Boxee already has its fingers in quite a few video streaming pies, and now the company has launched the Cloudee service into public beta to let your store and share your own movies. The iPhone or iPod app allows clips to be uploaded and shared with a select group of pals, while permitting commenting and liking in a similar fashion to Google+. The company has also introduced desktop uploading software for Windows or Mac computers, along with a website so your can manage videos “with more than just your thumbs.” In addition, the app is now optimized for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, and lets you share footage with contacts and publish using Facebook or Twitter. All videos are now private by default and users will enjoy unlimited space to stock videos until Cloudee emerges from beta — at which point, Boxee may require an upgrade to its premium service to add additional content. So, if you’re interested in crossing the video sharing bridge while avoiding the trolls, check the source to see how to sign up.
Someone at Google must like Airtime as much as we do, because it just added a roughly equivalent YouTube party mode to Google+ Hangouts. As long as everyone has the web app running, they can share individual videos or whole playlists that run in sync. Any set of videos is shareable through Google+ or YouTube proper. Voice chat, mercifully, flips to a push-to-talk requirement to prevent friends from talking over your favorite clip. While there’s no accounting for taste in what you play, Google can at least promise immediate, worldwide support for your group cat video sessions.
With Robocop currently in rotation on both Netflix and HBO Go, you’re probably wondering, “where else can I get my daily dose of media and cultural criticism delivered by a trigger happy law enforcement cyborg?” Well, YouTube and Google Play apparently. MGM has struck a deal with the folks in Mountain View to bring 600 of its titles to the streaming services, including the aforementioned dystopian-Detroit sci-fi classic. Of course, plenty of other top shelf titles will also be available to rent and purchase in the coming weeks — including Terminator, Rocky and Rain Man. Unfortunately for those not in the northern portion of the western hemisphere the deal is only applicable to the US and Canada. This also means that, regardless of whatever struggles Google has had in the content distribution market, it now has four of the five major studios on board. Though, we wouldn’t hold your breath for Fox.
Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich Android-running hardware has had access to HD resolution YouTubestreams since launch (as seen above), but an update to the app that rolled out yesterday finally brings HD to some devices running Froyo or Gingerbread. The catch is that YouTube HD res won’t work on every Android 2.2 or 2.3 phone or tablet, as we’re told it is set dynamically based on screen size and resolution. Another quirk is that some devices still won’t install the updated version directly from the Market, like our Epic 4G Touch. Still, assuming you can snag the update — through official or unofficial means — if you have the pixels to spare you should see upgraded video quality from now on.
YouTube hits 4 billion views per day, deals with 60 hours of uploaded content every minute (Update: Count it in nyans)
It looks like that redesign was worth it. The Google-owned video site has recently revealed that it’s now streaming 4 billion videos every day, up 25 percent on daily views from eight months earlier. According to Reuter‘s report, the site now has to deal with around 60 hours of uploaded video every minute. As long as those education videos are kept separate and the cat content keeps coming, we’ll be happy.
HDTV manufacturers have used a variety of tactics to attract customers to the 3D segment, bundling free glasses, discounting Blu-ray players, and nearly eliminating unsightly bezels, but with content selection still incredibly limited, there’s been little incentive for consumers to shell out extra cash for a 3D set. Sony’s new 3D Experience sets out to expand those content offerings, streaming on-demand sports highlights and select movie trailers to Bravia LCD TVs, and eventually Blu-ray players and home theater systems. The Experience launches with just 30 clips in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK today, but will eventually grow to include more movie, music, sports, and documentary titles. There’s no word on whether or not we can expect full-length films (or anything else we may actually be interested in watching) in the future, but with a commitment from Samsungto launch paid content later this year, we imagine Sony won’t follow too far behind.
Space nerds, get your browsers ready — UrtheCast will soon be streaming HD video of Earth straight from the ISS. The system will actually consists of a pair of cameras, one still and one video, that will be mounted on the Russian arm of the station. The still shots will be very wide, covering about 30 miles with a resolution of 18-feet per pixel. Much more exciting will be the three feet per-pixel stream of 3.25fps video that will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You probably won’t be able to see yourself waving as the ISS passes overhead, but you should be able to spot your cardboard box fort house. The feeds won’t be your typical boring NASA fare either — you’ll be able to search, rewind, and tag objects or events, and UrtheCast is providing APIs for developers to build upon the service. The project won’t be launching until June 28th, so bide your time by checking out the video and PR after the break.
The good news is that Hulu Plus for Android is on the market, but the bad news is that you may not be able to install it yet. The official Hulu Blog has just been updated with news that six phones — Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Droid II, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Atrix — are on the compatible list with “additional device announcements” due later in the year. While there’s some crossover with the list of Netflix-compatible devices, it’s hardly complete and many flagship phones are still missing. Here’s hoping the tweakers can work their magic on that apk and get it running for the rest of us, whether we’re shelling out $7.99 a month or just want to leech some Chappelle’s Show eps on a free one week trial. If you can’t get it running yourself, check out a quick video demo embedded after the break.
