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Internet TV on rise in the U.S.

According to the recent survey of Nielson, around three million Americans had cut their cable television subscriptions last year as an increasing number turned to the Internet.

The Nielsen survey released last week found that some of those getting rid of cable moved to packages from telecom provider or satellites, but overall subscriptions fell by 1.5 million, or around 1.5%.

Findings of survey

But still the survey proves that American TV watching is not dead. Approximately 98% of video programs watched are on TV sets, and the number of high definition TVs has grown by eight million. But the TVs are increasingly connected to the Internet or devices such as game consoles, allowing streaming of the content.

“After several years of consistent year-over-year growth, traditional TV viewing declined one half of one percent or roughly 46 minutes per month,” the Nielsen report said.

The usage of video programs on handsets has changed very little in the year, at around four hours per month, the survey found.

Google™ Play and YouTube® to rent 600 MGM® movie titles

Google has joined hands with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to offer 600 of the studio’s movie titles to rent through online video sharing service YouTube and its Android app store Google Play.

The deal will apply to the U.S. and Canada regions, and will include blockbusters such as ‘The Terminator’, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Robocop’, with more titles to be added gradually in the coming weeks. The deal comes after Google’s recently inked deal with Paramount to offer 500 of its films to rent in the U.S. and Canada, including ‘The Godfather’ trilogy, ‘Transformers’ and last year’s Martin Scorsese-directed kids’ movie ‘Hugo’.

The premium rental service of YouTube will also receive access to the above-mentioned movie titles. Google typically charges anything between US $1.99 and US $3.99 for film rentals. The YouTube service is accessible through computers and mobile devices. You can also access the online video-sharing service on Google TV, an Internet-connected TV platform, which is available on certain Sony TV models and Blu-ray players as well as the Logitech Revue set-top box.

Transform your 1080p YouTube® videos to 3D

A move that can be termed as futuristic, Google has added a new feature that will help you to turn your 1080p YouTube videos to 3D with just a push of a button. The company has now introduced this option as a Beta feature that will let you transform your high-definition 2D videos in various 3D modes.

This amazing feature will work for all 1080p YouTube videos of less than 15 minutes duration. So, even if you have uploaded a high-definition 2D video a year back, you can still convert it into 3D with just few simple steps.

You may also need inexpensive, colored 3D glasses to watch your favorite YouTube videos in 3D. You can make an appropriate selection from ‘Red / Cyan’, ‘Green / Magenta’, and ‘Blue / Yellow’ depending upon the color of your glasses. And if you own active shutter glasses, you can opt for the ‘Interleaved’ option.

So, what are you waiting for? Just choose a YouTube video and turn it into 3D.

TiVo® and Microsoft® dismiss lawsuits against each other

Digital video recorder (DVR) company TiVo and software giant Microsoft Corporation have mutually reached an agreement to drop lawsuits against each other. This decision was taken following TiVo’s settlement with AT&T Inc., who is the partner of Microsoft. Alviso, California-based TiVo was sued by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft over patents in two cases in the U.S. District court and also at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Both parties agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other leading to a patent stalemate. In regulatory claims, TiVo said that it did not grant patent rights to Microsoft and agreed to drop its claims. Microsoft then did the same.

TiVo showed its happiness over this development by releasing a written statement that it was pleased with the outcome. On the other hand, a spokesman from Microsoft said that the company wouldn’t comment on this.

To know in detail why Microsoft sued TiVo, click here to read the news article that appeared on a popular tech portal.

Can iTunes® really deliver 1080p quality videos?

While unveiling the third generation Apple iPad, the company pushed a major update for its multimedia product known as iTunes. By and large, people use Apple iTunes to synchronize audios and videos on their devices. And for a long time, the software was lacking the support to play high-quality videos. Recently, the latest iTunes is out in the market and it is capable of showing high-quality video content and that too in 1080p. In fact, the video quality has exceeded the mark of 720p, keeping the file size intact. A big surprise came when the same format was compared with a 1080p Blu-ray video.

According to the analysis, it was certainly great to see the video playback in iTunes which was meeting the strength of a Blu-ray player. Since the test was carried out on a different hardware architecture, it was difficult to take the screen images. Therefore, few snaps were clicked to identify the real aspect ratio. At the first instance, you might experience that Blu-ray videos are far better but images captured in iTunes 1080p cannot be ignored. iTunes does exhibit the similar color quality as seen in its opponent. However, the updated version of iTunes lacks few features, such as commentaries, uncompressed audio tracks, and better noise compressing facility.

YouTube® for Schools — Education without walls

Learning gets just better, walls vanish, places shrink, the global classroom, as YouTube puts it, has just arrived

YouTube, the revolutionary and most popular platform for media streaming, has launched yet another channel dedicated to build up a knowledge resource for better and interactive learning — YouTube for Schools. Just few days back, it had introduced two similar channels — YouTube Teacher and YouTube EDU. While the Teacher channel is aimed to facilitate teachers with some ways to teach the students in more conducive manner, the EDU channel is a database of educational videos for students at all levels. In this view, the latest release appears a step further in the same direction.

YouTube for Schools can serve as a significant tool when it comes to sharing the knowledge with the students. Once a school signs-up with a Google account, it can access all the videos that are on YouTube EDU. The videos range from short and quick lessons to full courses and lectures from the reputable universities around the world. The school management can create and control the playlists of different videos, to be shown on its user account. Moreover, while the management can access all the videos listed on the EDU channel, the students would be able to access only those allowed by it. The interface is customized in such a way that the features, such as related videos and comments, would be disabled by default.

With such an initiative, it could be marked as the beginning of an innovative concept in the field of education. In due course of time, YouTube for Schools can become a milestone endeavor, proving to be global, effective and enriching to a multitude of young minds and budding scholars.

To register an account, visit the YouTube for Schools webpage.

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