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.
Netflix on Tuesday announced a deal with CBS Corporation that will bring classic CBS content to Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming library.
Starting in April, dozens of CBS shows will be available to all Netflix members, including "Medium" and "Flashpoint." Netflix will also add full seasons of "Frasier," "Family Ties," and "Cheers." For sci-fi fans, the streaming library will soon include "Star Trek" and "Twin Peaks." CBS is also contributing shows from the 60s, including "The Twilight Zone" and "The Andy Griffith Show."
Two companies signed a two-year, non-exclusive deal; CBS retains the right to extend it for another two years.
"More and more, people want to be able to access our programming on a wide variety of platforms. We are very pleased that the titles offered through this deal will now also be made available to a whole new community through the terrific and convenient service that Netflix offers," Scott Koondel, president of distribution for CBS Television, said in a statement. "We will continue to pursue additional non-exclusive distribution partners that are additive to our overall business."
Netflix published a very interesting set of charts showing the performance of various networks in Canada and the US. Taking only HD content, they rate each network based on how much throughput they can achieve, or how much bandwidth they can provide to their customers over the length of a streamed movie. While the Canadian Internet providers are very close to each other, there are major differences for the US. If you're streaming video or high demand data online regularily, Netflix or otherwise, this may give you a good indication on which carrier fares better. Hit the break for a look at the numbers.
Netflix today announced that streaming from Watch Instantly movies on your TV will be even simpler, as they've struck deals with several device makers including Dynex, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba that will see a dedicated Netflix button added to the remote control. Starting this spring, new devices will apparently come with a remote that features the Netflix logo prominently, giving one-button access to the service. This will include some Blu-ray disc players and Internet connected TVs. According to the company's Chief Product Officer: "No more turning on the TV, going to a home screen and searching for the Netflix icon. With the Netflix one-click remote, it's simply a matter of pushing the Netflix button to instantly watch any of the vast selection of TV shows and movies available to stream from Netflix." The company has been working steadily to increase its reach, and is now available on almost any connected device one can think of.
Read More | Yahoo! News
Looks like all the giants of the superstore world are looking to own a piece of territory in the online movie market. Just ask WalMart who recently purchased Vudu, a non-subscription service for buying and renting movies that stream online.
Sears and Kmart are partnering with RoxioNow on their service, called Alphaline Entertainment, which is going to be available on a multitude of devices. Whether Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii will want to be home to yet another movie service that does pretty much the same thing as all the others isn't known yet. What is known is that 'Alphaline Entertainment' is looking to succeed against an already established king of the online movie world where many have failed. And it doesn't help that the name doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as 'Netflix'.
Do you think Alphaline Entertainment stands a chance? Let us know.
Following some of the network neutrality buzz from the US, now it's the turn of some European mobile networks who are coming out complaining about the increased use of video and other heavy data over their networks. Unlike previous comments made by US carriers however, Stephane Richards, CEO of France Telecom, was pretty direct as to what he thinks should happen at the Le Web conference yesterday: “Service providers are flooding networks with no incentive.” He then added “It’s necessary to put in place a system of payments by service providers as a function of their use.”
From the view of the mobile network operators, large companies like Google, Yahoo!, Netflix and so on, use a large amount of data, which goes over their networks, and these service providers should pay the networks, so that they can double dip from both their own customers, and the online companies. Richards also said that these measures would go along with other changes he can see coming, such as the end of unlimited access, and slower speeds at peak hours.
Read More | Le Web
Basically, VUDU is a video marketplace that allows rentals and purchases of movies through streaming. This is something that the other services on the system don't do, as it is the only one that allows you to purchase movies without downloading them, but it's not a big leap either.
Rentals will cost about $2 for SD, while HD is a higher $4-6--those $6 rentals get you the HDX 1080p streaming content, which looks fantastic. Signing up with the VUDU service will earn you a $6 credit as well.
VUDU is only available in the US.
Read More | Kotaku
Netflix posted an interesting blog entry this weekend on which they went behind the scenes as to why there isn't an Android Netflix app just yet. Apparently, it has to do with the fact that Android devices are fragmented, and there isn't a single DRM system across the board, unlike the iPhone and Windows Phone 7 (which both have a Netflix app.) This means that, according to the blog, it's much harder to ensure security of the video content provided by Netflix, which is something that's required by publishers. Still, they are working on it, and now say that they will be able to release an Android app for "select" devices early next year. While there is no mention of which ones, more updates are said to be upcoming.
Read More | Netflix Blog
The newly redesigned Apple TV is next up in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, and for good reason. You can stream movies, TV shows, photos, and music to the device, and setup just requires plugging it into power, and into your television. A couple minutes later and you're connected to Wi-Fi and streaming Netflix. With iOS 4.2 and the AirPlay feature, you can even send videos and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch directly to your television. Mix in HD movies rentals from $3.99 and TV show rentals for $.99 cents, and you have a nice little wireless media extender. You can pick one up now for $99 from Apple, or $98 from Amazon with free shipping.
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