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  1. Samsung says that it can disable any of its Samsung TV sets remotely using TV Block, a feature built into all television products sold worldwide. This was revealed by the company South Korean multinational in a press release issued earlier this month in response to the July South African riots that led to large-scale looting, which also impacted Samsung warehouses and stores. "TV Block is a remote, security solution that detects if Samsung TV units have been unduly activated, and ensures that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase," Samsung said. "The aim of the technology is to mitigate against the creation of secondary markets linked to the sale of illegal goods, both in South Africa and beyond its borders. This technology is already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products." As Samsung explains, the goal behind remotely disabling stolen TV sets is to limit looting and "third party purchases," and ensuring that the TVs can only be used by "rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase." How TV Block works The TV Block function is activated remotely on all TV sets stolen from one of its warehouses or distributors by adding their serial numbers to a list on Samsung's servers. After a stolen TV is connected to the Internet, the device will check the list of stolen devices on Samsung's servers, and it will automatically disable all television functions if it finds a match. If Samsung TVs belonging to actual customers get blocked by mistake, full functionality can be restored within 48 hours after sending proof of purchase and a valid TV license to the Samsung retailer or the [email protected] email. "In keeping with our values to leverage the power of technology to resolve societal challenges, we will continuously develop and expand strategic products in our consumer electronics division with defence-grade security, purpose-built, with innovative and intuitive business tools designed for a new world," Mike Van Lier, Samsung South Africa's Director of Consumer Electronics, said. "This technology can have a positive impact at this time, and will also be of use to both the industry and customers in the future." While Samsung says TV Block is an innovative function that can only have a positive impact, one must think about what would happen if malicious actors would breach the company's servers and gain access to the block list used to disable stolen TVs remotely. Samsung can remotely disable their TVs worldwide using TV Block
  2. Xiaomi just announced an aggressively priced 75-inch QLED Android TV Who needs cinemas when you have a 75-inch screen at home? Xiaomi announced the Mi 11 for international markets today and detailed its MIUI 12.5 rollout plans, but that isn't the only thing the company took the stage for. It's also expanding its Mi TV lineup with one of its biggest products yet, the 75-inch big Mi TV Q1. The QLED Android TV set will come to Europe first and cost from €1299 (~$1560). The Mi TV Q1 has a sleek metal finish and bezels so small they might as well not be there. It comes with an HDR+ capable 4K screen with quantum dot technology. Gamers and streamers can take full advantage of the TV's 120Hz refresh rate via HDMI 2.1 and an auto-low latency mode. Thanks to 192 zones of full-array local dimming, the set reaches a contrast of 10,000:1. If you don't want to hook up a soundbar to the TV, you can use the integrated 30W stereo system comprised of two tweeters and four woofers. It supports Dolby Audio and DTS-HD. Display 75-inch QLED 4K, 192 full array dynamic local dimming zones, 10,000:1 contrast, 120Hz, 178° viewing angle Software Android TV 10 Speakers 30W stereo speakers, Dolby Audio, DTS-HD Miscellaneous Mic for hands-free Google Assistant (with off switch), Amazon Alexa compatible Price €1299 On the software side, the set runs Android TV 10, giving you access to all the usual apps, streaming services, and smarts you'd expect. The Mi Q1 has a built-in microphone that allows you to use it as a Google Assistant-equipped smart speaker without having to reach for a remote. The microphone can be turned off with a switch, and if you don't like the Assistant, the TV is also compatible with Amazon Alexa. The Mi TV Q1 75'' will be available in Europe starting in March 2021 and will cost €1299 (~$1560), which seems extremely competitive compared to other QLED TVs. It'll first be available in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain on Mi.com and authorized resellers. As part of early bird sales, you'll only have to pay €999. Quantity is limited and store availability may vary. The TV will come to other markets soon. Source: Xiaomi Source: Xiaomi just announced an aggressively priced 75-inch QLED Android TV
  3. PythonCrew Streaming Pack: Android One pack for all your android streaming needs. We have tested over 400+ different apk's for movies, tv series, iptv, music, vpn's, etc. As we find more that work good, they will be added and post updated. Most apk's are ad free and unlocked. All apks are focused on android tv boxes with landscape view. I hope everyone enjoys the Pack and have fun streaming. Special thanks goes out to PriSim, Delboy, UpGrade and Atasas for their contributions. Folder link: Site: https://drive.google.com Sharecode: /drive/folders/16381vE16N_0JFZrOaPRduLPrBPCYsUrx?usp=sharing Note: You are not obligated to download or install any of the included apk's within this pack. If you wish to use the free versions (containing ads and some limitations), go ahead. Disclaimer: I test and share with members here to reduce the need for searching and testing themselves. The modded apk's are included so users can see what the full featured versions consist of in order to make a purchase decision. If you like any of the apps you should purchase them. Support the developers so they can continue to improve their apps and services.
  4. TV and Sport events http://www.rojadirecta.me/ http://88.80.11.29/ http://www.streamhunter.eu http://zonytvcom.info/ http://www.livestation.com/ (News Channels) https://www.youtube.com/live/all http://www.justin.tv/ http://www.ustream.tv http://aflam4you.tv/index.html (Arabic Channels + beIN Sports channels) http://www.kakibara.com/ http://www.stream2watch.me/ http://www.hahasport.com/ http://www.firstrow1.eu/ http://tvtoss.com/ Movies http://www.movie4k.to/ Movies Subtitles http://subscene.com/ Football highlights http://footyroom.com/ Updated: Download Music: http://beemp3.com http://mp3lx.com/ http://mp3skull.com/ http://www.mp3toss.com Updated 2: Watch TV on Android 1- Download IPTV App from Playstore 2- Download TV playlists and add them to the App, Here a good website for the playlists NB: You can try another app called Kodi, it's available for Windows too but did not tried it yet Updated 3: http://www.streamgaroo.com/
  5. Jime234

    TV Series Download sites

    Do you guys know any website to download 480p, low size(~120MB), reasonable quality tv series ?
