television Stories August 28, 2015

9to5

A series of new, high-resolution photos we have obtained show new features coming to the next-generation iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. First, comparisons of the front glass indicate that the new devices will sport upgraded front-facing FaceTime cameras with bigger sensors. The white phone in our images is a current iPhone 6, while the black plate is an iPhone 6S component. The presence of larger sensors likely indicates a higher pixel count up from the current 1.2 megapixels, as well as new functionality…

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television Stories August 7, 2015

iovive-wired

Jimmy Iovine seems to be doing the rounds of UK media at present. Following yesterday’s Evening Standard interview, he’s done another with Wired editor Michael Rundle.

Much of it is, of course, the usual sales spiel: curation is cool, nobody else will catch us or do it better, lots of great people involved – the kind of things you’d expect him to say. But the interview does contain one unexpected snippet: that Apple Music‘s curated approach could be applied to TV …  expand full story

television Stories August 3, 2015

Apple, over the weekend, opened an new front on Google’s YouTube video service to host its Japanese videos. The site is verified by YouTube and has been up for 3 days but appears to have gone unnoticed.  None of the videos as of this writing have more than 100 views and there are only 49 subscribers. I have a feeling that’s a bout to change.

Update: Apple also launched a S. Korean Youtube Channel.

More videos below:

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television Stories February 4, 2015

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It’s been years since we first heard that Steve Jobs had “cracked” TV, but we haven’t seen much progress on that front outside of a few updates to the Apple TV set-top box. Recode reports today, however, that Apple is now in talks to launch its own web-based TV service.

The service is not expected to be a full offering of current television programming, but rather a package of select shows offered as part of a subscription. The content would be distributed over the web. A prototype of the service is apparently already running inside Cupertino and has been shown off to a few industry insiders.

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television Stories October 17, 2014

aapl

While the relatively modest iPad updates might have led to a flurry of ‘Apple is doomed’ reports from analysts, an early roundup by Fortune suggests that the consensus view so far remains positive. Most are rating it a buy or overweight – meaning they expect it to outperform typical stocks – with the majority setting a target price in the $112-120 range …

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television Stories August 17, 2014

Here’s some good news for Apple amid several months of controversy surrounding the Cupertino-company’s marketing efforts: Apples’ 2013 Holiday season television commercial “Misunderstood” has won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for most “outstanding commercial” in 2014. The award was announced on the Emmy’s winners list last night, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards are presented for “guest performers on television dramas and comedy series, as well as the many talented artists and craftspeople behind the scenes to create television excellence.” The main, televised Emmy Awards ceremony takes place on August 25th…

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television Stories July 21, 2014

Netflix on Apple TV now lets you more quickly access the next episode in a series

The Netflix player on Apple TV has been updated with a new feature that allows watchers to more quickly jump between episodes in a single series of a show. When one episode is complete, the Apple TV will offer up the next episode. You must physically select the next episode as it will not automatically play, according to our testing (Update: the auto-play feature seems to be working on some shows, but not all at the moment). Previously, to access the next episode, users would have to revert back to the main episode list panel within the Netflix app.

television Stories May 28, 2014

ATV

 

Speaking at Code Conference Wednesday night, Apple’s head of online services Eddy Cue took a swipe at the current state of television and presented his take on where the future of that industry lies. According to Cue, Apple TV sales have risen in recent years and over 20 million of the set-top box have been sold to date. Cue says that the device is billion-dollar business now and is expected to continue growing.

However, the Apple TV isn’t a true TV replacement. Cue took a few moments to point out just how much using TV “sucks” and bemoan the current range of DVR devices. He even went so far as to compare current technology with the VCRs of a bygone era—and he’s not wrong. Cue cited drawbacks such as having to remember to set a recording or trying to manage storage on the recorder as reasons on-demand streaming through the Apple TV is growing in popularity.

That’s not to say he’s especially fond of today’s on-demand systems either, though. Not only did Cue have sharp criticisms for modern recording tech, he even jabbed at the streaming experience on the iPad, noting that the process of authenticating with a cable provider to access streaming content is less-than-ideal. So what’s his solution?

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television Stories March 23, 2014

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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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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

television Stories February 12, 2014

nielsen-smartphone-usage-2013

According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  expand full story

television Stories January 24, 2014

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<a href="https://twitter.com/saschasegan/status/421117388235358208/photo/1">Image via Sascha Segan</a>

Earlier this year, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held a press conference to announce that it will be bringing its wrestling content to television and mobile devices via a new WWE Network. At the event, WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing officer Michelle Wilson announced hardware partners and that the network will provide its content via a 24/7 stream that costs $9.99 per month.

