By Lory Gil on Nov 29, 2013
For some people, watching television is a ritual that cannot be disrupted. I have a few friends that won’t even go out on certain nights because they don’t want to miss their shows. Keeping track of past and future episodes can be a daunting task if you are an avid TV viewer.
iTV Shows 3 is a powerful TV tracker that uses multiple comprehensive databases to help you keep a schedule of shows you want to watch. Plus, TV tracking has never looked so good with this interface… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013
Citing supply chain sources, DisplaySearch yesterday shattered analyst Gene Munster’s ‘Apple-televison-set-due-this-Christmas’ pipe dream to pieces by claiming Apple has put the iTV project on the back burner as it focuses on wearable projects, a new priority for Tim Cook & Co. And guess what reliable analyst restrains himself from making wild Munster-like iTV predictions?
That’s right, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
Thus, it goes without saying that Kuo’s note to clients in which he analyzes Apple’s television plans hasn’t gone unnoticed with us. In short, he’s suggesting that with the technological pieces all in place now Apple is about to introduce significant improvements to the existing $99 Apple TV set-top box.
Bonus: I also get to deconstruct some of the outrageously inaccurate predictions by crazypants Apple analysts Gene Munster! Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2013
A report by DisplaySearch may have dashed hopes for an imminent Apple television introduction as Apple turns its attention to wearables, but there’s no stopping prolific 3D artist Martin Hajek from imagining what a full-on television set with the Apple logo could/should look like, all over again.
Taking cues from Bloomberg’s report which calls for curved-glass iPhones in 2014, Hajek is now seemingly torn between a flat and curved-glass iTV variant. I know which one I’d take in a heartbeat, but how about you? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2013
So what’s up with the supposed Apple television set, that elusive iTV? According to the latest chatter, the iTV plans have been put on hold as wearables take priority inside the 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino walls. The notion jives with Tim Cook’s recent assertion calling for new a Apple product category in 2014 and a bunch of patent filings and high-profile hirings pointing to an iOS-powered wearable device with health and fitness sensors, the rumored iWatch.
Of course, that a non-Apple product is delayed by another unannounced product isn’t necessarily newsworthy in and of itself, but given the source – DisplaySearch – we thought you should at least be informed about what’s making the rounds across Apple’s components and supply chain in Far East… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2013
Ending weeks of speculation, Twitter today announced a new feature that has the potential to take social television to the next level.
Twitter users will soon start seeing a new See It button embedded in tweets that, when clicked, lets folks immediately tune into live programming through their set-top box or a mobile devices such as a smartphone or a tablet.
To replace your remote, Twitter partnered with cable provider Comcast and its fully-owned subsidiary NBCUniversal, giving Xfinity customers the ability to also schedule DVR recordings on-the-fly, directly from Twitter. The feature will debut with NBCUniversal offerings including The Voice and Sunday Night Football.
Go past the fold for the full reveal… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 28, 2013
Less than 48 hours after Apple added new video content from Vevo, Weather Channel, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Smithsonian Channel to its $99 Apple TV set-top box, ESPN announced Wednesday it’s enabled access to two new channels – News and Deportes - on the Apple TV and iOS devices, through the WatchESPN software for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
This is important because ESPN is a global powerhouse.
Owned as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, the U.S.-based cable and satellite television channel is a lot of people’s go-to source for all things sports… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 27, 2013
Just as we’ve been expecting, Apple has updated its $99 Apple TV set-top box with 24/7 music video streaming by way of Vevo TV. But that’s not all, Apple has surprised us all by adding support for several other premium content sources. In addition to Vevo, the update has brought out four additional apps: Weather Channel, Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as Smithsonian Channel, co-owned by CBS and the Smithsonian Institution.
What’s really interesting is that Weather Channel seems to be the real app rather than just a simple streaming channel, although both Smithsonian Channel and Weather Channel offer on-demand clips. Go past the fold for the full reveal and Jeff’s video hands-on.
UPDATE: people who use a DNS trick called PlexConnect to stream media to their non-jailbroken Apple TV through the Trailers app should be aware that this morning’s update appears to have broken the hack. More on that here… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2013
The Apple television saga continues with a new report by Quartz today offering a fresh insight behind the curtain of Apple’s ongoing negotiations with content owners. The crux: while the talks have stalled as Apple’s faced significant hurdles, the company is cunningly hoping to get at least a few content providers on board for a rumored iTV launch.
Afterwards, Apple is hoping to get cable companies to play along, the report notes. Apple’s ultimate goal is to have the rumored standalone television set launch with a pay TV service that would see Apple “essentially becoming a cable company itself”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2013
The New York Times in May said Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer Foxconn was looking beyond the iPhone due to slowing sales of the Apple smartphone caused by the broader tech biz slump. As you know, Foxconn also builds consumer electronics for Sony, Amazon, Dell and many other Western brands.
Conventional wisdom says the manufacturer’s been growing concerned about its reliance on Apple orders accounting for well over half of its total revenues. Today, The Wall Street Journal is out with a report saying Foxconn has teamed up with the convenience store chain 7-Eleven to push its own television sets in Taiwan.
Interestingly enough, it was reported last year that Apple had been working with Asian suppliers on several designs for its rumored TV sets that Foxconn was supposed to build… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2013
We’ve been hearing for months how Intel’s been hard at work developing its own Apple TV contender, which sources claim includes a television service of sorts. Conceivably frustrated enough with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TVs,” the world’s top chip maker reportedly set on to engineer a set-top box itself “and do it right.”
These rumors may soon prove true: according to a new report, Intel aims to turn the industry upside down by introducing supercharged DVR functionality said to tap a powerful server farm that records and stores every piece of programming for at least three days.
