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Netflix caching for offline playback 'never going to happen'

12/17, 3:21pm

Offline caching a short term fix, claims Netflix executive

Netflix will not be allowing its users to cache television shows and movies from the streaming service for later playback, an executive has advised. In an interview, Director of Corporate Communications and Technology Cliff Edwards denied Netflix would offer offline storage of content, categorically stating "It's never going to happen."

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HBO Go heads to Roku on Comcast, Amazon Fire TV

12/16, 7:16am

Streaming app from HBO hits Fire TV today, Fire TV Stick in spring

HBO Go is heading to a number of streaming devices now and in the near future, it has been revealed. Owners of Roku streamers on Comcast will soon gain access to the app and Showtime, while Amazon's Fire TV users are able to stream from the service straight away, with the app also including support for the Fire TV's voice search functionality.

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HBO outsources standalone streaming service, aims for April launch

12/09, 8:27pm

Executive decision prompts resignation of HBO CTO

HBO has hit some stumbling blocks in the creation of its standalone streaming service, it has been revealed. An alleged internal memo states that the broadcaster has decided to cancel its own attempt at the project, and instead will be using an existing streaming provider to provide the eventual service, something which is earmarked to launch by April 2015.

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Amazon Instant Video starts streaming TV shows, movies in 4K

12/09, 11:36am

Ultra HD streams of Amazon originals, Sony Pictures movies offered to Prime subscribers

Amazon has started to make some of its Prime Instant Video content available to view in 4K, later than originally thought and months after major competitor Netflix started offering its Ultra HD streams. The change will allow Prime subscribers to stream a selection of movies and TV shows, including some of Amazon's original productions, as well as offering up 4K movie purchases to all customers.

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Nielsen: TV viewing drops four percent from 2013, streaming booms

12/05, 7:53am

Average time spent watching TV in US lower, online viewing up 50 percent

The viewing of television shows in the United States via broadcasting has dropped in the face of streaming services gaining in popularity, according to Nielsen. The ratings company's third-quarter report claims the average American watches more than 141 hours of live television per month, or more than four hours a day, but the figure is a year-on-year four percent drop from last year's 147 average hours per month.

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FCC Commissioner asks Netflix to answer ISP fast lane allegations

12/03, 12:30am

Pai questions development of Open Connect, believes cache devices could lock others out

A commissioner from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is asking Netflix to answer allegations that it is touting net neutrality in one hand, while constructing Internet "fast lanes" with another, by December 16. Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, asking that the company reply to allegations that its development of Open Connect and decision to forego membership in the Streaming Video Alliance is actually helping tip the scales in its favor.

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Valve sets its gaze on Twitch, launches Steam Broadcasting beta

12/02, 4:22pm

Beta program allows friends to watch gameplay, broadcasting automatically starts, ends

Valve has launched a new feature for its Steam gaming platform today, that aims to make live streaming gameplay a little easier than the widely-used Twitch. Steam Broadcasting is currently available as a beta feature, allowing users to hop into a stream to watch their friends play a quick game, or watch public broadcasts through the community hubs.

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Study from CMA says music streaming drives sales better than radio

11/24, 4:46pm

CMA finds adults are more likely to take action, buy music after streaming exposure

Since Taylor Swift kicked off a debate on the artistic merits of the album and the degradation of art by streaming music, numerous parties in the music industry are chiming in on the topic of sales. The latest is the Country Music Association (CMA), which conducted a study that compared consumer action towards buying a song or album, based on listening to a new song over the radio or through a streaming platform.

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T-Mobile expands Music Freedom roster to cover 14 more services

11/24, 12:47pm

Streaming from Google Play Music, 13 other services no longer uses T-Mobile Simple Choice data allow

T-Mobile has expanded the range of its Music Freedom scheme to include more streaming services. The program, which allows T-Mobile subscribers to listen to music from specific services without using up any of their mobile data allowance, now has an additional 14 services for customers to choose from, bringing the total for the entire collection to 27 services.

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Amazon ships preorders of Fire TV Stick, out of stock until January

11/19, 1:34pm

Fire TV Stick described as most successful Amazon device launch ever

The Fire TV Stick, Amazon's second media streamer after the Fire TV, has started shipping. Pre-orders of the competitor to the Google Chromecast are the first to go, dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis, though new customers will have a considerable wait for their order, as new stock will not be available until January 15th, 2015.

