Netflix was awesome and basically revolutionary when it was first formed. What do you mean I can rent movies without going to the video store? That's crazy! Then it got even more awesome with streaming content. What do you mean I can just watch everything I ever wanted without even walking to my mailbox? That's crazy! Now here's the tab. Reed Hastings' Netflix has committed to paying Hollywood studios at least $1.2 billion USD for the rights to play new films streaming online.
You don’t have to be an analyst to see that the popularity of Netflix and its streaming service is booming. Netflix has been adding support for its streaming service to all manner of TVs, Blu-ray players, and other devices for a while now and the company now considers itself a streaming firm that also mails DVDs.
Sony is already starting to make some waves at this year's IFA event, over there across the pond. With a few announcements ready to go public today, they've pulled the curtain off their video-on-demand service, which will now forever be known as Qriocity. It's been on the workbench for quite some time now, and it's good to finally see that Sony's unveiling the project for a market release here in just a matter of weeks. Though, if you're not in a few select countries in Europe, you'll have to wait a bit longer to get your hands on the streaming digital content.
Netflix are promising an update to their PS3 streaming client sometime within the next three months, complete with a new UI that's loaded onto the console rather than requiring a disc as with the current implementation. That's just one part of the company's attempt to take on the Hulu Plus challenge; according to NewTeeVee, Netflix are seeing slowing DVD subscriber growth as more users turn to streaming. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings puts that down, in part, to an increase in TV content.
While the new Mac mini may have brought the HDMI output many were clamouring for, its position as the HTPC of choice was slightly undermined by the continued absence of a Blu-ray drive. According to the latest email exchange with Steve Jobs, we shouldn't hold our breath for any Blu-ray on an Apple machine; a MacRumors reader asked the CEO about the optical drive's absence, only to be told by Jobs that "Bluray is looking more and more like one of the high end audio formats that appeared as the successor to the CD - like it will be beaten by Internet downloadable formats."
Netflix is just about everywhere you'd want it to be at this point. Even the mobile scene. So don't consider us all that surprised that it's just shown up on yet another box, with access to your full Netflix library. Western Digital has officially announced the availability of their TV Live Plus HD Media Player (which is much like their previous TV Live HD, but with a plus sign), and if you're interested in all sorts of cool features, then take a look after the break for what it's bringing to the table, plus that release date and pricing we know you care so much about.
Looks like the time for much needed upgrades is upon us, because Roku has just let us know that their Netflix Channel will be getting a major face lift here soon. If you're a current owner of a Roku box, or you've been thinking about buying one, then be happy in knowing that the streaming movie service is getting the love and attention it deserves, especially when a search function is being included. We love searching for what we want. It just makes it all so much easier.
The word’s out today from the NY Times that that Wal-Mart is set to acquire Vudu, the online movie streaming service in an acquisition set to be worth approximately $100 million. Additional information and the full press release can be found after the break.