October 18, 2013, 6:00 AM —
There've been a few interesting 'streaming video' news items this week; enough for a recap of sorts. Let's jump right in.
Nintendo 3DS (and 2DS) owners can now enjoy Hulu Plus on their handheld gaming systems. It looks like they've set things up so the library is on the lower screen while the content plays on the larger upper screen. Hulu is pushing their "vast library of commercial-free kids shows." Commercial free? That I didn't know. Hulu Plus content for adults, of course, has advertising even though it also requires a subscription fee.
Anyway you can learn more about Hulu Plus for 3DS at the Hulu blog.
If you're more apt to be carrying around an Android tablet or phone, you'll be happy to learn that Netflix is rolling out Netflix 3.0 for Android. For the most part this is a performance update. The new app is reported to be snappier and to work better with Chromecast streamers.
That's the good news. The bad news is they still don't support Netflix profiles. That's a big deal for multi-device households. I spent the time to sort our Instant Queue into "Me," "Her," and "Family" profiles only to find out that devices that don't support profiles will only show the "Family" list (since that was the original list).
In other Netflix news, there's a story going around that the company might start testing the waters for 'bonus content' to go along with its Netflix Originals. You know the kind of thing: deleted scenes, director commentary and things of that nature.
Personally I enjoy bonus content for sci-fi and fantasy stuff. Mostly the "making of" featurettes. I'd love it if Netflix could just get the content that's already being put on DVDs and Blu-rays but this sounds more like original content the company would produce. It's all a bit hazy but you can read more at VentureBeat if you're interested.
Last up is the announcement of the new "Samsung Smart Media Player." It's a $149 box that turns your 'dumb' TV into a Samsung Smart TV that comes with "more than 100 Smart Apps."
What sets this box apart from something like a Roku or Apple TV is that it'll accept a CableCARD from your cable provider and let you ditch the set-top box that your cable company rents you. If nothing else it's more attractive than the typical cable-provided monstrosity, though I'm not sure if renting a CableCARD is much, if any, cheaper than renting the box.
The Samsung Smart Media Player will be available on October 23rd. You can learn more about it at BusinessWire.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.