Britain’s Box Set habits: Is binge watching bad for our health?

Fans of popular TV programmes such as Game of Thrones (pictured above), the Walking Dead or Orange is the New Black may be familiar with the idea of binge-watching – sitting back and watching through multiple episodes of shows which carry an almost addictive quality. Following a new report released today by Ofcom examining Britain’s Box Set habits, Professor Barrie Gunter from the University of…

Hulu: UK launch is their No.1 priority


A top-dog at Hulu International, Johannes Larcher has announced that the UK is “very ready for a product like Hulu” and that the UK is “number one priority in terms of international expansion”.

Speaking at the IEA’s Future of Broadcasting event in London, Larcher confirmed that the collapse of Project Kangaroo had opened up some possibilities for Hulu.

It is reported that there are still a few stumbling blocks, in terms of advertising control, that need to be overcome before a UK launch is officially announced. A September launch had been touted although it’s not clear if this is still achievable.

When it does arrive, however, expect the service to look somewhat different from its American counterpart. Larcher said: “We will localise our model so we are not perceived as a US company.”

Let’s hope we still get plenty of US content though. I’d take Family Guy and CSI over My Family and Hetty Wainwright Investigates any day of the week.

(via Mediaweek)

YouTube launch XL for your TV


YouTube yesterday launched it’s new multi-platform version of its website, YouTubeXL, designed to bring YouTube content your big screen PC or TV.

The new site is basically an oversized redesign of the current website, minus; comments, adds and other common web-frippery. It’s meant to look and work like a native app, but actually it looks and feels like a Fisher-Price website.

The content is hard to move through and the colours of the site are quite jarring. High Quality and HD videos aren’t available on it either, which seems like a ridiculous omission for a service that’s aimed at large-screen computers and TVs.

The one good thing about XL is that it’ll work in anything that’s got a browser, so you’ll be able to use your PS3 and Wii to watch YouTube videos on your TV.

Not all of YouTube’s content will be available immediately on XL, but with Hulu launching it’s native app stateside this week YouTubeXL will need to pull its socks up if it wants to win the web-TV war.

Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is brilliant for just this reason, but I’m not sure XL knows what it is.

(Via Tech Crunch)

Rumour: Hulu to be offered on Xbox 360

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Could Hulu, the mega-popular VoD service be coming to an Xbox near you? Maybe, if you live in the US.

After Microsoft and BSkyB announced they would be teaming up to offer Sky content on Xbox 360s in the UK, murmurs that a similar service might appear stateside with NewsCorp’s US based VoD being offered on US Xboxs, although nothing official has been announced.

However if you live on the right side of the Atlantic is may be some time yet before you see Hulu on your Microsoft console, although plans to bring Hulu and its wealth of American content to British viewers are afoot.

The proposed service in the UK would pick up the baton from the VoD none-starter that was Kangaroo. Sky opposed the service which would have seen the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 offering content on one online platform. But with Hulu the potential for a single consolidated UK VoD service looks oddly probable, while also offering about 125 days of US content.

But, if and when Hulu does come to the UK, it’ll surely be a while till it finds its way to your 360.

(Via ITProPortal)

Hulu hitting the UK in September?


The Hulu that they do so well over in the States could be coming to the UK in a deal that would bring 3,000 hours of US TV to our virtual shores. The free to view VoD service is looking to buddy up with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in providing an internet platform where all their content can be viewed together in exactly the same way the Kangaroo couldn’t.

But there is a but – two, actually, if I write it like that. There’s issues with how Channel 4 and ITV wish to hold their advertising inventory around the player for their content and, with the Competition Commission lurking round the corner, there’s a horribly familiar feeling in the air that yet another good thing for the consumer could hit the bricks.

I was just about to say that Sky is bound to have a whinge about it, just as they did with Kangaroo, but maybe not so this time. Hulu is backed by News Corp, and News Corp owns Sky. So, maybe this thing does have legs after all.

Still a hell of a lot of teasing out of agreements to do in terms of rules and regs as well as the advertising issue, doubtless, but, fingers crossed, we might actually get what we want this time. Just a shame we needed an American company to come in and sort it out for us.

(via Telegraph)

Kangaroo could be hopping Channel over to France


So, it looks as if the poor developers behind the Competition Commission scuppered Project Kangaroo will not have all their good work go to waste. No matter that the BBC et al couldn’t get the multi-channel video platform up and running in UK because Orange’s parent company, France Telecom, is looking to take it across the Channel.

A spokesperson for France Telecom said: “We are examining this company and we see of course that it could be interesting. Nothing has been decided but we can confirm we are examining it.”

It’d be a bit of a shame for the consumer to see what should have been our service disappear off elsewhere but, with a suspected £20m invested in the project in the first place, you can hardly blame them.

(via Brands Republic)

Full-length movies to hit YouTube

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Sick of watching videos of people’s cats in crappy quality on YouTube? Soon you’ll be able to watch full-length movies in crappy quality on YouTube! And by “soon”, I mean possibly as early as next month.

Google would dearly love to launch an ad-supported streaming movie service, but given the flagrant copyright violations which occur there every second of ever day, the movie studios haven’t been too keen. However, two unnamed executives have confirmed that although it’s not “imminent”, a project along those lines could go live in the next “30 to 90 days”…