Archive | February 22, 2011

CBS and Netflix announce a 2 year agreement, Twin Peaks and Star Trek included

In the light of the recent Amazon Prime announcement, Netflix is also trying to steal the day with their own news. Nothing amazing, but Netflix just signed a 2 year agreement with the good old CBS to make some of their (older) shows available for instant streaming starting in April. Among the titles you’ll be able to find some episodes of “Medium” and “Flashpoint” as well as full seasons of “Twin peaks”, “Frasier”, “Cheers”, “Star Trek”, “Twilight Zone”, etc.

With the current agreement, Netflix becomes the only premium (read – without ads) subscription service to feature shows from the big four (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX).

via Netflix Blog

Microsoft Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 SP1 to go live today

Just a quick update to remind everyone that Microsoft will launch Service Pack 1 today for the general public.

Available for the last couple of weeks for systems builders and MSDN/Technet users, SP1 brings a large set of bug fixes / performance improvements  for Windows 7 and several new technologies for Server 2008R2 including RemoteFX (Remote Admin on steroids allowing real time video playing, Aero, Silverlight animations, etc)

Verizon to sell Motorola XOOM as well for $599 with two year contract

Named yet again a true iPad killer since everybody wants to kill as many iOS devices as they can, Motorola XOOM will start selling (with a subscription of course) at Verizon Wireless stores.

The price? $599 with a two year contract and the monthly prices start at $20 / month for 1GB of data. At the beginning the data service will be 3G only but Verizon (and XOOM) will upgrade to 4G LTE speeds in the second quarter of this year. My opinion? While the hardware is excellent (10.1 inches LCD, dual HD camera – the rear one with 720p HD capture and dual core 1GHz CPU ) and the tablet should fly, the price of both the tablet itself and the data plans are high enough to scare most of prospective buyers.

And while obviously plans with higher data allowance are also available, watching a movie on the go will eat most of them in one day.

Check Verizon’s full press release after the break.

Read More…

Amazon Prime members get unlimited video streaming

This is a big news and we knew it was coming since it kinda leaked several weeks ago. Now is official though, Amazon Prime members ($79/year) will get unlimited movies streaming in Amazon’s version of Netflix. The free service will only apply to the paying Prime customers so if you signed to prime via Amazon’s recent free prime for students promotion you are out of luck for now.

The initial catalog will contain around 5,000 movies and TV shows although obviously not everything currently available on Amazon Video on Demand will also be Prime eligible. However, since it comes free, there is absolutely no reason to complain. We’ll play with the service for a bit and get back to you with a full review. Don’t forget, Roku, the best pure media streamer currently (if you don’t care about local content) supports Amazon Video on Demand, together with 200 other TV sets and media streamers / players boxes. Today, Roku also officially announced that their Amazon VOD channel will automatically updated to reflect the change in service.

Update: I took a quick look through their movies / TV shows selection and I am not really impressed, especially with their TV shows portfolio. Beside Dr. Who which I love, there are no new TV series available that I care about and Netflix / Hulu Plus selection beats the Prime Amazon VOD easily in terms of content. Then again, if you are already an Amazon prime subscriber, there is no reason to complain. Check the full Roku Amazon VOD with Prime channel screenshot gallery after the break.

Read More…