Yekra Adds Blockbusters, Customized Playlists to Movie Player

Yekra, a Los Angeles-based startup, distributes movies by embedding them in websites. With Yekra’s improved movie player, websites can directly distribute relevant movies to their visitors, and make money doing it. Website owners can choose movies for their customizable playlists from Yekra’s 250-film library, including blockbusters such as “The Dark Knight,” “The Great Gatsby” and “The Lord of the Rings.” In the past two years, Yekra has made $2.5 million in sales. Continue reading Yekra Adds Blockbusters, Customized Playlists to Movie Player

Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Steam competitor Good Old Games is introducing movies to its DRM-free digital distribution platform. Users can stream or download from the company’s collection of game- and tech-related documentaries. Good Old Games expects to add more movies on a weekly basis. The company believes that the reason many people pirate content is because it is the most user-friendly way to access video. By introducing movies on a DRM-free platform, the company hopes to increase availability and ease of use. Continue reading Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Audience Entertainment, a startup dedicated to making the big screen interactive, is launching a software development kit that would allow companies to create a new type of advertisement. New content developed with the SDK would allow audiences to control what is on the screen by jumping or performing certain arm movements in unison. The digital cinema company Barco and Audience Entertainment have teamed up to bring this experience, referred to as “iD,” to 3,000 screens worldwide. Continue reading With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Cognitive Scientists, Filmmakers Explore Cinematic Perception

During a two-night event hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists met with filmmakers to discuss their impressions of viewer attention and perception. Scientists have studied the mental and physical responses of audiences through eye-tracking experiments and analysis, while filmmakers have relied more on intuition and experience. Both groups are interested in what maintains an individual’s attention during the movie-going experience. Continue reading Cognitive Scientists, Filmmakers Explore Cinematic Perception

Piracy: Google Faces One Million Removal Requests Per Day

In a new first, Google claims that it now processes an average of one million pirate link removal requests per day. Copyright holders are reporting more infringing search results and overloading Google with DMCA takedown notices in an effort to combat growing piracy. During the second quarter of this year, “Game of Thrones” episodes were downloaded from P2P networks worldwide nearly 299 million times. Australia, Brazil and the U.S. lead in the number of shows downloaded. Continue reading Piracy: Google Faces One Million Removal Requests Per Day

Gaming Trend: Adult Women Steal Lead from Under-18 Males

The adult female gaming demographic now doubles the under-18 male gaming demographic, according to The Entertainment Software Association’s annual sales, demographics and usage data report. While 17 percent of video game users are males under the age of 18, women over the age of 18 now account for 36 percent. In total, males account for 52 percent of the total gaming population, a three percent drop from last year. However, there has also been a 32 percent increase in female gamers over 50 years old. Continue reading Gaming Trend: Adult Women Steal Lead from Under-18 Males

Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Time Warner Cable signed a direct interconnection deal with Netflix, which makes it the fourth of the biggest ISPs to sign such an agreement with the video service. The deal should improve the Netflix experience for TWC broadband subscribers. Netflix signed similar deals with AT&T, Comcast and Verizon in recent months after fighting with the providers. Despite signing the paid peering agreements, Netflix continues to argue before the FCC and publicly that such arrangements violate net neutrality. Continue reading Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Select movie theaters in Chinese cities have begun experimenting with “bullet screens” (or “danmu”) — a new model in which audience members can comment on the film via text messages and have their impressions projected directly onto the screen. The experience is targeting young viewers who often have difficulty being away from their tablets and mobile phones. The experiment currently involves theaters in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to smaller cities such as Hangzhou. Continue reading Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Connected DVR maker Simple.tv now provides users with the ability to offer friends and family members access to their recorded television shows and movies. Simple.tv’s DVR for cord cutters now enables guest passes so that others can access DVR recordings over the Internet via Simple.tv’s Web interface, the company’s mobile apps, as well as its Roku app. Guests are restricted to streaming content already recorded; they cannot tune into live TV or schedule additional recordings. Continue reading Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads

Snapchat, the mobile app that creates vanishing messages and currently touts 27 million users, may soon become a service for distributing television and movie clips, news videos and articles, and advertisements. According to people familiar with the matter, the startup has met with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service to launch in November called Snapchat Discovery. At least a dozen newspapers, magazines and TV networks have reportedly discussed providing content. Continue reading Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads

Roku-Powered HDTVs are Coming Soon from Hisense and TCL

Roku, maker of set-top boxes that stream video from services such as Amazon, HBO GO, Netflix and Vudu, has partnered with Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL to offer its software directly in new HDTV sets. Both companies will offer four Roku-powered TVs each. TCL’s sets (ranging from 32- to 55-inches) are slated to ship this month, while Hisense’s H4 Series (40- to 55-inches) will be available this fall. Roku first revealed its integrated TV plans at January’s CES in Las Vegas. Continue reading Roku-Powered HDTVs are Coming Soon from Hisense and TCL

Cross-Promotion Highlights the 4K Entertainment Experience

Sony debuted a campaign this weekend to market 4K entertainment. The promotion — launched by Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Best Buy, in collaboration with National CineMedia — includes a 30-second spot for NCM’s FirstLook pre-show content. The spot features outtakes from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (available tomorrow on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD) with an emphasis on viewing movies via Sony 4K Digital Cinema projectors in theaters and Sony 4K TVs at home. Continue reading Cross-Promotion Highlights the 4K Entertainment Experience

RMW Restoring 1,000 Cult and Classic Films for Home Video

Reliance MediaWorks has begun the restoration process on a thousand films — many of which are cult or world cinema classics — to create high definition versions for availability on Blu-ray. From its Burbank facility, RMW is up-converting most titles from standard definition, not remastering from original negatives. However, the company expects quality results for restored video and audio that will help return the films to their former glory and hopefully introduce them to a new audience. Continue reading RMW Restoring 1,000 Cult and Classic Films for Home Video

Toggle Planning a New HDMI Dongle to Help Boost UltraViolet

Toggle, a participant in the second annual Media Camp accelerator program at Warner Bros., has developed a small, affordable, Wi-Fi-enabled HDMI device that it claims acts as a “physical key” to UltraViolet lockers. Toggle believes that its dongle (which looks similar to Google’s Chromecast) would eliminate the need for retailers and content companies to create silos for delivering their content to television. Via Wi-Fi, the dongle would stream UV content to HDMI-equipped TVs. Continue reading Toggle Planning a New HDMI Dongle to Help Boost UltraViolet

BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

BuzzFeed, which currently draws more than 150 million average monthly viewers, wants to become known for more than its numbered lists popular with Web surfers. To achieve this goal, the startup just closed a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The investment will be used to develop new content sections for the site, create an in-house incubator for new technologies, and put more resources toward its LA-based video arm, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Continue reading BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

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