Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

Valve’s popular Internet gaming platform Steam hosts some of today’s largest online games. “Dota 2” alone has more than 870,000 concurrent players in a single day. To keep up with the increasingly heavy traffic, Valve is working with Level 3 Communications to install a network infrastructure with 100Gbps Internet ports. Standard game downloads are generally about 10 to 40 gigabytes, but because the site averages more than 10 million concurrent players, massive bandwidth is necessary. Continue reading Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

DJI Unveils Software to Keep Drones Out of Restricted Areas

Drone manufacturer DJI launched a beta geofencing system last week called Geospatial Environment Online (GEO), designed to prevent drones from operating in areas restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration. While DJI’s current flight limitation software stops drones from flying in restricted areas such as airports, the more dynamic GEO also enables updates to maps and restrictions based on unfolding events, including scheduled sports competitions or hazardous conditions like wildfires. Upon an event’s conclusion, maps can be updated again so that restrictions can be lifted. Continue reading DJI Unveils Software to Keep Drones Out of Restricted Areas

AMC, Regal Debut Mobile Apps to Pre-Order Popcorn, Drinks

Movie theaters make their primary living at the concession stands, so it’s no surprise that the next trend at the local multiplex is aimed at making it easier to buy popcorn. AMC Theatres (about 350 theaters) and Regal Entertainment (570 theaters), the largest multiplex chains in North America, just debuted a way for customers to preorder and prepay for food and drinks via a smartphone app. The goal is to reduce what the chains call the “popcorn pinch point,” and reduce or eliminate the line at the concession stand. Continue reading AMC, Regal Debut Mobile Apps to Pre-Order Popcorn, Drinks

Streaming Video, Notably Netflix, Dominates Internet Traffic

Streaming video now makes up 70 percent of Internet traffic, says Sandvine, a Canadian networking-equipment company that conducted a global study during September/October 2015. The company monitored a slice of global services for home broadband to take a snapshot of online traffic across North America, Africa and the Middle East and found that real-time entertainment now prevails. Furthermore, in North America, Netflix dominates about 35 percent of aggregate peak-period Internet traffic, up from 22 percent in 2011. Continue reading Streaming Video, Notably Netflix, Dominates Internet Traffic

What it Will Take to Present Tarantino Film in Ultra Panavision

When Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” debuts on December 25, it won’t simply resurrect Ultra Panavision, an extra-wide format last used in 1966 on “Khartoum.” The filmmaker will release the 70mm film on 100 screens — 96 in the U.S. and four in Canada — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1992. And to do so, Tarantino has had to find and refurbish projectors and train projectionists to run them. It’s all in service of an old-fashioned night at the movie palace, with overture, intermission and additional footage. Continue reading What it Will Take to Present Tarantino Film in Ultra Panavision

Execs Discuss the Future of SVOD in Netflix Q3 Earnings Call

North American pay TV providers recently experienced their worst quarter ever, losing nearly a half million subscribers. But where are these subs going for video services? Recent figures point to Internet TV. Juniper Research, for example, projects that subscriber numbers to over-the-top TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will increase from 92.1 million in 2014, to 332.2 million globally by 2019. Netflix alone will generate $31.6 billion by 2019, up from just under $8 billion in 2014. The recent Netflix Earnings Call provides a revealing portrait that points out challenges and opportunities that reflect the state of the industry. Continue reading Execs Discuss the Future of SVOD in Netflix Q3 Earnings Call

Pay TV Industry Loses 532,000 Subscribers in North America

Cord cutting continues to impact the pay TV industry. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, the top 20 cable and satellite TV providers lost 479,000 subscribers in the U.S. between April and June, while operators in Canada lost 53,000 customers, marking the highest rate of decline experienced thus far in North America. The report comes after the first net drop of pay TV subscribers for the first three months of a year, following a disappointing Q1. Additionally, digital IPTV subscriptions fell by 62,000 in the U.S. and 9,000 in Canada. Continue reading Pay TV Industry Loses 532,000 Subscribers in North America

