Time Warner Cable today announced a new smartphone app that will let its customers use their home phone service on mobile devices for no additional fees. That means that users with a Time Warner Cable home phone service, which starts at $10/month, can now text and call through the new Phone 2 Go app on smartphones and tablets. The service requires a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and will also work for international calling and texting: Read more
A new report from The Information published today discussing the next generation of Apple TV says the new set-top box won’t be ready for prime time until at least 2015. This expectancy timeline aligns with previous 9to5Mac reporting on the Apple TV development progress.
According to the report, Apple employees managing the project have informed Apple TV engineers working on the next generation set-top box that it is currently not expected to reach completion in time to debut in 2014. Read more
Apple today has added three new channels to the Apple TV lineup: A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime. Each channel does require a cable subscription to unlock full content, but it appears the most recent episodes of shows are available without unlocking the channels. At the time of launch, each channel only supports DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and Cablevision Optimum, but the network says it will add support for more providers soon. While current cable provider support is limited, the A&E network did debut live TV streaming in its iPad apps just a week ago with support for a sweeping range of cable providers… Read more
There has been no shortage of indicators that a new version of the Apple TV set-top box is incoming. We reported last year and earlier this year that Apple is progressing on new Apple TV hardware that will include new content, such as an App Store or “Game Store,” references to a new model have appeared in iOS 7 code, and numerous other reports have said that a new box is incoming from Apple.
Today, a filing from Comcast and Time Warner Cable pitching their planned merger to the FCC references Apple’s development of a new set-top-box. Here’s the notable quote from the filing (via Daisuke Wakabayashi):
Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas. Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box. Microsoft just announced that it will feature ads on the Xbox One, creating a new video advertising platform. And just last week, Amazon announced its own set-top box while it continues to leverage its unequaled sales platform and family of competitive tablets to promote its burgeoning Prime Instant Video business.
The bolded portion (emphasis ours) of the above quote says that Apple is exploring development of a new set-top box. The quote comes in context of the cable behemoths explaining why their merger is important amidst growing content competition from the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. While it is possible that the companies are just speculating based on rumors about the next version of the Apple TV, several reports have indicated that Apple has been in direct talks with Time Warner Cable and Comcast regarding a new set-top box…
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is now in talks with Comcast about the possibility of a collaborative television streaming service. The plan, according to the report, is for Comcast to provide preferential streaming treatment to an Apple-built set-top box like the existing Apple TV.
The service would allow subscribers to stream live TV shows as well as on-demand content provided by Comcast. The agreement between the two companies would allow Apple’s box to continue streaming smoothly even when other connections were bogged down by high traffic and bypass bandwidth issues.
The Wall Street Journal has published a report that largely corroborates what Bloomberg said earlier; a new Apple TV is under development with Apple currently in negotiation stages for content deals, with at least Time Warner Cable. However, the Wall Street Journal adds some new information about what these talks entail.
Initially, it appears that Apple wanted an independent Apple TV product to offer TV shows and films exclusively over the Internet. However, now it appears that Apple is scaling back some of its ambition due to resistance from content companies.
MacRumors points to a new service by Comcast which appears to mirror the functionality of a Slingbox or EyeTV, allowing a cable box to ‘Sling’ the video to an iPod around the house.
Currently, Xfinity customers can use the Xfinity TV app to watch On Demand programming, search TV listings, and schedule DVR recordings.
There is no indication of release dates or availability, but AnyPlay will be available in limited markets at first, and spreading to all Comcast customers eventually.
This is in contrast to their current app which streams on-Demand video over the internet to iPads which are on Comcast IP addresses with adjacent cable service. Other US cable companies like Time Warner and Optimum offer Apps which stream many channels.
Check the red area above right for why this isn’t going to be very fantastic.
If you want this kind of functionality right now, but not tied to a cable company and their stipulations (and the ability to stream to devices outside your home without an extra cost), look into Slingboxes or El Gato’s EyeTV.