NAB Calls for FCC to Revisit Streaming Video Platform Rules

The National Association of Broadcasters has renewed its call to have the Federal Communications Commission re-classify over-the-top video providers as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), with the same fees and obligations levied at broadcast and cable networks. The FCC has been chewing over what to do about OTT and OVD (online video distributors) since 2014, when it “tentatively concluded” that an MVPD must control both the the transmission path and content to fall under FCC purview. Thus streamers have avoided rules and payments in the interest of promoting competition as former market leaders have fallen behind. Continue reading NAB Calls for FCC to Revisit Streaming Video Platform Rules

Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

Cinedigm, a streaming firm that debuted its Cineverse platform this summer, is introducing the ability to rent fresh theatrical films via a partnership with ROW8, a subscription-free cinema OTT service launched in 2018. Cinedigm says the partnership allows it to market content on Cineverse that’s “still in theaters” via TVOD (transactional video on-demand). The agreement is reciprocal, with ROW8 able to offer Cinedigm’s own upcoming theatrical releases to Android and iOS, Apple TV, Google TV, Roku players, Vizio and other mobile devices. Cinedigm claims to be platform agnostic. Continue reading Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

LG Display Reveals Stretchable Prototype That Folds, Twists

LG Display has unveiled a stretchable display form factor it says surpasses existing foldable and rollable technology. Based on a highly resilient film-type substrate made of silicon used in contact lenses, LG’s 12-inch prototype stretches to up to 14 inches. The stretchable display uses a MicroLED light source with full-color RGB and resolution of 100ppi that LG says “competes with most existing monitors.” It’s spring-wired frame gives it the durability to withstand repetitive changes to form as well as significant external impact, LG adds, describing a consistency “similar to that of a rubber band.” Continue reading LG Display Reveals Stretchable Prototype That Folds, Twists

Musk Takes to Twitter Spaces to Share Plans for the Platform

Elon Musk is seeking a payments system for Twitter as he pursues his plan to make it a “super app” along the lines of China’s WeChat. Musk outlined his vision in a live presentation on Twitter Spaces to more than 100,000 users and advertisers, including reps from Adidas, Kate Spade, Nissan and Walgreens. Musk has been brainstorming with confidants over ways to improve Twitter and make it profitable. Last week, Twitter filed registration paperwork with the Treasury Department for approval to add payments. Meanwhile, top privacy and security executives are leaving the company after Musk told employees “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question.” Continue reading Musk Takes to Twitter Spaces to Share Plans for the Platform

New YouTube Shorts Feature Is Optimized for HDTV Screens

With research showing TVs are the biggest growth platform for YouTube Shorts, the streamer is rolling out its purpose-built player for HDTVs worldwide, starting this month. The YouTube Shorts on TV player will work with recent-model smart TVs, game consoles and streaming devices such as Roku and Google’s Chromecast. Users will now see a “Shorts shelf” on the homepage of their YouTube TV app, or the Shorts can be launched directly from a creator’s channel. YouTube Shorts are seen on about 1.5 billion mobile devices monthly, and this move is designed to increase views. Continue reading New YouTube Shorts Feature Is Optimized for HDTV Screens

IBM’s New Osprey Processor Advances Quantum Computing

IBM has achieved a new milestone in chips developed for quantum computing with the newly debuted 433-qubit Osprey chip. That’s more than three times the qubits of the 127-qubit Eagle chip IBM introduced last year. The company has its sights set on a more than 4,000-qubit system that it plans to unveil in 2025. Quantum computers solve problems faster and more accurately than classical computers and can find exact solutions to problems that today’s top computers can only guess at, known as the “quantum advantage.” Eventually, quantum computers are expected to contain millions of qubits. Continue reading IBM’s New Osprey Processor Advances Quantum Computing

Top Peacock Tier Adds Live NBC Affiliates from 210 Markets

NBCUniversal’s OTT video streaming service Peacock is adding local NBC affiliate channels from 210 markets to its $9.99/month Premium Plus tier. The 24/7 feature is phasing in gradually, with all stations scheduled to be live by November 30, when subscribers will see a homepage tile that syncs the local broadcast feed, offering everything from NBC hits like “Law & Order” and “Saturday Night Live.” Integration of a live option puts Peacock on a more direct footing with Paramount+, which offers live CBS affiliate feeds. Continue reading Top Peacock Tier Adds Live NBC Affiliates from 210 Markets

