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

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.

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