Vizio may not be jumping on the curved TV bandwagon anytime soon, but it does have several TVs on the shelf chasing the Ultra HD/4K trend. Those P-Series displays will get some new tweaks soon, including an Amazon app with support for 4K video from its subscription Prime video service or VOD. Also coming soon are apps for UltraFlix and Toon Goggles, and both have 4K content ready for streaming. Netflix already streams 4K to Vizio's TVs, and other apps available include Plex and Spotify. A better upgrade is the one noted by our friend Robert Heron: When the new firmware rolls out, it will fix a bug that overly sharpened the picture on still photos, Blu-ray movies and even 4K video, while also improving the LED backlighting and motion processing. Owners can look out for the v1.1.13 update in the "coming days," which should go over better than another sweater or pair of socks.

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DirecTV satellite dish

If you subscribe to DirecTV, you're about to get a few more ways to tune in online. As part of a renewed deal with Disney, the satellite TV provider will get Watch ABC, Watch Disney and WatchESPN streaming services in early 2015. You'll also see more viewing features on regular channels, and the two companies will "explore new opportunities" for internet-only offerings. There's no question that DirecTV is a bit late to the party when it comes to embracing Disney's more advanced services, but better late than never, right?

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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It's James Franco on a tank

Sure, Sony may be defying hackers' threats by letting independent theaters screen The Interview, but you might not live close enough to watch the flick. What if you want to see it online? You might get that chance. Sources for both CNN and Recode claim that Google has "tentatively agreed" to distribute the movie online in rental form, both through Play Movies and YouTube; Sony would also stream the movie through its own website. There's a possibility that the Google deal will fall apart (this happened with iTunes, apparently), since distributors are reportedly worried that they'll face retaliatory hacks. If an agreement comes together, though, it would represent an important milestone -- it's not often that you see a major studio movie launch both online and in theaters at the same time. We've reached out to Google for details, and we'll let you know if there's anything official.

Update: Yep, it's happening. Sony will make the comedy available through a special page, Google Play, YouTube and Xbox Video starting today at 1PM Eastern. It'll cost $6 to rent, or $15 to own. A PlayStation Network release date, meanwhile, is coming "shortly." We're also gathering tweets from early reactions to the movie right here.

Update 2: And now The Interview has its first international premiere, as Google Canada just announced the movie is available on its outlets there too.

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We didn't expect Disney Research to have one of the more inventive uses of YouTube's crazy frame-rate capabilities, but here we are. The outfit's released its trippy Lucid Dreams of Gabriel short via Google's video wing and, despite it being around four months late, the filmmaking techniques are impressive in their finished form. As a quick refresher, the clip combines novel computational shutters, multiple frame rates within the same shot and high-dynamic range tone mapping to achieve its surreal look. But, in the context of a short film they distract from the story (however hippie-dippy it may be) and make Gabriel seem more like a tech demo than an actual, structured narrative; the tricks do more to call attention to themselves than they do support the action onscreen.

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Google's Chromecast makes it easy to stream pretty much anything to your TV. Movies, TV shows, music, games, photos -- whatever you're interested in, there are plenty of smartphone and tablet apps equipped with Google's little Cast button. So, whether you have one hooked up to the main TV in your living room, or a second screen somewhere else in the house, Chromecast could be a useful tool to have on hand this Christmas. For our UK readers, here's a quick rundown for maxing out the tiny dongle over the next few days.

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Sony isn't afraid to partner with competitors if it means getting PlayStation Now in more homes, apparently. The outfit just announced that it's teaming with Samsung to bake the PlayStation game-streaming service into some of the rival electronics giant's smart TVs starting next year. Sony says some 200 PlayStation 3 games will be available to stream, and that the service runs at full functionality, specifically mentioning things like trophies, online multiplayer and cloud-saves for game-progress. Sound familiar? It should because that's how the service works on Bravia TVs and PlayStation game consoles. What's more, all you'll need is one of Sony's DualShock 4 gamepads to control the action.

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Vizio is cracking jokes about fellow TV manufacturers like LG and Samsung with this new ad for anti-curved glasses. While we weren't bothered by it in our observations, we also haven't seen a ton of benefit from the approach yet. As usual, Vizio is separating itself from the pack by promising tech customers want, at a lower price, something it claimed when the others were pushing expensive 3D glasses or charging a ton for WiFi-equipped smart TVs. The tagline for 2015? "Beautifully flat Ultra HD." Vizio won't be showing off its TVs in Las Vegas this year, but the ad will give us something to consider while we're checking out what all the others have to offer.

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Sony Pictures claimed it couldn't premiere The Interview after major theater chains pulled out due to threats, but independent operators (and the president) have successfully called it out. Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League tweeted that Sony has authorized screenings of the now must-see film, and you can expect to see Christmas Day shows available within the hour. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Plaza Atlanta theater has also stated it will have showings on Thursday, although Sony Pictures has yet to comment publicly. According to LA Times reporter Joe Bel Bruno Sony Pictures has confirmed the plan, and indie theaters "are lining up" to show North Korea's least-favorite movie while CEO Michael Lynton is trying to get the widest release possible. Citing anonymous sources, several outlets have reported the plans include a video-on-demand release, and will be announced publicly later today.

