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Netflix's original series, House of Cards, has been uploaded to Netflix in all of its 13-episode glory. This means users can sit down and watch the entire first season in one sitting. If you aren't a Netflix subscriber, you can watch the first episode of the series for free. Netflix hopes this will encourage you to sign up for the service.
House of Cards is the second of Netflix's original series to be released. In May, Netflix will be releasing 14 episodes of Arrested Development all at one time. A show called "Hemlock Grove" will be making an appearance in April, and a few other series are also coming this year.
Netflix's chief content officer would like for Netflix to make at least five original series per year, though Netflix has to bring in profit to do this. They are doing their best to promote the series, such as offering the first episode free, to hopefully attract more paying customers. We should know how well this is working by the end of the year.
Amazon has managed to keep Downton Abbey away from its competitors Hulu and Netflix by signing the show exclusively for their Amazon Prime streaming service. Downton Abbey is the wildly popular show that can be seen on PBS in the United States. The agreement also maintains exclusivity for season 4 and 5, if the latter is produced.
"The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever," Brad Beale, Amazon's director of digital video content acquisition, said in a press release.
Season 1 and 2 is available for streaming currently, and you can watch season 3, even though some episodes have aired in the US yet, if you buy Amazon's TV pass for $9.45.
Apple's Apple TV device has made an appearance at the FCC with a new version number. Some thought that this new device would be the fourth generation Apple TV, but it turns out that it is just a minor component change. An Apple spokesperson confirmed that the new version number was required to clear regulatory officials.
"We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval," an Apple spokesperson confirmed in a statement.
The changes reportedly include an A5X processor, which is the same as the one used in the third-gen iPad, and a new single antenna setup. The new device doesn't have a definite launch time and there will not be a clear way to tell the devices apart without looking at the version number.
Today the XBMC Foundation has released version 12 of the widely popular open-source home media center software. XBMC 12.0, codenamed "Frodo", brings forth several new features and improvements including Live TV and PVR support which brings Live TV, radio and TV guide features into the program.
The update also includes a completely new audio engine that supports most of the HD audio standards including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD. Fans of Apple's AirPlay can jump for joy as well because Frodo includes improved support for Apple's wireless standard, in addition to AirPlay streaming for Windows users as well.
The biggest news however is the official support for the $35 Raspberry Pi. With the Model B now supporting 1080p HD video, the Raspberry Pi makes for the perfect entry-level media streamer when combined with XBMC. Version 12.0 also comes with "initial Android support" which unlike the XBMC remote app includes the full range of XBMC services on your Android device.
The small Caribbean nation of Antigua has been given the go ahead, by the World Trade Organization, to open and operate a completely legal pirated movie website. This comes as a result of the country being able to suspend US copyright with a fee of $21 million every year.
The refusal to acknowledge US copyright is mainly fueled by the US refusing to remove a blockade on Antigua operating online gaming services. Antiguan finance minister Harold Lovell said that the loss of the remote gaming industry has hurt its country and it has every intention of making use of its WTO granted rights.
"These aggressive efforts to shut down the remote gaming industry in Antigua has resulted in the loss of thousands of good paying jobs and seizure by the Americans of billions of dollars belonging to gaming operators and their customers in financial institutions across the world, If the same type of actions, by another nation, caused the people and the economy of the United States to be so significantly impacted, Antigua would without hesitation support their pursuit of justice," Said Lovell in a statement.
Ultra HD, or 4K, is getting bigger and badder as time goes on - where at CES we saw European TV network, Eutelsat, launch the first-ever 4K TV channel. This channel is only for experimental and demonstration purposes, it'll pave the way for the future of 4K TV broadcasting.
Japan has now come out, telling the world they'll be launching 4K TV broadcasts in July 2014, a full two years ahead of schedule. The 4K transmissions will first begin using communication satellite channels before they move onto broadcast satellites, with digital broadcasting arriving later down the line.
This means we should expect the 4K broadcast to begin before the the final match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins, which will have soccer fans in Japan getting excited. Better yet, thanks to 4K broadcasts being two years ahead of schedule, this means we'll see 8K broadcasts starting in 2016 - 8K! 2016!
The brains behind Lost, Person of Interest and the latest two Star Trek movies, J.J. Abrams, will take the directors seat on Star Wars: Episode VII. Because of Abrams' work on Star Trek, it temporarily kicked him out of the race as director of the new Star Wars film.
But, obviously this has been pushed to the side, as Abrams was a fan favorite to direct the new Star Wars movie. During an interview last month, Abrams said that he was asked by Lucasfilm to direct the new Star Wars movie, but passed on it previously due to his loyalty to Star Trek, he elaborates:
[Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy is a friend and there are no smarter producers. It's in great hands. There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to 'Star Trek,' and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.
The new J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars movie will fly into cinemas in 2015.
ETOnline has managed to get the first clip of Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs in the upcoming film "JOBS." In the clip, seen in the full story, Steve Jobs is trying to convince Steve Wozniak that the operating system created by the latter is something that everyone will eventually want.
The line "How does somebody know what they want if they've never even seen it?" said by Steve Jobs eventually became the mantra that Apple created by. They created products that most people had never seen before, or reinvented products into new forms, basically creating markets for themselves.
Ashton Kutcher appears to do a good job portraying the late Steve Jobs, who passed away in October 2011 at the age of 56. The film will be released April 19, 2013, as April 2013 is the 37 anniversary of the founding of the Apple Computer Company. What are your thoughts on the clip?
The documentary peering into the lives of the people behind The Pirate Bay, TPB AFK, is set to be released as a free download on February 8 - the same time that the doco gets shown at the Berlinale, Berlin's international film festival.
TPB AFK's director, Simon Klose, has said that it's the first movie that will be released online at the same time as its Berlinale screening. Klose hopes that the release plans will mirror the documentary's subject matter itself, which I'm sure it will. He adds:
By sharing this film under a Creative Commons license, we hope to contribute to a serious debate about the social and economic benefits of sharing. We also hope to prove that sharing can be a realistic business model.
There are leagues of fans of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, but now HBO have confirmed that producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are on-board for a third series set during WWII.
The duo will reportedly tap Donald L. Miller's Masters of the Air as their source material, with the miniseries currently not titled. Miller's book is a narrative non-fiction work which tells the story of American bombers in their air campaign against Nazi Germany, focusing on the "Mighty Eighth" Air Force.
There's no ETA on the miniseries, but we should expect the production budget to be absolutely huge. Band of Brothers had a mammoth production budget of $125 and The Pacific blew its budget out to $200 million. So we should expect some big things from the third miniseries and I for one can't wait for it.