLB.TV" streaming package, also available on Roku and PlayStation 3, starts at $19.99/month or $99.99/year for the Standard package; $24.99/month or $119.99 a year for the Premium package. Premium adds the ability to choose home or away team video broadcasts, DVR functionality, and split-screen viewing.
During Nintendo magnate and happy papa Satoru Iwata's keynote at the GDC today, Linebacker-In-Chief Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage briefly to discuss some new functionality slated to arrive for the Nintendo 3DS. This includes:
- Nintendo will be partnering with Netflix to bring streaming video to the 3DS. You'll be able to pick up watched videos on your home set if you're viewing on the go. No word yet on whether Netflix will begin offering 3D movies for the device, though I wouldn't be surprised if they do in the future.
- 3D trailers for films such as the Green Lantern will be available for download and mobile viewing.
- Nintendo will be offering a short-form video service where they curate content for your eyeballs, kind of like the top-level videos on services like Xbox Live. They know what is best for your viewing pleasure. Obey. Obeeeeey.
- 3D video recording! This had been hinted at for a while by Iwata, but it has been confirmed during the talk. Record videos in 3D from your handheld, watch them right back on the screen. If you thought people uploading photos of their misshapen junk to Tiger Woods games was bad, steel yourself.
- Nintendo will be partnering with AT&T to have 10,000 existing hotspots acting as hubs for the 3DS. You'll be able to grab content, connect with other players, browse, and access other online functionality for the 3DS through yonder hotspots. I am very confident in this, because anyone with an AT&T iPhone will tell you how much they absolutely love and appreciate the service.
- New Shops: The 3DS will be allowing you to transfer your existing DSiWare titles to your new handheld, and will be offering 2 new shops: Virtual Console, where you can get old GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Turbografx, and GameGear titles, and 3D Classics, where you can get similar titles newly remastered with 3D functionality. There will also be a game promotion channel for screenshots, trailers, etc.
The update in late May will allow you to transfer your DSiWare, get a web browser, and access the shops.