Now, TiVo devices have had a similar patented DVR feature called Trick Play for years. But Trick Play doesn’t hold a candle to Intel as it relies on local TiVo storage to record just up to half an hour tops of recently viewed television… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2013
The Google TV project has seen modest success (and that’s putting it nicely), but nowhere near the level of interest of Apple’s set-top box which holds more than half the world’s market for streaming boxes.
People who are serious about software make their own hardware, Alan Kay once famously said. In this regard, Google is just as eager to become a hardware maker as Apple is adamant to double-down on online services.
That being said, it’s no surprise Google is rethinking its approach to the living room. Earlier this week we were offered a glimpse of Google’s renewed living room effort as the search giant announced a $35 TV dongle called the Chromecast, alongside the second-gen Nexus 7 tablet.
That’s just the beginning, though. The Wall Street Journal now reports that Google is working on its own set-top box hardware with built-in motion recognition technology akin to Microsoft’s Kinect… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2013
I know, I know, Google runs the world’s greatest video streaming machine, YouTube, so why wouldn’t networks broadcast live TV there, no? Not so fast.
For starters, Google might be interested in marketing a rumored live TV Internet service separate of its other offerings.
Let’s also not forget Apple hasn’t had much luck persuading networks to license TV channels directly instead of going through operators.
Be that as it may, the search giant is said to has been months into negotiating an over-the-top video service that would let customers stream live TV programming over the Internet, in turn totally bypassing cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
There’s no question cable-cutters should have a field day when, and if, Google’s live TV becomes a reality… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 5, 2013
As Tim Cook & Co. continue “pulling the string” on the TV space, readers with a keen interest in Apple’s many patent applications are aware of a 2009 filing involving a wand remote of sorts that may include a motion detection component meant for the television interface.
Last June, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) granted that patent. And just last month, another major wand-related patent surfaced in USPTO’s database that could be the magic required to make the TV experience “just work.”
It outlines a remote control containing fingerprint sensors, theoretically enabling identity and trust in order to authenticate viewers securely and deliver personalized content. It’s especially noteworthy in the context of the rumored fingerprint scanning thought to be the killer feature of the upcoming iPhone 5S… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2013
Following a long period of initial hesitance, major US television networks and content providers have finally relented and are now falling over each other to release software that lets Apple device owners stream television shows, with or without cable subscription. The latest entrant: NBC Universal-owned USA Network, commonly referred to as USA.
Their new USA Anywhere Plus app gives you access to TV shows the day after they air on television, including back episodes for some shows… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 2, 2013
Hot on the heels of releasing the Apple TV 5.3 software which enabled access to Disney’s WatchESPN and HBO Go through the $99 set-top box, Bloomberg now reports that the iPhone maker is on the cusp of announcing a major agreement with Time Warner Cable.
The gist of the story: the deal would give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via the Apple TV. HBO, of course, is owned by Time Warner, under the operating subsidiary Home Box Office Inc.
But it gets even better: Apple is apparently hiring away Hulu executive Pete Distad to help Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, in negotiations with media and cable companies. An agreement will be reportedly announced “in a few months”. Tuesday news doesn’t get any bigger than this… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2013
Remember a recent hack which cleverly tricks Apple TV’s stock Trailers app into streaming video from the popular Plex media player, no jailbreak required? Apparently, the same trickery can be exploited in order to enable access to certain online video services. A Russian blog today spread word of a very similar hack that lets owners of the second and third-generation Apple TV stream content from Russia’s UnliMovie digital TV service, directly through the set-top box’s Trailers app… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2013
While Apple CEO Tim Cook continues teasing the public with respect to a rumored standalone television set with the shiny Apple logo on it, market incumbents are beginning to take notice of the buzz.
Not content with sitting on the sidelines and watch Apple potentially make deeper inroads into the living room, the cable giant Comcast, the nation’s top pay TV provider, today took the wraps off its next generation, cloud-enabled X1 Platform from Xfinity.
They are calling it the X2, it’s coming this Fall, has a sleek new user interface, is social, can talk to you and run apps and integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Pandora, Rotten Tomatoes and more. I’ve included more details and a promo video after the jump… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry – better known in the Western world as Foxconn – is the world’s top manufacturer of consumer electronics. And with Apple products – the iPhone in particular – accounting for at least 40 percent of its revenue, the contract manufacturer’s fortunes are tied to Apple’s.
Needles to say, the company’s leadership never complained about relying on Apple so much as long as sales were growing substantially. But with Apple’s growth cooling off amid a broader sales lull affecting pricey high-end smartphones like the iPhone, Foxconn is now looking to lessen its exposure on the Apple smartphone and is apparently gearing up for a mass-scale production of an Apple-branded television set, the rumored iTV… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2013
HBO’s free iOS streaming software is a nice companion app provided you’re already subscribed to the service.
And if you believe the continuing ramblings, the Time Warner-owned premium cable network is considering offering additional subscription options in the not-so-distant future, potentially allowing cable-cutters to subscribe to HBO for online-only access.
In the meantime, HBO has updated its Go app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with two new useful features. The first will appeal to the fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones series as they can now enjoy enhancements related to the show’s interactive experience. The other improvement includes AirPlay multitasking capability. What’s that, you ask? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 3, 2013
A rumored standalone television set from Apple dubbed iTV continues to be the subject of tremendous speculation, with one analyst recently citing supply chain checks allegedly pointing to a 4K Ultra HD set being built by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn and slated for an early-2014 launch.
Another analyst now joins the conversation with some pretty wild predictions, also based on – you guessed right – checks with Apple’s suppliers. Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets told one publication Wednesday that after meeting with Apple’s Asian suppliers he now sees some pretty wild stuff in the pipeline.
Specifically, Cupertino will be launching an Apple-branded television set later this year, White says, along with a motion controller of sorts called iRing and a secondary display… Read More