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Google wants to buy Twitch.tv for $1 billion to integrate it into YouTube

Twitch.tv YouTube google

If you live in the world of video gaming, you probably know about Twitch. It's a sound concept. Watch other people play video games. I know I did it when I was nine, there was always a group of us kids around the the guy with the Gameboy playing Mario as we cheered him on.

Now it comes down to watching strangers play over the internet in real time and instead of five guys looking at a handheld console over their friend’s shoulder, it's 43 million people watching a sum total of 6 billion hours of video game coverage every single month.

Those are some big numbers, and if there is one company that has a good nose for big numbers and the internet, it's Google. Now sources connected to Google have let it slip that the internet giant YouTube, owned by Google, is looking to acquire Twitch for $1 billion.

Should the deal go through, Twitch would gain access to Google's nigh-unlimited resources to expand. It also could run afoul of United States monopoly laws, granting Google a majority share of internet video game streaming services.

Twitch alone accounted for 1.35% of all downstream bandwidth in North America in March, with Youtube raking in 18.67%.

It's still in the rumor stage unfortunately, with Youtube and Twitch refusing to confirm talks, naturally. We'll see what banner I'm streaming under when July rolls around.


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2013 Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway: Rdio streaming music subscription

rdio subscription holiday gift

They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!

We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:

Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!

Read More | Rdio

Netflix will stream House of Cards in 4K

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment

House of Cards 4K

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.

Click to continue reading Netflix will stream House of Cards in 4K

Read More | The Verge

Listen to Justin Timberlake’s new album, The 20/20 Experience, free on iTunes right now

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Music

Justin Timberlake 20 20 experience free streaming

Justin Timberlake is returning to music after a 7-year hiatus with the release of his next album, The 20/20 Experience. The new hotness drops on March 19th, but you can get a listen to all the new Timberlake tunes right now, thanks to iTunes. That's right--you can stream the entire album, right now, a week early, for free. If you like it, pre-order it for $10.99, and it'll show up in your iTunes library when it's released next week.

One thing to note, when streaming The 20/20 Experience, you have to listen to it in the order that it is put together. In other words, you don't get to skip or repeat tracks or anything like that. Hit the link and grab a listen.

Read More | The 20/20 Experience

Spotify for iPhone gets visual redesign

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Music, App Updates, Free Apps

Spotify ios 0.6.0

Spotify for iOS has just received a massive overhaul, bringing the UI in line with the look that Android's been sporting for a while. iOS users now get access to features like the swiping method for accessing different areas of the Spotify app (similar to what you can do in the Facebook iOS app.) The "Now Playing" area shows you the artist and track name no matter where you are navigating in the app, right above the play controls. You can swipe here to go to the next or previous track with ease. You also get bug fixes and overall improvements to stability, as well as the Ford SYNC AppLink Spotify feature that we mentioned yesterday. You can grab the update now from the App Store, and peep the full changelog after the break.

Read More | Spotify

TiVo Stream review

TiVo Stream review

If there's one thing that was a glaring omission from the official TiVo iOS apps, it was the fact that they couldn't connect to the TiVo on your local network to allow you to watch content on your smartphone or tablet. Well, all that has changed with the release of the TiVo Stream. What is the TiVo Stream? Well, as you can probably guess from the name, TiVo Stream allows you to stream recordings from your TiVo Premiere DVR directly to up to three iOS devices on the same network (or four if you happen to have more than one TiVo Premiere box), simultaneously. Additionally, it also allows you to transfer recording to your iOS device for viewing when you are off the network. It's an ambitious device that provides a feature that many have been clamoring for, and it sells for $129. So, is it worth the additional investment? We've given you a look at the TiVo Stream hardware, now join us for our full TiVo Stream review for the answer.

Click to continue reading TiVo Stream review


Redbox Instant for iOS goes live in App Store, furthers competition with Netflix

RedBox Instant iOS app (2)    Redbox Instant iOS app

It appears that Netflix has some new competition in the form of a Redbox and Verizon partnership. Today they're slowly rolling out their content streaming alternative to the masses. For $8 per month, Redbox Instant will have unlimited streaming and four DVD rentals; $9 if users opt for the Blu-ray option. As part of the launch, Redbox Instant has released their universal app for iOS that works on iDevices. To date, it is a mystery what contracts the Redbox and Verizon partnership has with studios with regards to content.

For those brave early adopters out there, y'all have the chance to get in on the Redbox Instant action by signing up on their private beta via their website.

Read More | Redbox Instant

2012 Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway: Rdio steaming music subscription

rdio subscription holiday gift

They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!

We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:

Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!

Read More | Rdio

Microsoft developing smaller Xbox set-top box

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Microsoft, Rumors, Xbox

Xbox set top box

Microsoft is developing a set-top box as an alterntative to a fully-fledged next generation gaming device. The set-top will run on core components of Windows 8, offering casual gaming titles (most likely through Xbox Live) instead of the big productions you'll find on the next-generation of Xbox consoles.

Furthering the casual theme of the set-top box, Microsoft is planning on incorporating a chipset enabling the device to boot up practically instantaenously for quick and simple access to TV, games and other entertainment services.

The set-top box is but one step in Microsoft's plan to bring the core architecture of the next-generation across several devices, such as a phone capable of handling a complete Xbox Live experience.


Google planning to release AirPlay alternative

Google AirPlay alternative


Rumor has it that Google is about to take on Apple's AirPlay with an open version of its own. So, it appears that DNLA and Miracast functionality is not enough for the Mountain View web search giant. No wonder, as both features are somewhat of a bag of hurt and have received lackluster reviews. 

Google will attempt to get other venders to adopt its open streaming alternative and, perhaps, have the same huge success that AirPlay is having with customers. Apple has had vendors like Denon, Panasonic, JBL, Pioneer, Philips, Yamaha, Logitiech, iHome and Bower & Wilkins, to name a few, that have integrated AirPlay functionality into consumer products.

Click to continue reading Google planning to release AirPlay alternative

Read More | Gigaom

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