Microsoft May No Longer Require Xbox Users To Pay Extra For Access To Streaming Video

Microsoft May No Longer Require Xbox Users To Pay Extra For Access To Streaming Video

UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed this report and additionally announced that it will soon begin selling a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One for $100 less than the current sticker price of $499. [More]

What A Difference A Payoff Makes: Comcast Customers Now Seeing Decent Netflix Speeds

What A Difference A Payoff Makes: Comcast Customers Now Seeing Decent Netflix Speeds

Nearly three months ago, Comcast and Netflix revealed that after months of rapidly degrading data speeds for Netflix subscribers on Comcast’s network, the streaming video company and the country’s largest ISP had reached a deal where Netflix would pay for more direct access to the Comcast network. In the short time since, Comcast has jumped from the rear of the pack to near the front. [More]

Amazon, Google, Reddit, Netflix, 4Chan, Dozens Others, Plead With FCC To Protect Net Neutrality

(Chris Harrell)

In perhaps the most motley crew (as opposed to Mötley Crüe) of tech and Internet companies ever assembled for a single cause, around 150 businesses representing everything from content and infrastructure to gaming, crowdfunding and 3-D printing have written the FCC to ask that it not completely screw up net neutrality. [More]

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

While numerous advocacy and public interest groups have publicly come out to declare their opposition to the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, those companies whose business will most directly be affected by the tie-up — broadcasters, streaming services, production studios, advertisers — have remained relatively silent. But it’s not because they don’t have an opinion on the matter. [More]

Netflix Will Also Pay Verizon To End Streaming Bottleneck

Netflix Will Also Pay Verizon To End Streaming Bottleneck

The months-long game of chicken between Netflix and Verizon has come to an end, with the streaming video company agreeing to pay off the ISP for a more direct connection to its network. For Netflix users with FiOS accounts, it means you will finally be able to watch streamed reruns of Mad Men without having to guess which character you’re looking at, but it continues to demonstrate that ISPs can passive-aggressively compel data-heavy content companies to ante up in order to reach their users. [More]

Netflix Is The Newest Channel In The Lineup For Some Cable Customers

Netflix Is The Newest Channel In The Lineup For Some Cable Customers

Netflix and cable companies: they’re natural enemies, like cats and dogs or Superman and Lex Luthor. And yet for as hard as some cable companies are working to compete against Netflix, others appear to have worked out an accord. For customers of three smaller cable providers, Netflix is now a channel they can surf to just like any other. [More]

Amazon Prime Scores HBO Programming (But Not Game Of Thrones)

Amazon Prime Scores HBO Programming (But Not Game Of Thrones)

For years, HBO has resisted making its library of original programming — shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, True Blood, Deadwood, etc. — available to online subscription services, choosing instead to limit that archive to either its own HBO Go service or to people willing to pay to rent or buy them individually. But today, Amazon announced that its Amazon Prime streaming video offerings will finally soon include unlimited streaming access to a variety of HBO programming (though not the one that’s the most sought-after right now). [More]

AT&T Throwing Its Hat In The Online Video Ring With New Venture

AT&T Throwing Its Hat In The Online Video Ring With New Venture

Times used to be, the only kids on the block offering online video services were Netflix and Hulu. But slowly, ever so slowly, the smell of money to be made has been luring competitors like Amazon and Youtube and now, AT&T. The telecommunications company announced a new $500 million deal to start its own online video venture. [More]

Netflix Increasing Prices, Thinks Comcast-Time Warner Merger Is A Terrible Idea

Netflix Increasing Prices, Thinks Comcast-Time Warner Merger Is A Terrible Idea

This afternoon, Netflix released its latest earnings report, where the company told the world about its $53 million quarterly profit and impressive growth in subscriptions. That’s all very interesting, but not what we at Consumerist are interested in. We care about one other piece of information that Netflix mentioned: they plan to raise prices for the first time in years. [More]

Now That Netflix Is Paying Comcast, Users Finally Get Decent Speeds… But At What Cost?

