Netflix’s ad-supported tier finally has a release date. The new Basic with Ads plan will be available November 3rd from 12 PM ET for $7 per month in the US. It launches at the start of November in 11 other countries: the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Canada (November 1st), Mexico (November 1st) and Spain (November 10th).
The ads will run for an average of four to five minutes per hour, and you’ll be limited to 720p/HD resolution. That’s not the only limitation: Licensing will also prevent you from watching certain movies and TV shows on the ad plan.
While we don’t know what kinds of ads you’ll get, we do know they’ll initially be 15- to 30-second spots and will play both before and during shows. There’ll be “broad” targeting for those ads based on criteria like your country and the content genres you watch.
That list of caveats might stop existing Netflix subscribers from downgrading (the Basic plan starts at $10), but it could convince folks with other video subscriptions – or a lapsed Netflix sub – to start paying again.
– Mat Smith
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Back in 2020, Microsoft announced it would change the name of its Office 365 subscription to Microsoft 365, acknowledging it had become more than just a work app. Now, it’s removing most of the remaining Office branding. “In the coming months, Office.com, the Office mobile app and the Office app for Windows will become the Microsoft 365 app, with a new icon, a new look and even more features,” an FAQ says.
Sony and Honda have announced they’ll open pre-orders for their first electric vehicle model in the first half of 2025. Their joint venture, Sony Honda Mobility Inc., hopes to begin deliveries in the US by spring 2026. The companies didn’t give us a glimpse of the vehicle they’re working on during the event, and they didn’t mention anything about its pricing or its battery technology and range. They did say, however, they’re planning to focus on online sales, like Tesla.
Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard will have to gain approval from various regulators around the world before the deal can go through, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has recommended a more in-depth inquiry. Shortly after the CMA published its decision, Microsoft accused the regulator of relying “on self-serving statements by Sony.” In a response it shared with Ars Technica, the tech giant said the CMA’s decision was rooted in the concern that Activision’s catalog of games, specifically the Call of Duty franchise, will allow Xbox to “foreclose its competitors.” Microsoft called that concern “misplaced.”
Sony has unveiled the ZV-1F, its third and most affordable vlogging camera. At just $500, it’s slotted below the $700 ZV-1 compact, with a Type-1 Exmor 20.1-megapixel sensor, 4K video and a raft of Sony camera features. Those include the “product showcase” feature, which lets you place a product in front of the camera to quickly get focus and background defocus, for quick-and-easy bokeh backgrounds. And a new Shot Mark feature lets you grab a 15-, 30- or 60-second clip and send it to a smartphone. The camera arrives on October 24th.
One of the best places to start when building a smart home ecosystem is smart light bulbs. Not only are they relatively affordable compared to other IoT gadgets, often costing between $10 and $50 a bulb, but they can also completely change the feel of your home. And there are now more players in smart lighting than ever before. Here are our top picks.