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Despite all of its efforts in 2014, the MPAA was unable to curb illegal downloading of some of the years biggest movies. TorrentFreak has just released a report that says that Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the most pirated movie of 2013.
With more than 8.4 million downloads, the Hobbit takes the cake for 2014, but is still a bit off from last years winner, Project X, which was downloaded more than 8.72 million times. The numbers are expected to be much higher however as TorrentFreaks numbers do not take illegal streaming, and cyberlocker based downloads into account. One thing is for sure though, with The Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites facing heavier pressure, the battle over piracy is far from over.
Less than two weeks ago, Samsung unveiled a 105-inch curved screen Ultra-HD TV that it will be showing off at CES 2014, the company has unveiled yet another uber-sized TV. The new 110-inch UHD TV features a flat-screen design with a full 4K resolution, and is supported by a free-standing metal frame.
Don't get too excited though, as this beauty is only available in China and the Middle east at the moment which is where the $50,000+ TV will have more buyers. I will be at CES 2014 next week, so keep an eye on TweakTown for images of that 105-inch curved screen beauty!
Earlier this year when LG announced that it would be purchasing WebOS, the mobile phone operating system developed by Palm, everyone wondered why LG would do such a thing. Many eyebrows were raised at the thought that LG might dump Android for WebOS, while others speculated that the company would turn it into something for the company's SmartTV division.
Today it appears that the latter has became true, and LG will debut its first WebOS powered SmartTV at CES 2014. With this announcement, it appears that WebOS may actually have a chance to thrive after all, despite its years of off and on again development. With companies like Samsung and Google developing operating systems designed to make our TVs more connected, it appears that we may see a race to the top in 2014.
Something that has just popped up into my radar in the last few minutes, is Transcendence. Transcendence is Wally Pfister's directorial debut, which stars Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman.
There are two trailers, the one above which is narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the one below, which is narrated by Depp. Transcendence is based around the idea of artificial intelligence (AI), where work is done to create a sentient machine that 'combines intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotion.'
The full synopsis makes it seem very, very intriguing:
Dr. Will Caster is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn and friend Max, both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can... but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power-to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
More than 200 million connected high-definition TVs and media devices will be in U.S. homes over the next year, according to research group NPD.
"As consumers connect TVs to the Internet, they are not only using streaming services such as Netflix, they also switch from linear and on-demand TV programming to TV network apps such as HBO Go or WatchESPN," noted John Buffone, NPD analyst, said in a press statement.
Video game consoles and Blu-ray players are the top methods U.S. consumers use to enjoy Internet-based content in the living room - but devices such as the Google Chromecast will continue to shake things up in the market.
Today a new report has surfaced that indicated TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton are close to releasing a new set-top box that is designed for media streaming. The new QPlay-branded device was first spotted at the FCC a few days ago, and this can only mean that the device will be released quite soon.
QPlay is the brainchild of a company founded by Ramsay and Barton, and has been developed by the likes of former Apple, Google, and Linden Lab engineers. The QPlay companion box is connected to the TV via HDMI, and users will be able to use their mobile devices to control the device via a custom built app. Not much else is known for sure, but I am willing to bet that we will know more quite soon.
The New Zealand government has inked a deal with James Cameron and major studios for not one, but three Avatar sequels to be filmed in the country. New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, announced the news, stating that there would be a budget of at least $NZ500 million ($461 million or so) spent locally during its production.
Where Cameron and the movie studios benefit by shooting in NZ, is that if the three Avatar movies meet the requirements of the deal between the NZ government and the studios, they will qualify for a total tax rebate of 25%, which gets pumped into the Avatar movies. The requirements include:
- Spending at least $NZ500 million in New Zealand, including most of the live action shooting and visual effects.
- New Zealand hosting at least one official red carpet premiere, and a featurette on New Zealand being included in DVDs and Blu Rays.
- An offer by Cameron to serve as a founding member of a new screen advisory board, which will provide advice and guidance to New Zealand screen and film makers looking to succeed internationally.
- Marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry.
The new movies will reach us on Christmas 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Amazon announced this morning that it will be shooting all of its 2014 original series in 4K resolution in preparation for the coming shift to 4K. With more 4K TVs being sold every day, and the PC market adopting 4K rather quickly, this is a smart move on Amazon's part.
Amazon says that the Pilot episodes for its fine new original series have already been filmed in 1080p, but future episodes for the full series will be filmed at 4k. This means that both Netflix and Amazon are on the 4K bandwagon, and the ball now lies in Hulu's court. With these online streaming services adopting 4K, it leaves us wondering how long it will be until the cable companies start offering 4K subscription packages or 4K movies on demand.
If you have ever ready any of my articles here at TweakTown that involve multimedia streaming, you know that I regard Plex as the best media streaming server and app combo out on the market today. You can imagine my excitement when Google announced this morning that Plex has finally made its way onto the Chromecast along with ten other third-party apps.
"I'm happy to tell you that over the last few months, we've been working closely with Google to bring Plex to the Chromecast," said founder Elan Feingold. "It's an honor for us to be among the first handful of apps on the device, and it's been great working with Google - we've never met a smarter or more energetic group of people to work with."
For those of us with substantial libraries being served up by Plex, this news is great, and the the addition of other apps such as Songza, Red Bull.TV, Revision 3, and Avia make Chromecast an even more affordable streaming device for anyone. With today's additions, Google has shown that it fully intends to support Chromecast well into the future, and now lets hope to see a Spotify, Vimeo, Amazon Instant, and Redbox Instant join the party soon.
If you didn't already know, you should expect a new Terminator trilogy, as the franchise is being completely rebooted. Now there's news popping up that Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures are developing a new TV series that will compliment the reboot.
The new Terminator TV series is being written in conjunction with the first film in the new trilogy, which should hit screens in June 2015. The new series will reportedly follow a critical moment from the original Terminator, but it will be pushed down a completely different narrative path. I don't know whether to be excited or not, but I did like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Sure, it was slow at times, and had its problems, but that last episode was absolutely awesome. I'm looking forward to the new movie, especially with Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on.