  6. Internet packages will cost $3 more across the board. You’ll have to pay more for Comcast’s services starting next year. The company will raise its prices for both cable TV and internet, and according to a price list posted on Reddit, they’ll be effective as soon as January 1st, 2021. According to the poster, the new prices are for the Chicago area, but Ars Technica has confirmed that price hikes are coming to all customers across the US. Comcast’s “Broadcast TV” fee — that is, the amount subscribers have to pay to cover the costs of providing local stations on cable for each area — is going up from $11.70 to $16.20 for Chicago customers. The exact amount varies for each location. TV customers will also have to pay an additional $2 for the Regional Sports Network fee. As Ars notes, that’s an additional $78 for fees that aren’t even part of Comcast’s advertised rates. Even customers on promotional pricing will have to fork out that extra amount, since both charges aren’t part of the promo. All on-demand subscriptions will cost $1 to $2 more. Meanwhile, all Xfinity Internet packages will cost $3 more across the board. The Xfinity Home Security and Plus services will cost $50 and $60, respectively, up $10 from their current prices. In addition, there will be “up to a $2.50 increase for TV boxes on the primary outlet, with a decrease of up to $2.45 for TV boxes on additional outlets,” a spokesperson told Ars. Finally, the company’s installation service and in-home service visit will cost $100 next year, or $30 more than what they currently cost. Price hikes aren’t the only thing Comcast customers will have to deal with in 2021. The company will also start implementing a 1.2TB data cap on broadband usage across all 39 states where it offers its internet service. It will at least waive overage fees for the first two months to get people used to the new limits, but it will eventually charge $10 for every additional 50GB of data. Source
  7. You should be able to stream Xbox games to your TV soon Microsoft is in the early phases of rolling out its xCloud streaming service on mobile devices, but TVs are the next logical step. In an interview with The Verge, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed we’ll likely see an Xbox app appear on smart TVs over the next year. “I think you’re going to see that in the next 12 months,” said Spencer, when asked about turning the Xbox into a TV app. “I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that.” Spencer previously hinted at TV streaming sticks for Microsoft’s xCloud service last month, and this latest hint suggests we might see similar hardware or an Xbox app for TVs during 2021. Microsoft is currently working on bringing xCloud to the web to enable it on iOS devices, and this work would naturally allow xCloud to expand to TVs, browsers, and elsewhere. Microsoft was previously working on a lightweight Xbox streaming device back in 2016, but it canceled the hardware. Microsoft has been testing the idea of streaming and TV sticks ever since the company originally demonstrated Halo 4 streaming from the cloud to Windows and Windows Phones all the way back in 2013. Microsoft’s xCloud service. While Microsoft might be pushing ahead with xCloud, it certainly has no plans to abandon consoles or hardware. “I don’t think these will be the last big pieces of hardware that we ship,” says Spencer. Instead, Microsoft sees a future where there’s a hybrid of local hardware and cloud hardware. “When we think about xCloud, which is our version of Stadia or Luna, I think what it needs to evolve to are games that actually run between a hybrid environment of the cloud and the local compute capability,” explains Spencer. “It’s really a hybrid between both of those.” How this hybrid plays out could mean we see Xbox Series S and X consoles getting access to xCloud soon. This could allow players to try a game quickly before they fully download it from Game Pass, or possibly even stream a demo of a game before purchasing it. Microsoft also has plans to integrate xCloud into Facebook Gaming in the future, so we’re clearly going to see a lot of changes to xCloud soon. We still don’t have full details on Microsoft’s plans for Xbox TV apps, but the company did partner with Samsung earlier this year for xCloud. Microsoft is also planning to upgrade its server blades to the more capable Xbox Series X hardware at some point in 2021. Source
  8. Amazon is reportedly considering adding live TV to its Prime Video service Job listings suggest the company is working on live TV services Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon could be planning to bolster its Prime Video service, which is mostly known for its on-demand video offerings, with live TV, according to a report from Protocol and publicly available job listings. Details are light about what the new live TV services might entail, though the efforts appear to be in their early stages. One job listing says Amazon is looking for someone who can “redefine how customers watch 24/7 linear broadcast TV content.” That person will also be tasked with “designing the end-to-end customer experience for how customers discover and watch Linear TV content.” (Linear TV is another way to describe live TV, like what you might watch on a broadcast channel.) The Prime Video team is also apparently “building next gen linear catalog systems to provide best-in-class Linear TV experience to Prime Video customers,” says another job listing. Amazon is “actively pursuing” licensing deals for live and linear programming, according to Protocol. This wouldn’t be Amazon’s first foray into live programming. Amazon has offered NFL Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video and Twitch for a few years, and the two companies will continue their partnership thanks to an extension signed in April. And Amazon announced just last week that it would start streaming Premier League soccer on Twitch starting June 29th. But these recent job listings and Protocol’s report suggest that Amazon is looking to take its live TV ambitions much further by offering some kind of 24/7 service. Other companies have tried offering live TV with varying degrees of success. YouTube currently offers YouTube TV, which gives you access to many broadcast channels, for $49.99 per month. Hulu has a similar service that starts at $54.99 per month. But both of those services have had to raise prices since launch — YouTube TV’s price most recently went up in April 2019, while Hulu’s last went up in December. And Sony shut down its live TV service PlayStation Vue in January after operating it since March 2015 in part because “the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected.” Amazon has not replied to a request for comment. Amazon is reportedly considering adding live TV to its Prime Video service
  9. K7108

    Its free TV!

