streaming

Major Disney+ Update

Disney+ has decided to release the vast majority of their catalogue on their new $6.99 streaming service, as stated in the 3 hours plus preview video above.

This catalogue includes over 500 movies and over 7500 television programs from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilms, 20th Century Fox, National Geographic and other companies Disney distributes, which will be made available progessively from November 12th, 2019.

I seriously doubt they will include the cheesy Star Wars Holiday Special and more contentious material without parental guidance warnings, but I’m guessing that they will probably fulfill my wish to access their classic cartoons online.

I am a fan of their classics cartoons, primarily Donald Duck, and have collected the four Walt Disney Treasures – Chronological Donald collections on DVD a decade back. But I had also wanted all of the classic cartoons featuring Goofy and remaining Chip ‘n’ Dale shorts. And apparently, these will eventually be made available via the new service.

I was also waiting for Blu-ray versions of The Cat From Outer Space and The Apple Dumpling Gang films, that I was expecting to be released via their movie club. But I guess I will try this new service out instead.

I will probably continue to buy my very favourite films on Blu-Ray for a while but I guess I’ll be watching the lack luster, passible releases on Disney+ instead.

I’m pretty sure their movie club will continue because the Disney+ service requires high-speed internet connections, which are still unavailable to some. And I’m guessing they will offer more exclusive memorabilia soon so I think i’ll remain a memeber for quite some time.

Good news overall.


Android Box Lawsuit

Canadian electronics and computer retail chains Best Buy Canada, Canada Computers, London Drugs and Staples Canada are being sued by Edmonton, Alberta based Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc, the people behind Super Channel, alleging these companies sold android boxes that could be used to view their content and violate copyright laws with a software program Kodi.

Kodi is an open source home entertainment software package that enables users to play media on their computers and android devices, that can also be used to download and stream content off the internet.

Allarco Entertainment 2008 Ltd is alleging that these four companies promoted the use of this software on android devices they’ve sold to 50,000 customers in Canada, listed as John Doe on the Statement of Claim filed with the Federal Court of Canada on September 11th, 2019. And the lawsuit is also partially in response to the CRTC’s October 2018 denial of Fairplay Canada’s application to block websites that were identified as providing pirated content.

Unfortunately, the Statement of Claim in Court Number T-1486-19 does not specify if sales of the more mainstream media streaming devices (like Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku) are allegedly implicated, these devices also being compatible with the aforementioned software. But it should be noted that today’s press release on this action appears to only mention “Pirate Devices with Kodi software” and that only some of the 150 employee sales pitches that were filmed by the plaintiffs over 19 months appear to include referrals to services that could assist customers with the installation of the software.

The companies in question have denied the allegations and I suspect they are now promoting sales of the more mainstream devices with Apple TV+, a television and video streaming service that will be officially released on November 1st, 2019, with a monthly subscription fee of $5.99 (or free for a year for Canadians who buy the latest model of the Apple TV media box, iPad or iPhone).

More Competition For Cable

Not only is Apple expanding their live television offerings to Canadian Apple TV users in the Fall but Corus Entertainment has just announced that they will provide live broadcasts to Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Canada:

“Available soon to Prime members in Canada, STACKTV includes some of the best entertainment, drama, lifestyle and kids television channels, delivering audiences the latest episodes of hit series live and on-demand.

STACKTV will include: Global, Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network, HISTORY┬«, Adult Swim, Slice, Showcase, National Geographic, Teletoon, Treehouse and YTV.”

Unfortunately sports and news fans will need to wait for more channels to be added to this service. But Greg Hart, vice president of Amazon Prime Video, said he’s hopeful that voids in the offering will be filled over time, in an interview with The Canadian Press.

This additional service will be available for a monthly fee of $12.99 (plus taxes) via the Prime Video app on smart TVs, on Roku devices, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. And Nickelodeon subscription video on-demand service will cost an extra $5.99 per month.

Prime Video is currently $7.99 plus tax or free to Amazon Prime members. And that streaming service currently offers film and television programs on demand, their catalogue expanding slowly to offer content that is currently only accessible by American users.


Disney+ Canada – Early 2020

Mobile Syrup has confirmed that the Disney+ streaming service will be made available to Canadians in the first quarter of 2020.

This service will feature content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

Ultraviolet Closing

The UltraViolet digital locker service will be going offline on July 31st, 2019. And Canadians may encounter issues when attempting to download their library off this service.

I’ve personally tried to access my library via the Sony Picture Store and Flixster but was only able to access and view a few of my films. But the Official UltraViolet site states that “movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers” after the cutoff date, “in the majority of cases“.

Yes, those last few words do make me nervous.

I’d seriously hate loosing access to my films, four of which I consider to be my very favourites. But I guess all we can do is wait as they work things out.

I will of course keep an eye on the issue and post updates, if need be.


Netflix Canada Price Hike? Really?

Netflix has decided to raise their monthly subscription plan prices by three dollars, days before the departure of Disney, Pixar and Marvel films from their service.

Yes, I am as baffled as you are in regards to this timing. But apparently they think they have enough material to keep their current customers, which in my case is quite the risk.

I already have my favourite Disney, Pixar and Marvel films on blu-ray thanks to the Amazon and the Disney Movie Club. And Prime Video has just recently expanded their catalogue, although it needs to expand further to be compatible with Netflix, especially when it comes to concerts and music documentaries.

My previous relationship with Netflix was on and off due to their lack of material and they’re basically keeping me on with the odd film, stand up comedy program, concert and the American remake of The Office. And unfortunately for them I own quite a few films from their catalog on DVD and blu-ray already.

It would be nice to be able to just store these away and use the service to view them but they’re still not up to par with the American service and they don’t appear to be interested in foreign language films from Europe.

For example, where are the great French performances by Louis De Funes, Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard? Where’s the Gaumont film catalogue?

Netflix Canada need more films like “The Train To Busan”, on top of the mainstream classic Hollywood productions. And I suspect that if no major improvements are made that I will be leaving the service again, especially if they subject me to yet another $3 hike within two years.

It should also be noted that DC Universe is also starting its own streaming service in Canada shortly, which will likely cause additional material to disappear from Netflix Canada’s catalog. But I guess all we can do is wait and see what will happen in 2019.