High-resolution Netflix streams require 2014 smart TVs, fast Internet connection
Netflix has started to stream content at Ultra High Definition (4K), starting with original series House of Cards and a number of nature documentaries. The plans, which it first revealed last year and promoted at CES, provides owners of 4K televisions with more programming, though there are a number of caveats that potential viewers must work around.
Fire TV set-top box offers voice search by microphone in remote control
Amazon has launched its new streaming media player, the Fire TV, at its New York media event today. Part of the retailer's push into the streaming video marketplace and building upon the success of its Kindle tablets, the Amazon Fire TV is a small set-top box that allows users access to TV shows and movies watch video from Amazon's Instant Video, as well as other services.
Remarks in response to Netflix concerns of ISPs demanding payment for traffic
The FCC is apparently not going to examine Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' call for a wider net neutrality. Shutting down the discussion, an FCC spokesperson said that the matter was not up for consideration in the upcoming Open Internet proceeding. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted (incorrectly in the eyes of critics) that arrangements such as between Netflix and Comcast are "not a net-neutrality issue."
Post in response to remarks made by Netflix CEO
The Netflix and large ISP peering arrangement war of words is heating up. After Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' remarks yesterday, AT&T has also penned a missive in which it claims that ISPs who follow strong net neutrality provisions -- giving relatively cost-free data to the streamers -- is nothing less than suggesting "that people who don't subscribe to Netflix should nonetheless pay for Netflix."
Remarks are first net neutrality comments since January court ruling
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has penned a harshly-worded post on the official Netflix blog, and has blasted the state of US net neutrality, and in part, peering deals that the video streamer has struck with large ISPs. Hastings says that deals are in place, with more coming, but the toll to ISPs is being paid "reluctantly" and only to "ensure a high quality member experience."
Agreement claimed to involve Netflix renting server space in Telenor data center
Netflix may be making more agreements with Internet service providers (ISP) to prevent throttling, and is apparently doing so outside of the United States. A deal between Netflix and Telenor of Norway is reported to be similar to one between the streaming service and Comcast, with Netflix said to be placing its servers within the ISP's own data centers.
CEO calls deals necessary for survival of streaming services like Netflix
In an interview with CNBC, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam noted that he was fairly certain that he would strike a similar deal as Comcast's with Netflix, making the streaming video purveyor pay for bandwidth, at least in part. McAdam called the Netflix deal with Comcast a "good thing," which allows for funding necessary infrastructure maintenance and build-outs.
Content streaming company to have direct access to ISP network
In a report from the Wall Street Journal, Netflix has entered into an agreement with Comcast to end throttling of bandwidth by the provider. Netflix customers have been plagued by declining streams since an appeals court ruled the FCC's net neutrality rules were invalid. The move comes as a surprise as the FCC is currently working on new strategies to keep the companies from treating internet traffic in an unfair manner. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed sum in order to have a direct link to the ISP.
Motorola to hold hour-long sale with $100 discount on Moto X
Motorola will be offering the Moto X at a discount again, though unlike earlier offers, the company is cutting the price for just one hour. Android Central spotted a series of tweets from Motorola warning of an off-contract Moto X sale on January 27th that will run from 3pm to 4pm Eastern time, with the $100 discount bringing the price down to $299. Anyone missing out on the offer will be able to receive a $70 discount until February 14th.
International expansion still dragging down bottom line, improvement in sight
Internet movie streaming service Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings. The company continues to be dragged down by a loss overseas, but still managed to earn $0.79 per share. With over 44 million customers worldwide, the company pulled down $1.18 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, with $48 million of that being net income.
Project said to be in early stages
Amazon is reportedly working on a new video service that will mimic traditional cable and broadcast models by focusing on live streaming programming, unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal. The project is said to be in early stages, though the sources claim the company has already reached out to at least three major content owners to begin discussions for potential licensing deals.
Streaming video on demand subscribers continue to rise
Streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu could in some cases be eroding the customer base of premium television broadcasters, according to a new report. NPD Group figures for the period between March 2012 and August 2013 show that the number of subscribers to HBO, Showtime, and other channels have dropped from 38 percent of US households to 32 percent.
Netflix growth turns into big cash for Hastings
Netflix's ongoing growth will result in a considerable financial boon for Reed Hastings, CEO of the video streaming service. Following a year in which the company's shares quadrupled in value, the AP reports that Hastings will see a 50 percent pay bump for 2014. A recent regulatory filing shows Hastings' annual salary will jump from $2 million to $3 million in 2014.
