Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
UK broadcasters looking at unified on-demand service to battle Netflix
by Paul Hill
According to an article published yesterday in The Telegraph (via MSN), the British broadcasters are looking to band together to fight off rivals such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. Under the existing plans, which are not final, content from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 would all be combined in one space so if you filtered content by Drama, you would see the dramas from each of the services side-by-side. You will also be able to view content by service too.
The report claims that the broadcasters have been in talks since the beginning of the year but that the urgency of the issue has intensified recently as they wish to flesh out a deal before 2023’s smart TVs begin production. If they arrange a deal quick enough, the new streaming platform could get its own button on smart TV remotes.
The introduction of a free, combined streaming service would be very good for people in the UK who currently have to wade through several separate services to find the content they watch. The idea for this service could have come from Britbox, a paid service operated by BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. It offers more content than what’s available on their free platforms but it costs £5.99 per month.
The media regulator, Ofcom, has said that it ‘supports strong collaborative partnerships’ so this news will be welcome. It should also be welcome by the government which announced last week that it wants to ‘protect the creation of uniquely British TV’.
Roku announces plans to expand into its second big European market
by Paul Hill
The TV platform, Roku, has announced (via Reuters) its intention to expand into Germany later this year, making it the second big European market that it’ll be present in. Unlike the UK expansion, where it started out as the software partner for Hisense, it will immediately launch its own hardware in the German market.
Speaking to Reuters, the executive leading Roku’s international expansion, Arthur van Rest, said that there’s a ‘very big secular shift to streaming’ and that this trend is only being sped up by the pandemic that gripped the world last year and is still making itself known with rising case numbers in many countries.
He went on to say:
When Roku launches its hardware in Germany, it will come with apps and content from local partners including Seven.One Entertainment Group, RTL Deutschland, and Sky Deutschland. Of course, other services such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video and Disney+ will be available for those who subscribe to those services.
In the UK, Roku's streaming players come in four variations: Express, Express 4K, Streaming Stick+, and Streambar. Prices range from £29.99 to £129.99 which works out to around €35 and €150 respectively – these are the prices we could see when Roku arrives in Germany later this year.
LG announces launch of LG QNED Mini LED premium TVs
by Paul Hill
LG has announced that it will be rolling out its newest TVs in July that use Quantum Dot NanoCell colour and Mini LED backlight technologies to deliver a premium experience. The new 2021 LCD TVs will deliver deeper blacks, more accurate colour reproduction, and greater contrast and brightness.
The line-up of LG QNED Mini LED TVs consists of the 8K QNED99 and QNED95 series along with the 4K QNED90 series with screen sizes ranging from 65 inches to 86 inches. Aside from the aforementioned improvements in picture quality, these TVs are certified by the product testing agency Intertek to provide 100 percent colour volume and colour consistency. They also eliminate any colour distortion across wide viewing angles so they should be great to watch no matter where you’re sitting in a room.
Commenting on the new TVs, Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company, said:
LG said that the new displays will be available in North America initially before coming to additional regions around the world in the following weeks. LG didn’t state the prices for the TVs but as they’re premium, expect them to be expensive.
The Roku Express 4K+ 2021 model is currently selling at a nice discount
by Sayan Sen
The Roku Express 4K+ 2021, which is the latest model of the type, is currently selling at a discounted price on the Amazon US website. The product is being sold for just $29.99 which is 25% lower than its original launch MSRP.
Roku launched the pair of the newest Express models in April this year. As is usually the tradition, the remote on the Express 4K+ variant features dedicated voice control and search button while the standard non-plus' remote doesn't have that option. In terms of specs, it is tiny. The player is 0.8 in (20.8 mm) high, 3.4 in (86.3 mm) wide, 1.5 in (39.3 mm) deep, and weighs just 1.6 ounces (44.6 g).
Feature-wise, the Roku Express 4K+ runs the new Roku OS 10. As is evident from the name, the player can stream 4K / UHD content. Even if the content isn't 4K itself while your TV is, the Roku device is able to upscale 720p and 1080p stuff to 4K. It also supports HDR10 and HDR10+, as well as Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). Sadly there is no support for Dolby Vision on this.
Likewise in the audio department, Dolby Atmos is also missing. It does however feature Dolby audio pass-through as well as DTS Digital Surround pass-through over HDMI. And it works with popular voice assistants including Siri, Alexa, and Hey Google. The Roku Express 4K+ is compatible with AirPlay 2 screen-mirroring and sharing.
There's good news for console gamers since the Roku devices feature a Game Mode that automatically switches on certain gaming-related features which include:
Auto Low-Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate, HDR gaming, and more. Of course, streaming wouldn't be possible without some decent wireless connectivity and the Roku Express 4K+ packs 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases
Google announces next steps for YouTube TV on Roku devices
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that it has added YouTube TV directly into its YouTube app so that users on Roku devices can continue to access the streaming platform. It comes after Roku pulled YouTube TV from its platform’s store following a failure between the firms to renew their distribution agreement.
To access YouTube TV from the YouTube app, just click “Go to YouTube TV” in the sidebar on the main app. If you don’t see it yet, be on the lookout for an update to the app in the coming days. Google said it will expand the feature to as many devices as it can over time.
The search giant said that it’s still working to come to an agreement with Roku so that customers can continue to access the streaming service, however, in a statement published by The Verge, Roku is not happy about what Google has done, branding Google an “unchecked monopolist bent on crushing fair competition”.
To ensure that customers can continue to access YouTube TV on Roku, Google has also begun discussions with partners to secure free streaming devices on the off chance that Roku finds a way to prevent access to YouTube TV on its platform. On a separate note, Google said it’s also working with Roku to introduce minimum technical requirements for Roku devices so that YouTube delivers a high-quality and consistent experience for users.