Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Microsoft acquires VR social platform
Microsoft has sealed a deal for virtual reality social platform AltspaceVR. Altspace VR, which shut down in July due to a lack of funding, provides a virtual environment for events such as discussions and comedy performances. The Verge reported that AltspaceVR will still work with the likes of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Daydream by Google, and Samsung Gear VR.
Italy increases local content quotas
Broadcasters in Italy, together with SVoD platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, will be required to adhere to new local content quotas following a change in media regulations. As reported by C21, the number of homegrown shows will be ramped up over the next three years.
MPAA highights Kodi threat
The CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America has warned of the threat posed by streaming piracy. According to Advanced Television, Charles Rivkin said: ”The most popular software is an open source media player software, Kodi. Although Kodi is not itself unlawful, and does not host or link to unlicensed content, it can be easily configured to direct consumers toward unlicensed films and television shows”.
Telecom Italia to sell TV services group
Telecom Italia is reported to have begun the process of selling its broadcast services group Persidera. According to Reuters, pre-marketing is taking place this week and the company could be sold for €400m.
Deutsche Telekom inks UHD deal
Deutsche Telekom has signed a deal to carry Insight TV’s linear UHD channel. TVBEurope reported that the channel will be available this autumn.
Murdoch opponent tries to scupper Sky deal
Activist group Avaaz has launched a legal challenge against UK regulator Ofcom’s ruling that if Sky were fully owned by Twenty-First Century Fox, it would still be “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license, according to Reuters.
Snap boosts AR offering
Snapchat has launched an augmented reality art platform that will allow works of art to be pinned to specific locations. Snapchat plans to roll out the feature around the world, Techcrunch said.
Samsung launches VR headset for Windows
Samsung has launched a VR headset for use with Windows-based PCs. According to the BBC, the “premium” headset will cost $499 and will go on sale in November.
National Theatre trials mixed reality glasses for subtitling
The National Theatre in London is trialling the use of mixed reality glasses as a way of providing the hard of hearing with subtitles during live performances.