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DT Daily: Netflix’s offline ‘no,’ Sony hack fallout, CES 2015 peek

Today on DT Daily: Netflix says no to offline viewing, what the Sony hack means in the long term, and a peek ahead at CES 2015.

Netflix is the biggest streaming service in the world, and one question the folks that run the business often get is this one: will there ever be any kind of offline viewing option? The short answer: no. But will that always be the answer?

Cliff Edwards, Director of Corporate Communications at Netflix called offline downloads a “short term fix for a bigger problem,” that “problem” being wifi speed and bandwidth congestion in general on the interwebs. On some nights – usually weekends – Netflix streaming can consume nearly a third of the total bandwidth in the U.S. But, you can also see the problem that creates as Netflix and other streaming services grow.

However, Netflix competitor Amazon.com does allow for offline viewing of content on their Fire tablets and says they will definitely expand that capability to more devices, such as smartphones. So maybe Netflix should rethink their policy and revise it to “never say never?”

We’re sure you’re aware of the ongoing saga of the massive Sony hack and the cancellation of the movie The Interview after more threats from the hackers (we saw a press screening, here’s our review). This is definitely a big win for the hackers, and many people have taken to social media to decry what they see as cowardice by embattled Sony in the face of anonymous threats. So what does the incident mean for the future?

Will movies or events be cancelled just because someone or some group says they’re upset about it and threaten to hack a company’s email and servers? The FBI and other agencies blame North Korea for the Sony mess, but the larger issue is this: have we just seen the opening salvo of a for-real cyber war, where a few people with computers can hold companies, industries or entire countries hostage? That’s a sad and scary vision for the future.

Speaking of the near future, the big annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is coming up in just a few weeks, and DT Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Kaplan has picked four areas we’re likely to see some big advances in 2015. First up is 4K UHD TV, which looks like it found its legs this holiday season. Are people ready to upgrade their already very nice HDTVs for 4K sets? Seems like if the price is right, they will. And is 8K on the horizon? Concept sets have been shown.

Home automation and linked devices are another hot area of innovation, along with the seemingly infinite varieties of wearable tech hitting the market what seems like every other day. And lastly, most people don’t think of CES in terms of car tech, but that’s another area we’re going to be focusing on this year due to huge advances in electric vehicles, infotainment and autonomous driving tech. Cool stuff indeed.

Your host today is Genelle Padilla. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.