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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.
Netflix streaming quality has gone downhill with multiple huge ISPs over the recent months, but why is this happening? It's because behind closed doors, there is a fight over who will pick up the bill for the traffic Netflix customers are causing ISPs.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting from sources that "within the past four to six months, Netflix traffic through Cogent's connections to one major broadband provider has at least quadrupled" thanks to Netflix rolling out its new Super HD streaming service. This new high-def service has seen ISPs demand more money from the streaming outfit, money that will be used to help ISPs speed up their networks to meet the increased demand.
Netflix on the other hand, "wants broadband companies to hook up to its new video-distribution network without paying them fees for carrying its traffic". The situation will only get worse if things aren't fixed up, with House of Cards' second season launching last week, and Orange is the New Black's second season to reach us in just a few months time.
Some of you may not have heard about this movie, but Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel's new movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - in fact, it's the tenth installment in the MCU. Check out the trailer below.
It looks great, and continues to humor that fills the other Marvel movies such as Iron Man, The Avengers and Thor. Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn who directed Super and Slither - movies you may not have seen, but you should. Guardians of the Galaxy is a star-studded flick, as usual, with Chris Pratt in the leading role with Avatar's Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro.
Guardians of the Galaxy reaches cinemas on August 1, 2014.
Just before the weekend kicked off, HBO teased a trailer for its upcoming comedy series, Silicon Valley, from creator Mike Judge. You might have watched some of Judge's previous content, such as Beavis & Butthead, Office Space, and King of the Hill.
The new HBO comedy comes from Judge's experience as a Silicon Valley engineer back in the late 80s. The show will follow introverted, social misfits living in a "Hacker Hostel," a "startup incubator" owned by millionaires in Silicon Valley. The show will see an 8-episode run starting on April 6. The trailer is pretty NSFW thanks to its content, but I'm incredibly excited to see what Judge can deliver.
Google's Chromecast is one of those little devices that comes along every few years and takes the tech community by storm. Almost all of my techie friends in the US have at least one Chromecast with some having several, and I fall into the latter category with 3 of the $35 HDMI dongles. Today Google announced that it is finally ready to expand the Chromecast outside of the US market.
On March 1st, Google will be launching the Chromecast into the UK market via Curry's, an electrical retailer similar to Frys here in the states. This launch follows the release of the Chromecast SDK earlier this week by Google, and comes along side several big-name companies announcing development of apps for the tiny streaming dongle. No word has been released yet on pricing but I expect it to stick around that $35 US price tag, but could see it increase slightly due to that silly VAT tax they have across the pond.
Netflix has just confirmed the Kevin Spacey political drama, House of Cards, will receive a third season. House of Cards started off as a two-season, $100 million investment, so this is the first renewal for the show.
The second season of House of Cards gets released - every episode, not just the first - on February 14. It will also be aired in 4K, if you've got the TV or display chops to watch it, I would highly suggest you do. I know I'll be spending Valentine's Day with a glass or five or red wine, House of Cards in 4K, and maybe I'll wear a suit, too.