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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.
The cord cutting movement is rapidly growing in popularity, and with services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Google Play gaining more market-share every day cable companies and networks are starting to show signs of fear. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, John Skipper, ESPN's President said that protecting his company's pay-TV profits is his number one priority.
Skipper's stance on the importance of pay-tv services actually explains a lot about how the company manages its mobile app, WatchESPN, only streams the biggest games to those who subscribe to one of its pay-TV services such as ESPN GamePlan. ESPN claims that it currently has over 98 million active subscribers to its pay-TV services, but with cord cutting quickly becoming the new fad, industry analyst expect that number to begin falling. This is why ESPN says that it's careful not to market its app as a cord cutters alternative to purchasing a TV package with all the games one might be interested in.
If the rumors are to be believed, Pixar, the makers of Toy Story and Up, are working on a Star Wars movie. This makes a little more sense knowing that Disney, which owns both Pixar and the rights to Star Wars.
If Pixar were to make a Star Wars movie, it would be one of the countless tie-ins to Episode VII. The Latino Review is behind the rumor, so let's hope we hear more on this juicy rumor, and soon.
In a world where it seems that sharing any form of media with your friends is illegal or against the service's ToS, HBO has stepped up to the plate and said that it is OK to share your HBO Go account with friends and family. In a recent interview with website BuzzFeed, HBO's CEO Richard Plepler went on the record saying that "It's not that we're unmindful of it [ HBO GO Account Sharing ], it just has no impact on the business."
Plepler says that the company sees HBO GO as an added value feature to its Premium Channel cable service and not as an individual product in itself. He went on to say that allowing users to share their HBO Account with friends is a "terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers," and that it could lead to more HBO subscribers in the future. "HBO Go is value added - what you want to watch," Plepler said, in response to questions about offering HBO Go as a stand alone product. "Right now, that's the right model for us. Are we always thinking about optionality, of course we are always thinking about optionality... if the arithmetic changes and made sense in a different way we are not going to be caught without the ability to pivot."
It looks like we shouldn't be expecting a movie based in the Halo universe anytime soon, with the company issuing a statement to Eurogamer after a bunch of rumors over the last couple of weeks.
The latest rumor to the Halo movie fire was from GamesIndustry International, which reported a now-deleted tweet from Production Weekly that read: "The Halo project is a live-action feature-length digital produced by Ridley Scott." Microsoft smashed down its rumor hammer, stating that it had "no plans for a Halo motion picture at this time."
We are still to expect a Halo-branded TV show, with Steven Spielberg on-board.
Some of you may remember Carl Sagan's TV series 'Cosmos', and now the spiritual sequel is on its way. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, is hitting our screens on March 9 on FOX.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is being produced by Seth McFarlane of Family Guy fame, and stars the infamous Neil deGrasse Tyson. For those who thought this would be pushed to some weird hour, it is being pumped out on FOX during primetime. We will see the premier episode on Sunday, March 9 at 9PM, where it will extend out to 170 countries, in some 45 different languages.