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A recent report from Reuters suggest that Panasonic has decided to end its production of plasma-based TVs for ever. The cancellation comes after Panasonic President, Kazuhiro Tsuga, decided to begin weeding out the weak performers in its operation and focus on the higher-margin products.
The company is trying to plug a $15 billion hole it has had to suffer over the last two years from its TV division, and with new technologies like OLED growing cheaper and more popular by the day, this only makes sense. This is bad news for videophiles around the world though, as Panasonic is one of the last manufacturers of Plasma Displays, leaving LG and Samsung to carry the technology forward.
Plasma display technology might be old, but video enthusiast worldwide prefer it because it produces very deep and rich blacks, and provides a superior contrast ratio. Unfortunately the tradeoff is that the panels are expensive to produce, consume lots of energy, and generate massive amounts of heat. They are also much heavier than their LCD counterparts and as such, have fallen out of favor with the mainstream consumer.
Today was bad news for those who were championing for an Intel based Web TV service as a new report is suggesting that the chip giant is in talks with Verizon to hand over its entire Intel Media business to the telecom titan. Some sources are suggesting that Intel would retain a portion of the service while other are suggesting that Verizon would purchase all rights and IP.
Unfortunately, it is not clear what Verizon would do with this service as it already offers a Web TV service through its FIOS business. My guess would be that Intel's patents would allow Verizon to take its service to the next level and offer more to its customers without paying heavy licensing fees. Intel was developing a set-top box with a built in webcam, so maybe that is a major item for Verizon as well.
The original X-Men movies pushed comic book movies back into the mainstream after so long, with X-2 being one of the best comic book movie sequels, ever. Bryan Singer departed the X-Men franchise to film Superman Returns, which was one of the most disappointing Superman movies, ever.
Well, Singer is back, and he's back with a bang. X-Men: Days of Future Past blends the original X-Men films and its actors with the world from X-Men: First Class, which has me excited. Check out the trailer above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Dexter is a wrap, pun intended, and now all eight seasons of the Michael C. Hall starring show will soon be made available through Netflix. The first four seasons of Dexter will arrive on Halloween, with the following four seasons arriving before the new year is here.
Holidays are when people start streaming like crazy, so it looked like a good time for Netflix to start offering up the better seasons of Dexter. You can kind of forget about the later seasons, especially the last one.
Netflix has some of the best shows of late, with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but after those shows are all said and done, it all disappears for another year until the show comes back. But, it looks like we could expect a change in this pattern according to an interview between Netflix and CNET.
Netflix VP of Product Innovation, Todd Yellin, told CNET that this will change soon. Yellin did stress that TV shows will always be the big focus for Netflix, where he said "but supplemental content, whether that's extra features or so forth, we're going to test that around our own originals." If users respond in a positive way, Netflix could bring in a bunch of additional content from other partners, but Yellin didn't say when this would happen.
In case you just do not have enough Miley Cyrus in your life, Vevo has made it quite easy to check out her new music videos righ from your Samsung Smart TV. The music video hosting service announced today that it's app is now featured on Samsung Smart TVs and gives users access to over 75,000 music videos.
Vevo says that they have designed the new app specifically with the television in mind, and that the app was coded by "expert human programmers." Thank god for that, because I was afraid that the app may have been coded by novice alien programmers from another world. Anyway, back on track! The app has searching and streaming functionality similar to Pandora, and allows users to select a genre that fits their mood, and Vevo will play a unique set of music videos. Users can also search for specific songs as well.
Kogan has just launched a new version of its Agora smart TV HDMI dongle that sports all of the same features as its predecessor, but now packs a stronger punch in the hardware department. The new dongle features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The new Kogan HDMI dongle also houses 8GB of RAM, a mini USB port, and a microSD slot to add additional storage space. The remote features a 2.4GHz wireless connection, and the company has an optional Kogan-branded wireless keyboard and trackpad for just $39 more. I would like to see how this stacks up to Google's Chromecast in terms of ease of use and setup, not to mention streaming quality. With the device running Android, I would imagine that it behaves much like my Pivos Xios DS media box.
South Park has been here before, revolving an episode around a video game, back in 2006, South Park aired "Make Love, Not Warcraft" which ended up being an award-winning episode that spoofed World of Warcraft.
This time around, South Park featured Minecraft, Mojang's indie super popular game. The episode has been called "Informative Murder Porn" and sees the children of South Park fear their parents' addiction to dramatized-crime shows, which lead to real-world violence. The kids install a parental content blocker, placing in a question that only kids would know: how do you take a horse in Minecraft?
In order to get their TV back, the parents then start playing Minecraft to find the answer to the kids' question. You can view the episode here.
The future is already here, and that future is Ultra HD, or 4K. 4K content streaming isn't going to be too far away, with Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, already talking about it.
Hastings was interviewed by Claus Bülow Christensen, the producer of the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference, where the Netflix CEO said that 4K video will arrive on tablets, notebooks and PCs first as resolutions on these devices continuously improve. This will lead to a world filled with cheaper 4K TVs, and thus, a future of 4K is not too far away.
Streaming 4K content to devices has been a topic that Hastings has been interested in, stating that the minimum requirement for streaming 4K content would be around 15Mbps. He added that anyone with a 50Mbps connection would have no problems at all. Problem is, here in Australia, the land of backwards Internet, our newly appointed government thinks 25Mbps is enough for anyone, forever.
On September 18th, Apple will be releasing a major software update for its Apple TV set-top box alongside its rollout of iOS 7. While not much is known about the update we do know that it will allow content purchased from the iTunes Store to be played on an Apple TV that does not own the content. At the moment users have to load the content onto a mobile device for playback on an Apple TV via airplay loosely similar to how Google's Chromecast works.
While many Apple TV aficionados were let down yesterday when the Cupertino-based company did not release a new set-top box, this update, when combined with the addition of new apps for VeVo, The Weather Channel, The Disney Channel, and The Smithsonian Channel, Apple TV fans should be happy at least for a few more months. Personally I love my Android-based Pivos XIOS DS media center which does everything Apple TV does, but some much more as well. Toss the $45 Chromecast into the mix, and I see no need for an Apple TV.