    I have recently discovered Pluto TV. It is absolutely free and offers quite a lot. I am trying to cut the cord without cutting my neck. So my goal here is to start a thread that will give members a chance to find out about free TV services that they may not have known and also to post about free services that they know about that may not be known by others. OK now I have no authority here at all but my wish is that members will post about free legal services only and to give a little info about the service along with of coarse a link. I am starting the ball rolling talking about Pluto.tv Here is the link: https://pluto.tv/tv/ I will let you explore the website on your own if you so wish to. What I have to say about them is that they are totally free, you don't even have to make an account although they offer to you to create an account. I made an account myself because you get access to a little more content by doing so. Also if you have an account you can download and use their app via smartphone as a remote control device. No credit card info needed for account creation, just email and make a password. I also like them because they offer many free Live TV channels and also have thousands of movies on demand along with some classic TV shows series. Ploto tv also has a bunch of internet music stations you can listen to. Every kind of music it has, something for anyone. I like it so well that I canceled my netfix account. Thanks for reading and please do share your thoughts and recommended sites for free TV services , please no torrent sites or illegal sketchy sites, we all know about that stuff but please share only about free legal TV sites that you enjoy and think others may not know about.
  10. 5 new TV technologies that are changing the way you watch New TV tech to pay attention to (Image credit: Samsung) Whether you’re bingeing box sets and gaming the days away, TV has provided a much-needed escape during these uncertain times. But just as technology continues to advance, so does the way in which we watch TV. While your grandparents might reminisce of the days in which they would gather round a small box to watch crackled black and white monster movies, people nowadays expect a fully-immersive experience; one that enhances what they’re viewing on screen and envelopes them in its narrative. Thankfully, 2020 has seen plenty new and exciting TV technologies enter the fray. While many of them were first shown off or teased at the CES 2020 expo earlier this year, it’s only now that most of these technologies are entering the market or starting to see their potential realized on a large scale. Here we’ll delve into five of these new TV technologies to see how the future of TV watching is changing – and help you seek out the features you’ll want on your next TV upgrade. Lots of Netflix shows are in Dolby Vision, and IQ gives it an upgrade (Image credit: Steve May) 1. Dolby Vision IQ Those that squinted through the famously dark Game of Thrones finale will be relieved to hear that Dolby Vision IQ is here to help tackle the issue of dim pictures on your screen. When launched at CES 2020, Dolby Vision IQ was described as being "Beyond HDR". HDR (High Dynamic Range) video has long allowed for expanded contrast and color, which directors and show creators have taken advantage of to grade content with a generally darker output. Unfortunately, not every TV can bring out those details clearly, especially watching in a well-lit living room. Dolby Vision IQ tackles this issue through adjusting to the brightness of the room you're watching in, using dynamic metadata from Dolby Vision and light sensors within your TV to deliver a perfect picture. So far only certain 2020 TVs have announced compatibility with Dolby Vision IQ, including LG and Panasonic's 2020 OLED ranges. Panasonic also utilizes its built-in light sensor to apply this to non-DV content (through Intelligent Sensing), making it easier than ever for your TV to auto-calibrate to your environment. Supported TV models: HDMI upgrades to a new standard (Image credit: Shutterstock) 2. HDMI 2.1 HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) has been a lifesaver in the tech world, providing high definition video via a small cable and removing the need for those bulky SCART connectors that used to trail behind our televisions (phew). Over the years it has advanced to keep up with the ever-changing technology of TVs and HDMI 2.1 is its latest exciting update. Most of the hype is around increased video resolutions, with HDMI 2.1 supporting up to 8K content at 60 frames per second, and 4K at 120 frames per second. These faster refresh rates, along with HDMI 2.1’s support for Variable Refresh Rates, Dynamic HDR and Quick Media Switching will have a huge impact on the AV industry, along with gamers and home cinema fanatics looking to experience TV at its best. “This is part of the HDMI Forum’s continuing mission to develop specifications for the HDMI ecosystem that meet the growing demand for compelling, high-performance and exciting features,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum. While LG offers wide support for the technology, with four HDMI 2.1 ports on each 2020 OLED TV, you'll find only one port on new Samsung TVs, and none on the fleet of new Panasonic sets. Supported TV models: LG: CX, GX, WX Samsung: Q950TS, Q900TS, Q800T, Q95T, Q90T, Q85T, Q80T, Q70T, Q65T, Q60T Most of Samsung's 2020 TVs will support Tap View (Image credit: Samsung) 3. Samsung Tap View Want to share a video from your phone to the TV? Samsung Tap View makes it easier than ever. It goes without saying that this only works on Samsung TVs that support Tap View (so one of their 2020 models). Once you've downloaded the program onto your phone — both Android and iOS are supported — it activates NFC mode, which the NFC receiver on the TV can then connect with. It’s this dependency on NFC that makes Tap View different to other cast-to-TV technologies such as Google Chromecast or Miracast. There’s also also the ability to physically tap your device against the TV, so that when you hold your phone or tablet close to the NFC receiver Tap View reads the information and begins showing your video content, be it from your library, Netflix or YouTube. It’s as easy as tapping your contactless card in the corner shop. Supported TV models: QLED 8K series: Q950TS, Q900TS, Q800T QLED 4K series: Q95T, Q90T, Q85T, Q80T, Q70T, Q65T, Q60T Crystal UHD series: TU8500, TU8000, TU7000 Lifestyle and Outdoor series: The Frame (LS03T), The Sero (LS05T), The Serif (LS01T), The Terrace (LST7T) LG's ZX OLED (Image credit: LG) 4. Nvidia G-Sync on LG TVs This one’s for the gamers – PC gamers that like to connect up to the TV, in particular. When LG announced that they were introducing Nvidia's G-Sync technology at CES 2020, it seemed a little odd due to the niche user base it was targeting. It is, however, a great way to experience variable refresh rate technology that's smooth and tear-free. The technology works by synchronizing the TV's refresh rate with the frame rate of your PC game or device — although you will need a Nvidia GPU to make it work. Once plugged into a compatible LG TV you'll find refresh rates of up to 120Hz. You’ll find G-Sync supported on 2019’s LG C9, E9, and B9 OLED models, as well as the entirety of the 2020 LG TV OLED range (LG CX, LG GX, LG WX). While it won’t be for everyone, Nvidia G-Sync will certainly be a game-changer for PC players that want a truly immersive experience via their TV screens. Supported