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RumorTT: Apple's set-top box could include cloud DVR, iPad-like interface, social features, and more
Another Apple-related RumorTT post, but this time it's not about their next-gen iPhone, sales, iPad, or their TV. This post is about the Cupertino-based company's vision of a set-top box, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Apple look to want to feature a cloud-based DVR functionality, and an iPad-like interface. The features are said to be summed up into four basic details:
- Apple wants users of the box to be able to watch any show at any time via the Internet. This would allow them to begin watching shows even after they had begun airing. This would require some significant tweaks to existing digital rights.
- In conjunction, Apple wants viewers to have access to all television episodes of a current season, instead of just the last few. This would allow people to slip between live content and content from the cloud with ease.
- The interface is said to, currently, resemble the icons of the iPad. One could also reference the slightly elongated icons on the current Apple TV as being 'like the iPad', so this isn't too surprising. It's not mentioned whether the device would be used via a remote that also featured the icons, or whether it would be on the screen alone.
- Social features like sharing shows via Twitter and others may be supported on the device.
Avengers fans rejoice! Disney has confirmed that the sequel to the massively successful movie, The Avengers, will indeed hit theaters on May 1, 2015. About two weeks ago, a rumor hit the scene that pegged this as the day that the sequel would hit theaters, but most doubted it as the person claiming this, MTV, didn't name sources.
This morning, Disney unleashed the following press release:
SEQUEL TO MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS TO HIT THEATERS MAY 1, 2015
The Walt Disney Studios has announced a release date for Marvel Studios' sequel to the biggest Super Hero blockbuster and third highest grossing film of all time, Marvel's The Avengers. Joss Whedon returns to write and direct the UNTITLED MARVEL'S AVENGERS SEQUEL set for release May 1, 2015.
This means that the name of the movie may not be "The Avengers 2"--that appears to be a made up name that the Internet has adopted for the sequel. The movie will be written and directed by Joss Whedon who was responsible for writing and directing the first movie, and did a great job if you ask most fans.
Joss Whedon has a massive job to do in order to make this sequel live up to the original. If he doesn't, fans will disown him. If he does, he'll have to do it again for a third movie. The press release doesn't give any details beyond the fact they are creating a sequel and that it will appear in American theaters on May 1, 2015. Only 2.5 years left to wait.
It looks like The Hobbit, which is now a trilogy by the way, will only be shown in limited amounts of cinemas in 48 fps. Variety reports that according to a source familiar with Warner's release plans for the first Hobbit movie, is that the HFR version will only hit select locations, and maybe not even major cities.
Though, people who have had the pleasure of eyeballing the 48 fps version of the movie have said that it now looks much better than the test footage shown at CinemaCon back in April, which had not "undergone post-production polishing" and received a mixed reception from viewers. Warner's wants to protect the HFR format, where they'll be going into a limited release for the HFR version of the movie, hoping that they'll be able to test the marketplace and expand the HFR release for the second, and third Hobbit movies.
Right now, there are no HFR-ready theaters, with some requiring a simple software upgrade that will be ready next month. It also looks like HFR is the future, where myself, and many people in the industry seem to think its going to take off. Does someone want to find me a theater, and fly me over to the US to watch it at 48 fps? Drool.
Despite the disparity in cost and convenience, DVD and Blu-ray rentals through mail and physical retailers still outnumbers streaming. Rentals through retail stores, kiosks, and Netflix's mail service made up more than 62 percent of all movie rentals in the first half of the year according to NPD Group.
In stark contrast to the figure above, subscription streaming, pay TV video on demand, and Internet VOD made up only 38 percent of movie rentals. Even though rentals are still the majority, the size of their majority has been shrinking. Rentals are down 17 percent from last year and stores continue to be replaced with kiosks.
45 percent of rentals came from kiosks, up 5 percent from last year. Netflix's push to streaming has also contributed to the decline in physical rentals. Netflix announced 530,000 new streaming customers while at the same time losing 850,000 of its DVD service. Part of what is keeping streaming down is the lack of extra features and availability of all movies. Often times a movie is only available as a physical copy.
Before big-screen OLED displays have even splashed down, LG have been selected by Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy to lead a consortium charged with developing a 60-inch flexible OLED display by 2017. Yes, 60-inch, and yes, flexible!
