Tag Archives: video

Elon Musk’s X Is Launching A YouTube Clone For Smart TVs

In a bid to compete with YouTube and recast itself as a video platform, Elon Musk’s X is launching a television app for Amazon and Samsung smart TV’s, a source at the company told Fortune. The company plans to launch the app next week, and a source says it looks “identical” to YouTube’s TV app.

Musk’s goal is to encourage users to watch “long videos on a bigger screen,” part of a plan first teased in July designed to make X more attractive to online influencers and advertisers.

The launch of X’s TV app comes as the platform, formerly known as Twitter, and mostly popular as a service for posting short text-based messages, seeks to play a larger role in the crowded streaming video market. In January, X declared that it was “now a video-first platform,” touting a new feature reminiscent of TikTok’s immersive full-screen infinite scroll experience.

Musk’s vision for streaming video seems to be focused around media celebrities, online influencers, and online video game streaming. The social media platform recently inked a deal with former CNN star anchor Don Lemon for a new show exclusively on X, and former Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson often publishes long-form video content on X, most notably a recent interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The billionaire owner of X has also urged content creators to migrate their entire video content to X, asserting that they stand to benefit from enhanced ad revenue streams. Mr. Beast, a prominent YouTuber posting 243 million subscribers, put X to the test by uploading a full-length video and publicly disclosing his earnings.

PCmag wrote that Elon Musk is reportedly looking to get into the streaming business with a television app for Amazon and Samsung smart TVs.

A January blog post from the X Business team claimed that the service is “now a video-first platform.” The company recently enabled long-form video uploads, and X says people watch video in eight out of 10 user sessions on the site. In December 2023 alone, users watched the equivalent of 130 years’ worth of videos that clocked in at 30 minutes or longer.

X, previously known as Twitter, has long dabbled in exclusive videos, mostly in support of live-streaming events. In 2016, shortly after it signed on to stream 10 NFL games, Twitter launched live-streaming apps for Apple TV, Xbox One, and Amazon Fire TV.

For those with a smaller presence on social media, X recently added a video-feed option to its Clubhouse clone Spaces, so a host can appear on video while chatting live with other people, similar to Twitch.

TalkAndroid wrote: If you’re active on social media, you either hate or love the takeover of Twitter by notorious billionaire Elon Musk. It didn’t take long for the platform to be rebranded as “X” and to have a number of major changes made to the social media platform’s DNA.

Besides mixing things up, Elon made it clear his desire to grow X beyond what Twitter used to be — the addition of video and voice calls recently shows this off. But now, it looks like an app we thought would be restricted to our smartphones and computers is about to find its way to smart televisions. That was not on my 2024 tech bingo card.

In my opinion, it sounds like Elon Musk has been putting the pieces together to make X into an “everything app”. The current new thing appears to be allowing users to upload their videos to the platform.

Meta Makes Video Editing Easier

Meta posted in its Newsroom “Video on Facebook Keeps Getting Better”. They are giving users the ability to edit their Reels or videos. From the newsroom:

We’ve started to roll out updates that will bring more Reels editing tools to Feed, making it even easier to create dynamic videos on Facebook. Whether posting a video for friends and family to see, or trying to reach people who share similar interests, our video editing tools will make it possible for people to express themselves in new ways via Reels or long-form videos.

Seamless editing: We brought audio, music and text all into one place on Reels, making it easier to layer and time creative elements to create the perfect reel. And now, it’s also available on Meta Business Suite for reels and for video on Feed.

More clip editing tools: Get creative with your video by speeding up, reversing or replacing your clips.

Enhanced audio: Mix the right sound into your video by exploring and adding music and audio clips, recording voiceovers, and reducing unwanted noise.

According to Meta, people also now have the ability to upload HDR videos from their phone to Reels and for that video to play back in full HDR, the first of our efforts to bring true HDR video support to our family of apps.

All Videos in One Place on Facebook

We’re also making it simpler to explore and engage with the best videos on Facebook – whether you’re looking for popular reels, long-form videos from top creators, or Live content.

The Video tab, previously known as Facebook Watch, is now the one-stop shop for everything video on Facebook, including Reels, long-form and Live content. The Video tab will look familiar – you can scroll vertically through a personalized feed that recommends all types of video content – but it will also feature new horizontal-scroll reels sections that highlight recommended reels, so you can quickly jump into short-form video content – but will also feature horizontal-scroll reels sections that highlight recommended reels, so you can quickly jump into short form video.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook is porting editing tools for Reels to videos for the main feed – this way, people can create short and long videos from one place. Meta is rolling out this tools to Meta Business Suite users already. Additionally, the company is releasing additional editing features, such has the ability to adjust speed, reverse, or replace a clip. Meta is also introducing support for HDR videos on Reels – both video uploading and playback.

According to TechCrunch, in addition to this video-focused feed of videos, users will be able to access an explore page behind the search button. When users tap on it, they will see different hashtags and topic with related short and long videos.

Engadget reported that Facebook is revamping its in-app video hub to give its content an Instagram-style makeover. The changes will bring Reels’ editing tools to all Facebook videos, as well as a new “Explore” section to highlight trending clips and other recommendations.
According to Engadget, it also comes with a name. The tab previously known as “Facebook Watch” will now simply be called “Video”. The section, which will has short-form clips like Reels as well as live video and longer form content, will continue to live at the top of the Facebook app.

