Comcast hopes Wi-Fi streaming will win over college students

James Careless , TechHive

James Careless has been covering the Internet since the days of 1200 baud modems. His credits include Business Week, KM World, Network World, PCWorld, and Streaming Media.
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As college classes resume at the start of another school year, Comcast hopes to teach some students a lesson of its own—having access to cable TV is a hard habit to break. In a move designed to build loyalty among people in their late teens and early 20s, Comcast is launching Xfinity On Campus. The IP-delivered service lets college students living on campus watch live and on-demand TV on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Designed to be carried over a college’s existing IP network, Xfinity on Campus is being bundled with room and board for students at Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Emerson College, Lasell College, and the University of Delaware. Other colleges, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Hampshire, will test the program this fall.

“With this younger generation, more and more viewing is happening away from the traditional TV set and we have evolved our products and services to better engage them,” said Marcien Jenckes, Comcast Cable’s executive vice president of consumer services in a statement announcing the program. Translation: Millennials are increasingly watching  TV on platforms other than traditional cable-connected TV sets. Comcast doesn’t want to lose those eyeballs, so it’s trying to reach them where it can.

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Tweet and tune in: ABC previews upcoming show on Twitter

James Careless , TechHive

James Careless has been covering the Internet since the days of 1200 baud modems. His credits include Business Week, KM World, Network World, PCWorld, and Streaming Media.
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How do you get young eyeballs to watch your new TV series? By going to where those young eyeballs happen to be.

Next month, Selfie arrives on ABC, with the network hoping that the recycling of My Fair Lady strikes a cord with a social networking-savvy generation. ABC has already offered a sneak peek at the 26-minute pilot on Hulu and its own website. But lots of new series do that these days, using online streaming to help build buzz.

So ABC is taking a different tack to promote the series featuring Doctor Who star Karen Gillian as a modern-day Eliza Doolittle: It’s made the first episode of the show available on Twitter, embedding the pilot in a tweet.

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SoundCloud rolls out ads, will let you pay to remove them

Jared Newman , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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After seven years as an ad-free service, SoundCloud will start using advertisements to help pay the bills—both for itself and for content creators.

SoundCloud, which lets anyone upload music and audio for public streaming, is inviting "a small group of creators" to participate in its On SoundCloud ad platform. Eventually, anyone who wants to advertise will be able to use the service.

"Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid," SoundCloud wrote in a blog post. "If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners."

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Netflix whips up 3D VR viewing room for Oculus Rift during company hack day

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Facebook says Oculus VR is focused on refining the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for gaming right now. But the Rift holds potential to go far beyond gaming, into areas such as medicine, education, and journalism (to name just a few). When we got a look at the Rift during E3 2013, another non-gaming use case that engrossed us was a virtual reality movie theater.

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Netflix employees playing with the Oculus Rift during a recent company hack day.

Apparently some people at Netflix also see Oculus Rift's promise in the home entertainment. During the company's recent hack day a team of employees developed a cool looking 3D interface for the Rift to help you choose between the next episode of House of Cards or a Breaking Bad marathon.

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The long and winding d'oh: 20 can't-miss Simpsons episodes

Monty Ashley Writer, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Monty Ashley lives in Seattle, where he watches movies and television, reads books, and plays games. He's trying to learn Latin, for reasons known only to him. He has written for Wizards of the Coast, Television Without Pity, and Previously.TV, and podcasts with The Incomparable.
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Turn on your TV any time over the next 12 days, and cable channel FXX will be showing The Simpsons. All of The Simpsons. In a row. Calling this a marathon actually underrates it pretty significantly, because most marathons are over in just a few hours; this is going to take nearly two weeks.

And even if you were to somehow miss The Simpsons running on FXX from 10 a.m. ET on Thursday through September 1—again, how would this be possible?—you’ve still got the October launch of the Simpsons World platform to look forward to. Between the cable TV marathon and the soon-to-arrive app, it’s almost certain you’ll be able to watch any Simpsons episode you want just about whenever you want.

But what episode should you want?

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Netflix now pays Time Warner Cable for faster video delivery

Jared Newman , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Following a deal with Time Warner Cable, Netflix is now paying all four major Internet service providers for reduced congestion and faster video streams.

Netflix had already signed interconnection deals with Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. Time Warner confirmed to GigaOM that it made the deal with Netflix in June, and is currently rolling out the direct connections that allow for smoother streaming.

The idea of Netflix paying ISPs for better performance sounds bad on its face, but whether it's actually a net neutrality issue is up for debate, with plenty of posturing from all sides.

Netflix has publicly lamented these deals even as it makes them, noting that most of its direct connections with ISPs around the world don't involve access fees. But major ISPs in the United States are reasonably wary about letting every major streaming video service dump huge amounts of traffic onto their networks without taking much traffic back in return. And as industry observers have pointed out, paying ISPs directly isn't necessarily better or worse than paying third-party content delivery networks to act as middlemen for the traffic. In that sense, it's hard to tell whether Netflix is saving or losing money on these deals.

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Paid YouTube Music service could be a gateway drug to other Google offerings

Zach Miners , IDG News Service

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service
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A tricked-out version of YouTube offering exclusive content might prove lucrative bait for Google to lure some of its users deeper into its digital video and music services.

YouTube appears to be readying a paid premium music service that would cost $9.99 a month, called YouTube Music Key. Roughly a dozen purported screenshots of the service were recently published online on the blog Android Police, possibly showing how it would work. The images showed exclusive content such as remixes or cover songs, offline access to entire albums or concerts, and personalized playlists.

A YouTube spokesman declined to comment, but rumors of a paid music service from the Google-owned video site have been circulating for some time now. An earlier report in the Financial Times claimed YouTube was blocking or penalizing independent labels that were not signing up for the yet-to-launch paid service. Earlier this month, YouTube head Susan Wojcicki confirmed the company was working on some kind of subscription music service, in a Re/code interview.

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