As shown in the video below (5:30 in), Wilson said that the network would become available on a slew of devices, including iOS devices, Android devices, Rokus, Amazon Kindle devices, Xbox hardware, and PlayStations. Rounding out the list of supported devices, Wilson said, is “a connected device that I am not allowed to mention at this press conference…”

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television Stories January 8, 2014

The iRing is real! Though it’s nothing to do with Apple TV …

We admit we’ve enjoyed making fun of Brian White’s claim that the long-rumored Apple television would be controlled by an iRing, not least because he just won’t stop predicting the imminent arrival of the television itself (last we heard he was expecting it at the end of last year).

But now he can take heart from the fact that the iRing actually exists, even if it has nothing to do with Apple television, and looks nothing like the various mockups that did the rounds in the wake of his claims. It can be yours for just $25.

Don’t expect much tech for your twenty-five bucks, however: it’s just a piece of plastic with some printed dots on it.

iRing is a simple double sided ring that fits comfortably between your fingers. On one side is an engraved linear pattern of three dots, on the other is an engraved triangular pattern of dots. iRing uses the front-facing camera on your device and advanced volumetric positioning algorithms to recognize and determine the exact physical location of the ring in relation to the device camera. This precise reading of the physical location of the ring is converted into MIDI control messages that are easily read by your music apps

IK Multimedia plans to launch the ring sometime this quarter, initially aimed at DJs for controlling the company’s own music apps. The company does, however, hope that other developers will want to support the device, and is inviting interested parties to contact them.

television Stories December 16, 2013

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On Black Friday week, Amazon ($449) and Sears ($499) went into a price war on the 39-inch “120Hz” Seiki 4K displays culminating in a Sub-$400 price (that I jumped on) for the 39-inch variant.

I’ve been using it as a 4K, 3840×2160 display for my MacBook Pro 2013 base model (no discrete graphics) off and on for a week.

How is it as a HDTV? Can you use it as a 4K display? Should you? Here’s my take: expand full story

television Stories November 24, 2013

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXKqIr4cjyo]

Globes reports that Apple has completed its purchase of PrimeSense, the Israel-based firm behind the technology in Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, and Apple confirmed the acquisition to AllThingsD. As noted earlier this year, the deal will cost Apple somewhere between $300-350 million. PrimeSense previously denied any talks with Apple.

On Friday, the acquisition of Israeli gesture recognition company PrimeSense Ltd. by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was closed. The deal, which has not been formally announced, was made at a company value of $300-350 million, and follows lengthy negotiations by PrimeSense with several potential buyers.

The sensor firm is no longer working with Microsoft, as the Xbox manufacturer has moved to all in-house work for its latest Kinect-based technology. With Apple reportedly working on a gesture-controlled 3D interface, possibly for some sort of television-related product (or a media hub to rival the Xbox One, perhaps?), the PrimeSense purchase makes perfect sense.

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television Stories November 19, 2013

Back in September Yahoo launched a new Yahoo Screen iOS app, a TV remote-like experience for browsing content from Yahoo and sending content to your TV via AirPlay. Today the company announced that it is launching the Yahoo Screen experience directly on the Apple TV.

Yahoo Screen on Apple TV helps you quickly find all the great video Yahoo has to offer —Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, live news and events, music and original Yahoo programs — so you can enjoy on your big screen.

The app appears to be a similar experience as the iOS app, allowing users to browse through content hosted on Yahoo across categories such as news, sports, food and entertainment and instantly stream content to their TV. Yahoo! has made new deals with Viacom that will bring content from Comedy Central and elsewhere, and it will also live stream original Yahoo programs, news, and live events. A few of the shows already available on Yahoo Screen include Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You’ll also find content from MLB, UFC, The Onion, ABC News, Martha Stewart, and more.

The apps are being pushed out over the air to the Apple TV in the U.S. now, and we’ve also discovered that a new PBS channel has arrived today (pictured above). The app doesn’t require users to have a TV subscription to access content, but it does require users to sign in using Google+, Facebook, or the app’s registration in order to access PBS broadcasts for their location. The app doesn’t have live content, but it does have many of the network’s new shows shortly after they’ve aired.

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television Stories November 12, 2013

apple_tv_standing Ever since hearing that Steve Jobs had “cracked” the TV industry, Apple fans have been waiting for the day the company would release an actual television set. For now, Apple has given us the Apple TV set-top box, but some analysts now believe that Apple is gearing up to deliver an actual television in the next few years. Ming-Chi Kuo today noted that an updated Apple TV box running on Apple’s new A7 processor is expected in 2014, with an actual television set to follow in 2015 or 2016. The prediction also includes a warning that Apple TV sales will be limited unless Apple can find a way to integrate new TV services and content.

We expect Apple to launch a new version of the Apple TV with an A7 processor in 2014, and we forecast 2014 shipments to total 8.2mn units. Shipment growth will be limited unless Apple is able to integrate more TV content, services and its App Store, in our view. We believe the slowdown in Apple TV shipments suggests Apple faces challenges in integrating TV content and services. If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries. Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.

