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    Discs vs. data: Are we helping the environment by streaming? / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 4 May - 17:41

Image of a pile of DVDs

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

Earth Day was April 22nd, and its usual message—take care of our planet—has been given added urgency by the challenges highlighted in the latest IPCC report. This year, Ars is taking a look at the technologies we normally cover, from cars to chipmaking, and finding out how we can boost their sustainability and minimize their climate impact.

Gone are the days of going to Blockbuster to pick out a film for a night in. Physical media like CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, Sony’s weird PlayStation Portable UMDs, and countless other formats have been thoroughly dethroned thanks to a barrage of streaming services like Netflix— itself ailing at the moment—Amazon Prime, and Spotify.

For the first time in the past 17 years, CDs saw an increase in sales—of 1.1 percent , or 40.59 million units in 2021, compared to 40.16 million units the year prior. In 2021, people purchased 1.2 billion pieces of physical video media, compared to 6.1 billion a decade prior. Meanwhile, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, revenue from music streaming grew 13.4 percent to $10.1 billion in 2020.

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    Plex has done what Apple and Google couldn't: Create a watchlist that works across all your streaming apps

    GadgeteerZA · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 7 April - 18:57

Rolling out now to the service’s public beta is the new Discover section that helps you search, add, and stream any movie or TV show across multiple services. You can finally maintain a single universal watchlist in the Plex app (which is synced across all your Plex apps, on all popular platforms), and when you choose a title, you’ll see all the available places to stream it. When you choose to watch it on Hulu, it will open the Hulu app, and will directly start the media playback (thanks to some deep-linking magic).

There’s another advantage to using Plex’s universal watchlist: Plex will keep track of where a movie or TV show is streaming currently. So even if a TV show leaves HBO Max and moves to Hulu, it won’t suddenly disappear from your watch list.


#technology #streaming #movies #plex

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    Steven Spielberg’s production company signs multifilm deal with Netflix / ArsTechnica · Monday, 21 June, 2021 - 21:43

A smiling older man in a open-collared suit.

Enlarge / Filmmaker Steven Spielberg appears at 2017's Comic-Con. (credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr )

Amblin Partners, the production company founded and chaired by director and producer Steven Spielberg, has signed a multiyear deal with streaming platform Netflix.

In a press release on Netflix's website, the two companies announced that the partnership will result in "multiple new feature films per year."

Some might see it as an unexpected turn from Spielberg's company, given the director's past stances on streaming movies. Two years ago, an Amblin spokesperson publicly announced that Spielberg intended to support changes to the Academy Awards that would reclassify Netflix films as TV movies, ineligible for Oscars like Best Picture.

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    Months from the release of Dune 2021, the 1984 version gets a 4K release / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 1 June, 2021 - 21:43

The controversial yet memorable 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 science fiction novel Dune will be released in 4K and HDR for the first time on August 31, thanks to a new 4K UltraHD Blu-ray set from distributor Arrow Films.

According to Arrow Films , the upcoming release was mastered from the original camera negative in 4K and Dolby Vision HDR, though playback in the HDR-10 format is also supported. The set offers two audio options: uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound.

There's one thing genre cinephiles might be hoping for that they won't get here, though: commentary from filmmaker David Lynch, who directed the film and became famous for later works like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet . Those familiar with the film's history won't be surprised by that omission though; Lynch disowned Dune when it was released, saying that it did not represent his creative vision due to interference from the studio.

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    This AI makes Robert De Niro perform lines in flawless German / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 22 May, 2021 - 12:15

This AI makes Robert De Niro perform lines in flawless German

Enlarge (credit: Paul Bednyakov | Getty Images)

You talkin' to me... in German?

New deepfake technology allows Robert De Niro to deliver his famous line from Taxi Driver in flawless German—with realistic lip movements and facial expressions. The AI software manipulates an actor’s lips and facial expressions to make them convincingly match the speech of someone speaking the same lines in a different language. The artificial-intelligence -based tech could reshape the movie industry, in both alluring and troubling ways.

The technology is related to deepfaking, which uses AI to paste one person’s face onto someone else. It promises to allow directors to effectively reshoot movies in different languages, making foreign versions less jarring for audiences and more faithful to the original. But the power to automatically alter an actor’s face so easily might also prove controversial if not used carefully.

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