Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Comcast issued a statement this morning that the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable has officially been terminated. “Today, we move on,” noted Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.” Reports had circulated in recent days that a merger of the country’s two largest cable operators was ending as Comcast faced intense regulatory scrutiny regarding the $45.2 billion acquisition. Continue reading Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

NHK Plans to Perform 8K Super Hi-Vision Tests at Wimbledon

Journalist Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that NHK is expected to be at Wimbledon in June for behind closed doors testing of 8K Super Hi-Vision. The tests will be conducted with IMG and the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Wimbledon host broadcaster BBC worked previously with NHK on Super Hi-Vision, including transmissions to Washington and Japan during the London 2012 Summer Olympics. “8K broadcasting is on the verge of becoming a reality, and it will undoubtedly become the mainstream past 2020,” predicts Hitachi COO Sean Moran. Continue reading NHK Plans to Perform 8K Super Hi-Vision Tests at Wimbledon

Deluxe and Technicolor Announce New Digital Cinema Venture

Deluxe and Technicolor have joined forces on Deluxe Technicolor Digital Cinema, a Burbank-based joint venture that will provide digital cinema mastering, distribution and management services. “It will combine elements of the two companies’ technologies, personnel and work processes with the intent of providing service on a global scale,” reports Variety. “This transformational partnership will be optimally positioned to offer our companies’ existing and future customers industry-leading digital cinema services with greater efficiencies,” said David Kassler, CEO of Deluxe Entertainment Services.

Chat Service WhatsApp Adds Voice Call Feature for iOS Users

WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, recently introduced voice-calling for Android users. Next, iOS users will also be able to call anyone using WhatsApp for free, thanks to an update that hit the iTunes Store earlier this week. Updating the app is the first step, as access to the feature will roll out over the next few weeks. “The other big update is that WhatsApp now plays nicely with iOS 8’s new sharing system, which means you can share photos, videos, links, or other bits of info using the share button in other apps,” notes The Verge.

Disney Story Central Becomes SVOD Offering via AT&T U-verse

AT&T U-verse and Disney announced earlier this week the launch of a new subscription VOD service based on the Disney Story Central platform, which enables kids and parents to read along with narrated Disney books. According to Multichannel News: “The new $8 SVOD service brings the read-along platform to TV screens for the first time, the companies said. New titles will be added every few months.” AT&T U-verse subscribers also have access to live and on-demand programming from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.

Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently found that one-third of Americans now own connected TV sets, while one-third of those consumers stream video to their TVs daily. According to new survey findings from consulting firm Deloitte, video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have now surpassed live programming as the viewing method of choice for many consumers. The survey determined that 56 percent stream movies and 53 percent stream TV shows, while 45 percent still prefer watching live broadcasts. Continue reading Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

Facebook Shifts to Mobile, Pursues Global Digital Ad Market

Facebook revealed yesterday that while revenue and profit growth slowed for the company during Q1, nearly 75 percent of visitors accessed the social platform from mobile devices and two-thirds of its users now visit daily. Facebook claims that 1.44 billion people access its site or apps at least once a month. According to eMarketer, the company is second only to Google in terms of global digital advertising revenue. Facebook is pushing ads to its photo-sharing service Instagram and building new tools for ad targeting. Continue reading Facebook Shifts to Mobile, Pursues Global Digital Ad Market

Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

ESPN, Fox and NBCUniversal claim that Verizon’s newly launched package offerings, that feature cheaper bundles of pay TV channels, violate the terms of their respective agreements. On Sunday, Verizon introduced new flexibility for FiOS subscribers by offering a slim package of channels and optional add-on “channel packs” that feature genre-based channels. A few days prior to the launch, ESPN expressed its objection to being placed in an optional sports tier. Fox and NBCUniversal claim the Verizon plan is also outside the terms of their contracts. Continue reading Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

Sony 4K UHD TV Line Features Thin Panels, HDR and Android

New UHD TVs have been announced by companies including Samsung, LG and Vizio. Samsung is touting its quantum-dot-like color tech, and LG is pushing OLEDs and its quantum-dot “ColorPrime,” while Vizio is emphasizing affordable sets with full-array local dimming. Sony just announced pricing and availability of its new Android TV-powered 4K sets. The line features 10 models ranging from 43-inches at $1,300 to 75-inches at $8,000. With its new offerings, Sony is focused on razor-thin panels and HDR features. Continue reading Sony 4K UHD TV Line Features Thin Panels, HDR and Android

Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Ticketing company Fandango plans to launch one of the Apple Watch’s first entertainment apps this Friday when the wearable starts its initial shipments. Similar to its mobile app, Fandango’s watch app will feature scannable movie tickets. The app also offers movie trivia and helpful screening information such as theater directions, seat details and a countdown clock to showtimes. Fandango, which developed an early iPhone app and was one of the first Passbook app partners, already has more than 36 million monthly online visitors. Continue reading Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Amazon Destinations Looks to Compete in Online Travel Market

Amazon launched its hotel-booking service this week, Amazon Destinations, that will initially feature about 150 hotels, inns and B&Bs located in the Northeast, Southern California and Pacific Northwest. While the listings include a few branded hotels, the focus will remain on smaller, independent properties and operators for now. The company began hotel bookings in 2012, primarily offering discounts to address excess inventory. The new service will allow owners more flexibility regarding rates beyond package deals and discounts. Continue reading Amazon Destinations Looks to Compete in Online Travel Market

Report Says One-Third of Connected TVs Stream Video Daily

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, one-third of Americans now own connected TVs, while one-third of those consumers stream video content to their televisions daily. On average, owners of connected TVs spend 2.4 hours per day streaming to their televisions. Streaming video is beginning to affect viewing patterns in a way that may concern the traditional TV industry. Nielsen recently reported that TV viewing dipped 4 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and streaming jumped 60 percent compared to Q3 the previous year. Continue reading Report Says One-Third of Connected TVs Stream Video Daily

Vimeo Hit Series ‘High Maintenance’ Leaving the Web for HBO

HBO has acquired the popular online series, “High Maintenance,” which first launched on Vimeo in 2013 free of charge. Last year, creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld partnered with the streaming service to offer the second season exclusively via Vimeo On Demand, and it quickly became a top seller on the VOD service. For now, viewers can still watch the dramedy without paying for HBO, since the first 13 episodes are streaming free of charge and the most recent six episodes are available on demand for $2 each. Continue reading Vimeo Hit Series ‘High Maintenance’ Leaving the Web for HBO

Film Executives Form Alliance in Effort to Combat Online Piracy

Five film companies are forming an antipiracy coalition called the Internet Security Task Force with plans to mobilize small businesses in the gaming, music, software, film and TV industries against online theft of intellectual property. The alliance — comprised of Bloom, FilmNation Entertainment, Millennium, Sierra/Affinity and Voltage Pictures — is considering a range of initiatives, including the launch of a media campaign, more political lobbying efforts, and placing pressure on companies that advertise on pirate websites. Continue reading Film Executives Form Alliance in Effort to Combat Online Piracy

HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

The first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” fifth season were leaked online before the season’s premiere. Reportedly leaked from a review screener, the episodes have since been downloaded from public torrent sites millions of times. In response, HBO has distributed thousands of warnings to those Internet subscribers whose connections were determined to share leaked episodes. There are no legal ramifications for the subscribers, but HBO hopes that the warnings will prevent some of them from downloading future episodes. Continue reading HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

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