Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Simple.tv — the company that has been trying to reinvent the DVR since 2012 — is about to launch ShowDrive, which allows users to record and playback up to 1,000 hours of TV programming from the cloud to Internet-connected TVs, streaming devices and mobile phones. Unlike Aereo, whose live TV and time-shifted TV DVR was killed by a Supreme Court ruling that it didn’t substantially differ from a cable operator, Simple.tv’s technology is based on technology that has standing in past legal cases. Continue reading Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Amazon announced that it has agreed to purchase Elemental Technologies in an all-cash deal valued at about $500 million, marking Amazon’s biggest deal since last year’s $1 billion acquisition of videogame streaming site Twitch. Elemental helps media companies encode and transcode video content for viewing on the Web and via mobile devices. Amazon plans to add Elemental to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing division, one of the company’s faster-growing units. Amazon reportedly beat out both Ericsson AB and Cisco Systems to acquire Elemental. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

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

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

Apple Blends Streaming, Social, Radio for New Music Service

The new Apple Music service, unveiled during yesterday’s WWDC in San Francisco, will be released for iOS the end of this month and will be coming to Android devices this fall. The service will allow subscribers to stream their favorite music, access curated playlists, and watch music videos and exclusive clips in HD for $9.99 per month. The company is also offering a $14.99 family plan for sharing Apple Music with up to five other people. Apple is adding a global radio station called Beats 1 that will be run by DJ and music producer Zane Lowe. Continue reading Apple Blends Streaming, Social, Radio for New Music Service

Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Spotify is no longer just about music streaming. The service — facing new pressure from emerging rivals — is adding podcasts, video clips, original music and video series, a better recommendation engine, and a special feature for runners. The new videos and podcasts will come from media partners like ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN and Maker Studios. Spotify has also developed some of its own original content, including music tracks that will change tempo based on how fast the user is running. Continue reading Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Reuters Launches Video Subscription Service for Mobile News

Reuters is hoping to better compete with the likes of CNN, CNBC, and other networks for news consumers, particularly those who use mobile devices for their news, by launching a new app that is essentially a “Netflix for News.” The new Reuters TV app requires a $2 per month subscription to access the 30-minute news reports and the live streaming channel. Both on-demand and live content will be downloadable for offline viewing. The iOS app is currently only available in the U.S. and the U.K. Continue reading Reuters Launches Video Subscription Service for Mobile News

Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

Amazon Prime members who enjoy free two-day shipping and unlimited streaming of music and video can soon add Ultra HD to their subscription perks. Amazon announced yesterday that it is releasing a catalog of television shows and movies that stream in 4K, joining Netflix in a move that may provide consumers with another reason to consider a UHD TV purchase. Current UHD models offered by LG, Samsung and Sony feature a built-in chip capable of decoding 4K video streamed from Amazon. Continue reading Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

Deezer, one of the most comprehensive music streaming services, operates in more than 180 countries with an active user base of around 16 million. Deezer has yet to launch in the U.S., but its arrival is expected soon. When it does, the streaming service will feature podcast support, now that Deezer has acquired podcast and talk radio platform Stitcher, which currently carries 35,000+ shows from ABC News, AP Radio, BBC, CBS Sports, KROQ, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, TED, WNYC and many others. Continue reading Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

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

N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

N3twork (pronounced “network”) is a new app hoping to make video discovery a little easier by organizing online videos into channels, similar to those found on traditional TV. These channels, though, are personalized using data from the users. On each video, the viewer has the option to swipe right to save for viewing later, swipe left to skip, or tap to watch. The service pulls video from an estimated 6,500 different online sources, and users can also upload their own videos. Continue reading N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

World Cup: New Records for ABC, Univision, Facebook, Twitter

The numbers keep rolling in for the FIFA World Cup. Last week we reported that the Germany-Brazil semifinal set new viewing records and knocked out this year’s Super Bowl for the most Twitter activity during a sports event. Now it’s being reported that Sunday’s championship match between Germany and Argentina drew 30 million U.S. viewers, shattering the previous record for a final, thanks in part to the Spanish-language audience. Additionally, new usage records were set for Twitter and Facebook. Continue reading World Cup: New Records for ABC, Univision, Facebook, Twitter

BBC Plans the First Live Ultra HD Broadcast Entirely Over IP

As several broadcasters get ready to test live Ultra HD broadcasts of the World Cup this week, the BBC has plans to go one step further. Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington tells us that the BBC has chosen next month’s Commonwealth Games for the world’s first live Ultra HD production that will use an entirely Internet-based infrastructure. While broadcasters have used IP to distribute content between the studio and remote locations, all-IP live production is not yet common. Continue reading BBC Plans the First Live Ultra HD Broadcast Entirely Over IP

BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that the BBC, working with research partners Arqiva and BT, plans to broadcast the World Cup final and two other FIFA matches live in 4K as part of an ongoing trial with the Ultra HD format. This marks the first time that 4K will be distributed simultaneously over IP and digital terrestrial television technologies, a hybrid distribution model that the BBC has been developing for several years. Continue reading BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

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