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Briefly: Netflix expanding to Australia, Ofcom plans 700MHz changes

11/19, 6:58am

Netflix launching video streaming service in Australia, New Zealand from March

Netflix is planning to expand its service to Australia and New Zealand from early next year. Starting from March 2015, the streaming video service will be available in the two countries, complete with 4K video playback with compatible devices, though The Next Web notes the inclusion of "a curated selection" in the announcement points to a more limited TV show and movie collection at launch than in other territories.

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MPAA launches website to help consumers find legal viewing options

11/17, 7:58pm

Where to Watch offers streaming sites, online episode purchases as viewing alternatives

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) introduced a new tool last week that aims to make it easier to sift through the streaming services on the Internet find legal channels to view hit television shows and movies. Where to Watch is referred to as a "one-stop shop" for connecting film and television fans to their desired entertainment, directing them to numerous legal viewing platforms with only a few clicks.

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Taylor Swift's record label claims Spotify royalty figure is incorrect

11/13, 10:07am

Record label CEO claims Taylor Swift paid less than $500,000, not $6M

The battle between Spotify and Taylor Swift is continuing, with an executive at the singer's record label now stepping into the fight. Scott Borchetta, CEO of record label Big Machine, advises that Swift has been paid less than $500,000 in the last year, a significantly lower figure than the $6 million claimed to have been paid by Spotify to the label in a recent blog post.

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Spotify paid over $2B in royalties, CEO responds to Taylor Swift

11/11, 1:00pm

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek claims Swift was on track for $6M in royalties this year before pulling music

Spotify has responded to claims by singer Taylor Swift that the service does not pay music producers enough, by revealing it has paid more than two billion dollars in music royalties. A blog post by CEO Daniel Ek following the removal of Swift's music from the service and a further attack in an interview also notes Swift was on track to receive $6 million in streaming revenues for this year alone.

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Vudu Spark HDMI streaming dongle appears in FCC filing

11/07, 11:07am

Chromecast-style HDMI streamer from Walmart may ship soon

Walmart is preparing to launch a streaming HDMI dongle, similar to the Google Chromecast, Amazon's Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Streaming Stick, according to an FCC filing. The Vudu Spark is similar in shape and size to its competition, connecting directly to the HDMI port on a television, though it is unclear if it will have the same level of utility as other devices.

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Showtime entering the paid video subscription fray

11/06, 3:38pm

CBS CEO Moonves says the popular paid cable channel is coming to the web in 2015

Consumers considering cutting the cord have yet another reason to dump their cable providers, as CBS announced that a digital subscription version of Showtime is in the works. While there is no definitive date for a service launch, CEO Les Moonves said that the paid web-based video service would be on its way in 2015.

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SoundCloud subscription service coming in 2015, Warner Music onboard

11/05, 7:18pm

Free options to continue, Warner first major label to receive royalties from service

Audio distribution platform SoundCloud is on the cusp of launching its premium subscription service, adding another layer of offerings to help the company generate revenue. The premium ad-free service will be launched in 2015, with Warner Music Group signing on as the first major label to earn money from the sharing and streaming hub.

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Music royalties in Europe from Spotify reportedly overtakes iTunes

11/05, 3:28pm

Royalty collection company claims Spotify payments 13-percent higher than iTunes

Streaming services are heavily impacting music sales, with one report claiming Spotify's music royalty payments have eclipsed royalties earned through iTunes sales in Europe. Kobalt, a music royalty company representing over 6,000 songwriters and artists, claims that Spotify-derived revenues on the continent were higher that those earned from European iTunes sales by 13 percent in the first quarter of this year.

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Briefly: Globe Player launches, Amazon ships Kindle Voyage in UK

11/05, 7:29am

Globe Theater opens video on-demand store for Shakespeare plays

The Globe Theater has launched a streaming service specializing in Shakespeare plays. Available globally, the Globe Player store offers a selection of performances filmed at the London theater, with a seven-day rental priced at approximately £4 ($6.50) and sales including offline viewing priced at £8 ($13) for each of the famous plays, though it also hosts a number of interviews with notable performers which can be viewed at no charge. Currently, the service only works through a web browser, but the service is considering creating mobile apps if the demand warrants it.

