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Topic # 150718 31-Jul-2014 18:16
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If you are a beta tester and want to report issues use this new threadContinue to use this thread for anything else.

 




Today we received a couple of press releases from Lightbox, Spark's upcoming online streaming service:


Lightbox spotlights new online TV service

Lightbox today announces it will deliver a great deal more of the best television ever made, including additional first-run exclusives Outlander, Alpha House, Betas and Arrested Development, alongside previously announced titles 24: Live Another Day, Vikings and Mad Men.

Shows announced today comprise a fraction of the total 5000 hour line-up that will be available at launch, and even more shows will be added to the service on an ongoing basis. Lightbox can also confirm that deals have been signed with local producers.

Dramas announced include Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and House of Cards, which were all recognised by the American Film Institute as being “culturally and artistically representative of [2013’s] most significant achievements in the art of the moving image”.

The Emmy award-winning political thriller Homeland starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, the new James Spader crime series The Blacklist and stylish biker drama Sons of Anarchy reflect Lightbox’s aim to offer the best in every genre.

Some of the best and most incisive American comedies will be available in the form of Alpha House, a political sitcom written by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau; multi-award-winning sitcom Modern Family from Steve Levitan (Just Shoot Me! The Larry Sanders Show) and Christopher Lloyd (Frasier); Betas, from Heathers director Michael Lehmann; and the highly acclaimed Louie, which the Peabody Awards have honoured as “a milestone of comedic reach and candor”.

Lightbox shows will also celebrate British culture, from critically acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey to slang-tastic schoolyard comedy The Inbetweeners.

Sci-fi fans will be delighted with the inclusion of Orphan Black and Doctor Who, and littlies will enjoy essential kids’ viewing such as Dora the Explorer and The Wiggles, as well as new animated parent-charmer Sarah & Duck.

In a major coup for the service and for legions of obsessed fans, Lightbox has also secured Outlander, a new fantasy drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels and starring Caitriona Balfe.

Maria Mahony, head of programming and local content, says, “We are absolutely thrilled to have Outlander on Lightbox. It’s a captivating show. New Zealand’s passionate Outlander clan has been very vocal in its excitement, and we’re confident other viewers will become converts too.”

A beta launch of the service was also announced today. A selection of New Zealanders will now be invited to trial Lightbox and watch some great TV, ahead of an expected full launch toward the end of August.

Also announced today was the appointment of experienced digital media leader Kym Niblock as the Managing Director of Lightbox1.

HOW LIGHTBOX WORKS

The service can be used across multiple devices, including laptop, desktop, iPad and Airplay on Apple TV.

Up to five devices can be registered to each Lightbox account and two shows can be played at once so you can watch the latest drama series in the living room while your kids sing along to their cartoon favourites in their bedroom. A parental control function enables parents to filter out content playback according to rating.

Set up is easy. There are no contracts or installation visits required and membership is available to all New Zealanders regardless of their broadband service provider. A 30-day free trial will be available to all New Zealanders. Lightbox is $15 per 30 days.


UPDATE: Jump to this reply for more information on launch date.





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  Reply # 1099516 31-Jul-2014 18:19
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Hi all,

Please let me know if you've got any questions, feedback or comments - especially if you're one of the people invited to our beta. 

/Jakob
Head of Product
Lightbox




Lightbox - we are online TV.

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  Reply # 1099517 31-Jul-2014 18:22
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will lightbox be 720p+ ?




 
 
 
 




BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 1099524 31-Jul-2014 18:28
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Hi,

Our top quality will be 1080p, but it will depend on your device, connection and the specific show (some content simply cannot be sourced in higher quality, e.g. kids content and some content providers limit the quality offered for online streaming). Our bitrate will top out at 5 Mb/s for the PC/Mac and iPad, but our platform has been built to handle even higher levels of quality. 

/Jakob
Lightbox




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  Reply # 1099525 31-Jul-2014 18:29
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freitasm: And that's it:








, looks like Vikings, homeland, American horror story

How's the stream?

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  Reply # 1099526 31-Jul-2014 18:30
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Lightbox: Hi,

Our top quality will be 1080p, but it will depend on your device, connection and the specific show (some content simply cannot be sourced in higher quality, e.g. kids content and some content providers limit the quality offered for online streaming). Our bitrate will top out at 5 Mb/s for the PC/Mac and iPad, but our platform has been built to handle even higher levels of quality. 

/Jakob
Lightbox


Not good enough. I demand 4K HD Blue's Clues episodes in a never-ending playlist. 

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  Reply # 1099527 31-Jul-2014 18:31
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Lightbox: Hi,

Our top quality will be 1080p, but it will depend on your device, connection and the specific show (some content simply cannot be sourced in higher quality, e.g. kids content and some content providers limit the quality offered for online streaming). Our bitrate will top out at 5 Mb/s for the PC/Mac and iPad, but our platform has been built to handle even higher levels of quality. 

/Jakob
Lightbox


Do you plan to have UHD content available for shows that are already releasing in UHD? For example house of cards.




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Stefan Andres Charsley

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  Reply # 1099529 31-Jul-2014 18:34
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Lightbox: Hi all,

Please let me know if you've got any questions, feedback or comments - especially if you're one of the people invited to our beta. 

/Jakob
Head of Product
Lightbox


Obviously my invite got lost in the post ;) So a couple of content questions.

With regard to the Netflix/Amazon originals (House of Cards/OITNB, Alpha House etc) are they on an 'express from the US' type arrangement (i.e. Season 2 of HoC/OITNB already up) or are Free-to-Air rights still getting in the way?

Any hints as to what sort of old content will be available to stream (i.e. 5 year+ old stuff)?  All the announcements are the 'hip, current' shows.