TV models: 2020 OLED: LG CX, LG GX, LG WX, LG BX 2019 OLED: LG C9, LG E9, LG B9 Filmmaker Mode, on a Panasonic OLED TV (Image credit: TechRadar) 5. Filmmaker Mode Imagine this: you spend millions of dollars making a movie, putting all your time and love into creating a very specific vision — only for it to be ruined by a shoddy TV processor. Directors have been fuming over excessive motion smoothing, also known as the ‘soap opera effect’, for a long time. It’s caused by your TV struggling to display 24Hz film content on a 60Hz screen, which means frames are shown multiple times in varying quantities (given 24 doesn’t multiply cleanly to 60). Motion technologies will artificially insert additional frames to combat this, which can be great for keeping sports programming looking smooth, but the result is that movies can end up looking... well, worse. Thankfully Filmmaker Mode is here to the rescue. It's essentially a picture mode that the UHD Alliance (an industry group that includes Dolby, LG, Netflix, Samsung and more) has collaborated with filmmakers to create. Once activated it overrides any motion smoothing and ensures that you’re getting the authentic cinematic experience — as intended by the film creators. For those that love nothing more than a night in with popcorn and a movie, Filmmaker Mode will be a must-have. Keep in mind that you may want motion smoothing for certain programming, but it’s important that you’re able to turn it off when you need too. Supported TV models: So far, LG, Philips, Samsung, Panasonic and Vizio have announced that most of their 2020 4K and 8K TVs will support Filmmaker Mode, with LG planning to activate it automatically for relevant content, while others will opt for it to be activated manually. 5 new TV technologies that are changing the way you watch
  11. Sony’s 2021 TV lineup runs Google TV and fully embraces HDMI 2.1 Variable refresh rate, 4K at 120Hz, ALLM, and eARC are standard across the line Image: Sony Last year’s TV lineup from Sony took a bit of criticism since several sets were unable to take advantage of next-gen gaming features on the PlayStation 5 that shipped in November. Even if you look right now, the spread of HDMI 2.1 features is pretty sad. Sony never really acknowledged this as a mistake, believing that customers purchase its TVs for different reasons and not everyone needs every box checked off. What a difference a year makes. In 2021, Sony is correcting course: all of its premium “Bravia XR” 4K (and yes, 8K) TVs support 4K at 120Hz, VRR (variable refresh rate), ALLM (auto low latency mode), and eARC. No asterisks or gotchas or promises to add stuff later with firmware updates. Beyond getting on board with 4K120, Sony is making a big deal over what it calls “cognitive intelligence” in these TVs. Powered by a new Cognitive Processor XR chip, Sony says its new system goes beyond traditional signal processing — which Sony’s TVs already excelled at — and beyond the artificial intelligence analysis in most TVs. “While conventional artificial intelligence (AI) can only detect and analyze picture elements like color, contrast and detail individually, the new processor can cross-analyze an array of elements at once, just as our brains do,” Sony’s press release on the TVs says. “By doing so, each element is adjusted to its best final outcome, in conjunction with each other, so everything is synchronized and lifelike — something that conventional AI cannot achieve.” Image: Sony Sony is also talking up what the XR processor can do for sound. A “Sound-from-Picture Reality” feature is claimed to “align the position of the sound with the images on the screen to offer a uniquely lifelike experience.” Samsung has promised similar results for its own 2021 Neo QLED TVs. The two Master Series TVs (8K LCD and 4K OLED) have a new sensor for detecting the color temperature of the ambient light in your room, and this lets them automatically adjust the TV’s white balance to match. (This setting can be turned off for you purists, of course.) More important is that the A90J Master Series OLED also has brighter output than Sony’s past OLEDs thanks to a new aluminum heat shield attached to the panel. Making OLEDs brighter is a big deal since that’s a key area where LCD sets still tend to win out. As one of the earliest TV makers that got on board with Android TV, it seems appropriate that Sony will be among the first to transition to Google TV. All of these TVs will offer a software experience that’s incredibly similar to the latest Chromecast: Sony still has its own customizations in the settings menu (and for quick shortcuts like your HDMI inputs), but everything else — the personalized For You page, content recommendations, etc. — is basically unchanged from Google’s latest streaming device. Sony has also focused on small touches, like adjustable legs that can be configured to allow enough space for a soundbar in front of the TV without obstructing the picture. Going down the lineup, you lose certain niceties (like an antireflective coating exclusive to the 8K set), but all of the TVs support Dolby Vision HDR. And again, you’ve got all the HDMI 2.1 standards accounted for. Rather than move to new display technology like Mini LED, Sony seems to be evolving its current strategy of full-array local dimming and iterating upon its excellent OLED sets. The company doesn’t share how many dimming zones its TVs have or really talk about peak brightness, believing that competitors get too hung up on those numbers. Pricing and specific availability info will be announced this spring. Image: Sony Z9J Master Series 8K (Full-array LCD) 85-inch 75-inch Image: Sony A90J Master Series 4K (OLED) 83-inch 65-inch 55-inch Image: Sony A80J 4K (OLED) 77-inch 65-inch 55-inch Image: Sony X95J 4K (Full-array LCD) 85-inch 75-inch 65-inch Image: Sony X90J 4K (Full-array LCD) 100-inch 75-inch 65-inch 55-inch 50-inch Sony’s 2021 TV lineup runs Google TV and fully embraces HDMI 2.1
  12. Things have been relatively silent on the Android TV front lately, but today, the platform is forcing itself back into the spotlight. Unfortunately, it’s not good news we’re hearing, but rather reports of a serious-sounding bug that’s potentially exposing the private photos of Android TV users. At the very least, the bug is causing Android TV and Google Home to show lists of Android users where they shouldn’t be, which is bad enough. The bug was first revealed by Twitter user @wothadei over the weekend. He says that when accessing his Vu Android TV through the Google Home app, he was showed an extensive list of “linked” accounts. “It basically lists what I imagine is every single person who owns this television,” he said in a tweet to Google. “This is shocking incompetence.” Things got more alarming from there. When selecting a linked Google Photos account to use with Ambient Mode slideshows, wothadei was again presented with a long list of presumed Android TV users, each of them with a toggle next their names. This, of course, suggests that you’d be able to view another user’s private photos through Android TV’s slideshows, though wothadei said later in an exchange with Google that he wasn’t able to get anyone’s Google Photos – not even his own – to show on his TV. So, at best, it seems this Android TV bug lists other users as linked accounts in the Google Home app, and at worst, it potentially exposes private photos. In a statement to XDA Developers, Google said that it takes privacy “extremely seriously” and that it has disabled this feature while it investigates reports. We’ll see where things go from here, but there are definitely a lot of questions about the scope of this bug left to answer. Stay tuned, because we’ll update you if Google serves up anymore information about this bug and what it may have potentially exposed. source
