Almost as soon as news broke in February that Netflix had agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection to its network, Verizon and AT&T were in line with their hands out as well. Verizon reached a deal months ago -- that so far has done little to resolve streaming issues -- and now Netflix and AT&T have confirmed that they reached an agreement in May, as first reported by Mashable. In a statement, they said the process of turning up the connections should take place "over the coming days." Netflix CEO Reed Hastings already laid out his disapproval of the ISPs and their policies, and more recently suggested that if the Comcast / Time Warner Cable merger goes through, the combined behemoth should be barred from charging for interconnects. We wouldn't be surprised to hear something similar about the proposed AT&T / DirecTV combo too, and with the FCC's recent statements on this issue we suspect things are far from settled.
One of the things you can't find on the Apple TV is an official store for apps, but this hasn't kept the tiny box from becoming a solid device for entertainment purposes. To make things better, the Apple TV is adding Fox Now and CNBC to its ever-growing content repertoire, though there are the usual pay-TV caveats to consider. If you do have the right subscription, however, you can unlock each application's full potential right away, which means access to a lot more videos, live and on-demand. Fox Now, for its part, features full episodes from different shows, including Glee, Family Guy, New Girl and Masterchef. CNBC, meanwhile, lets you watch a live stream of some of its programming if you're a cable subscriber; as 9to5Mac points out, there are on-demand clips available within the news-focused channel, but that's as much as cord-cutters should expect. Both new apps are showing up on our Apple TV already, so be prepared to see them on yours the next time you power it on.
If you enjoy taking in the summer's big music festivals from the comforts of your sofa, you've likely already peeped this year's Coachella and Bonaroo livestreams. The in-home viewing continues this weekend with Chicago's annual Lollapalooza event, kicking off Friday, August 1st at 2PM CT on Red Bull TV. Over the course of the weekend, there's three channels of over 100 performances on tap, with interviews and behind-the-scenes content peppered in. In addition to web access, the festivities will be beamed to Apple TV, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs and a range of mobile devices for a truckload of streaming options. Notable acts set to take the stage between Friday and Sunday include Outkast, Kings of Leon, Skrillex, Phantogram, Broken Bells and The Avett Brothers -- just to name a few.
[Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella]
It appears EA and Microsoft have been paying attention to Netflix and PlayStation Now (which opens its doors to all PS4 owners in two days), and are combining to offer a different subscription service for gamers. The EA Access pass is available (currently in beta) for $5 per month or $30 per year and gives subscribers unlimited access to a "Vault" of games. Right now that list covers FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4, with the promise of more titles soon. Not enticed by the promise of last year's games plus 10 percent discounts on EA games, DLC, and in-game currency? They're also adding in early access trials for this year's round of EA sports games (Madden, NHL, NBA Live, FIFA) and Dragon Age: Inquisition that open up five days before the games go on sale and let your progress carry over to the retail version.
Today, The Last of Us is getting ready to take over PlayStation 4 consoles everywhere, and soon it may also be conquering... Broadway. Well, maybe not so much. But Naughty Dog's popular title did make its debut on the live stage, with a show called "The Last of Us: One Night Live" which took place in Santa Monica, California. Sony explains that the play was in celebration of the game's arrival on the PlayStation 4, so giving fans a way to experience the story through a theatre performance was an obvious choice ahead of the launch. "The Last of Us: One Night Live," directed by Neil Druckmann, featured music from the score, read of "key scenes" and a Q&A from the cast and crew involved in the show. Sure, it probably would have been better to actually be there, but Sony was kind enough to let you re-live the performance in the video after the break.
Before the newest, shiniest consoles launched late last year, it was the Xbox One that was touted as the complete multimedia machine. It's slightly ironic, then, that Sony's beaten Microsoft to the punch in adding Blu-ray 3D support to the PlayStation 4. Last week, we heard the feature was being added in software version 1.75, and today that update's begun rolling out to PS4s. There are still a few things, like DLNA support, the PS4 needs to usurp other A/V gear in your entertainment center, but on the matter of Blu-ray 3D at least, the Xbone's now playing catch-up.
Just over a year ago, Sony and developer Naughty Dog unleashed the emotionally wrenching The Last of Us on the PlayStation 3. And while the post-apocalyptic tale was heralded at the time for its affecting narrative, the game's technical prowess didn't go unnoticed either, with many critics impressed by how well the game looked and sounded on the seven year-old PS3. Tomorrow marks the release of The Last of Us: Remastered on the PlayStation 4, which, as the title implies, is last year's game with a fresh coat of paint afforded by the PS4's more powerful hardware. How much of a leap is it, though? The tech-minded crew at Digital Foundry has put Naughty Dog's latest under their microscope and notes that while there are some aspects of the game that best even PS4-native releases, there are still a handful of bits that betray those advancements:
"There are elements that remain far ahead of the majority of next-gen titles, but it is clear that it is a game of its technological era."
