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This week, Roku unveiled a new version of its Streaming Stick, a major upgrade from the $99 model it released in late 2012. The major difference is that the new Roku Streaming Stick will work with any TV with a HDMI port instead of only working on models that are deemed "Roku Ready."
The Roku Streaming Stick works on the same principal as Google's Chromecast, and features both iOS and Android apps to control the device. Not everyone likes using their tablet or smartphone to control their TV though and Roku has included a remote for those who still like to use them. The stick is basically an HD version of the Roku 1 that fits into a package the size of a large USB thumb drive and has more than 1000 channels of video programming.
The Roku Streaming Stick retails for about $50 which is $15 more than the Chromecast, and it includes major players like Showtime, HBO, Netflix, Hulu Plus, PLEX, and many more. It is up to you to decide if the extra $15 is worth it to you or not, but with Google recently opening up its SDK for the Chromecast, there is bound to be a wealth of apps arriving for it as well.
The full trailer to Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction is here, with the fourth trailer in the robots-who-turn-into-cars franchise ditching Shia LeBeouf for Mark Wahlberg.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a new start for the franchise, with Bay not referring to the new movie as a reboot. It does feature a new look for Optimus Prime, and most of the autobots. Dinobots are also featured, which is a new direction for the Transformers movies. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters on June 27, 2014.
A report coming from Latino Review is teasing that Andy and Lana Wachowski are working on a new Matrix trilogy, "with early treatments and outlines already turned into the studio".
The report claims that the Wachowskis and Warner Bros. are looking at a 2017 release window. The new trilogy would start with "the birth of the Matrix", but the development situation is in a state of constant change. Going back to the birth of the Matrix would be an interesting thing to see, but I'm sure most people would expect the high-octane, bullet-dodging, slow-mo action of the original movies, if it were to be released as a new trilogy.
I'd like to see a reboot of the Matrix trilogy done, with it pushing technological boundaries like the first did. By the time the new movies would be out, virtual reality should be here and with us in multiple generations thanks to Oculus. Maybe an augmented, virtual reality, downloadable version of the film? Now that I'd like to see.
Voting for American Idol (that show is still on the air?) has never been easier thanks to a new feature from Fox and Google. Fans of the show can now vote on their favorite contestants up to 50 times per day straight from Google's search results. This new voting method virtually eliminates the need to ever vote via text messaging again, and has to open up the door even wider than before for vote scamming.
Fans can vote by simply heading over to Google.com on their desktop or mobile device and searching the keywords "American Idol, or "Idol" during the show's voting window. The sponsored ad will be a voting block which will allow each fan to vote for each contestant up to 50 times before clicking submit. Voting is done by taping or clicking on the contestants photo they wish to vote for. A pop-over will appear with a slider that can be adjusted with the mouse or finger to indicate how many votes that contestant gets. This will definitely make voting for the show easier, but I am left wondering why the show lets each contestant get up to 50 votes each per voter. It would make much more sense if voters were given just 50 votes total to distribute among contestants.
The latest trailer of Godzilla has stomped onto the Internet, which you can watch below. The trailer seems to show that the movie will center around government authorities writing the disaster caused by Godzilla as natural disasters, which of course they are not.
We now know that this movie will see Godzilla turning up in 1954, which is what all of those nuclear missile "tests" were in the Pacific. They weren't tests... they were trying to kill the monster itself. It's a nice twist on the story, with the trailer featuring some creepy score behind it, and some truly great shots. A new direction for the Japanese monster story, which hits theaters on May 16, 2014.
Over the weekend, Comcast and Netflix entered into an agreement that will see Netflix getting priority bandwidth allocation when streamed across Comcast's network. While many of us see this as a violation of the now defunct net neutrality laws, Verizon seems to disagree. Today Verizon's CEO announced that Netflix has also agreed to pay his company for the same type of prioritization over its network.
Verizon's CEO, Lowell McAdams, said that the two companies have been in talks for more than a year, and he fully expects that the two companies will come to terms quite soon. "If you see someone come in with a lot of load on the internet, with video, you've got to get that in an efficient place. So making the connection far out on the network is a good thing, and frankly, paying for it," said McAdams. "To me this shows you don't necessarily need a lot of regulation in a dynamic market here. By doing these commercial deals we'll get good investments and good returns for both parties."
Unfortunately, what this actually means for consumers is that Netflix will have to find a way to make up for the lost revenue that it is having to spend paying off the ISP's to ensure its content gets delivered in as high quality as possible. This means that Netflix will eventually have to raise subscription prices, or cut back on the number of movie and TV show licenses it purchases. This opens the door for the ISPs to do this sort of thing with other services such as Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.
You may have heard about companies like Sony, Nintendo and SEGA... as well as director and actor duo Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, but what do you get when you mix it all together? A new movie coming out which focuses on the early 90s, and the console wars between Nintendo and SEGA.
The idea already exists in book form , with Console Wars coming out in May, written by Blake Harris. Console Wars focuses on SEGA's challenge to Nintendo in the early 90s with the SEGA Mega Drive. A movie based on the book is already being worked on, with Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin (of Moneyball, The Social Network fame) behind it.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be directing, with the comedy duo taking up the screenplay duties, too. Console Wars' author will serve as an Executive Producer, but is also co-directing a documentary on the same subject, with Rudin, Rogen and Goldberg all sitting on as producers.
It's hard to think that it has been over four years since Heroes ended, but NBC has announced that it is bringing back the superhero TV show next year for a 13-episode miniseries run.
Heroes creator Tim Kring is back, but there's currently no details on what to expect in terms of plot. NBC Entertainment president, Jennifer Salke, said in a statement: "Shows with that kind of resonance don't come around often, and we thought it was time for another installment. Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won't rule out the possibility of some of the show's original cast members popping back in".
The Kickstarter-backed Veronica Mars movie will be doing something that most other movies could only dream of: it will be launching online and in theaters, at the same time.
Veronica Mars will be launching on 270 screens across the United States, which is a big deal considering its more of an indie, crowdfunded movie, compared to the big movies that the large studios push these days. Warner Bros. has decided to rent 260 theaters from AMC to play the movie, giving the studio the freedom to do something this unique.
AMC's vice president of special and alternative content, Nikkole Denson-Randolph, spoke with the WSJ and said: "On projects like this where we know we have a partner with the resources to promote the film and an easily targetable audience, we will rent theaters out".
A new report from Recode says that Amazon's set-top box venture is not dead and that we could see the device released as early as next month. The device is set to compete directly with Apple TV and the Roku and will be Android-based. The device will most likely run Amazon's custom app market place and will feature Amazon prime streaming functionality along side a few other non-competitor streaming applications.
Some earlier reports suggest that the box will also feature Ouya-like gaming but nothing from the Recode report suggest as much, and with the issues plaguing Android-gaming devices I am willing to bet Amazon is steering clear of anything other than simple gaming. With Amazon's set-top box releasing soon, questions about why a Amazon Prime app for Google Chrome may have been answered as no one would buy a >$50 set top box when they can buy the $35 Chromecast.