  13. The Expanse Is Sci-Fi Like TV Has Never Seen The series embraces the true weirdness of life off planet, says showrunner Naren Shankar, making space itself a character in the drama. The Expanse is back! Season 4 of the sci-fi thriller launched on Amazon Prime last week, and I’m already deep into it. The story is set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system and split into three groups, based on Earth, on Mars, and in the asteroid belt. And of course, whenever you have groups of people, they find ways to get in trouble. But no spoilers! The show is based on a series of novels by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. It was turned into a TV series in 2015, which ran for three seasons on Syfy before getting canceled. Luckily Amazon stepped in to keep it going, and it has now released a new season of 10 episodes for streaming. What I love about this show is that it's “realistic” science fiction. There's no faster-than-light travel, no crazy artificial gravity or dopey aliens. It's just people like us, in an actually possible world. Honestly, it's great. So I was excited to get a chance to talk to the showrunner of The Expanse, Naren Shankar—who, I have to mention, has a PhD in applied physics. Here’s an edited version of our chat. Rhett Allain: So you studied physics, but you work on a sc-fi TV show. How did this happen? I'm really asking for my students, so they can see the options you have with a physics degree. Naren Shankar: I had a weird trajectory. I started in liberal arts at Cornell. I was thinking about medieval studies or French literature or history, but my entire life I had loved science and math. I think I was a generalist at heart. So in my second year I transferred into Cornell’s College of Engineering, and I stayed there all the way through to get my doctorate. But I felt like I was becoming more and more of an expert on a smaller and smaller corner of the universe. I actually started taking courses in history and literature again while I was working on my dissertation. So when I finished, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had some friends that I’d done some fun creative writing with, and they said, come out to LA and be a screenwriter. I said, “Sounds good.” I was only 25, and my parents thought I had a couple of years to burn, so I just drove to LA and slept on my buddy’s floor. I was just a writing intern, but because of my background, I got hired as a science consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That was my foot in the door, and that led to getting on staff as a writer. That was, like, almost 30 years ago. Allain: Beyond giving you a working knowledge of science, do you think your background has helped you in your career? Shankar: Oh, sure, and I’m realizing that more over the years. Like I used to enjoy the peer review stage of research—writing up an experiment and then sitting down with your colleagues and tearing it apart, to see if it really held up. Well, television is the same! You write in a room with other people. You create the story together. Then you all sit down with the script and say, “Does this work? Is it solid?” You test what you’ve made. It’s a remarkably similar process. Allain: The Expanse is full of little touches that are grounded in real physics. You don’t make a fuss about it; they’re just part of the background of life in a strange environment. There was a scene in season 1 where Miller is pouring a glass of whiskey, and the liquid takes a weird path because of the Coriolis force. How did you decide to include that detail? Shankar: Well, in the story Eros Station is a spin station, and so the shittier levels are closer to the center, where there’s more Coriolis. What we were showing was that Miller is a lifelong resident of the station—he’s used to it and knows how to move in that environment. So when he pours himself a drink, he flicks it so it kind of spirals down into his cup. You see details like that all the time in this show. My favorite from the beginning is the bird flapping its wings in one-third g. Our animators spent a lot of time making sure it felt believable but also sort of weirdly magical. It’s uncommon, right? And we’re not telling the audience, “Oh, the birds move this way because gravity is different here.” There’s no explanation. But I think these things, when you use them carefully, can put a spell on the audience. Allain: Of course audiences might say, “Well, that looks weird,” because it doesn’t agree with their sense of how things move. I think there’s often a fear that if you portray space realistically, viewers will find it jarring—it might pull them out of the story. But you’re actually going for that? Shankar: Yeah. It’s actually one of the reasons I wanted to do this show. I had stayed away from science fiction for a number of years. The genre had gotten boring to me, and I ended up doing CSI for many years, which also has scientific angles to it, I guess. It wasn’t until Battlestar Galactica came back that sci-fi started getting interesting again. And one thing that attracted me to The Expanse, in particular, was the way the books made space into an actual character in the show. It was embracing things that other shows had always avoided. So the fact that you only have weight when you have thruster acceleration, and you don’t when you don’t. And rockets only fire in one way. And we don’t have instantaneous communication across the solar system. So many things that other shows have run away from. You probably have to go all the way back to Kubrick’s 2001 to see a film that tried to portray space realistically. So I thought this would be a unique way to convey this kind of drama. It hadn’t been done before—certainly not on a television show. And we were at a time, in terms of filmmaking technology, when we could actually do these things. Allain: Can you give me an example where the action really hinges on the physics? Shankar: There’s a battle sequence in season 1 [episode 4, 36:20] when Holden and Naomi are running to an escape vehicle on the Donnager. They’re on a gangway, being shot at, and suddenly the ship’s engines cut out and they just float up. They’re stuck. So he lashes a cable onto her and kicks her upward—which sends him back down to the deck. Then he can pull her down. There’s a lot of physics in that. Allain: Yeah, I wrote about that one—it’s a great scene. Shankar: I love to bring these ideas from the novels into the show. We don’t spell out what’s happening with dialog, because in real life people don't go around explaining things to each other. It’s “uncommented”—we use that word a lot. But the physics are there; there’s a logic underlying what happens. The audience can see the effects, and I think they subconsciously make the connection: No thrust, no gravity. Allain: Have you ever gotten to a point where a plot idea might violate momentum or something like that—where the story wants to go one way and the science wants to go another way? Shankar: Well, it’s all future technology, so there’s going to be things we don’t understand. That really comes up later with the protomolecule. It's a mystery. If you talk to Tye and Daniel, I think it kind of comes from ideas about a biological computer. But we can’t ground it in known science. And we don’t try to do that—it’s not a technology porn show. But in terms of the science we do know, we try to be consistent. We try not to violate our own rules. Instead of just ignoring the science when it’s convenient, like most shows do, my idea is to find the dramatic possibilities in the actual reality of science. That’s the joy of it. Source: The Expanse Is Sci-Fi Like TV Has Never Seen (Wired)
