Home » News Updates » HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 10: Plex acquires Watchup, Britbox streaming service launches, Best Kodi TV Show Addons, and more

HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 10: Plex acquires Watchup, Britbox streaming service launches, Best Kodi TV Show Addons, and more

Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup, Mar. 10, 2017 edition! This week featured new streaming services for British television and classic cartoons, ACLU pleas for maintaining net neutrality, Emby updates, and more. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!

htpcBeginner Recap

In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:

HTPC News From Around the Web

iflix raises $90M to expand its Netflix alternative to more emerging markets

Netflix continues to reign supreme in the streaming video space. With its combination of syndicated and original content, Netflix sets the standard for competing streaming service. However the experience varies abroad. iflix offers a Netflix-eqsue experience that targets Southeast Asia. The streaming service recieved $90 million in funding to extend its coverage into more countries. Liberty Global, Zain, Sky, Evolution Media Capital, and Catcha Group each contributed to iflix’s new funding.

TechCrunch reports that iflix is in talks with further investors aside from the current $90 million. iflix differs from Netflix and Amazon in offering localized features such as collaborations with mobile providers, payment tiers, and content.

Remains of the Day: BritBox Is a Streaming Service Just for British Television

Although streaming services like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix do feature British telly, there’s quite a bit not available without workarounds. Britbox promises to bring British television to the United States in a Netflix-style experience. Shows including “The Office,” “Blackadder,” and “The Moonstone” will be available. This service clocks in at $6.99 a month.

As cord cutting services such as Britbox keep bolstering the streaming catalog, Boomerang is set to unveil an animation-centric streaming service. Like its TV station counterpart, the Boomerang streaming platform will feature classic cartoons like “Looney Tunes,” “Tom & Jerry,” and “The Flintstones.”

ACLU and 170 other groups ask the FCC to keep net neutrality

If you’re an HTPC buff living in the United States, you should really care about net neutrality. Major advocacy agencies such as the ACLU and 170 other groups are pleading with the FCC to maintain net neutrality. Under the current iteration, broadband Internet is treated like a public utility such as phone service. Thus the FCC has greater oversight over Internet providers. What makes this so crucial for consumers, and HTPC gurus in particular, is that net neutrality helps maintain a fair Internet space. The FCC can block ISPs from introducing pay-for-priority tiers and throttling. Additionally, net neutrality provides incentive to create speedy broadband networks.

Doing away with net neutrality hurts the end consumer with the potential for down throttled speeds, paid fast lanes, and blocking.

Emby Server 3.2.5 Released

Emby made great strides this week. Enter Emby Server 3.2.5. Key features include a lock screen control that boasts support on Chrome for Android. There’s a new swipe volume control and loads of bug fixes. Chromecast mirror feature bugs have been remedied. Direct stream of flv files arrives as well. Emby 3.2.5 also adds automatic direct play for transcoding switching when video play fails. Also new for Emby, there’s offline downloading for Windows store and Xbox One. Along with offline downloading, Emby added DVR and live TV features. [Read: Plex vs Emby: A Comprehensive Comparison]

Plex CEO explains why his company bought Watchup and what’s next

Plex Server 1.0Plex expands its hold in the home media server space. The media server company recently acquired Watchup. Plex CEO Keith Valory elucidated why Plex added Watchup as well as elaborated on the future of Plex. Adding Watchup lends Plex streaming news video from a variety of sources. Watchup content is integrated into the Plex platform. “[Watchup has] a bunch of cool machine learning and artificial intelligence stuff that helps us personalize and get better at getting people what they want,” Keith Valory revealed to FierceOnlineVideo. He further praised Watchup features such as transcoding and hosting. As any Plex user will know, transcoding is essential to the streaming experience.

Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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About the author

Moe Long

I am Managing Editor of htpcBeginner and SmartHomeBeginner, and a freelance writer with a focus on tech media. I run Cup Of Moe and have been featured in MakeUseOf, The Penny Hoarder, TechBeacon, Cliqist, Bubbleblabber, DZone, and EpicStream. As an HTPC enthusiast, I'm quite fond of my Plex server and enjoy playing with my Raspberry Pi. When I'm not hammering away at my keyboard, I can be found drinking far too much coffee, running, and listening to vinyl.

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