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Taylor Swift pulls entire music catalog from Spotify

11/03, 3:06pm

Albums by Taylor Swift removed from streaming service

Singer Taylor Swift has taken the unusual move of pulling her entire back catalog from Spotify, in the same week that her label launched her latest album. The move, which involves the removal of all of the artist's earlier albums, has been conducted without comment from Swift nor her management, but that has not kept Spotify from speaking out.

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YouTube releases WatchMe for Android for streaming app development

10/28, 9:20pm

WatchMe project aims to help developers add live YouTube streaming to apps

Android app developers may take advantage of live YouTube streaming, thanks to a new open source project released by the video service. The YouTube WatchMe for Android project, hosted on GitHub, uses a combination of existing APIs to make it easier for developers to add live streaming capabilities to their apps in the future.

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Amazon unveils Fire TV Stick as second media streamer

10/27, 12:35pm

Amazon competes against Chromecast with own HDMI dongle

Amazon has added a second option for customers wanting to acquire its Fire TV media streamer, one which seemingly takes inspiration from the Roku Streaming Stick and the Google Chromecast. The Fire TV Stick plugs into the HDMI socket of a television, and aims to provide the same streaming experience as its set-top box stablemate.

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Spotify introduces multi-user discounts in Family subscriptions

10/20, 7:19am

New payment option lowers cost for multiple users to access Spotify

Spotify is adding a new subscription option to its plan roster, one which covers multiple users. Spotify Family will provide access to the premium version of the music streaming service to up to five nominated users, with the group plan being discounted heavily compared to the single-user subscription, a payment option Rdio first introduced in June of last year.

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HBO launching standalone streaming service in 2015

10/15, 12:15pm

Streaming version of HBO will be offered outside of current pay-TV packages

HBO will be starting up a stand-alone streaming service in the United States, the CEO has confirmed. Starting from next year, the broadcaster will be offering subscriptions to stream its content to customers with broadband Internet connections, without it being bundled alongside other channels as part of a more expensive pay-TV package.

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Hands On: Denied (OS X)

10/11, 10:10am

Denied for Mac offers rule creation option for avoiding the music you hate

Since it's now commonplace to regularly listen to randomly generated or pre-curated music playlists, there will inevitably be songs you're not a fan of thrown into those mixes. Denied for Mac does one thing, and does it really well - it spares you from songs you don't care to hear, while streaming content from subscription-based platforms or iTunes. Though a convenient addition to an average listening experience, is it worth paying for?

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Grooveshark to pursue appeal on copyright infringement judgment

10/05, 3:23pm

Grooveshark disagrees with decision as it's based on 'an early iteration' of the service

After record labels were granted a summary judgment from a US District Court judge in New York in September, streaming music service Grooveshark says it's gearing up for an appeal to the the case. The reason for the appeal sounds somewhat defiant, as Grooveshark states it doesn't agree with the decision since it was based on "an early iteration of Grooveshark."

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Verizon, Redbox halting Redbox Instant streaming service October 7

10/04, 3:06pm

Users will be refunded for remaining time on October 10

Redbox and Verizon's collaborative effort for online video streaming, Redbox Instant, is shutting down. October 7 marks the service's last day, with refunds issued to current customers on October 10. Any kiosk credits owed may be used before 11:59PM local time on October 7. Unaffected by the change is the actual Redbox service, which will continue as before.

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Apple asking labels for lower streaming rates, reports say

10/03, 12:50am

Plans to revamp Beats Music next year at lower monthly price

Apple is asking the major music labels to adjust their agreements with the iPhone maker to allow to go ahead with a planned revision of the subscription-based Beats Music service that may well portend a lowering of the monthly cost. The company apparently plans to introduce changes to the service next year, and wants to obtain new rights and features at a lower price as part of what it has in mind. Streaming services have recently gained in popularity at around the $10 per month mark, which is what Beats Music charges.

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Briefly: Spotify launches in Canada, Pokemon TCG reaches iPad

10/01, 5:28am

Spotify opens Canadian streaming service to everyone

Spotify has opened up its service in Canada to all users, following a brief invitational period. The streaming music service boasts over 20 million songs served on 320kbps streams, with chief content officer Ken Parks claiming the collection has been "tailor made for Canadian music fans." Users have the same ad-supported free and paid service options as other regions, with Spotify Premium priced at $10 per month.

