Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
Opera Max has been out for a while, and it's been helpful to those who find themselves running low on data each billing cycle. This app uses Opera's servers to compress web content and save bandwidth, but it can only do so much. The big consumer of data is video served over https, and Opera Max couldn't do anything about that until now. The latest version, however, adds support for automatic YouTube and Netflix compression. Read More
After paying a lot of attention to the mobile and connected TV experience, Netflix has announced a major overhaul of their browser interface. Before you sign in and get confused, today is just the beginning of the rollout, which they say will complete in a couple of weeks. Netflix bills this as the first major update in four years, though its look has certainly gone through several iterations over that time span. For a refresher, here's a side-by-side comparison of old and new (click to embiggen):
Left: current/old Right: new
Orange is the new black? Maybe, but black is the new white. Read More
NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box has only been available for a few weeks, and it's already getting its over-the-air update. This one improves a handful of the SHIELD's app functions and its accessories. Notably, software build 1.2 enables 4K output in Google's Photos & Videos app, provided of course that you have a 4K TV to view them on. According to the changelog it also improves streaming performance for both Netflix and Google Play Movies. Read More
Google Smart Lock is one of the most practically useful features that have come out of the slew of announcements at I/O this year — allowing your device to associate your usernames and passwords for various apps and Chrome sites with your Google account so that you don't need to even bother with logging in when you want to use them.
Among Smart Lock's launch partners is Netflix, and the app's listing on the Play Store has been updated to include this functionality. Now when you install Netflix on a device with Smart Lock enabled (currently that's the M preview release and Lollipop devices where Google Play Services has enabled the feature), you will be asked if you want to save this password. Read More
Are you ready to watch ALL THE PIXELS? You certainly are if you've got a fancy 4K TV - the new top-of-the-line industry standard is begging for content, and Netflix is at the front of the queue. The streaming service has been offering some of its home-grown shows like House of Cards and Daredevil in 4K resolution to subscribers of a premium $12-a-month plan. Now you can access that sweet "UltraHD" video on Android TV... if you've got compatible hardware.
At the moment, the only Android TV devices capable of outputting in 4K aren't Android TV devices at all, they're Sony's latest batch of high-end smart TVs, which use Google's latest set-top box as an embedded operating system. Read More
I don't have a Nexus Player, neither do I live in a country where Netflix is available, but I would have assumed that a movie and TV streaming app on a set-top box should support surround sound. By default. I mean, that's a given, isn't it? WRONG. So wrong. Couldn't be any more wrong. Netflix' official version for Android TV, 1.0.4 build 136, just plays sound in stereo, no Dolby in sight.
Screenshots courtesy of our tipster, Garrett
That bummer is now remedied thanks to the extracted Netflix 2.0 APK from Sony's Android TV. Thanks to the same XDA user brar.arsh who extracted the Amazon Instant File, we now have a newer version of Netflix that you can send to your Nexus Player. Read More
Word got out earlier this week that T-Mobile would offer anyone who buys a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge from them a free year of Netflix. That's a savings of over $100 and a pretty good deal, especially if you're already a Netflix customer.
Now the promotional page has gone live. If you head over to Samsung's website, you can sign up for the offer, though it says you must actually have the phone in hand before following the process through to completion. That's something you can't actually do until either model goes on sale.
Note, pre-orders will count, and the promotion includes devices purchased between now and April 12th. Read More