JVC launches flagship BlackSapphire XL 3D HDTV line with Netflix, Slingbox client (Original)
JVC's been trying to get back into the HDTV game via its recent partnership with Vizio maker Amtran, and just took another big step by unveiling the flagship BlackSapphire SL series. The new models boast high-end touches like tiny bezels, ultra-thin profiles and an edge-lit LED "adaptive backlight." You'll also get built-in WiFi, SmartTV with apps like Netflix, Pandora and a Slingbox client, Xinema-Sound audio with simulated surround-sound, and passive 3D with four sets of included glasses. Interestingly, JVC decided to launch the series with rather small 42-inch and 47-inch models, though Amtran told CNET that larger sizes are also in the works. Also unusual in a flagship is three-digit pricing: $799 for the smaller SL42B-C and $899 for the SL47B-C. Considering the sticker shock we've had lately, however, we're all for keeping things small in that regard. Both models will be up for grabs later this summer.
Hulu off the market: Fox, Disney and NBC to maintain ownership (Original)
Well, we've been waiting to hear who would wind up purchasing the struggling Hulu, and now we know -- nobody! Instead the service will see an infusion of cash totaling $750 million from its current owners. Hulu has actively courted new owners on multiple occasions, and it seemed as if this time a deal was imminent. Both Yahoo and DirecTV were in the running allegedly but, for whatever reason, Fox, NBC and Disney found their offers lacking. It's unclear right now whether the issue was over asking price or future plans for the service, but the cabal behind Hulu will instead sink more money into the property to try and grow its subscriber base further. This is turning into something of a habit for the uneasy partnership, one that is quickly turning Hulu into the boy who cried wolf. The official press release awaits, after the break.
Following Amazon And Netflix, Rakuten Is Expanding Its Wuaki Video Service Across Europe; First Stop UK (Original)
E-commerce giant Rakuten, often called the Amazon of Japan, is taking another step in a bid to square up to is rival: today it is officially launching a beta of its Wuaki video streaming service in the UK, part of what Wuaki’s CEO tells us is a plan to take the service across other countries in Europe.
“The UK is the first stop in Wuaki.tv´s European expansion beyond the company’s home market in Spain. Wuaki.tv has a long term aim of becoming a leader in the European VOD space, and is planning to complete launches in the main European countries, in addition to the UK and Spain, within the next 18-24 months,” Wuaki’s CEO Jacinto Roca told TechCrunch. “A detailed plan will be confirmed in the next few months, following the UK launch and initial feedback and results in that market.”
The UK launch is kicking off with “thousands of hours of movie and TV content,” including titles from Warner Bros., Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the BBC, among others (some of the specific titles include Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful and Lincoln, and series like The Tudors and Doctor Who). Subscription prices for those who take up offers this summer will be £2.99 ($4.50) per month, plus an a la carte offering.…
Instagram Introduces Photo and Video Embeds (Original)
Instagram added the ability to embed photos and videos on Wednesday
Users can find the embed button — available only on desktop — on the right side of public photos or videos. The button provides a code users can insert into blogs and articles.
Instagram, which added video capabilities in June, had lacked the embed feature — unlike rival video service Vine. Vine introduced the embed option in March. Instagram users who have their accounts set to private, however, won't see the embed option.
"Your embedded photo or video appears with your Instagram username, and clicking on the Instagram logo will take people to your page on Instagram.com where they can discover more of your photos and videos," Instagram said in an announcement Read more...More about Instagram, Tech, and Instagram Video
Smart TVs get ‘thumbs down’ (Original)
A new study by the research firm, called ‘online video lead adopters bypass the smart TV with personal devices,’ claims that while half the surveyed sample had bought a smart TV in the past three years “no one was found to be using it as their main source for connected media entertainment” as other devices were deemed easier to use.
Early adopters who had not purchased a smart TV yet were “concerned that these products were not ready to deliver an adequate experience,” and were happy to continue using other connected devices instead, the report said.
It added that while traditional TV will continue to play a key role in the home, people will “increasingly rely on the convenience of personal devices and OTT TV/video services” to support their entertainment needs.
“OEMs and app developers are failing to provide smart TV users with apps and services that enhance the TV experience. Furthermore, an intuitive remote that works fluidly with the UI and provides ease of text input with an integrated touchscreen is imperative to consumers finding the apps and services functional on a TV,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst for the firm’s user experience practise, Taryn Tulay.…
Bring it! Samsung’s Boxee buy is a preemptive strike on Apple and other rivals (Original)
Spending $30 million cash to acquire Boxee is an investment for Samsung, and perhaps an aggressive move to improve what it can offer consumers in the living room by taking on Apple TV and Roku.
The post Bring it! Samsung’s Boxee buy is a preemptive strike on Apple and other rivals appeared first on Digital Trends.…
BBC drops 3D service (Original)
For the first time in the history of regular television broadcasting, a British man has won the men's singles in the Wimbledon tennis championships and the BBC cameras were there to capture it in 3D. The 3D coverage was available on all television platforms except Sky, as a result of a dispute over a £20,000 programme guide fee. The BBC is now withdrawing from 3DTV claiming lack of viewer interest.
Magine launches Spanish OTT service (Original)
The service, which provides cloud-based live TV and catch-up programming across Apple devices and Samsung smart TVs, yesterday secured US$19 million (€15 million) in investment and today launched a Spanish beta service.
“The Spanish marketplace is an ideal one for Magine, as it enjoys high broadband penetration with a relatively low pay TV penetration. When combining those two factors the Magine solution seemed an obvious one to the Spanish channels and content providers who were keen to be part of a service that offered their viewers a highly competitive subscription package,” said Mattias Hjelmstedt, CEO and co-founder, Magine.
Magine first launched in Sweden just before MIPTV, as DTVE sister publication TBI revealed at the time. It has subsequently gone live in Germany and now in Spain. Plans to launch the service on more TV platforms and Android tablets are in the works.
The company also says it is in “advanced negotiations with a number of major international media and entertainment groups” and predicts it will launch in “at least another four more European territories by the end of the year.”
Cloud-Based TV Operator Magine Raises $19M Series A Round To Fuel International Expansion (Original)
Magine, the Swedish cloud-based cable operator, today announced that it has closed a $19 million Series A round led by a group of Swedish and international investors. The company didn’t disclose the identity of these investors, but given the space the company operates in, $19 million is an impressive number. All Magine would tell me is that “we have found investors (as in our last round last year) that we think work very well with our industry and ambition.”
The company says that it will use this new influx of cash to fund its international expansion, with Germany and Spain being the next countries on its radar. The service is already available in Sweden. Magine previously raised €6.5 million.
What’s important to remember about Magine is that it is essentially an Internet-based cable operator. Because of the way the cable operators and TV networks and channels work together in Europe, the company’s model is very scalable, as Magine only has to pay a set fee to its content providers.
Unlike Aereo in the U.S., Magine operates without hardware and without touching any legal gray zones. Indeed, as the company tells me, it’s actually “loved by the industry.” You can read more about how the company operates in our more in-depth review from earlier this year.…
Southwest, Dish team up to offer free in-flight TV on mobile devices (Original)
Definitely a great source of entertainment during Southwest flights, the airline and Dish Network have partnered to provide passengers access to a selection of live television stations on mobile devices for free.
The post Southwest, Dish team up to offer free in-flight TV on mobile devices appeared first on Digital Trends.…