The service is effectively identical to the Netflix feature available on the LG BD300, Samsung BD-P2500, BD-P2550, Roku Player, and the Xbox 360. That means that existing Netflix subscribers can stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows directly to their TV over a broadband Internet connection on an unlimited basis, with no additional charges beyond the existing Netflix and TiVo service fees. The available catalog is currently dominated … Read more
Unlike streaming solutions from Roku and Microsoft's Xbox 360, Boxee's effort includes the option to both browse and search through Netflix's library. Roku's box and the Xbox are currently limited to showing users the videos from their saved queues. The two also require special hardware (and in the Xbox's case a paid Xbox Live Gold membership), whereas Boxee works on any Intel-Mac or Linux PC. Boxee's service is not yet available for … Read more
Editor's note: CNET editor and Crave contributor Dong Ngo is spending the month of December in his homeland of Vietnam and plans to file occasional dispatches chronicling his impressions of how technology has permeated the culture there. Click here for more of Dong's stories from abroad.
HANOI, Vietnam--Love, or the lack thereof, is an ongoing global issue. I offer no solution, but if you want to look for the one here in Vietnam, a word of advice: learn to text and know your emoticons.
While online dating services are rampant in the States (personally, I believe many young Americans aren't really sure what to look for in a partner and being impatient as usual, think spending money somehow helps solve this), things are a little different in Vietnam--in the big cities that is.
Here, there are no dating services (at least none that my friends and I can spot), and young people still mostly meet the traditional way--through friends, school, family, work, and so on. Those who do meet online most often become friends through blogging, forums, or online social activities.
(In small villages like the one in Ha Nam where I was born, dating hasn't changed much in the past 50 years. Kids are sort of matched up at an early age, oftentimes jokingly, by relatives or friends. When they grow up, if neither goes away to find a job elsewhere, chances are they will marry each other.)
But it doesn't matter how a relationship here starts; it seems all of them go through something I'd call the "@ phase of love," in which the courtship continues via cell phone texts and Yahoo instant messaging. Unlike in the States, where couples tend to move in together, people in Vietnam generally only live together once married. In between, they rely on cell phones and the Internet to stay close.… Read more
Web-based chat company Meebo has partnered with Universal Music Group to bring ad-supported music videos to the service.
As a kickoff, Universal artists Kanye West, Ludacris, and the Killers will be featured on the Meebo home page. In return, Meebo chat rooms will be embedded on Universal artists' sites.
I'm still not quite sure why a chat start-up needs Kanye videos when Mr. West and his many pairs of sunglasses are already plastered all over the rest of the Internet, but I'll let that rest for now.
Netflix's streaming movie service is finding itself on more and more devices, and recently the company's blog featured a detailed account of exactly how movies are encoded. While many companies hide behind misleading resolution figures like "720p video," video geeks know that bit rate is a much better indicator of how good a video will look. Netflix gets pretty in-depth with the specifications of the new encodes:
"The VC1 encoders are more efficient than the WMV3 encoders, so we are currently encoding VC1AP at slightly lower birates: 375, 500, 1000, and 1500kbps, all square pixel. … Read more
Each IM contains the first few hundred characters of the post, along with a small permalink that takes you straight to it. Like the recently introduced live feed, the idea is that you can quickly track and respond to the activity of your friends while they're still around.
To help turn down the fire-hose of information, users can whittle down whether they want to see everyone's interactions, or just those from … Read more
Meebo for Google Android is not a terrible instant-messaging application. But it isn't a very good representation of what IM clients for the Android platform can do, or even a good representation of what Meebo itself can do.
In this first release, the free Meebo mobile application lets you chat with friends on the major IM networks--Yahoo, Windows Live Messenger, AOL, ICQ, Jabber, and Google Talk. It also runs in the background while you work on other applications and scrolls message notifications across the status tray. So far, so good.
However, that about plays out Meebo's feature set … Read more
Netflix plans to stop selling DVDs that were rented by subscribers, another step toward expanding its subscription focus from DVDs rented by mail to include movies streamed over the Web.
In a Netflix blog posting Monday, the company announced that it would discontinue sales of previously viewed DVDs on November 30:
As you know, our core business is delivering great movie rentals to you on DVD by mail and instantly to the computer and TV, so we've decided it makes sense for us to focus exclusively on that. This means we will stop selling previously viewed DVDs through the … Read more
Netflix has expanded its "Watch Instantly" movie-streaming player to include Macintosh-owning subscribers.
The company announced on its blog Friday that it is past its first phase of beta testing and invited subscribers who wanted to opt in to do so. But the company had a few warnings for prospective users:
There may be bugs. We are logging all errors, but if you run into problems, you can help out by posting details here in the blog comments.
Not all movies are available to watch with Silverlight. You may notice errors or lower than normal quality when … Read more
Since Netflix introduced its Watch Instantly service back in January 2007, Mac owners have been left out in the cold. Besides using Apple's Boot Camp software, or third-party solutions like Parallels and VMware to use Windows, there was no other way to watch Netflix's streaming videos with out-of-the-box Mac software.
That's changing as of Tuesday, as Netflix has begun rolling out its new Microsoft Silverlight-based streaming service to a small number of monthly subscribers. I've been playing with it all morning, and it works marvelously. Both the Mac and PC players are identical, and in side-by-side … Read more