CBS follows HBO in targeting cord-cutters with $5.99/month VOD service via app & web

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Just one day after HBO announced that it would be offering a web-only subscription at some point next year, CBS has played leap-frog by announcing the immediate availability of a $5.99/month web & app subscription offering on-demand access to almost all content.

CBS All Access will offer subscribers thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest U.S. markets at launch.

CBS All Access is available beginning today at CBS.com and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android.

Cable companies have long shied away from offering access to popular, current programming without demanding that you sign-up to cable access first. But broadcasters now seem to be recognizing that it isn’t just cord-cutting that threatens their existing models, it’s also ‘cord nevers’ – young people who simply aren’t signing up for cable subscriptions in the first place, preferring to get their TV fix online …  Read more

Apple TV channel for today’s iPad and iMac event live stream is now available

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Apple previously announced that it would be live streaming Thursday’s iPad and Mac event, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company is pushing out an Apple TV channel to stream the video. It is a bit surprising, however, that the channel is already available at midnight Pacific time. It’s usually much later in the day that it appears.

You can also stream the event from Apple’s website on a Mac or iOS device. If you’re on a Windows PC, you’ll need to follow a few extra steps to get the stream working, but you’ll also be able to watch. Apple is expected to debut upgraded versions of the iPad and iPad mini along with a new Retina iMac. There should also be some final details about iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite, including release dates and Apple Pay availability.

We’ll have also full coverage of the event right here on 9to5Mac.

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HBO’s upcoming web-only subscription could unlock the full potential for Apple TV

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HBO CEO Richard Plepler shared today that the premium satellite and cable network will begin offering a web-only package sometime in 2015 as it attempts to gain new paid subscribers. A web-only offering for HBO (and other popular networks) is something cable cutters have wanted for years although many argued that the economics of the cable industry wouldn’t make the option feasible for the networks.

Plepler, though, cited “the current ten million broadband-only homes” before announcing that HBO will launch “a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service” next year. Could a version of HBO unbundled from cable providers mean that Apple TV may also become less restrained by required cable subscriptions?

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Carl Icahn forecasts UltraHD Apple TV set in FY 2016

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Included in activist shareholder and investor Carl Icahn’s open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting an increased stock buyback from the company is somewhat of a prediction about when Apple might release an actual Apple TV set, not just an updated set-top box. Icahn sees fiscal year 2016 as an opportunity for Apple to enter the home television market citing an upgrade cycle due to UltraHD displays.

As we highlighted in our previous letter, we believe UltraHD’s (ultra-high-definition television) superior picture quality in comparison to regular HD will drive a major TV replacement cycle as the price gap between them narrows. It should also be noted that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has referenced UltraHD as a major catalyst for Netflix going forward, and while this is true for Netflix, we believe it is also true for Apple. Against the backdrop of this replacement cycle, FY 2016 represents an opportune time to introduce an UltraHD TV set.

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2013 Apple TV revision gets its first exclusive feature: iOS 8’s Peer-to-Peer AirPlay

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When Apple released Apple TV software update 7.0 earlier this month, it came with support for new iOS 8 features including the new Peer-to-Peer AirPlay feature. First announced when Apple unveiled iOS 8 earlier this year, Peer-to-Peer AirPlay allows users on iOS 8 and the upcoming OS X Yosemite release to stream content to an Apple TV without having to connect to the same wireless network. What we didn’t know at the time, however, is that the feature is limited to only the latest Apple TV hardware: Read more

Apple adds FX NOW channel w/ on-demand TV & movies to Apple TV

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Following a report in July that Apple was planning on adding a new FX Now channel to Apple TV within 12 months, today the channel has officially arrived for users in the US. Like the FX Now app that was already available on iOS devices via an app for iPhone and iPad, the channel offers on-demand video streaming with content from the FX, FXX, and FXM networks.  Read more

Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

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In addition to shipping iOS 8 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today, Apple has released a software update to Apple TV (third-generation) users as well. As we previewed before, the new version of Apple TV’s software brings a refreshed design with thinner text and flatter icons bringing it more in line with iOS’s look and feel. The update also includes a newly added Beats Music channel for the subscription streaming music service Apple purchased earlier this year.

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Tim Cook appears on Charlie Rose, talks Steve Jobs, Beats, and Apple TV

Tim Cook appeared on Charlie Rose in a multi-part interview, the first of which airs today. In three clips released by the show, Cook discusses Steve Jobs’s continuing inspiration at at Apple, the Beats Electronics acquisition, and the Apple TV, the company’s “hobby device” turned full product category.

The second half of the interview will air on Monday night. You can see the other two clips below:

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Apple Events channel added to Apple TV for iPhone / Wearable live stream

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Image via @SonnyDickson

Apple announced on Thursday that it will broadcast this year’s iPhone event live for Safari and Apple TV users, and today Apple TV has revived the dedicated Apple Events channel for viewing the announcement live during the event. The channel usually remains for a short time after the event for on-demand viewing. As always, we’ll be sharing major announcements from Apple’s event for those who cannot view the live stream throughout the event. Read more

Apple Store promoting upcoming iTunes Festival w/ pins and wristbands, music-related events

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After bringing the iTunes Festival to the US earlier this year at Austin SXSW, Apple’s annual music event in London kicking off next week has been the focus of much of the company’s attention recently. Earlier this week, Apple’s newly acquired Beats Music began promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest within the app to attend the festival.

Apple will also use its retail stores to further promote the event with iTunes Festival Pins to be worn by retail employees to “spark conversation about the event,” according to an internal document obtained by 9to5Mac. Retail employees will also receive iTunes Festival wristbands and redemption codes for music. Select Apple Stores will also host “music-related events” with local artists, according to the document. Read more

Apple TV adds premium network Showtime to the channel lineup

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In addition to reviving the iTunes Festival channel ahead of the music event, Apple has pushed out an additional channel on Apple TV. Showtime Anytime, the premium cable and satellite television network, is now available for streaming content on Apple TV. The channel includes free full episodes of select episodes of certain shows. In addition to acting as an on-demand channel, Showtime Anytime on Apple TV also supports viewing live broadcasts with an authenticated subscription to supported TV providers. Read more