Update: Sony Pictures has released a statement confirming a "limited theatrical release" on Thursday, but so far has not provided a list of theaters where the movie will be shown, or if any video-on-demand release is a part of the plan. According to Lynton the studio never gave up on releasing the movie, and "we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience." President Barack Obama has chimed in again, with a statement applauding the decision. Now we're faced with the toughest question of all: Did we actually want to see this movie?

Update 2: The movie will be released online! At 1PM ET today on YouTube, Xbox and Sony's website. You can get all the details here, but if you prefer the theatrical experience a list of theaters is posted right here.

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When Engadget unveiled its new and improved buyer's guides earlier this year, we started out with just a handful of categories: smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables. You know, the stuff we're most likely to give the full review treatment. Still, a few of our readers wondered why we didn't include a wider range of products. To all you who were craving a little more, the answer is: We were already on it. Today we're adding two new guides to the mix, including one for gaming gear and another for portable audio gadgets. As always, when deciding what to include, we asked the people who know best: the Engadget writers who are already testing this stuff. In the case of gaming, that includes our resident game writers Ben Gilbert, Sean Buckley and Tim Seppala. Likewise, we consulted our biggest audiophiles on staff, Billy Steele and James Trew, who in a previous life wrote about music for a living. Have a peek at our gaming and audio guides, and check back over the coming months -- you never know when we'll add a hot new item to the list.

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2011 Winter TCA Tour - Day 3

A new movie about the adventures of beloved eccentric Pee-wee Herman now has a distributor, according to the Wrap: Netflix. The director and storyline still aren't known, but the former Universal property will be produced by Judd Apatow, who has other projects in the works with the streaming company. Netflix hasn't confirmed the news yet, but star Paul Reubens recently told AV Club that the incoming film has "such an amazing company involved" and there would be a "really big announcement" about it soon. To see him talking about it (out of character) with Jimmy Fallon, check the video below.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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The first TV series Netflix and Marvel are working on isn't even done, but the two are already looking forward to the next one: AKA Jessica Jones. Confirming the rumors, the two announced Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, Breaking Bad) will play the super hero-turned-detective Jessica Jones. She will be joined by Mike Colter (Halo: Nightfall, The Good Wife, American Horror Story) playing Luke Cage, a character that will get his own series on Netflix after a short detour with Iron Fist. Once you've processed those bits of information -- plus how everything lines up with the next few years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and that The Defenders miniseries -- then it's probably time to check out an early peek at Daredevil before it gets the whole thing kicked off. Ready for 2015 yet?

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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Hi, my name is Tim and I just learned I'm HIV positive. Not me personally, but, as the character Tim I played in I'm Positive, a short interactive narrative about living with the human immunodeficiency virus. It started out simply enough: I was shooting baskets when a phone call interrupted my jump shots. It was an ex girlfriend telling me that she'd been diagnosed as HIV positive after giving blood, and she urged me to get tested as soon as possible. Maybe it's because getting tested has been on my mind anyhow or possibly because I shared a name with the protagonist (there aren't any custom-name options; everyone plays as Tim), but after I "hung up" the phone I felt a weight in my chest and an all-too-real sense of panic.

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Attention, meatbags: If you somehow missed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic the first three times it was released, now might be your chance to finally fix that. How so? Well, BioWare's excellent role-playing game set in a galaxy far, far away is now available for Android devices. What's more, it's $5 on Google Play at the moment and, like the game's iOS counterpart, controller compatible as well. Given its complexities, you'll likely want to play it on a device with a sizable bit of screen real-estate. Regardless of just how big the Galaxy Note 4 is, however, things still might get a little cramped. Maybe living out your Light (or Dark) side fantasies on an NVIDIA Shield gizmo might be a bit more comfortable instead. Early Play Store reviews note that it's running pretty well on a variety of 'droids (including the two year-old Nexus 4), so maybe now is the time to find out what having a wookie life-debt is like.

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The race to CES continues, and today we're saying hello to the 2015 generation of LG's Music Flow WiFi speakers. Last seen at the IFA trade show in Europe, the big addition this time around is its first battery-powered model, the H4. While Bluetooth speakers are a dime-a-dozen, LG claims that its approach -- linking the speakers via WiFi -- means users can keep streaming music from their phone, even when a call comes in, for example, or stream directly from any supported services. Sonos gained a direct WiFi link with its upgrade a few months ago, but this Music Flow setup (and related control app for Android or iOS) has been in the works from LG for a while. There are three other WiFi speakers and upgraded WiFi soundbars coming to the show in Las Vegas too, and hopefully when we see them there will be price tags attached.

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This week we will enjoy a selection of holiday programming, which pretty much means the regular stuff is taking a break for Christmas movie repeats and bowl games. Amidst all the "you'll shoot your eye out" and unpaid football players, the holiday itself is actually going to be a bonanza if you prefer your TV with a UK flavor. If you've been enjoying the Twilight Zone-ish Black Mirror on Netflix, (if you haven't, go watch it right now) then you may be happy to know this year's holiday special episode featuring Mad Men star Jon Hamm will air in the US, but only on DirecTV's Audience channel (or... other sources).

Otherwise, there's Call the Midwife and Vicious on PBS, while BBC America has Doctor Who. Amazon is launching its new show Mozart in the Jungle this week, while Hulu kicks off the next season of The Wrong Mans. Finally, Charlie Sheen's post-Two and a Half Men comedy Anger Management wraps up its run with the 200th episode on FX -- did anyone really watch them all? Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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