  14. The Witcher’s last trailer shows off a fantasy epic that could replace Game of Thrones The witching hour Netflix’s big-budget TV series adaptation of The Witcher (based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of fantasy novels, and not the popular video game series that, confusingly, is also based on Sapkowski’s books) has gotten one final trailer to hype up the show before its December 20th release date. And it looks... pretty great? It’s no secret that studios have been looking to their bookshelves in search of any fantasy series to adapt in an effort to fill the enormous (and profitable) market that Game of Thrones recently vacated earlier this year. Netflix is betting on The Witcher, which stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, the titular monster hunter. It’s not a terrible idea, given that The Witcher has already shown that it can make the jump from book to video game, and has a wide fan base across the two mediums that will likely be enthusiastic about the new Netflix show. On the other hand, one only need look at the last major fantasy adaption — the Harry Potter films — and the legions of failed also-rans that tried to cash in on that success to see that Netflix will still have an uphill battle on its hands here. While the new trailer doesn’t showcase any more of the signature bathtub scene that has become one of the game version’s most iconic memes, it does give the best idea yet of the scope of the series (which makes sense, given that those flashier VFX sequences are probably complete a week away from release.) There are epic battles, dark magic, and an appearance from fan-favorite character Roach, Geralt’s horse. The Witcher premieres on Netflix on December 20th. Source: The Witcher’s last trailer shows off a fantasy epic that could replace Game of Thrones (The Verge)
  15. The Witcher season 2: release date details, story, and what we know The Witcher season 2 has a tentative release date of 2021 on Netflix (Image credit: Katalin Vermes/Netflix) The Witcher season 2 can't come to Netflix soon enough. The fantasy drama, starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, drew 76 million viewers for the streaming service during season one, and was the sixth most-watched Netflix show of 2019 after less than a month. Next season, expect more monster hunting, political machinations and all-out war. It hasn't been hard to find new details about The Witcher season 2 in 2020. Every week there seems to be some extra information about what's to come, whether it's from interviews with creator Lauren Hissrich, or even social media posts. The most important thing is this, though: The Witcher season 2 is officially confirmed, and filming begins in February 2020. The writers have no shortage of source material to draw from for this second year, since season one only took inspiration from the first two short story collections. That means there are still multiple novels to mine, with each featuring exciting folklore-inspired fantasy tales. Based on that, we can predict some of season 2's story beats already. Below, we've rounded up everything we know about The Witcher season 2 so far, including the expected release date. The Witcher season 2 release date: 2021 (Image credit: Netflix) Cutting to the chase, the closest actual date for release and airing we have is '2021'. This was reported by Variety but was also confirmed by writer Lauren S. Hissrich during a Reddit AMA, who said, "We don't yet have a target launch date for season 2, past 2021." It's not a great deal to go on, but it guarantees there'll be more than a year's wait between seasons. Our best guess is we'll see it in early 2021. The Witcher season 2 was announced on November 13, around six weeks before the first season aired. This usually means the network or streaming service really likes what it sees, and is keen to get moving on more episodes with the same cast and crew. Season 2 is filming beginning in February 2020, according to a Reddit post. Geralt of Rivia himself, Henry Cavill, discussed his imminent return to the role in this video from early January: If you can't wait for season 2, it's rumored that an animated movie is in the works at Netflix called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, written by Beau DeMayo (who scripted episode 3 of season one). We'll update you if it turns out to be real. So far it's only been listed on the Writers Guild of America's database. The Witcher season 2 story: what happens next, according to the books Mild spoilers for The Witcher books follow, including possible details of later seasons. A big talking point of season one was how it told stories in multiple places and across a non-linear timeline (though the now-released official Witcher map and Witcher timeline really help) resulting in a multi-tale anthology of sorts. However, season one's climax brought all the separate threads together nicely, priming The Witcher season 2 for a more straightforward plot. This was outlined by Hissrich in an interview with GamesRadar, where she revealed that season 2's story would be "...much more focused. There's a stronger drive in the story, because all of the relationships that we've been setting up in season one, actually start to come into fruition in season two...all of those building blocks that we set up for the world, finally start to come together into something a little more concrete." This 'more concrete' element is Ciri's story, as discussed by Hissrich in an interview with Redmania Intelligence, where she said that Ciri will be "center stage" in season 2. But what is Ciri's story? In the books, Ciri's story makes up the central plot of 'the saga'. The saga covers five books, starting with Blood of Elves, and centers on Ciri, her importance as a magical royal with Elven heritage, her relationship with Geralt, her ongoing efforts to survive, and how all this shapes events on The Continent. (Image credit: Netflix) The setup for this has already begun, as the very beginning of Blood of Elves is covered in season one by the siege and downfall of Cintra and Ciri's escape. Elsewhere, expect to see more of life under Nilfgaardian rule in season 2, and high tensions between humans and non-humans. The grand location of Kaer Morhen should appear prominently in The Witcher season 2 as well. This is the ancestral home and stronghold of the Witchers, and Geralt is required to take Ciri to the fortress for protection and training. Here, he takes closer guardianship of Ciri, becoming a father figure. Factor in the appearance of a mysterious, powerful wizard - also pursuing Ciri - some more war, prophecies, dark magic and, of course, monster hunting, and season 2 begins to look incredibly promising. In terms of story specifics, Redvania Intelligence claims that another short story from The Last Wish will appear, perhaps woven into the more linear main arc. This short story, A Grain of Truth, features Geralt meeting a cursed man called Nivellen who has been turned into a beast. The Witcher could run for seven seasons on Netflix (Image