DirecTV iPad app update adds video streaming on the go

In October, the “DirecTV” app added the ability to stream video over home networks. Today, an update to the app adds the ability to stream shows and movies over 3G and Wi-Fi anywhere. The new feature is limited to video content, meaning live TV streaming still requires a Wi-Fi connection on your home network. Engadget points us to an early review of the new feature that is apparently called “DirecTV Everywhere” from The Solid Signal Blog (below).

According to the video, it looks like available content for the feature is limited to DirecTV’s Audience Network, HBO, Cinemax, Encore, Sony Movie Channel, and Starz. The update also adds a “social module” that lets you check which friend’s on Twitter and Facebook are watching, as well as Miso check-ins and the ability to resume watching programs on the iPad where you left off. You need to be a DirecTV subscriber to get access to the content, and you will find a long list of requirements for various features on the iTunes page with version 1.5.0

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Apple researching universal touchscreen remote with adaptable user interface for future TVs

A patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office earlier today reveals Apple is flirting with the idea of a universal touchscreen controller capable of controlling multiple devices including a “television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, or a computer system.” The patent application is titled “Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control” and was filed Sept. 30, 2011.

The patent application’s background covers many of the issues with current controllers for televisions and the devices mentioned above. It noted current universal remotes are “complex to operate” and unable to adapt to incorporate every command or control functionality supported by a device or future device. It also mentions the fact that users are often “confronted with multiple” remotes, which is the classic “table full of remotes” scenario described by Steve Jobs when talking about the Apple TV at D8. The patent application explained:

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Showtime begins streaming video to iPad as Comcast rolls out ‘AnyPlay’ live TV service

In September, leaked documents emerged revealing Comcast was working on a live TV streaming service for iPad called “AnyPlay and now the company announced the service will roll out today. To start out, AnyPlay will only be available to Xfinity HD Triple Play subscribers located in Denver and Nashville, but the company plans to roll out to additional markets “in the coming months”.

The service will be accessible through the current Xfinity TV app. Comcast revealed exactly how it works:

the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network. The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home’s wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen.

In related iPad video streaming news, Showtime announced the Showtime Anytime iPad app today that brings Showtime Anytime subscribers over 400 hours of content. The app appears to only be available to AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS customers, but the press release does mention Comcast support “will be launched soon” and others will be added in the future.

Some of the content accessible form the app includes TV shows “Dexter,” “The Big C,” “House of Lies,” and movies “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Inglorious Basterds.”  The company plans to launch an iPhone app for Showtime Anytime sometime early this year.

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Apple airs new iPad 2 “Love” ad, showcasing how the tablet is used in daily lives

Apple has begun airing their new “Love” iPad 2 ad, which showcases how the device is used in the daily live of people. In the ad you can see people using Apple’s iMovie to edit video, a basketball coach showing his team new plays, a band mixing their music, a designer, and more. The narrator remains the same as their other new ads like the iPad 2 “Learn” ad that aired in August. Expect more ads like this as Apple begins ramping people up for the holidays.

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Flipboard to bring TV shows to iPad? iPhone app in the works

A report from Reuters suggests Palo Alto-based Flipboard is considering taking on Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and others by attempting to land deals that would allow them to offer TV shows.

Flipboard is currently only available as an iPad app and as it stands provides limited content (albeit in a stylish manner) in magazine format from a number of publications including Economist and Oprah.com. It also takes a unique approach of integrating social updates from Twitter and Facebook into the layout. The report claims Flipboard is currently in talks with studios in order to land the deals necessary for rights to add TV shows as well.

It’s unclear exactly who the company has approached and how far along talks are, but the report says Chief Executive Mike McCue wants to start on the project “at the end of the year”. He also has plans to sign up book publishers and release an iPhone version in the near future. This comes on the heels of competitor Zite being snatched up by CNN, and a number of other high profile alternatives getting deals with studios in place.
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