Sure, Samsung just launched its 105-inch ultrawidescreen, Ultra HD TV, but if spending $120,000 on such a screen is probably out of reach there may be a solution. For the the budget minded-consumer, we'd recommend taking a look at LG's 105-inch 4K (they call it 5K, because of the expanded number of pixels horiontally) set. Beyond coming with an integrated speaker (value!), if we're reading this machine-translated Korean press release correctly, in Korea it's priced at 120 million won, or about $117,000 and will start shipping in just a few days. That way, you can buy one of these and a nice 65-inch TV for your kids instead of that college education they wanted. During CES we'd heard that the MSRP would be around $70,000 US so we're still hoping for even more savings on this side of the Pacific -- of course, as much as we like high-res TVs we're not sure any of them are worth two Teslas.
Syfy is going to try to capture social media lightning in a bottle one more time, with the sequel to last summer's bad-but-popular Sharknado. We're not exactly sure what Sharknado 2: The Second One is about but suspect has some combination of sharks and tornadoes. Fans of quality TV can grab the entire Twin Peaks series on Blu-ray, complete with some new "missing pieces" extras,. Penn & Teller's old UK show Fool Us is going to be re-aired in the US this summer on CW, while NFL action starts to wind back up with the start of preseason football. Finally, PS4 gamers can enjoy a better-looking version of last year's hit The Last of Us with a remastered version hitting shelves tomorrow, and on Netflix season four of The Killing arrives Friday morning. Check after the break for a list of what's new this week plus a few trailers, and drop a note in the comments if you see any highlights we've missed.
Sure, there are already options for getting fit with the help of your Xbox console, and now one of the most popular in-home exercise options is offering more sweat soaked material. P90X for Xbox Fitness brings a 30-day version of the three-month slim down to your living room via the Xbox One (sorry, Xbox 360 owners) with five new routines to boot. The video-based workout curriculum will leverage the Kinect to keep an eye on your form along the way as well. As you may recall, trainer Tony Horton has already served up P90X and Insanity workouts for Redmond's fitness efforts, alongside Jillian Michaels and others. Forking over $60 today gets you the month-long challenge, and there's a downloadable calendar and nutrition plan coming next moth. Of course, Mr. Horton is along for every second of the action -- just in case you thought you were getting off easy.
The works of author Phillip K. Dick have proven fertile ground for classic sci-fi movies like Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly, and The Man in the High Castle is up next. Except, well, it's making its debut on the small screen, by way of Amazon Studios and executive producer Ridley Scott (pictured above), according to Deadline. For the unfamiliar, Castle takes place in a 1962 where the Allied Powers were defeated in World War II, and, as a result, Germany and Japan began an occupation of the United States -- Scott's sci-fi phase apparently isn't stopping anytime soon. With the legendary filmmaker working on Halo: Nightfall, the Prometheus and Blade Runner sequels and now this, we're even tempted to call it a trend.
[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]
What do Halo: The Master Chief Collection and the Atari landfill-dig have to do with comic books? Not much, really, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft isn't at this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) trotting them out to those in attendance. Let's start with Master Chief. The big green galoot has a boxed set of the games he starred in coming out this November, Redmond has seen fit to drop a trailer for the collection's gorgeously overhauled Halo 2 cinematics and we've embedded it below. What's more, MCC's developer Certain Affinity announced that the map that introduced the world to Halo 2's multiplayer, "Zanzibar," is getting the remake treatment alongside "Lockout," "Ivory Tower," "Coagulation" and "Ascension." The final of the six remastered maps will be revealed at Gamescom in Germany next month. If that isn't enough Halo news, we've also embedded video from the Halo: Nightfall panel that recently took place at SDCC.
Want to watch the latest Weird Al music video or catch a movie trailer straight out of Comic-Con? Amazon now has a place for that. Variety reveals that Amazon quietly launched a new "video shorts" section of its instant video service, filling it out with music videos, movie trailers, video reviews, interviews, featurettes and more. It seems like a simple addition of short-form video content, but it's more than that: this is one of Amazon's new advertising platforms.
The 3D hype may have died down from its peak a few years ago, but Sir David Attenborough is continuing to make use of the technology (check after the break for a video explaining some of the infatuation with it) for his critically acclaimed nature documentaries. The latest one is Conquest of the Skies 3D, and Sky has announced that the three 60-minute episodes will air around Christmas in the UK. In order to "tell the evolutionary story of flight" Attenborough and crew are using new 3D macroscopic and high-speed filming techniques, as well as 3D octocopters. What it won't have is the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus-compatible virtual reality version that was bandied about earlier this year, but that doesn't mean the tech is on the shelf. Newly-expanding Sky has teamed up with Atlantic Productions, and Atlantic's new division Alchemy is planning to have VR experiences (that combine live action 3D footage, 360 degree video and CGI) available this fall.