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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…
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
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
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
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
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.”
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2014
Fueling rumors of a potential Apple TV hardware refresh next month, Apple has apparently instructed its retail employees to start treating Apple TV buyers to $25 iTunes Gift Cards, basically bringing the price of the $99 media-streaming box down to $74.
Of course, you’re still paying the full price for the Apple TV hardware, Apple is just throwing in a $25 iTunes Gift Card with every new purchase. The credit can be redeemed against any content purchase in the company’s many online stores.
So in a nutshell, you’re getting a $25 iTunes credit for apps, books, movies, music and more, free of charge. The offer is valid through March 5, 2014… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2014
Apple has added another new channel to the Apple TV this morning for customers in Sweden. It’s called TV 4 Play, and it’s a streaming channel for the major Swedish television network TV 4 and it features both live and on-demand content.
That content includes live broadcasting, original programming, and full episodes of TV4 shows. Most of the content is available for free, but the network says that premium (paid) subscribers will have access to additional shows and movies… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014
In addition to issuing a quick fix for a dangerous SSL vulnerability with last week’s release of iOS 7.0.6 (you can apply the update without upgrading your firmware), Apple has also released a companion update for its $99 streaming box, the Apple TV.
The Apple TV 6.0.2 software update (hat tip to iDB reader Gil) carries a build number of 6646.81.1 and fixes the SSL bug which allows attackers to steal your usernames and passwords used on iTunes Store and other services, by posing as a legitimate site.
The exploit affects Apple’s Safari browser so Apple TV users are not necessarily in immediate danger like their Mac counterparts… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2014
As previously promised, the World Wrestling Entertainment will be enabling its network channel on Apple’s $99 media-steaming box later today. Although there have been concerns that the WWE channel won’t make it to Apple TVs because Apple was demanding as much as a fifty percent cut from all Network orders placed, the WWE Network signup page was down at post time, indicating high interest in a free one-week trial… Read More