Comcast Launches Ultra HD VOD App for Samsung 4K TVs

Comcast is offering select television programming in Ultra HD, available for compatible 2014 Samsung 4K TVs. Comcast Xfinity customers will initially be able to stream NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and USA Network’s “Covert Affairs” and “Suits” to Samsung sets via the Internet. Comcast will expand its UHD offerings in 2015, including NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” in February. Amazon, DirecTV, M-GO, Netflix and Sony are among those that have also launched Ultra HD video services. Continue reading Comcast Launches Ultra HD VOD App for Samsung 4K TVs

NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps. Continue reading NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

A New York federal judge has ruled against TV-over-the-Internet startup Aereo and in favor of a group of major broadcasters including Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox, Comcast’s NBC, and PBS. Judge Alison Nathan ordered that Aereo’s “Watch Now” system be shut down. “The Supreme Court has concluded that Aereo performs publicly when it retransmits Plaintiffs’ content live over the Internet and thus infringes Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Nathan in her 17-page opinion yesterday. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Tumblr is teaming with TV shows to explore new ways to reach audiences. NBC’s “The Voice,” Fox’s “MasterChef” and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” are among the programs using Tumblr for second screen engagement. Networks are posting preview clips and sharing recipes on Tumblr. “The Voice” has incorporated animated illustrations from Tumblr artists onto its set, and has invited Tumblr bloggers backstage. Yahoo is hoping that integration with TV will help grow Tumblr and justify its $1.1 billion price tag. Continue reading Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

HBO announced yesterday that it plans to launch a standalone Internet streaming service in the U.S. next year that would not require a traditional TV subscription. The move is part of the cable network’s strategy to reach out to cord cutters, and underscores its growing rivalry with Netflix. The two companies are battling for a new generation of viewers who prefer watching their TV shows and movies via Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube rather than subscribing to cable or satellite television. Continue reading HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

Netflix is Charging More for Subscribers Streaming 4K Video

Netflix is raising its monthly subscription rate by more than 30 percent for those interested in streaming 4K video. Subscribers who have not yet signed up for 4K content will be charged $11.99 per month (the family plan), up from the standard $8.99 charge. For customers who have already signed up for a 4K-enabled account, the price change will not take effect until August 2016. Netflix 4K streams currently only work with Ultra HD TVs released this year that include a built-in H.265/HEVC decoder. Continue reading Netflix is Charging More for Subscribers Streaming 4K Video

New Software Can Detect Breaking News Leads on Social Media

Dataminr is a software tool that can find patterns in the millions of tweets posted every day to help news organizations spot leads for breaking news. CNN, BBC, and Gannett had already been testing Dataminr before the software was officially released on Tuesday. The new “Dataminr for News” includes a new mobile app, which will send alerts to notify journalists of developing stories. Dataminr is one of several technologies that media companies are using to mine social media. Continue reading New Software Can Detect Breaking News Leads on Social Media

Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

By the middle of next year, Verizon customers could be watching over-the-top live channels and on-demand movies through a digital video service. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam told investors at a conference last week that his company was close to reaching deals with major content providers such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, DreamWorks, and AwesomenessTV. Verizon may even use multicasting technology to broadcast live content to smartphones via a single stream of airwaves. Continue reading Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

Netflix Acquires Rights to Upcoming “Gotham” in SVOD First

Yesterday we reported that Netflix is expanding into six European markets this month, the company has greenlit its first original series to be produced in France, and CEO Reed Hastings suggested they would produce something in Germany in the future. Netflix is in the news again after it signed a deal with Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution for “Gotham,” the upcoming series from Fox. The agreement could mark the first SVOD deal for a broadcast series made prior to its premiere. Continue reading Netflix Acquires Rights to Upcoming “Gotham” in SVOD First

Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Major television networks, such as ABC, Fox and NBC, are debuting their new fall shows online weeks ahead of the television premiere dates. The pilot episodes of NBC’s “A to Z,” ABC’s “Selfie,” and Fox’s “Red Band Society” are all available on Hulu before their scheduled television air date. This increasingly common practice gives viewers the chance to sample the new shows earlier and start some online buzz before the flood of other pilots debut during the fall television season. Continue reading Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air tonight on NBC, this year with a few social media twists. Actor Aaron Paul, nominated again for his role in “Breaking Bad,” is thanking his fans with another Hollywood scavenger hunt. He recently posted a photo on Instagram promising signed scripts, posters and more. Facebook is providing an oversized tablet designed to let celebs answer questions from fans during the festivities. And Google has posted TV filming locations that you can check out on Street View. Continue reading More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

Senators Jay Rockefeller and John Thune have introduced a proposal to let cable and satellite subscribers choose which broadcast TV channels they receive. The proposal intends to limit the blackouts when cable and satellite companies must negotiate retransmission fees with broadcasters. Broadcast advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the proposal. They believe cable and satellite companies need to cut hidden fees, not the broadcast channels, to lower cable bills. Continue reading Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

Netflix, Crackle and Funny or Die all received nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards yesterday. Netflix earned an impressive 31 nominations, with “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” both nominated in the best drama and comedy series categories, respectively. Crackle was nominated for Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and the Zach Galifianakis interview with President Obama on “Between Two Ferns” earned Funny or Die a nomination. Continue reading Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Aereo’s online TV streaming service violated copyright law, company lawyers have filed a letter with a New York district court claiming that Aereo now views itself as a cable provider. If Aereo can obtain a license, it contends that it is entitled to the same protections as other providers paying royalty fees. This is a dramatic shift in strategy for the company that previously said it would shutter if the Supreme Court did not rule in its favor. Continue reading Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

A new app called Skimo, short for “skim the video,” allows users to skim a 20-minute video in about two minutes, straight from their smartphone or tablet. The Skimo video summarization engine uses an algorithm that analyzes the scenes, shots and frames of videos and summarizes them, letting users catch up on television series in a fraction of the time. The service focuses on the formula that writers and filmmakers use to create a captivating show, focusing on the six crucial scenes from each episode.

Continue reading Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

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