It's all part of the Future Flagship Program, with its goal to generate exports and create jobs by promoting next-generation technologies. The end goal would be to see these flexible displays being used in windows displaying information at a bus station, or other public places, like retail stores.
So, while they may be wishing to use these 60-inch flexible OLED displays for commercial purposes, I wish to cover my walls in them for some seriously slick movies, games, and fish screen savers.
We did promise more news on the Assassin's Creed movie when it hits, and today that has happened. The movie has just received a massive injection of awesomeness in the form of Michael Fassbender in the leading role.
Fassbender has signed on not only for the leading role, but as a co-producer. Fassbender will star as Desmond Miles, who explores the lives of his assassin ancestors through the Animus machine, letting him experience the time periods of the Crusades, the Renaissance, and in the upcoming third outing of the game, the American Revolution.
Fassbender is known for his roles in X-Men: First Class as Magneto, and recently in Prometheus, and the Quentin Tarantino-directed Inglourious Basterds. There's no details on the rest of the cast, or a release date, but you shouldn't expect the movie for another 2-3 years at least.
Amazon and Microsoft have made the Amazon Instant Video streaming media application available to Gold-level Xbox Live subscribers. Right now, over 17,000 streaming videos are available right now, for free, on the Xbox 360.
The service on the Xbox 360 now gives Xbox users access to Amazon's 120,000-strong library of purchasable videos to watch on the console. Watch lists are manageable from either a web interface, or locally on the Xbox 360 itself.
Xbox Kinect technology is also compatible, which can be used to search and play videos, as well as the traditional controller interface. Purchases made from Amazon are instantly loaded onto a watch list for easy selection from the 360.
Amazon joins an ever-growing list of companies on the Xbox 360, such as Epix, CinemaNow, Crackle, Dailymotion, ESPN, Verizon FIOS, Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO, MLB, and more.
Just over a month ago it was confirmed that That 70's Show and now front runner for 2 and a Half Men star, Ashton Kutcher, would be playing the role of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in two biopics of Jobs' life.
TMZ have posted the pictures online showing off Kutcher as Jobs on the set of the tentatively-titled film 'Jobs: Get Inspired". Kutcher dons the black turtleneck and faded jeans, the signature Jobs' clothing.
Mark Holme, the films producer, spoke to Neowin about the casing of Kutcher and the theme of the film:
When Ashton read the script he was immediately attracted to the project. He is a Steve Jobs and Apple fan, and is technologically savvy, as well, so he recognized the historical importance of Steve Jobs and the potential of the project. He is very excited to have the role.
We have purposed for the movie to be an accurate and inspirational portrayal of his fascinating life and the huge impact he had on the world, so yes we expect his family and friends to appreciate it.
I saw The Avengers on the day of release here in South Australia, and I thought to myself half way through 'why am I smiling so much?' It was just that good. Unbelievably good. I kept my expectations of the movie low, and it just smashed them all away.
But, I wasn't the only one. Ben reviewed it for us, and loved it too. Everyone else that I know who has seen it has also loved it. But, how are the box office numbers? Well, it's an absolute smash hit. The Avengers has raked in $200.3 million for the opening weekend, which has set a new all-time opening weekend domestic box office record, by quite a large margin.
The last record holder before The Avengers was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The Avengers is the fastest film to ever hit the $200 million mark, and has made a mind-blowing $650 million internationally in just 12 days. Now we have to start wondering what's the next movie that could topple The Avengers for raking in that much cash in an opening weekend. The Dark Knight Rises arrives in just under two months time, but I really think it'll have a hard time beating The Avengers.
What did you think of the movie? Did you love it? Did you hate it? I hope Joss Whedon comes back for the sequel!
HBO have just released Android versions of their HBO Go and MAX Go apps, which let Android-powered users stream content from the two premium channels, wherever they are, as long as you already have a cable subscription to the two premium channels.
First up, the HBO Go app provides access to 1,400 HBO shows, including the channel's original programming, as well as a slew of movies across plenty of genres. The MAX Go app provides access to 400 movies, and the entire range of Cinemax's original programming.
HBO have been on a roll lately, with their iOS app bringing in three million downloads in just two months. Both of the HBO apps are available for free in Google's Play app store.