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Updated: 41 min 11 sec ago

Comcast launches internet-delivered cable TV at MIT and several other schools

3 hours 53 sec ago

For several years now, Comcast has been testing cable TV that streams over the internet at several college campuses but this fall it's officially launching. Available at Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Emerson College, Lasell College and the University of Delaware included as a part of room and board, and on a trial basis at a few others including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Hampshire, Xfinity on Campus brings live cable TV to PCs, tablets and phones -- as long as they're on campus. The package includes 80 or so channels and includes access to stuff like video on-demand and WatchESPN and HBO Go (if you have HBO), which will work even when they're off of the college's network.

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Source: Comcast (Businesswire), Xfinity on Campus

The Big Picture: That's no moon, that's a movie theater

3 hours 27 min ago

What do you do after you've retired from running the Official Star Wars fan club and magazine? You recreate the iconic space opera in your own home, of course -- at least that's what Vic Wertz and Lisa Stevens did. Not only is the above home theater a stunning tribute to George Lucas' films, but it was also designed by Doug Chiang: the lead designer of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In addition to drawing inspiration from Darth Vader's Imperial Star Destroyer, the theater features raised floors and halls that resemble the Death Star, sliding doors, a poster-laden lobby and a door shaped like a carbonite-frozen Han Solo. Most impressive. The project is a few years old, but the designer just posted a fresh gallery on Imgur. Check it out at the source link below.

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Source: Imgur, ElectronicHouse, Dillon Works

N3twork wants to be the Pandora of internet video

5 hours 59 min ago

The music industry is extremely well-blanketed on the web, what with services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Rhapsody, iTunes Music and many, many more. But one can easily argue that the same can't be said about online videos -- namely, those available at no cost on YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and other similar sites. Here's where N3twork believes it can help. The startup, which describes itself as a "personal network for internet video," has taken a cue from Pandora on how it delivers content to you. The new app, available only on iOS at launch, uses your personal interests to tailor a feed of videos, allowing users to employ swipe gestures to skip (left) or watch later (right) -- think of the latter option as a DVR of sorts.%Gallery-slideshow216476%

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Source: N3twork

Sky's new program guide will recommend you new shows to try

11 hours 59 min ago

If Sky has a problem, it's that there's simply too much material for anyone to quickly and easily find what they want in a short space of time. In a world where people are very comfortable just choosing the first thing that Netflix recommends for them, it could become a very serious issue. That's why the company's latest software update for its Sky+ boxes is designed to ensure you've always got something new to watch. The first new feature is smart series link, so if you've previously told your box to record every episode of a TV series, that instruction will carry over to subsequent seasons. That way, you'll never miss the premiere episode of a returning show, even if you don't have access to your setup for some reason.

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This year's 'Call of Duty' is coming to everything but the Wii U

August 20, 2014 - 10:36pm

If you were looking forward to playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the Wii U this fall, well, we have some bad news. It turns out that publisher Activision has made the decision that Nintendo's latest console won't see the futuristic shooter at all. On Twitter, a fan recently asked co-founder of Sledgehammer Games, CoD:AW's developer, if the title was coming to the Wii U and Condry replied that that wasn't happening, and that his team is focused on launching for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. "That was an Activision decision," he wrote. This is despite the fact that CoD has appeared on the Wii U for the past two years and that a version of Advanced Warfare is coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which are similar in horsepower to Nintendo's HD console.

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Via: Gamespot

Source: Michael Condry (Twitter)

What if your Netflix queue was just a big, virtual room?

August 20, 2014 - 3:07pm

Sure, we know Oculus VR chief technology officer John Carmack's likes watching movies on the Rift headset from bed when he's sick, but what if you'd rather catch up on Orange is the New Black instead? A recent hackathon at Netflix produced something that could make that possible. The custom UI, dubbed "Oculix," shows off what it'd be like to navigate the interface in a virtual space replete with gesture control. It looks pretty neat if you ask us. What, with its floating tiles and text descriptions and all that. Sadly, unlike the home-brew Oculus apps we're used to, whether or not the greater community will get to give this a shot is up in the air. As is typical with Netflix's Hack Day projects, the outfit is making no promises of Oculix ever seeing the light of day.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Netflix

MLB hopes to ease blackouts on streaming local games

August 20, 2014 - 1:03pm

With MLB.tv, Major League Baseball's subscription-based streaming option, your local team's home games are blacked out due to TV and/or cable deals. That could change as early as next season though, as Bob Bowman, the league's head of Advanced Media, expects a revised online viewing agreement soon with broadcasters and teams. Networks pay millions for the rights to beam the action into living rooms, so we'd surmise there's quite a sum of money to discuss. When the restrictions are lifted, you'll likely need a cable plan to access those games -- just like FOX required for the All-Star Game this summer and ESPN does for its streaming option.

[Photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]

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Source: Associated Press

NFL wants artists to pay to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show

August 20, 2014 - 11:41am

Being selected to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show is a huge deal -- there's no doubt about that. But this year, the NFL is asking potential acts for the 2015 installment to fork over a share of their post-game tour profits. According to The Wall Street Journal, the league is asking its top three candidates to pay to get the gig. The short list of acts has already been whittled down to Rhianna, Katy Perry and Coldplay, with the NFL seeking to agree on a direct contribution or another form of financial kickback while it makes its final decision. As you might expect, WSJ's sources say the request was met with a "chilly reception" across the board.

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Via: Rolling Stone

Source: Wall Street Journal

NFL Now available to Apple TV-owning football fanatics

August 20, 2014 - 11:17am

We knew that the National Football League's brand new online network would eventually come to the Apple TV. And now it's here. After not being a part of the NFL Now device lineup on launch day, Apple's streaming box is finally adding the video service to its growing channel portfolio. There are no Apple TV-specific features in tow, and therefore you should expect the same type of content as on apps from other platforms -- such as real-time highlights, live press conferences analysis and, with NFL Now Plus, access to the league's NFL Films vault. Don't worry if you're not seeing it on your Apple TV yet, as it's just started rolling out and it may take a little while before you see the app show up. It''ll be there soon, though, scout's honor.

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Source: NFL

LG's Music Flow offers multi-room speakers controlled by a messaging app

August 20, 2014 - 3:51am

LG has just announced a new range of wireless speakers, sound bar and network bridge called Music Flow, and by the looks of it, the company wants a piece of whatever action Sonos is getting. The system even comes with the Music Flow Player app that's a lot like Sonos' controller app, which can access your entire music library, even songs saved on other devices connected to your home WiFi network. Also, the app serves as the command center for all the pieces in your Music Flow network, streams internet radio stations and turns into an ordinary phone player when you step out of the house. Obviously, you can use the app to select among the system's modes, including a multi-room one that plays a single song on all the Music Flow speakers in your house, say, when there's a party.

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Source: LG

Ubisoft won't attempt an unlimited gaming service until EA proves it can work

August 20, 2014 - 1:42am

It turns out Electronic Arts' Access program has at least one high-profile spectator: Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. The Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs company's head says that Ubisoft is keeping a keen eye on what that type of service can offer players, telling Game Informer that he's open to "any way" of giving fans access to Ubisoft's games. However, "it has to work well and be a smooth experience," he says. An Access-like system seems like the natural progression that the French company's been building toward for awhile, albeit slowly, putting various pieces in place and testing them out over time. Given Ubisoft's checkered history with DRM issues and that Uplay Passport system, though, it's probably better if Guillemot lets someone else deal with the growing pains with this time 'round.

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Via: NeoGAF

Source: Game Informer

Time Warner Cable is charging Netflix for a direct connection too

August 19, 2014 - 3:55pm

Comcast, then Verizon, AT&T and now Time Warner Cable. That's the list of ISPs that have less-than-politely declined Netflix's free OpenConnect setup, and instead decided they'll take a payment from the streaming service in exchange for connecting its network directly to theirs. Time Warner cable confirmed the deal to Gigaom, saying it was reached in June and implemented this month. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just published an essay today in Wired as a part of its 'Save the Net" series railing against just this sort of pay-to-play system, which he's previously said undermines the possibility of strong net neutrality. The FCC has said it's looking into the deals and Hastings has mentioned that if the Comcast/TWC merger goes through, he hopes it comes with a condition blocking the combo from charging for interconnections.

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Source: Gigaom

Which 4K TVs are worth buying?

August 19, 2014 - 10:21am

Both Netflix and Amazon stream in 4K. Cameras like the Sony a7S and the Panasonic Lumix GH4 can shoot in 4K. Even smartphones have been getting in on the act, with handsets like the LG G Pro 2 and Sony Xperia Z2 capable of recording 4K video. So with the amount of 4K content available increasing every day, you may have been thinking about buying a 4K set so you too can bask in the glow of 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. But 4K sets don't come cheap, and you're going to want to do a bit of research before dropping that much cash. While we don't really review televisions here at Engadget, we've done the next best thing, compiling the opinions of trusted critics from across the web. Which set offers you the most bang for your buck? Do bells and whistles like a curved screen make a difference? Check out a few members of the 4K Class of 2014 below.

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Broadband is more important to Americans than cable

August 19, 2014 - 8:36am

In the same way that WhatsApp has caused the number of text messages to fall, it looks as if cable is now less important than broadband in American homes. For the first time, the number of households that pay for a high speed internet connection has exceeded those who get their daily fix of news from CNN. The stats come from TV-industry analysts Leichtman Research, which is claiming that there are 49,915,000 broadband users in the country, squeaking ahead of the 49,910,000 who subscribe to cable TV. Naturally, we're sure that almost all of those people are paying for both services right now, but it might not be long before cord-cutting starts to make a dent in those figures. After all, services like HBO Go, NFL Now and Simpsons World may currently require online users to have a cable subscription, but we bet it won't always be that way.

