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ZODIAC

Found 10 results

  1. Netflix has been at the forefront of streaming video content for consumers and is actively looking to make the experience even better. At first, the company rolled out 4K and HDR support for many of their originals and now, the company is investing in another experiential feature. © Unsplash Netflix has announced that the company is bringing "studio quality” sound for content on its platform that will enhance the overall experience of a viewer. The company is increasing the audio bitrate up to 640 kbps on devices that support 5.1 surround sound and up to 768 kbps for Dolby Atmos. The audio quality will be adaptive similar to how video quality adjusts according to your internet speed. There is a catch though, the high-quality audio will only be available for Premium Subscribers. © Unsplash According to Netflix, “Our high-quality sound feature is not lossless, but it is perceptually transparent. That means that while the audio is compressed, it is indistinguishable from the original source. Based on internal listening tests, listening test results provided by Dolby, and scientific studies, we determined that for Dolby Digital Plus at and above 640 kbps, the audio coding quality is perceptually transparent. Beyond that, we would be sending you files that have a higher bitrate (and take up more bandwidth) without bringing any additional value to the listening experience.” These changes were inspired by a viewing session with the Duffer Brothers, where they were left unimpressed during a screening of 'Stranger Things' Season 2. Since then, Netflix has improved the bitrate for the show to meet expectations of audiences and the Duffer Brothers.
  2. In case you missed the news, Disney announced its streaming service in the US last week called Disney+. It'll have content from Disney Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, to name a few. Yes, that includes all the Marvel superhero and Star Wars movies. As expected, Disney+ is not coming to India, however, Disney will route all the original content created for Disney+ along with its movie library to Indian audiences through Hotstar. That's right, Hotstar in India will host all the Disney+ content, and it's also planning to localize Disney+ movies and shows by dubbing, or by adding subtitles in Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. © Disney Disney's plan to route the Disney+ content instead of launching a separate streaming service does seem like the logical thing to do. Hotstar, a streaming service owned by Star India, is a part of Walt Disney Group after all. Also, Hotstar has over 300 million active users in India, so yes, Hotstar clearly has a wide reach. It's also worth pointing out that Hotstar already hosts content from other services like ESPN and Hulu. That said, India will now be the only market in the world where content from services such as Hulu, ESPN, and Disney+ will live under the same name. © Marvel Lastly, coming to the pricing, Star India is planning to continue with its current subscription plans. While, globally, Disney+ will be priced at $7, Hotstar plans to continue with its current subscription plans i.e. Rs. 299 per month and Rs. 999 per year.
  3. It's been 4 years since I cut the cord and if you're looking to switch from traditional TV to streaming content, you will probably need a streaming device for your TV. Yes, you can watch content on your smartphone but nothing really beats the big screen. I personally own almost every possible streaming device that you can buy in India, in every room. If you are looking for a streaming device for your room, look no further than this list: 1. Apple TV © BCCL It's probably our go-to streaming box that supports every App out there. As a part of the Apple ecosystem, you get access to thousands of applications on Apple's App Store. Apart from applications, Apple TV can also support casual gaming and with Apple Arcade on its way, you will be able to play console-level games on this device. The Apple TV plays host to every essential app such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Hotstar. Apple is also launching its own video streaming service which you can read more about here. You can even get the 4K version if you own a 4K television. 2. Google Chromecast/Ultra © BCCL Chromecast is by far our favourite casting device that can take care of every streaming need. You can even mirror your Google Chrome tabs if you want to stream content from third-party sources. In fact, some of the video players on websites have direct native support for Chromecast. Applications such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hotstar can also stream content directly to Chromecast via your smart device or the Chrome browser. It even supports Google Assistant which is a nifty feature to have if you want to stream content effortlessly. Even though Google doesn't sell Chromecast Ultra officially in India, you can still get your hands on one through unofficial channels. It supports 4K streaming across all applications. 3. Amazon Fire TV © Amazon It's probably our least favourite streaming device on our list as we find the operating system clunky and slow. It does not have native support for YouTube, which is a big negative point for us. The original FireStick TV's remote is also notorious for draining out batteries extremely quickly. Make sure you always have spare batteries or rechargeable batteries handy. In terms of content, FireStick TV does have native support for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hotstar. You can even use Kodi to manage your own library if you know what you're doing. There's also a 4K version available to buy which takes the viewing experience up by a notch. 4. Nvidia Shield TV © Nvidia Nvidia Shield is a device that is focused on streaming video but also appeals to gamers who own an Nvidia GPU. Nvidia Shield TV supports 4K resolution and HDR streaming based on the Android TV platform. You can play games from Android's app store or stream your PC games over WiFi. For 4K streaming, it supports all the major OTT services besides Hotstar.
