DirecTV Introduces BYO Internet Content Streaming Later this Year

directv logoThe future of multimedia is becoming more fluid. Consumers seek to stream content to any screen, at any time, anywhere they want.
With AT&T and DirecTV joining forces, it would make sense that the content offered through a satellite TV company would eventually find its way to home internet and mobile streaming devices.
Three new options will be delivered to subscribers later this year, and all three options are internet service agnostic. Regardless of carrier or ISP, media will be accessible to TVs, computers, phones, and tablets. The most basic option will be ad supported with limited content options, but higher tier plans (dubbed affordable by DirecTV reps) will allow for more access and content mobility. h
“We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market. We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay-TV service,” said John Stankey, CEO – AT&T Entertainment Group.
Pricing and availability will be announced later this year. Full details on specific plan options in the press release below.

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Youtube Rolling Out 60 FPS Playback on Android & iOS Apps

Smoother streaming video is coming to phones and tablets near you!

We’ve had 60 frame per second video on the desktop version of Youtube for some time now, and this improvement is finally making its way to mobile devices through the Youtube app. High frame rate video looks almost unnaturally smooth and fluid, and we’ve been producing most of our reviews on this channel in 60FPS for the last year. It’s a great way to show off gadgets.

We can expect that this move is also coming in advance of Youtube Gaming, where having a 60fps stream is very beneficial for showing off in game footage.

Now while watching on a mobile device, hit your menu, go to your quality settings, and you should see options for 720p60 and 1080p60. Hit one of those and feed your eyeballs some prettier video. If you’re not sure which video to check out first, might we recommend our new review of the Galaxy S6 Active?

Youtube Teases Ten New Tools for Creators Coming Soon

youtube creator featuresYoutube is detailing some new features and optimizations coming to their video streaming service, focused on improving the experience for creators. Google has been aggressively experimenting with the platform adding 360 degree video, improving comment ranking, and recently announcing a game streaming app to compete with Twitch.

Even for folks who only watch Youtube videos, detailing these changes and improvements now will give people a glimpse on how they’ll be able to keep up with their favorite producers.

Twitch Encouraging Users to Change Passwords After “Unauthorized Activity” Detected

twitch logoNot a lot of info on this one just yet, as the story is just breaking, but if you use the game streaming service Twitch, you might want to switch out your password.

A very brief announcement on the Twitch Blog, describes some “unauthorized activity” was discovered, and as a safety precaution, they’ve disabled accounts and sync to Twitter  and Youtube. You can read the full press release below.

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Youtube Now Supports 360 Degree Video in Android and Chrome!

youtube panorama video 360 degree demoWe’re on the edge of a whole new generation of consumer produced immersive and interactive content. After playing with cameras like the Kodak PixPro SP360, which can shoot panorama video, we’ll soon be sharing immersive experiences that put people in the middle of a memory.

Activated on Youtube, when watching special panoramic videos through the chrome browser you’ll be able to “look around” a scene with side mounted controls. When viewed through the Android app, your phone’s accelerometer will allow you to tilt your phone screen around to see whats happening all around you.

This is a really exciting move, as it positions Youtube as an early resource for user generated 360 degree and virtual reality content. You can see an example video from MY OFFICE below.

SomeGadgetGuy’s Favorite Finds from CES 2015

CES this year saw a tremendous number of “evolution” announcements. There weren’t any mind-blowing reveals, but we saw an entire industry looking to iterate and improve on products far faster than previous entries into new territory. Where wearable tech and home automation were buzzwords last year, we saw real practical application this year.

Every show, my goal is to find something I think is cool. It might not be the most practical, or revolutionary, but I want to see a company try something different, something novel. Here are a few of my favorite finds from this year’s show floor!

Click on ANY of the pics below to watch our video coverage from the show floor!

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Amazon To Buy Twitch for $970 Million

twitch logoWe’ve been watching this sale unfold over the last several weeks, as Google/Youtube initially pushed forward with an offer, and now Amazon has swooped in to seal the deal. Twitch will be under the Amazon umbrella of services by end of year.

Twitch is a relatively young, but insanely popular video game broadcasting service, where people can share game play and host video game content. As it was starting to struggle under the weight of its own popularity, it made sense that it would eventually get swallowed up by a larger entity. Youtube seemed likely, as it already pushes a mind boggling amount of video every day, but Amazon’s cloud services and servers should also be a huge shot in the arm for Twitch’s stability as a platform.

What should be interesting to watch is the continued battle over Copyright. Recently Youtube started muting videos of game play over music rights issues. Twitch also recently implemented a music ID scan which can mute portions of a broadcast if it detects Copyrighted audio, and whether Twitch sold to Google or Amazon, the deal probably depended in part on their plans to enforce Copyright. As Amazon is an incredibly popular media distribution service, yet they didn’t have a Youtube-like service constantly in lawyer’s sights, moving forward many gamers will be watching to see if Amazon’s approach is stricter than Google’s might have been.

You can read Amazon’s full PR below.

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Major League Baseball Latest to Join Net Neutrality Efforts Against FCC Fast Lane Proposal

mlb_tv app screenshotIf any group should be nervous about the implications of an internet “Fast Lane”, major league sports should be at the top of that list.

As more and more consumers are diversifying their media consumption, one of the few areas you can count on to get viewers watching in real-time, with ads, are sports games. ESPN Scored a hit this summer streaming the World Cup over their mobile app, and Major League Baseball has been improving their service.

Of course streaming live HD video takes some bandwidth, and that means MLB would also need to negotiate a separate deal with ISP’s to “guarantee” a fast enough service for their subscribers. It’s entirely likely those additional costs would eventually be passed down to consumers.

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