BlackBerry opens pre-orders for Red, White Passport
BlackBerry's previously-revealed limited edition versions of the Passport smartphone are available to pre-order today. The red version with black framing and highlights, along with a white model, can be pre-ordered now from BlackBerry directly ready for shipping on November 28th. The red model is priced at $699, while the white version is being sold at a lower $599.
AMD starts private beta of Mantle SDK, launches resources portal
AMD has opened up a software development kit for its Mantle graphics API in a private beta. Mantle, which allows programs to call directly to AMD GPUs and APUs without passing instructions through the CPU beforehand, lowering the need for a powerful processor and bringing PC gaming in line with consoles and their reliance on AMD graphics. AMD has also set up a protected development portal for the API, providing restricted access to various Mantle resources.
For the second time this month, Tapbots has released an update to its full-featured Twitter client for iOS, Tweetbot 3. Entirely redesigned in October for iOS 7, Tweetbot 3 offers users native push notifications, customizable navigation, and a synced timeline position.
Line reaches 300M users, aims for 500M within 2014
Mobile messaging app Line has passed the 300 million user milestone, increasing from 200 million in just four months, with CEO Akira Morikawa aiming for the company to reach 500 million users in total within 2014. While the company has previously tried to drum up interest in the United States, Line states that the largest growth areas are in fact regions such as Spain and Mexico, with future expansion plans targeting India, Turkey, and Western Europe.
Developer able to stream video, photographs directly from phone to Chromecast
The Google Chromecast will be receiving more support in the future, with reports of Redbox, Vimeo, and HBO preparing to take advantage of the device. The possible new additions come at the same time as a developer shows off a way for smartphones to directly share images and video with the streaming dongle.
Lovefilm shuttering game rental option in UK on August 8th
Streaming and DVD rental service Lovefilm is putting a stop to video game rentals in the United Kingdom. The Amazon-owned service has already removed the option for new subscriptions, with Eurogamer reporting that existing subscribers will be able to continue receiving game discs until its full closure on August 8th. Lovefilm will still be providing DVD and Blu-ray rentals by post for the foreseeable future.
Service emerges from beta with over 4,500 titles for streaming
After beta testing for nearly four months, the combined Verizon and Redbox streaming media effort Redbox Instant is available to the general public. For $8 a month, or $9 a month for Blu-ray kiosk rentals, the service offers four rental days a month, in addition to computer and portable device viewing of the rotating selections on the online movie service.
Streaming service still expected in first quarter of 2013
According to a blog post by Larry Hyrb, the Xbox Live director of programming, Verizon's Redbox Instant movie streaming service is coming to the Xbox 360 as a console launch exclusive. Xbox Live subscribers currently involved in the Redbox Instant beta program will be receiving emails with unique codes to access the app on the Xbox 360 in "the coming days." Both an Xbox Live Gold account, and a Redbox Instant account are required for the service.
Verizon and Redbox have started rolling out Redbox Instant, according to the service's Twitter feed. The service is only deploying "gradually," Redbox says, and the company is asking for people to sign up to a wait list if they can't already subscribe. An account costs $8 a month for unlimited streaming and four DVD rentals; access to Blu-rays raises the price to $9. For streaming, Redbox is promising support for both web browsers and mobile apps.
Streaming service offers access through iOS, Android devices
Redbox and Verizon have publicly announced that Redbox Instant will be launching its streaming service later this month. Offering unlimited streaming of thousands of movies, Redbox Instant has also been confirmed to be offered through the web, as well as iOS and Android portable devices, Samsung and LG Blu-Ray players and Smart TVs, and Google TV.
Netflix competitor streamable to iOS, Android, Xbox 360
More details of Redbox Instant by Verizon's streaming service have surfaced, including the all-important subscription rates. The initial selection of devices the Netflix competitor will be available on has also leaked, as well as the existence of a combined streaming and DVD service that still uses the Redbox kiosks.
Verizon to hold majority stake, service in testing
Verizon and Redbox appear to be nearing the release of their long-rumored streaming video collaboration, with the service said to be set to debut by the end of this year. Bloomberg reports that a Verizon executive revealed that the service is currently in testing and will focus solely on newer movies. The service will take subscription streaming like that seen with Netflix and combine that with movie sales, movie rentals, and DVDs from local Redbox kiosks.
