Happy Thanksgiving: ETCentric to Return on Monday

Unless there is breaking news this week, ETCentric and The Daily News Brief will not publish during the upcoming 4-day holiday weekend. We wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving. We’ll be back on Monday with the latest in entertainment technology news.

Verizon Will Not Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality, Despite History

Verizon now says it will not sue the Federal Communications Commission over net neutrality rules as long as broadband providers are not reclassified as utilities. However, Verizon did sue the FCC (and won) the last time net neutrality rules were introduced, which is one reason the FCC is presently considering reclassifying broadband. “We are going to be sued,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week. In response, Verizon EVP Randal Milch e-mailed that Verizon would not sue if the FCC uses Section 706. Continue reading Verizon Will Not Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality, Despite History

Rohinni Develops Printable Lighting with Ultrathin Lightpaper

Idaho-based Rohinni is aiming to reinvent ultrathin LED lighting with its Lightpaper technology, which essentially prints lighting and applies it to almost any surface. Lightpaper mixes ink and tiny LEDs and then prints them on a conductive layer, which is positioned between two other layers and sealed. When current runs through the tiny diodes (about the size of a blood cell), they light up. Rohinni envisions the tech being used for everything from illuminated logos on CE devices to vehicle headlights. Continue reading Rohinni Develops Printable Lighting with Ultrathin Lightpaper

VSN Mobil Device Joins Crowded Field of Panoramic Cameras

VSN Mobil has begun shipping its $399 V.360, billed as “the first device to capture 360 degrees of video or still images with a 4K/16 megapixel imager in full 1080p high definition.” The camera, currently available via Amazon and VSN Mobil’s store, could become the GoPro of panoramic video, an emerging market sector growing in popularity amongst manufacturers. The V.360 joins a variety of panoramic offerings, including the 360cam, the Bublcam, the Centr, the Giroptic and the Panono. Continue reading VSN Mobil Device Joins Crowded Field of Panoramic Cameras

Battery Using Nanodots Charges Mobile Phone in 30 Seconds

Tel Aviv-based StoreDot claims it has developed a battery technology that can charge a mobile phone in 30 seconds and an electric car in mere minutes. The prototype can reportedly store a higher charge more quickly by using nanotechnology to synthesize artificial molecules. Bio-organic peptide molecules known as “nanodots” enable the rapid absorption and retention of power. StoreDot is aiming to have a slimmer version of the current prototype available for the smartphone market by 2016. Continue reading Battery Using Nanodots Charges Mobile Phone in 30 Seconds

Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

While Facebook is by far the world’s leading social platform (with 1.35 billion active monthly users), new research from the Global Web Index points to Tumblr as the fastest growing platform. Tumblr’s active user base grew 120 percent over the last six months, while Facebook only experienced a 2 percent bump. And in terms of overall member growth, Pinterest had 57 percent growth, compared to Facebook’s base growth of 6 percent. In mobile apps, Snapchat saw the most growth, up 56 percent this year. Continue reading Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

CES 2015: CEA’s Shawn DuBravac to Brief ETC December 4

ETC@USC begins its coverage of the 2015 International CES with a special Entertainment Technology Roundtable featuring Dr. Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association, on December 4 at the ETC quarterly meeting at Paramount Pictures Studios. DuBravac is expected to highlight leading CE trends and innovations and preview indicators from his State of the Industry Report, the traditional kick-off of CES media briefings. Continue reading CES 2015: CEA’s Shawn DuBravac to Brief ETC December 4

Aereo Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Wake of Legal Battles

Aereo’s plan to upend the television industry with an online streaming service has come to an end. Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s chief executive, explained in a blog post Friday that legal and regulatory challenges have become too difficult for the Barry Diller-backed company. As a result, five months after the Supreme Court ruled that the startup had violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast TV via small antennas and retransmitting to subscribers, Aereo has filed for bankruptcy protection. Continue reading Aereo Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Wake of Legal Battles

Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

According to recent news reports, Amazon is planning to launch a new ad-supported streaming service early next year that will be separate from Prime. The ad-supported option could become a significant challenger to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, especially if it undercuts the monthly fees of its rivals. Sources indicate that the new service would ultimately serve as a vehicle to attract more subscribers for Amazon Prime. Meanwhile, Amazon has denied plans to offer a new service. Continue reading Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

Report Points to Mobile Devices Replacing TV as ‘First Screen’

Is it time to come up with new language to address second screens? According to digital analytics firm Flurry, consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 57 minutes on their smartphones and tablets each day. Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that viewers spend 2 hours and 48 minutes per day watching television, the Flurry numbers would suggest mobile devices are becoming the new first screen. Flurry also notes that time spent with apps has increased nearly 10 percent in the last three quarters. Continue reading Report Points to Mobile Devices Replacing TV as ‘First Screen’

Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

Last month, we reported that Verizon and Netflix were quietly testing a bundled subscription plan with FiOS Triple Play customers in New York City. The move seemed somewhat surprising, when considering the recent public feud between the two companies regarding connection speeds. Now, in an effort to recapture cord cutters, Verizon is offering a $60 per month plan that includes Netflix, broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps, local TV channels, HBO and Showtime (and when they arrive next year, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime). Continue reading Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

More than eight months after releasing its Milk streaming music service exclusively for Galaxy devices, Samsung has launched a new online video service in the U.S. Milk Video, a free app available for Galaxy phones via the Google Play Store, is similar to YouTube and Vimeo in that its focus is on short form video. Samsung curates content into category-specific feeds, while users can set up personal feeds and follow brands, users and groups. Favorite videos can also be shared via Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Nielsen is planning to begin measurement of viewership ratings next month of television shows streamed on subscription online video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Nielsen will analyze the audio of programs to identify which shows are being streamed, a new measurement capability that does not require the approval of the streaming services. The data could impact how business is conducted between the services and the studios that license content. Continue reading Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar, who left the service early last year, is among those getting ready to take a run at Google’s YouTube. Kilar is expected to roll out an ad-supported online video service called Vessel as soon as this month, according to insiders. Vessel, to be offered via a free tier or monthly paid subscription service, will reportedly feature videos from top YouTube stars with agreements that will keep the videos off YouTube for three days. Vessel was designed primarily for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Sony unveiled PlayStation Vue yesterday, its cloud-based TV service that will soft launch this month with about 75 channels. The service will offer live TV and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite subscription, but viewers will initially need a PS3 or PS4 console. Users can also save favorite shows to the cloud. During the initial test rollout, consumers will have access to channels from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks and Viacom. Continue reading Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

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