DC Comics’ streaming service launches tomorrow

Tomorrow is apparently Batman Day. That mostly means promotions from the folks at DC Entertainment and the long-awaited launch of the company’s DC Universe streaming service. If nothing else, the site is an interesting mix of multimedia content in a world of video-only sites, including original series, older content and digital comics. Users who signed […]

Tomorrow is apparently Batman Day. That mostly means promotions from the folks at DC Entertainment and the long-awaited launch of the company’s DC Universe streaming service. If nothing else, the site is an interesting mix of multimedia content in a world of video-only sites, including original series, older content and digital comics.

Users who signed up in advance will get early access to the site today, while everyone else is going to have to wait until tomorrow to sample the service for $8 a month or $75 for a full year. DC Universe will be available on a slew of platforms in the U.S., including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku — or you can just watch it from a desktop or mobile browser à la Netflix.

If Netflix and Hulu have taught us anything, it’s that original content takes a while to get right, so remember that as you rewatch the trailer for the live action Titans series. That’s not slated to actually launch until October 12 — hopefully it will benefit from a little retooling after a preview that made even the hardest core of fanboys/girls audibly groan. At the very least, it means no Batman Day launch for a show in which Robin literally says “f*** Batman.”

There are a number of other series on the docket, including some of the most beloved off-the-radar DC properties, like Young Justice: Outsiders, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn and Stargirl. DC Universe will have stiff competition, however — along with the usual suspects, Marvel-owner Disney is set to launch a service of its own, likely next year. 

As for Batman Day, there’s a lot of Dark Knight content, including the 80s/90s film series and two of the three Christopher Nolan films. Some of the caped crusader’s finest comics work is up there too, including The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and Batman Year 100.

That’s a lot of f***ing Batman.

DC Entertainment’s new streaming and digital comics service pops up on Google Play

DC Universe’s digital subscription and streaming service has just appeared on Google Play, ahead of its planned fall 2018 release. Announced in late June, the service includes a streaming library of original programming like a live action version of “Teen Titans” and several other shows; plus a selection of DC animated movies, classic TV series […]

DC Universe’s digital subscription and streaming service has just appeared on Google Play, ahead of its planned fall 2018 release. Announced in late June, the service includes a streaming library of original programming like a live action version of “Teen Titans” and several other shows; plus a selection of DC animated movies, classic TV series like “Wonder Woman,” the four Christopher Reeve-starring Superman films; and a host of other content like a lineup of digital comics, an online forum, and more.

So far, interested users can only sign up to pre-order the service, and that, apparently, has not changed. However, the company has said that it would begin a beta test in August, and the app’s launch appears to be the first indication that’s about to kick off.

One screen, for example, shows a board within the community section where beta users can offer feedback.

The Google Play version of the app is listed as “Unreleased,” but you are able to now download it to supported Android devices. Unfortunately, you’re not able to view its content without becoming a beta tester – even if you signed up to pre-order the new subscription service. When we tested this, we were instead directed to a placeholder screen after logging in that says: “Your Universe Begins Fall 2018.” (Don’t worry, Oath corporate Expense Account auditors – I’ll cancel this. I’m just trying to do my job here, okay? Please don’t email me.)

 

The new app was released on Monday, and because it’s still not usable by the general public, it has no reviews. It also has no app description in its current state.

The app’s screenshots do give a sense of how the subscription service will look and feel, though. It opts to default to a dark theme, and has both a hamburger navigation and a bottom bar.

The navigation bar at the bottom offers links to “Movies & TV” and a “starred” section of favorites. Off to the right are links to the comics, an account info screen, and the online community. These buttons are not fixed, it seems, and scoot closer together or further apart, depending on what’s tapped. This gives it an uneven feel, aesthetically speaking. (It sorta kills me.)

Like most streaming services, the app also supports the ability to pick up where you left off, with features like “dive back in” and “continue watching.” And underneath the titles themselves are not just the episode lists and details, but also a link to the community.

There’s an Encyclopedia that lets you read the heroes’ backgrounds, another screen shows, plus digital comics to download, and a simple rating system involving a thumbs up icon.

DC Universe hasn’t publicly announced that the beta test has launched, but fans should probably keep their eyes peeled.

The app is expected across platforms, including iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and the web.