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5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: New Improved Netflix on TV, Free Movie Download and More

Photo of Paula Bernstein By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire November 13, 2013 at 12:39PM

Netflix is getting its biggest design makeover yet, "Hustle & Flow" director Craig Brewer is making his "best" movie available for free and more tech news for filmmakers and film fans.
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Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"
Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"

1. Netflix Updates: It's about time...Netflix is getting its biggest design makeover yet and users will start seeing a different interface today -- at least if they access Netflix via a Smart TV app or through TV-connected devices such as game consoles, set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players. On the company blog, Chris Jaffe is vice president of product innovation at Netflix said the new design is meant to emphasize a "cinematic and rich visual experience." Search functionality and personalization has also been improved. The updated Netflix will roll out globally beginning today and will reach all devices within about two weeks. The update will go to devices including PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and new and future Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players, but, notably, not Apple TV. Netflix notes that the majority of the more than one billion hours our members watch each month is done on a TV. Read more about the update here.

2. Free Movie: "Hustle & Flow" director Craig Brewer is giving away a free download of his debut film, "The Poor & Hungry" with the goal of reconnecting to his early days of indie filmmaking and building a community. "I just want to have a relationship with people who dig my work. The end goal for me is to feel a little bit like an artist in my community again," Brewer told Indiewire. Read the full story and download his film for free here.

3. Film Preservation: "Preserving films is one thing, but the process can't start unless you have the elements to work with.  You won't have the elements unless you know where they are," writes film producer and festival programmer Ted Hope in an article about why we need a digital database for films that will, ultimately, aid in film preservation. Read Hope's story here and weigh in with your suggestions.

4. DISH Anywhere: DISH announced it will combine the DISH Anywhere and Hopper Transfers app so that customers will be able to watch live TV, recorded shows and on-demand shows anywhere on their mobile device with an internet connection and watch recorded shows without an internet connection.  "Responding to subscribers who want an even easier way to fully utilize the capabilities of the Hopper with Sling, today, we’re announcing an overhaul of the DISH Anywhere app," said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president, product management at DISH, in a statement. "By year's end, Hopper with Sling users will be able to remotely watch live and recorded shows and transfer recorded programs to their iOS and Android devices, all within the new DISH Anywhere app."

5. Snag-A-Trip: SnagFilms, Indiewire's parent company, is inviting fans to enter for their chance to win a VIP Grand Prize which features a 5 day / 4 night trip to Park City, Utah during the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival. Find out more about the "Snag-A-Trip Sweepstakes" here.

This article is related to: Tech, 5 Daily Tech Stories, Tech News, Filmmaker Toolkit: Technology, Netflix, News