Paramount Shortens Release Date from Movie Theater to DVD

Paramount Pictures has inked a deal with two major theater chains to release two upcoming films on DVD just two weeks after they leave theaters, a significant change to the traditional schedule. Since the 1980s, and the advent of the VCR, studios have waited at least 90 days, so this new deal marks a real break with the status quo. The Viacom-owned movie studio has partnered with AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Canada’s Cineplex Inc., two of North America’s largest exhibitors. Continue reading Paramount Shortens Release Date from Movie Theater to DVD

Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

According to a recent study, the number of consumers in North America who are cutting the pay TV cord in favor of OTT streaming video services is growing. TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths reports that 8.2 percent of survey respondents were no longer paying TV subscriptions as of 2014, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, an impressive 45.2 percent indicated that they downsized their cable or satellite TV bundles during the same period in the wake of paying for services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video (a trend referred to as “cord shaving”). Continue reading Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

Sony Announces 1TB PlayStation Will Be Thinner and Lighter

In the wake of E3, Sony has announced that its new PS4 will be thinner, lighter and pack more storage than its predecessor. The new PlayStation 4 1TB Ultimate Player Edition, coming to North America next month, will weigh 10 percent lighter than the current PS4 and use 8 percent less power. The new console will come in black or white with a hard drive bay cover in a matte finish, which Sony suggests provides “a more casual look.” Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that its latest Xbox One would feature 1TB of storage and an upcoming wireless controller. Continue reading Sony Announces 1TB PlayStation Will Be Thinner and Lighter

Netflix Continues to Dominate Internet Traffic in North America

According to a new report by broadband networking company Sandvine, Netflix continues to dominate North American Internet traffic. The streaming service currently accounts for 36.5 percent of downstream fixed network traffic during peak evening hours. YouTube also accounts for a significant share with 15.56 percent of peak downstream traffic. The report notes traffic growth for HBO and Amazon Instant Video, while BitTorrent file-sharing traffic is declining, accounting for 6.3 percent of total traffic in North America. Continue reading Netflix Continues to Dominate Internet Traffic in North America

Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

While Netflix and YouTube combined account for roughly half of all Internet bandwidth consumed during peak hours in North America, the latest projections from Cisco suggest even greater growth for online video. The company predicts that in five years, video will be responsible for 80 percent of the world’s Internet consumption (and 85 percent in the U.S.). Cisco explains that the growth will be the result of cord-cutting, mobile expansion, Internet users consuming more (and higher quality) video, and an increase in the overall number of global users. Continue reading Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

The supply of new Internet Protocol addresses has almost run out, which means that companies will likely need to invest a significant amount of money to pay for pricier addresses and system upgrades. IP addresses are similar to telephone numbers that specify where data is going when it is transferred over the Internet. Companies may now have to spend millions of dollars switching to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to get more addresses for their various online operations. Continue reading North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

Data Balkanization: Google Updates Cloud-Based App Engine

Google has updated Google App Engine, its cloud-based app-building tool, so that the apps can now be taken to another cloud provider to run. The change is designed to help Google retain customers despite new cloud balkanization rules that limit where data can be stored. Developers will still be able to build their apps with App Engine and they can run the app through Google’s cloud service in North and South America or they can access other data centers through AppScale. Continue reading Data Balkanization: Google Updates Cloud-Based App Engine

DTS:X is a New Immersive Sound System for Movie Theaters

Audio technology company DTS will join Dolby and Barco in bringing object-based immersive sound systems to cinemas. The company already offers its DTS:X system for home theaters, but now DTS is delivering its tech to commercial theaters with a lower entry cost than rival systems. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the DTS:X system is lower in cost since theaters can start with just a few additional speakers and a supported server. About 350 DTS:X system installations are scheduled for this summer in Asia. Continue reading DTS:X is a New Immersive Sound System for Movie Theaters

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