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.
More by

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.

Read more »

0

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
More by

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.

Read more »

0

First look: Roku TVs from Hisense and TCL are refreshingly simple

Susie Ochs Senior Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Susie is a proud Mac geek, as well as a writer, editor, snowboarder, and mom.
More by

The problem with your typical smart TV is that it doesn’t feel so typical. Each TV company uses a different interface and a different remote and offers different content channels. Even if the interface is well done, like LG’s webOS version, there is still a learning curve.

One of the best parts of using a set-top box like the ones made by Roku is that the interface is the same no matter which TV you have. And the new Roku TVs from TCL and Hisense put that familiar Roku interface right on your TV. You don’t have to switch inputs or juggle remotes. And all 1,500 Roku channels are available, far eclipsing the amount of content you’ll find on other smart TV platforms.

I got to see and try out both the Hisense and TCL Roku TVs at a recent demo in San Francisco, and the most striking thing about the sets was their simplicity. Getting set up is simple, finding stuff to watch is simple, and switching between live TV, Roku’s OTT content, and your other inputs is a piece of cake, too.

Read more »

1

No set-top box required: TVs with baked-in Roku streaming coming in September

Jared Newman , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
More by

Roku is about to break free from set-top boxes, with the first "Roku TVs" from HiSense and TCL shipping next month.

Instead of requiring a separate box or streaming stick, Roku TVs have the company's streaming video and music platform built-in. Roku boasts 1,500 streaming channels, with the ability to search across them all for movies and TV shows.

TCL's four televisions run from 32 inches to 55 inches, with the largest model selling for $649 according to Engadget. HiSense hasn't announced pricing, but will also have four televisions ranging from 40 inches to 55 inches.

Read more »

0

Report: Google to launch YouTube Music Key subscription service

Florence Ion Staff Writer, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Florence is an Android-using yogi obsessed with all things tech.
More by

Why bother going to two separate sites for music and video services when you can get them in a two-for-one deal? That might be what Google's conjuring up for YouTube.

According to an exclusive report by Android Police, Google has big plans to turn YouTube into a better place to listen to music. It’s called YouTube Music Key, and it offers ad-free music, audio-only playback, and offline playback. It’ll start at $9.99 a month—which is how much Google Play Music All Access costs now—and new users will be able to try it free for 30 days. That same ten bucks would give you a subscription to Play Music All Access, which would be renamed Google Play Music Key.

youtubemusickey leaks Android Police

A few leaked screenshots of YouTube Music Key.

Read more »

0

Report: Xbox Entertainment Studios not quite dead yet

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.
More by

Like an unexpected twist in one of the original programs it had hoped to produce, Microsoft’s recently shuttered Xbox Entertainment Studios may come back from the dead. That’s according to an August 14 story in the Hollywood Reporter, which says Warner Bros. may be in the frame to revive Microsoft’s attempt to create video content for its gaming console.

Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper says that XES is in preliminary talks with Warner Bro. Under the purported deal, the movie studio would merge XES with Machinima. Warner Bros already owns part of that gaming and streaming website, and Machinima has already worked with Xbox in distributing the live-action digital series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

Neither Warner Brother or Microsoft would confirm or deny the rumor, but it would make sense. Even after being axed as part of the 18,000 jobb cuts at Microsoft ordered by CEO Satya Nadella, XES still has some valuable properties under production. They include the Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, a Signal to Noise documentary about unearthing the buried Atari E.T. video game, and the Halo: Nightfall TV series.

Read more »

2

Girl power: 10 films full of remarkable women, streaming on Netflix

Jeffrey M. Anderson , TechHive

Jeffrey has been a working film critic for more than 14 years. He first fell in love with the movies at age six while watching "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" and served as staff critic for the San Francisco Examiner from 2000 through 2003.
More by

It’s no secret that the movie business has long been a men’s club, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These 10 films, currently streaming on Netflix, show that great things can happen when men and women work together to create more opportunities for women behind the scenes and in front of the camera. And adding some truly interesting female characters never hurts, either. In fact, we found so many performances worth celebrating that there’s a bonus list of 10 more girl-power films at the bottom.

Amelie

ns amelie
Read more »

0