Netflix trials single-stream, standard definition tier with some customers
Netflix is testing a possible new price plan for customers that do not require a HD stream. The new tier spotted by Adweek offers the user a single stream at standard definition for $6.99 per month, $1 cheaper than the normal two-stream standard and HD version typically offered by the service. Netflix has since confirmed its tests, advising "Not all people will see this option and it may not be something we ever offer generally."
Problem likely due to high demand; cause not publicly revealed
With so many people engaging in post-Christmas celebrations, there are scattered reports of service outages or other problems due to unusually high use for a weekday or because an usually large number of consumers happened to call upon a service at the same time. Netflix on Thursday saw an issue that caused its service to be unavailable for a little over an hour or so, interrupting evening viewing plans for many but quickly resolved.
We really meant to get this to you earlier but kept putting it off
The last days before Christmas are a special time of year, full of family gatherings and carolers for some, and panic racing thoughts for others. Those latter holiday sentiments, of course, are for those among us who neglected to get all of our shopping done. Maybe you managed to secure a flight back home at the last minute, or maybe you just decided to forgive Uncle Bobby for that incident on Thanksgiving. No matter the cause, you've probably got a few last-minute acquisitions to make, and the gift budget may have already bled into the rest of your budget. Have no fear, though, Electronista is here with the Last Minute Edition of our Holiday Gadget Gift Guide, so there's no need to grab those Starbucks gift cards in bulk quite yet, as there's still time to get folks the tech gifts they'll love.
4K content creation to help bolster small Ultra HD streaming catalog
Netflix will be offering some of its home-grown content in 4K in the future, the video streaming service has revealed. The second season of House of Cards will be shot in the format and will be available to stream to users sometime in 2014, though this is not a sign that the company will be offering the high-resolution option to users for all of its content.
Netflix adds multiple user profiles to Android app
Netflix on Saturday brought its Android app closer to parity with its web offering, bringing the ability to host multiple user profiles on a single device. The move gives greater content control to parents, who can now generate a separate user profile for children on shared Android devices. The new feature comes a few months after Netflix began offering it for iOS devices and Apple TV units in August.
Image-heavy redesign adds more detail to show recommendations
Netflix has updated a number of its apps for smart TVs and set-top boxes, bringing them all under the same new uniform interface. The new UI heading to the Roku, Smart TV apps, Blu-Ray players, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 aims to provide more detail about potential shows, using large images and more personalized recommendations.
Provides free six-month subscription to higher-tier cable customers
British cable operator Virgin Media has completed its trial of offering Netflix on 40,000 of its set-top boxes, opening it up to all customers. Subscribers with a TiVo box, in over 1.8 million UK homes, will not only gain access to the streaming video service on the device, but will also gain six months of Netflix service for free to Premiere or VIP Collection customers.
Video streaming sites huge, more than half of peak traffic
Video streaming services Netflix and YouTube together account for half of the downstream traffic on the Internet in North America during peak hours. A new study pointed out by Cnet. New numbers from the twice-yearly Global Internet Phenomena Report found that Netflix and YouTube took up 50.31 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak usage hours. Of that, Netflix is by far the larger contributor, accounting for nearly a third of all peak North American traffic on its own.
Video rental service to breathe its last by January
Dish Network, parent company of Blockbuster, announced on Wednesday that the video rental service would be ending both its retail and mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. Blockbuster will close its roughly 300 remaining U.S.-based retail locations and distribution centers in early January. The Blockbuster By Mail DVD distribution service, set to expire in mid-December, will continue to serve existing customers until that time.
Ultra HD content appears on Netflix
Netflix recently expanded its content offerings to include Ultra HD video, GigaOm reported Friday. The new offerings are solely content that Netflix uses for internal testing, but their emergence online confirms that the company is looking to add 4K content to its offerings. The popular video streaming service reportedly hopes to roll out Ultra HD video streaming for customers with compatible devices some time in the next year.
Company revises upwards latest financial projections for Q4 slightly
Netflix announced its most recent set of quarterly financial reports today. The company posted its highest earnings in a year, with $1.106 billion earned. Net income rose slightly from last quarter to $32 million, with $0.52 earnings per share. The company's cash hoard is down from $13 million a quarter ago to $7 million.
