Netflix has finished its goal of making sure every current video game console can access its Watch Instantly streaming content now that it is shipping the activation discs for Nintendo Wii consoles.

The Xbox 360 has been able to stream Netflix for a while now, and eventually the Sony Playstation 3 was able to do it via an activation disc that you have to put in the console each time you want to use the service.  While not as convenient as the Xbox 360 method, it still works well.

Now Nintendo Wii consoles will be able to use the same method as Sony has.  You can request the free disc at the Netflix site, and they will ship them out as soon as possible.

While the disc itself is free, do remember that you need to have a subscription to Netflix to use the actual service.  Without the subscription, the disc is kind of pointless.

Categories: Video, Video Games   

Pretty much every one out there has wanted to make a video at some point from a wedding, a graduation and so on, but who has the time to learn a difficult video editing program for this one time event? Enter Flixtime.

A joint effort by the folks from AudioMicro and Fotolia, Flixtime is a site that allows you to import your own photos and videos, as well as use some royalty free options from Fotolia, and then set them to music provided by AudioMicro to produce a high definition video to share with friends and family.

That really is it.  In about three minutes you can create a free 60-second video to do with as you please, and due to the royalty free nature of the music and photos you may use as filler, you have no concerns about copyright infringement when you place your video on a site such as YouTube.

“We have been getting more and more demand from users who want a tool that easily creates stunning videos by using images and text. Companies from all over the world have video needs, whether for websites, projects, or presentations. Until now, production costs were very high,” says Fotolia and Flixtime CEO Oleg Tscheltzoff. “Just like we democratized stock images on Fotolia by offering images for under $1 USD, we have made videos accessible and affordable to countless companies. Instead of investing tons of money in equipment, talent, and a location to produce videos, our users can simply use their content, or the images and music provided by Flixtime, to create the videos they envision.”

Ryan Born, CEO of AudioMicro says, “We are very pleased to partner with Flixtime to provide the music for such an amazing technology. With just one click, Flixtime users can bring energy and emotion to their videos by adding music. We’ve supplied a handpicked selection, spanning nearly every musical genre and style. With tracks for everyone, Flixtime users are sure to have the perfect soundtrack and take their videos to the next level.”

It’s worth a definite look, and if all you need to do is make one video, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to go anywhere else.

Categories: Video   

Lets face it, a lot of people watch the Super Bowl just for the ads, so don’t you wish you could cut the game out of the equation?  Well, thanks to the Internet, that wish is a reality.

Every year there is at least one ad during the Super Bowl you wish you could watch again, and thanks to the wonders of the Internet, that has been a possibility for some years now.  As Super Bowl XLIV happens today in Miami, you’ll even be able to see the ads online as they air, or shortly thereafter.

We’ve gathered up a short list of seven sites that will fulfill all your Super Bowl ad needs.

CBS Sports: It only makes sense that the network airing the game would also allow you to watch the ads online.  You can sort the ads by quarter in which they aired or by advertiser name.

FanHouse: The ads will be shown live, and while you wait you can revisit the ads from Super Bowl 43.

Hulu: Watch the best ads from 2009. See all the ads from 2009.  No word if the site will post the ones from 2010, but it is probably a safe bet it will. Revisit archives of the past 12 years of Super Bowl ads. This site brings you all the latest ads and news surrounding them, as well as archives of ads from Super Bowls of the past.

YouTube Ad Blitz: YouTube will be posting the commercials as they air, and after the last one has played, you’ll be able to vote for your favorite.  The winner will be features on the YouTube main page as the champion.

We’re probably going with YouTube as it appears it will be the quickest.

Categories: Video   

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sees his company mailing out physical DVDs for at least another 20 years.

Speaking with Peter Kafka of All Things D at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this weekend, Mr. Hastings says that he expects his company to continue to ship physical DVDs through at least 2030.

As for the streaming portion of the business, which is getting numerous new streaming devices this year, it currently has 17,000 different items to be viewed, but they hope to increase it to over 100,000 in the coming years.  One of the steps in that direction has been made with the deal made between Warner Home Video and Netflix to have the rental company withhold new releases from renters for 28 days.  As part of the deal, Netflix gets more content for its streaming service, so don’t be too surprised if you see the company making more deals like this.

Personally we’re surprised anyone can see physical media sticking around that much longer, but it should be interesting to see if he’s correct.  You can also expect Netflix to appear in another unnamed country some time this year.

Categories: Video   

Netflix, Netflix, Netflix … if you buy a new Blu-ray player or television this year, odds are it will include the ability to stream content from Netflix.

Netflix has announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that it has new partnerships with Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba and Funai (the CE maker behind the Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania and Emerson brands in the US) according to NewTeeVee.  It is Netflix’s objective to get its streaming ability into every device possible as the company is spending over $600 million a year on postage, but streaming a film only costs around $.05.

To give you an idea of just how important this is becoming to the company, it has now agreed to a 28 day delay window on offering DVD new releases from Warner Brothers.  This means that for the first 28 days after a film comes out on DVD, it will not be available through Netflix.  In trade for this agreement, which the studios wanted due to sagging DVD sales, Warner Brothers has agreed to add more of its older titles to the streaming service.  So, basically Netflix has just said it can be bought off by the studios on the DVD side so long as the streaming portion gets something out of it.  Very interesting.

Kinda makes you wonder how much longer Netflix will even bother with stocking DVDs at all.

Categories: Home Electronics, Video   

It seems that one of the big trends at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year is turning your TV into a full on Internet device.

Yesterday we brought you the news that Skype was launching services for TVs that would turn them into communications devices, and today brings us the news that DivX, a leader in video encoding, is launching DivX TV to bring even more content to your television set.