In my opinion, it appears that social media sites are competing against each other in the hopes that users will pick their video creation tools over the ones from other companies. Facebook has been encouraging users to cross-post Reels from Instagram to Facebook.

New Tom Hanks movie to be released straight to Apple TV as an exclusive

I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone of who Tom Hanks is. The man who gave us things like Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Captain Phillips and Sully, just to name a few.

Now Hanks has a new movie and this release will be unique, but also a sign of the times we’re living in. With theaters closed Sony reached a deal with Apple TV to give it exclusive rights to the World War II submarine movie “Greyhound”

The movie had been slated for father’s day weekend, but Apple has given no date when they’ll begin showing it.

This is not the only movie going this route,  “Scoob” is now on Amazon Prime directly. And others have or will follow suit.

What will this do to the theater industry? It’s hard to say. It may recover when all of this passes, but will people return or will they become used to this new way of doing business? It will be interesting to see this play out.

In the meantime Sony has released a trailer which you can watch here

Aveine: Breath of the Wine at CES 2018

As serious wine connoisseurs know, you have to let red (and some white) wines breathe after opening, allowing them to aerate for the best aroma and taste. As a generalisation, the younger the wine, the longer it needs to rest before drinking. Very young wines might need a few hours, but half-an-hour is the minimum. And simply taking the cork out doesn’t count: the wine needs to be decanted (or double-decanted back into the bottle) for proper aeration. If this sounds like too much effort, then take a look at Aveine, a connected aerator and winner of a CES Innovation Award. Don and Matthieu get every wine tasting its best.

Thanks to the connected aerator Aveine, you can immediately taste any wine in ideal conditions without having to wait 30 minutes or more. Place the aerator on the bottle, scan the label with your smartphone and serve. The smartphone checks for the wine in its database, connects to the Aveine and adjusts the aeration so that the aerator breathes the right amount of air as the wine is poured allowing it to breathe in an instant. Any red wine will benefit and there’s no waiting around or pouring into decanters.

The Aveine aerator is launching on Indiegogo in March – signup for notifications at Aveine. Retail pricing is expected to be US$200 with deals on Indiegogo. Delivery in June.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

P.S. This is possibly the funniest CES video – a few things are lost in translation.

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Smarten up the Garage Door with SkyLink at CES 2018

Converting a house into a smart home shouldn’t mean replacing every electrical device for a new smart model. A cheaper and greener way is to add smart features in with wireless accessories. A good example here is SkyLink Nova which adds smart capabilities to automatic garage doors at relatively low cost. Don and Frank take a closer look at SkyLink Nova and its accompanying ecosystem.

The SkyLink Nova is wired into an existing garage door opener using the standard connections used for the interior open/close button. Once connected up, the Nova can be remotely controlled with the SkyLink smartphone app (iOS and Android). Nova is also compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT) platform and Alexa so the garage door can be opened (or closed) by talking to an Echo.

The Nova itself looks like an LED light fixture and works as a smart home hub too, communicating with up to 100 smart devices. In addition, it can detect sirens from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. When one of those is heard, Nova will automatically open your garage door to aid in ventilation in the case of an emergency.

SkyLink‘s Nova will be on sale in the spring for under US$100.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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Get Smappee for Energy Efficiency at CES 2018

The efficient use of electricity is a win-win: it both saves money and saves the planet. At home, energy-efficient LED lightbulbs have all but replaced incandescent bulbs, which means the quick wins are gone. The next step is to identify the big energy consumers in the home and that’s where Smappee comes in. Stefan and Don save the world.

Smappee is an energy monitoring system that identifies the energy usage and behaviour of major appliances in the home. Each fridge, AC unit, cooker, TV has a unique electrical “fingerprint” and over time the Smappee monitor works out which appliance is starting and stopping, sometimes with a little help from the homeowner. With this information, Smappee shows the running cost of each one in the complementary Smappee app. Anything that consumes more than 20W can be identified but really the wins are with devices that use kilowatts of power.

Smappee doesn’t require an electrician to install Smappee as it uses a sensor clamped round the live cable coming from the meter. Nothing needs to be cut or permanently installed.

Smappee is available now for US$350.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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Encrypted Storage with SecureDrive at CES 2018

Encrypted external hard drives and USB memory sticks have been around for at least a decade, but most of the time it’s either locked or unlocked: if you have the password, you’re in. Sergey from SecureDrive shows Scott their security solution to this common problem.

SecureDrive specialise in hardware encrypted data storage. They’ve three product ranges with varying capacity (1 – 5 TB) to address different security and storage requirements.
– SecureDrive BT, which uses Bluetooth and an app for authentication
– SecureDrive KP, which uses keypad authentication
– BackupDrive, which backs up files and encrypts them with built-in anti-malware
For the rapid transfer of large files, all the devices use USB 3.0, and for security, it’s pending FIPS 140-2 level 3. That’s pretty secure.

The unique part of the SecureDrive solution focuses on the BT model, which uses Bluetooth and an authentication app. Instead of the drive only being locked or unlocked, the solution allows additional controls for geo-fencing and time schedules. For example, the SecureDrive BT can be set to only unlock between 9-5 M-F or only if the unit is within company premises. In addition, there’s remote management so authorisations can be revoked and the drive remotely wiped.

The drives are assembled in Ohio, USA, and they’re available for purchase priced at  US$299-$499. The remote management feature is a subscription service.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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