Netflix passes HBO in subscribers
Movie and television streaming service Netflix has reportedly surpassed Time Warner-owned HBO in terms of overall subscriber base. This according to a new report from Bloomberg, which said that Netflix now has roughly 30 million paying US subscribers as of Sept. 30, while HBO has roughly 28.7 million. HBO is seen as the most successful premium channel on traditional television, as well as a natural rival for Netflix given the overlap in their services.
Negotiations could lead to Netflix video on cable boxes in future
Cable providers in the United States could be adding Netflix to its set-top boxes in the future, according to a new report. The streaming video service is said to be in early-stage negotiations with cable services to introduce the app to customers, which would in theory allow subscribers to directly use Netflix without switching to another living room device, such as a game console.
iOS Netflix now streams in HD
Netflix has launched an update for its iOS app, introducing support for HD playback and AirPlay streaming. With AirPlay streaming users can play content on an Apple TV while running the app in the background, which differs from the previous AirPlay mirroring option. Other changes in v5.0 include playback optimizations and stability improvements. The update is live in the App Store and requires iOS 7 for both HD streaming and AirPlay mirroring.
Hulu adds Cast button to mobile apps to support Chromecast streaming
The Google Chromecast media-streaming dongle is now able to support video from Hulu. An update to the Hulu Plus mobile app for the iPad and Android will add a Cast button to the menu, which then starts playing the selected TV show through the Chromecast device, with the app acting as the remote control. Support for the iPhone is "coming very soon," according to the Google blog.
Super HD previously limited to subscribers on certain ISPs
Netflix has opened up its "Super HD" video streams to all subscribers, regardless of provider. The loosening of restrictions comes after a period of monitoring by the media streamer, with the company saying that "based on the performance data we’ve seen, and in response to member requests, we are now expanding availability to give all our members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality."
Sprint shipping Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear on October 4th
Sprint has joined AT&T and T-Mobile in offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch to its customers. Both will be available from the carrier starting from October 4th, with the Galaxy Note 3 priced at $350 with a two-year contract, as well as under Sprint's new One Up early-upgrade program. The Galaxy Gear, available separately, will cost $300.
Hundreds of ideas under consideration
Microsoft is reportedly preparing a wide range of original television programming for its Xbox streaming video service. In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer said the company is "very close" to announcing details of the new projects, which will include content that is not directly related to games.
Piracy figures triggered Prison Break purchase for Netflix in the Netherlands
Netflix monitors piracy sites for shows being downloaded, in order to decide what to acquire for its users. The video streaming service uses statistics relating to video piracy as a social barometer, along with other metrics, in working out what shows and films it doesn't currently offer that it needs to secure for members to view.
Disney promoting The Little Mermaid in cinemas with iPad games
Disney is encouraging families to take an iPad along with them to the cinema, in an attempt to promote a re-release of one of its classic movies. The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live, appearing in select cinemas, will let viewers download an app that triggers games and various other interactive elements at specific stages of the film, according to an advertisement spotted by Slashfilm.
First time Netflix added to Pay-TV platform in United Kingdom
British cable operator Virgin Media is trialling Netflix on its set-top boxes. The pilot scheme will see the Netflix app being made available to use on 40,000 TiVo boxes across the United Kingdom, with customers able to use both the Netflix streaming service alongside Virgin Media's own on-demand movies and TV show offering.
Court refuses suit, citing sufficient Netflix investor notifications
US District Court Judge Samuel Conti in San Francisco has ruled in Netflix's favor in a class action suit, and denied an effort by shareholders to force the media streaming company to pay damages. The shareholders and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System alleged that Netflix didn't provide accurate information about the company in a series of quarterly earnings statements, leading up to and through the company's 2011 reorganization.
Feature expected to go global during next two weeks
Starting today, Netflix is rolling out a new feature dubbed "My List," according to an official blog post. The feature -- due to deploy globally over the next two weeks -- is similar to the current Instant Queue for the US, but with the addition of automatic sorting, which bumps videos to the top based on predictions about what a user will want to watch. People can revert to manual sorting by going to a My List Management menu under My Account.
Ranking proves again that value of experience can trump content
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has surveyed customers of mobile media and entertainment sites and found that generally, customers are more satisfied with such services than they were a year ago: the average score was 77 out of 100, compared to 67 a year ago. In the streaming TV and movies category, Apple's iTunes squeaked out a surprise win over competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus. The study also found that customers were much more satisfied with home Internet service than cellular data.
PS3, Xbox 360 following in near future
Netflix has begun wider deployment of the multi-user profiles that started hitting the Apple TV earlier this week. On top of the Apple TV, the feature is now rolling out to iPhone, iPod, and iPad users "over the next few days," according to Netflix. In the near future, the company is also planning to bring profiles to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and newer-model connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Android and Wii users are only expected to get the option "soon."
