Beam, a livestreaming service bought by Microsoft in August last year, is now rolling out as an app to select Xbox One owners enrolled in the company’s Insider program. The service offers new ways apart from Twitch for players to utilize game streaming services.
The app will enable players to watch streams via Beam and broadcast some of their own gameplay as well. For those who managed to successfully get into the preview, you may now test it out by pushing the guide button on the Xbox One controller, choosing the broadcast icon located at the bottom of the menu, and bringing up Beam.
Similar to Twitch, a popular game streaming service with a stellar and solid community, Beam’s aim is to bring video game streaming into the fore, although unlike the Twitch, there’s almost no delay between the player’s actions and the time audiences actually get to see those actions in real-time. This would allow for more immediate interactions between the host of a particular broadcast and the audiences, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why Microsoft decided to dole out cash to acquire the service.
The apps comes with pretty standard options, such as on and off toggles for the microphone, camera, and chat, alongside camera positions, and overlay options, which are right in the settings. To control the quality of video game streams, however, one must hit up the Broadcasting options, and adjust audio levels and video bitrate accordingly.
With Beam, users don’t just plainly watch video game streams, but they can also interact and participate in the stream itself, making for a much more immersive experience altogether. “That’s one of the features that makes Beam unique,” wrote Matt Salsamendi, Beam’s Engineering Lead, on Friday, mentioning sound boards as one interactive feature streams can be incorporated with. “There are a lot of neat possibilities, and we’re eager to see how gamers continue to use Beam’s interactive capabilities.”
Beam is only one of Microsoft’s many efforts toward video game streaming, and it signals that the company is vehemently pushing to create a community similar to or eventually better than Twitch’s, which is currently the most popular service for such purposes.
Netflix to Start Charging Extra for Password Sharing
Netflix has always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, through features such as separate profiles and multiple streams in their Standard and Premium plans. While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, says Netflix, accounts are being shared between households impacting the company’s ability to invest in new TV and films for its members.
So for the last year, the company has been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more. And over the next few weeks, Netflix plans to launch and test two new features for its members in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru:
- Add an Extra Member: Members on Netflix Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub-accounts for up to two people they don’t live with – each with their own profile, personalised recommendations, login, and password – at a lower price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.
- Transfer Profile to a New Account: Members on Netflix Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub-account – keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalised recommendations.
“We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films. We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world,” the company said in a blog post.
UAE’s First Off-Road and Adventure Park XQuarry to Open on Feb 5th in Mleiha
Thrill-seekers and adventure lovers in the UAE can now look forward to a new address! The XQuarry Off-Road & Adventure Park located around Al Faya Mountain in the Mleiha desert in Sharjah is set to open for the public on February 5th and 6th, 2021 offering off-roading thrill, obstacle races, hikes, and remote- control cars, guaranteeing unbeatable fun, action, and adventure.
XQuarry Adventure Park, UAE’s first Off-Road and Adventure Park caters to off-roaders and adventure -seekers with almost 15km of tracks, 20 custom- build off-roading obstacles, a dedicated obstacle running course, mountain bike trails, a remote-control car area as well as hiking trails
Spread across approximately a million square metres of an old cement quarry, XQuarry offers a range of adventurous and fun activities for people of all ages and fitness levels, featuring Off -Roading, Obstacle Running, Mountain Biking, Hiking and Remote-Controlled Cars.
XQuarry Adventure Park provides the opportunity for all to escape the ordinary, explore thrilling and challenging activities and immerse themselves in a fun-filled day amidst magnificent desert scenario. The focus of the park is to provide outdoor training and education for people to learn and master their skills to act safe and responsible in the outdoors.
The XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park have been created in close co-operation and strategic partnership with Mleiha and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority – Shurooq (Sharjah Government). Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) said, “We are happy to partner with XQuarry in launching UAE’s first Off-Road and Adventure Park in Sharjah. Mleiha, home to rich history and landscapes, is already well-known among travellers for the diverse desert experiences. The new adventure park, being first of its kind in the UAE, will provide a set of completely different experiences for off-roading enthusiasts and adventure lovers and will give more reasons to explore Sharjah’s central region.”
