Tag Archives: streaming

Warner Brothers Unleashes It’s Archive To Roku Devices

Warner Brothers just got into the streaming service war with its own channel for Roku. It’s niche appeal is directed towards hardcore buffs looking for rare movie and TV series.

Priced at $9.99/month, we aren’t sure the price is low enough for anyone to replace or add Warner Archive Instant to their service lineup. Warner probably could have just made a deal with Hulu or Netflix, which are both available on more devices so this service would only be a deal for those that have been waiting to track a piece of  television/movie history.

Source via Engadget

Amazon Has Exclusive Streaming Rights to CBS’s Under The Dome

Amazon isn’t going to just sit around and watch Netflix continue to offer exclusives to its customers.

It recently announced an exclusive deal with PBS to stream Downton Abbey and earlier today,  Amazon announced it has made a deal with CBS to become the exclusive in-season online stream provider for it’s upcoming series, Under the Dome. Unlike Hulu, shows will be available to Prime subscribers 4 days after their original air date. If you aren’t a Prime account holder, Amazon will also be the exclusive renter/seller of episodes.

Under the Dome tells the story of a small New England town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome.Under the Dome earned widespread critical acclaim and #1 best-seller status when it was first published by Simon & Schuster’s Scribner in 2009 and was an Amazon.combestseller in both Books and Kindle Books in 2009.

Source: Amazon

Amazon Invites Writers and Creators To Pitch Their Shows

With video services like Hulu and Netflix now offering exclusive shows of their own, it’s no surprise that Amazon is also giving content makers a chance to bring their show to the masses via the web. All the specifics, including financial compensation rates, are outlined on Amazon.

Amazon’s approach appears to be open to anyone, which could make reviewing entries a mixed bag. As far as length goes, Amazon is only looking for 11 or 22 minute pilots that are “smart and character-driven”. Is it possible to develop characters in such a short time? The requirements also note either a comedy series or children series.

As far as hints as to what Amazon is looking for when it comes to comedy, the shows Archer and Curb Your Enthusiasm are cited as examples and says the show must fall “within the normal television standards for content and language”.

Whatever series is selected will surely contrast Netflix’s first original series, Lilyhammer, which doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to vulgar language suited for mature audiences only.

We should continue to expect Amazon to expand its video service offerings, especially since they recently gained more viewers in the living room now that Playstation 3 owners can watch

Source: Amazon

Hands-on Review: Walmart/VUDU Disc-to-Digital

I decided to try out the Walmart/VUDU Disc-to-Digital service. The experience turned out to not only be a first-time for me, but everyone involved.

I went to my local Walmart (Porter Ranch, CA) and brought 2 DVD’s: Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction. I knew Pulp Fiction was not a valid title but decided to bring it anyway just to see how well the folks at Walmart handled curve balls.

I went to the photo center and asked about the service. The associate confessed this was the first time he had been asked about the service and brought out a manual with steps to assist me. I was then given a form and after closely inspecting the instructions, I realized the form was supposed to be used by Walmart associates, not the customer.

After completing the form, I handed the associates (a team of two now) my DVD’s and they used a computer to validate my information (email/phone number). The associate noticed Goodfellas was already in a work queue (probably from my conversion movie list I setup on VUDU.com).

Once confirming Pulp Fiction was not available and quoting me $5 for Goodfellas, the process took a few clicks and the associate rang me up. Before I could escape, the associate said he needed my Goodfellas DVD and went back without notifying me why. When he returned, I opened up the DVD case to see he had stamped the discs (reads “WALMART ENTERTAINMENT”). He even stamped disc 2 although that was just extras. He noted the step was necessary because of licensing. Luckily the marking can easily be removed with a little rubbing alcohol (I’m guessing your mileage may vary depending on the image print type on your disc).

I came home and the title was added to my collection as expected. An overall easy process that will surely be quicker once the folks behind the counter get some experience.

Walmart and VUDU Team Up to Bring Your DVD Collection to the Cloud

Have a bunch of DVD’s you bought before the glorious HD DVD vs Blu-ray war ended? Surely, you stopped buying DVD’s once Blu-ray won, right? Either way, Walmart and VUDU are teaming up to bring your movies to the cloud for a small price: $2 for same video format streams (DVD to 480p or Blu-ray to HD) or $5 for the high definition stream of your DVD movie.

