Streaming Media

Mar 27 2013

News - XBMC Coming to GameStick Console


Ouya, the Kickstarter-backed, Android-powered game console is about to launch, and in addition to serving up games, Ouya will be serving up media via XBMC. However, Kickstarter has helped to fund a pair of Android-powered game consoles for this year. Competing against the Ouya will be the GameStick, a thumb drive-sized game console, and like the Ouya, the GameStick will be slinging media thanks to XBMC. GameStick's developer, PlayJam, has formed a partnership with Pivos to bring XBMC to their diminutive console. Pivos has a close relationship with the XBMC team having hired two XBMC developers specifically to help develop an Android version of the media center application for the Pivos XIOS DS Media Player, so it is certainly a good company to hook up with for adding XBMC support.

This deal is happening by way of an official partnership with Pivos Technology Group. "Working with Pivos and the XBMC community to integrate a world class media center into GameStick is a major step forward in our ambitions," said PlayJam CEO Jasper Smith.


Mar 26 2013

News - Intel Drawing Closer to IPTV Service, Deals with Content Providers

Intel announced last March that they were working on developing a "virtual cable provider", offering subscription TV services over broadband to Intel-powered set top boxes. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Intel is finally close to securing deals with a number of major content providers to help launch the service. Intel's proposed service would roll up live TV offerings, online DVR funtionality, and on-demand content in a manner in which traditional cable and satellite subscription services could never match. It's not impossible to imagine that content providers might see such a service as an antidote to growing discontent with rising subscription TV rates, but it's also difficult to imagine networks such as CNN and NBC that are owned by companies that also own cable service providers rushing toward an Intel backed a la carte future.


Intel is betting it can create a more flexible service, delivered through consumers’ broadband accounts, that gives subscribers more choices over the channels they receive and offers an easier-to-use electronic programming guide, Huggers said. The service would offer live channels and on-demand programming.


Mar 26 2013

News - Hulu Possibly Up for Sale Again

Hulu for saleHulu's board spent a good chunk of 2011 shopping the company around to potential buyers. In the end, the company gave up the effort, but evidently Hulu's investors have started to feel the itch to sell again. It sounds like the board is approaching a potential sale in much the same way they did last time, quietly talking to potential suitors to guage interest before going public with their intentions. Unfortunately, the same problems might be plauging the board's efforts, in particular concerns about the length of contracts securing content for Hulu and dysfunctional investors who can't decide whether they are comfortable selling the company to each other lest they give a potent future weapon to a competitor. Hulu has shown steady subscriber growth and certainly commands significant mindshare, but has failed to make the transition to a must-need service like Netflix.

The board sounded out several possible buyers as part of an internal strategic review begun recently, but it has not received a formal offer, one of the sources said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.


Mar 25 2013

News - Plex for iOS v3.1 Now Available

Plex Mobile Media Server

The Plex team has released a fairly major update to Plex for iOS, bringing the iOS version's featureset up to par with the Android version. The two biggest features are the enhanced filtering that was first introduced with Plex/Web and the mobile media server. With the mobile media server, a device can be used as a Plex server for sharing media with Plex clients, creating a Plex server that one can take on the road. There are also the usual assortment of bug fixes to accompany the other new features which include variable scrubbing speed sliders for all media and the addition of the experimental universal transcoder. 

Ever since the all new Plex for Android was released, iOS users have been wondering when they’d be able to enjoy some of the new features on their devices, and we’re incredibly happy to say that day has finally come.

Plex Blog

Mar 25 2013

News - HBO Go "Could Evolve" Into a Broadband Subscription Service

HBO GoHBO has established itself as one of the premier television content creators in the world, and although the company has developed a streaming solution with HBO Go, they have jealously guarded their cable subscription revenue stream by refusing HBO Go to anyone who does not already subscribe to HBO and by refusing to license their content to other streaming services such as Netflix. To date, the only exception to this model has been HBO Nordic in Scandanavia. However, recent comments by HBO CEO Richard Pepler suggests that the company might be starting to court the possibility of potentially offering HBO Go as a standalone service for broadband subscribers. Yes, that is a whole lot hemming and hawing there. HBO finds itself in the unenviable position of trying to leverage HBO Go to gain new subscribers without creating a backlash among cable service providers who count on the draw of HBO to help sell their ever more expensive TV subscription services. The first step in this transition probably won't be the complete untethering that many cord cutters would like to see, but HBO has to start somewhere.