  4. Mark Ruffalo and Avengers spoilers go hand in hand. I'm sorry, but he has brought the title of 'King of Spoilers' upon himself. Well, actually, he shares that with Tom Holland, to be honest. As Robert Downey Jr puts it, he is a repeat offender and has accidentally revealed so much more than he was supposed to so many times. But, it has always somehow worked in his favour, keeping him from 'getting fired' from Marvel aside. We can talk about the various occasions he let something out about these million-dollar movies - and we will, everyone wants to see Mark's greatest hits - but the biggest faux pas has to be the 'Thor: Ragnarok' incident. In case you don't remember, Mark genuinely gave out spoilers when he forgot to end his Instagram Live right as the movie started at the premiere. That was one of the best and the worst and the most hilarious things ever. He's talked about the immediate reaction to this before when some from Disney had to come and tell him to shut off his phone. Well, looks like he'll never leave it behind because even the Avengers are still talking about it. Recently, the OG Avengers and Kevin Feige sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about 'Endgame' while not actually talking about 'Endgame'. Scarlett Johansson talked about how much this press tour was stressing her out, she said, “I'm gonna have PTSD from this [press tour.] I mean, honestly, it is so stressful. At the end of every day, I lie awake at night and I think about all the things I almost said. It gives me panic.” But, obviously no one knows that stress like Mark and he made sure to tell that to everyone. At that point, RDJ called him a “repeat offender”, but Mark's been to reeducation camp now, apparently. Then the conversation drifted to Mark talking about the biggest thing he has spoiled and Ragnarok won because “that was the one that got him the call from up high.” But, Chris Hemsworth came to his defence. He said, “Wait, wait, that was actually genius! There might be some strategy there, because [the audience] laughed so hard during that [footage]. All [viewers] could hear was laughing. They went, “It must be good!” Even Mark agrees that it was some of the best unplanned promotion ever. He said, “It sort of turned around on me because when I came to work on Monday [on the set of Endgame] everyone ran up to me. I thought they were coming to scream at me — Barry, he threw his arms around me. 'That was genius! We got more press than we could have possibly paid for!'” Well, all's well that ends well? I mean, Marvel will probably still not trust Mark completely and that's understandable but it's great that he got to see a silver lining to this debacle. Good for you, Mark!
  5. It's Game Developer's Week and Google just stole the show with a game streaming service called 'Stadia' that challenges the current status quo of the gaming industry. The service will let users stream AAA demanding games to PC, Mobiles, Tablets, Chromecast and Laptops from the cloud and is expected to launch sometime in 2019. Having said that, the streaming service is not scheduled to launch in India anytime soon. There are many contributing factors such as low internet speeds and general infrastructure that is currently not up to the mark when compared to the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. If you want to know how Stadia works and what all it can do, you can read all about it here. © YouTube However, India is one of the fastest growing markets for internet services where the country is the second largest market for smartphones. India also has the cheapest internet plans across all service providers which has increased the number of internet users in India tenfold. For Google, this is potentially the biggest untapped market as mobile gaming in India has become the preferred choice of platform for Indian gamers. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla With the sudden success of PUBG Mobile, demand for gaming smartphones has increased ever since the phenomenon took over the country. It proves that India has a huge pool of gamers on smartphones that have made games like PUBG a huge success. Smartphone gaming is extremely important for Indian customers and Google's new service can potentially provide AAA gaming to an audience that can't afford to build their own PCs or buy new consoles. For many, it will be a first-time experience that will no longer be exclusive to the affluent or passionate gamer. Gaming Is Expensive In India © MensXP Gaming is an expensive affair in India and if you want to get a real feel of India's gaming scene, Akhil Arora from NDTV paints the true picture in his piece here. Games are generally sold in India for $60 ( a direct conversion) for an audience that does not earn in the same currency. The story gets worse for hardware because of India's harsh import duties and taxes on gaming consoles. As NDTV points out “A salaried middle-class Indian has to work 9-14 times more to afford a PS4.” It's a real problem here that can be resolved by Google's Stadia platform. Not only does the streaming service makes games accessible and cheaper, but it also lets users play games on devices they already own. For the first time in India's gaming industry history, AAA gaming can be mainstream and affordable thanks to services like Stadia. What Are The Barriers? © Youtube Let's face it, India does