Meta Cuts 13 Percent of Workforce, Eliminating 11,000 Jobs

Meta Platforms on Wednesday began layoffs that will affect 11,000 workers — approximately 13 percent of the company’s workforce of 87,000. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the staff via video that “I take full responsibility for this decision,” describing it as “one of the hardest calls I’ve had to make in the 18 years I’ve run the company.” This is the first time mass layoffs have been implemented there. Zuckerberg was described as “downcast” as he discussed the news, saying overly optimistic growth projections led to overstaffing. Continue reading Meta Cuts 13 Percent of Workforce, Eliminating 11,000 Jobs

WhatsApp Debuts Communities with End-to-End Encryption

Meta Platforms is globally releasing a major update for WhatsApp called Communities, which doubles the number of group chat members to 1,024, and adds video (and voice) for up to 32. Designed for schools, clubs, churches, the workplace and other organizations, Communities features include support for sub-groups, admin controls and in-chat polls. “We’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else,” the company said of the upgrade, stressing end-to-end encryption. In fact, Communities are not publicly discoverable, requiring an invitation. Continue reading WhatsApp Debuts Communities with End-to-End Encryption

Nvidia Offers Advanced Chip to Clear U.S. Export Control List

Nvidia becomes the first stateside chipmaker to launch a product in China that manages to clear strict U.S. export hurdles aimed at keeping high-end processors out of the territory. Computers with the new Nvidia chip, the A800, are already selling in China. Publicly traded Nvidia had been concerned the export limits could divert hundreds of millions of dollars from its bottom line. In October, U.S. regulators effectively banned shipments of advanced microchips and the equipment required to make them in order to bolster national security and thwart Chinese weaponization. Continue reading Nvidia Offers Advanced Chip to Clear U.S. Export Control List

Twitter Users Are Testing Decentralized Social Site Mastodon

In a social media ecosystem roiling with change, Mastodon is a newcomer that’s picking up steam as change agents and disaffected Twitter users seek alternative outlets. With 4.5 million accounts and growing, the microblogging platform is the brainchild of 29-year-old German software engineer Eugen Rochko, whose “free, open-source decentralized platform” has become the elephant in the room for Elon Musk, who on Monday tweeted three derogatory comments about the service. Musk later deleted the posts, but not before generating waves of publicity for his upstart competitor. Continue reading Twitter Users Are Testing Decentralized Social Site Mastodon

AMC and Zoom to Offer Videoconferencing in Movie Theaters

AMC Theatres is getting in on the growth in Zoom popularity by introducing two-way video-equipped rooms. Working with Zoom Video Communications, AMC will equip Zoom Rooms in 17 of its major markets’ theaters in 2023. “This combines the excellent experience of Zoom with the comfort and state-of-the-art sight and sound technology of AMC’s modern and centrally located theaters,” AMC said of the new alliance, which targets “companies and other entities with decentralized workforces and customer bases to bring people from different markets together for virtual and in-person events and meetings.” Continue reading AMC and Zoom to Offer Videoconferencing in Movie Theaters

Execs Who Ran MoviePass Charged in Alleged Fraud Scheme

The two individuals who once ran MoviePass have been charged with engaging in a criminal scheme to defraud investors of Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), a publicly traded company based in Florida and New York that invested and then took over the subscription-based movie ticketing service. Ted Farnsworth, former chairman and CEO of MoviePass parent HMNY, and Mitch Lowe, former MoviePass CEO, are each charged with one count of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud. If convicted, the Florida men face possible prison time of 20 years per count. Continue reading Execs Who Ran MoviePass Charged in Alleged Fraud Scheme

YouTube Offers Co-Streaming with ‘Go Live Together’ Feature

YouTube is getting ready to introduce a new feature called “Go Live Together” that allows qualifying creators to have a guest join their live stream. Initially available only via mobile, YouTube plans to eventually expand to more platforms and expand the number of participating creators. Although creators can only host one guest at a time, they can rotate them. Once you are invited, the guests’ stream will appear below the host’s. To activate it, creators will be asked to enter stream details, including a title, description, thumbnails, visibility and monetization settings. The move follows similar functionality introduced by TikTok and Twitch. Continue reading YouTube Offers Co-Streaming with ‘Go Live Together’ Feature

Meta Says Its AI-Compressed Audio Codec Beats MP3 by 10x

Meta Platforms says its vision for the metaverse will rely heavily on compression technology “to deliver high-quality, uninterrupted experiences for everyone.” With that in mind, it’s trained its Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) lab on developing “hypercompression” solutions. First up is EnCodec, an audio technology it says compresses at 64 kbps, with no loss in quality, and at 10 times the efficiency of MP3. The EnCodec protocol has the potential to  greatly improve the sound and reliability of speech over low-bandwidth (like when your mobile phone is only getting one bar). It also works for music. Continue reading Meta Says Its AI-Compressed Audio Codec Beats MP3 by 10x