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television Stories November 5, 2013

Updated Xfinity TV Go iOS app adds live streaming

Xfinity TV’s iOS app now allows subscribers to stream live TV channels as well as access on-demand content. The app has also been renamed from Xfinity TV Player to Xfinity TV Go.

Early reviewers, though, seem more interested in Air Play functionality, which has not yet been added.

The app is a free download from iTunes.

television Stories October 3, 2013

Amazon ‘Firetube’ to take on Apple TV and Chromecast for living room supremacy?

It appears that Amazon’s long-rumored TV product may be called ‘Firetube’ according to recent Trademarks filed in the US and Canada. There are, of course, rumors of an Amazon TV that stretch back quite awhile. Lots of rumorsBloomberg thinks Fall 2013 is the planned launch window. That’s right now.

As for Amazon on iOS products, Amazon has pushed out a lot of updates, including Airplay last month, but noticeably absent is an Apple TV app.  Currently, the best way to watch Amazon content directly on a TV is through a Roku box or Google TV.

Head over to 9to5Google for the full story. 

television Stories August 22, 2013

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A new report from Quartz today offers some details on Apple’s content negotiations for a much rumored revamped Apple TV. Most of the report echoes what we’ve heard several times in the past– Apple is apparently talking with HBO, Disney, MTV and others about a new TV service. According to Quartz, it could include a pay TV service that would see Apple “essentially becoming a cable company itself,” as well as the release of a “full-fledged television set”:

One alternative being considered is that Apple could essentially become a cable company itself. Under that scenario, sources say, Apple would launch what is formally known as a virtual multichannel video programming distributor. Apple is still interested in striking deals with cable companies that would allow people to plug their cable lines into the back of the TV set, bypassing a cable box, sources say. But at least two years of negotiations haven’t progressed very far.

Sources say Apple has concluded that it doesn’t need all, even most, content providers on board before it can release a TV set that people would buy. It just needs enough good programming to distinguish the new product, which will try to simplify the experience of connecting internet video to the TV.

The report doesn’t offer up any details that we didn’t hear around this same time last year (and the year before that), but it appears Apple could be closer to reaching the deals it needs to launch the next-generation of Apple TV. Earlier today we reported that former Hulu SVP Pete Distad has now officially started his new role at Apple as Product Marketing VP and is thought to be leading Apple executives through negotiations with cable and media companies.  expand full story

television Stories August 14, 2013

Plants vs. Zombies 2 hits US App Store

As we noted last month when it launched in Australia/New Zealand, the popular Plants vs. Zombies 2 launched today.  [Free iTunes]

Unlike the original title, which is currently available for 99 cents on the App Store, PopCap is making the new game entirely free to play with some in-app purchases available, but not necessary to enjoy the full game:

Free to download, Plants vs. Zombies 2 will expand and extend the classic gameplay of the original and provide players with dozens of all-new levels, plants and zombies across multiple worlds at no cost. While the vast majority of the game will be entirely free to play (players can face every zombie and access every level in every world at no cost), Plants vs. Zombies 2 players will also be able to purchase upgrades and other in-game items.

PopCap adds that “New worlds with new levels, plants, zombies and new ways to play will be released on an ongoing basis.”

Designed from the ground up as a live service, the ever-expanding universe of Plants vs. Zombies 2continues the epic struggle of plants defending your brainz against zombies from your backyard through the vast reaches of time, both past and future. New worlds with new levels, plants, zombies and new ways to play will be released on an ongoing basis. Leveraging the touch interface of Apple’s popular mobile devices, Plants vs. Zombies 2 includes all-new touch-screen power-ups that enable players to “break the fourth wall” and interact with zombies directly, as well as via plant defenses.

television Stories July 2, 2013

USA TV network lands on iOS with new app to watch full show episodes

The NBC-owned USA TV network has launched its own iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch application to bring the USA show viewing experience to the small-screen. The application, like many TV network apps currently on the App Store, allows customers to watch shows the day after they air. The application also includes a backlog of past show episodes.

Like some other applications of the same category, users will need to authenticate the application with their credentials for their home TV provider. If a user does not subscribe to USA on their home TV setup, they can still watch some exclusive content via the application. Besides TV shows, the application can access behind-the-scenes clips, a full programming guide, interviews, and more.

USA today airs popular shows such as Burn Notice, Graceland, and Suits.  The new app is free on the App Store.

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.” expand full story

television Stories May 15, 2013

DirecTV-voice-modeDirecTV has updated its iPhone app that allows users to access live and on demand programming, as well as manage their DIRECTV DVR, with new voice recognition features today. Accessible from a new tab called “Voice” within the app, the Voice Search feature allows users to “speak to the app just as you would to a person” in order to find and play specific programs.

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.

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