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.
It's sometimes a challenge to understand how arguably better technologies often lose out to things that are inferior. We've seen it time and time again. The problem is that consumers are often not interested in the "best" technology but are more than satisfied with that which is "good enough". These days, a good example would be to look at Blu-Ray and how it's being adopted by consumers.
Netgear have outed its latest HD-capable digital media streamer, the Netgear Digital Entertainer Express EVA9100, at CES 2010 this morning. The EVA9100 can stream digital content from your networked computers, NAS (such as Netgear's own Stora) or online in up to 1080p High Definition, connecting to your HDTV via HDMI with automatic upscaling. Standard network connectivity is via 10/100 ethernet, though Netgear will happily sell you a WiFi a/g/n dongle that plugs into one of the EVA9100's two USB 2.0 ports.
Boxee has long been the darling of the homebrew DVR crowd, turning the Apple TV into a far more capable - and less iTunes-centric - media system and brightening DIY HTPCs no end. Now the company has announced its plans for an off-the-shelf Boxee Box, which will deliver the same sort of experience but without the need to build it youself.
Roku have outed a pair of new Netflix media streamers that go on sale alongside their existing Roku HD. The Roku HD-XR keeps the same 720p HD playback, optical audio output and HDMI connection as the original model, but upgrades the WiFi to b/g/n. Meanwhile there's a new entry-level, standard definition model, the Roku SD, which offers basic WiFi and analog connectivity.
Remember all the furore back in August, when Microsoft announced they'd locked up Netflix movie streaming for the Xbox 360 and basically told us it was an "exclusive" partnership? Well, that exclusivity seems to have been short-lived; Sony have announced that from November Netflix subscribers will be able to stream content on their PS3.