Saoud Al Kaabi, Director and Partner, XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park said, “I love the silence and tranquility of the desert and mountains especially after busy days on film sets or events. It’s important for me to share the beauty of my home country with other people and especially, get the younger generation out in nature to explore and experience adventures in a safe environment. XQuarry is just a step in that direction.”
Daniel Birkhofer, Managing Partner, XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park said, “We want to help people develop their off-roading skills and technical knowledge to make them better drivers. This applies also to the other activities we offer – whether you experience alone, in groups or with one of our guides does not matter, you will improve your skills and experience fun with new adventures. We are happy that our partners, Sharjah Government and Sharjah Investment and Development Agency (Shurooq) have been highly supportive in helping us materialise this venture, without them this project would not be possible.”
THE OFF- ROADERS can find approx. 15km of off-roading tracks requiring different skill levels as well as technical modifications on the vehicle. The tracks mostly made of gravel and rocks and a mud pit, come with several obstacles for added fun and adventure. Since most of the impressive dunes in the Northern Emirates are just outside the park, visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to combine a desert drive with a park visit. Drive experiences with rented 4×4 vehicles at XQuarry will be available in the second phase of the park opening.
OBSTACLE RUNNING at XQuarry is the most amazing and challenging permanent obstacle course in the UAE. Approximately 2km of running distance filled with different obstacles await the adrenaline junkies and if this is not enough, trail and ultra-runners can extend their running distance by including the hiking trails. The obstacles include climbing, jumping, crawling, swinging, balancing and voila, you might even get wet!
MOUNTAIN BIKING (MTB) at XQuarry is the closest mountain cycling trail to the big cities reachable in less than an hour. There are single trails as well as MTB obstacle trail and what’s more, you can extend the trails outside the park which go beyond 10km. Enjoy a fun ride up and down small hills or meander through the steep curves and bumps to add to the thrill and fun. Rental bikes are expected to be available soon.
HIKING TRAILS abound for thrill- seekers and families with breath- taking panoramic views of the desert. Short family-friendly loops are available for beginners, while the more daring hikers can scramble through the rocky hurdles and cliffs to reach the mountain top.
REMOTE – CONTROL CARS (RC) are another highlight of the park with approximately 500m of custom-built RC tracks along with dedicated shaded areas for the operators and spectators to overlook the track. Additionally, there are race tracks with curves and jumps to compete for the fasted lap and those seeking technical challenges can enjoy the RC Obstacle Track which shall be available in near future.
Full Box Sets and All-Time Favourites Are Available on STARZPLAY
The entertainment fiesta never stops on STARZPLAY, the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service in the MENA region, which continues to provide its million-plus subscribers with premium content. With people spending more time at home now, this is the perfect opportunity to binge-watch your favourite shows. From full box sets of the best shows to the latest must-watch Hollywood blockbusters as well as continuing hit titles, there is something for everyone.
Watch the cult classic sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, which remains a top choice for comedy fans, and especially popular among STARZPLAY subscribers, who had the chance of watching the series finale on the platform at the same time it aired in the US last May. So, it may be time for fans to re-visit their favorite scientist pals (and Penny!) and enjoy all 12 seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy awards winning series, only on STARZPLAY.
STARZPLAY is also home to the much-loved American sitcom The Office, the mockumentary on a group of typical office workers where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and boredom. Fans can watch all the nine-seasons of the hilarious documentary-style TV series that tells stories about contemporary work culture in the most hysterical way.
Fans of the epic historical drama Vikings can watch every new episode of the sixth and final season of the epic action-adventure, that has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, exclusively on STARZPLAY. And for those who are yet to delve into the show’s fascinating world, all previous 5 seasons are currently available on the platform.
While the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launch of Friends last year, the show remains one of the most beloved and popular sitcoms in TV history, STARZPLAY subscribers can binge-watch all ten seasons of the classic comedy through the platform anytime, anywhere and from any device, and share this joyful experience with their own friends.
Fans of the American television medical drama Grey’s Anatomy can watch every new episode of the fifteenth season starting March 28 on STARZPLAY. Watch how surgical interns and their supervisors embark on a medical journey where they become part of heart-wrenching stories and make life-changing decisions in order to become the finest doctors.
Available in 20 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, with more than 10,000 hours of content including premium movies, exclusive and Arabic series, STARZPLAY has also secured its place as the number one player in the MENA region.
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