Judge Rules Against Netflix Bid to Offer Relativity Films Early

Netflix had been fighting to stream two movies produced by Relativity Media ahead of their planned theatrical releases, but a judge on Friday issued an order preventing Netflix from doing so. According to Judge Michael Wiles of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, an early release of the comedy “Masterminds” and horror film “The Disappointments Room” could be “devastating” for Relativity, the studio he recently released from chapter 11. Ruling in favor of Netflix “would threaten the bankruptcy process… with devastating consequences to the plan and distributions” to creditors, the judge said. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Netflix Bid to Offer Relativity Films Early

Alamo Drafthouse, Legion M Team Up to Produce Film, TV, VR

In a newly inked deal, Alamo Drafthouse, the indie theater chain/film distributor, will place executives on the advisory board of startup studio Legion M to evaluate scripts and talent for feature films, shorts, and virtual reality experiences among other potential entertainment projects. Alamo and Legion M portray their agreement as a revolutionary way for fans to become key stakeholders in the success; thus far, Legion M has raised $400,000 from accredited investors and nearly $141,000 from fans. Continue reading Alamo Drafthouse, Legion M Team Up to Produce Film, TV, VR

BitTorrent Rolls Out New P2P-Based Live TV Streaming App

BitTorrent is debuting BitTorrent Live, a new live TV streaming app for the latest generation Apple TVs and computers, which offers live streams from 13 niche programmers. The goal is to build a virtual MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor), with more prominent cable networks. For now, the BitTorrent package is comprised of channels such as Clubbing TV, Filmbox Arthouse, FightBox, Newsmax TV, Heroes TV and TWiT. Although these aren’t well-known networks, the offering is free, unlike other TV streaming services. Continue reading BitTorrent Rolls Out New P2P-Based Live TV Streaming App

NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

The NBA, partnering with BroadbandTV (BBTV), has introduced a new multi-platform video initiative, NBA Playmakers. Aimed at millennials, the new online video network allows fans to make their own videos, with access to some NBA content and inclusion on a soon-to-launch YouTube channel. A video that draws a big audience or shows special talent will win its creator tickets, access to the NBA video team and other goodies. This initiative is the first foray that the league, with BBTV, plans to showcase high-quality fan content. Continue reading NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

ETC@USC has scheduled a panel discussion — “Audience Intelligence at the Frontier: AI, Neuroscience & the Data Revolution in Hollywood” — for Tuesday, June 21. Yves Bergquist, co-founder & CEO of Novamente, and director of ETC’s new Data & Analytics Project will moderate. Leading data scientists, neuroscientists and senior studio execs will discuss the application of next-generation cognitive computing to the audience intelligence challenges in Hollywood. Sponsored by Cloudera, the event will take place 2:00–4:00 pm at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, followed by a cocktail reception. For more information and to register, visit the panel’s Eventbrite page. Continue reading ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

Regulators Set Conditions for Approval of Charter-TWC Deal

While federal regulators are closer to approving the Charter Communications acquisitions of both Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the FCC and Justice Department have introduced conditions designed to protect streaming video companies and help provide affordable broadband services for low income households. The $71+ billion deal would make Charter the second-largest broadband service provider in the U.S. with about 19.4 million subscribers, and the nation’s third-largest cable TV provider with 17.4 million customers. Continue reading Regulators Set Conditions for Approval of Charter-TWC Deal

Facebook Rolls Out Rights Manager to Curb Video Freebooting

Video creators have been complaining for months that their content is being stolen and re-uploaded elsewhere on Facebook, a practice called freebooting. Now Facebook has released Rights Manager, a tool that video producers and companies can use to keep track of their content and prevent it from being re-uploaded without permission. The tool lets them create a reference library of their video content and a dashboard to keep track of the matches, which they can either permit or report based on criteria they set. Continue reading Facebook Rolls Out Rights Manager to Curb Video Freebooting

