Apple to announce Time Warner Apple TV integration in the coming months, hiring Hulu SVP to negotiate deals

pete_distadAccording to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is close to reaching a deal with Time Warner to offer TV shows on Apple TV, while also apparently recruiting Hulu exec Pete Distad to lead negotiations for content:

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

Distad is currently SVP of Marketing and Distribution at Hulu and in charge of content distribution and customer acquisition/retention on the company’s management team. According to his bio Distad’s current duties at Hulu include “subscriber acquisition and retention, paid, on-channel, and brand marketing, distribution and promotional partnerships, and content marketing.” 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.

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Disney’s ABC to livestream all programming to iOS devices starting this week

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Big news from the New York Times this evening. ABC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company,  will begin streaming live content to iOS devices later this week in Philadelphia and New York City using a new button on their app called ‘live’. Users will be able to live stream all the programming from ABC’s local stations there, ‘the first time that any major broadcaster has turned on such a technology.’

For the first six weeks the service will be free to anyone with an iOS device according to GigaOM. Before you go grabbing the scissors to cut that cable cord, be warned that the live stream will eventually be available only to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers, even though the stations’ signals are available free over the public airwaves.

ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.

Also, not all shows have beencleared for streaming so there might be some discrepancies between the live feeds and the stream. The news comes as a service called Aereo (which we’ve reviewed) is place shifting broadcast signals to the internet, making live channels available to portable device owners. Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s full NBC Rock Center interview [Video]

NBC just posted official clips from its exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier today. The interview aired at 10 p.m. ET tonight, and now the full video of the interview has already made its way to YouTube. In the interview, Cook talked about product design, Apple’s plans to bring production of some Macs back to the United States in 2013, his thoughts on Apple, being CEO post-Steve Jobs, and his “intense interest” in TV. We’ll update this post when the official high quality versions hit the web. Part 2 of the interview is continued below:
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An à la carte Apple TV concept integrates Siri, FaceTime, and cable/satellite providers (Gallery)

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A member of The Verge forums, going by the name of “Knowledge”, posted the Apple TV concept below that envisions a future Apple TV OS where users could tap into multiple content sources from cable/satellite providers, local devices, and elsewhere. It would also integrate Siri (and Facetime) for scheduling recordings, changing channels, etc., and a unified search of all content.

Unified search looks for content in library, app store, iTunes, and TV Guide. Also brings the ability to use Siri for scheduling recordings, setting reminders, changing channels, playing music, playing video from library, opening an app, finds content available for purchase in iTunes, etc etc.

The full gallery is below: Read more

Analyst interprets comments by Apple SVP Eddie Cue and doesn’t expect an Apple Television anytime soon

Update: Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves reached out to us with some clarification on his note to clients earlier today noting the “commentary in our note was our interpretation and our thoughts based on the meetings we had”:

Nobody at Apple said anything to us about future products. The commentary in our note was our interpretation and our thoughts based on the meetings we had. It’s ok if you say “Analyst does not expect a TV any time soon”, but its incorrect to attribute the commentary to Apple management, particularly in the title.

While recent reports claimed Apple is in deep negotiations with cable operators to create a new cable TV platform for Apple TV, many also tied the reports to the possibility of a full-fledged Apple HDTV. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed just last week that Apple’s HDTV set is in full production, and he went as far as including 2 million units of the device at an average sale price of $1,250 in his model for early 2013.

According to a note to clients from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, who spoke with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Senior Vice President for Internet Services Eddy Cue on Wednesday, Apple’s entrance into the HDTV world is “extremely unlikely in the near-term.” Fortune posted an excerpt from Hargreaves’ notes today following his meeting with Oppenheimer and Cue:
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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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Often-rumored Apple partner Sharp announces production of Hi-DPI IGZO LCD displays


32-inch iMac or TV? We’ll take both!

Sharp revealed today that it began assembling high-performance LCDs last month with increased production in April to meet market demand.

Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek is a very outspoken analyst regarding Apple’s rumored HDTV. He first claimed in November that Sharp is preparing production lines for the “iTV,” but he later said the company plans to build roughly 5 million units beginning this spring with a product launch slated for Q4 2012.

According to Sharp, the LCDs will help the company contribute to “creating markets for attractive new products”:

Sharp will encourage the application of its new high-resolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs and LCD monitors—which are both expected to grow in demand—as well as to mobile devices. Sharp will also contribute to creating markets for attractive new products.

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Biographer Walter Isaacson on the Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, said in the past he omitted certain details and even referred to the book as a “first or second draft” when discussing plans to expand it with an addendum in a future re-release of the best-selling bio. While we have heard nothing official on those plans since, Isaacson just published a lengthy piece for Harvard Business Review titled “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.”

As noted by Isaacson, he was inspired to write the piece after many attempted to draw management lessons from the biography that he claims, “fixate[s] too much on the rough edges” of Jobs’ personality. Most of the piece focuses on Jobs’ management style, but Isaacson also once again talked about the late chief’s desire to produce “magical tools for digital photography and ways to make television simple and personal.” Here is an excerpt:

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Hands-on with Aereo: $12 monthly broadcast TV with DVR live-streams in Safari for Mac and iOS

 

Lets talk about Aereo—the service that streams over-the-air local TV to any Mac, iOS device, or PC running Safari for $12 per month.

The decidedly McGyver tech behind this venture relies on fingertip-sized TV antennas in data centers that allow servers to live-stream channels with high-definition reception through a speedy Internet connection. Aereo also works with Apple TV via iTunes’ AirPlay and a source iOS device, and Roku-lovers can use the Aereo channel through set-top boxes. The service even flaunts 40 hours of DVR storage space and an HTML 5 experience. That’s right, no apps—nor cords, cables, and boxes. Hence the startup’s “It’s TV made simple” badge.

Aereo is currently an invite-only 90-day free trial to New York City residents. Oh, and the behind-the-scene gurus verify billing and IP addresses, so there is no fooling Aereo when requesting login credentials.

That’s enough with the basics; now time to spill the juicy details:

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