Additionally, with the 5 devices thing, how strict is it with regard to adding/removing/swapping devices etc?  (Switching browsers etc would I'd imagine count as two different devices etc)  - Quickflix used to require calling them to reset registrations (which was a PITA), SKY have a horrible system where you can only swap out 1 device every 30 days, and vague/default device names don't help (i.e. guess work/lucky dip).

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  Reply # 1099530 31-Jul-2014 18:34
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so basicly lightbox is going to kick skygo in the butt. :P and sucks for me i didnt get a beta invite :( hint hint :PPPPP pls!! hah :P




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  Reply # 1099531 31-Jul-2014 18:35
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charsleysa:
Do you plan to have UHD content available for shows that are already releasing in UHD? For example house of cards.


For now, we're mostly focused on getting the product out the door, hammering out bugs and stocking the shelves with content, so for now we won't be doing UHD, but the platform is definitely capable (though very little content is currently available).




Lightbox - we are online TV.



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  Reply # 1099532 31-Jul-2014 18:38
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  Reply # 1099534 31-Jul-2014 18:40
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nigelj: With regard to the Netflix/Amazon originals (House of Cards/OITNB, Alpha House etc) are they on an 'express from the US' type arrangement (i.e. Season 2 of HoC/OITNB already up) or are Free-to-Air rights still getting in the way?

Additionally, with the 5 devices thing, how strict is it with regard to adding/removing/swapping devices etc?  (Switching browsers etc would I'd imagine count as two different devices etc)  - Quickflix used to require calling them to reset registrations (which was a PITA), SKY have a horrible system where you can only swap out 1 device every 30 days, and vague/default device names don't help (i.e. guess work/lucky dip).


I can see House of Cards Season 1 only in the listing.

You can have up to five devices, and can remove one device only every 30 days.







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  Reply # 1099535 31-Jul-2014 18:41
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nigelj:

Obviously my invite got lost in the post ;) So a couple of content questions.

With regard to the Netflix/Amazon originals (House of Cards/OITNB, Alpha House etc) are they on an 'express from the US' type arrangement (i.e. Season 2 of HoC/OITNB already up) or are Free-to-Air rights still getting in the way?

Any hints as to what sort of old content will be available to stream (i.e. 5 year+ old stuff)?  All the announcements are the 'hip, current' shows.

Additionally, with the 5 devices thing, how strict is it with regard to adding/removing/swapping devices etc?  (Switching browsers etc would I'd imagine count as two different devices etc)  - Quickflix used to require calling them to reset registrations (which was a PITA), SKY have a horrible system where you can only swap out 1 device every 30 days, and vague/default device names don't help (i.e. guess work/lucky dip).


Hi nigelj,

We may do another round and get some additional GZ's on once we clear the initial wave. 

Some originals are first run on TV and we'll have second run. For other stuff, it'll come straight to our service and we'll have the first run.

Registration works on device level, so switching browsers shouldn't cause another registration. You'll only be able to delete one device off your account every 30 days. The content providers typically enforce the same restrictions in all their contracts. Hopefully, we've made a painless and smooth as possible.

Any particular older shows you're looking for? With over 5,000 hours, I am sure we'll have sometime you'll like...


/Jakob






Lightbox - we are online TV.

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  Reply # 1099540 31-Jul-2014 18:48
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Lightbox:
nigelj:

Obviously my invite got lost in the post ;) So a couple of content questions.

With regard to the Netflix/Amazon originals (House of Cards/OITNB, Alpha House etc) are they on an 'express from the US' type arrangement (i.e. Season 2 of HoC/OITNB already up) or are Free-to-Air rights still getting in the way?

Any hints as to what sort of old content will be available to stream (i.e. 5 year+ old stuff)?  All the announcements are the 'hip, current' shows.

Additionally, with the 5 devices thing, how strict is it with regard to adding/removing/swapping devices etc?  (Switching browsers etc would I'd imagine count as two different devices etc)  - Quickflix used to require calling them to reset registrations (which was a PITA), SKY have a horrible system where you can only swap out 1 device every 30 days, and vague/default device names don't help (i.e. guess work/lucky dip).


Hi nigelj,

We may do another round and get some additional GZ's on once we clear the initial wave. 

Some originals are first run on TV and we'll have second run. For other stuff, it'll come straight to our service and we'll have the first run.

Registration works on device level, so switching browsers shouldn't cause another registration. You'll only be able to delete one device off your account every 30 days. The content providers typically enforce the same restrictions in all their contracts. Hopefully, we've made a painless and smooth as possible.

Any particular older shows you're looking for? With over 5,000 hours, I am sure we'll have sometime you'll like...


/Jakob




Is it in any way possible for you to change how device restrictions work do it works more like Netflix?

The way Netflix does it is by not bothering to register the device but to monitor the number of simultaneous streams from the account.

TThat would be a better solution and way way smoother for the viewer, I hate services that require per device registration then require me to wait 30 days to change it.

Until you change your policy I'll be sticking with Netflix.




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Stefan Andres Charsley

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  Reply # 1099541 31-Jul-2014 18:49
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Lightbox: 

Hi nigelj,

We may do another round and get some additional GZ's on once we clear the initial wave. 




Our household would be a great candidate for that! All our TV watching these days is primarily through streaming services, so we have a pretty good handle on how well the opposition works.

Your content looks promising, but it all means nothing if there isn't an easy way for the average non-tech user to get it from the Internet onto their 50" TVs. Ideally I'd love to see apps for common set top box devices (e.g. Apple TV or Roku), but as that won't be available for launch, I'd be keen to test out how well the iPad->AirPlay->Apple TV combo works. In my experience with this, it can be quite hit and miss.

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