Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

Sources indicate that Apple has recently been meeting with Hollywood executives to discuss the possibility of the tech giant taking a more active role in the entertainment business by producing original programming. The group exploring the possibility reports to Eddy Cue, who handles content-related issues for Apple. According to one high-level exec who met with Apple, the goal is to launch development and production units by next year that would produce streaming content to take on Netflix and similar services. Continue reading Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

Streamed 4K Video from Netflix Being Leaked to Torrent Sites

Pirates have reportedly found a workaround for 4K copy protection on Netflix, as an Ultra HD copy of the first episode of “Breaking Bad” is making the rounds on torrent sites. While 4K content for television and PCs may still be in its early stages, some analysts anticipate increased leaks in the future. Netflix and Amazon are among the first streaming services to offer 4K content, although most consumers do not own 4K TVs yet. Streaming has strong protection, and until the recent leak, High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP) was generally believed to be unbreakable. Continue reading Streamed 4K Video from Netflix Being Leaked to Torrent Sites

“The Daily Show” Builds Out Digital Brand Beyond Cable TV

Comedy Central just hired Baratunde Thurston as a supervising producer of “The Daily Show” to oversee expansion of digital content. As Trevor Noah replaces original host Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show” is poised to deliver expanded content across a wide range of digital platforms. Thurston, humorist and author of “How To Be Black,” was formerly director of digital for The Onion. Online virality has become increasingly important for late night shows such as NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Continue reading “The Daily Show” Builds Out Digital Brand Beyond Cable TV

Nielsen to Track Viewership Across Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

Nielsen is rolling out a program to track views of almost 1,000 shows on Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Hulu, relying on the same 25,000 U.S. households used to track traditional TV ratings. The idea is that, by having access to that data, large media companies such as Comcast NBCUniversal can hammer out better content licensing deals, especially with Netflix. Currently, Nielsen provides data only to studios that own the programs and pay for the information, but it plans to syndicate the data in the future. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Viewership Across Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

LG announced that its first flat-screen 4K OLED TV lineup will be available next month. The EF9500 series will be similarly priced to the curved EF9600 series ($5,500 for the 55-inch model and $7,000 for the 65-inch model). However, the new series will mark the first fully HDR-compliant OLED TVs, capable of displaying high dynamic range content from streaming sources and components such as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players shipping later this year. HDR offers more contrast between light and dark images for a superior viewing experience. Continue reading LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

Hulu Pursues Programmatic Advertising, Powered by LiveRail

Hulu will try its hand at programmatic advertising with a private ad exchange that should make buying ads more similar to the experience on Facebook or Twitter. The new automatic ad buying service will rely on Facebook video ad exchange LiveRail, but won’t leave the company’s traditional salespeople out of the equation. To make ads more valuable, Hulu will combine its own data with that of the advertiser to more narrowly target relevant viewers. Show-specific sponsorships won’t initially be offered. Continue reading Hulu Pursues Programmatic Advertising, Powered by LiveRail

Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

As part of its effort to meet the entertainment needs of the postmillennial generation, Netflix is adding exclusive films and TV series to its service that target teenagers and tweens. Netflix has picked up a half-hour original series about a group of musicians called “Lost & Found Music Studios,” a series called “Degrassi: Next Class” that addresses the issues teens face as they get ready to enter adulthood, and “Fuller House,” the sequel to the popular 90s sitcom “Full House.” Netflix has also licensed two movies featuring YouTube stars — “Smosh: The Movie” and “Bad Night.” Continue reading Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

Showgoers: Chrome Plugin Powers Shared Viewing for Netflix

For those who want a more social TV viewing experience, Showgoers is a new and interesting solution. The Chrome extension enables far-flung friends to watch the same movie or TV show featured on Netflix and play, pause or seek specific segments, simultaneously. Not surprisingly, the idea was born out of a long-distance relationship; the developer created Showgoers to create another experience that the couple could share. Although Showgoers can’t get around geographical blocking, it is simple to set up — and free. Continue reading Showgoers: Chrome Plugin Powers Shared Viewing for Netflix

SIGGRAPH 2015: Virtual Production, Cousin of Virtual Reality

At SIGGRAPH 2015, Autodesk executives David Morin and Ben Guthrie described virtual production, its relationship with virtual reality and some newly released tools from their company to aid in the process. Virtual production began with Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings,” got a bump of recognition with “Avatar,” and has been used on many films since. According to Morin and Guthrie, the process, which lets filmmakers create virtual worlds in-camera and composite CG and live action on set, is achieving momentum. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: Virtual Production, Cousin of Virtual Reality

Children’s Programming Counts on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon

When PBS talked with “Sesame Street” producers about the future of the 45-year old children’s educational TV series, the choices were few. The show had been running a production deficit for years and suffered from changes in viewing habits. If the show wanted to continue production and stay on PBS, it only had one solution: find a production partner. HBO stepped into that role, highlighting a little known fact: that companies like HBO, Netflix and Amazon all take kids’ TV seriously. Continue reading Children’s Programming Counts on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon

FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

In 2014, there were more than 370 scripted TV series, including those that were delivered by streaming. This year, say the experts, that number could top 400. We’re living in a Golden Age of TV as viewers have a wealth of choices among all genres. But can this level of production be sustained? Are there enough viewers to keep numbers up for so many TV shows vying for dominance? Is there enough creative talent to keep writing and producing them? And is there a way for every show to make its mark in such a crowded environment? Continue reading FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

A new 4K Ultra HD movie drive aimed at consumers is now on offer from WD, Western Digital’s storage company. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is partnering with WD by offering several movies and TV shows on the drive, dubbed My Passport Cinema. The drive plays back 4K/UHD, HD and HDR on Samsung SUHD TVs and a select range of other Vidity-enabled devices. Vidity is a 4K movie service backed by Warner, Universal, LG, SanDisk, Dolby, M-GO, Comcast and others in addition to Fox, WD and Samsung. Continue reading Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Less then two weeks following FCC approval of its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T is already rolling out plans to lure new customers. In a first-of-its kind nationwide offer to be made available August 10, AT&T is packaging wireless phone service and television for $200 per month for the first year. The “All in One” promotional plan places an emphasis on TV anywhere, featuring HDTV and DVR services across four receivers through DirecTV or U-verse, four smartphone connections including unlimited talk and text, in addition to 10GB of shared data. Continue reading Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

JustWatch Goes Mobile with App to Track Movies, TV Shows

JustWatch launched in February as a free search engine to help cord cutters and others find where to legally watch their favorite TV shows and movies online. The app, which recently expanded to mobile and is available on iOS and Android, allows users to filter by streaming subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video in addition to tracking rental and purchase options via services including Google Play, iTunes and Vudu. The app alerts users when new content arrives on their preferred service. Continue reading JustWatch Goes Mobile with App to Track Movies, TV Shows

Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

Verizon Communications has signed a multiplatform deal with HBO that will allow the telecom to offer HBO’s standalone streaming video service to more than 100 million wireless customers in addition to non-Verizon mobile device users. Verizon will offer HBO Now on its upcoming mobile video platform (reportedly to be called Go90) and to its DSL and FiOS broadband customers for $15 a month. Verizon is the latest distributor for HBO’s OTT offering, which initially launched in early April with Apple and Cablevision Systems. Continue reading Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

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