TV End Of The Wire

Some of us have been waiting for this for years (*cough*, Ben), and now HBO has confirmed it: The Wire is being remastered and will be rebroadcast in high definition. News of the series' return to television popped up in a promo captured by Arthur Gies, and HBOWatch found some listings in the TV Guide for it. We contacted HBO and confirmed the story, however the network says that despite an initial target to air them in September, "we're still reviewing the episodes for quality assurance so the timing has shifted."

[Thanks, bellevegasj]

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It's time. This week NFL football is back (and so are the Engadget HD Podcast fantasy leagues), and the season kicks off Thursday night as the Packers face the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks on NBC. Boardwalk Empire on HBO starts its final season Sunday night, and we get our last episode of Drunk History for a while this week too. The League is back on FXX, and a downloadable Dance Central Spotlight game for Xbox One is finally ready to arrive. Fans of Canada's Trailer Park Boys can even look forward to season eight of the show, which will debut on Netflix Friday morning. The weirdest new entry? Fox's reality show, Utopia, which gathers 15 strangers together and will leave them on their own, for an entire year -- in between episodes viewers can tune in and watch 24/7 at UtopiaTV.com, or through an app on mobile devices. Hit the gallery or just 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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Twitch was an accident. The live video-streaming service, which boasts over 55 million unique users each month, began life in 2007 as "Justin.tv": an all-hours video livestream of co-founder Justin Kan's life. That wasn't the whole point of the service, of course; later that year, Justin.tv opened up to the public, who could then "livestream" to various "channels." At its inception, Justin.tv was a form of internet television, offering live broadcasts across a variety of topics. One such topic -- gaming -- took a particularly large portion of Justin.tv's audience. So much so that, in 2011, the company spun out gaming into its own website: Twitch.tv. Three years later and Justin.tv is dead, the company is now known as "Twitch Interactive" and Amazon just bought it for $970 million. Not too shabby for an "accident."

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Amazon is loading up a new pilot season of original TV shows, and while Netflix's content juggernaut was shut out at the Emmys, at least it was nominated. So what can Hulu do? In addition to its own list of original shows, exclusively licensed content from UK channels and Criterion, it's added the Starz hit series Party Down, just in time for your Labor Day weekend viewing binge. The show only ran for two seasons, but all 20 episodes are ready to watch for Hulu Plus subscribers, featuring Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Martin Starr and Megan Mulally as employees of a Hollywood catering service. If you've somehow missed it until now, this is the perfect time to watch -- we teared up when the show disappeared from Netflix along with all of the other Starz Play content a couple of years ago. Now Hulu has picked up the license, and even if you're not a subscriber you can watch the first five episodes for free on the show page right here.

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The digitally created city of Meereen in 'Game of Thrones'

We've already seen how digital effects make Game of Thrones' world more believable, but there were some spectacular scenes in the show's fourth season: giant city-states, an undead horse and battles involving thousands of cavalry. Want to know just how important computer graphics were in bringing those moments to life? Graphics house Rodeo FX will gladly show you. As you'll see in the footage below, some environments (such as Meereen's pyramid-laden landscape) depended very heavily on computer effects, with only a few live humans and real-world places involved. And that cavalry battle demanded even more work -- animators populated the field with "smart" horse soldiers that reacted both to each other and the world around them. You may not want to watch the demo clip if you haven't caught up on the show, but it's otherwise worth checking out to see how fantasy and reality can blend together.

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This week in TV gets started off with a bang thanks to the Primetime Emmys. Netflix snagged 31 nominations for its original content, now we'll see if it can take home more trophies than the three it won last year as House of Cards faces off with Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Downton Abbey and Mad Men for the Outstanding Drama Series award. Of course, the streamer isn't resting on its laurels having just introduced Bojack Horseman last week, and it's kicking off a new run of stand-up comedy specials this week with Jim Jeffries: Bare. Fans of The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy can grab the latest seasons on Blu-ray, while Madden NFL 15 lights up game consoles this week and the college football season gets started. All of that against the backdrop of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever marathon which will keep running until Monday. We've got a new format to show you what's new this week, hit the gallery below to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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Google regularly rolls out Chromecast updates that plug up previous root-friendly exploits, but there's a new method you can use if you want complete control over your streaming device. A group of hardware hackers (fail0verflow, Team Eureka and GTVHacker) have not only discovered a vulnerability in the latest Chromecast software, but also developed a way to exploit it and give you root access. This lets you tinker with the HDMI dongle, enable and disable stuff like software auto-updates and change any setting you wish, among other things. The team's calling it "HubCap," and it works on both newly updated and brand new, fresh-out-the-box Chromecasts. You'll need extra hardware to make it happen (a USB development board called Teensy used to root PS3s back in the day), but if you're dead set on rooting your Chromecast, head over to XDA Developers for the full set of instructions.

