Cable television Stories March 18, 2015

apple-web-tv

Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel are among the channels that could be making their way to Apple’s reported new web TV service, as the WSJ reports that Apple is in talks with Discovery and Viacom. The paper had earlier said that Apple’s online TV service would be announced in June and launched in September with 25+ channels.

Discovery, owner of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, and Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, are in talks to be on the Apple service, people familiar with the matter said.

We first heard about the plans in early February. ABC, CBS and Fox are already believed to be on board for the service, which is expected to cost somewhere in the $25-40/month range …  expand full story

Cable television Stories August 18, 2014

We raised the possibility yesterday of the iPhone 6 including a redesigned USB to Lightning cable that allows the USB end of the cord to be inserted into a USB port in either direction. In other words, like the Lightning connector, the next Apple USB cable could be reversible. Leaks of the purported cables have been flowing quickly out of Asia-based areas surrounding the Apple supply chain, and now Sonny Dickson has shared a video of the cable in action. While the video does not show the iPhone actually syncing with the new USB cord, the video does show the cable being inserted in both directions into a standard USB port. This lines up with a recent Apple patent, which is for a USB connector that can be inserted in either direction into currently existing USB hubs.

You can watch the videos and see the new photo below:

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Cable television Stories August 17, 2014

Reversible USB

The iPhone 6’s packaging might not only include a redesigned smartphone, but a redesigned USB to Lightning cable. While it’s unlikely that Apple will yet-again change the Lightning port introduced with the 2012 iPhone 5 anytime in the near future, a redesigned version of the USB plug could be ready for this fall. Sketchy photos of a reversible USB cable first surfaced on the web last week, and Sonny Dickson yesterday shared another shot of the cables via Twitter.

Like the Lightning connector, the benefit of a reversible USB connector is that it can be inserted into a USB port in either direction. This makes it easier to insert the connector in darkly lit or hard to reach places (like behind a desk). Due to uncertain sourcing, the first batch of photos did not seem completely believable, but digging a little deeper into the situation reveals that Apple readying a reversible USB iPhone cable is a real possibility…

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Cable television Stories July 30, 2014

 

Apple TV mid 2014 screen

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. expand full story

Cable television Stories February 21, 2014

tv

Streaming TV is heating-up. We’re expecting a new Apple TV box to be announced in April, Amazon looks set to launch its own box in March and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  expand full story

Cable television Stories August 20, 2013

TiVo announces new ‘Roamio’ DVRs w/ out-of-home streaming to iPhone and iPad

TiVo is officially taking the wraps of its latest family of Wi-Fi enabled DVRs today dubbed “Roamio”, which appear to be replacing the company’s high-end Premiere offerings. In addition to inking some new deals with cable providers and redesigning its interface, TiVo is adding a ton of features with the new boxes, including a number of streaming options and support for the DIAL protocol (the same one used by Chromecast) for streaming and controlling apps like Netflix from mobile devices. It is also moving to a new HTML5 engine for a smoother native app experience and introducing an “out-of-home” streaming feature that will launch for iPhone and iPad later this year:

Coming very soon, out-of-home streaming will allow subscribers to stream TV and recorded shows to your iPad® or iPhone®. The built-in TiVo Stream feature allows users to connect to their Roamio over Wi-Fi and watch recordings and cable channels almost ANYWHERE…  Streaming is restricted to a limited number of devices owned by the TiVo subscriber. Due to content provider restrictions, not all content can be streamed out of home and some content may only be streamed while a mobile device is on the same local network as the subscriber’s DVR. Mobile devices sold separately.

The new out-of-home streaming feature will also be coming to TiVo’s existing TiVo Stream product, and for Roamio boxes will require at least the mid-range $399 model. Details on pricing and availability below and more on TiVo’s website here.

The TiVo Roamio DVR Series includes three models: TiVo Roamio ($199.99), TiVo Roamio Plus ($399.99) and TiVo Roamio Pro ($599.99). Roamio features four or six tuners and unprecedented storage (ranging from 75 hours to 450 hours of HD content). It ensures subscribers never miss a show again and have plenty of space for recordings. The improved speed and performance of TiVo Roamio also includes integrated wireless and TiVo Stream functionality in certain models… The TiVo Roamio can be purchased today online at TiVo.com, Amazon.com or BestBuy.com and in Best Buy stores in the coming weeks.

Cable television Stories January 1, 2013

Intel, like Apple, is having trouble getting content deals for its TV product, won’t be ready for CES

Adding to an earlier report, the Wall Street Journal today says that chip giant Intel’s TV initiative isn’t nearly ready for primetime. Intel, which has little background in developing consumer-friendly experiences, seems like a long shot at cracking the digital TV nut.

The Intel Plan:

Intel has pitched media companies on a plan to create a “virtual cable operator,” which would offer U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle similar to subscriptions sold by cable- and satellite-TV operators, people familiar with the effort said previously. The company, besides expertise in chips for set-top boxes, has expertise in server technology that could help serve up video programming and other content.

Interesting idea…but not so fast, says the cable operators!

Persuading companies to license individual channels would require far higher fees than the companies currently receive, this executive said, noting that his company and Intel were far from reaching an agreement on financial terms.

But Intel has so far reached at least one content deal, one of the people familiar with Intel’s plans said, without identifying the partner.

One content provider does not a cable TV replacement make. And this is the problem not just for Google and Intel but also for Apple. How do you convince the cable companies to let you have content in a more consumer-friendly format that will make them less money and take their power position away?

Steve Jobs may have been able to convince the music industry to do so, but it is pretty clear Eddy Cue is having a hard time cracking the TV biz (Jobs’ bio notwithstanding).

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