If you've ever spent time in the company of young children watching colorful and cartoony TV shows geared to their innocence -- say something on Sprout or Nick Jr. -- then you'll know what it is to live in the world of Henry. The computer-animated virtual reality short about a lonely hedgehog is only the second to come from Oculus VR's newly founded Story Studio, an innovation lab of sorts for VR. But whereas most recent gaming- and entertainment-focused VR works have relied on cheap thrills, suspense and fear to dazzle viewers, Henry instead engages with empathy.
"That was the big question for me: How are people going to connect with him?" says director Ramiro Lopez Dau of Henry's emotional bent. "So we came up with this character who has an obvious problem: He wants to hug people and he's super spiky. So that was the connection because everyone deserves a friend. And Henry doesn't have a flaw. He's just like that; he's a hedgehog. ... So it's more about, okay, there's some meaning here. You will find someone who will accept you for who you are, which is a very universal message. ... There's going to be a very strong point to feel empathy for this guy."
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WISI Group, a German provider of broadband reception and distribution technologies, has acquired the majority stake in Inca Networks, a Canadian provider of multiscreen video delivery solutions. Read the story »
Telekom Austria’s Bulgarian subsidiary Mobiltel has acquired 100% of blizoo, the country’s leading cable operator, from EQT V for an undisclosed fee. Read the story »
The highest organic growth in 11 years has taken the number of Sky subscribers in the UK and Ireland to over 12 million. Read the story »
Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch has expressed caution on the launch of an Ultra HD service. However, CFO Andrew Griffith told analysts at the presentation of Sky’s annual results that the pay-TV platform will move to a single hardware platform by 2017. Read the story »
Launching the channel 4K Funbox UHD will be a big technical challenge for Kino Polska TV, according to Boguslaw Kisielewski, the latter’s president. Read the story »
The Romanian regulator ANCOM has imposed new obligations on the providers of pay-TV services in the country. Read the story »
In case Shenmue 3 and a Castlevania spiritual successor were a bit too recent and console-centric for your nostalgia kick, maybe the new King's Quest will tickle your fancy. The hand-painted adventure game's first episode is out today across a wide swath of platforms (PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 an Xbox One, Windows). Creative director Matt Korba writes on the PlayStation Blog that the aim was to make a family-friendly game in an effort to bridge the gap between players of yore and today. What's more there are apparently quite a few references to the original games hidden here and there. Should you want to try and find 'em for yourself, it's $9.99 per episode or $39.99 for the season pass.
Source: PlayStation Blog
Central European Media Enterprises (CME) had total net revenues of $292,967,000 in the first half for its six operations in CEE. Read the story »
The Czech IPTV service O2TV ended the second quarter with almost 190,000 subscribers. Read the story »
German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland faced declining customer additions, lower ARPU and increased loss in Q4 2014/15. Read the story »
We're checking in a bit late with this week's selections of what to watch -- luckily the highlights are yet to come. For anyone who writes or reads reviews, Comedy Central's Review with Forest Macneil is ready to scratch your scoring itch in a funny, out of control way each week. Last season Forest reviewed addiction, theft, racism, orgies and many other topics -- we can't wait to see what season two brings. Netflix is ready this week with Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a prequel to the movie. ESPN also has its final 30 for 30 of this round of documentaries, as Angry Sky focuses on Felix Baumgartner predecessor Nick Piantanida's three attempts at setting a highest jump record. Finally, this weekend a collection of Reading Rainbow episodes is coming to Netflix.Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
You won't have to wonder about when Netflix will start streaming much of its its exclusive and original programming -- the company has provided scheduling for seemingly all of it in one shot. To begin with, it's renewing the weird-yet-familiar cartoon BoJack Horseman for a third, 12-episode season that will arrive in 2016. Can't wait that long? Longmire, the rescued A&E crime series, will make its Netflix debut on September 10th of this year, while a documentary about Keith Richards, Under the Influence, is due on September 18th. There are a slew of comedy specials arriving between August 14th (Demetri Martin) and December 18th (Mike Epps). Aziz Ansari's comedy series Master of None will show up on November 6th, and Chelsea Handler is hosting a four-movie documentary series that's "coming soon."
If you've been livestreaming the Super Bowl and missing out on all of those commercials, that's about to change. Variety reports CBS will stream all of the ads during the game in February, so those watching via the internet will be privy to the same quality entertainment each time there's a break in the action. In the past, advertisers have had to choose a streaming option on top of the regular broadcast slots. If you streamed this past February's game, you likely noticed the same handful of commercials on repeat. That's why. This time around, though, CBS is said to be treating all of the ad spots equally and advertisers will have to consider delivering content in both places. The report also indicates that CBS plans to charge a record price for each 30-second spot -- likely more than the $4.5 million NBC commanded this year. What's more, the network won't let companies "opt out" of the livestream either. In recent months, NFL content has made a big splash online with clips on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube alongside Yahoo's plans to stream a regular season game from London.
[Image credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images]
When Hawk the Slayer came out in 1980, Jason Kingsley became an instant fan. The film features magic swords, elven mindstones, giants, dwarves, sorcerers and a massive battle between pure evil and noble good. Think Dungeons & Dragons in real life, on the big screen. For weeks after Hawk the Slayer's release, Kingsley would borrow his dad's wind-up 8mm cine camera and attempt to recreate the movie in the woods of his hometown. Now, as CEO of UK video game company Rebellion, Kingsley has the opportunity to produce Hawk the Hunter, the official sequel to Slayer. If the movie's Kickstarter succeeds, Kingsley will be working with original director Terry Marcel and actor Ray Charleson (above). It's a fantasy come true.