Amazon's Alpha House will return for a second season, with production beginning this summer. The original series, starring John Goodman and three other guys, follows a group of Republican senators living together in Washington, D.C. Season one is currently ready to stream through Instant Video for Amazon Prime subscribers, with the first three episodes available to everyone for free. Amazon also greenlighted six other series from its selection of pilots, including The After, Bosch, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent and Wishenpoof. Of course, you'll be shelling out more for Prime by the time any of these go live -- if two-day shipping wasn't enough to justify the price, at least you'll have another batch of fresh content to justify that $99 subscription.

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BT to offer free YouView box with one-year broadband contract, £49 for existing customers

If you're not quite comfortable shelling out £299 for BT's YouView box, then you're in luck. Starting October 26th, the hardware will be free for new Infinity broadband subscribers who ink contracts that are one year or longer. Instead of relying on cable, the Humax-built device uses both aerial and internet connections to deliver content from more than 100 digital TV and radio channels including Channels 4 and 5, the BBC and ITV. With the IPTV box, users can sift through content that's aired in the past seven days, watch on-demand programs and record up to 300 hours of standard definition television or 125 hours of high-def video to a built-in 500GB hard drive. Current British Telecom subscribers pining for the subsidized box will be able to get their own for a £49 activation fee and a £6.95 delivery charge. Those eager for the gratis set-top solution will be able to order it online starting October 19th if they register interest with BT's website beforehand. For more details, check out the press release below.

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Sony Stitch merges footage from two 4K F65 cameras to create zoomable panoramic with HD output handson video

Well, that's a mouthful of a headline. Going a bit more in-depth, a new professional solution from Sony allows broadcasters to capture side-by-side 4K video at, say, a sporting event, then use a standard camera zoom device to select small portions of each feed for 720p or 1080i output. On the receiving end, you'll see a live image that looks indistinguishable from something you'd capture with a moving camera, with a few extra benefits to boot. Sony demonstrated the system using feeds from an F65 4K camera earlier this year at NAB, but was only able to present a simulation at that point, with pre-recorded output cropped from larger-format footage.

Now, as we saw today at IBC in Amsterdam, the technique works in realtime, so an adjustable smaller portion of the video is pumped out seamlessly and instantaneously. The 4K video can also be recorded at full resolution simultaneously, letting you change the framing long after an event takes place. Sony only had the demo configured to pull live video from the left portion of the feed, but eventually the entire capture will be enabled, giving producers access to an entire football field, as you'll see in the hands-on video after the break. We wouldn't expect this solution to replace human camera operators anytime soon, but it's certainly a viable method for adding angles and placing a bit more control in the hands of production teams, even after the fact.

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Amazon joins up with Epix, adds thousands of flicks to Prime Instant Video roster

Truth be told, Amazon's Prime Instant Video selection isn't the most comprehensive library on the net, but it's well on its way, thanks to a new licensing agreement with the Epix. The entertainment network, which partners with studios that include Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount, brings access to recent blockbusters like The Avengers, The Hunger Games and Thor, along with evergreen gems like Justin Bieber Never Say Never. Most importantly, it means Netflix is no longer the only subscription streaming home for those titles after its two year exclusive deal ran out. Amazon's streaming service, which includes thousands of movies and television shows, enables customers subscribing to Prime for $79 per year to stream content without additional monthly fees, in addition to benefits that include discounted shipping and a Kindle book loan program. The terms of the deal have not been announced, but the press release (available in full after the break) lists the partnership as a "multi-year licensing agreement," benefiting customers in the US.

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What we're about to show you is decidedly low-tech -- it's essentially a projection screen with a sharp curve at the bottom -- but the resulting effect conveys a more realistic 3D image, for certain applications, at least. The Communications Research Centre of Canada was on hand at NAB to demonstrate a small variety of lab projects, with agency representatives hoping to make an impression on attendees, who will theoretically apply these concepts to actual products, with no licensing fee making its way back to the True North. This particular project employs an off-the-shelf Optoma 3D projector, active glasses and a white screen positioned with a dramatic curve, that essentially works to provide a platform for 3D subjects to stand on.

Believe it or not, the config really does make a difference, enabling a more immersive experience that makes 3D objects appear more realistic, assuming they're positioned in such a way that they're standing on the near-horizontal portion of the screen. Research Technologist Ron Renaud says that such a configuration would be ideal for video conferencing -- it's still no match for an in-person meeting, but it's certainly an improvement over the traditional approach. The demonstration projector wasn't configured to compensate for the curve, which theoretically makes it subject to warping, though we didn't notice any issues at the show. Like all 3D displays, you'll really need to see it for yourself to get an accurate impression of the experience, but jump past the break for an overview with Renaud, and a closer look at the screen.

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"Obsolescence Obsolete" -- that's RED's tagline for the just-announced Dragon sensor upgrade, which is set to bring 6K resolution to EPIC and Scarlet cameras beginning later this year. The sensor module was on display at the company's NAB booth today, under a backlit case that could only have been designed to make photographing the new chip a near-impossible task. We did manage to snag a few frames of the device, which appears as a mere silhouette to the naked eye. Sensors aren't designed for us to look at, however -- they're supposed to do the looking -- so we won't get any more hung up on the presentation. Existing RED camera owners can look forward to an incredibly impressive 15+ stops of native dynamic range and up to 120 frames-per-second at resolutions up to 5K. And as we discovered earlier today, the upgrade will roll out to EPIC owners sometime in 2012 for $6,000 while Scarlet users will need to hang tight for a release date, and a price tag. That's all we've got as far as details go, so click on through the gallery below for a flashlight-enhanced peek at the Dragon.

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It's been but half a year since Canon first entered the motion picture market, and the company is already back with its second and third professional video rigs. The Cinema EOS-1D C marks the most drastic departure from the C300, which launched last November at an elaborate Hollywood event at Paramount Studios. It was at this spectacle that we were first introduced to the 1D C, which was then but a glass-protected prototype. Now, far sooner than expected, the (relatively) compact camera is making its return to the spotlight, in more polished form. Like the 1D series bodies that bear similar monikers and appearances, including the yet-to-ship EOS- 1D X, the C model is a very capable still shooter, offering the same core functionality of the $6,800 X. It also brings 4K capture to the table, however, prompting Canon to price the camera far above its less-abled counterpart. At $15,000, we don't expect to see red C logos popping up in many a photojournalist's gear bag, but for deep-pocketed professionals with a need to capture 4K clips, this may be a worthwhile acquisition.

We took a closer look at the 1D C at Canon's pre-NAB event in Las Vegas. As the pictures and spec sheet imply, it's the 1D X's clone in nearly every way. In fact, beyond the headphone jack and C logo, there's not much distinguishing the pair externally. You'll need to hop into the menu before you'll really notice a difference, in the form of several unique 4K shooting modes, including 8-bit 4:2:2 24fps captures to a CF card or 8-bit 4:2:2 clips in an uncompressed format over HDMI. Otherwise, the C looks and feels just like the X -- a model pro snapper that we've already managed to fondle on three continents under Canon's watchful eye, but still has yet to ship. Both cameras are gorgeous externally, with slight design tweaks yet no drastic overhaul, dating back to the very first EOS-1D. If you haven't had a chance to gawk at either model, you'll at very least be able to check out the 1D C at Canon's booth this week at NAB . We're hoping to see both cameras hit the market sometime in 2012, and who knows -- this Cinema EOS could even be the first next-gen 1D to ship. Take a closer look in the gallery below, and in our hands-on video after the break.

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