Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

Western Digital Adds Something New to Hard Drives: Helium

November 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

When you think about it, aside from the fact that, over time, they increase in capacity while getting cheaper, there’s not that much new about hard drives. They store our digital stuff, occasionally give out, and that’s pretty much that. But today, Western Digital is going to announce something a little different and interesting in the world of enterprise hard drives, and you should probably pay attention to it. Starting today, it will begin shipping hard drives packed with helium — as in the inert gas that makes balloons float, makes people’s voices sound funny, and which happens to be the second-most-abundant element in the known universe , after hydrogen. It turns out that the insides of hard drives are pretty violent places. There’s a lot of high-speed motion, what with the disk platters spinning at several thousand rotations per minute, and the head moving back and forth across its surface. If you’ve ever held your arm out the window of a fast-moving car, you get some sense of the problem. All that drag from the air limits the number of disk platters that can be stacked inside a single drive. Right now, the standard calls for five platters inside a one-inch-high drive enclosure. Building a sealed drive that’s packed with helium eliminates that drag, and thus allowed for platters to be packed inside the enclosure more tightly

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Patent Wars Redux and Netflix Thinks "Big"

November 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: Duck and cover! The so-called “Rockstar Consortium”, led by Apple, that controls Nortel’s former patents filed eight patent lawsuits this week against Google and pretty much every Android device maker. House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have paid off for Netflix, but chief content officer Ted Sarandos isn’t done yet, saying Netflix could become a first-run movie distributor, too. “Meaning, why not premiere movies on Netflix, the same day they’re opening in theaters ?” For more than a decade, Google has been trying to stay ahead of the future of online shopping. Now it has a new commerce boss , longtime engineer Sridhar Ramaswamy, who sat down with Jason Del Rey to explain Mountain View’s latest visions. In its first quarter with two new iPhones on shelves at the same time, Apple soundly beat analyst expectations . CEO Tim Cook explained in the fourth-quarter earnings call that the cheaper iPhone 5c was never intended for the low end , and cautioned that the Retina iPad mini might be in short supply . Speaking of iPads … the iPad Air is thinner and lighter, but is it worth your $500? In All Things Reviewed, Walt Mossberg “ found it a pleasure to use ,” and got some surprising results when he subjected the new tablet to his usual battery tests. After two years of promising to break into the Web TV business with a set-top box, Intel appears to be backing off . Sources say the company is in advanced talks with Verizon to hand off its Intel Media division. At long last, Google unveiled its new flagship phone, the Nexus 5. Its goal: To deliver “the right information, when you want it, at your fingertips,” by integrating Google’s services more tightly than ever. Several sources tell AllThingsD that Yahoo’s employee-review system, implemented a year ago under then-new CEO Marissa Mayer, is coming to the fore, and may lead to the firings of more than 500 underperforming employees. How companies define their all-important “active users” stat can be a bit fuzzy. Case in point: Google, which this week confirmed that Google+’s self-reported monthly active numbers get a boost from notifications on the search giant’s other properties. As it tries to optimize how its components move from Asia to Europe, HP is making a big bet on one of the latter continent’s more troubled countries, Greece. Here’s why. To stay on top of the latest, please follow AllThingsD on Twitter and Facebook , and subscribe to our daily email newsletter .

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Amazon Mines Its Data Trove to Bet on TV’s Next Hit

November 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In May, a dozen Inc. executives, including Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, gathered in a Seattle conference room to select the first original TV shows the company would produce for its streaming video service. A group of 14 “pilot” episodes had been posted on the company’s website a month earlier, where they were viewed by more than one million people. After monitoring viewing patterns and comments on the site, Amazon produced about 20 pages of data detailing, among other things, how much a pilot was viewed, how many users gave it a 5-star rating and how many shared it with friends. Those findings helped the executives pick the first five pilots—winnowed down from an original pool of thousands of show ideas—that would be turned into series. The first will debut this month: “Alpha House,” a political comedy about four politicians who live together, written by Doonesbury comic strip creator Garry Trudeau. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Netflix Needs Cable, But the Feeling Isn’t Always Mutual

October 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix is banking on getting on cable set-top boxes to hit aggressive growth targets in the next few years — but not every U.S. operator is eager to play ball with a company they view as a rival. On Thursday, Danish broadband operator Waoo announced a deal to add Netflix access to customers’ set-tops. The... Read more

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Theater Owners ‘Might Kill Movies,’ Warns Netflix’s Sarandos

October 26, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos launched a blistering attack on theater owners for stifling innovation, warning in a speech Saturday that they “might kill movies.” What’s more, the exec called on studios to open big studio movies day and date with their release in theaters, in his keynote at the Film Independent Forum in Los... Read more

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Hulu Names Mike Hopkins CEO, Forssell Out