Comcast won't bring Netflix to its portfolio
Despite recent reports that Netflix is in talks with cable providers on some form of partnership, Comcast has gone on record to say it has no interest in such a deal. It won't add the service to its Xfinity subscribers as an on-demand offering or part of its billing service on any device, claims a New York Times report. Netflix believes it could be offered by major cable providers as a premium offering.
Redbox deal with Universal lasts until mid-2014
While it recently ended its agreement with Warner Bros., budget DVD and Blu-ray rental kiosk operator Redbox has now signed a deal with Universal Studios. The deal extends until August 2014 and keeps the 28-day delay window Redbox had with Warner Bros following a home entertainment release. Redbox and Warner argued about the delay window, with the studio arguing 28 days is too early considering the $1.20 daily rental price for the movies.
Studios continue to push for disc sales
Disney is reportedly considering imposing a 28-day delay between DVD or Blu-ray movie releases and availability through rental chains such as Netflix and Redbox. The company's chief executive, Bob Iger, noted the potential strategy change during a quarterly conference call with investors and analysts.
Redbox takes on NCR entertainment division
Redbox finished Monday by acquiring NCR's entertainment division. The $100 million move would see it buy NCR's 35,000 disc kiosks, usually attached to Blockbuster Express, as well as retailer deals and discs themselves. As part of the swap, Redbox's parent company Coinstar will get software and services that will ultimately make a $25 million profit for NCR.
Redbox, Verizon to give downloads, streams, discs
Redbox and Verizon started the week with word of creating an all-encompassing movie service. The strategy would see Verizon provide movie downloads and streaming while Redbox supplied new Blu-ray and DVD discs to rent. While details were short, it would have subscriptions "and more," all while making sure viewers had access on the "media and devices they prefer."
Redbox must buy discs but gets them faster
Disagreements between Redbox and Warner Bros. may have inadvertently benefited viewers after a deal between the two expired Tuesday. Redbox will now have to buy Blu-ray and DVD discs from retail to stock its catalog rather than at a lower price from Warner, but it will no longer face the 28-day delay instituted by Warner to try and shelter traditional rentals and sales. Warner earlier in the month had started insisting on an even longer 56-day delay that likely pushed Redbox into the more expensive but much faster arrangement.
Wait period doubled to 56 days
Corroborating earlier reports, Warner Brothers is said to be set to extend the delay time for movie availability through streaming providers or DVD rental outlets. Customers will now have to wait 56 days from the start of DVD sales before titles will arrive through streaming channels or disc rentals, essentially doubling the window from the current period of 28 days.
Same restrictions on DVDs and streaming
Warner Brothers has reportedly imposed a 28-day delay for DVDs headed to Blockbuster's rental locations. The studio appears to be following the same strategy with Blockbuster rentals as it has maintained with other players such as Redbox and Netflix, which also face the same month-long window between DVD sales and rental availability.
Price jump blamed on debit card fees
Redbox has announced that its DVD rental service soon will cost customers $1.20 per day, marking a 20 percent price jump from the current rate of just $1.00 per day. Parent company Coinstar blamed the fee hike on an "increase in operating expenses, including the recent increase in debit card interchange fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment."
Redbox video game rentals for $2 arrive June 17
Redbox has made good on its promise to bring $2 video game rentals to its self-service kiosks by announcing the service will kick off on Friday, June 17. Game rentals will be available at all 21,000 Redbox locations and include popular and fairly new gaming titles for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles. Some of the newer available titles include LA Noire,Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, Infamous 2 and Brink.
Blockbuster drops in-store DVD rental prices
Blockbuster, which recently sold to Dish, has now revealed that it has lowered retail, in-store rental prices of DVDs as of May 27. Old titles will cost 99 cents per day, new releases have dropped to $1.99 for the first day, and just-released films now cost $2.99. Each additional day costs 99 cents.
Redbox to bring $2 game rentals to kiosks in June
Redbox, which currently offers Blu-ray and DVD movie rentals from self-service kiosks in stores, announced it will also begin renting games in June. The scheme was experimented with last year in limited locations. It will charge $2 per day for games in addition to its current offering or $1 per day for DVDs and $1.50 for Blu-ray discs.
