Amazon Add Doctor Who To Instant Video Collection

Proving that the BBC far from limits itself to providing exclusive content to just one major American online streamer within its home UK market, the commercial division BBC Worldwide have dispatched a number of their most high-profile shows to Amazon’s newly-branded Prime Instant Video platform.

sherlock_221bAlong with high-profile current programming most prominently including Doctor WhoSherlock, and Call the Midwife, the BBC have also announced a number of classic comedies such as Only Fools and Horses, The Office, and the Blackadder franchise, amongst others, including more recently-ended programming including Life on Mars.

The non-exclusive deal between the online retailers and the region’s leading public broadcaster will be seen as a huge launching boost to the Amazon Prime Instant platform who are looking to establish themselves as their own brand after taking over branding from their purchased property LoveFilm.

Whether this transition into an Amazon brand will prove as successful as hoped remains to be seen, but the addition of such high-profile dramas and comedy series to a slate boasting over 15,000 movies and TV shows for subscribers. In competition with Netflix, a key selling point for the in-house subscription is to also provide unlimited next-day delivery for Amazon online retail products and unlimited borrowing of Kindle books, complete at a fixed annual rate of £79.

Also looking to introduce their own-brand ‘Fire TV’ set-top box (that allegedly also functions as a games console and in power is three times greater overall than Google Chromecast and Apple TV), Amazon’s efforts to sell and deliver on their own products as well as everyone else’s is one which they hope will carry on in the form of the latter, and if they succeed you wouldn’t need to be a time lord or a detective to figure out why…

Game of Thrones Interactive Map Rolled Out

Utilising energies that could be well-invested in helping to upgrade real maps, a group of TV fans have produced a ‘fully interactive’ guide map to HBO‘s leading show Game of Thrones.

game_of_thrones_interactive_mapUtilising the same API as Google Maps, the website known as Quarter Maester has revealed production that enables followers of the series and its original novels by George R.R. Martin to ‘trace the routes’ undertaken throughout Westeros by different characters on their respective stories through the series, with key stopping points identified by markers providing further information on request.

Ever-mindful of giving away potential spoilers, the map creators have also included a tool that enables users to select the current point in the books or series that they are ‘at’, meaning the journeys represented are shown only to that point in the overall story.

In addition to being able to toggle their respective paths, each character and constituency of Westeros featured is provided with a direct link to their profile on the ‘Wiki of Ice and Fire’ show wikia site, which on virtual paper completes the most complete and immersive fan-made service that a follower of the show could ask for.

The Quarter Maester site is noted as being the spiritual successor to the previous leading map made by an internet user by the name of ‘serMountainGoat’ (who has presumably resurfaced here), an effort praised by George R.R. Martin, who stated: “This is a very handsome map. And based on the information you have, it’s quite good.”

The creators of this map can expect to be working overtime when it comes to drawing their overlays over the next few weeks, with the fourth season of Game of Thrones currently occurring and being lined up for several more. The current set has been promised big things by producers, but will they translate easily in cartographic form?

Netflix Streaming Gets 66% Faster With Comcast Deal

Now that the Netflix deal with Comcast to supply a higher speed streaming service has kicked in, the service is seeing blindingly fast results for customers that use the Comcast network for internet tv watching.

Netflix-membersThe results are that the 21 million homes that rely on the Comcast connection are getting videos streaming at an average rate of 2.5 megabits per second compared to 1.5 in January. An increase of around 66%.

Netflix agreed the deal with Comcast back in February to pay interconnection fees of an undisclosed amount. This would improve connection speeds for its 33 million US customers paying $8 monthly for unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows.

The connections speeds result in smooth, high quality picture and a lack of interruptions and buffering. The improved performance beats the best previous recorded monthly high of 2.17 mps recorded by Netflix for November 2012.

Although Netflix were resisting paying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) extra for speed improvements, they had no real choice. Prior to the Comcast agreement, Netflix used third parties to deliver traffic using companies like Cogent Communications. But now Netflix pays directly to the provider, and they are said to be negotiating with other providers such as Verizon.

Netflix said that the improved speeds show a, “a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix.”

For Comcast’s part, they see it as unfair that they should have to burden the load for the massive amount of data shifted by streaming users at the expense of other customers, and that Netflix should shoulder some of the cost to deliver video that accounts for almost a third of the webs downloading activity during peak times.

