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Oculus Go is the all-in-one VR headset you’ll beg Santa for

Charmaine Blake

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The Oculus Go is the easiest way to dive into VR.

Image: raymond wong/mashable
“Oculus Go
$199
The Good

Supremely easy to use • Effortless setup • High-quality lenses for a sharp image • Comfortable to wear • Affordable

The Bad

Light leaks from nose cutout • Charges over microUSB • Takes 3 hours to fully charge

The Bottom Line

The Oculus Go is the first VR headset that truly makes it easy to dive into VR without the hassle of connecting a phone or PC.

Mashable Score4.5
 
Cool Factor4.0
 
Learning Curve5.0
 
Performance4.0
 
Bang for the Buck5.0

I can’t think of a more messy and complicated technology in the last decade than VR.

I’ve tried just about every major VR headset released in the last few years. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality headsets — you name it, and I’ve strapped it on.

The problem isn’t that there’s no one single killer VR app that blows people away — there are now thousands of unbelievably immersive apps and games to pick from across the many different VR platforms — but that VR headsets are too much of a pain in the ass to set up and wear.

Running high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive means you also need powerful gaming PCs or laptops that are by no means cheap. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Gear VR, previously one of the best ways to get started with VR, is still cumbersome since you’re constantly attaching and detaching a smartphone and dealing overheating issues (since the phone is working overtime to bring you VR images with as little lag as possible).

It’s been years in the making, but the Oculus Go, is a major turning point for VR. The all-in-one VR headset doesn’t need a PC or a smartphone. 

SEE ALSO: Oculus Go is the most important VR creation yet

To start shooting virtual zombies, watching Netflix on a giant screen, or any of thousands of other virtual experiences, you literally just put on the Oculus Go and, ahem, go into the virtual world.

Just as attractive as the Oculus Go’s simplicity is how much it costs: The headset starts at $199 for the headset with 32GB of storage and $249 for 64GB. Both come with a wireless controller. You can run the numbers yourself, but I’ll save you some time: The Go is cheaper than a Nintendo Switch and way lower than the price of a Gear VR or Daydream VR experience (factoring in the required phones, of course).

Just strap on and go

Fun fact: The Go headset is manufactured by China’s Xiaomi. Yep, the same Xiaomi that still doesn’t sell phones in the U.S.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

There’s nothing I hate more than unboxing a new gadget and having to read instructions to get started. A well-designed gadget is one that shouldn’t require much figuring out and the Oculus Go couldn’t be simpler.

Everything you need to get started in VR is included in the box. The headset’s gray color is neutral and doesn’t feel…”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/05/01/oculus-go-review/

New Movie Tech

Amazons IMDb launches a free streaming service, Freedive

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“Amazon’s IMDb movie website today announced the launch of a free streaming service, called Freedive. The service offers viewers in the U.S. access to an ad-supported collection of TV shows like  Fringe, Heroes, The Bachelor and Without a Trace, as well as Hollywood movies like Awakenings, Foxcatcher, Memento, Monster, Run Lola Run, The Illusionist, The Last Samurai, True Romance, and others.

The content is free to watch without a subscription, and can be viewed on a phone, laptop or a big screen by way of Amazon Fire TV devices.

IMDb was already the home for some video content, including trailers, celebrity interviews and short-form original series such as The IMDb Show, Casting Calls, and No Small Parts. These are now being bundled into Freedive, says the company, and will remain free to watch.

The new service will also feature X-Ray, the IMDb-powered service that offers details about the title’s cast, crew, music, and more.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, Founder and CEO of IMDb, in a statement about launch. “With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/10/amazons-imdb-launches-a-free-streaming-service-freedive/

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New Movie Tech

Plex plans to offer ad-supported movies and more premium subscriptions

Charmaine Blake

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“Media software maker Plex is preparing to take on The Roku Channel and Amazon Prime Video Channels, possibly as soon as this year. The company is in discussions with rights holders and content providers, with a focus on bringing free, ad-supported movies to the Plex platform – similar to how The Roku Channel got its start. It’s also talking to premium networks and content providers about offering their programming and subscriptions through Plex.

The talks follow the company’s recent partnership with music service TIDAL.

By working with TIDAL to sell bundled subscriptions to its streaming music service along with the Plex Pass subscription, Plex had to build certain transactional capabilities into its platform that it didn’t have before. That has paved the way for Plex to expand its subscription offerings to include new partners in the future.

“Now we have the ability to sell other services and bundles,” noted Plex co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Scott Olechowski, in a discussion this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We’re bundling a Plex Pass with TIDAL. That took a little bit of backend work,” he continued. “You can imagine a bunch of different premium [content] that comes together in a single or multiple bundles, potentially.”

In Plex, content is organized not by source but by type – like music, movies, TV, etc. So when Plex rolls out premium content and subscriptions, it would show its users what sort of movies they have access to based on their subscriptions within the app’s movies tab. The same goes for TV and so on………………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/07/plex-plans-to-offer-ad-supported-movies-and-more-premium-subscriptions/

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Jennifer Garner and J.J. Abrams are making a limited series for Apple

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“More than a decade after the end of “Alias,” J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner are teaming up on a new limited series for Apple.

The show, titled “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends,” will be based on the Amy Silverstein memoir of the same name, about how Silverstein’s friends supported her as she waited for her second heart transplant.

As reported in Variety and elsewhere, the series will be produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Karen Croner will write and executive produce (she previously wrote “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” which Garner starred in last year), Garner will serve as both star and executive producer and Abrams will also be an executive producer.

“Alias” first aired in 2001 — Abrams created, wrote and directed, while Garner starred as double agent Sydney Bristow. The show helped make Garner a star, while also landing Abrams his first gig as a feature film director, “Mission Impossible III.”

Garner recently returned to television on the HBO series “Camping.” Abrams, meanwhile, has remained involved in TV despite his commitments to Star Wars, but usually just as an executive producer. Earlier this year, Apple was reportedly bidding for “Demimonde,” the first series that Abrams co-created since “Fringe,” but it lost out to HBO.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/jennifer-garner-and-j-j-abrams-are-making-a-limited-series-for-apple/

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