Those who are disappointed by the sound quality of Netflix's streaming service will finally get their wish for better audio.
Netflix has tapped Dolby Digital Plus to feature 5.1-channel surround sound in its streaming service, the companies announced today.
The new 5.1-channel surround sound feature will be made available on the PlayStation 3 first, the companies said. It will be offered in tandem with the native Netflix app launch on Monday. According to Netflix, it plans to offer 5.1-channel surround sound to other devices "over time," but it wouldn't say when it would … Read more
PlayStation 3 owners will soon be able to stream Netflix without inserting a disc.
Starting Monday, Netflix Instant Streaming will appear on the console's XrossMediaBar, console maker Sony announced today. In addition, the PlayStation 3 will be the first Netflix-capable device to boast support for 5.1-channel surround sound on Netflix content.
Sony said the free Netflix application must be installed for the disc-less streaming to kick in. After that, PS3 owners will find a new interface that includes search. The company said that since the app will run natively on the console, people will be able to use … Read more
Google and Microsoft's Bing continue to pick up snippets of the U.S. search engine market at the expense of Yahoo, according to the latest stats from ComScore.
For September, Google's share of the 16 billion "explicit core" searches inched up 0.7 point from August and accounted for 66.1 percent of the market, while Microsoft eked out a 0.1 point rise to grab 11.2 percent. Although Yahoo remains in second place with a 16.7 percent slice of the market, it shed 0.7 point in the month.
Google TV has been all over the news recently, because of recent press events by Logitech and Sony, with the search engine giant making its big play for the living room space. Even with all the hubbub, Google's new home entertainment platform can be tough to understand, so we've rounded up some of the basic questions you might have about Google TV.
What is Google TV? The basic pitch for Google TV is the capability to search all of your TV content through a search bar similar to Google.com's, which displays on your TV. The search bar overlays whatever screen you're on and combs through online video sources as well as live TV from your cable/satellite box to find content. (Currently, Google TV searches only DVR programs for Dish DVRs, although we've been told that support for other DVRs will roll out over time.) The idea is that you don't need to know whether the video originates from Netflix, your cable box, YouTube, or a random Web site--Google just finds it.
That's the main gist of what Google TV does, but what makes it hard to understand is that a Google TV-equipped device needs to do a lot to make that functionality seamless. It has standalone apps like Netflix and Pandora; a built-in Chrome browser capable of displaying (almost) any video you can watch on the Internet; the ability to control other devices like a Harmony universal remote; and support for the Android Marketplace coming in 2011. There's just a lot going on in any Google TV product.
Why do I want Google TV? If you find yourself watching content across several different platforms (Netflix, Amazon VOD, regular cable, ComedyCentral.com, etc.), Google TV should take away a lot of the hassle over finding exactly what you want to watch. If you want to watch a recent episode of "30 Rock," you can just search for "30 Rock" and Google TV will show you results in all the available services. Google TV leans strongly toward a "search" model of TV watching, rather than "browse." If you generally browse a program guide or flip channels looking for a show, however, you might not get as much use out of it. Similarly, if everything you want to watch is already available via your cable subscription, you probably won't benefit much from a Google TV product.… Read more
NBC Universal has ended a two-year-old arrangement with Google that allowed the Internet giant to sell ad space on several NBC cable channels, according to a report.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that the network has called off the deal, whereby Google sold ad space on NBC's Syfy, Oxygen, MSNBC, Sleuth, and Chiller channels by way of its Google TV Ads online marketplace. The marketplace lets companies get help in creating commercials; choose networks, programs, and time slots for showing them; and monitor--through data recorded by set-top boxes--how many household TVs are tuned to a commercial when it … Read more
Make no mistake, there are no definitive offers on the table to do a variety of takeover deals of Yahoo by either private equity moneybags or from big media giants such as News Corp. and smaller Web firms such as AOL.
But that does not mean that major players are not circling Yahoo and assessing the situation aggressively, a fact reflected in the rise in the Internet giant's stock price today based on the many rumors swirling around it.
A majority 64 percent of CEOs are not using social media to engage with the public and other stakeholders, according to a new study from PR firm Weber Shandwick.
Released yesterday, the report "Socializing Your CEO: From (Un)Social to Social" (PDF) looked at the social media presence and activities of CEOs from the world's top 50 companies.
Among those CEOs profiled, 93 percent have been reaching out to people outside their companies in traditional ways. Most have been quoted in news and business publications, while 40 percent have talked to audiences directly at public events.
Those hoping for an easy, browser-based system to manage TiVo recordings are in luck: a new tool is coming to the DVR maker's Web site.
Dubbed the Season Pass Manager, the new service will let people modify Season Pass recordings from the Web. Season Pass is TiVo's service for recording all new episodes of a TV series. The new tool will let people prioritize their Season Pass recordings, as well as transfer specific recordings from one TiVo box to another on their account. In addition, TiVo owners can delete series from their Season Pass list.
Microsoft and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group are testing a new search service that could offer Chinese users an alternative to major player Baidu and struggling Google, according to the Associated Press.
A beta of the new Etao search site came online this past weekend teaming up Alibaba's e-commerce search engine with a Chinese-language edition of Microsoft's Bing search engine. The new site joins the search engines on Alibaba's current e-commerce sites Taobao.com and Alibaba.com and has been set up to drive people to the Alibaba.com online retail store, according to The Wall Street Journal.… Read more