With such a move, HBO could risk stepping on the toes of the cable providers who pay heavy subscription fees for the exclusivity HBO commits to. But then, cable providers and broadband providers are often two arms on the same body (Comcast, Time Warner). If HBO could transfer its subscription fees to broadband bills rather than cable ones, there could be a situation amenable to all parties.

Ars Technica

Dec 11 2012

News - Beta Roundup: XBMC 12 Beta 3 and OpenELEC 3.0 Beta 4

The best part about beta software is getting access to exciting new features, even if they aren't always ready for primetime. The worst part is trying to keep up as new releases get pushed out. The XBMC team dropped the first beta for XBMC 12 "Frodo" in mid-November, but over the last week-and-a-half, have moved through Beta 2 onto Beta 3. The Beta 2 release brought a bunch of fixes and the first Android APK release of XBMC, which immediately got me contemplating the future of an XBMC-enabled Ceton Echo. Beta 3 includes more fixes, particularly for the aforementioned Android release, and the inclusion of the new PVR addons. Documentation for XBMC 12 has also taken a giant leap forward in the last week, with new FAQs and support wiki pages coming online and getting fleshed out.

Hot on the heels of Beta 2, we are excited to release Beta 3. This release includes a number of fixes as we work to resolve issues that have cropped up since Beta 2 and also attempt to isolate some issues that still exist.


Running parallel with the XBMC team, the OpenELEC team has been working furiously on the release of the Frodo-powered OpenELEC 3.0. We commented on the rapid transition from OpenELEC 2.0 to OpenELEC 3.0 when the first beta release came out a few weeks ago, and the OpenELEC team isn't showing any signs of slowing down as they have already advanced to Beta 4. The second beta release incorporated OpenELEC-specific bug fixes, while the two more recent beta release have included bug fixes and provided updates to new Linux kernel point releases and the latest beta releases of XBMC 12.

This Beta updates XBMC to XBMC Frodo Beta 3, the kernel to linux-3.6.9 and fixes some issues found in our Beta 3 release like Samba Windows filesharing issues and issues with ffmpeg which is now fixed after a closed cooperation with the ffmpeg developers upstream too. Many thanks for the help!


It's also worth noting that the OpenELEC team is promoting the Raspberry Pi support that comes with OpenELEC 3.0 by teaming up with The Pi Hut for a giveaway, so if you are interested in getting your diminutive DIY media streamer action on, be sure to throw your name in the social network hat.

Dec 11 2012

News - Xbox 360 Gains 10 New Apps, 40 More by Spring 2013

Microsoft has announced the arrival of 10 new entertainment and content apps for the Xbox 360 as part of their plan to take over the living room via the game console. The new SkyDrive app, which serves up photos and videos stored on a user's SkyDrive account, is the only app that will be available across all regions. The other nine apps, which include access to content providers such as Maxim, VEVO, CinemaNow, and CNET, are either launching in or expanding into specific territories. Today's new apps are just beginning, as Microsoft has also announced that they have another 40 apps on tap for early 2013 that will add content from providers such as PBS, Flixster, CW, and Slacker Radio. To date, no media streamer has offered the breadth of providers and feeds that Roku has been able to put together, but it would seem that Microsoft has plans to change things.

The Xbox 360 is being overrun by apps, following the model established by Windows 8and Windows Phone. Today, Microsoft announced 10 new apps. And over 40 more are coming in early 2013.

