Oct 12 2017

News - Wirecutter picks a "Best 4K Blu-ray Player"

Little disappointed to find my Xbox One S excluded from the top Ultra HD Blu-ray picks due to it's gameyness and Netflix HDR performance (does anyone sell a 4K TV without Netflix built in?). So feel free to completely disregard Chris's picks Smile.

Sep 19 2011

News - Netflix Renames DVD by Mail Service Qwikster

Netflix, Inc. has sent out an email to its subscribers, directly from Reed Hastings (Co-Founder & CEO), apologizing for the many missteps in the past few months and vowing to do better. However halfway through the "I'll Do Better Email" it is announced that the DVD by mail service will become its own separate service known as Qwikster, complete with its own website and billing. For a company that has taken a lot of heat in the past for their business decisions, this seems like another issue that will cause a lot of controversy with current Netflix subscribers. Read the full email after the jump
I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

Aug 05 2011

News - Windows 8 May Not License Dolby; Dolby Shares Tumbling

DolbyDolby revealed today to investors that iterations of Windows 8 currently do not utilize Dolby technologies and they are preparing to support OEMs if licensing is not included in the commercial release of Windows 8. Currently, Dolby shares (DLB) are crashing down on the news.

So what does this mean for home theater PC enthusiasts? If Dolby is not licensed, Windows 8 will not be able to decode Dolby Digital soundtracks in DVD or recorded TV playback natively. This should not affect the ability to bitstream the audio to an external decoder such as that found in an audio-video receiver (AVR). For those desiring the decoding of Dolby Digital audio, a commercial DVD playback software package that includes the Dolby license could be purchased.

We work with operating system providers, ISVs and OEMs to support DVD on the PC. In recent years, our mix of PC licensing revenue has increasingly shifted towards the operating system as our technologies are included in 4 editions of Windows 7. However, we have recently learned that our technologies are not currently included in the Windows 8 operating system under development. If our technologies are not included in the commercial version of Windows 8, we expect to support DVD playback functionality by increasingly licensing our technologies directly to OEMs and ISVs, and we will seek to extend our technologies to further support online content playback.

Kevin Yeaman, CEO, Dolby Laboratories

Jul 12 2011

News - Netflix Unveils New Subscription Pricing; Subscribers Using Both Streaming and Disc Pouting

NetflixIt was pretty hard not to see this coming. Netflix has today announced that the $10 per month one out at-a-time DVD rental plus streaming option will no longer be available. The new plans are A) $8 per month for one DVD at-a-time, B) $8 for unlimited streaming and C) Combine both A and B for $16 per month.

So after you get done sobbing in a corner, what are you gonna do come September 1 when the old $10 plan dies?

First, we are launching new DVD only plans. These plans offer our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVDs – only $7.99 a month for our 1 DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for our 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan. By offering our lowest prices ever, we hope to provide great value to our current and future DVDs by mail members. New members can sign up for these plans by going to DVD.netflix.com.

Second, we are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into separate plans to better reflect the costs of each and to give our members a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan or the option to subscribe to both. With this change, we will no longer offer a plan that includes both unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail. 

So for instance, our current $9.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:

Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month

Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming), for $7.99 a month.

The price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). For new members, these changes are effective immediately; for existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.

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