Apple drops Apple TV price to €99 in Europe and £79 in the UK

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 18, 2014

Boy, Apple surely seems laser-focused on making its products more price-competitive. Minutes after releasing a $200 cheaper baseline 21.5-inch iMac model, now starting at just $1,099, word comes that its set-top box, the Apple TV which retails for $99 in the United States, has been discounted in the United Kingdom and across the European Union markets…. Read More

 

Sony unveils Apple TV competitor ‘PlayStation TV’

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2014

During its high profile E3 keynote yesterday, Sony unveiled the PlayStation TV, a rebranded version of the PS Vita TV it showed off last fall. The device is small enough to fit in your hand and costs just $99, making it a direct competitor to the Apple TV.

Like the Apple TV, the PlayStation TV will support a variety of streaming services including Hulu, Netflix, and of course Sony’s own content. But unlike Apple’s set-top box, it’ll have a heavy focus on gaming, supporting some 1000 popular titles at launch… Read More

 

Upcoming Dance Party game promises multiplayer fun on Apple TV

By Cody Lee on Jun 8, 2014

I’ve long thought that the Apple TV could make for a full-blown video game console. Between the set-top box, AirPlay, and Apple’s line of iOS devices with built-in motion sensors, you basically have a Nintendo Wii—you just need developers to take advantage of it.

And nobody understands this better than the folks at Rolocule Games. The India-based app-maker released a game called ‘Motion Tennis’ last summer, and this year they’re back with another innovative, motion-based game for iOS and Apple TV called Dance Party… Read More

 

WWDC channel goes live on Apple TV ahead of today’s keynote

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2014

Ahead of today’s much anticipated keynote address – which starts at 10am PT / 1pm ET at San Francisco’s Moscone West – Apple has silently added a WWDC channel to the Apple TV owners’ Home screen.

As in years past, the Apple Events channel has been updated with the familiar WWDC graphics to reflect the upcoming event.

This makes good on Apple’s promise to stream the keynote live to the Mac and Windows users on desktop, as well as to Apple TV boxes and the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, utilizing its industry-standard QuickTime architecture.

We will be covering the keynote live so you’ll want to refresh iDownloadBlog regularely to follow the announcements as they happen… Read More

 

Eddy Cue: today’s TV experience sucks

By Cody Lee on May 29, 2014

Last night, Apple’s Eddy Cue (and Jimmy Iovine) joined Recode’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on stage at the Code Conference to discuss a wide range of topics. The focus was obviously on the recently announced Beats acquisition, but as you can imagine, other interesting stuff came up as well.

One of the more noteworthy bits came after Cue was questioned on the long-rumored Apple TV update. Mossberg said it’s clear Apple has been wanting to do a big TV project for a long time, and Tim Cook has even alluded to it on a few occasions, but we haven’t seen anything yet. Here’s Cue’s response… Read More

 

Netflix working on Dolby Digital 5.1 fix for Apple TV

By Cody Lee on May 27, 2014

Folks experiencing problems with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound in the Netflix app on Apple TV will be happy to hear that the streaming video giant is aware of the audio issue, and is currently working on fix.

The bug, 9to5Mac reports, stems from the Apple TV 6.1 update seeded in March. Following the release, a number of users with 5.1-capable systems reported they could only get stereo output from the Netflix app… Read More

 

Don’t expect to see a new Apple TV or iWatch at WWDC

By Cody Lee on May 2, 2014

I don’t think many folks were expecting Apple to unveil any exciting new hardware at WWDC this year. The company has rarely used the developer conference to unveil non-software related products, outside of maybe refreshed MacBooks and other Mac products.

But for those who were still holding out hope for a Jobs-like ‘one more thing,’ I have some bad news. According to a new report from Recode’s John Paczkowski, the company has no intention of using WWDC to show off the long-rumored iWatch or revamped Apple TVRead More

 

Apple announces 20 million Apple TVs sold to date

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2014

During Apple’s earnings call earlier this afternoon, CEO Tim Cook announced that the company crossed the 20 million sold mark for the Apple TV during the last quarter. The mention is noteworthy as Apple doesn’t typically breakout numbers for the set-top box (though it has on occasion).