Tired of content providers bossing you around, telling you what you can do with your own phone? Good, because Netflix is sick of telling you kids to keep off its lawn. Following a recent update, the outfit’s Android app now officially supports the LG Revolution, Motorola Droid, Casio G’zOne Commando C771, and any unsupported device that just happens to work on its own. In addition to adding official support for the aforementioned trio (and of course, some minor bug fixes), the stream king removed a device check that previously blocked unsupported handsets from attempting playback. Your mileage may vary, but the folks over at Droid Life are reporting success with both the Droid X and Droid X2, as well as the Xperia Play. That’s no guarantee for you and your unsupported device, but at least you have the freedom to fail. That’s nice, isn’t it?
Android 3.1 gets namechecked by Adobe Flash Player 10.2, will be required to enjoy accelerated 720p video
Remember how Adobe said Flash 10.2 wasn’t living up to its full hardware-accelerated potential on Honeycomb thus far? Well, it seems the company’s found a solution by the name of Android 3.1. We’ve been inundated with tips (and have confirmed with Adobe) that there’s a sticky-sweet new build of Android on the way for the recent crop of slates that OEMs and carriers are rolling out, and that — just like last time — you’ll need that software to take advantage of all the hardware rendering and compositing that your Tegra 2 silicon can afford. With any luck, 720p playback won’t burn our eyeballs this time around. By the way, the Android Market item above was updated this morning to read “requires an upcoming release of Android 3″ rather than “Android 3.1,” but it’s unclear whether the original number was inaccurate or whether Adobe got in trouble.
It’s true, per Major Nelson Hulu Plus will launch on Xbox 360 tomorrow amid a slew of promotions, the first of which will provide free access to the service for all US-based Xbox Live members (free or paid) through May 6th courtesy of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. We should be able to get some hands on time with the app in a few. Until then you can imagine what it will be like to watch 24 The Confession in HD or every episode of Spaced through your console in between rounds of messin’ with Sasquatch (explanation after the break).
Google’s resolve to bring WebM video streaming to the masses doesn’t seem to have been weakened by a general lack of interest from the rest of the tech world, and the company’s announced that each and every new YouTube upload will now be automatically transcoded into a WebM version. Nearly a third of YouTube’s archives have already made the transition to the open source format, though if you think that’s a small proportion, you should probably know that those 30 percent account for 99 percent of all views on the site. Apparently, we all have a narrower set of interests than we like to believe. So, with all popular vids encoded and every incoming one getting the transcoding treatment, all you really need now is a compatible browser — Chrome (naturally), Firefox 4, Opera, or IE9 with a plug-in — and to enroll in YouTube’s HTML5 trial linked below to get rolling with WebM playback. Appending “&webm=1″ to a search string or a video’s URL will also help you ensure you’re getting the good stuff.
If you’re not already running the Plex Media Server on one of the twenty-three beige boxes networked across your tiny domicile, you may be sorely tempted to install a copy this week, because the iOS app has just received a truly massive update. Where once the XBMC spinoff would have to transcode every video it delivered to your device across the ether, Plex claims it can now either bypass that CPU-intensive process or use an iOS-optimized technique, pumping H.264 video over the air far more efficiently. Second, it can deliver that content from iOS direct to your TV, via either a video-out cable or experimental support for AirPlay. Not bad, right? How’s universal search sound — the ability to type in a word and have the app reach out to local servers, remote servers, and online video services like YouTube and Vimeo too? Yeah, that $4.99 price tag is looking mighty affordable right about now, and there are plenty more improvements to peruse at the links below.
You can do quite a lot with a sufficiently large catalog of semi-popular footage, but original content is king, and today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that YouTube will sink $100 million into original programming. The idea, according to the usual anonymous sources, is that Google will reshape the home of Keyboard Cat into a television network of sorts — with channels for different topics — and a good number of them featuring “several hours of professionally produced original programming a week.” That sounds like a drop in the bucket compared to the raft of footage that YouTube’s amateurs put out, of course, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen Google invest in original work, but we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t enjoy kicking back with even a smidgen of the pulse-pounding possibilities that some 4096-pixel-wide footage could offer. YouTube is reportedly attracting talent right now, say the WSJ‘s spooks, and intends to ease users into the idea of channel surfing starting later this year.
Internet Explorer 9 gets WebM support with 'preview' plug-in from Google, internet video gets more friendly
Google has released an early WebM plug-in for Microsoft’s latest and greatest browser, IE9 — stepping in to fill a gap that Microsoft itself refused to fill. You may remember the firm’s decision to not build in support for the new standard natively, but that it was “all in” with HTML5, WebM’s close cousin. Billed as a “technology preview” at this stage of the game, the add-on will enable users to play all WebM video content just like the good Internet overlords intended them to, despite the fact that an additional download is needed. Microsoft said that it would allow for support and it appears to be following up on its word, regardless of other harsher comments made separately. Isn’t it good to see big companies getting along? Now if only these same niceties played out in the mobile landscape, then we’d really be getting somewhere.