Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

Comcast and Electronic Arts have partnered to launch the beta test of Xfinity Games, showcasing around 20 video games for streaming via cable. EA will stream the games to Comcast’s cable boxes, in the same manner that video services stream TV shows and movies to set-top boxes. No game pads are used in the service, as the service is targeting mobile and casual gamers, instead of console gaming fans. Users can access a website with their iPhone or Android phones to use as game controllers. Continue reading Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

After three years of research and development, the Wi-Fi Alliance released Wi-Fi Aware, which instantly connects Wi-Fi-enabled products with devices, applications or information without an Internet connection or mobile data. Wi-Fi Aware software works continuously in the background, sending out short messages that dramatically lessen power consumption. With a Wi-Fi Aware smartphone, a user could find nearby services, videogame players or anyone from a high school friend to a business colleague. Continue reading Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

GoPro Unveils Smaller Hero Camera, Plans for VR and Drone

On July 12, GoPro will debut Hero4 Session, its latest action-video camera, priced at $399 and featuring a dramatically different form factor: a 1.5-inch cube that weighs only 2.6 ounces, with one button for on and off. In addition, GoPro founder Nick Woodman has announced the company’s expansion into virtual reality with a 16-camera array for an as-of-yet undisclosed price, to debut in August. Scheduled for next year, GoPro also plans to launch a quadcopter drone with built-in GoPro camera. Continue reading GoPro Unveils Smaller Hero Camera, Plans for VR and Drone

Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

Periscope both was and was not at Wimbledon this year. The tournament’s digital content team used Twitter’s live video broadcasting app to take fans on a Roger Federer-led walking tour of the facility. Federer also anchored Wimbledon’s Periscope feed of the matches at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But Wimbledon simultaneously banned attendees from using the live-streaming app in the stands. Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour wasn’t fazed by the seemingly contradictory move. “Their motivation is preserving the sanctity of play,” he said. Continue reading Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

According to a recent study, the number of consumers in North America who are cutting the pay TV cord in favor of OTT streaming video services is growing. TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths reports that 8.2 percent of survey respondents were no longer paying TV subscriptions as of 2014, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, an impressive 45.2 percent indicated that they downsized their cable or satellite TV bundles during the same period in the wake of paying for services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video (a trend referred to as “cord shaving”). Continue reading Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

About 70 million photos and videos are posted daily to Instagram. This week the Facebook-owned service began tapping into that content to provide its 300 million users with the feeling of being part of current events as they unfold live. An updated Explore button, working with the service’s algorithms, will take Instagram users to the most important and timely imagery in their regions and across the nation — from live sports and concerts to breaking news. Instagram has also made it easier to find images via its search function and will feature hand-selected collections for content discovery. Continue reading Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

Snapchat is partnering with Live Nation Entertainment to bring its Live Stories feature to festivals and concerts. Starting today with the Electric Daily Carnival in Las Vegas (a popular electronic dance music festival), Live Stories will capture content at Live Nation events to share with specific communities through Snapchat. Live Stories, which provides video and photos from event attendees for a 24-hour period, has become a lucrative advertising platform for Snapchat. And its branded geofilters have become an added bonus for advertisers. Continue reading Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

GoPro Exec Aims to Connect Action Cameras to Cloud Service

As part of its larger effort to become a lifestyle media brand, GoPro is looking to cloud services as an alternative for the increasing amount of content that ends up stuck on SD cards. GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman wants to make it easier for users to instantly share photos and video. Although still in early development, the approach would involve uploading footage to a cloud service while the camera charges, where it could be immediately shared or edited. This would eliminate the step of transferring footage from an SD card to editing software. Continue reading GoPro Exec Aims to Connect Action Cameras to Cloud Service

Showtime to Debut its Internet Streaming Service This Summer

Showtime is joining HBO in introducing its own Internet streaming service that will offer unlimited on-demand access to original series, movies and sports programming without requiring a traditional TV subscription. In addition, it will include a live feed of Showtime’s broadcasts for both coasts. The cable network announced yesterday that it plans to debut the standalone service in July to coincide with the season premieres of “Masters of Sex” and “Ray Donovan.” The service will initially be available on Apple devices for $11 per month. Continue reading Showtime to Debut its Internet Streaming Service This Summer

Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

Charter Communications has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable for $55.3 billion in cash and stock. Including the debt Charter will assume, the total deal is valued around $79 billion. The move follows in the wake of Comcast’s attempted bid to acquire TWC. Charter will also move ahead with its purchase of Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, and the three combined companies would make Charter the second largest TV and Internet provider in the U.S. with 24 million customers. Comcast currently holds the top spot with 27.2 million. Continue reading Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

Twitter’s Periscope Hopes It Can Coexist with TV Broadcasters

Periscope is trying to repair its relationship with television broadcasters after some users illegally live streamed the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match. The company says it was better prepared to handle takedown requests after the piracy issues involving “Game of Thrones.” Because Twitter owns Periscope, the live streaming app needs to maintain a good relationship with broadcasters. Meanwhile, the U.S. Open golf tournament will not allow live streaming from Periscope or Meerkat. Continue reading Twitter’s Periscope Hopes It Can Coexist with TV Broadcasters

Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit Comes to Digital Hollywood

Last week’s Digital Hollywood Spring event at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey featured a new track: a three-day Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit. Panels and sessions covered a wide range of topics — including cameras, software solutions, sound design, workflow, file management, and more — and demonstrated just how rapidly this new art form is evolving. GoPro’s acquisition of multi-GoPro spherical stitching software company Kolor was the big news. At the same time, VR producers say they are looking for better camera and stitching solutions. Continue reading Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit Comes to Digital Hollywood

Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

Saturday’s championship bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is generating controversy regarding the number of people who watched the fight for free using Twitter’s new video streaming app, Periscope. The app allows users to stream video recordings in real time and post to Twitter. Many on social media reported watching the fight via Periscope as opposed to paying the $100 pay-per-view fee to HBO and Showtime, which has since sparked a discussion about piracy. Continue reading Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

ESPN filed a lawsuit Monday in New York Supreme Court against Verizon, claiming that Verizon’s new FiOS TV packages — which allow subscribers to purchase a basic set of channels starting at $55 per month, and add tiers of genre-based channels — are in breach of contract regarding ESPN distribution. While Verizon introduced the new packages to attract consumers looking for more flexibility, the company has met resistance from major players such as 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal regarding current programming agreements. Continue reading ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

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