Hulu Plus sneaks its way onto Apple TV, one week free trial

We broke the news late last year that Apple was working on a Hulu Plus app for Apple TV. Unfortunately, getting the app to the Apple TV was a political issue, not a technical one.

We’ve gotten word that inside Apple there are Apple TVs running the Hulu Plus app natively. The app is feature complete and ready to roll out to Apple TV users on current builds. In fact, it has been ready for at least a month and development is now on hold.

While there are no technical issues standing in the way of the Hulu Plus release on Apple TV, there appear to be some political ones. At some level at Apple, there appears to be some consideration that the Hulu Plus app could eat into iTunes TV sales on the Apple TV. Where Netflix tends to run older programming, iTunes is the Apple TV’s only outlet for current TV programming….

Today, our Apple TVs are lighting up with some Hulu Plus goodness. If you do not see it, a quick reboot will bring it up. Hulu offers a free one-week trial here. Pictures directly from the screen are below.

Update: Hulu has updated its blog with the news and provided an unnecessary instructional video (Above).

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Brightcove’s App Cloud eyes dual-screen apps for Apple TV [Video]

Brightcove announced today that it is moving at full steam to help developers create dual-screen television apps for Apple TV using its HTML app platform.

Chief Executive Jeremy Allaire is quite outspoken about Apple’s elusive television set (which jibes with our take), but aside from sounding off about the rumored product not being an actual HDTV, he showcased how streaming high-definition content from an iOS device through Apple TV is an ideal range of interactivity for app developers to tackle.

Brightcove launched its cloud-based App Cloud platform for painlessly building mobile apps just over a year ago, but now the company is making available a free version equipped with an open source SDK and a toolkit for the dual-screen applications market.

According to TechCrunch:

It’s more or less a freemium model for app building. With App Cloud Core you can build and release as many apps as you want. But if you want features like real-time analytics, push notifications, and native ads, you can upgrade to App Cloud Pro for $99 a month. And for those who need an even more robust feature set, there’s an enterprise version for high-volume apps with custom pricing plans based upon usage.

In addition to open sourcing App Cloud, it’s also pushing one particular feature set, which could change the way we watch TV. Its App Cloud Dual-Screen Solution for Apple TV uses a set of APIs that will allow tablet and mobile users to have a truly integrated second screen experience. By leveraging Apple’s AirPlay technology, App Cloud users can create applications that use the mobile device as the search and navigation, while the Apple TV plays back video.

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Reflection and AirParrot apps bring Windows screen mirroring to Apple TV, iOS mirroring to PCs

We told you about Mac OS X apps AirParrot and Reflection in the past. Developed by app makers Squirrels, AirParrot allows you to mirror your Mac’s screen on an Apple TV-connected TV, while Reflection provides mirroring of iOS devices to any Mac display. The developers have since followed up with updates to both of the apps bringing many requested features such as audio and Mountain Lion support, but they released PC versions of both apps today that allow you to mirror your iOS device to a Windows machine or a PC’s screen to an Apple TV.

As for the Windows version of Reflection, it will release with all the same features as the OS X client, including: screen recording, audio support, frame colors, full screen mode, multiple device mirroring, and more. The first release of the AirParrot PC app will just provide basic screen mirroring features initially due to roadblocks during development. Head developer David Stanfill, who is also the founder of Napkin Studio, told us about the difficulties of bringing the AirPlay mirroring functionality to PCs and provided us with screenshots of the apps below:

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Report: Apple to unveil new Apple TV OS at WWDC, will run on future HDTV

According to a report from BGR, which cited a “trusted source,” Apple is preparing to demo a refreshed version of its Apple TV OS at WWDC next week. The report also claimed it is the same OS that runs on the much-rumored Apple HDTV that many reports indicate the company is working on. BGR also said Apple is testing a new “control out” API. The report explained:

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Apple in talks to Stream EPIX to devices including HDTV

Reuters reported today that Apple has been in talks since earlier this year to stream films owned by premium TV channel EPIX to Apple TV set-top boxes and potentially its much-rumored upcoming HDTV product. Three major studios including Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Lionsgate back the channel:

Apple Inc began talks earlier this year to stream films owned by EPIX, which is backed by three major movie studios, on devices including a long-anticipated TV, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations… Apple is widely expected to unveil a full-fledged TV product later this year or in early 2013 to drive its next phase of growth and potentially revolutionize the industry.

According to the report, Apple’s attempts to acquire the content could run into trouble due to EPIX’s $200 million agreement with Netflix that gives the service streaming rights through September of this year.

In March, the New York Post reported Apple plans to launch a new TV streaming service in time for Christmas of this year, despite troubles signing up major content partners. The report claimed content providers had “largely balked” at Apple’s unwillingness to negotiate on pricing. It also stated Apple wanted content providers to offer their channels through iOS and Apple TV-like apps. Earlier reports from analysts indicated Apple could partner with its existing carrier partners, such as AT&T and Verizon, to take advantage of their programming for upcoming streaming services.
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How to add a USB Blu-ray player to your Mac for $42

With 1080P hitting the new iPad and Apple TV last month, some of you are perhaps now looking to send your Blu-ray collection over to iOS devices.

Here is the easy part: Buy a Toshiba Lightscribe Blu-ray Player for just $42 with free shipping (via 9to5Toys). It also burns DVDs, and Lightscribe media will even do some art on the cover. Oh, and it is USB bus-powered, so it is nice and portable.

Update: There is a white version!

Toshiba advertises it as “Mac compatible,” but we all knew that the late and great Steve Jobs viewed Blu-ray as a “bag of hurt” from the “mafia.”

So, the hard part is getting Blu-rays to your Mac….

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