(Reuters) – The National Football League said it signed a multi-year partnership with Twitter Inc <TWTR.N> to deliver video and other content to NFL fans on a daily basis.

A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Content, including in-game highlights from pre-season through Super Bowl 50, will be distributed across Twitter from the start of the 2015 season, the NFL said in a press release.

The partnership expands on the NFL’s existing partnership with Twitter since 2013, and Twitter users will now have access to more official NFL content than in the past. Continue Reading…

By Eric Auchard, Jussi Rosendahl and Leila Abboud

FRANKFURT/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Nokia <NOK1V.HE> is hiring software experts, testing new products and seeking sales partners as it plots its return to the mobile phone and consumer tech arena it abandoned with the sale of its handset business. Once the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, the Finnish firm was wrongfooted by the rise of smartphones and eclipsed by Apple and Samsung. It sold its handset business to Microsoft in late 2013 and has since focused squarely on making telecoms network equipment.

The Nokia headquarters is seen in Espoo, Finland, July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lethikuva

The Nokia headquarters is seen in Espoo, Finland, July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lethikuva

Now Nokia boss Rajeev Suri is planning a comeback. He must wait until late 2016 before he can consider re-entering the handset business – after a non-compete deal with Microsoft expires – but preparations are underway. The company has already dipped its toe into the consumer market; it has launched an Android tablet, the N1, which went on sale in January in China and days ago unveiled a “virtual-reality camera” – heralding it as the “rebirth of Nokia”. It has also launched an Android app called Z Launcher, which organizes content on smartphones. Continue Reading…

By Curtis Skinner

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Teams of video gamers playing characters ranging from wizards to monsters exchanged virtual punches, fireballs and lightning strikes over the past six days, battling at the main event of the Dota 2 International 2015 tournament in Seattle. And by the end of Saturday’s finals, five players, including a 16-year-old, became more than a million dollars richer.

Members of Evil Geniuses compete in the Grand Finals of The International Dota 2 Championships at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Members of Evil Geniuses compete in the Grand Finals of The International Dota 2 Championships at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Now in its fifth year and playing to a sold-out crowd in the 17,000-seat Key Arena, the International has grown every year in size, popularity and possible winnings for players. The tournament launched in 2011 with a then-groundbreaking grand prize of $1 million and now offers an $18 million prize pool. Continue Reading…

As cable providers examine technological enhancements to reclaim and more effectively manage their finite network throughput, they’ve dabbled in both MPEG-4 encoding and Switched Digital Video. Whereas SDV manages tuning in a more efficient manner, modernizing from the MPEG-2 format results in fundamentally smaller video. And Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, will imminently flip the switch to MPEG-4 in some Georgia and California markets.

For customers running newer cable boxes and DVRs, the transition should be seemless. However, folks on older hardware will need to swap boxes. Those with Comcast gear need merely walk into the store to receive new Xfinity equipment or even arrange it online. But for TiVo owners, the inherent risk in purchasing retail cable hardware manifests

Series3/HD: IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED! These DVRs will lose everything except local HD channels. All other HD cable channels will be incompatible.

TiVo has never disclosed model breakdown, but I’d guess 20-30% of their active DVRs are Series 3 and TiVo HD CableCARD variants. And, thus, if they had an easy fix to provide MPEG-4 compatibility to this generation of hardware they’d surely implement it. Especially given Comcast’s expected nationwide transition, ramping up towards the end of this year. Further, at some point, we fully expect Verizon to follow suit with FiOS – who’s also had a small number of MPEG-4 channels in the mix for a while. Continue Reading…

Xbox One’s media center capabilities continue to shift away from the original, but perhaps misguided, promise of HDMI pass-thru and IR control. After recently adding over-the-air HDTV tuning, and as foretold, Xbone will receive DVR capabilities in 2016. Continue Reading…

The TiVo Bolt narrative is coalescing…

tivo-bolt-google

We’ve seen the trademark filings. And we’ve seen the CableLabs certification. Now, by way of Google (above) pointing to TiVo’s own website (below), we can divine that the TiVo Bolt “Unified Entertainment System” will be a Roamio replacement. At least to start with. We know for certain there will be two cable-capable models and at least one over-the-air model – aka “Bolt Aereo” or “Aereo Edition” if TiVo’s page links are any indication.

tivo-bolt

Industry sources suggest this is primarily a substantive design refresh as they continue to rebrand. Indeed, these curved white set-tops are certainly unique (and won’t stack well). So, if you were anxiously awaiting TiVo 4k, I imagine we’re still tracking for 2016.

tivo-bolt-aereo-edition

Timeline:

(Reuters) – Nvidia Corp said it was recalling some of its Shield 8-inch tablets in the United States as the battery in these devices can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The chipmaker has received four reports of batteries overheating due to thermal runaway, including reports of damage to flooring.

The Android-based tablet, which has a price tag of $300-$400, is targeted at gaming enthusiasts and comes equipped with batteries that are made to last longer. Nvidia, better known for its graphics chips, said it would replace Shield tablets with battery types that test Y01 it sold in the United States since the product’s launch in July 2014. Nvidia has asked owners to use the tablet only to initiate a replacement process on the company’s website and to back up data. Continue Reading…

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sharp Corp on Friday said it would exit the TV set business in the Americas and consider more steps to shore up its finances, after reporting a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss on weak sales of smartphone displays. The Japanese electronics maker said it would sell its TV manufacturing plant in Mexico and license its brand in the Americas to China’s Hisense Group. In a separate statement, Hisense said it would pay $23.7 million for the business.

A woman holding her umbrella walks past an advertisement poster for Sharp Corp's Aquos outside an electronics shop in Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A woman holding her umbrella walks past an advertisement poster for Sharp Corp’s Aquos outside an electronics shop in Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Osaka-based Sharp was once a highly profitable manufacturer of premium TVs and a favoured screen supplier to Apple Inc, but has struggled to innovate enough to fend off Asian rivals. But, in May, the company sought $1.9 billion in its second major bank-led financing in three years. In return, it promised to cut 5,000 jobs, or 10 percent of staff.

“Sharp has not been able to fully adapt to the intensifying market competition, which led to significantly lower profits compared to the initial projections for the previous fiscal year, and has been suffering from poor earnings performance,” Sharp said in a statement explaining the TV business sale. Continue Reading…