[Thanks, CJ]

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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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South Korea Movie Elysium

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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Shark Week is no longer upon us, and real NFL action is almost here. But first, we've got a few more things to get around, including the premiere of a new season of Doctor Who, with Peter Capaldi taking over the title role of The Doctor. Netflix also has a couple of premieres this week, with its new series starring Will Arnett as the voice of Bojack Horseman plus a US/Canada premiere for the BBC drama Happy Valley. The F1 series continues in Belgium, and on HBO fans will be able to see the last episode of True Blood. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition brings the series to next-gen consoles this week as well (in 1080p on Xbox One and PS4) and with some options for cross-platform saves. On Blu-ray there's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and a new Y Tu Mama Tambien release from Criterion. 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.

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On top of the updates that Microsoft announced at Gamescom last week, the folks in Redmond are rolling out August's monthly update to Xbox One consoles. First, you'll be able to purchase extra content for that title of choice before you head back to your living room with SmartGlass or by visiting Xbox.com on a mobile device. During marathon gaming sessions, you'll now get a pop-up notification when that trusty controller is running on fumes. Despite lacking the feature at launch, this round of addition finally brings 3D Blu-ray support to the Xbox One. To round out the update, Activity Feed now sports a single-column view with more sharing ability, notifications can be disabled when watching video and your Friends List will display the last time your mates were online. The tweaks are on the way to consoles starting today, so you'll be getting cozy to the new features shortly.

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If you use YouTube's app on your TV, get ready for a new UI (finally!). The app has a much cleaner look now, in line with Google's Material Design, and includes features that you're used to seeing on your computer, smartphone and tablet, such as a guide that pops up on the left side, latest videos from your subscriptions and curated channels. The refreshed interface should pop up soon -- it's available now with Xbox One, and Google plans to roll it out to other devices within the next few weeks.

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Want to get really intimate with the two new Xbox Ones announced at Microsoft's Gamescom 2014 press conference? Well, unless you're here in Cologne, you probably can't get that close quite yet, but we did find said consoles hanging out behind glass. Good news: the white Xbox One completely delivers on its promise. It's got white plastic! As for the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare-themed Xbox One, well, it's absolutely what it promises: Call of Duty symbols are plastered all over the outside. Of course, that COD-themed box also has a 1TB internal hard drive while the white Xbox One is simply bundled with Sunset Overdrive. Neither box was paired with a similarly-themed Kinect, which tells us not to expect a Kinect in the box when both arrive later this year.

Head into the gallery below for a closer look, and we've dropped a couple of Vines of both consoles after the break.

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Microsoft has just kicked off Gamescom 2014 by announcing a plethora of new features coming to the Xbox One -- some you may have known about, and some not. First up is a much anticipated feature: a new app will soon turn the Xbox One into a media player, letting you stream movie and audio files from a USB key or DLNA network. Microsoft's Major Nelson has promised that the console will support many more media formats than the Xbox 360 did, including new file types like MPEG2 TS, animated GIF and MKV. A preview version of the app will arrive first with USB support, while DLNA and certain file formats like MKV won't come until later. (For a list of compatible file formats, check the source, and look after the break for a demo of the new features.)

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Netflix - Mission Blue

This week sports fans can check out preseason NFL action, Little League World Series and the US Men's basketball team. Of course, it's also Shark Week and as usual, Discovery is trying to squeeze a few more specials out of everything related to the creatures. Our highlight for the week is looking at the ocean, but it comes from Netflix, where the Mission Blue documentary will premiere early Friday morning. It follows oceanographer Sylvia Earle on her mission to save oceans from threats like overfishing, pollution and climate change. Finales include a season wrap-up for Last Comic Standing and the series finale for FXX's Wilfred. 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.

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