60Hz TV tracker updated to version 4.0 with overhauled UI, smart queue, and much more

60Hz, the TV tracking app we’ve previously covered, has received a massive update to version 4.0 today, introducing a completely redesigned interface and many new features to help you find new shows and keep track of your current library.

While version 3 maintained much of the same functionality as version 2 with a fresh coat of paint on top, the newest release has rethought the entire application completely with great results.

Read more

HBO NOW standalone streaming service debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-month free trial

Apple TV HBO Now

HBO’s new standalone streaming service called HBO NOW has officially launched on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HBO NOW allows subscribers to watch the premium network’s movies and TV shows online. The service is similar to Netflix as it’s delivered over a high-speed Internet connection rather than cable or satellite and doesn’t require long-term committments through contracts. Here’s how to get HBO NOW works: Read more

Opinion: My cable subscription woes and the appeal of an ‘Apple Cable’ service

Apple TV HBO Now

My cable provider is pretty terrible. I don’t need to name any names because this likely applies to your cable provider as well. They are all horrible. I often experience drops on popular channels, get bonus filler channels that no one wants, and see indiscriminate additional subscription fees and charges without any real reason. This Onion article, though it is satire, doesn’t stray too far from the truth.

For a very casual TV watcher, it’s not a great experience – to put it mildly.

So the prospect of an Apple web TV service with a price tag of around $40, as the WSJ and others reported last night, is highly appealing to me if it means I can catch the few shows I watch now without the hassle of my cable subscription. I’ll still be tied to the monopolies for Internet service which isn’t terrific, but the theoretical ‘Apple Cable’ service has the potential to fix a number of problems for me.

Apple started off its March event with the announcement that HBO Now, the premium network’s new $15/month web service, will be available with 3-month exclusivity on the App Store and Apple TV at launch next month. While we’ve heard for quite some time that Apple is developing a web TV service, and the upcoming HBO Now channel seems to be the best taste of what that could offer. I’m hopeful that the potential ‘Apple Cable’ can solve my cable subscription woes. Here’s how:

Read more

First Hollywood film edited with Final Cut Pro X hits theaters this week

Final Cut Pro X Focus Directors

It’s no secret that Final Cut Pro X, the overhauled follow up to Apple’s widely used video editing software, wasn’t exactly a hit with its users when the app was first released in 2011.

A comprehensive change in the way the software functioned and a lack of legacy features from the prior version gave the app a reputation for being “iMovie Pro” rather than a true professional desktop video editor. Soon after its launch, Apple addressed the flood of criticism with an FAQ site and a promise that more features would slowly become available in the new version.

Nearly four years later, the first Hollywood film edited in Final Cut Pro X is set to be released. To showcase the movie debut and FCPX’s role in the film, Apple has launched a microsite detailing the production. Read more

VLC for iOS back in the App Store for some/upgraders, should be available to all shortly

vlc

The VLC for iOS app–a favorite media player for many–has returned to the App Store in some countries and is expected to be available for all shortly. Some existing US users (us included!) are also reporting on Reddit being able to update to the latest version (2.4.1) if they have the previous version from before it was removed.

The app has something of a checkered history in the App Store, first removed from the store way back in 2011 after a licensing dispute; the original open-source developers claiming that the App Store terms were incompatible with the GNU Public License for the code. The app finally returned in 2013 before disappearing once more last September …  Read more

Apple TV adds revamped YouTube app (with ads), new channels from DailyMotion, UFC and more

Apple TV is receiving a flurry of new channels today. Most prominently is a brand new YouTube app, to bring the client up-to-date with some of the other platforms. The new app reflects the design of other set-top box clients, with easier access to subscriptions and search functions. For the security conscious, the YouTube app now uses OAuth to login rather than naive password entry (by visiting youtube.com/activate)

Unfortunately, this YouTube update also means that Apple TV users will start seeing ads for the first time on the platform. Naturally, some users will be disappointed by this addition — it is not possible to opt out of the update.

Aside from YouTube, Apple TV is also getting four entirely new channels from various providers. Rolling out today are channels for Conde Nast’s ‘The Scene’, ‘Fusion’, Dailymotion (a video upload site from France) and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content.

Read more

Netflix updated for iOS 8, adds 1080p video playback for iPhone 6 Plus

Netflix for iPhone 6

Netflix updated its iPhone and iPad app to version 7.0 today adding optimization for the larger displays on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduced in September. The updated version of Netflix shows more content like titles and genres as well as previews of movies and TV shows when browsing for something to watch. In addition to optimizing the Netflix app for iPhone 6 users, Netflix says the new version of its app will now offer video playback in 1080p, full HD, for users with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Read more

TeeVee 2 for iPhone, TV show tracking with a modern look [Review]

In a world where Netflix releases entire seasons of TV shows at a time, like House of Cards and the new season of Arrested Development, personally, I find it increasingly difficult to schedule myself around when HBO wants to air a show or even when it has already aired something.

So when I shared a screenshot on Twitter a few months ago of Episodes, an app that allows you to follow and manage TV shows, a handful of people asked me which app this was I was using. Managing and tracking TV show scheduling is clearly something many people need a solution for.

TeeVee 2 is similar in that it allows you to follow your favorite shows on television without having to manually input any information aside for the name of the series. Read more

DirecTV iPhone app adds ‘Voice Search’ feature, displays dialogue & results onscreen with TV Mode

DirecTV-voice-modeDirecTV has updated its iPhone app that allows users to access live and on demand programming, as well as manage their DIRECTV DVR, with new voice recognition features today. Accessible from a new tab called “Voice” within the app, the Voice Search feature allows users to “speak to the app just as you would to a person” in order to find and play specific programs.

As you can see from the screenshot to the right, DirecTV has created a UI similar to Siri and other voice-based apps that allows users to see their dialogue as they speak. The app will also let users switch to a TV mode in order to view dialogue and results from Voice Search on their TV instead of the iPhone’s display.

With Voice Search, DirecTV said users will be able to “search for programs by mentioning title, channel, keyword, actor, time frame, genre and more,” and also “change the channel, record, and play content” at home. The new TV Mode also offers a view of personalized recommendations on the big screen.

The update has not yet hit the iPad app and the TV Mode will require users to have an Internet-connected HR24 DVR model or above.

Read more