Netflix begins rolling out (very limited) support for HDR and Dolby Vision streaming

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2016

Netflix isn’t wasting any time: they began rolling out support for high-dynamic range (HDR) streaming, with a spokesperson confirming that HDR programming will be delivered to compatible TVs anywhere Netflix is available.

“We are indeed live with HDR,” Yann Lafargue, Netflix’s manager of corporate communications said to FlatpanelsHD.

The new streaming option works with compatible TVs, both in HDR10 and Dolby Vision, resulting in fewer compression artifacts and a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard streaming technologies. Read More

 

BBC releases iPlayer Kids app

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2016

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Tuesday announced a kids-friendly version of its iPlayer video-streaming app, called iPlayer Kids. Available in the UK App Store at no charge, the ad and In-App Purchases free software offers kids a safe environment to watch all of BBC Children’s world-class content in one place.

These include over 10,000 episodes being made available this year alone, including both new and old CBeebies and CBBC favorites such as “Wolfblood”, “Blue Peter”, “The Dumping Ground”, “Topsy & Tim” and “Go Jetters”. Read More

 

Cable network Starz launches $9 per month streaming package for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

Starz, a premium cable and satellite television network, today announced a brand new video service which permits owners of the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV to stream shows for a low monthly fee of just $8.99 per month.

A companion iOS app lets subscribers download full episodes to watch offline but does not offer live streaming. On the fourth-generation Apple TV, it supports universal search so you can ask Siri for shows to watch, including original ones like “Outlander”, “Power” and the upcoming “American Gods”. Read More

 

Twitter will live-stream Thursday Night Football broadcasts worldwide in the next season

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

Twitter has managed to sign an important deal with the National Football League giving it rights to exclusively live-stream as many as ten Thursday Night Football broadcasts worldwide in the next season, the companies said today.

According to Variety, Twitter will carry the games broadcast by NBC and CBS, to be simulcast on the NFL Network, too.

Free live-streams will leverage Twitter-owned Periscope.

In addition to the live games, Twitter will also stream in-game highlights from TNF and pre-game live broadcasts from players and teams before, during and after games. Read More

 

SoundCloud launches ad-free $9.99 subscription service with offline playback

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 29, 2016

SoundCloud, a Berlin, Germany-based global online audio distribution platform, today pushed a major update to its free audio streaming application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which includes support for the company’s freshly announced paid subscription music service, dubbed Go.

Priced at $12.99 per month through Apple’s In-App Purchase mechanism or $9.99 on the web, Go offers SoundCloud listeners an expanded catalog of tracks, as well as new features and new functionality in the app.

Go is now available in the U.S. via the updated SoundCloud app and on the web. Read More

 

T-Mobile adds nine new Binge On providers, including YouTube

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2016

T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO, John Legere, announced on Thursday via a press release that Binge On, the carrier’s feature that zeroes out video streaming, has added support for nine new providers, including Google-owned YouTube.

These providers are now part of Binge On initiative: Baeble Music, Discovery GO, ESNE TV, FilmOn.TV, Fox Business, Google Play Movies, KlowdTV, Red Bull TV and YouTube. Read More

 

New Periscope update makes it easier to watch a broadcast with someone you know

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2016

Periscope, a Twitter-owned live video-broadcasting app, was updated today in the App Store with changes that make it easier to watch a broadcast with someone you know.

If a person that you follow who also follows you back joins your broadcast, you will now see their name in chat.

“We’ll also prioritize their name in the viewers list, and show you how many of your mutuals are in the broadcast right now,” release notes read. Read More

 

Vimeo now streams 4K video on iPad Pro, gains a bunch of other new features in 6.0 update

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2016

Thursday, Vimeo pushed a significant update to its free of charge app in the App Store which lets you record, upload and share high-quality, ad-free clips on the service.

The new app packs updated navigation tools, has richer uploading options and sports a brand new player with support for 4K streaming and enhanced Picture-In-Picture viewing on compatible devices such as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Search is now faster than ever and you can browse new curated categories like Animation, Documentary, Travel and more. Saving videos to watch offline is now easier than before, you can now upload clips from your smartphone and tablets and more. Read More

 

Vine app gains 3D Touch, caption editing and post ordering features

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2016

Vine, a Twitter owned mobile application for short-form video sharing, has been updated in the App Store this morning with three new features. For starters, owners of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s plus can press Vine’s icon on the Home screen to access a shortcut menu with a pair of options to make a Vine or jump into the Explore feed.

In addition, you can now edit your Vine’s caption for a brief period after you post and watch an account’s Vines in any order you want. Read More

 

Spotify links up with Genius to annotate your music

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2016

Spotify today announced it is partnering with Genius (not to be confused with iTunes Genius), to annotate your music. Genius is the crowdsourced musical knowledge startup that annotates music lyrics and other online content and Spotify is betting that this new feature will help retain its competitive edge over other music-streaming services.

Available at launch via a limited number of tracks through special playlists—called Behind the Lyrics and curated by Spotify and Genius—this feature adds backstory and commentary which pops up as you play tracks on Spotify. Read More

 

Patents hint that broadcast TV and presence detection features may be coming to Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2015

Apple is researching a pair of interesting new features to give its fourth-generation Apple TV some new smarts and make the box more TV-like. Titled “User detection by a computing device” and “Input device & user interface interactions”, these inventions outline a fresh new user interface for changing channels on an iOS device and a presence-aware remote to keep playing content as long as someone is in the room. Read More

 

Apple Music to begin streaming The Beatles catalog on Christmas Eve

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2015

It’s official: the entire catalog of the famous English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, will be available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify and a few other services beginning tomorrow, December 24, at 12:01 local time.

In addition to Apple Music and Spotify, The Beatles catalog will also be available for streaming worldwide via Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Amazon Prime, Rhapsody, Slacker and Tidal (Pandora is a notable holdout). Read More

 

Rumor: high-fidelity Apple Music streaming due in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2015

For years, Apple has been rumored to be working on high-resolution audio formats for iTunes, but we’re yet to see concrete evidence of those efforts. Still, the rumor persists. On Monday, the reliable Japanese blog Macotakara reported that high-resolution streaming is coming to Apple Music in 2016.

Citing industry sources who spoke to the publication at the Portable Audio Festival in Tokyo, where some of Apple’s products were exhibited, the report states that Apple will offer better-than-CD quality music.

In addition, high-end audio equipment makers are allegedly planning to add audio cables for Lightning to their lineups. Read More

 

Amazon allegedly confirms that Instant Video is hitting Apple TV before year-end

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2015

Online retail giant Amazon is bringing its Instant Video service to the new Apple TV after all. As a quick refresher, Amazon recently pulled both Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle and Apple’s Apple TV from sale because the two set-top boxes, in Amazon’s own words, don’t “interact well” with its video subscription service. Confirmation of a tvOS version of Instant Video was inadvertently leaked by Amazon itself in response to a question on Twitter.

The app should hit the Apple TV App Store by the end of the year. Read More

 

Amazon Video for iOS gets X-Ray, 3D Touch and multitasking support & more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2015

Amazon pushed a nice update to its video-streaming app in the App Store this morning. Amazon Video version 3.3 now includes 3D Touch shortcuts on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Home screen for quick access to the following features: Library, Downloads, your Watchlist and Search.

In addition, the app is now fully optimized for the iPad Pro and supports iOS 9’s new Picture in Picture mode and Slide Over multitasking on supported devices. Read More

 

Review: Vevo’s revamped iOS app is a lot cleaner and more fun to use than Apple’s Music

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

In case you missed it, Vevo has completely redesigned its lagging iPhone and iPad application in the App Store. I watch music videos from Vevo artists on YouTube on my desktop. On mobile, not so much and I blame Vevo’s hopelessly outdated design, inconsistencies and complicated features for that.

Bumped to version 5.0, the new Vevo experience starts with a black-and-white logo and a matching app icon.

The headline change here is an all-new interface—it gets out of your way, unlike Apple’s own Music app, and sports a tremendously useful mini-player. It’s almost too weird to say that Vevo’s new iOS app is a lot easier and way more fun to use than Apple’s stock Music app has ever been, but it’s true. Read More

 

Periscope gains skipping ahead in replays, Trending section, 3D Touch shortcuts and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

Twitter-owned live-broadcasting app, Periscope, was updated in the App Store last evening with half a dozen new features and refinements aimed at improving the usefulness of video replays whilst improving content discovery with new tools such as an-all new Trending section to help you find content from popular broadcasters.

Pericope also has a tvOS app for the new Apple TV and recently refreshed the iPhone version with muting, Handoff support, instant replays, finding location-enabled broadcasts, verified badges, Follower Only mode, Global section and more. Read More

 

How to adjust streaming resolution for iTunes movies and TV shows on your Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

The new Apple TV, just like its predecessor, is primarily a streaming device despite its strong focus on downloadable apps and games.

If you cannot play movies or television shows from iTunes due to dropped frames and stuttering, your Internet connection is probably unable to keep up. In this tutorial, you’ll guide you to choose the quality of video streaming on your Apple TV to ensure the smoothest streaming experience possible. Read More

 

Amazon said to be in talks with networks regarding live TV service

By Cody Lee on Oct 7, 2015

Amazon is exploring the creation of a live, streaming television service, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says the online retailer has reached out to major media companies including CBS and Comcast’s NBCUniversal to discuss carrying their channels.

The talks are assumed to be in the preliminary stages. Analyst Dan Rayburn wrote on Tuesday “those I have spoken with haven’t disclosed how far along Amazon is with regards to a live OTT service.” He added that it’s possible Amazon is simply examining the economics of the business. Read More

 

Netflix app now supports in-app subscriptions

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 24, 2015

Netflix has long been available as an app for the iPhone, but up until today, setting up a subscription could only be accomplished via the Netflix website, which created a disjointed experience for new subscribers. Today, Netflix is allowing users to subscribe directly via the app itself.

What does this mean for Netflix? It means that any subscriptions initiated through the app will be subjected to the same 70/30 split that other apps experience, with Apple taking 30% of the subscription proceeds. Instead of raising its prices in the app to accommodate for the loss of revenue, Netflix is staying the course. Read More

 
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