ETC Organizes NAB Cloud Innovation and VR Conferences

NAB and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC are coproducing two major conference programs at the NAB Show next week in Las Vegas: a Virtual Reality Summit on Wednesday, April 20, from 1:00-5:00 pm and the Cloud Innovation Conference, a 2-day gathering of industry leaders on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20. Both events are at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Cloud Innovation Conference (CIC) covers the current status and future direction of the media cloud, providing professionals with essential knowledge. The half-day Virtual Reality Summit features hands-on practitioners who will discuss the technical and business aspects of producing content in this emerging marketplace. For more information about this year’s conference, visit the links above or the NAB Show website. Continue reading ETC Organizes NAB Cloud Innovation and VR Conferences

Technicolor, Vubiquity Partner on HDR Video Upscaling System

Technicolor and Vubiquity inked a deal to debut an HDR video delivery service to distributors later this year, enabling a large-scale rollout to consumers at a “premium rate.” Vubiquity provides the technology for video distribution to linear channels and on-demand streaming. Technicolor offers its HDR Intelligent Tone Management system, which “upscales” video mastered for existing standards into HDR video, and its HDR distribution technology that lets a single video signal work for HDR TVs and older models. Continue reading Technicolor, Vubiquity Partner on HDR Video Upscaling System

Sony to Launch Ultra 4K Movie Streaming Service Next Week

Sony is slated to roll out its 4K movie streaming service on Monday, April 4. First announced at January’s CES in Las Vegas, the new service will be called Ultra. Viewers will be charged $30 to purchase new Sony-produced films and $12-15 to upgrade pre-owned movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker. Ultra will also offer 4K HDR content such as extras previously only featured on discs. Consumers who buy a 2016 4K Sony TV will get four UHD movies bundled with their new television. Transactional VOD rentals are not expected to be an option featured with the launch. Continue reading Sony to Launch Ultra 4K Movie Streaming Service Next Week

Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

Last year, the motion picture box office surpassed $11 billion for the first time in history. But that hasn’t kept distributors and exhibitors from guarding the traditional 90-day window between theatrical release and home entertainment. When major studios attempted to shrink that window five years ago, theater owners fought back. Now, Screening Room, a startup backed by entrepreneur and former Facebook/Napster executive Sean Parker, as well as some Hollywood heavyweights, is trying again — and may succeed by offering anti-piracy tech and revenue sharing. Continue reading Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

BitTorrent Program Popcorn Time Returns After 2015 Shutdown

Popcorn Time is back. The fork most closely associated with the version shut down by the MPAA last year is now promising “resilience-driven development” based on the development of the relatively new and legal Project Butter. In October 2015, the most popular Popcorn Time fork shuttered its website after the MPAA filed a lawsuit against developers in Canada. While the MPAA’s threats created a domino effect that stopped several contributors from working on the platform, outdated versions of PopcornTime.io software began receiving updates this month. Continue reading BitTorrent Program Popcorn Time Returns After 2015 Shutdown

AMC Employs Digital Watermarking to Pinpoint and Halt Piracy

AMC Networks is the latest Hollywood company to adopt digital watermarking to protect its shows — chief among them “The Walking Dead” — from digital piracy, especially before the episodes air on TV. AMC has said it plans to use Civolution’s NexGuard to embed watermarks on a list of its original shows, also including “Better Call Saul” and “Humans.” The watermarking would take place at its New York production/distribution facilities, where the technology will be implemented as software plug-ins for its transcoders. Continue reading AMC Employs Digital Watermarking to Pinpoint and Halt Piracy

Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever, Considers New OTT Services

Warner Bros. has acquired streaming-video subscription service DramaFever from Japan’s SoftBank Group. DramaFever was launched in 2009 with a focus on Korean TV shows and eventually movies. Today, it reaches 20 countries and offers a wide range of series, films and kids programming available in multiple languages. WB may use the acquisition, expected to close during Q2 2016, to launch new OTT services such as a new offering with content from Machinima or an expanded subscription service with programming licensed from other countries. Continue reading Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever, Considers New OTT Services

HPA Tech Retreat: OTT Metadata an Opportunity for Post Houses

The huge quantities of metadata generated by over-the-top programming poses an opportunity for new revenue streams, said Siemens executive Steve Wong and media tech consultant Christy King at an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Big Data, Big Dollars for Post in an OTT World.” Wong noted that a tremendous amount of data about a production is generated through production, from scriptwriting software through scheduling and budgeting. That’s why it frustrates him that nearly everyone has been served irrelevant ads online. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: OTT Metadata an Opportunity for Post Houses

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