It's only a matter of time before the prevalence of online video makes cable television obsolete. In fact, the time has already arrived for some of us: I've been living very happily without TV for nearly two years. Of course, the experience still needs some tweaking before it's going to woo mainstream users away from their cable subscriptions entirely. In the meantime, however, there are several ways to make Web watching more enjoyable.
Netflix is working on a streaming service for Sony's PlayStation 3, similar to that of the Xbox 360, that won't require a disc, CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement (PDF) to investors Wednesday.
According to Hastings, Netflix will "be launching a major new version of our Sony PS3 user interface which doesn't require a disc, and is dynamically updated continuously with the latest Netflix UI improvements." Hastings didn't provide many details on the service, which will launch at some point before the company's next earnings call in October, but it sounds like … Read more
A first crack at Netflix' Q2 earnings: The movie rental company recorded revenue of $520 million and earnings per share of 80 cents. I don't believe that latter number includes any one-time charges, which would mean it represents a big beat: The Street was looking for $524 million and 70 cents a share. But investors are bummed out about the revenue miss, and they're pushing the stock down 9 percent in after-hours trading.
The company said it ended the quarter with 15 million subscribers, which is up 42 percent year over year and up 7 percent from Q1. … Read more
I've been cable-TV-free for the better part of a year and a half. First, the idea was to save money. Second, the idea of watching TV via the Internet and on my assorted devices--iPad, iPhone, PS3, laptop--is an appealing and, honestly, preferable way of dealing with content at this point, especially since the TV is usually out of bounds in our household, since our sleeping child dictates silence. Though I feel like my idea was personally motivated, it's increasingly becoming part of a cable-cutting trend that many are adopting. (For more advice, see Maggie Reardon's tips on cutting cable for online video.)
Admittedly, we're not really off-grid at all. We still use the cable provider's Internet service. We also subscribe to Netflix, a virtual necessity when off-grid. Hulu has always offered a good selection of current shows on many networks, acting as a decent stand-in for a DVR.
Hulu Plus, with its promise of a larger library and an ability to work on the iPad, iPhone, and game consoles, got my attention when it was launched. Its price--$9.99 a month--did, too, for all the wrong reasons. Still, when I received my e-mail inviting me to sign up for the "preview," I ponied up my credit card. Is it worth it? And can it really help fulfill my wishes to watch TV off the grid without spending a fortune in iTunes? Well, that depends.
Content surprises Hulu Plus offers no free trial period other than a few free shows on its app, unlike Netflix which gives new users 30 days to try the service. Users have to discover for themselves what Hulu Plus' library actually consists of, which at the moment has its ups and downs. Some people on forums I've read seem confused as to whether the "Hulu Plus Preview" is currently free, or costs money. Hulu doesn't make the distinction clear of what a "preview" really even means, since this looks like a final product. And, yes, it costs money right now.… Read more
It's another Monday on BOL, which means breaking news interjections, stumbling analysis, and hilarious Brian Tong jokes that go RIGHT over Molly's head. Turns out you can not actually search for girlfriends on Facebook using the search term, "hot girls." Unless, of course, they self-identify. Plus, a pain ray update!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Netflix is bringing its streaming service to Canada, the company announced on Monday.
Netflix plans to launch its streaming service in Canada this fall. The company offered few details on how the service will be implemented. Customers will be forced to pay a "low monthly fee" for access to the service.
Netflix said its service will work on both PCs and Macs, as well as "a range of consumer electronic devices capable of streaming from Netflix." Ostensibly, that means the HDTVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles that currently support Netflix streaming, but the company didn't … Read more
Parents can rest a little easier knowing that kids can now hit a "panic button" on Facebook to protect them from online predators. The social network is allowing the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre to promote an ad for its ClickCEOP that will show up on pages of members between the ages of 13 and 18.
Once installed, the application will serve as an easy way kids can contact the authorities when they're faced with a potentially dangerous situation. Although this is admittedly not a "silver bullet" to make the Internet safer, … Read more
If you're like me, you cringe every month when you pay your cable bill. And you dream of the day you can cut your cable cord and stop paying that monthly bill.
It's not that I don't like to watch TV. I do. But I can't stand that I pay $140 a month to watch a handful of shows on five or six channels. The DVR has completely changed my viewing habits, so that I only watch the shows I want to see when I want to see them.
Meanwhile, there is a growing amount of … Read more
Movie Gallery, the once powerhouse video-rental chain, went bankrupt last spring and is now trying to sell off such assets as trademarks, URLs, and proprietary technology.
While the company's demise and liquidation means more bad news for traditional video rentals, it could be a boon for Web video start-ups. At its height five years ago, Movie Gallery operated 4,700 Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores and generated $2.5 billion in annual revenue. A Web video service looking to work under a well-known brand or glean insights from the company's sales and marketing data might find something … Read more
Are you looking for an easy way to bring Netflix Watch Instantly movies to your TV? Look no further than the Roku HD-XR, a tiny set-top box that streams Internet content from Netflix and a variety of other sources.
Roku's other channels include MLB.com, which, like Netflix, requires a subscription, Blip.tv, Flickr, NASA, and Pandora.
The Roku player connects to the Internet … Read more