CES: Dimension X Demos Bonfire Virtual Story Creation Tools

For the most part, exhibitors in the Gaming and Metaverse areas at CES 2023 didn’t touch on the latent problems with consumer adoption of the metaverse. While worlds like “Fortnite” and “Roblox” that draw consistently high MAUs do so because they offer fun mechanics, the many metaverse platforms on exhibit generally did not provide compelling reasons for why companies — much less consumers — should spend time in their worlds. Dimension X’s booth was a standout on the floor, however, as it showcased Bonfire, a soon-to-be-released tool to enable the seamless creation of narrative mechanics within virtual worlds. Continue reading CES: Dimension X Demos Bonfire Virtual Story Creation Tools

CEDIA: Samsung 98-Inch 4K Neo QLED TV Offers 5,000 Nits

Samsung’s new 98-inch QN100B Neo QLED TV is drawing positive reviews and the promise of theater-quality presentation for the living room. Samsung calls it “the most powerful 4K TV ever created for the home,” with up to 5,000 nits of peak brightness. At 19.9mm thick, it’s one of Samsung’s thinnest TVs, despite its size. Built-in 120W, 6.4.4-channel Dolby Atmos surround sound with Samsung’s Cinema Object Tracking make it sound like a winner. Samsung didn’t share pricing, but this model is part of what’s being called “the newly competitive 100-inch class.” Continue reading CEDIA: Samsung 98-Inch 4K Neo QLED TV Offers 5,000 Nits

Dish Loses Subscribers in Q2, Preps Launch of Boost Infinite

Dish Network posted a Q2 subscriber loss in both the satellite TV sector and among customers of its virtual multichannel video programming distributor Sling TV. Sling shed 257,000 traditional satellite video subs while Dish lost 202,000 net satellite subscribers. Regarding Sling TV, the vMVPD lost subscribers for the third consecutive quarter, down 55,000 in Q2, a marked improvement over Sling’s Q1 net loss of 234,000 subs. Dish ended Q2 with 7.79 million satellite TV subscribers, while Sling closed the April through June period with about 2.19 million customers. Meanwhile, Dish announced its Boost Infinite postpaid wireless service will launch later this year. Continue reading Dish Loses Subscribers in Q2, Preps Launch of Boost Infinite

Global Startups Raised $621 Billion in 2021, Breaking Record

Startups enjoyed record venture capital funding last year, raising $621 billion globally and seeding several new tech hubs around the world, although Silicon Valley remains ground zero, according to research firm CB Insights. The U.S. accounted for roughly half of the funding raised globally, with stateside startups raising roughly $311 billion. Bootstrappers in Silicon Valley and New York retained the leading positions in terms of most money raised and number of deals completed, says CBI. Early-stage funding accounted for 63 percent of Philadelphia’s startup deals. Los Angeles and Dallas also grew early stage numbers, to 62 and 55 percent respectively. Continue reading Global Startups Raised $621 Billion in 2021, Breaking Record

Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Moving Forward with 5G Service

At a J.P. Morgan investment conference, Verizon chief executive Hans Vestberg revealed that the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is performing at 1.5 Gigabits per second. The caveat is that, per Ookla Speedtest, the company is “tightly curating” the test for reviewers, including a testing site outside of Motorola’s offices and other locations adjacent to its 5G hardware. Meanwhile, Sprint stated that it will turn on 5G in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City on May 31; it opened up preorders for 5G devices on May 17. And AT&T is offering 5G to business customers in 19 cities. Continue reading Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Moving Forward with 5G Service

Sprint Plans 2019 5G Hotspot Launch with HTC, Qualcomm

Sprint, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., plans to deploy a 5G mobile smart hub in the first half of 2019 developed with HTC and Qualcomm Technologies. Sprint says the “device will deliver multimedia and connected data capabilities in a compact and portable design,” featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem for 5G in addition to Gigabit LTE capabilities. The Kansas-based telecom will introduce its mobile 5G network in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Additional markets, the device name and feature specs will be announced at a later date. Continue reading Sprint Plans 2019 5G Hotspot Launch with HTC, Qualcomm

AT&T to Roll Out Three Tiers of Streaming Service Next Year

AT&T announced it plans to introduce three tiers of a new streaming video service to launch in beta by the fourth quarter of 2019, although pricing and details have yet to be revealed. The WarnerMedia service, intended to take on Netflix and other streaming competitors, will offer movies and TV shows from Warner Bros., Turner and HBO. In the future, the unnamed service is expected to feature licensed content from additional media companies. The venture is part of AT&T’s larger plans to pursue areas outside of its core businesses following the company’s acquisition of Time Warner. Continue reading AT&T to Roll Out Three Tiers of Streaming Service Next Year

