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Netflix Taking on HBO With Original Programing?

Rumor has it that Netflix, no longer content as a mere outlet for streaming video, is making a serious run at becoming a producer and distributor of original content. The company previously helped bankroll and distribute independent features through its Red Envelope Entertainment division (including the stellar and depressing 'Born into Brothels'). But the division has been largely quiet since...

Fandor Wants to Be Netflix for the Indie Film Crowd

Netflix has a reasonable selection of independent films, but it only represents just a tiny fraction of the indie movies that get made every year. Many more may draw critical acclaim or wow audiences at festivals, but there are only so many distribution deals to be signed. A site called Fandor is interested in those movies that don't get picked up by studios or shown in theaters around the...

Rebroadcasting TV Online for Profit Is Illegal, Says Judge

The Internet streaming video service ivi just received a vicious rebuke from U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District of New York. Since its inception, the service has offered live TV streams from major broadcasters like Fox, NBC and PBS by simply snatching broadcasts out of the air and retransmitting them over the Web to paying customers. The problem is that the company...

Amazon Prime Now Offers Unlimited Streaming Video

Amazon has now opened its long-rumored, unlimited video-streaming service to paying Prime members. Anyone coughing up the $79 annual fee for Amazon Prime can now stream 5,000 movies and TV shows, either via the Amazon website or a Roku. The new service is a direct challenge to Netflix, the current king of subscription-based streaming video....

Roger Ebert Says the Web Has Spawned a 'Golden Age of Film Criticism'

With newspapers shedding film critics left and right, and amateur movie blogs gaining steam, many old-school academics and film journalists are blaming the Internet for what they call the 'Death of Film Criticism.' On the Web, literally everybody is a critic -- and that, some argue, threatens the very art of film criticism, itself. Roger Ebert, however, begs to differ. In a recent essay for...

Comcast Announces Live TV Streams and On-Demand Video for Tablets

Comcast has used CES as an opportunity to announce that it is finally embracing online streaming content in a big way. While most other cable companies (and many content providers) are fighting against the rising tide of streaming media, Comcast has decided to jump in head first. At some point later this year, Comcast will begin offering live TV streams to iPads and Android tablets within the...

Netflix Users More Likely to Cut the Cable Cord

A recent survey by JP Morgan shows that 28-percent of cable subscribers would consider cutting the cord and going with Web-based video for their entertainment needs. Sure, 28-percent isn't a majority, but it's still a healthy chunk of customers -- and if those subscribers up and left, it would seriously eat into Big Cable's profits. Of course, most of those customers aren't jumping ship just yet....

Switched Weighs In: Gadgets, Apps and Tech That Made Our 2010

2010 has been a pretty packed year for tech. Streaming video came into its own with radically improved content choices and affordable living room hardware devices, Android and Apple's iOS dominated the cell phone market, the mobile app markets show no sign of slowing down and the iPad revealed a huge demand for tablets. We here at Switched have taken a look back over the past 12 months and each...

The Boxee Box Reviewed: The Good, the Bad and the Clunky

The poor, issue-laden Boxee Box has had a rough go of it. The streaming media box has been in a seemingly constant war with Hulu, and, after announcing at last year's CES that Boxee would launch using NVIDIA's Tegra 2 hardware, the manufacturer had to switch to an Intel-based solution, since getting the software running on NVIDIA's hardware proved to be too difficult. Despite of all the obstacles...

YouTube Extends Video Time Limits for Obedient Users

Less than five months after extending video time limits to 15 minutes, YouTube has decided to lengthen them again. YouTube product manager Joshua Siegel wrote in a blog post that the streaming giant chose to drop its time limit thanks to "advances in Content ID," the system that scans every video uploaded to YouTube, and compares its data with data provided by copyright holders. As of right now,...

OnLive Expands Its Streaming Sights From Games to TV and Movies

OnLive, the on-demand video game service, has addressed many of the issues that initially concerned consumers. With those worries assuaged, and with a physical console on the immediate horizon, OnLive now apparently plans to turn its focus from rectifying problems to diversifying content. According to Reuters, OnLive officially intends to add television shows and movies to its streaming catalog. ...

Netflix Finally Unleashes Streaming-Only Plan

It was always a matter of when, not if. We know you've been patiently waiting for a streaming-only Netflix plan, and now the time has come. Starting today, customers can sign up for a $7.99-per-month Watch Instantly account. All of the plans that include DVD rentals have been bumped up by $1, so a single-DVD and streaming plan now costs $9.99. Still a good deal....

Hulu Plus Cuts Price to $7.99, Officially Launches on Roku

We were already enamored of Hulu Plus, thanks to its portability and $9.99 monthly price. But the benevolent gods of streaming video have slashed the monthly subscription to $7.99, making it even more attractive to people who are getting sick and tired of cable TV shenanigans. In addition to dropping two bucks from the price, Hulu is now offering a one-week free trial for those who are still on...

Boxee Box Launches with Software Update, Netflix and Hulu Plus Coming

The Boxee Box is finally here! Last night, at an event here in New York City, the Boxee crew celebrated the release of its much-hyped -- and overly delayed -- streaming media box. The booze-soaked event celebrated the launch of the angular box, but also marked the official launch of the new Boxee software, which has finally shed the beta tag. With version 1.0, Boxee is proclaiming that it's...

Full 'Conan' Episodes Will Be Available Online Next Day

While Conan O'Brien's ratings might not have satisfied the bigwigs at NBC, he's certainly enjoyed an unprecedented popularity during his nine months of unemployment. And, if his rabid online disciples are as prone to watching videos as they are social networking, we wouldn't be surprised if cable channel TBS's decision to stream full episodes of his new show, starting Monday, were to break records...