Tag: Streaming

11
Oct
2020
Posted in gadget

Google’s new streaming TV gadget is a great alternative to Roku or Amazon Fire TV

  • The Chromecast with Google TV is a real rival to the Roku and Amazon Fire TV now.
  • It finally runs software, called Google TV, that lets you browse shows, movies and apps.
  • It costs $50, and CNBC has been testing it for over a week. Here’s what it’s like.



graphical user interface, website: Chromecast with Google TV


© Provided by CNBC
Chromecast with Google TV

The new $50 Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s first real rival to Roku and Amazon Fire TV. 

It brings a lot of features that never existed on a Chromecast before, such as a full remote and brand-new Google TV software that makes it easier to find movies and TV shows. And it ties into all sorts of services, such as Hulu, HBO Max, Netflix and Disney+.

Previously, the Chromecast let you play content on your computer, but you had to select content on your phone. Now it has a whole new software experience, which makes it feel a lot more like a Roku, an Amazon Fire TV or an Apple TV. It means Google might finally be able to take some market share away from leaders Amazon and Roku.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

What’s good about the Chromecast with Google TV



a video game remote control: Chromecast with Google TV


© Provided by CNBC
Chromecast with Google TV

The new Chromecast is super simple to use. You just plug it in to your TV’s HDMI port — every modern TV has one — and turn it on.

The Google TV software has seven menu options at the top of the screen that are really straightforward: Search, For You, Live, Movies, Shows, Apps and Library. I like that the “For You” page pulls in movies and TV shows from subscriptions you pay for, such as Hulu or Netflix, and that you don’t have to open those apps to

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google says Stadia mobile game streaming is ready for primetime

When Google introduced the capability to play Stadia games over a 4G or 5G connection, it was as a feature the tech giant was still in the midst of testing. Now, it looks like Google is done putting the feature through its paces, because the option to toggle it on has been moved from the Experiments section to the Performance tab. Reports posted on Reddit and Twitter (via 9to5Google) show the toggle in its new place in the Performance tab under Resolution.



Google


Google

The option comes with a note telling players that their resolution will be limited to 720p on mobile data, most likely as a way to help users keep their data use in check. Google also warns users that enabling the feature to play games on Stadia could increase their data usage by up to 2.7GB/hour. In addition, Stadia will now make sure users know they’ve enabled gaming over mobile data by showing them a mobile network icon on the home screen.

Google rolled out Stadia’s experimental mobile data gaming feature in July, a few months after the service launched in November 2019. Prior to its debut, the only way to play over data was to use tethering to trick the app into recognizing it as WiFi. As 9to5Google notes, though, using mobile data means having to switch the Stadia Controller with something else for those who want to play wirelessly, since the device needs a WiFi connection to work.

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07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Streaming report: Twitch inherits Mixer’s streamers, now has 91% of all content produced

Microsoft abruptly shutting down Mixer back in June has ended up as a boon for Amazon’s Twitch platform.

That’s according to a new report from Stream Hatchet and Streamlabs, which found that Twitch is now the host for more than 91% of streaming content. At the same time, while the overall audience for livestreaming has shrunk slightly from its all-time high back in April, Twitch’s popularity has nonetheless exploded during the pandemic, with nearly double the audience that it had at this time last year.

Independent data analyses in the streaming market focus on tracking hours watched to indicate a platform’s popularity with its audience. Relatively few take hours streamed — the amount of content being produced for that audience — into account. What makes the Streamlabs/Stream Hatchet report interesting is that it does track the latter, and it makes it look a lot like most of the ex-Mixer streamers have ended up landing on Twitch.

Twitch has the most content, but doesn’t have as wide a lead in audience share. (Source: Streamlabs/Stream Hatchet)

In the second quarter of 2020, before its closure, Mixer represented 14.2% of all hours livestreamed. In the third quarter, Twitch’s hours livestreamed grew by 14.5%, to an overall 91.1% share of outgoing content. While it strains credulity to argue that everyone who was making content on Mixer went to Twitch — Facebook Gaming’s own amount of hours streamed went up by 1%, which suggests that Microsoft successfully got at least a couple of its streamers to migrate — Twitch’s 14.5% increase is a massive spike that doesn’t have any other useful explanation.

At the end of last year, the story of the streaming platform market was a four-way race between Amazon’s Twitch, Google’s YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and Microsoft’s Mixer. Most analyses of the streaming

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Xbox Boss Says Game Pass Streaming Planned For PC And Consoles, Too

Xbox Game Pass games can now be streamed through mobile devices thanks to xCloud, making it much easier than ever before to play The Master Chief Collection on the toilet. But this is just the start of Microsoft’s plans for streaming, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer has indicated in a tweet that streaming will make its way to Game Pass on Xbox and PC, too.

Replying to a tweet asking directly whether Game Pass on console and PC would allow for streaming at some point–allowing users to demo a game before committing to a download–Spencer responded saying that they have a plan in the works for this. “It’s in the long list of cool things the xCloud team is working on, just a bit further down the list,” he said.

This means that the feature could be a while off yet, but it’s at least being planned, and we could eventually see Game Pass streaming on these systems.

Microsoft’s recent purchase of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax means that they now has access to the company’s Orion streaming technology, which could be a large part of their future strategy.

Microsoft’s next systems, the Xbox Series X and Series S, will release on November 10. If you’re looking to pick up either system, or some new Xbox games for the end of the year, check out GameSpot’s 2020 Xbox Gift Guide.

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Investor Urges Disney To Spend On Streaming, Not Dividends

Activist investor Daniel Loeb on Wednesday urged Walt Disney Co. to skip paying an annual dividend and instead pour the $3 billion into hits for its streaming television service.

Loeb, founder of Third Point hedge fund, made his pitch in a letter to Disney chief executive Bob Chapek and the board of directors.

Loeb reasoned that skipping a few dollars per share in dividends, the entertainment giant could use the money to more than double its budget for content at Disney+ streaming service.

“Disney has built one of the largest streaming platforms in the world, already within the original 5-year Disney+ subscriber target range of 60-90 million,” Loeb said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

“To further capitalize on this transformational opportunity, we believe the company should permanently suspend its $3 billion annual dividend and redirect this capital entirely into content production and acquisition for Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses, centered around Disney+.”

Investing in streaming content instead of paying dividends promises to attract and keep more subscribers; boost time spent watching, and help the company keep pricing competitive, according to Loeb.

Third Point reportedly owned about 5.5 million shares valued at more than $600 million at the end of June.

Disney should be pumping more into its streaming service Disney+ to better compete with Netflix and other rivals, according to an activist investor Disney should be pumping more into its streaming service Disney+ to better compete with Netflix and other rivals, according to an activist investor Photo: AFP / Nick Agro

Disney flung open its vast archive with the arrival of its television streaming service in November.

It competes with Netflix, Apple and Amazon by leveraging its huge catalogue of Disney classics along with its Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic movies — not to mention its wildly successful “Star Wars” franchise.

Like its competition, Disney invests in original content available only to subscribers.

“With Disney’s superior tent-pole franchises and