Microsoft has made thousands of movies and TV shows available for Windows users through Netflix streaming services. Now, any PC owner with the Windows Media Center on Vista and Netflix account will be able to view over 12,000 titles.
“Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series” is now available for download on iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, Xbox Live and the Sony PlayStation Network. The series uses real time computer animation from the “Terminator Salvation” videogame as a platform for the original story written by Andy Shapiro.
In an agreement made today with both MTV and South Park Digital Studios, Netflix will now stream content from Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. From MTV, Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” (Season 3) is now available as streaming content. From South Park Digital Studios, the first nine seasons (139 episodes) of “South Park” are also now available to Netflix subscribers.
Apple’s iTunes started offering a limited number of HD movies for rent or purchase yesterday. While iTunes has been offering TV shows in hi-def since Sept. ’08, the addition of movie titles has got to get you excited. High-definition movies are priced at $19.99, and new release rentals at $4.99. Other films from the iTunes library will be $3.99 to rent.
Here is the good news. The $99 Roku player will download Amazon purchased or rented movies the day of DVD releases. No more running to the video rental store only to find your movie is “rented out.” The bad news is, no HD mentioned in the announcement.
VUDU is now selling hi-def content, saying it’s the first to do so among on-demand providers. The HD movies can be downloaded to the VUDU 1080p Internet Movie Player for between $13.99 and $23.99. The list will start with 50 titles available in HD from independent studios FirstLook, Kino, and Magnolia.
Netflix has sent out a survey to its customers inquiring whether or not they would be interested in downloading HBO movies and shows, that according to an article from InformationWeek. The HBO content could be delivered to any Netflix enabled hardware device including the Roku player, TIVO recorder, Xbox 360, and certain Blu-ray disc players from LG and Samsung.
In a partnership announced today LG Electronics will start selling HDTVs that allow streaming content directly from Netflix. The HDTVs, on display this week at CES Las Vegas, are available in four models. They include 42-inch and 47-inch LCDs as well as 50-inch and 60-inch plasma TVs.
While certain Blu-ray players have already enabled streaming content from Netflix, and Xbox Live also offers downloads, this is the first time the internet service has been integrated into a TV set.
Roku released support for streaming high definition content from Netflix earlier this week. With the update, the Netflix Player by Roku can deliver HD over average broadband connections. The software update will be delivered free-of-charge to Roku players over the next few weeks.
Within the last few weeks Netflix streaming HD has become available on the Xbox 360 (through Xbox Live), the LG BD300, and the Samsung BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 Blu-ray Disc players. Today it was announced HD is now available on the TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs.
YouTube is apparently testing higher quality, or possibly HD resolution videos. Higher quality video on YouTube would certainly retain users and keep the company competitive with emerging video sites like hulu.com which has higher quality and even widescreen format video. So where are the HD quality/stereo surround videos on YouTube?
Bad news for HD DVD fans with Netflix — as of Dec. 15 the movie rental company will no longer offer HD DVD rentals. Customers found an email message in their inboxes yesterday, informing them of the phase out which had been planned since all last February when all major studios sided with Blu-ray.
Vudu’s HD VOD library has reached 1,100 titles, surpassing any other cable or satellite’s HD VOD offerings. (Comcast now offers just over 1000.) The company added approximately 150 high-definition titles per week in October and began offering 65 titles in 1080p, the highest resolution currently available.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is one step closer to streaming HD content from Netflix. On November 19, the company will launch the Xbox Experience, which will offer 300 HD titles from the Netflix library. Xbox will be the first partner to offer streaming HD and requires an Xbox Live Gold membership as well as a Netflix subscription.
In today’s news Microsoft and Akamai Technologies are partnering to bring HD video to PCs. According to an article from CNET, the streaming service will run on Windows Server 2008 with Microsoft’s Silverlight media player. Akamai, who develops software for web content and application delivery, will market the streaming service worldwide.
Samsung joins movie rental company Netflix in offering Blu-ray players capable of streaming Neflix movies. Samsung and Netflix announced the partnership today, which will allow Netflix movies to download to the Samsung BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 series Blu-ray Disc Players.
The LG BD300 Blu-ray Disc/Netflix compatible player is now available in stores. Broadcom boasted today the BCM7440 Blu-ray Disc system-on-a-chip solution as LG’s choice for the BD300, the first Netflix ready Blu-ray Disc player on the market. The BD300 delivers 1080p, PIP, multi-channel audio and BD-Live support.
Apple TV announced new HD content in the iTunes library today. ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC shows are now all available in high definition. As expected, HD episodes are a dollar more than standard-def episodes at $2.99 each.
Maybe this is why Apple’s Steve Jobs deflected the MacBook Blu-ray integration question at this week’s keynote address by saying “the licensing of the tech is so complex.” It seems they have their own HD thing going on.
The set-top box that offers a library of movies via internet connection has now added high-definition content in 1080p. VUDU revealed yesterday its new HDX format which is supposed to rival other internet HD quality formats. However, due to its superior quality and resulting larger file size, the format is available for download only.
I wrote a story a while back about how you can view higher resolution Youtube videos by adding “&fmt=18″ (without quotes) to the end of the url string in your browser’s address bar. I never thought that months later, you would still need to make some adjustments to view higher quality videos.