I can’t think of any arguments why you would want to convert your DVD’s to the same quality cloud version since that’s already possible to do on your own with tools like HandBrake. While VUDU has arguably the best streaming format for high definition AND surround sound home theaters, there’s no reason to watch a streaming version of a title if you already own the Blu-ray. Streaming video and audio quality pales in comparison to Blu-ray quality. The $5 fee to gain access to the high definition stream sounds like the most appealing service to me. If you’ve watched a lot of high definition content in the recent years and try to watch even a minute of those DVD’s you own, I’m sure you’ll cringe.

Naturally, since the service is new, not all studios are signed on although many of the major ones are: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Bros, and just recently, DreamWorks Animation.

The service starts today at 3,500 Walmart locations.

So is it possible to borrow a friend’s DVD and get the VUDU HD stream for $5? I hope to test out the process as soon as possible and report back!

Source: VUDU

Netflix’s First Original Series Is Lilyhammer

February is going to a special month for Netflix. We’ll see the end of the dreadful standard definition Starz releases and the birth of  its first original series, Lilyhammer.

The show stars the multi-talented Steven Van Zandt, aka Little Steven/Miami Steve, who is known for his guitar/mandolin work in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and his Sopranos character, Silvio Dante. As you might have guessed, Van Zandt reprises a wiseguy role as Frank Tagliano, a former gangster who moves to Norway and tries to make the best of his new life in a witness protection program.

The show is tagged Dark, Quirky, and Understated, which suggests a considerable gamble for Netflix to appeal to a less mainstream audience. Check out the trailer below. We see Van Zandt’s character, Frank Tagliano, in both three piece suits and Nordic sweaters. There’s also plenty of bleeps, a good sign for any fans who love gritty gangster dialog. And for those that doubt the show’s indie credibility, take a look at the credits and confirm names clearly native to Norway. Frank Tagliano’s role is genuinely fish-out-of-water both on and off camera.

Lilyhammer is poised to give great exposure to Norway, those in supporting roles, and mainly Steven Van Zandt, who is not only acting, but also a writer and executive producer of the show.

The trailer also happens to be the first video in Netflix’s YouTube channel.

Source: Netflix

Netflix To Stream CW Shows, Closet Gossip Girl Rejoice

Are you a working professional that’s also secretly a fan of teen drama shows such as One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, or Vampire Diaries? Good news! Netflix just inked a deal with CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television Group that brings CW shows to Netflix streaming service subscribers for four years.

The deal brings current and future episodes of its hit shows. Here are some dates to mark on your calendar:

October 15,  2011:  Previous seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Nikita are made available
January 2012:  Previous seasons of Supernatural and 90210  are made available
Fall 2012: current season shows made available


Netflix and AMC Strike a Deal, Bringing the Walking Dead and More to Your Streaming

Netflix and AMC Networks Inc have come to a new licensing agreement that gives Netflix exclusive rights in the United States and Canada to the hit show, “The Walking Dead.”  Other nonexclusive rights from AMC also include other programs from its other channels, including Independent Film Channel (IFC) and the Sundance Channel.

Although we already have access to “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” having a nice boost with “The Walking Dead” should help Netflix with some of its woes.  Perhaps other AMC shows like “The Whitest Kids U’ Know” and “Anatomy of a Scene” will also make an appearance to help round out the AMC selections.

In the mean time, though not an AMC Network show, I’ll be rediscovering the newly announced streaming of all six season of “The Wonder Years” on Netflix and reflect on how Danica McKellar really hasn’t change throughout the years.


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Netflix To Revive Reno 911?

Have you been missing your favorite, baby boomer shorts-wearing, law enforcing cop? Rumors are stirring that the producers of Reno 911, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, are in talks with Netflix to revive the series. Plans are hazy and none of the co-creators have agreed to any terms.

One of the biggest hurdles in sealing this deal is Comedy Central owns copyright. It is possible the deal could provide new episodes available exclusively to Netflix at first rather than the usual 24 hour/season delay. Additionally, it remains unclear if all talents have the desire to reprise their roles. Luckily, if they do, the show’s low budget production costs are the least prohibitive barrier to the revival.