Basic Netflix multi-user support begins rolling out on Apple TV
MacRumors has reported that the Netflix personalized profile feature has started rolling out to some Apple TV users in a limited capacity. Planned for a full release in August, Netflix user profiles let subscribers create personal viewing accounts complete with customizable avatars and individualized viewing histories. The rollout is currently limited to customers who set up a profile when using the DVD service, but at this time does not include support for altering profiles or adding new users.
Three-month free membership to streamer available for only 28 hours
Citing "overwhelming demand" for the newly-introduced Chromecast network video receiver, the search engine has ceased the promotion offering a three-month free Netflix subscription to buyers of the new device. The device's first allocations at Amazon.com and BestBuy.com's online store are completely sold out, with a current pre-order wait time of three to four weeks.
USB-powered media player remotely controlled by mobile devices, computers
After revealing the latest version of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google today introduced an HDMI dongle that will stream videos and show other content from smartphones, tablets, or computers to a HDTV or other large displays. Hinted at by an FCC filing in May, the Chromecast plugs straight into a TV, and can be controlled remotely via mobile devices or the Chrome browser over a local Wi-Fi connection.
Low subscriber uptick causes after-hours stock fall
Netflix reported quarterly earnings earlier today, claiming revenue of $1.07 billion, with the addition of 630,000 new streaming subscribers, in a quarter where it was expected to do very well by Wall Street. Net income was $29 million, with $0.51 per share earned. This quarter's earnings eclipsed the year-ago quarter in every respect.
Netflix opening in the Netherlands later this year
Netflix will be rolling out its streaming service to the Netherlands later this year. The new market, the first for the streaming service this year in Europe, joins already-operating versions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, though it has yet to reveal an exact launch date, potential pricing, nor the contents of its launch catalog.
New shows based on DreamWorks Animation catalog to air on Netflix first
Netflix is continuing its drive for exclusive content by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation. The multi-year agreement has the streaming video service securing the first-run rights for TV shows based on past, current, and future DreamWorks properties, and will add over 300 hours of programming to the Netflix show catalog.
Customized recommendations to apply to users, rather than entire account
Netflix will be adding separate user profiles to its accounts sometime this summer. The additional profiles will allow the streaming video service to keep a track record of what shows and films are viewed by individuals, rather than on the per-account basis it currently uses, in an effort to improve recommendations provided to its users.
Netflix updates API to remove expiry dates for movies, shows
Netflix has removed the expiry dates for films and TV shows from its public API, following recent reports that the streaming service would drop around 1,800 items of content in May alone. According to a company blog post, the change is being made due to the inaccuracy of the expiry date due to the "frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow," though the field will still appear with a default date in the API, in order to avoid errors in third-party apps.
Netflix updates PlayStation 3 Player app with revised design
Netflix has updated its streaming app for the PlayStation 3. The new Netflix Player has a revised design that brings it in line with the web and mobile device versions, according to a company blog post, as well as options to change the audio and subtitles for a show or film. The design of "trickplay" mode has also been adjusted, allowing for faster-loading preview images to load when seeking for a specific scene in a movie.
iPad Netflix now cues TV episodes automatically
Yesterday Netflix rolled out the next major release of its iOS app, introducing a new auto-play feature for TV shows. While currently restricted to the iPad users, the new feature brings the software in line with the functionality of the current web and TV app. At the end of a TV episode Netflix will minimize the credits and cue the next episode in the season. If users do nothing, then the episode will will automatically begin playing within 10 seconds. In addition, post play also works for movies by providing users with three recommendations of other movies they may enjoy.
Dropped content from unrenewed distribution deals
Netflix is dropping almost 1,800 items of content in May, due to a number of content deals expiring. Titles such as James Bond films Dr. No and Goldfinger will no longer be available to stream, though customers will still be able to look forward to new titles being added to the service, including an entire season of a new show.
Slight increase in Netflix profits next quarter, continued shift away from DVD
Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings report for the first part of 2013. The company reports having added over three million streaming members, bringing the company's total to more than 36 million worldwide. The company continues to see profits in the US offsetting losses elsewhere, with a $131 million profit in the US and a $77 million loss internationally. DVD rentals continue to earn well, with it bringing in $113 million profit for the company in the US. After all expenses, including payback of debt, the company earned five cents per share.