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Via: Wired

Source: Leichtman Research

Roku-powered TVs now let you skip the set-top box

August 19, 2014 - 5:29am
With scads of set-top boxes and sticks on the market, you could just choose a basic TV and play the field. But if you like Roku enough to shack-up, HDTVs from TCL and Hisense powered by the Roku OS are finally available. You can access the usual array of Roku content, including 1,500 channels like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon. The company's iOS and Android apps also work on the TVs to stream and control your content, just as they do with Roku streaming devices. Rather than Roku's standard remotes, however, you'll get custom TCL and Hisense models with prominent buttons for Netflix, Amazon, Rdio and Vudu (no headphone jacks though). TCL has four models from 32- to 55-inches, with the top-end 1080p model running $649, while the Hisense lineup has 40- to 55-inch 1080p models and pricing to be set by retailers. You'll be able to grab them starting next month. %Gallery-slideshow215552%

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Source: Roku

Firefox for Android could soon support Chromecast

August 19, 2014 - 1:25am

Looks like you won't have to wait for Mozilla's streaming dongle to stream from Firefox: the browser's nightly Android test build now supports Chromecast natively. Mozilla's Lucas Rocha casually mentioned the new feature on his Google+ page and, sure enough, if you download the latest build it's there - hidden under the tools section as "mirror tab." The feature works, but it's early: in our tests the mirrored tab was more than five seconds behind the handset, and was prone to crashing. Want to try it for yourself? You can download the Android APK at the source link below.

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Via: Android Police

Source: Mozilla, Google+

You can now browse Reddit from your Xbox One

August 19, 2014 - 12:05am

The internet's front page is coming to an Xbox One near you. ReddX is what Microsoft is calling the first ever Reddit app for TVs and it'll allow you to browse through r/gaming or the rest of the site while you're, you know, playing games, and it's rolling out today. A post on Xbox Wire notes that there are media-specific achievements to unlock that are named after gaming memes (Scumbag EA, perhaps?) and there's even a customized main page. More than that, you'll be able to upvote, comment and perform any of the site's functions while holding an Xbox One controller or SmartGlass device. You can also control GIFs, view image galleries and even watch embedded YouTube videos without leaving the app, and, because it's on the Xbox One it can of course be snapped in alongside something else and is controllable with voice. To show off just how it all works, Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb wrote a post to Reddit directly from the application.

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Via: Twitter

Source: Xbox Wire (1), (2), Major Nelson

Activision wants its own movie studio to turn games into big-screen blockbusters

August 18, 2014 - 10:07pm

Activision games like the Call of Duty series are practically movies between their big-name actors and Michael Bay-like action scenes, so this begs a question: why doesn't the company actually make movies? Apparently, it may do just that. The Information hears from sources that the developer is tentatively planning to launch a studio that would produce movies and TV shows based on its brands. The new outfit would theoretically be a Marvel-style hit factory that produces exactly the titles it wants to see on the big screen, rather than licensing out to third parties that historically botch the job. That certainly makes sense -- for every successful adaptation like Resident Evil, there's a dozen Wing Commanders that tarnish an otherwise fine legacy.

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Source: The Information

'Madden 15' will bring EA's CoachGlass app to the PlayStation 4

August 18, 2014 - 9:39pm

Remember that Xbox exclusive "CoachGlass" app that pushed to push Madden NFL 25 tips and play advice to the second screen? It just got a little less exclusive. In a new post detailing the app's Madden 15 implementation, EA revealed that the feature will be available on both Xbox One and Playstation 4 platforms. While there's no word as to why the feature is no longer an Xbox exclusive, its former status won't be forgotten: the app is keeping the Microsoft-inspired name. There are a few cosmetic changes too -- the app has been redesigned to make play data easier to read, and it focuses more on statistics than suggesting strategies.

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Via: Operation Sports

Source: EA

'District 9' star cast in lead role for PlayStation's 'Powers' series

August 18, 2014 - 8:31pm

Every story needs a hero, and comic-book based yarns aren't any different. Good thing Sharlto Copely has some experience in that department because the upcoming Powers adaptation for PlayStation would be awfully different without Detective Christian Walker. The District 9 alum has been cast in the lead role alongside Michelle Forbes (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica) as Retro Girl. Series co-creator Brian Michael Bendis writes on the PlayStation Blog that while the actors don't resemble their 2D counterparts in appearance, neither he nor co-creator Michael Avon Oeming ever intended a faithful version of the book to hit the screen. He says that the pair were looking more for actors that captured the spirit of the characters instead and he wants the show and the book to exist, more or less, in parallel universes and play to the strengths of each respective medium. How much will those universes cleave? Well, we should know come December.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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Source: PlayStation Blog