The new software will allow you to browse through various entertainment sources from TV shows and major films, to content from your favorite Internet video sites. Also, it isn’t limited to just TVs, the software will also be appearing in Blu-ray players, cell phones and other devices, allowing you to hop between devices and watch what you want, when you want.

The first companies to be announced as worikng with DivX include:

  • ADB (Advanced Digital Broadcast)
  • Bluestreak
  • Brightcove
  • Broadcom Corporation
  • Innovative DTV Solutions
  • Iomega
  • LG Electronics
  • Viewsonic Corporation

And content providers include:

  • Associated Press
  • Break
  • CNET
  • Roxio CinemaNow
  • Dailymotion
  • Diggnation
  • Pandora
  • Picasa
  • Revision 3
  • Rhapsody
  • TED
  • Tekzilla
  • The
  • Twitter
  • VBS.TV

The problem, as I see it, is the same with the Skype TV system: Your TV has to be near your Internet connection.  It’s wonderful that all of this additional content is coming to TVs, but unless you want to run cables all over your house, are you really going to be able to take advantage of it?  Luckily I do have Internet near my TV, but how many people really do?

The service still sounds quite exciting, and you can see a demo video below.

Categories: Video   

Video calls just got a bit more interesting with the announcement that you will now be able to place them over your television set.

Skype announced today that it has partnered with LG Electronics and Panasonic to embed Skype technology into Internet enabled televisions to be launched this year.  This means that in conjunction with an HD webcam (sold separately), you will be able to make video calls right from the comfort of your living room.

Of course this means your TV will need to be within reach of an Ethernet cable so that you can plug it in to your home network, but considering the possible benefits of such technology, it’ll be worth it.

The television sets will be available in the spring of this year, and no pricing has been announced at this time.  We are certainly not suggesting that you run out and buy a new TV just for this technology, but if you do happen to find yourself in the market for a new TV set, we would certainly think you would want to include this factor in your purchasing decision.

You can learn more about the news in the video below or by visiting the Skype On Your TV page.

Categories: Video, VoIP   

star wars logoAre you waiting for the Star Wars films to come to Blu-ray? Well, prepare to keep waiting.

Remember how it seemed to take forever for the original Star Wars trilogy to come to DVD?  It seems that George Lucas, creator of the film series, wanted to wait until DVD players were in nearly household, and it seems he wants to do the same thing before the famous movies come to Blu-ray.

According to the Australian edition of Gizmodo, 20th Century Fox Managing Director Chris Dunn spoke at a Blu-ray launch event this week, and when directly asked about the current status of the Star Wars films, he simply said that was a question for George Lucas.  Or translation: Yep, just like DVD, we’re all going to have to wait a while before we get to see the highest grossing sci-fi film series ever in glorious high definition.

The only reason this is odd is because sci-fi and action/adventure films are the best selling films on Blu-ray currently because those are the typical film choices of the current Blu-ray customers: early adopters.  As a rabid fan of the series, I can’t wait to see the movies in true HD, but I understand Mr. Lucas’ viewpoint also.

Of course, once they are released, then the question is will we get the theatrical cuts, or will have to suffer through Greedo shooting first once they do appear on Blu-ray?

Categories: Video   

rokuThe popular Roku brand players have finally moved past the premium content to add streaming media from free sites.

The Roku Box has gained a reputation as the easiest way to get Netflix Streaming and Amazon Video on your TV, but seeing as both those are premium services it did limit their potential customer base somewhat.  Later on the company added for out-of-market games, but again that was a premium service, so what were they going to do to start to lure customers who don’t use those services?

Enter the Channel Store.

Roku Boxes can now stream content from:

  • Facebook photos
  • Flickr
  • FrameChannel
  • MediaFly
  • MobileTribe
  • Motionbox
  • Pandora
  • Revision3
  • TWiT.TV

While none of these services will give you the breadth of content something like Netflix Streaming will, there is some solid entertainment in this line up. Pandora alone, one of the leading music discovery sites, could keep you dancing in your living room for hours on end.

While there is no official word on what this might mean for the future, this sure has the feel of being a “first wave” of content.  In other words, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them adding many more channel partners in the very near future.

Roku is one of the top items for me this coming Christmas, and it may have just jumped to the #1 spot with this news.

Categories: Facebook, Gadgets, Home Electronics, Video   

youtube logoIf Google gets its way, you may soon be watching recently released DVDs on YouTube … but it would be for a fee.

YouTube, the undisputed king of online video, is supposedly in talks with major Hollywood studios like Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Warner Bros. about streaming recently released DVDs on the Google owned site.

According to The Wall Street Journal (registration required), the talks with the studios are pretty far along, and, if finalized, you could see movies show up on YouTube the same day as they would appear on DVD and Blu-ray.  While YouTube is best known for being the home of free videos, the majority of the movies would be offered on a rental basis, but a small percentage of them could be shown with advertisement support to pay the royalties for the showing.  While Hulu, which is quickly climbing the video site rankings, has been showing full-length movies for some time now, they are not current releases.

Hollywood has seen DVD sale revenues going in to steep decline over the past few years, so the studios are desperate to find new revenue streams to make up for those lost sales.  While I’m not sure YouTube would be my first choice for a way to view a movie, it would certainly be better for most than having to have a monthly subscription to Netflix or going out and just purchasing a copy of the movie.

Currently it is expected that 10,000 Google employees will run the new service through its paces for a period of three months prior to it being released to the public.  The test had originally be scheduled for the beginning of September, but that date has now been pushed back due to the length of time the negotiations with the studios has taken.

Categories: Video   
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