Items tagged with streaming media

In many parts of the country, there are no choices when it comes to broadband internet providers. If you want broadband, and you are in a Comcast area, that is often your only choice. However, there are lots of options when it comes to TV with satellite and streaming providers to choose from in all markets. Since consumers have so many TV offerings to choose from, Comcast has a large number of internet-only subscribers, and it wants a way to squeeze more money out of those customers. To that end, Comcast has announced Xfinity Flex. Xfinity Flex will launch across the country next week for Xfinity internet customers. It's a service packaged with an internet-connected 4K HDR TV device that features... Read more...
The battle for dominance in the streaming audio segment is heating up with Apple Music and Spotify fighting to be tops in the industry. Last summer reports indicated that Apple Music had passed Spotify in subscriber numbers for the first time. Spotify tried to get some of those subscribers back by trialing a new unlimited ad-skipping feature for its free subscribers. Spotify is now reportedly gearing up to shell out huge money for a podcasting startup called Gimlet Media. Reports indicate that the deal will cost Spotify over $200 million to close. If Spotify can add premium content from Gimlet Media to its offerings, the deal could undoubtedly lure in more subscribers in the fight against Apple.... Read more...
Pandora is taking a page from Spotify's book and has unveiled a new plan that will let multiple family members have their own sub-accounts. The Pandora Premium Family Plan costs $14.99 per month, which is the same price Spotify asks for its family account. The new membership gives full access to Pandora Premium features for up to six people in the family. That is where Pandora is trying to set itself apart from the Spotify family plan with its five member slots. Each family member can listen to what they want, when they want. Each can create radio stations and custom playlists, download music for offline listening, and skip or replay songs. All music on the Premium Family Plan is accessible without... Read more...
About a week ago we talked a bit about the rumors floating around that Spotify was working on a refreshed version of its mobile app and free tier service. New details on the revamped service have turned up and according to the rumors some users are already seeing a new UI and features. Among the new features in the revamped service are options to play songs on demand in select playlists. This is one of the features normally reserved for premium subscribers. Spotify has an event set for April 24 where the new free service is expected to be officially unveiled. The refreshed UI for the free mobile app reportedly has Gold Edition playlists that have on-demand tracks inside. Playlists that can... Read more...
Spotify is working on wooing more customers to its free music service by making it easier to use. The rumor comes from people who claim to be familiar with the company's plans. This will be the first major change to the Spotify service since the company went public last week. Spotify maintains that 2 million people are illegally listening to its paid music service. The free service is supported by ads, while the paid service is ad-free. The source of the rumor claims that an announcement of the revised service is expected in the next couple weeks. Exactly what the updated service will feature is unclear, but reports claim that the free mobile listeners will be able to access their playlists faster... Read more...
Two days ago, HP let loose with a blitzkrieg of new products, including new laptops, netbooks, and even a new all-in-one desktop PC. The company, however, didn't use up all of its ammunition, as it waited two more days--until today--to launch its final salvo of new product announcements for the fall. And considering that today's product announcement represents a brand-new product category for HP, it makes sense that HP would put a little bit of time between its other announcements and this one, so that this new product wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.Today's product announcement is about the new HP DreamScreen 100 and HP DreamScreen 130 "web-connected screens." If you haven't heard of a web-connected... Read more...
In what was very likely an "oops" moment, online retailer eCOST.com listed a brand-new version of Hewlett-Packard's MediaSmart Server line, the budget-minded LX195, before HP ever publicly acknowledged the product's existence. Rumors and unsubstantiated photos of the LX195 have been appearing online these last few weeks, but yesterday’s premature product announcement from eCOST.com was the first real-world indication of the product's imminent appearance. Needless to say, the HP MediaSmart LX195 product listing on eCOST.com came down not too long after word started to spread of its existence. Doubtlessly, HP was incensed at eCOST.com's itchy trigger finger and demanded the listing be removed.... Read more...
Vudu, a movie and TV show download service provider, has just given us yet another reason why we never need to leave the house. Vudu announced today that it is making high-definition (HD) downloaded titles available for purchase. A number of online movie and TV show sources, such as Apple, Amazon, CinemaNow, as well as Vudu, currently offer HD movie and TV show downloads as rentals, but this marks the first time that HD downloaded titles will be available for purchase.  Some of Vudu's current, popular HD rental titles.(Credit: Vudu) Vudu is a video on-demand (VoD) service that streams a selection of over 10,000 movies over a broadband Internet connection to a Vudu device connected to a TV.... Read more...
A great debate is raging as to what the future of movie distribution will look like. On one side of the debate are those who claim that physical discs like DVDs, Blu-ray, and whatever format will eventually supplant Blu-ray, will always deliver a superior viewing experience than anything that will be available via streaming or on-demand content. Pundits on the other side of the debate--and this is the side that appears to gaining the most momentum--say that as broadband's footprint continues to expand, throughput speeds continue to increase, advances continue to improve in compression technologies, and more consumer electronics devices gain access to streaming content, the inevitable future... Read more...
If you use your computer for watching TV shows and movies or listening to music--especially when this media is streaming to your PC from over the Internet--there is a good chance that you've at least heard of boxee, or perhaps you even use it. Boxee is a free, open-source, cross-platform, media center application that has quickly become very popular, not just with users, but also even with device manufacturers who have taken notice and are figuring out how to integrate boxee into their multimedia devices, such as set-top boxes. But apparently, boxee has a few detractors as well in form of some content providers; and as a direct result of the complaints from the content providers, the ability... Read more...
Pandora's free Internet streaming radio service just got a little less free. Well, it still doesn't cost you anything, but it is no longer commercial free. Pandora made the following announcements on its Twitter feed today: "Yes, for those asking, we have implemented a few audio ads. Not to worry, they won't be frequent or long. We gotta pay those bills. :)""So you know, we did not take on audio ads lightly. We try to be extremely respectful of your listening experience, & promise to be prudent."If you are not familiar with Pandora, it is a self-described, "music discovery service designed to help you enjoy music you already know, and to help you discover new music you'll love." It is based... Read more...
The Neflix Player by Roku was one of first devices available to allow Netflix users to watch streaming video from Netflix's growing library of TV and movie titles available via Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. But while other devices have since also recently gained this capability, such as the XBox 360, TiVo HD DVR, and Samsung BD-P2500/BD-P2550 players--including supporting the few HD titles that Netflix currently streams--the Roku device has only supported SD titles until now. Roku has just announced that with a firmware update that is available starting today, however, that the Neflix Player by Roku can now stream HD titles.The Netflix Player by Roku is a $99 video player that connects to... Read more...
In the technology business it is often difficult to keep secrets--especially when products require legal protection for intellectual property as well as government-regulated certification. Some news hounds scour U.S. patent applications to see what potential products might be on the horizon for key manufacturers; others examine recent submissions to the FCC for Class A or Class B certifications (any product that emanates unintentional radio waves and that is intended to be sold in the U.S., must be tested to ensure that it will not interfere with radio and television broadcasts--Class A products are used in commercial environments, while Class B devices are used in homes). The FCC database is... Read more...