October 17, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As reported , Hulu has struck a deal to make former Fox Networks Group president of distribution Mike Hopkins its new CEO, effective immediately. Less expectedly, interim CEO Andy Forssell will leave the business he's run for the past six months after serving as the company's head of content. Forssell has overseen quite a few changes at Hulu recently, including the introduction of a broad slate of originals and co-productions unveiled at its upfront earlier this year. Hulu is the most traditional and TV-like of the new wave of digital networks that includes Netflix, over-the-top service (and perpetual litigant) Aereo, and, increasingly, portals like AOL, Yahoo and YouTube. This year's NewFront ad buyer presentation was easily the slickest of a disparate (and disorganized) lot, but speculation about instability among stakeholders has made many in the market wary. If nothing else, the choice of Hopkins to lead the company suggests that Disney and 21st Century might not, in fact, starve trying to order a pizza together (NBCU is barred from making management decisions as a condition of its merger with Comcast)—the appointment from within of a new CEO bodes well for the decision-making abilities of the joint venture's partners. “After an extensive search, Mike was simply the best candidate for the job," said Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Disney media networks and president, Disney/ABC television group. "He has a strong understanding of programming, digital distribution and consumer behavior, and a great vision for Hulu’s next chapter." What that vision will consist of remains to be seen—the company's The Awesomes premiered recently with a sponsorship (Jack Link's) behind it, and it's set to roll out more originals in the coming months. But the departure of Forssell isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the original content strategy. “On behalf of the Hulu board I want to thank Andy Forssell for his leadership during this past year, and for the vital role he played in building Hulu into the amazing product it is today," said Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice. "We wish him the best on his next venture." Whatever Hopkins has planned, he'll certainly have the cash to do it: "With the foundation you have built, the significant capital infusion of three quarters of a billion dollars, and our partners aligned and fully supportive of what we need to get it done, the sky is the limit for Hulu," he said in a note to staff made public by the streaming service today.

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VH1 Creates New Mobile/Tablet App

October 17, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just as Comedy Central broke down its digital and linear silos

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The Convergence Tipping Point

October 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Dusit The media and technology world has reached a tipping point, one captured in some prosaic but infinitely powerful numbers. In the U.S., on a normal weeknight, video streaming on Netflix accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic entering North American homes . The average U.S. household now has 5.7 Internet-connected devices , and according to ratings agency Nielsen, 41 million Americans watch video on a mobile phone for an average of five hours and 23 minutes per month . New market entrants, from Netflix to Apple, distribute both original and third-party content to a global audience on virtually any connected device via the Internet, and are rewriting the rules of global television distribution and consumption. As a symbol of the speed and scale of over-the-top distribution, Netflix itself just won its first Emmy — the first ever Emmy for Internet-distributed content — for best director of its ground–breaking drama “House of Cards.” To put this in context, HBO began creating original content in the early 1990s and only won its first Emmy in 2001

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Is Netflix Looking for Cable Distribution Deals?

October 14, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

According to the Wall Street Journal , Netflix is on a hunt for cable distribution deals in the U.S. to mirror the similar offerings the over-the-top service has in Europe. As set-top boxes grow more sophisticated, cable operators now have the option of adding apps like the Netflix program to viewers' on-demand choices. The addition of Netflix to cable packages would allow the cable companies to offer the same breadth of library content on demand that Netflix offers, and it would create a second revenue stream for Netflix. In terms of the benefit to cable operators, it's not clear that old epsidoes of Deep Space Nine are what's causing the cable subscriber universe to shrink, though it certainly couldn't hurt those companies to come up with a value proposition commensurate to the dramatic rise in prices over the last few years. Netflix is said to be seeking distribution among regional cable operators first, though it's reportedly had discussions with Time Warner and Comcast as well. For Netflix, though, the benefits are obvious and potentially immense: the company missed on its Q2 subscriber count and its multibillion-dollar future content fees put it deep in the red. Cable networks are big on advertising, of course, but the last few years have seen subscriber fees grow ever larger—even on second- and third-tier networks—buoyed by bundling deals that allow content publishers to push unpopular channels as prerequisites for buying popular ones. A rising tide lifts all ships, and even independent cable networks have eked out a modest existence during this boom time; it would make sense for Netflix to want that kind of distribution and the steadiness of the revenue stream that cable subs provide. "Content deals are lumpy, and it’s hard to predict that and also plan to that gradual expansion," admitted Netflix CFO David Wells, during the company's Q2 earnings call.

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Comcast to Offer Netflix on Set-Tops? Three Reasons It Makes Sense

October 14, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix has been a quasi-competitor to Comcast, whose cable bundle looks pretty steep compared with Netflix’s low $7.99 monthly price for a wealth of on-demand entertainment options. Now Netflix is in early-stage talks with Comcast and other cable operators including Suddenlink Communications to offer the Internet streaming service on their set-tops, according to a Wall Street... Read more

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