Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Comcast outbids Fox and wins Sky
After months of competition in the battle to take over Sky, 21st Century Fox confirmed it would sell its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast. The auction saw the final bid at $22.65 per share, valuing Sky at $40.1 billion, more than 25% higher than its previous offer. CNN reported Disney had backed Fox and announced it had consented to the sale, marking the end of the bidding war.
Google: Voice recognition next big tech leap
Advances in voice services will be the next big technology leap, according to Google Head of Search Ben Gomes, who said: “Speech recognition and the understanding of language is core to the future of search and information.” Google’s developments will see users be able to carry a conversation with the search giant, the Guardian reported. According to Gomes a better understanding of common language is crucial to the future of the internet.
Facebook and Google unite to fight fake news
Agreeing to a code of conduct to tackle the spread of fake news, Facebook and Google have taken the first steps alongside the European Commission to stop the spread of fake news in light of concerns of external impact on the upcoming EU elections. Reuters reported, the voluntary code is intended to stave off heavier legislation however an advisory group has criticised the code saying the tech giants have not offered measurable objectives to monitor implementation.
Facebook to ‘revive’ VR with Oculus Quest
A new virtual reality (VR) headset, the Oculus Quest has been announced by Facebook, in what the BBC reported as an attempt to make VR popular again. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg said he is behind on his target of getting “one billion people” using VR, the new device is priced at $399, set to be released in early 2019 and promises greater range of movement.
Netflix and Amazon set to double originals
With increased competition from Facebook and YouTube as well as Disney’s direct-to-consumer service, Netflix will double its commissioning on original sci-fi and comedy series based on an analysis by Ampere. Netflix leads the SVOD pack by a large margin, followed by Amazon according to The Hollywood Reporter, all major players will be expanding their offerings of original content to remain competitive.
Netflix enhances UI with HDR images
The tech gurus behind Netflix have revealed proof of concept tests are underway on Marvel’s Iron Fist and The Innocents using high-dynamic range (HDR) images on streamer’s user interface (UI). The technologists said Netflix sees HDR becoming the default format in the future with the images being rolled out to Netflix app on the latest generation of game consoles, reported TVB Europe.
Vodafone announced 5G commercial launch by 2019
Vodafone has confirmed it is ready to commercially launch 5G services as soon as devices are available with 1,000 live 5G sites by 2020, according to Telecoms. The inital launch will be restricted to Manchester, UK with plans to expand the 5G business scale.