credit: Netflix) The Witcher could run on Netflix for a long time. Speaking to SFX, Hissrich claims to have thought out ideas for a massive seven seasons. And we're pretty certain there's enough source material left for that to be viable. We've got the entirty of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer's stories to play out. It takes them across The Continent to a rich variety of locations, and introduces us to some of the best fantasy characters around. Ciri's development is a great basis for future tales in The Witcher universe that combine themes of family and love, and mystery and magic. She and Yennefer get separated from Geralt during the saga, and his attempts to reunite with them form a gripping part of the story. This journey takes him across the Continent and introduces him to plenty of interesting new places and characters. Then there's the important role of the Wild Hunt: a group of elven warriors who raid other worlds for slaves. Their introduction could really ramp up the peril in the pursuit of Ciri. The Witcher feels like it's here to stay on Netflix The first season of The Witcher shrugged off the idea that it was just here to replace Game of Thrones. It confidently told stories in its own way and presented a fantasy world that has already captures people's imaginations. And, while we are unlikely to see much spillover from the games - they are not really canon according to Sapkowski but rather a "free adaptation containing elements of [his] work" - we know fans will enjoy various subtle references to the series, as they did in season one. Hissrich and company aren't in the business of rushing this out. Hissrich said that the series would need time: "We don't want to rush the product. That doesn't benefit anyone." If it's as good as season one, it'll be worth the wait. If it'll help pass the time, you can finally listen to the official version of 'Toss a Coin to your Witcher' on Spotify. Source: The Witcher season 2: release date details, story, and what we know (TechRadar)
  16. The Witcher is on track to be Netflix's biggest TV series of all-time Netflix says 76 million households tuned in to watch Henry Cavill kill some beasts (Image credit: Netflix) Several million people have tossed a coin to their Witcher, according to Netflix’s fourth quarter earnings report that just released on Tuesday (January 21). According to a letter the streaming service sent to shareholders, some 76 million subscribers watched the first season of the show, making it one of the company’s most popular first seasons ever and, potentially, the service’s biggest show. The numbers are pretty astounding and put the show above some of the decade’s biggest series like Game of Thrones that had over 19 million people watch its final episode. The catch here is that the numbers are being tabulated according to Netflix’s revised viewership system that counts two minutes of viewing – what Netflix is calling ‘an intentional choice’ – the same as watching 70% of an episode under its old measurement system, and are vastly different than the metrics Nielsen uses to measure shows like Game of Thrones. That said, whatever system you’re using, the fact that 76 million subscribers chose to watch the series (even for two minutes) starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia is still pretty impressive. That’s more subscribers than its US-based competitor Hulu has, and seven times the amount of subscribers Disney Plus had two months ago. Slow growth in the US, but big business abroad Of course, The Witcher wasn't the only new show last month. In the same brief, Netflix says that The Crown has garnered 73 million viewers total after its season debut and 6 Underground, a new film from director Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, had 83 million members tune in. The last part sounds pretty dubious, but again, viewers only had to watch it for more than two minutes for it to count. The rest of Netflix's shareholder letter isn’t all that interesting but there were a few standout stats that are worth calling attention to. For starters, Netflix is reporting that it brought in $20 billion in revenue in 2019 and it says it surpassed 100 million paid memberships outside of the US where it now has close to 70 million subscribers. Netflix says it’s going to use the money generated to invest in new forms of content, pointing to Black Mirror Bandersnatch as an example of how it can ‘grow engagement and our storytelling capabilities’ in addition to previously announced titles like BoJack Horseman Season 6, Locke and Key and Ozark Season 3. On the technology side of things, Netflix touted its mobile-only plans it rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India, which it says it will bring to more countries in the coming year. Source: The Witcher is on track to be Netflix's biggest TV series of all-time (TechRadar)
  17. Samsung TVs could ditch the bezel for an 'infinite' display – just like its smartphones Samsung ditches the frame (Image credit: 4Kfilme) Samsung is looking to shake up its TV range with an outside-the-box design philosophy that could see the manufacturer use a practically-invisible TV frame to maximize the impact of its QLED displays. The casing around the edge of the screen, or just the section of the screen that can't display images, is referred to as the 'bezel'; hence why the rumored set is being called a Zero Bezel TV. The leaked image was spotted by German tech outlet 4Kfilme. We've seen this before, of course – notably with Samsung's range of Galaxy Edge smartphones, which made use of an 'infinite' display that curved over the edge of the casing for an expansive (if fragile) screen. The TV display likely won't have a curved edge to the screen, though; we expect it will simply be a bezel so thin that a regular four or five feet viewing distance renders it invisible. We expect the name to something closer to 'Glass', 'Infinite' or 'Zero', rather than citing the bezel in the branding too – though the formal model numbers are said to be Q900T and Q950T. The reports come via Sammobile, which cites South Korean sources saying that the TV has been internally approved for manufacture, and will enter mass production in February 2020, in a 65-inch size and possibly larger. A Samsung employee reportedly told the site that, “Unlike other so-called ‘zero-bezel’ products that actually still had bezels, this product really doesn’t have a bezel. Samsung has become the first in the world to realize such an extreme design.” This is apparently down to Samsung managing to fuse the panel and casing of the television together. Zero confirmation Rumors are rumors, of course, but it would fit with what we've seen from Samsung before. LG, too, has experimented with the casing and form of its premium TVs, with an LG E9 OLED set that features an all-glass display, and really does help to make the pictures onscreen seem bigger and more impactful, without a firm edge hemming the images in – even if it can't get rid of the bezel entirely. A bezel-less set would also be a neat counterpoint to the Samsung Frame TV, which features a hugely thick bezel for a premium picture-frame design – and varying the scale and visibility of the bezel across Samsung's 2020 range will continue to cater to different tastes. CES 2020 is imminent, kicking off January 7, and there'll no doubt be some notable sets from all the major TV brands competing for our attention. Make sure you check back with TechRadar to see what Samsung does – and doesn't – end up showing off at the event. Source: Samsung TVs could ditch the bezel for an 'infinite' display – just like its smartphones
