Amazon Pulls Rival Streaming Devices to Prevent “Confusion”

Amazon made a bold move yesterday by announcing that it plans to stop selling Google Chromecast and Apple TV streaming devices by the end of October. While the online retailer sells the competing Fire TV, it is expected to continue offering Roku and other streaming devices. According to Amazon, the move is designed to prevent “customer confusion” since the Google and Apple products do not stream Amazon’s video content, offered through its Prime membership. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video,” said a company spokesperson. Continue reading Amazon Pulls Rival Streaming Devices to Prevent “Confusion”

Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Nvidia has unveiled GeForce NOW, a subscription service that streams PC games from the cloud to SHIELD devices. GeForce NOW was re-architected based on information gained from running the GRID beta, which is ending; SHIELD devices will update to replace the GRID app with GeForce NOW. The service offers two key differentiators: better image quality and instant access. The new cloud-based offering will stream games at up to 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and even massive titles can reportedly begin streaming in less than 30 seconds. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Simple.tv — the company that has been trying to reinvent the DVR since 2012 — is about to launch ShowDrive, which allows users to record and playback up to 1,000 hours of TV programming from the cloud to Internet-connected TVs, streaming devices and mobile phones. Unlike Aereo, whose live TV and time-shifted TV DVR was killed by a Supreme Court ruling that it didn’t substantially differ from a cable operator, Simple.tv’s technology is based on technology that has standing in past legal cases. Continue reading Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

One year after the disappointing release of its Fire smartphone, Amazon is introducing a line of low-cost devices including a new tablet and smart TV plug-ins. The Seattle-based company debuted seven new products yesterday that are slated for release by this year’s holiday season. Among the announcements: a 7-inch Fire tablet with front- and rear-facing cameras that will run for less than $50, an updated $100 Fire TV set-top box that now supports 4K, and a Fire TV stick with voice-activated wand that turns your TV into a cloud-based personal assistant. Continue reading Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

ETC Publishes White Paper on C4 Cloud Production Framework

The Cinema Content Creation Cloud, or C4, an open-source framework for media production using globally distributed resources, is detailed in a new white paper published today by the Entertainment Technology Center@USC. C4 enables interoperability between humans, organizations, databases, software applications, and networks, and is essential to the globally distributed workflows of media production. The framework, written by Joshua Kolden, is a product of ETC’s Project Cloud, a collaboration between studios and technology companies to address key issues as the entertainment industry migrates production into The Cloud. Continue reading ETC Publishes White Paper on C4 Cloud Production Framework

Disney Movies Anywhere Service Goes Wide on New Platforms

Disney is expanding support for its cloud-based digital movie service on more platforms with the debut of new apps for Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and Microsoft Xbox 360. Apps for Android TV and Roku are expected in a few days. The Disney Movies Anywhere collection currently features more than 450 digital movies from Disney, Marvel and Pixar in addition to Star Wars and short form content. Its new app is now available to Amazon and Microsoft customers, the result of new partnerships between the studio and both companies. Continue reading Disney Movies Anywhere Service Goes Wide on New Platforms

ABCs of Light Field Capture, Key to Photorealistic Virtual Reality

A technique called light field capture will become the foundation for photoreal virtual actors for virtual reality, says Paul Debevec, chief visual officer at the University of Southern California’s Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT). At the recent VRLA Expo, Debevec gave a talk on the topic that explored two decades of research and development in light field capture technology, and described the basics of what makes this technique so compelling to create photorealistic virtual reality. Continue reading ABCs of Light Field Capture, Key to Photorealistic Virtual Reality

Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Amazon announced that it has agreed to purchase Elemental Technologies in an all-cash deal valued at about $500 million, marking Amazon’s biggest deal since last year’s $1 billion acquisition of videogame streaming site Twitch. Elemental helps media companies encode and transcode video content for viewing on the Web and via mobile devices. Amazon plans to add Elemental to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing division, one of the company’s faster-growing units. Amazon reportedly beat out both Ericsson AB and Cisco Systems to acquire Elemental. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

In 2016, Aerosense, jointly owned by Sony and robotics firm ZMP, plans to launch a commercial drone service targeting construction, logistics and agriculture industries. A prototype of an airplane-shaped drone was unveiled this week. The drones, which will be capable of capturing HD images and transmitting them to the cloud, will rely in part on the mobile phone and digital camera technologies developed for Sony’s Xperia smartphones. Analysts believe the unmanned aircraft industry may be worth $82 billion in the U.S. by 2025. Continue reading Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

In an unprecedented move, Google revealed the details of how it developed and improved software-defined networking (SDN). In a paper presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2015 conference in London, Google described the steps taken over a ten-year period, moving from third party vendor switches in 2004 to, a year later, building its own hardware and shuttling data among servers in its own data centers. The company is describing its network in part to share its experiences and seek assistance from the academic community. Continue reading Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

Intel Looks to RealSense, Wearables, Creates Reality TV Show

As growth slows in the chip market, Intel is turning to a variety of other related industries to keep the revenue flowing. The company has turned to the burgeoning field of wearables, creating tiny chips and circuit board modules that can fit into the form factors and designs favored by wearable creators. It is also pushing RealSense, technologies that bring hearing and vision functionality to devices. To keep in the public eye, the company is also launching a reality TV show with Mark Burnett and Turner Broadcasting. Continue reading Intel Looks to RealSense, Wearables, Creates Reality TV Show

Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Linux production environments can now leverage Nvidia’s recently introduced GRID technology to power VMware’s Horizon 6 for Linux and provide visual effects and animation artists anywhere, on any device, with virtual Linux workstations running their familiar high-end applications. Nvidia’s VP of Enterprise Marketing Greg Estes showed a virtual workstation running simulations in Maya on the SIGGRAPH floor in Los Angeles with the application, processors and Nvidia’s GRID and CUDA technologies installed in a data center hundreds of miles away in Northern California. Continue reading Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Google has unveiled its new Chrome operating system designed for business customers, which includes changes aimed at allowing companies to operate many of their legacy software applications. Dell has announced new Chromebooks and management software designed to work with the new operating system. After years of pushing cloud-based systems for improved security and management, Google has learned that many companies require custom upgrades or rely on virtualized systems to address the multitude of applications that cannot easily move to the cloud. Continue reading Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Netflix Moves Operations to Cloud, Closes Last Data Center

Netflix will be the first large company to move its information technology to a public cloud, more specifically, Amazon Web Services, reporting its plans to shutter its last data center by the end of the summer. After a major hardware failure in 2008, Netflix started moving its operations to AWS in 2009, first shifting its jobs page and, later, its video player, iPhone-related technology, discovery and search, and accounts pages. As a streaming competitor with Amazon, however, Netflix runs its own content delivery network. Continue reading Netflix Moves Operations to Cloud, Closes Last Data Center

SIGGRAPH 2015: Google Cloud Announces Cloud-Native Rendering

Google Cloud Platform announced the public beta of Zync, its cloud-native rendering solution. Google acquiredZync last August to incorporate specialized computing capabilities for visual effects production in the cloud.  According to Google’s representative, “As part of Zync, artists will get access to 1,600 dedicated Compute Engine cores to power your V-Ray, Arnold and Nuke-based renders. Integration of the upcoming release of the popular Renderman software with Zync by Google Cloud Platform was also announced. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: Google Cloud Announces Cloud-Native Rendering

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