not have the required infrastructure to support game streaming at the moment, at least on a large scale. Even though ISPs now offer Gigabit connections, it's still not as widespread as it should be. Having said that, India is on the path of rapid Digital development with companies like Jio making fibernet accessible and affordable for the average Indian. Latency is the obvious issue here that needs to address which we can only know when Google Stadia launches. © Reuters Coming back to smartphone gaming, 5G is said to support smooth game streaming, however, we won't see 5G services launch in India before 2021. In fact, we don't even know how well game streaming will run as it has not been tested in the real world yet. Having said that, the future does look bright for Google Stadia in India, as the country's infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace and doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon. Sure, it may be a few years away but sooner or later, Google Stadia will change the game for an average Indian gamer. Are you interested in Google's Stadia platform? Would you like to play AAA games on your smartphone or tablet? Let us know in the comments what you think about Stadia.ee
  6. Microsoft showed off its Project xCloud and gave a first look of the service working in action. The company has been developing a cloud-based game streaming platform for a while, which is expected to be the future of gaming. Microsoft is already planning to stream games that are made for the Xbox One and is also planning to launch a disc-less console soon. © YouTube As part of the demo, we can clearly see Forza Horizon 4 running in a data centre and being streamed to an Android smartphone. The game is being controlled by an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth. “Anywhere we have a good network connection, we'll be able to participate in Project xCloud,” Microsoft head of gaming cloud Kareem Choudhry said in the video Choudary also went on to explain that Project xCloud will work similar to music or video streaming services i.e you can log in from any device i.e. a phone or even a laptop and find the library similar to music libraries. Basically, this service will work on any device that has a screen and play demanding games on the fly. © Microsoft The service will also give you access to your cloud saves, friend lists and everything that users are already familiar with on the Xbox One. However, Choudry went on to say that “It's not a replacement for consoles, we're not getting out of the console business,” © Microsoft Game streaming services are being touted as the future of gaming thanks to new technologies like 5G and cloud computing. Google is also launching its own game streaming service next week at GDC 2019. Microsoft already offers a subscription service in the form of Xbox Game Pass where users can play Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for Rs 699 per month.
  7. A year ago, Spotify officially announced its plans of expanding to India, and the company has finally made its way here. While Netflix is the most popular video streaming platform worldwide, Spotify holds the same title in the music streaming segment. The company has the highest number of paying subscribers in the world and India is the 79th where Spotify has launched. It operates on a "freemium" model, meaning users can access all songs for free, but they're streamed at a lower quality and the app has ads to monetize the consumption. The motto is to convert free users to a paid subscription and in return offer more features like high-quality playback and no ads. © Spotify The service in India will come with more than four crore songs and 300 crore playlists offering Indian and international music, across moods and moments. The company has already partnered with T-Series and Sony for local licensing and is currently fighting in court against the Warner Music Group (WMG). The app has built-in multilingual recommendations and specially curated playlists for listeners in India and new users can avail a 30-day trial of the Premium offering. To access, you can either visit the website or download the Android. © Reuters In terms of pricing, the simple one month plan costs just Rs 119 (US$ 1.67), compared to US$ 9.99 (Rs 700) in the United States. Spotify is offering a wide array of flexible subscription options, including a yearly plan that costs Rs 1,189. If you don't want a recurring subscription, a top-up can be availed and it costs Rs 13 per day and can go up till Rs 719 for six months. The platform has also integrated local payment options like UPI and PayTM, in addition to debit and credit cards. © Reuters In comparison, Apple Music costs Rs 120 per month, JioSaavn is free for Jio users (limited period), and Google Play Music charges Rs 99 per month. Amazon Music comes bundled with Prime and costs Rs 1,000 per year (includes Prime Video). While the platform is popular for its music collection and suggestive algorithm, it'll require a ton of local content to succeed in India. And Spotify says plans to solve this in a mutual way. "India has an incredibly rich music culture, and to best serve this market, we're launching a custom-built experience. Not only will Spotify bring Indian artists to the world, we will also bring the world's music to fans across India,” said Daniel Ek, Spotify's Founder and CEO.
