Google Chromecast now available for international shipping… thanks to Amazon

Google Chromecast

Although Amazon competes with Google in the streaming media space, the technology giant is also still shipping a lot products. Like Chromecast. The nicely priced HDMI dongle allowing to stream video directly to your TV whilst using your mobile device as the remote was an instant hit and got sold out almost immediately. And it was only officially available in the United States. Until now. According to Android Central Amazon is allowing international shipping. At least orders for Australia and the UK were accepted. Let us know if orders from other countries were possible as well.

New Apple TV software will make it more like Chromecast

Apple TV

According to AllthingsD Apple will release a new version of their TV product, but it will only a new version of the software. That is why it will be released next week (September 18), together with the release of iOS7. The biggest change is to make the Apple TV act more like Chromecast in the sense that it is no longer needed to download the content to your mobile device and stream it to the Apple TV but the content will stream directly from the cloud to a Apple TV using Apple’s AirPlay.

 

Watch live events from Livestream now on your big screen with Roku

Livestream

Sometimes an event is too expensive, too far away or one just does not have enough time to go there. In that case it is nice to watch the live stream of an event. Some events stream their event themselves, some companies already work with the Livestream to broadcast their event. Until now, it was possible to watch the live stream via internet but now there it is also possible to watch it on the big screen. That might create a better experience and also solves the problem of working on the same computer as the live stream.

In order to watch the events, the only thing needed is an app on the Roku media player.

Both companies could benefit from this and there will probably more platforms that will try to integrate live streams as the difference between various sorts of streaming content are rapidly disappearing and a lot of live events (presentations, red carpet events, talks) are just as interesting as “normal” TV.

“Sony close to a streaming deal with Viacom”

Sony Internet TV

Sony has been experimenting with streaming & on demand video / TV with their Google TV set-top box, the Sony NSZ-GS7 (discontinued) and its successor the Sony NSZ-G8 as well as a on demand library that is available through their PlayStation gaming console. However, that did not stop them thinking about future developments. Today, the Wall Street Journal brings the news that Sony is close to a deal with Viacom allowing them to stream all the Viacom content like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, VH1, Nickelodeon and Spike trough their own Bravia and PlayStation platforms and maybe even their Xperia Smartphones and eReaders.

Since Sony is rumoured to be negotiating deals with Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc. and CBS Corp as well, this could the want to create a serious competitor of Amazon, Google and Apple on the one hand and Netflix and the like on the other.

Netflix introduces individual user profiles for more personalization

Netflix

With the introduction of user profiles, Netflix customers do no longer suffer odd recommendations based on the shows watched by their kids or spouses. Every subscriber can create up to five profiles and whilst registering the user is asked to add one or more categories. After completing the process, users will – hopefully – get better recommendations on what to watch so that they actually will watch more. Because that is obviously the intention of Netflix.

Netflix has already started to roll-out the new functionality slowly as of today and is expecting all customers having access to it in the next few weeks.

Amazon will try-out five new shows, focussing on kids this time

Amazon Instant Video

The last few years made it clear that content is also king for video. All the major players in the streaming / rental OTT space are working on either developing their own content and / or trying to get exclusives like Netflix did with Arrested Development.

However, series have grown much more expensive to produce. Amazon thinks to have found a method in reducing the risk of failure by testing new series. They produce a pilot of several different concepts and let the viewers decide what series will get a full season.

Amazon also understands the power of kids. So they developed five pilots focussed on youngsters: Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, Grid Smasher, Hard-Boiled Eggheads, The Jo B. & G. Raff Show and Wishenpoof!

All pilots will be available for the young critics on both Amazon Instant Video and the UK brand of Amazon LOVEfilm

YouTube competitor Dailymotion brings VEVO to Europe

Dailymotion

French online video platform Dailymotion is extending their current partnership. Users in France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK now also have access to the extensive music video library of VEVO.

Great news of course for the music lovers in these countries, but a little peculiar since Google, the owner of YouTube, is rumoured to have a stake in VEVO of around 7 percent. Also, Yahoo, still seen as a Google competitor, was close to taken over Dailymotion and might try to make a move again.

Boxee TV is now Boxee Cloud DVR

Boxee Cloud DVR

Boxee has rebranded its Boxee TV and is adding some free services. Boxee Cloud DVR as it is called now, want to distinguish from products like Apple TV and Roku and emphasize their unlimited storage of TV recordings in the cloud.

Next to that, Boxee adds a monthly five-hour free playback tier. The subscription costs for unlimited playback are USD 10 per month. For that, one can access their TV recordings on a computer and / or a mobile device as well.

According to GigaOm, Boxee plans to expand their service to 26 markets by the end of this year.

Rdio expands into streaming video with Vdio

Vdio

After the news that Spotify is thinking about offering streaming video, one of their main challengers, Rdio, announced to do the same and they are calling their service Vdio.

Although Vdio is similar in name to Rdio, the business model will differ. Instead of paying a monthly subscription fee that allows you to listen to access all content without limitations, with video the traditional pay per video model is applied. So instead of bringing a new and disruptive model to the market of online video streaming, this is more of the same. Prices and library seem to be in line with competitors like iTunes, Vudu or Flixster.

Vdio claims to differ from other services in the way you can discover content. And they for current Unlimited Rdio users there is a nice USD 25 credit in you sign-up in the next two months.

Save the date: Season 4 of Arrested Development will air on May 26 on Netflix

Arrested Development

The brand new 15 (yes fifteen) new episodes of the successful TV-series will come to you at May 26 this year on Netflix. And just like House of Cards, the whole season will be made available at once. So all you binge watchers out there better make sure you have nothing else to do that Sunday.

Arrested Development is an Emmy Award-winning comedy from series creator/executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz and had already three very successful seasons.