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

 

WSJ: Amazon launching its Apple TV competitor next month

By Cody Lee on Mar 18, 2014

Building on previous reports, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is set to begin shipping its long-awaited video-streaming device next month. The device will thrust the e-commerce giant into a highly competitive space occupied by Apple, Google and others.

Citing sources familiar with the product, the outlet claims that the device will carry a variety of apps available on Roku and Apple set-top boxes and run on a version of Google’s Android software. And like Amazon’s other hardware devices, it will likely carry the Fire brand… Read More

 

Double mockup: 12.9″ iPad Pro + next-gen Apple TV with iPod touch style remote

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

Apple may not be interested in making a full-on television set after all, if Yukari Iwatani Kane’s scathing book, titled Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs (available on the iBooks Store), is anything to go by. Needlees to say, that’s not stopping those mockups from coming.

Take, for instance, German website Curved.de which today put out an interesting concept envisioning Apple’s rumored oversized iPad, the iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch edge-to-edge screen.

The same outlet previously mocked up a next-generation Apple TV concept sporting an interesting looking remote with touch controls that resembles the iPod touch. Unlike some other crazy concepts, the publication did its homework by basing the renderings on rumor-mill reporting.

I’ve included both concepts for your viewing pleasure right below the fold so have a look and tell us what you think in the comment section… Read More

 

ACC Sports channel added to Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

In time for March Madness, the ACC Digital Network has partnered with Apple on enabling an ACC Sports channel on the company’s $99 media-streaming box.

The ACC Sports channel, now live for Apple TV users in the United States, gives you access to highlights, updates, analysis and feature programming from Atlantic Coast Conference colleges, updated daily.

The channel promises hundreds of videos to choose from. Specifically for March, host Jeff Fischel and former ACC basketball greats Drew Barry and JR Reid will follow ACC teams as they advance throughout the tournament with game previews, analysis and a ‘Road to Texas’ feature series… Read More

 

Steve Jobs told executives Apple would not release a TV

By Cody Lee on Mar 17, 2014

When the magic dust of the iPad settled, pundits and analysts alike began to wonder out loud what Apple was going to do next. What product category was the company going to revolutionize next? And for the longest time, a lot of folks thought it was going to be televisions.

Some even believed that’s what Steve Jobs was referring to when he said he had “finally cracked” the secret of TV. But according to a passage from Yukari Kane’s new book ‘Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,’ the co-founder never wanted Apple to release its own TV set… Read More

 

Hidden AirPlay feature discovered in Apple TV 6.1

By Cody Lee on Mar 12, 2014

Apple released version 6.1 of its Apple TV software alongside iOS 7.1 on Monday. The update seemingly included little in the way of changes, outside of a new option that allows you to hide channel icons from the main menu.

But apparently there’s a hidden feature in the new firmware that hasn’t been talked about much, and it’s actually a fairly big deal. According to a new report, ATV 6.1 enables you to discover AirPlay connections via Bluetooth…

Read More

 

Apple TV 6.1 update adds new way to hide apps

By Cody Lee on Mar 10, 2014

In addition to launching iOS 7.1 for the iPhone and iPad today, Apple also rolled out new firmware to the Apple TV. The software, labeled as version 6.1, brings about a handful of improvements, including the ability to hide channel icons from the ATV’s Main Menu.

While you could hide icons in previous versions of Apple TV software, the process was very convoluted, forcing you into the Settings menu > General > Restrictions > Hide. But with today’s update, you can now skip all that and hide icons right from the home screen… Read More

 

Updated iTunes Festival channel added to Apple TV for SXSW

By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2014

Following the release of an updated iTunes Festival app for iOS on Thursday, Apple has rolled out a new TV channel for its Apple TV. For us, the icon is showing up in the second row of icons, right in the middle, so it’s almost impossible to miss.

Clicking on the icon takes you to the Festival channel, where you can get the low-down on all of the major acts that are going to be playing at Apple’s SXSW event this week. You can also view their concert dates and listen to samples of their music… Read More

 

Roku announces new $50 Apple TV, Chromecast competitor ‘Streaming Stick’

By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2014

As the race for the living room heats up, and rumors of an upcoming Apple TV refresh continue to swirl, Roku has announced its latest entry into the space called the Streaming Stick. The $50 accessory plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and streams a variety of content.

Looking at its size and price tag, the Streaming Stick seems like a direct competitor to Google’s Chromecast. But the device features a remote control and on-screen navigational menus, which puts its functionality close to Roku’s set-top box, and more on par with Apple TV… Read More

 

Logitech launches Harmony Smart Keyboard for Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

Navigating the Apple TV interface using the included Apple Remote rather quickly becomes a cumbersome affair. Fortunately, you could always hook up an external keyboard to the device (here’s how) because the Apple TV supports Bluetooth keyboards.

Realizing that owners of streaming-media devices need a better control system, accessory maker Logitech on Tuesday revealed its new full-fledged Harmony keyboard remote for the living room. It was specially designed for controlling devices such as the Apple TV, Roku and Xbox One and includes dedicated hardware keys and functions allowing you to search for shows, navigate menus and browse the web from your couch… Read More

 

New report claims revamped Apple TV could land ‘any week now’

By Cody Lee on Mar 1, 2014

When it comes to the Apple TV, it seems like everyone agrees that a new one is coming. But just when it will get here is a different story. We’ve heard everything from ‘as early April,’ to ‘before WWDC in June,’ and as late as ‘in the fall this year with Apple’s other product refreshes.’

The latest report, which comes from The Financial Times, claims that the refreshed Apple TV is finished and could land much sooner than everyone is expecting. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, the outlet says that Apple’s new set-top box could land “any week now.”

Read More

 

Apple: ‘several billion’ iMessages sent daily, Apple TV raked in $1 billion last year

By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2014

As expected, Apple held its 2014 shareholders meeting on its Cupertino campus this afternoon. Apple executives were on hand, as were the company’s board of directors, to reassure investors that things are on track for another successful year, and to field shareholder questions.

Most of the meeting was filled with the usual dreck: approving and rejecting proposals, reelecting board members, and so on, but things began to liven up when Tim Cook began dropping numbers. Keep reading for a roundup of some of the most interesting points from the meeting… Read More

 
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