RMW Restoring 1,000 Cult and Classic Films for Home Video

Reliance MediaWorks has begun the restoration process on a thousand films — many of which are cult or world cinema classics — to create high definition versions for availability on Blu-ray. From its Burbank facility, RMW is up-converting most titles from standard definition, not remastering from original negatives. However, the company expects quality results for restored video and audio that will help return the films to their former glory and hopefully introduce them to a new audience. Continue reading RMW Restoring 1,000 Cult and Classic Films for Home Video

Internet of Things: Samsung Purchases Startup SmartThings

ETCentric community member Lee Lanselle forwarded us news that Samsung has acquired SmartThings, maker of smart-home controllers, for around $200 million. While SmartThings will continue to operate independently under CEO Alex Hawkinson, its three facilities are expected to move to Palo Alto to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (run by former Google and AOL exec David Eun). SmartThings, which is owned by Physical Graph Corp., began in 2012 as a Kickstarter project. Continue reading Internet of Things: Samsung Purchases Startup SmartThings

Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

San Francisco’s BitTorrent is leveraging its expertise in online file sharing tech to develop Bleep, an encrypted snoop-proof chat app. None of the texts or calls are stored, and only the two computers are involved in the communication. While the NSA could potentially monitor the interactions, the job becomes much more difficult with the new app. Not only does Bleep encrypt its traffic and encourage users to keep their identities secret, but it also uses no central server. Continue reading Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

Senate Majority Leader Offers Support for Open Internet Rules

Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid explained in a letter Monday that he would support “any Open Internet rules” passed by federal regulators. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed rules that would allow companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to charge more for faster Internet access. Meanwhile, opponents view such arrangements as a direct threat to net neutrality. Reid’s letter could help provide cover for the FCC in regulating Web services similar to a utility. Continue reading Senate Majority Leader Offers Support for Open Internet Rules

Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

The Los Angeles city government put out a request for information regarding the construction of a citywide fiber and Wi-Fi network. Dutch company Angie Communications was the only one to make its full response public. It responded to the RFI with an ambitious plan to build an entire LA fiber network within five years, including the infrastructure for metro and street access. In addition, the company proposes a nationwide 4G cellular network and Wi-Fi network. Continue reading Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Google has signed a $1 billion deal to acquire popular streaming platform Twitch.tv, according to sources familiar with the matter. Google’s YouTube division is in charge of the deal, which reflects the popularity of live Internet streaming and, in particular, the rapidly evolving interest in competitive gaming as a spectator sport. San Francisco-based Twitch currently touts more than 50 million monthly users. In addition, more than 1.1 million of its members broadcast videos each month. Continue reading Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Qplay Video Service Shutters Just Six Months After its Launch

Qplay, the video streaming device and app startup launched by TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton, will close for business this Friday. The San Jose, California-based company was founded in August 2012 and its $49 Qplay adapter was introduced in February. The startup’s iPad app provided access to free online video sites — such as Vimeo, Yahoo and YouTube — and curated clips based on user preferences. It did not, however, provide access to subscription services. Continue reading Qplay Video Service Shutters Just Six Months After its Launch

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that works with a high-speed wireless technology called WiGig, which operates at a much higher frequency than Wi-Fi. WiGig has been considered as a potential replacement to wires for sending videos between components in the same room. It could transfer multiple 4K video streams, while Wi-Fi can only handle one. The bet is that WiGig will also become a standard feature on smartphones and other mobile devices. Continue reading Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

To kick-off VidCon yesterday, industry leaders discussed the strong foundation that YouTube is currently building for the future of entertainment. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg discussed the acquisition of multichannel network AwesomenessTV in addition to the YouTube Nation venture. Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz unveiled upgrades to the Maker Gen platform for creators. And Fullscreen’s George Strompolos announced a $10 million investment toward original programming. Continue reading VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

VidCon 2014: YouTube CEO Unveils New Tools for Creators

During her keynote at VidCon in Anaheim, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced new and upcoming tools designed for content creators. Wojcicki unveiled a creator tip jar, analytics app, fan-submitted subtitles, channel management tools and more. The new products are intended to engage a larger worldwide audience, help build successful businesses and manage creative work. She also noted that YouTube’s new ad campaign has helped more than double awareness of creators. Continue reading VidCon 2014: YouTube CEO Unveils New Tools for Creators

Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

The search engine Google is adding overnight delivery to its shipping options in Northern California. From San Francisco to Berkeley, and soon other cities, Google promises to deliver items purchased by 7:00 pm to doorsteps the next day. Unlike Amazon’s massive warehouses, Google’s system utilizes chain stores such as Target and Walgreens to help fill orders. This delivery service may entice customers to search for products on Google rather than Amazon. Continue reading Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

Apple Requests Order to Block Sale of Some Samsung Phones

In the wake of a recent jury verdict that Samsung had infringed upon three of its patents, Apple is now seeking a sales ban in the U.S. on some older models of Samsung’s smartphones. The move also follows an agreement between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit to dismiss patent litigation against each other. However, according to papers filed in a California court, Apple is not looking for such a resolution with Samsung, but has requested a retrial to increase the amount awarded earlier this month and impose a sales ban. Continue reading Apple Requests Order to Block Sale of Some Samsung Phones

Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

Following months of expanding its LTE data pipes, Verizon Wireless is now offering improved 4G speeds under its new “XLTE” banner. The carrier is introducing improved performance in areas where it has added AWS wireless spectrum. Verizon promises that XLTE regions will feature double the bandwidth and faster peak speeds. The company says that more than 35 percent of devices operating on its network can take advantage of the added capacity of AWS. Continue reading Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that Los Angeles-based Video Equipment Rentals (VER) will purchase 3D film and television leader CAMERON PACE Group (CPG). Led by James Cameron and Vince Pace, CPG is an innovator in 3D technologies and production services, including the FUSION 3D workflow system. VER, with headquarters in Glendale, California, has dozens of locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Continue reading Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

California Senate Passes Amended Smartphone Kill-Switch Bill

Weeks after the California Senate voted down legislation that would require anti-theft tech in all new smartphones, it has now passed a revised version of the bill after Apple and Microsoft withdrew their opposition. While the legislation is applauded by law enforcement groups, it is still opposed by some wireless carriers, and could face an uphill battle in the state Assembly. If passed, kill-switch technology would be required for phones sold in California that are manufactured after July 1, 2015. Continue reading California Senate Passes Amended Smartphone Kill-Switch Bill

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