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Found 12 results

  1. Netflix and Comcast will be available on the same cable box later this year, but Netflix video will still count against Comcast data caps. Netflix's deal to get its online video on Comcast's X1 set-top boxes alongside traditional cable TV channels was reported earlier this month by Recode, with the companies saying they "have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year." The deal raised questions about whether Netflix would be exempt from Comcast data caps, but it has already been decided. A Comcast spokesperson answered "yes" when asked if Netflix will continue counting against data caps after being integrated into Comcast cable boxes. "All data that flows over the public Internet (which includes Netflix) counts toward a customer’s monthly data usage," Comcast told Ars today. Comcast imposes 1TB monthly caps in portions of its territory, with overage fees ranging from $10 to $200 a month unless customers pay an extra $50 for unlimited data. View the full article
  2. Netflix released its earnings report for the second quarter today. The company was one of 2015's best performing stocks, but has seen its share price stumble in recent months on projections of slower growth. Today it reported $1.97 billion in revenue and net income of $41 million. Adding to worries about its growth, the company added just 1.54 million subscribers, well below its own projections of 2.5 million new customers. The stock is down around 14 percent in after-hours trading. In its letter to investors, Netflix blamed the weak subscriber growth on churn, meaning older customers exiting. "Our global member forecast for Q2 was 2.5m and we came in at 1.7m. Gross additions were on target, but churn ticked up slightly and unexpectedly, coincident with the press coverage in early April of our plan to un­grandfather longer tenured members and remained elevated through the quarter," Netflix wrote. "We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering." The company stuck to its guns on the price hikes, writing that "while un­grandfathering and associated media coverage may moderate near­ term membership growth, we believe that un­grandfathering will provide us with more revenue to invest in our content to satisfy members, thus driving long­term growth." View the full article
  3. On Wednesday, Microsoft claimed that its Edge browser was the only one of the big four browsers—which also includes Chrome, Firefox, and Opera—to offer 1080p resolution while playing Netflix content. A quick test of all four browsers by PCWorld proved this claim to be true, with the other three browsers capped at 720p. Currently, Opera runs Netflix at a maximum resolution of 720p. Why this matters: Microsoft’s been busy trying to rehabilitate the reputation of Edge, which suffered after the browser initially offered slower performance than its competitors, while also lacking the plugins and extensions that other browsers, particularly Firefox, have offered for years. Performance in Edge has since improved, and it has began offering a few plugins for public use. These are important steps for Microsoft if Edge is to avoid the fate of Internet Explorer, which became known as the browser users loved to hate. View the full article
  4. Despite a recent appellate court ruling that said sharing passwords could be grounds for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, streamers who might be sharing Netflix or Hulu passwords don’t really have anything to be worried about. Here’s a summary of the case: David Nosal worked as a director for a headhunting firm called Korn Ferry International. He left the firm to start his own competing business and had been using the login information of his former assistant who still worked at Korn Ferry to download valuable proprietary information from the company’s database. Nosal was charged with conspiracy, theft of trade secrets and three computer fraud counts and later sentenced to prison time, probation and nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines. View the full article
  5. Cable giant Comcast will allow popular web video streaming service Netflix onto its X1 platform, the companies confirmed after being asked by Recode about talks to do so. Said the pair in a statement: “Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We'll provide more details at that time.” Sources said the deal to be on the cable giant’s set-top box would be akin to the arrangement that Netflix has cut with smaller cable operators in the United States and bigger ones across the globe. Basically, the Netflix app is present on the X1 platform, for users to sign into, making it easier than using other ways to do so. Netflix also has deals with Apple, Roku and Google’s Chromecast, with its app offered on these Internet TV services. It also is embedded in smart televisions. A recent report by Morgan Stanley, in fact, raised this possibility of a Comcast deal, especially noting that it could benefit by getting a larger bounty from Netflix for adding subscribers. It would also help Comcast have a more competitive video offering to others, like Roku, Verizon and Dish, that have apps from services like Hulu and Netflix. View the full article
  6. Since it first debuted in 2007, Netflix’s streaming video service has remained largely unchanged. A lot of content has come and (mostly) gone, but the basic idea – that of a streaming, web-based service – has stayed the same. That may not be the case for long. Netflix is reportedly considering adding offline functionality, which would enable users to download content and watch it offline. Subscribers would still be able to stream online, but they would also be able to enjoy Netflix in places without Wi-Fi or 4G. That second part, of course, would be a major change. So what do stakeholders think of the new idea? We polled Netflix’s user base to find out. Our results, based on more than 1,000 responses, indicate that Netflix users would love offline viewing – and would use it quite often. View the full article
  7. In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything. As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising. So where’s a streaming company to find new profits in a tight market? According to some people, the answer is for Netflix to start showing ads, like competitor Hulu does. That would give the company new revenue streams without forcing them to raise prices. Of course, there’s a group of stakeholders that’s still left unaccounted for here: Netflix’s customers. We decided to ask them about the issue. And, in a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, we got some pretty clear answers. View the full article
  8. So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon's own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them. Earlier this week, Verizon went back to its blog with another blog post from David Young, this one even snarkier than the last. Snark can be fun, but if the underlying message is completely bogus, you're going to run into trouble. In fact, Young's underlying message is so weak, that he more or less admits to absolutely everything that Level 3 was claiming in its post -- while pretending it's Level 3 that actually admitted fault! View the full article
  9. Reed Hastings recently stood before new employees packed into the company’s campus movie theater, pulled a gray hair from his head and held it up for all to see. A single fiber optic strand, as thin as that hair, could carry massive amounts of data — the equivalent of all of Netflix’s global video traffic at any given time, he marveled. The co-founder of Netflix has been thinking much more about broadband providers these days, with his company spearheading a lobbying effort to get federal regulators to monitor how Internet service providers charge Web firms like his to move data around the Internet. It’s a risky effort. Netflix, which gobbles up one-third of bandwidth during peak hours, doesn't think companies like theirs should pay extra to place its servers closer to the networks of Comcast and Verizon. The issue reveals Netflix at an important turning point. It won kudos with television critics, nominated for 31 Emmys on Thursday. But it’s making enemies out of the companies it relies on most — the cable and telecom firms providing all those lightning-fast Internet connections as thin as his hair. The following is an edited transcript of a recent interview in the “Hawaii Five-O†conference room at the company’s headquarters. Hastings had just returned from watching the U.S. play against Germany in an early World Cup 2014 match. View the full article
  10. The Federal Communications Commission has demanded—and received—the paid peering agreements Netflix signed with Comcast and Verizon, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today. While Wheeler said the commission has "broad authority," he didn't promise to take any action beyond gathering information. "To be clear, what we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating," he said. According to Comcast, the FCC has actually had the Comcast-Netflix agreement for months, but it had not previously revealed that fact. Wheeler said he wants to make sure consumers get the Internet service they pay for—something that has not been happening for many Netflix users. View the full article
  11. After months of complaints by Netflix, the Federal Communications Commission is beginning to look into the streaming quality issues that Netflix subscribers have been seeing on Comcast and Verizon. Netflix has been in a heated and public battle with internet providers over network congestion that's supposedly slowing its service down, with both sides pinning responsibility on the other. "Consumers pay their ISP and they pay content providers like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon. Then when they don’t get good service they wonder what is going on," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says in a statement. "I have experienced these problems myself and know how exasperating it can be." The FCC has obtained the terms of the agreements that Netflix made with both Comcast and Verizon earlier this year that have it paying them both in order to resolve these issues. The FCC says that it doesn't yet have a full understanding of what's occurring between the companies, and it's continuing to evaluate to see who's at fault for the connection problems. "Consumers must get what they pay for," Wheeler says. "As the consumer’s representative we need to know what is going on." Wheeler says that the FCC is continuing to request information from internet and content providers. View the full article
  12. Netflix is now paying Comcast for a direct connection to the internet service provider, as it seeks to ensure that Comcast customers experience fewer hiccups when using its video streaming service. And it’s doing much the same with Verizon, another major internet provider. But Google believes this kind of arrangement shouldn’t involve money. The tech giant lets Netflix inside its ISP, Google Fiber, and it doesn’t charge a penny. “We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities, and they provide their own content servers,†Google Fiber director of engineering Jeffrey Burgan wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way–so why not help enable it?†The post is yet another salvo in the ongoing battle over the economics at the heart of the internet. As Comcast and Verizon begin charging companies like Netflix for access to their networks, many are worried that the big name ISPs will gain too much control over which technologies succeed on the net or which don’t, and companies like Google are pushing back, hoping to prevent a future where Comcast is a de facto gatekeeper for the internet. View the full article
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