Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Pandora Media, provider of streaming online music, won a legal victory on Tuesday in its ongoing battle with the music industry involving licensing and royalties. A federal court ruled that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers cannot stop Pandora from licensing all the music in their catalog. The service’s attempts to reduce its costs have made it a target in the music industry, but the larger effect of the ruling remains unclear. Continue reading Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

At the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on Friday, FIFA and Sony announced that next year’s World Cup Final in Brazil will be produced in 4K. Sony also revealed it is developing production equipment to support 8K technology, and that 8K broadcasts are being planned for coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Sony hopes the announcements will help spark interest in Ultra HD, including the ultra sharp 8K, which is 16 times the resolution of current HD offerings. Continue reading IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

Sony is expected to debut a new streaming media device this week, similar to Google’s Chromecast. Briefly teased on the Sony blog last Friday, the BRAVIA NSZ-GU1 Smart Stick is a small dongle that unlocks Google TV on BRAVIA HDTVs. Users will have access to the Google Play store through the Smart Stick, in addition to streaming video applications such as Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Netflix, Redbox Instant, Vudu, YouTube and other BRAVIA apps. Continue reading Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the announcement of a next-generation Blu-ray Disc compatible with Ultra HD is imminent, putting to rest concerns of a potential 4K format war. During the IFA conference in Berlin, Marty Gordon, VP for Alliances & Communications at Philips and spokesman for the BDA, said that an announcement regarding an enhanced Blu-ray format involving a traditional-looking disc is expected in the near future. Continue reading IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Target announced it will enter the Internet video business with a new service that will offer customers the ability to purchase or rent TV shows and movies. The Target Ticket service already has approximately 30,000 movie and TV titles available. Although the retailer is entering the digital video market a bit late in the game, the company is betting that Target Ticket will stand out due to its simplicity, parental controls, and access to next-day TV episodes.   Continue reading Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Roku to Support DIAL, Offer Functionality Found on Chromecast

Roku CEO Anthony Wood announced at the Next TV Summit in San Francisco this week that his company’s devices will soon add support for the DIAL protocol. The update will allow Roku to offer functionality similar to that of Google’s Chromecast, which would include expanded second-screen support for Netflix. Devices from Sony, Vizio, LG, Panasonic and TiVo already support DIAL, a multiscreen protocol jointly developed by Netflix and YouTube. Continue reading Roku to Support DIAL, Offer Functionality Found on Chromecast

Movie Service M-GO Unveils Personal Cards, Considers Live TV

M-GO, the movie service launched by Technicolor and DreamWorks, recently announced that it is adding LG TVs to its growing list of supported devices. The company is also launching new personal Cards for its Web app, a personalization feature akin to Pinterest for your movies. As part of its expansion strategy, M-GO has ambitious content plans, which possibly include integrating a locker service for access to personal content, in addition to live television. Continue reading Movie Service M-GO Unveils Personal Cards, Considers Live TV

Sony Announces PlayStation Vita TV, Could Take On Apple TV

At a special press event yesterday in Japan, Sony announced a number of upcoming hardware releases including the PlayStation Vita TV, a small set-top box device that delivers content and games to HDTVs. Designed to connect Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited content to televisions, the Vita TV box can also play PS Vita and PSP games, and will be available with an optional controller. Sony also unveiled a new version of its PS Vita handheld game console and announced that the PlayStation 4 Japan launch has been pushed to February 2014. Continue reading Sony Announces PlayStation Vita TV, Could Take On Apple TV

Sony Betting on 4K with Video Download Service and New TVs

Sony announced on Wednesday a new 4K video download service called Video Unlimited 4K, along with the unveiling of two new 4K television models. The announcements are part of a larger 4K Ultra HD initiative from Sony. While the service will initially be available only in the U.S., and challenges may result from the limited number of film and TV titles and the large file size of 4K videos, Sony has plans to expand its offerings and sees a strong future in 4K. Continue reading Sony Betting on 4K with Video Download Service and New TVs

Amazon Updates Kindle E-Reader Line with New Paperwhite

Amazon unveiled its latest Kindle e-reader this week, an updated Paperwhite with improved front-screen lighting, greater contrast, more responsive touch panel and faster processor. Software updates will include integration of book recommendation site Goodreads, which the company purchased earlier this year. The new device is available for preorder for $119 — or $139 without ads — and will ship later this month. The $189 3G version will be released on November 5th. The online retailer also announced a program for buying discounted e-books. Continue reading Amazon Updates Kindle E-Reader Line with New Paperwhite

Scratch Play: Assimilate Launches Universal Media Player

Santa Clara, CA-based Assimilate has launched a free media player for visual effects artists, cinematographers and prosumers that supports Raw footage from digital cinematography and DSLR cameras. The new Scratch Play also supports formats such as OpenEXR and ProRes, providing digital imaging professionals and DSLR enthusiasts with the ability to review shots, pull stills, export CDLs or LUTs, and review animation at full resolution. Continue reading Scratch Play: Assimilate Launches Universal Media Player

Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Acer announced that its Liquid S2 smartphone will offer 4K video recording capability. While offering 4K video recording on a smartphone may currently seem unnecessary, it may become a more widely adopted feature of upcoming handsets. Meanwhile, Acer will also be including a touchscreen option for its low-end E1 laptop. The option of touchscreen for the Acer laptop may help overcome some of the initial confusion faced by Windows 8 users. Continue reading Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Nintendo Plans to Reduce Wii U Price and Offer New Handheld

Japanese videogame maker Nintendo will be reducing the price of its most expensive Wii U from $350 to $300 due to market pressure following disappointing sales. Customer preference for the Wii U Deluxe model encouraged the company to reduce the price on that model first. The company also plans to offer new games and expand its lineup of handheld consoles. Nintendo will be releasing the 2DS, which can play mobile titles without a 3D image. Continue reading Nintendo Plans to Reduce Wii U Price and Offer New Handheld

Galaxy Gear: New Samsung Smartwatch to Debut Next Week

Sources indicate that Samsung plans to unveil its long-awaited smartwatch device on September 4th at events in Berlin and New York. The Galaxy Gear is expected to feature an OLED with a 320×320 resolution, measuring about 2.5 inches, in addition to a dual-core processor, speakers, camera and support for NFC and Bluetooth. The Android device is expected to compete with similar upcoming products from companies including Apple, Microsoft and Sony. Continue reading Galaxy Gear: New Samsung Smartwatch to Debut Next Week

Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

The Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard for connecting smartphones and tablets to HDTVs and other home entertainment products will receive an upgrade allowing support for 4K video. MHL currently supports up to 1080p, but the need for 4K resolution will increase as more 4K TVs are sold. The backward compatible MHL 3.0 will also support simultaneous data and video feeds and provide power to charge the mobile device. Continue reading Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

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