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Sony prepares PlayStation TV for October 14 launch in North America

09/22, 3:03pm

PlayStation TV includes PS Now, in-home PlayStation 4 streaming

Sony will launch the PlayStation TV in North America from October 14th, it has revealed. The micro-console, capable of streaming games from the PlayStation 4 similar to the handheld PS Vita, will be able to play titles from a catalog of nearly 700 games from launch day, with one report hinting that more capabilities could be on the way.

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Texas court finds CBS infringes upon Personal Audio LLC's patent

09/16, 7:35pm

Jury awards Personal Audio $1.3 million, less than the $7.8 million sought

Podcasters may not be in the clear of potential patent violations after a ruling this week in a Texas court. Six jurors found that CBS Corporation, home of the television network with shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, infringed upon the patent by streaming episodic content of its television shows on the Internet. The trial only lasted four days, with CBS failing to prove the patent owned by Personal Audio LLC should be invalidated.

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Briefly: Spotify on Amazon Fire TV, Chrome OS to cast Drive videos

09/16, 5:42pm

Music streaming service comes to Amazon's set-top box with Spotify Connect

Spotify announced this week that the music streaming service has made it to one of the products under Amazon's expanding lineup. Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to use Spotify Connect to access the millions of songs the service offers on a subscription basis. The company notes that users can navigate Spotify Connect using a smartphone or a tablet as the remote, also seamlessly handing off the sound to the Fire TV. Spotify notes that a premium subscription is required to use the service on the Fire TV, which runs $10 a month.

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Briefly: Chromecast app support grows, Roku hits 10M milestone

09/16, 2:19pm

Google reveals apps updated with support for Chromecast streaming

Owners of the Chromecast will have more choice of what to watch in future, as Google has revealed a new collection of supported apps for the streaming device. Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD offer shows for children, with the iHeartRadio, Twitch, and DramaFever apps also joining the roster of Chromecast-compatible apps.

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Deezer starting high-quality Sonos streaming in US from September 15

09/10, 9:48am

Deezer launching in United States with beta streaming for Sonos owners

Music streaming service Deezer is finally heading to the United States, after being available across Europe, Canada, and a few other countries for some time. In order to differentiate itself from the competition, Deezer plans to offer a higher quality of stream to owners of Sonos speaker systems, with a far higher bitrate than Spotify and Rdio streams available on 90 percent of the catalog.

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Spotify brings video advertising, sponsored sessions to free service

09/08, 7:34am

Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes

Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.

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Spotify extends free music streaming option to Windows Phones

08/26, 2:50pm

Shuffle play mode now available for Windows Phone 8.1, free version supported by ads

Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-app advertising.

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Rogers, Shaw plan November launch for Shomi streaming service

08/26, 1:43pm

Netflix competitor Shomi boasts 14,000 TV shows, 11,000 hours of programming

Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition.

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Spotify expands to Canada, offers invites to selected customers

08/08, 6:35pm

Trial period will be free, pricing expected to be similar to US premium cost

Roughly a month after first announcing its expansion into Canada, subscription streaming music service Spotify is now sending invites to people who signed up to receive notification when the service was imminent. Invitations are currently still on a limited basis, but the company is testing the service in Canada presently, Electronista has verified. Canada is not yet officially listed on the company's website as one of the countries it serves, but an official debut is expected in the coming weeks.

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Twitch CEO tackles questions over VOD policy changes on Reddit [u]

08/07, 10:00pm

Apologies issued for surprise changes, some clarification added on audio recognition

[Updated with Twitch VOD highlight and appeal change] Twitch CEO Emmett Shear did an "ask me anything" Q-n-A on Reddit today, fielding numerous questions over the recent changes that the game-streaming service underwent this week. While Shear confirmed information on most of the changes that had already taken place, he did try to reassure users that the moves were done with a purpose.

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Justin.tv shutting down immediately, claims Twitch is the focus

08/05, 4:39pm

Company shutters video service to focus on gaming site, old videos inaccessible

The online streaming video site that spawned Twitch has announced that it is closing down, effective today. Justin.tv, which was launched in 2007 by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, changed its website to a goodbye video and answered some questions about the future of the company and its users. The streaming service was touted as a "life streaming" platform that allowed a look into the everyday lives of the users, and its founders.