  8. Video games may change as we know it, thanks to a new space that is going to be occupied by Google and even Apple. Companies like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony need to be on the fence, as Google is about to enter the highly profitable video game business with Project Stream. Game Developer's Conference is about to take place next month and Google is said to unveil its gaming streaming service. The invitations were sent out for the March 19 keynote, however, did not mention the topic of discussion. © Gooogle The gaming unit is going to be building on the success of Project Stream where games will be running on the cloud and streamed directly to a PC, Tablet, TV or anything that has a display. The experience, however, still remains to be seen as the games will be streamed, and different types of internet connections may affect the overall experience. Laggy connections are a major concern when streaming games which could be a huge factor when considering a streaming service. The new streaming service is said to compete directly with Steam, the Epic Games Store and even consoles. Google is not the only tech giant that is looking into the video games industry, rumours suggest that even Apple is also looking at announcing its own version of a gaming console or a subscription service. © Gooogle Currently, Sony's streaming service called PlayStation Now offers 650 games on the PlayStation 4 which includes classic and catalogue titles. Microsoft is also looking into the game streaming, as the company has started public trials for Project xCloud which will let gamers stream Xbox One games to computer, phones and tablets. Would you stream games on your Tablet, PC or Smartphone? Let us know in the comments if Google's new project excites you. Source: Fortune
  9. Apple is gearing up to launch its rumoured streaming service as soon as early April or May and is one of the many subscription services Tim Cook has already confirmed. The streaming service will feature shows Fromm HBO and other channels, however, will not feature existing services like Netflix. © YouTube The streaming service will essentially bundle different streaming platforms into one subscription that Apple customers can buy. Apple device owners will be able to buy and watch in a dedicated TV app on iOS. Apple already boasts more than 50 million subscribers for its music service and it is possible that we could see a similar number for the video service thanks to the sheer number of Apple devices out there. Apple is believed to be investing at least US$1 billion in content and has acquired the rights to a new series starring and co-produced by American actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. © Apple Having said that, Apple's new video service will compete directly with Netflix for streaming eyeballs. When Netflix first started streaming its content, it already has a plethora of content lined up to keep everyone busy. Apple may struggle to achieve the same in the beginning as it would pack only a handful of shows at first. It would be interesting to see how Apple will populate its streaming service for users. Apple's new subscriptions service will be somewhat similar to Amazon Prime. The Cupertino giant is expected to offer a subscription plan that will include music, video and news. Whether it would be enough to sway customers towards the service; only time will tell.
  10. Ninja, the prolific games streamer whose real name is Tyler Belvins, has been ruling the internet with streaming games online. Ninja was already a competitive Halo player for the year; however, he achieved new found success after streaming Fortnite with rapper Drake in 2018. © YouTube The success has obviously paid off and he told CNN in an interview that he made nearly $10 million (Almost Rs 70 Crore) in 2018. He told CNN in an interview that 70 percent of his earnings came from Twitch and YouTube via ads and subscriptions. 30 percent of his income came from sponsorship deals with companies like Samsung, Red Bull and Uber Eats. Let's not forget that Ninja's $10 million earning is probably before tax. However, it's still a lot of money for a streamer to make in 2018. Earlier in 2018, Ninja reported that he was making around $500,000 every month from various sources. © YouTube In the interview, Ninja mentioned that he spends around 12 hours each day streaming, and in 2018, he estimated he played over 4,000 hours of Fortnite. Ninja has also seen success in other areas such as a cover star of ESPN magazine and also made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. Fortnite and other Battle Royale games have been taking over the world for the past two years and it doesn't seem like the game will lose steam anytime soon. Ninja believes Forntite still has a lot of room to grow and will continue to stream the game. Ninja has also expanded to his own clothing line which he sells via his website and streams. MensXP also streams PUBG weakly on our Facebook and YouTube page, make sure you check us out for tips and exciting moments. Source: CNN
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