The move falls in line with Cook’s previous sentiments regarding the Apple TV—at a shareholders meeting in February Cook said ‘it’s a little more difficult to call the Apple TV a hobby these days,’ and comes amid rumors that the company is preparing to launch a new version of the device… Read More

 

Siri coming to Apple TV, iOS code strings suggest

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2014

Apple on April Fool’s Day released iOS 7.1 with CarPlay, Siri/Touch ID improvements and more.

As part of the launch, the company has posted the final version of the official iOS 7.1 software development kit (SDK) that programmers use to take advantage of new features.

Enthusiasts frequently comb through iOS code in search of leads that would indicate upcoming new features or devices and iOS 7.1 SDK is no exception. In fact, eagled-eyed fans have spotted a couple interesting references in the iOS code possibly pointing at Apple’s digital personal assistant coming to Apple TV boxes… Read More

 

History Channel, A&E and Lifetime channels added to Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

I hope you have some room left on your Apple TV’s main menu because Apple has just added three new channels to its $99 set-top box featuring content from The History Channel, A&E and Lifetime. Cable-cutters shouldn’t jump with joy, however, as a cable subscription is required to stream on-demand video from these sources without restrictions.

The new content sources should have been added automatically to your Apple TV’s Home screen. If not, go to Settings > General > Software Updates and choose the Update Software option… Read More

 

LG launches AirPlay-like SDK to stream media to multiple TVs, Apple TV support incoming

By Jake Smith on Apr 17, 2014

LG is hoping to make it easier for users to beam media to their televisions, with a new SDK it’s making available to developers to integrate into apps on iOS and Android.

Smart TVs have historically been one of the most closed platforms out there, with manufacturers developing features for only their own TVs and set-top boxes, and not the broader market – example being Apple’s AirPlay. LG is changing this with its new Integrate Connect SDK, a standard to place into mobile apps to beam media across multiple platforms onto the big screen. Read More

 

A timeline of all the products Apple is rumored to launch this year

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

Apple is preparing to release a bevy of new products this year, according to a new research note from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo. The highly regarded analyst has laid out a timeline of all the products Apple is rumored to launch in 2014, beginning in Q2 and going all the way through December.

Kuo sees Apple starting with an iMac refresh in late Q2, followed by upgrades to the iPad Air and iPad mini. He then sees the company introducing a new 4.7-inch iPhone and the oft-rumored iWatch in Q3, and closing out the year with a refreshed Apple TV, 5.5-inch iPhone and a 12″ MacBook… Read More

 

FCC filing says Apple exploring development of a set-top box

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2014

Evidence is mounting that Apple is working on advancing its $99 set-top box around a bunch of new features like downloadable apps and games, iOS 7 game controller support, streamable television channels and subscriptions, DVR and wireless AirPort router capabilities, cable box functionality and what not. Whether any of this pans out is up for debate.

That said, surely Apple won’t be standing still as new entrants like Amazon enter the crowded living room space. Perhaps the most solid piece of evidence to date comes in a filing with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to the planned Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger.

Hit the jump for more… Read More

 

Google building Android set-top box with voice input, apps and games

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

In 2011, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that, “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” But here it is, 2014, and a quick search of BestBuy.com confirms that the lofty goal never came to fruition.

The company hasn’t given up on the living room though. In fact, according to a report from The Verge, it’s readying a new Android-based set-top right now. The site has obtained screenshots and other documents outing the project, which is apparently named Android TV… Read More

 

Steve Jobs email reveals past Apple TV ideas: apps, ‘magic wand’ remote and more

By Cody Lee on Apr 5, 2014

We’re only a few days in, but we’ve already learned a lot from the Apple-Samsung patent trial. With it being a legal proceeding, the public is given access to information it wasn’t previously privi’ed to by way of executive testimonies, corporate emails and other evidence.

In fact, earlier today a particularly interesting email surfaced from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The document, which was submitted as evidence in the case, features a list of things Jobs wanted to discuss at the company’s 2010 ‘top 100′ meeting, including the Apple TV… Read More

 

Amazon unveils its Apple TV competitor: meet the $99 Fire TV set-top box

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2014

Amazon has just taken the wraps off its new media-streaming device designed to compete with the likes of Apple’s $99 Apple TV hockey puck, Roku devices and other media-streaming boxes available to cable-cutters today.

It’s rather predictably called the Fire TV in a nod to the successful Kindle Fire tablet brand, costs $99 and runs a forked Android version code-named ‘Mojito’.

Powered by a quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and a dedicated graphics processor, the set-top box is capable of streaming full HD 1080p resolution video (1,920-by-1,080 pixels) and Amazon claims it’s three times more powerful than the Apple TV.

It supports 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound via HDMI and optical audio-out, has dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, comes with a Bluetooth remote and ties into Amazon’s vast ecosystem of digital content licensed from Hollywood majors and broadcasters.

I don’t think Apple should be concerned because the Fire TV’s user interface appears clunky (I even like Chromecast’s better) and it’s hard to see much that isn’t already out there, though I have no doubt in my mind that the Fire TV is here to stay and tie existing Amazon customers even deeper into its ecosystem.

Read on for the full reveal… Read More

 

Roku CEO unfazed by talk of new Apple, Amazon TV boxes

By Cody Lee on Mar 28, 2014

With Amazon expected to unveil a new set-top box device next week, and Apple rumored to have a new TV product of its own in the wings, you have to wonder if the folks over at Roku are concerned at all about their business. Well if they are, they certainly aren’t showing it.

Roku CEO Anthony Wood joined Peter Kafka on stage last night for an interview at the inaugural Code/Media event, and he appeared unfazed by the news that Amazon will likely be encroaching on his turf. He also didn’t seem too worried about Apple’s future television plans… Read More

 

Amazon said to be launching its set-top box next week

By Cody Lee on Mar 27, 2014

Following reports from last week that Amazon is planning to launch its long-awaited Apple TV competitor in next month, Amazon has sent out invites for a media event scheduled for April 2nd. The invitations ask that reporters join the company for an ‘update’ on its video business.

And according to a new report from Recode, the e-commerce giant is going to use the event to unveil a new set-top box device. Citing sources familiar with Amazon’s plans, the outlet says the device will be capable of streaming media to TV sets, competing directly with Apple and Roku… Read More

 

Report: upcoming Apple TV refresh to serve as full-on cable box replacement

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2014

Two months ago, the reliable blogger Mark Gurman was first out of the gate with a report painting a pretty rosy picture of an upcoming Apple TV hardware refresh, said to include full-blown downloadable games via an Apple TV App Store of sorts.

He also learned from sources that the box could sport a built-in TV tuner to effectively control your existing cable boxes and TV stations, helping put the real TV into Apple’s $99 set-top box.

A new report yesterday by former WSJ writer Jessia Lessin’s new outlet, The Information, provides additional tidbits regarding the gaming and cable box functionality… Read More

 

Apple and Comcast mulling streaming TV service for next-gen Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

Apple’s $99 media-steaming box last year raked in more than a cool $1 billion in combined hardware and related content sales, prompting CEO Tim Cook to argue during Apple’s annual shareholders meeting that “it’s a little more difficult to call the Apple TV a hobby these days.”

The company is reportedly updating the Apple TV hardware sooner than later with refreshed internals, allegedly adding gaming functionality via an Apple TV App Store for downloadable games and a built-in TV tuner to control your existing cable boxes and TV stations.

On the other hand, Apple thus far has been unable to obtain content rights for an a-la-carte TV service due to licensing negotiations and other issues. A report by The Wall Street Journal last night now claims that Apple is negotiating with Comcast using its infrastructure for optimal delivery of a streaming service for the next-gen Apple TV… Read More