Amazon Prime Now Begins Delivery of Whole Foods Products

Amazon is introducing home delivery of Whole Foods products through the company’s one- and two-hour Prime Now delivery service. Initially, the program will launch for neighborhoods in select Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach areas, but Amazon plans expansion throughout the year. While the company has not offered details on the expanded rollout, it’s worth noting that it took less than three years for Prime Now to reach more than 50 global markets. However, the company’s own grocery delivery arm AmazonFresh scaled back delivery in some areas last year. Continue reading Amazon Prime Now Begins Delivery of Whole Foods Products

Google Expands Its YouTube TV Service to 10 New Markets

On Thursday, Google launched its YouTube TV service in 10 new markets, including Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix and Washington D.C. The company says it is now streaming live local programming to more than a third of the U.S. The $35-per-month Internet TV service offers live local feeds from major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, in addition to cable networks such as AMC, ESPN, IFC and USA. The new service, which initially launched in April, is now available in 15 U.S. markets. Continue reading Google Expands Its YouTube TV Service to 10 New Markets

Sony PS Vue Offers HBO, Cinemax as Standalones or Bundle

Following Sony’s recent announcement that the company’s PlayStation Vue streaming service would offer HBO and Cinemax, both premium cable channels are now available as standalones for $15 per month or as part of a new bundle. In addition, the HBO Now app launched yesterday on PS3 and PS4 consoles. According to The Verge, “the new Ultra bundle will include all of Vue’s current offerings, including HBO and Showtime, for $64.99 per month in most locations, and $74.99 per month in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and Miami. PlayStation says Vue is the first streaming service to offer live programming from HBO and Cinemax without a bundle subscription.” Continue reading Sony PS Vue Offers HBO, Cinemax as Standalones or Bundle

Equinix Offers AWS Direct Connect Cloud Service via LA Hub

With Amazon Web Services Direct Connect now available in Equinix’s Los Angeles data centers, the company has bumped up its number of metros offering the AWS cloud service to 12 (five of which are located in North America). Direct Connect enables companies to safely integrate their infrastructure with public cloud services to benefit performance, network consistency and overall costs. The Equinix LA campus features four IBX data centers connected via Metro Connect, providing a scalable and secure system for digital content and entertainment companies. Continue reading Equinix Offers AWS Direct Connect Cloud Service via LA Hub

Dish Unveils New Sling TV Packages and Adds More Channels

Dish announced it is updating its Sling TV streaming service to include popular channels such as Bravo, BBC America, NBC, Syfy and USA. Sling TV will also offer new price packages intended to attract those without pay TV service. “Dish has named its basic $20 single-screen package Sling Orange, and added Sling Blue, a $25 multiscreen package, which will feature local NBC broadcasts in 10 cities,” reports Bloomberg. “Customers can buy a combination of Blue and Orange for $40 a month.” Sling currently has more than 700,000 subscribers. Continue reading Dish Unveils New Sling TV Packages and Adds More Channels

Drone Makers Group Wants a Voice in Setting Airspace Policy

Four major drone manufacturers formed a new drone advocacy group, the Drone Manufacturers Alliance, to better address issues specific to their consumer-facing businesses. DJI, 3DR, Parrot and GoPro aim to lobby for “policies that promote innovation and safety, and create a practical and responsible regulatory framework.” The companies appear to have decamped from the founding trade association in the space, the Small UAV Coalition, which still counts Google X, Amazon Prime Air, AirMap, Intel and others as members. Continue reading Drone Makers Group Wants a Voice in Setting Airspace Policy

Uber is Bringing its New Meal Delivery Service to 10 U.S. Cities

Ride-hailing service Uber is expanding its new meal delivery service to 10 U.S. cities in the coming weeks. People in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Washington DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle and Dallas will be able to order food from dozens of local restaurants through a dedicated UberEats app and have an Uber driver deliver the meal. UberEats will have longer hours of operation than Uber’s existing lunchtime-only food delivery service in these cities. Continue reading Uber is Bringing its New Meal Delivery Service to 10 U.S. Cities

CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

During last week’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Sony showcased its new line of Full HD home theater projectors, including two models that support 4K. Sony is also providing high dynamic range support with its VPL-VW665ES, which allows HDMI input of HDR content with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Meanwhile, Kaleidescape debuted its Encore line with the 4K Strato movie player, the “world’s first 4K Ultra HD high dynamic range movie player for the home.” Kaleidescape showed new Alto players and the Terra server, which simultaneously streams 4K content to up to seven Strato players. Continue reading CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters