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Briefly: AMD Mantle API SDK enters beta, Redbox Instant on Chromecast

05/01, 9:58am

AMD starts private beta of Mantle SDK, launches resources portal

AMD has opened up a software development kit for its Mantle graphics API in a private beta. Mantle, which allows programs to call directly to AMD GPUs and APUs without passing instructions through the CPU beforehand, lowering the need for a powerful processor and bringing PC gaming in line with consoles and their reliance on AMD graphics. AMD has also set up a protected development portal for the API, providing restricted access to various Mantle resources.

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Briefly: Tweetbot 3 adds night theme, Redbox now supporting AirPlay

11/27, 5:36pm

For the second time this month, Tapbots has released an update to its full-featured Twitter client for iOS, Tweetbot 3. Entirely redesigned in October for iOS 7, Tweetbot 3 offers users native push notifications, customizable navigation, and a synced timeline position.

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Briefly: Line user milestone achieved, Redbox Instant on Lumia devices

11/25, 7:34am

Line reaches 300M users, aims for 500M within 2014

Mobile messaging app Line has passed the 300 million user milestone, increasing from 200 million in just four months, with CEO Akira Morikawa aiming for the company to reach 500 million users in total within 2014. While the company has previously tried to drum up interest in the United States, Line states that the largest growth areas are in fact regions such as Spain and Mexico, with future expansion plans targeting India, Turkey, and Western Europe.

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Redbox, Vimeo, HBO to support Chromecast, phone streaming app created

07/31, 8:26am

Developer able to stream video, photographs directly from phone to Chromecast

The Google Chromecast will be receiving more support in the future, with reports of Redbox, Vimeo, and HBO preparing to take advantage of the device. The possible new additions come at the same time as a developer shows off a way for smartphones to directly share images and video with the streaming dongle.

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Briefly: Lovefilm stops game rentals, Redbox Instant on rooted Android

07/03, 11:33am

Lovefilm shuttering game rental option in UK on August 8th

Streaming and DVD rental service Lovefilm is putting a stop to video game rentals in the United Kingdom. The Amazon-owned service has already removed the option for new subscriptions, with Eurogamer reporting that existing subscribers will be able to continue receiving game discs until its full closure on August 8th. Lovefilm will still be providing DVD and Blu-ray rentals by post for the foreseeable future.

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Redbox Instant by Verizon goes live in United States

03/14, 5:27pm

Service emerges from beta with over 4,500 titles for streaming

After beta testing for nearly four months, the combined Verizon and Redbox streaming media effort Redbox Instant is available to the general public. For $8 a month, or $9 a month for Blu-ray kiosk rentals, the service offers four rental days a month, in addition to computer and portable device viewing of the rotating selections on the online movie service.

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Microsoft: Redbox Instant to be Xbox 360 exclusive launch

02/05, 3:11pm

Streaming service still expected in first quarter of 2013

According to a blog post by Larry Hyrb, the Xbox Live director of programming, Verizon's Redbox Instant movie streaming service is coming to the Xbox 360 as a console launch exclusive. Xbox Live subscribers currently involved in the Redbox Instant beta program will be receiving emails with unique codes to access the app on the Xbox 360 in "the coming days." Both an Xbox Live Gold account, and a Redbox Instant account are required for the service.

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Verizon, Redbox begin deploying Redbox Instant

12/19, 1:12pm

Verizon and Redbox have started rolling out Redbox Instant, according to the service's Twitter feed. The service is only deploying "gradually," Redbox says, and the company is asking for people to sign up to a wait list if they can't already subscribe. An account costs $8 a month for unlimited streaming and four DVD rentals; access to Blu-rays raises the price to $9. For streaming, Redbox is promising support for both web browsers and mobile apps.

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Redbox Instant to launch later this month at $8 per month

12/12, 11:49am

Streaming service offers access through iOS, Android devices

Redbox and Verizon have publicly announced that Redbox Instant will be launching its streaming service later this month. Offering unlimited streaming of thousands of movies, Redbox Instant has also been confirmed to be offered through the web, as well as iOS and Android portable devices, Samsung and LG Blu-Ray players and Smart TVs, and Google TV.

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Redbox Instant details leaked through beta support pages

11/30, 3:31pm

Netflix competitor streamable to iOS, Android, Xbox 360

More details of Redbox Instant by Verizon's streaming service have surfaced, including the all-important subscription rates. The initial selection of devices the Netflix competitor will be available on has also leaked, as well as the existence of a combined streaming and DVD service that still uses the Redbox kiosks.

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Redbox-Verizon streaming to come by year's end

09/28, 7:29pm

Verizon to hold majority stake, service in testing

Verizon and Redbox appear to be nearing the release of their long-rumored streaming video collaboration, with the service said to be set to debut by the end of this year. Bloomberg reports that a Verizon executive revealed that the service is currently in testing and will focus solely on newer movies. The service will take subscription streaming like that seen with Netflix and combine that with movie sales, movie rentals, and DVDs from local Redbox kiosks.

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Comcast dismisses idea of teaming with Netflix

03/09, 2:25pm

Comcast won't bring Netflix to its portfolio

Despite recent reports that Netflix is in talks with cable providers on some form of partnership, Comcast has gone on record to say it has no interest in such a deal. It won't add the service to its Xfinity subscribers as an on-demand offering or part of its billing service on any device, claims a New York Times report. Netflix believes it could be offered by major cable providers as a premium offering.

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Redbox signs new deal with Universal Studios

03/01, 11:50am

Redbox deal with Universal lasts until mid-2014

While it recently ended its agreement with Warner Bros., budget DVD and Blu-ray rental kiosk operator Redbox has now signed a deal with Universal Studios. The deal extends until August 2014 and keeps the 28-day delay window Redbox had with Warner Bros following a home entertainment release. Redbox and Warner argued about the delay window, with the studio arguing 28 days is too early considering the $1.20 daily rental price for the movies.

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Disney may be next with forced 28-day Netflix delays

02/08, 8:20pm

Studios continue to push for disc sales

Disney is reportedly considering imposing a 28-day delay between DVD or Blu-ray movie releases and availability through rental chains such as Netflix and Redbox. The company's chief executive, Bob Iger, noted the potential strategy change during a quarterly conference call with investors and analysts.

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Redbox grabs NCR leisure assets, may end Blockbuster kiosks

02/06, 7:00pm

Redbox takes on NCR entertainment division

Redbox finished Monday by acquiring NCR's entertainment division. The $100 million move would see it buy NCR's 35,000 disc kiosks, usually attached to Blockbuster Express, as well as retailer deals and discs themselves. As part of the swap, Redbox's parent company Coinstar will get software and services that will ultimately make a $25 million profit for NCR.

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Redbox, Verizon team on hybrid Internet, disc movie service

02/06, 9:35am

Redbox, Verizon to give downloads, streams, discs

Redbox and Verizon started the week with word of creating an all-encompassing movie service. The strategy would see Verizon provide movie downloads and streaming while Redbox supplied new Blu-ray and DVD discs to rent. While details were short, it would have subscriptions "and more," all while making sure viewers had access on the "media and devices they prefer."

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Redbox deal with Warner ends, ends 28-day delay at a cost

01/31, 11:05pm

Redbox must buy discs but gets them faster

Disagreements between Redbox and Warner Bros. may have inadvertently benefited viewers after a deal between the two expired Tuesday. Redbox will now have to buy Blu-ray and DVD discs from retail to stock its catalog rather than at a lower price from Warner, but it will no longer face the 28-day delay instituted by Warner to try and shelter traditional rentals and sales. Warner earlier in the month had started insisting on an even longer 56-day delay that likely pushed Redbox into the more expensive but much faster arrangement.

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Warner Bros. extends delay for DVD rentals, streaming

01/05, 9:35pm

Wait period doubled to 56 days

Corroborating earlier reports, Warner Brothers is said to be set to extend the delay time for movie availability through streaming providers or DVD rental outlets. Customers will now have to wait 56 days from the start of DVD sales before titles will arrive through streaming channels or disc rentals, essentially doubling the window from the current period of 28 days.

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Blockbuster faces 28-day delay for Warner Bros DVDs

10/27, 9:55pm

Same restrictions on DVDs and streaming

Warner Brothers has reportedly imposed a 28-day delay for DVDs headed to Blockbuster's rental locations. The studio appears to be following the same strategy with Blockbuster rentals as it has maintained with other players such as Redbox and Netflix, which also face the same month-long window between DVD sales and rental availability.

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Redbox hikes rentals to $1.20 per day

10/27, 7:55pm

Price jump blamed on debit card fees

Redbox has announced that its DVD rental service soon will cost customers $1.20 per day, marking a 20 percent price jump from the current rate of just $1.00 per day. Parent company Coinstar blamed the fee hike on an "increase in operating expenses, including the recent increase in debit card interchange fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment."

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Redbox begins renting video games in kiosks for $2

06/17, 10:05am

Redbox video game rentals for $2 arrive June 17

Redbox has made good on its promise to bring $2 video game rentals to its self-service kiosks by announcing the service will kick off on Friday, June 17. Game rentals will be available at all 21,000 Redbox locations and include popular and fairly new gaming titles for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles. Some of the newer available titles include LA Noire,Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, Infamous 2 and Brink.

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Blockbuster drops rental prices to fend off Netflix, iTunes

05/27, 1:00pm

Blockbuster drops in-store DVD rental prices

Blockbuster, which recently sold to Dish, has now revealed that it has lowered retail, in-store rental prices of DVDs as of May 27. Old titles will cost 99 cents per day, new releases have dropped to $1.99 for the first day, and just-released films now cost $2.99. Each additional day costs 99 cents.

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Redbox to bring game rentals to kiosks in June

04/28, 7:20pm

Redbox to bring $2 game rentals to kiosks in June

Redbox, which currently offers Blu-ray and DVD movie rentals from self-service kiosks in stores, announced it will also begin renting games in June. The scheme was experimented with last year in limited locations. It will charge $2 per day for games in addition to its current offering or $1 per day for DVDs and $1.50 for Blu-ray discs.

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Judge greenlights Dish's buyout of Blockbuster

04/07, 6:30pm

Judge approves Dish buyout of Blockbuster

A bankruptcy court judge on Thursday gave approval to Dish's buyout of Blockbuster. The clearance for the $320 million deal was needed before the two could complete the deal, which has now been narrowed down from spring to April 25. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said he was happy with the deal, in part since Dish would keep business mostly intact and take over many leases and the on-the-spot DVD rental kiosks.

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Zediva offers online rentals, competes with Netflix, Redbox

03/16, 6:25am

Offers online rental service for new releases

Zediva, a video rental company based in Sunnyvale California has launched an online movie rental service for new release movies. For as little as $1, users can instantly watch movies wherever they have access to an internet connection. Zediva is offering users who sign up before March 31, two free rentals. Zediva claim that they will deliver new release movies online, weeks before similar titles become available online through Netflix or Redbox, as they will not withhold the online viewing option on new release DVDs as Netflix and Redbox do.

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Redbox confirms subscription service, may team with Amazon

02/17, 10:40am

Redbox says online movies subscription base

Redbox at an analyst presentation said its tentative movie streaming would follow the subscription model. In confirming the plans, President Mitch Lowe said it would follow a strategy similar to Netflix, where members would get the Internet streaming along with access to physical copies. Redbox wouldn't mail discs but would instead give access through kiosks.

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Blockbuster shuttering 182 stores in 2011

12/21, 4:45am

Expected to emerge from bankruptcy

Blockbuster plans to close another 182 stores in the next few months according to a report. The move is part of a restructure designed to return the company to profitability under the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which it filed for in September. The latest closures come after the once dominant DVD rental giant also shuttered more than 2,000 stores over the past two years.

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Blockbuster kiosks face same 28-day wait as Netflix, others

12/17, 8:30am

Blockbuster kiosks wait 28 days for Warner Bros

Blockbuster on Friday said that its Express kiosks would have to wait 28 days before getting new movies from Warner Bros. to rent. Despite having trialed same-day launches as recently as the past few weeks, such as Fox's Knight and Day, the company has agreed to stall the $1 DVDs in return for closer contact with Warner Bros. as well as a lower distribution cost and healthier supply. It already had similar deals with Fox and Universal.

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Redbox confirms streaming in 2011, may not follow Netflix

10/30, 3:30pm

Redbox says in talks for 2011 movie streaming

Movie kiosk operator Redbox has confirmed in a conference call late this week that it's planning to offer Internet movie streaming in 2011. The CEO of parent company Coinstar, Paul Davis, explained that there were talks with a "number of highly interested parties" hoping to start a Redbox Internet service in 2011. Physical rentals were still to be a core feature, but Internet video was a "significant opportunity," Davis said.

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Redbox to detail online movie service in October

07/19, 4:35pm

Redbox confirms Internet movie plans

Best known for its $1 DVD rentals, Redbox today confirmed rumors of an Internet movie service. The company's president Mitch Lowe promised to Bloomberg that details would come in October and promised that it would be an extension of the service, achieving things that the company "canít do in [its] kiosks."

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Paramount resists pressure, gives Redbox same-day movies

06/15, 5:50pm

Paramount won't follow studios on Redbox delays

Paramount bucked the trend to major resistance towards non-traditional movie rentals by striking a same-day deal with Redbox. Under the terms, both Blu-ray and DVD movies will be available through the on-the-spot kiosks the same day as they're available to rent elsewhere. The movie studio rejected the fears that have led Warner Bros. and other studios to try and force 28-day delays, arguing that there's ultimately no impact to giving RedBox $1 rentals at the same time.

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Redbox may start $4 monthly movie streaming

04/07, 12:05pm

Redbox could undercut Netflix

The pioneer of the movie rental kiosk, Redbox, is considering starting a very low cost Internet video streaming service based on the contents of a recent survey. As proposed, it would cost just $4 per month for unlimited online viewing and would still include four of the normally $1 DVD rentals as part of the plan. Which platforms would get the service weren't part of the study.

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Warner makes Netflix delay new movies 4 weeks

01/06, 5:15pm

Streaming threat makes Warner stall Netflix

Netflix today said it had struck a deal with Warner Bros. to keep receiving new release movies. Under the terms, Blu-ray and DVD movies will only reach Netflix four weeks after they're first available at physical stores. In exchange, Netflix rights to Warner's movies for its Watch Instantly streaming feature and should see the movie catalog expand significantly beyond its current levels.

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Blockbuster slips plans to close up to 960 stores by 2011

09/16, 1:10pm

Hit by withering effect of mail, digital

Rental chain Blockbuster Video will close between 810 and 960 stores by the end of 2010, an SEC filing reveals. While putting a significant number of people out of work, and closing off some markets, the move is expected to add another $50 to $60 million to annual earnings before expenses like taxes and interest. The company has over 7,000 stores worldwide at present, scattered across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia.

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