Apple reportedly discussing the possibility of a TV streaming service with Comcast

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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.

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Bloomberg reiterates new Apple TV incoming, April introduction and Christmas launch

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Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.

Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.

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Apple adds Red Bull TV channel to Apple TV

In a quiet over-the-air update today, Apple has just added a new Red Bull TV Channel for Apple TV users. The content is similar to what is offered already through the Red Bull TV website and iOS apps with a selection of action sports, music, and lifestyle related video series including both on-demand and live content. That includes clips, full-length episodes, as well as live coverage of events and more. Read more

Review: 60Hz 3.0 for iOS reimagines how you interact with your TV schedule

If you watch a lot of TV, you may be familiar with a problem that plagues many TV lovers: you can never keep track of which shows come on which nights or which episodes you missed last week. Thankfully, there are a whole host of online services that can track this information for you.

I’ve tried a few different apps to keep track of my TV viewing habits, and today one of my favorite apps in this category, 60Hz, has been updated with a brand new design and a bunch of new features and tweaks.

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Apple launches Best of 2013 page on iTunes, highlights top music, apps, books, and more

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Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

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CableLabs Senior VP with mobile TV experience heads to Apple

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Jean-Francois Mule, who recently served as a Senior Vice President at CableLabs, has joined Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move was first noted by MultiChannel News. CableLabs is a consortium made up of cable providers that works with these providers in order to bring new TV-related technologies to life. At Apple, Mule will work as an Engineering Director, but it is currently unclear was his precise role will be. Apple has Engineering Directors in many departments across the company, so it is unclear if his role will actually be connected to TV-development.

According to his CrunchBase Profile, Mule worked on the technology side of TV operations at CableLabs:

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Key Nike FuelBand developer and fitness expert Jay Blahnik confirmed to join Apple, likely working on iWatch

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Jay Blahnik, a globally recognized fitness expert and instrumental consultant in the development of several Nike fitness products, has confirmed his new role at Apple. In July, we reported on unconfirmed whispers out of the fitness industry that Blahnik had been hired at Apple, likely to work on the iWatch. We’ve also since confirmed with additional sources that he has joined Apple, and these people say that Blahnik will be working on the iWatch team

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FireCore releases Infuse 1.3 with Wi-Fi file transfers, fullscreen TV-out, and more

Our launch video review of Infuse

FireCore has released an update for Infuse, the popular video app for iPhone and iPad. The new update boasts new features such as the ability to transfer videos to your iOS device through a web browser, fullscreen TV-out support, new sharing options, and more.

Infuse 1.3 is a free update for existing owners. New owners can get the app for $4.99 on the App Store. The full change log can be found below.

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AppleTV news: 4K panels being bought, friendly studio deals being negotiated & Netflix picks up two Emmy nods

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There are a few snippets of AppleTV related news popping up today. The first we take with the usual grain of salt as it comes to us from the often unreliable DigiTimes. The publication has been reporting some more believable stories as of late, but today’s rumor of Apple purchasing 55 and 65-inch Ultra HD TV panels from LG seems to be more rumor than anything else.

Apple has of course been rumored several times to be building a full fledged HDTV to go along with the much expected revamped AppleTV service coming in the the near future. The latest from the usual lineup of analysts points to a launch as early as the end of this year or early 2014. LG and Sharp– two of Apple’s regular display suppliers– would be obvious choices to source panels, but there’s no proof at this point that Apple is beyond the experimenting stage and we’ve heard rumors from more reliable sources ranging from 40-inch to 60-inch in the past.

Next up for today’s AppleTV news is a bit more insight into the company’s current negotiations with cable and media companies. We heard previously that Apple is working with TimeWarner to bring AppleTV integration in the coming weeks, but, according to the NYTimes, its recent hire of Hulu SVP Pete Distad will also come in handy as it negotiates with others for similar apps: Read more

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

Hack brings Russian subscription TV service ‘UnliMovie.tv’ to Apple TV, no jailbreak required

Russian blog iGuides.ru points us to a new hack for Apple TV users that brings Russian subscription TV & movie service Unlimovie.tv to the device with no jailbreak required. The service, which is currently in beta, requires users to manually change the DNS on their device (easily accessible from within Settings) in order to access its digital TV service directly through Apple’s own Trailers app.

It isn’t the first hack of its kind: Just a couple weeks back, one of our favorite media servers, Plex, arrived on Apple TV without a jailbreak through what appeared to be a similar hack of the stock Trailers app.

The Unlimovie.tv service is currently in beta, allowing users to access a number of Russian digital TV channels for free, but the creators plan to officially launch the service in September through its paid subscriptions. That is, of course, if Apple doesn’t put an end to it in the meantime. Read more

Belkin announces availability of Dyle mobile TV receiver for iPhone & iPad

Belkin today announced that it is launching a new TV receiver for iPhone and iPad specifically designed to work with the Dyle Mobile TV service which provides live local broadcasts through a growing number of accessories for mobile devices. We’ve already seen some Dyle TV receivers for iPad, like this one from Elgato, as well as the technology baked into select Android devices on MetroPCS, but Belkin is the first big name iOS accessory maker to launch a receiver for iPhone and iPad.

For now, Belkin is making a 30-pin version of the receiver available:

Weighing less than six ounces and less than half the size of a deck of cards, the Belkin receiver with Dyle mobile TV is a compact and portable accessory that easily fits into a pocket or small purse. To enable, simply plug the accessory into the iPhone or iPad’s 30-pin connector, extend the flexible titanium antenna for maximum reception coverage and launch the Dyle TV app, currently available for free in the App Store.

The free Dyle TV service is currently available to 37 major markets across the US. You can check out a full coverage map to see what networks are available in your area here.

Belkin’s Dyle TV receiver will sell for $129 starting today through Belkin’s website and later hit other retailers such as AmazonRead more