Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Amazon has been quietly testing what it hopes will be an improved means of viewing Flash video content on mobile devices. For the past six months, some Kindle Fire users have been provided with an “experimental streaming viewer” option when they attempt to access video clips on sites including CBS.com, Fox.com and NBC.com. The Silk browser for Kindle Fire enables the streaming by splitting the workload between the mobile devices and Amazon cloud servers. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Samsung Acquires Boxee, Plans to Shutter Cloud DVR Service

Samsung has picked up Israel- and New York-based TV startup Boxee for about $30 million. Boxee started six years ago by offering PC-based media center software and eventually launched its own hardware product, the Boxee Box. The company attempted to solve its content problem with the launch of the Boxee TV, which was rebranded in April as Boxee Cloud DVR. With the acquisition, Samsung plans to shut down Boxee’s unlimited Cloud DVR service on July 10. Continue reading Samsung Acquires Boxee, Plans to Shutter Cloud DVR Service

Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

Hollywood studios are reexamining traditional distribution models in an era of piracy enabled by digital technologies. Today’s media savvy consumers have evolving expectations regarding how they discover and share music, video content and games, thanks in part to new cloud-based technologies, streaming media services and sophisticated social tools. Some media companies are even considering the idea that models popular with pirates are worth imitating. Continue reading Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

FlareWatch: Cox Targets Cord-Cutters with Internet TV Trial

Cox Communications is offering a beta version of a broadband TV service that delivers lower-priced live television and DVR storage to subscribers in southern California. The company’s flareWatch trial marks the first time a major U.S. pay TV operator is specifically targeting cord-cutters. The IPTV service uses Fanhattan’s $99 Fan TV set-top box, which features a touch-sensitive remote control. If successful, flareWatch could see a wider rollout. Continue reading FlareWatch: Cox Targets Cord-Cutters with Internet TV Trial

NCTA Cable Show: Battling Cord-Cutting with Technology

“TV Everywhere” and “cord-cutting” were major themes at this week’s NCTA Cable Show in Washington, D.C. where the industry presented technologies intended to sustain its relevancy. Examples included Roku and Xbox as cable set-tops, smartphones as remotes, iPads as TVs, a Slingbox product from Arris and more. Comcast unveiled its X2 cloud DVR and TiVo is expanding its TV Everywhere options with a new Web portal. Continue reading NCTA Cable Show: Battling Cord-Cutting with Technology

NCTA Cable Show: Comcast Unveils X2 Cloud-Based Platform

During the NCTA Cable Show this week in Washington D.C., Comcast CEO Brian Roberts unveiled the X2 cloud-based entertainment platform that will enable Xfinity TV subscribers to access live and on-demand television programming, online video, personalized recommendations and apps across platforms including computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs. The company has also upgraded its current X1 platform with a new “Send to TV” feature that allows users to send Web content to their set-top box. Continue reading NCTA Cable Show: Comcast Unveils X2 Cloud-Based Platform

Sources Say Intel Advancing with TV Service Content Deals

Intel’s talks to purchase media content for a new TV service are moving forward, according to people familiar with the matter. Although Intel has yet to close any programming deals, the chip giant is reportedly offering to pay as much as 75 percent more for content than traditional cable rates. Sources indicate that Intel has moved substantially on subscriber fees it is willing to pay and has also suggested preventing viewers from skipping commercials for a show’s first run. Continue reading Sources Say Intel Advancing with TV Service Content Deals

Disney to Launch New Digital Copy Plus Website Next Week

Walt Disney Studios is planning to launch a new website on June 11 designed to simplify the process of accessing digital versions of movies purchased on Blu-ray Disc or DVD. The Disney Digital Copy Plus website intends to streamline digital delivery for consumers by eliminating the cumbersome “digital copy” process. The site will debut on the same day that the studio’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” is released on disc. Continue reading Disney to Launch New Digital Copy Plus Website Next Week

D11 Conference: Fanhattan Unveils All-in-One Set-Top Box

Video discovery startup Fanhattan unveiled Fan TV yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference in California. The OTT set-top box will enable access to live TV and VOD, in addition to a cloud-based DVR and streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Viewers will be able to search and discover TV shows and movies based on genre, actors, social recommendations, etc. Fanhattan plans to partner with pay TV companies to sell the box, which is expected to be available later this year. Continue reading D11 Conference: Fanhattan Unveils All-in-One Set-Top Box

Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning

The Android version of the Google Drive mobile app has been updated to include a number of new features, including the ability to scan receipts, business cards and other documents with your camera phone and save them in the cloud via Drive. In addition to the ability to scan documents, the update uses an optical technology in order to search the stored images. And according to Google, a new grid view makes it easier to find files. Continue reading Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning

ETC Announces Launch of Production in the Cloud Project

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC will announce the launch of “Production in the Cloud” today, a new project that brings together key media and cloud-resource leaders to develop guidelines and accelerate innovation and adoption of next-gen cloud-based content creation, production, and distribution tools and processes. Senior executives from the six major studios in coordination with Rackspace, EMC, EVault, Dell and other cloud companies convened recently to serve as governing body to collectively guide this process. Continue reading ETC Announces Launch of Production in the Cloud Project

Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service

Google unveiled its All Access streaming music service at this week’s I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The service, viewed as a potential competitor to Spotify, also has some musicians concerned about a future in which music listeners choose subscriptions to access music libraries rather than paying to download individual songs. Industry execs, labels and artists are debating the pros and cons of cloud-based music distribution. Continue reading Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service

YouTube Opens Live Streaming to More Channels this Week

YouTube announced that it will now offer its live streaming to any channel owner with at least 1,000 subscribers. This is the next step in the site’s efforts to make live online video more robust and attractive. Last year, YouTube offered select publishers the ability to charge for live streams, and earlier this year it introduced a new live video platform that features DVR and real-time auto-transcoding functionality. Continue reading YouTube Opens Live Streaming to More Channels this Week

Digital Paper: Sony Announces Ultra-Thin Flexible E-Reader

Sony may soon offer an affordable alternative for transitioning from paper notebooks and textbooks to digital solutions. According to a Japanese press release, the company is developing a 13.3-inch flexible e-reader called Digital Paper. Designed for use in classrooms, the grayscale reader weighs about 0.78 pounds, is a mere 7mm thick, features a touch capable 1,200 x 1,600 pixel display and includes Wi-Fi, 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot. Continue reading Digital Paper: Sony Announces Ultra-Thin Flexible E-Reader

Adobe Intros Subscription-Only Model with Creative Cloud

Adobe’s flagship Creative Suite has evolved into Adobe Creative Cloud, with new features and a switch to a subscription-only model. Instead of individual Adobe apps being available for a flat rate, users will pay a monthly subscription to access all the products. Last year, the company introduced its Creative Cloud subscription service, through which users could access one product each month for $29.99 or all the products within Creative Suite 6 for $49.99. More than 500,000 premium members signed up in the first nine months, on top of 2 million free members. Continue reading Adobe Intros Subscription-Only Model with Creative Cloud

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