Supersite for Windows

Nov 01 2012

News - Redbox Signs Warner Bros. for Redbox Instant

Redbox and Warner Bros.Verizon and Redbox have already indicated that they hope to launch their Redbox Instant streaming service in the next couple of months, but other than stating that they plan to focus on movies rather than TV shows, the companies have not said much about the content they plan to offer. That's beginning to change. Warner Bros. is the first major studio to sign on to provide content for the fledgling service. There is no word on exactly what kind of movies or how many movies will be made available on Redbox Instant, but the deal does include UltraViolet support for Warner Bros. titles. The companies also announced that Warner Bros. will continue to supply rental DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the Redbox kiosks, but that Redbox will continue to honor the 28 day release window. Given Redbox's displeasure with the Warner Bros. release windows, it is difficult not to interpret Redbox's continuation of a release window as a concession to get the Redbox Instant deal in place. If Redbox Instant is still on track for a November or December release, then more announcements are likely forthcoming over the next couple of weeks.

When their previous deal expired Redbox said it would find other ways to obtain discs and offer them day and date to its customers, although actually finding them in kiosks could be tough. The new two-year deal covers movies that debut after January 1st, 2013, and claims to improve economics for both Warner (which has apparently seen fit to eliminate the delay entirely for brick & mortar renters) and Redbox. 


Oct 27 2012

News - Hulu Plus, CyberLink PowerDVD 12 and PowerDVD Mobile Arrive on Windows 8

With the release of Windows 8, we are going to see a steady stream of streaming media apps make a splash on Windows 8 and the Windows Store. Netflix got in early, and this week brought a Hulu Plus app and new versions of CyberLink PowerDVD. The Hulu Plus app takes full advantage of the Metro/Modern/Windows 8 UI with touch controls, pin to Start screen, and Snap View. As a Hulu Plus app, it is only useful to Hulu Plus subscribers, so fortunately the free Hulu is just a website away.

At Hulu, we are relentless about creating beautiful, intuitive and engaging experiences that help you find and enjoy popular current season TV shows whenever you want, on whatever device you want. Which is why we are so proud to announce the Hulu Plus app is now available on one of the newest operating systems: Windows 8.

Hulu Blog

PowerDVD Mobile for Windows 8

CyberLink has announced two new versions of PowerDVD with the release of PowerDVD 12 and PowerDVD Mobile for Windows 8. PowerDVD 12 is a fairly standard upgrade to their traditional x86 desktop software. For $14.99, or for free with the purchase of PowerDVD 12, PowerDVD Mobile brings some basic video and photo editing, and MPEG and MKV support to the new Windows 8 UI. The company is also promising an Ultra version of PowerDVD Mobile for Windows 8 is in the works, but they are not offering any specific details at this point. Unfortunately, PowerDVD Mobile does not support Windows RT, so anyone who drank the Redmond Kool-Aid and picked up a Surface is going to have to look elsewhere for their MKV fix.

CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), a provider of innovative media creation solutions, today launched an updated version of its award-winning media player, PowerDVD 12, along with newPowerDVD Mobile to ensure users of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows® 8 operating system continue to enjoy a premium entertainment experience on their new Windows 8 PCs.


Oct 26 2012

News - NBA League Pass Broadband Comes to Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 has added yet another streaming sports service to its repertoire with the introduction this week of the NBA Game Time app. With the Game Time app, folks who subscribe to both Xbox Live Gold and NBA League Pass Broadband will be able stream regular season NBA games through their Xbox, complete with integrated Kinect-powered voice and gesture controls. The app and service allow for streaming at 720p. There are two levels of NBA League Pass Broadband. The $199.99 "Choice" package provides live streaming and on-demand archives for 5 teams, whereas the $179.99 "Premium" package provides complete access to any regular season game for all 30 teams.

 NBA League Pass on Xbox 360

You'll be able to watch live games, highlights and replays in HD, set a specific favorite team to follow and monitor team schedules and stats all through the app. Game Time also features the ability to watch up to two games at once, or watch a live game and catch up on highlights in a split-screen view.



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