  18. How coronavirus is affecting TV and movies so far, from Tom Hanks to Fast 9 Coronavirus is causing numerous delays in entertainment (Image credit: Universal) The world around us is changing quickly right now, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the planet. Containing the virus and ensuring the safety of other people has to come first. Numerous industries have changed course because of Covid-19 – MWC 2020 in Barcelona was canceled, and GDC and E3's cancellation mean gaming faces a quiet year for events. In TV and film, the effects are now becoming more and more obvious, with movies like Fast and Furious 9, No Time To Die, A Quiet Place Part 2 and Peter Rabbit 2 all changing release dates to either later in 2020 or 2021. This is sure to have a painful effect on theater businesses. This isn't just about release dates moving, though – it's starting to affect the production of TV and film, as you'd expect. Tom Hanks is the highest-profile celebrity to test positive for coronavirus so far, and he was diagnosed as he was filming an Elvis biopic in Australia – that's now on hold, as you'd expect. TV show productions are shutting down as well, and in the coming months, we're only going to see more examples of this as coronavirus spreads. Here's a summary of how coronavirus has affected TV and movies so far. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have coronavirus and are in self-isolation Actor Tom Hanks posted the update above from Australia on March 12, revealing he and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus. "To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive," Hanks said, adding that he'll keep people updated on his progress. Hanks was filming an Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), and Warner Bros told Indiewire that filming has been put on hold for now. No Time To Die, A Quiet Place 2, Fast and Furious 9 and Peter Rabbit 2 are all delayed by coronavirus Movie release dates are dropping quickly, as the reality of reduced theater attendance is beginning to hit. No Time To Die's release date moved from April to November and A Quiet Place Part 2 has been delayed as well. Meanwhile, the less exciting Peter Rabbit 2 moved from March to August. The biggest move yet came with Fast and Furious 9, though, which will now release in April 2021, almost a year after its original May 22 release date. No word on Black Widow moving yet – its final trailer released earlier this week, and said it's still coming out in early May. This is a developing situation, obviously, and the world could look very different in a few weeks. Theaters are communal spaces, more likely to be avoided for the time being to stop the spread of the virus. China, a massive market for blockbusters, is basically closed for business. China closed all of its 70,000+ theaters in late January. This means numerous movies like Sonic the Hedgehog just can't release in the market – and Mulan, scheduled for March 27, is surely at risk. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier halted filming in Prague (Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios) Disney Plus series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was filming in Prague this week, but production has been halted according to a Deadline report, with cast and crew recalled back to Atlanta. The show debuts in August, and there's been no indication it'll affect the release date. Actor Sebastian Stan reacted to the move on Instagram. "We've been shooting The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and experiencing one of the most beautiful cities in the world filled with the most wonderful and welcoming people. Now we are being sent home. Too soon. Prague, you’re gonna be in my thoughts for a long time. Thank you. Will be back. Thinking of you." Sports events are being critically hit by coronavirus Expect more to be canceled or delayed, but next week's Manchester City vs Real Madrid Champions League tie has been postponed, after the Real Madrid squad went into quarantine over coronavirus concerns. Juventus vs Lyon has also been delayed. The UK government is considering banning sporting fixtures altogether, according to the BBC. The NBA season has been suspended. The NFL, though, has said it won't delay the start of the league on March 18. Football/soccer leagues in Italy, Portugal, Spain, the USA and the Netherlands have been suspended (for 30 days, in the case of the MLS). The Australian GP has been 'called off' according to the BBC, and tennis tournament ATP has been bumped back by six weeks. Expect the cancelations to keep stacking up. Numerous productions have been put on hold, including Mission Impossible 7 Production of The CW teen drama Riverdale has been temporarily put on hold, as one of its 'team members' is being tested for coronavirus. EW reported that US reality show Survivor has delayed production as well, which joins fellow long-running reality series The Amazing Race in being put on hold. Filming on Mission Impossible 7 in Venice, Italy was stopped in late February. The Grand Tour will probably be delayed The next episode of The Grand Tour season 4 is imminent, but there might be a longer wait after that. Host Jeremy Clarkson has suggested on Twitter that the virus is holding up filming on more specials, which require international travel. Source: How coronavirus is affecting TV and movies so far, from Tom Hanks to Fast 9 (TechRadar)
  19. Samsung's "Sero" is a 43-inch TV mounted on a rotating stand. It's tough to stand out in the TV market, where everyone is shipping beautiful 4K panels in pretty much whatever size you want. Samsung is hoping to turn heads with a few wild "concept lifestyle TV" designs, which it rounded up in a Korean-language press release today. There's the previously announced "The Frame," which looks like a framed picture and displays artwork when not in use. There's "The Serif," which is mounted on four legs, looking kind of like a canvas easel. And then there's the real head-turner, "The Sero," which is a vertical TV. The Sero isn't vertical all the time. The 43-inch panel is mounted on a rotating stand, allowing you to get up, walk over to the TV, and swing it from landscape to portrait—kind of like working the world's biggest smartphone. Through Google Translate, Samsung's press release tells us it "analyzed the characteristics of the Millennial generation" to come up with the TV design, which is purpose-built for watching the vertical videos you find on services like Instagram. Of course, the scourge of vertical videos was created because people couldn't be bothered to rotate their 5-inch smartphones, so I'm unsure about the idea that people will get off the couch to rotate their 43-inch TV. Samsung says the TV comes with NFC pairing and a "simple mirroring function" to get your smartphone videos on the TV. Like Samsung's other TVs, this has an ambient mode that can display images, photos, clocks, and more when not in use. There's a microphone with Samsung's Bixby assistant built in. The Sero will launch in Korea in May, and the 43-inch TV—which comes in only one size—can be had for a whopping ₩18.9 million ($16,300). Source: Samsung built a $16,000 vertical TV for (who else?) the millennials (Ars Technica) Poster's note: To view the original article's image gallery, please visit the above link.
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