Comcast's speed has rebounded to its fastest ever since bottoming out in January.

The good news: Netflix’s deal to pay Comcast for better access to its network is working. The bad news: This will now set a precedent that Internet service providers can hold content companies hostage with complete disregard to net neutrality. [More]

An example of the Netflix scam in action. (CBS News)

Scam Alert: No One From Netflix Will Ever Ask For Remote Access To Your Computer

Whenever someone you don’t know asks for remote access to your computer, a huge, noisy and very insistent alarm bell should immediately start clanging in your head. Because it’s probably a scam to get access to your personal files, credit card information and other information. [More]

Netflix’s New 4K Streaming: Watch Kevin Spacey Or Big Cats Chasing Down Prey

Netflix’s New 4K Streaming: Watch Kevin Spacey Or Big Cats Chasing Down Prey

While me, you and most likely everyone you know probably doesn’t own an Ultra HD 4K TV, for those that do own the newer, 2014 models, Netflix says it’s just started streaming 4K content, as expected. Which means yes, you can get up close and personal with Kevin Spacey’s face(y), if that’s your thing. No judgment. [More]

Consumerist’s At-Home, Hands-On Impression Of The Amazon Fire TV

Consumerist’s At-Home, Hands-On Impression Of The Amazon Fire TV

Last week, Amazon unleashed its new video-streaming device the Amazon Fire TV (or fireTV, as the label reads), which the company says would be faster and easier to use than competing devices like the Google Chromecast Apple TV and the Roku products. We recently purchased one to see if it lives up to those promises (and because the Consumerist Bat Cave can never get enough streaming video). [More]

Amazon Finally Unveils New fireTV Streaming Thingy. What Is It?

Amazon Finally Unveils New fireTV Streaming Thingy. What Is It?

After years of speculation, reports, and rumors that Amazon was developing some sort of set-top box, the company finally pulled back the curtain on the long-awaited development this morning. It’s called the fireTV and it does just about everything you’d expect a new streaming service to do; perhaps more if your expectations were low. But is it worth it? [More]

FCC Isn’t Considering Pay-For-Access Deals In New Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Isn’t Considering Pay-For-Access Deals In New Net Neutrality Rules

Back in February, after a federal court gutted net neutrality but before Netflix agreed to pay a premium to Comcast to alleviate its data bottleneck, we predicted that any new neutrality rules would not do anything to prevent the slowdowns that users of Xfinity, FiOS and U-Verse had complained about. If you were more optimistic and holding out hope that the FCC would at least consider this issue, prepare to be disappointed. [More]

Will Netflix Speeds Improve For Verizon, AT&T Internet Customers Anytime Soon?

Will Netflix Speeds Improve For Verizon, AT&T Internet Customers Anytime Soon?

Starting in the second half of 2013, Netflix speeds on several major Internet service providers began to sink drastically as the ISPs allowed Netflix downstream traffic to bottleneck, resulting in slow, fitful delivery to consumers who had paid Netflix for the service and the ISPs for broadband access. Earlier this year, Comcast speeds turned up out of their nosedive when the company made a profitable deal with Netflix, but what about everyone else? [More]

Not A Joke: Comcast Says No One Is More Dedicated To Net Neutrality Than It Is

Not A Joke: Comcast Says No One Is More Dedicated To Net Neutrality Than It Is

A month ago, Comcast and Netflix seemed to be buddy-buddy when the streaming video service agreed to pay a price to end Comcast’s passive-aggressive efforts to make sure its customers had cruddy access to Netflix. Then today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had a not-so-nice word or two about his new paid-peering partner. [More]

Comcast/TWC Netflix Speeds Improve After Payoff; Verizon Still Hasn’t Bottomed Out

Comcast/TWC Netflix Speeds Improve After Payoff; Verizon Still Hasn’t Bottomed Out

After months of slowed-down data speeds for Netflix users on Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s network, speeds rebounded the very same month that Netflix agreed to pay Comcast money for more direct access to its network. [More]