Judge approves Dish buyout of Blockbuster
A bankruptcy court judge on Thursday gave approval to Dish's buyout of Blockbuster. The clearance for the $320 million deal was needed before the two could complete the deal, which has now been narrowed down from spring to April 25. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said he was happy with the deal, in part since Dish would keep business mostly intact and take over many leases and the on-the-spot DVD rental kiosks.
Offers online rental service for new releases
Zediva, a video rental company based in Sunnyvale California has launched an online movie rental service for new release movies. For as little as $1, users can instantly watch movies wherever they have access to an internet connection. Zediva is offering users who sign up before March 31, two free rentals. Zediva claim that they will deliver new release movies online, weeks before similar titles become available online through Netflix or Redbox, as they will not withhold the online viewing option on new release DVDs as Netflix and Redbox do.
Redbox says online movies subscription base
Redbox at an analyst presentation said its tentative movie streaming would follow the subscription model. In confirming the plans, President Mitch Lowe said it would follow a strategy similar to Netflix, where members would get the Internet streaming along with access to physical copies. Redbox wouldn't mail discs but would instead give access through kiosks.
Expected to emerge from bankruptcy
Blockbuster plans to close another 182 stores in the next few months according to a report. The move is part of a restructure designed to return the company to profitability under the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which it filed for in September. The latest closures come after the once dominant DVD rental giant also shuttered more than 2,000 stores over the past two years.
Blockbuster kiosks wait 28 days for Warner Bros
Blockbuster on Friday said that its Express kiosks would have to wait 28 days before getting new movies from Warner Bros. to rent. Despite having trialed same-day launches as recently as the past few weeks, such as Fox's Knight and Day, the company has agreed to stall the $1 DVDs in return for closer contact with Warner Bros. as well as a lower distribution cost and healthier supply. It already had similar deals with Fox and Universal.
Redbox says in talks for 2011 movie streaming
Movie kiosk operator Redbox has confirmed in a conference call late this week that it's planning to offer Internet movie streaming in 2011. The CEO of parent company Coinstar, Paul Davis, explained that there were talks with a "number of highly interested parties" hoping to start a Redbox Internet service in 2011. Physical rentals were still to be a core feature, but Internet video was a "significant opportunity," Davis said.
Redbox confirms Internet movie plans
Best known for its $1 DVD rentals, Redbox today confirmed rumors of an Internet movie service. The company's president Mitch Lowe promised to Bloomberg that details would come in October and promised that it would be an extension of the service, achieving things that the company "canít do in [its] kiosks."
Paramount won't follow studios on Redbox delays
Paramount bucked the trend to major resistance towards non-traditional movie rentals by striking a same-day deal with Redbox. Under the terms, both Blu-ray and DVD movies will be available through the on-the-spot kiosks the same day as they're available to rent elsewhere. The movie studio rejected the fears that have led Warner Bros. and other studios to try and force 28-day delays, arguing that there's ultimately no impact to giving RedBox $1 rentals at the same time.
Redbox could undercut Netflix
The pioneer of the movie rental kiosk, Redbox, is considering starting a very low cost Internet video streaming service based on the contents of a recent survey. As proposed, it would cost just $4 per month for unlimited online viewing and would still include four of the normally $1 DVD rentals as part of the plan. Which platforms would get the service weren't part of the study.
Streaming threat makes Warner stall Netflix
Netflix today said it had struck a deal with Warner Bros. to keep receiving new release movies. Under the terms, Blu-ray and DVD movies will only reach Netflix four weeks after they're first available at physical stores. In exchange, Netflix rights to Warner's movies for its Watch Instantly streaming feature and should see the movie catalog expand significantly beyond its current levels.
Hit by withering effect of mail, digital
Rental chain Blockbuster Video will close between 810 and 960 stores by the end of 2010, an SEC filing reveals. While putting a significant number of people out of work, and closing off some markets, the move is expected to add another $50 to $60 million to annual earnings before expenses like taxes and interest. The company has over 7,000 stores worldwide at present, scattered across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia.