New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

After raising nearly $145,000 on Kickstarter, antenna maker Mohu plans to release its Channels TV adapter this June. The Mohu Channels device is a TV adapter that combines free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts with online video streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu Plus. Mohu also hopes to include the ability to play back local files, time shifting functionality to pause and fast forward through live programming, and an Android app that can be used as a remote. Continue reading New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

Facebook is preparing to provide remittances and electronic money in an effort to extend non-ad revenue. The company applied for an e-money license in Ireland that would allow users to store and exchange money through its social network. Facebook would generate revenue by charging commission for each transaction. At least three London startups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — have discussed potential partnerships with Facebook regarding financial services. Continue reading Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

According to a new study by the Council for Research Excellence, conversations on social media have less influence than traditional factors, such as TV commercials for new shows or laziness in changing channels, in prompting audiences to watch a new show. In addition, only 16.1 percent of survey respondents say they use social media while watching prime time television, and less than half those participants typically use social networks to discuss the show they are watching. Continue reading Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

Google Glass Brings Fans on Real “Walter Mitty” Adventures

To promote the home entertainment release of Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Twentieth Century Fox has teamed up with Google Glass and YouTube personality, iJustine, for a new way to experience Mitty’s adventures. From April 8-15, iJustine is in Reykjavik, Iceland as part of a crowdsourced adventure, recording her endeavors with Google Glass, and posting them on YouTube and other social media platforms. The film comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 15. Continue reading Google Glass Brings Fans on Real “Walter Mitty” Adventures

Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Popular websites have been scrambling to update software and Internet users have been encouraged to change their passwords following the news of an encryption flaw known as the Heartbleed bug, which is already being categorized as one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever experienced. The bug has affected a number of websites and services (although the extent is not clear), and may have exposed account info including passwords and credit card numbers going back two years. UPDATE: Cisco and Juniper said yesterday that some of their networking products contain the bug, which means sensitive info may have been obtained while moving across corporate networks, home networks and the Internet. Continue reading Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

Twitter profiles will receive a significant design overhaul in the coming weeks. Profile pages will include a large horizontal cover photo and a prominent profile picture, which are unmistakably similar to the look of Facebook profiles. The most popular tweets will also appear larger in the timeline and users can now pin a favorite tweet to the top of their page. Visitors to profiles will be able to filter timelines to include only tweets with photos, videos or replies. Continue reading New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

The ongoing effort to utilize new technologies in the service of storytelling was the theme of USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Dean Elizabeth Daley’s keynote address Sunday at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB. Digital technology is deeply engrained throughout the SCA curriculum. In fact, the Interactive Media & Games Division and the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts wouldn’t exist without it. Yet “everything has changed, and nothing has changed. Great storytelling is still key,” Daley said. Continue reading NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

The through-line of Saturday’s “The Future of Cinema” panel at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB was entertainment technology evolution and experimentation, for better or worse, in the service of story and the entertainment experience. Panel members from MKPE Consulting, Entertainment Technology Canada, Group 47, IMAX, Disney and Deluxe discussed a range of topics including projection systems, light sources, frame rates, dynamic range, color gamut and what moviegoers will be looking for in their theater experience. Continue reading Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Apple just opened its iAd Workbench tool to the public, making mobile ad campaign creation and management accessible to anyone with an Apple ID. The Web-based platform — previously only available to registered mobile app developers — will allow users to launch, track and adjust their advertising campaigns. The ads can contain videos, and direct viewers to a separate website or promoted iTunes content, but only work for ads on an iOS phone or tablet. Continue reading Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

Twitter has acquired two TV analytics companies as part of its effort to become a stronger social complement to television viewing. French company Mesagraph and U.K.-based SecondSync will become part of Twitter’s London office. Twitter also announced it will be expanding its partnership with Kantar Media, and is hoping to extend its Twitter TV ratings system into Europe. To compete in the social TV space, Facebook has teamed with TV networks to initiate live updates during broadcasts, a practice popular with Twitter. Continue reading Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Yesterday we reported that Yahoo has been ramping up its online video efforts and content catalog to compete more directly with Google’s YouTube for viewers and advertising revenue. Now it has been reported that Yahoo is in preliminary talks to purchase online-video service News Distribution Network, a deal estimated at roughly $300 million according to insiders. NDN is a video syndication service that provides newspapers and Web publishers with clips related to news, sports, politics and other topics. Continue reading Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

Digital omnivore is a term that refers to consumers who own a trio of CE devices — specifically tablets, smartphones and laptops. Deloitte’s eighth “Digital Democracy Survey” found that over 37 percent of U.S. consumers are now digital omnivores, a 42 percent increase over the previous year. The growth is driven by a 33 percent increase in tablet adoption and an 18 percent increase in smartphone ownership. Women currently account for 45 percent of the digital omnivores group. Continue reading Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

New Billboard Charts Will Measure Music Popularity on Twitter

Billboard and Twitter announced yesterday that the companies plan to launch Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts in May — regularly updated lists of the songs most frequently discussed and shared via Twitter in the U.S. The real-time charts will be published on Billboard.com and Billboard’s Twitter feed. While music is currently the most widely discussed topic on the social network, with seven of the top 10 accounts belonging to pop stars, Twitter has been largely unsuccessful in exploiting its music-related traffic. Continue reading New Billboard Charts Will Measure Music Popularity on Twitter

Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Facebook revealed its plans to acquire Oculus VR, maker of the virtual reality Oculus Rift headset. Reaction to the $2 billion agreement has ranged from excitement on Wall Street — to bewilderment by those questioning the accuracy of the news — to anger by some early supporters who pledged funds to the startup via its Kickstarter campaign. Others reportedly disappointed in the news include developers who purchased early prototypes of the Oculus Rift hoping to become the first to create games. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

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