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Review: Simple.tv

08/04, 10:00pm

Home server replacement captures antenna, cable channels for viewing on most devices

For consumers trying to cut the cord and rely solely on the Internet for television entertainment, there are still some issues. Mainly, the problem is that local channels aren't accessible through existing streaming methods, outside of the some clips or news shorts from a website. Are there other options out there for people that still want to see their local news or sporting events without maintaining a cable subscription? Yes, thanks to Simple.tv. But does the device work in a manner that is consumer-friendly, or does it cause more problems than its worth? Find out in our review.

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Netflix to give customers better speeds through AT&T peering deal

07/29, 8:13pm

Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public

In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.

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Report: Google signs deal to purchase game-streaming platform Twitch

07/24, 9:35pm

Deal said to be worth $1 billion, matching previously rumored purchase amounts

A new report has surfaced that Google has signed a deal that would see the search giant picking up the popular game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The report adds builds on the previous report floating around that Twitch was being courted by Google's video arm for a possible purchase with a price tag in the same ballpark. By purchasing Twitch, Google could be positioning itself to be the number one destination for live streaming games, as well as watching associated videos.

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Yahoo acquires steaming video platform RayV to build online video

07/13, 4:44pm

Israeli startup to be a part of Yahoo's cloud team, join research center in Tel Aviv

Yahoo announced last week that it is acquiring the Israel-based video streaming startup RayV for an undisclosed sum. The company will help Yahoo build on its video offerings, giving the company the technology it needs as it looks forward to video content for the future, says the search engine. The deal first made its way across the tech industry as a rumor back in May.

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Popcorn Time derivative GitHub repositories shuttered by MPAA

07/12, 4:10pm

Original repository remains intact, popcorn-official and time4popcorn dead

The US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests for code repositories for BitTorrent-based video streaming projects based on the Popcorn Time core. The MPAA requested that the code for "popcorn-official" and "time4popcorn" projects be removed from GitHub, but the original Popcorn Time repository remains intact and undeleted.

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Apple wins against Emblaze in live video streaming patent dispute

07/12, 12:33am

Jury finds Apple did not push app developers into infringing older streaming patent

Apple has scored another legal victory, this time against Israeli firm Emblaze and its charge that Apple induced app developers to infringe Emblaze's US patent on live video streaming. A federal jury found in Friday that Apple was not guilty of requiring any of the seven example apps used in the trial to use Apple's own HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol, and thus did not foster infringement of the patent. Emblaze, a struggling audio company that had tried to sell the technology many times, is also suing Microsoft in a similar case.

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Google notifies YouTube users of possible Internet provider congestion

07/07, 8:24am

Blue warning notices appear under buffering YouTube videos, linking to a quality report

Google is taking a leaf out of Netflix's playbook, by hinting to YouTube users that their Internet service provider (ISP) is slow or poor. A new blue banner stating "Experiencing interruptions?" has started to appear underneath YouTube clips when users experience buffering or poor quality video, along with a link to the search company's YouTube Quality Report.

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Fox Broadcasting using Aereo judgment in appeal against Dish Network

06/30, 3:11pm

Lawyers use ruling to show 'unauthorized transmissions' through Hopper DVR

After the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, effectively ending the company, Fox Broadcasting has been quick to use the ruling in another case, as uncovered by The Guardian. The media company has been waging a war against Dish Network and its Hopper DVR with Dish Anywhere streaming. The case is set for a hearing in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 7 in California.

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Crunchyroll looks to improve video discovery with Redux acquisition

06/12, 9:41pm

Redux to bring discovery technology to Crunchyroll, will shut down apps

Popular anime and drama streaming service Crunchyroll has announced today that it has acquired video discovery startup Redux. The team behind Redux will be joining the Crunchyroll family, bringing with them experience in lean-back types of video discovery. As part of the acquisition, Redux will wind down their service and apps.

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Comcast's video streaming service will be in testing by end of year

06/12, 8:22pm

Service thought to be YouTube clone won't focus on user generated content

An article from Gigaom suggests that Comcast is looking to test its streaming platform by the end of the year. The idea of a Comcast streaming service was rumored to be under development by the company in March, but few details have been released since then. Comcast is looking to bring more focused content, hoping to retain audience attention with a variety of channels they already have rights to.

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