LG Plan ‘Quad HD’ Smartphone

While they have been more notable in recent times for any innovations made being matched toe-to-toe by South Korean rivals Samsung (and vice-versa), LG will hope that their latest efforts in the technology market are ones that even Samsung will not have seen coming, after announcing a smartphone that will carry a ‘Quad HD’ display.

lg_g3While going beyond even current ‘regular HD’ formats on a television set is still seen as groundbreaking and new, the idea of condensing such a high resolution into such a small space as a smartphone will go beyond plenty of consumer’s expectations for their handheld device, even if the difference may not be too noticeable on a small screen.

Specifically, the ‘LG G3′ smartphone (aiming to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 device) is set to offer users a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440, noted as equaling a pixel density of 534ppi when placed on a ’5.5-inch panel’. Behind the strongly-resoluted screen, meanwhile, is 32GB worth of storage space, an Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, 13-megapixel camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, and microSD support, amongst other offerings.

Aside from the basics and , further rumoured selling points are believed to include fingerprint scanning, waterproofing ability, and smart learning technology on the phone’s part that allows the machine to alter its interface based on user habits.

Planned for an official reveal next month, industry experts will look on in anticipation to see if any of their predictions come true, but will this combination of features be good foresight from LG in the long run?

Preview: The Signal

This new movie coming out, The Signal looks intriguing.

The-SignalThe trailer opens up with a mystery about a character named Nick and it alludes to his possibly being something more than human, perhaps alien.  We see actor Laurence Fishburne questioning Nick while being in some kind of protective bio suit.  Then Nick appearing to be on the run as enemies pursue him.

From this we gather that Nick is probably an alien or a hybrid, someone who is part human and part alien.  The movie has highly been critically praised as being original and inventive so there’s something here that isn’t typical Hollywood alien fare.

It stars Brenton Thwaites as Nic Eastman, Laurence Fisburne as Dr. Wallace Damon, Olivia Cook as Haley Peterson, Sarah Clarke, Jeffrey Grover, Beau Knapp, and Lyn Shaye.

This may well be a ground breaking film for the genre of alien abduction and that’s what the audience is led to believe.  Since alien abduction is a huge money maker for both the big screen and television, any new movie is going to spark things up and bring in the audiences.  This isn’t touted as based on a real story so it’s fiction but fans and aficionados of the subject will probably head to the theaters just to get whatever new bits of information about the subject they can. See the Signal trailer below:-

William Eubank is the director of this movie and it does have both a standard and unique look to it so we’ll have to see how well his storytelling is.

The bottom line is that with a solid actor like Laurence Fishburne in the project we know he wouldn’t be part of anything he didn’t feel wasn’t of high quality.

Original Android OS Altered To Be Touchscreen Compatible

In a demonstration of just how quickly the technology industry can react to a new development elsewhere, and possibly of just how groundbreaking Apple’s announcement of their first iPhone in 2007 was in the smartphone market, the ‘original plans’ for Google’s Android operating system have been revealed.

htc_dream_dual-controlThe initial patents for Google Android, used recently as evidence in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung copyright cases, showed that the search engine giant’s planned foray into the smartphone market was originally going to be one which operated as in co-operation with physical keypads only, combining elements from the largest OS providers of the time (BlackBerry and Nokia’s Symbian) with Microsoft Windows.

However, the announcement of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 quickly forced Google’s hand in finding out the ‘how’ in making existing touchscreen technology more functional and reliable, and fast development of such support culminated in their first supported device, the HTC Dream in 2008, carrying elements of their former design and an imitation of Apple’s market-leading product within the operating system.

AppleInsider reported the legal documents seen in court recently, which noted that Google did have plans of their own for touchscreen support, only there was an assumption that the market wouldn’t require it so quickly. The documents stated: “Touchscreens will not be supported. The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the Product’s architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.”

But developments on their rivals’ side appear to have forced them to prove that theory correct as fast as possible, and indicates that neither of the two companies could stake a claim to be the full ‘inventors’ of the smartphone touchscreen idea, rather that Apple were the first to do something with their ideas. Hopefully, given their track record against Samsung (amongst others). they won’t consider this grounds to try and sue in the future as Android continues to claim greater market shares…