AT&T and DirecTV’s $48.5 billion merger has been approved today following more than a year of regulatory review. The merger will see AT&T become the biggest pay-TV company, passing up cable company Comcast. AT&T says it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and 19 million users in Latin America.
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For the first time ever, users who do not subscribe to DirecTV service will have access to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service on their mobile devices and computers for the 2014 season. During previous seasons, Sunday Ticket users had to have an active DirecTV satellite subscription to stream the games. While no official announcement has been made, DirecTV has published a promotional page for the service, advertising the fact that users can now “access live, out-of-market NFL games without a DIRECTV satellite TV account.
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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… expand full story
DirecTV Stories May 15, 2013
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.