Feature tethered to cable providers
A&E has updated two of its iOS apps -- History, and the network's namesake -- with support for watching live TV. Previously users were able to watch clips and full episodes, but only after the fact. Like some other TV apps, gaining access to the live streams requires a cable subscription.
Tries to bounce back from successful Samsung efforts
The gap between Apple and Samsung's US advertising budgets narrowed during 2013, according to new data from Kantar Media. Apple's budget is said to have increased 5 percent year-over-year to $351 million. Samsung, conversely, actually cut its spending by 10 percent, but still ended spending more with a budget of $363 million. Most of Apple's cash is said to have gone toward TV commercials.
Report comes second-hand from analysts, claims 'unnamed' Korean maker
A report in the Korea Herald has revived talk that Apple may be preparing either its own HDTV set or a partnership with a known brand to bring new technology to a future television product. The newspaper quotes analysts from IBK Securities as saying that Apple has requested sample 65-inch OLED display panels from an unnamed Korean manufacturer for testing. Given traditionally low yields of large OLED displays and their high price, the report seems speculative.
Exposure cannot overcome Flappy Bird phenomenon, but it helps
A new study by mobile analytics firm App Annie has quantified the idea that app developers can increase their products' visibility in the App Store and gain players through the use of TV commercials -- particularly for top-quality "freemium" titles. While the practice of developers creating their own TV ads is common in some countries like Japan, it is a fairly new phenomenon in the North America. The App Annie study showed a correlation between TV exposure and a gain in App Store rankings.
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
Currently missing live content
Apple has introduced another app channel to the Apple TV, ACC Sports. The app is a collaboration between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Campus Insiders, covering all of the schools participating in the ACC, as well as a smaller selection of events from other conferences. The app doesn't offer any live content however, only highlights and miscellaneous pre-recorded features.
Cross-device access costs $10 per month
As predicted, access to the WWE Network has launched on the Apple TV, as well as other iOS devices via the WWE app. Subscription signups are handled through iTunes or the WWE website, and cost $10 per month plus tax. Buyers can purchase time in six-month blocks for $60.
Official Facebook comment deleted
A World Wrestling Entertainment app should appear on the Apple TV alongside the launch of the WWE Network on February 24, according to a now-deleted Facebook post (below) by a WWE PR representative. Aside from the launch date, the representative indicated that people will need a $10-per-month subscription to WWEN to access any of the app's content.
May back rumors of impending refresh
(Updated with possible new hardware features) The Apple TV now has its own separate section at Apple's online store, checks show. Until today, the Apple TV had been categorized as an iPod-related accessory. The new section in fact lists its own set of accessories, including HDMI cables and AirPort routers.
Spots based on recent 'Your Verse' commercial
Apple has begun airing two new TV ads for the iPad Air. Dubbed "Light Verse" and "Sound Verse," the spots are shortened, 30-second versions of "Your Verse," a 90-second ad that premiered last week. Intermixed with the earlier ad's content is some original imagery.
Project said to be in early stages
Amazon is reportedly working on a new video service that will mimic traditional cable and broadcast models by focusing on live streaming programming, unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal. The project is said to be in early stages, though the sources claim the company has already reached out to at least three major content owners to begin discussions for potential licensing deals.
Finding out just how well webOS works on the big screen
When we first took a look at LG's new webOS-powered smart television interface, we promised to circle back and spend more time with the rejuvenated and repurposed platform. Friday being the last day of the annual Consumer Electronics Show – as well as the least crowded day – we thought that the perfect time to get a closer look at the erstwhile Palm platform turned LG engine. What we found upon stopping by LG's booth was actually even more impressive than we'd initially expected.
Aquos lineup gets updated for 2014
During its CES keynote, Sharp announced the next developments for its range of large screen Aquos TVs. Throughout 2014, Sharp will be updating its entire line with the introduction of new models in its Aquos HD, Quattron, and 4K lineups. Furthermore, a new Quattron+ model, which has been designed to bridge the gap between Full HD and 4K, was also announced alongside a new SmartCentral TV platform.
LG revives webOS for use on smart televisions
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG finally showed off what it has been doing with the webOS operating system it bought from HP last year, revealing that the platform will power more than 70 percent of the televisions the manufacturer releases in 2014. LG is hoping that the resurrected operating system will fare better than it did on Palm's ill-fated hardware, and Electronista took a look at the new screen to get a feel for just how well that works out.
Reflects growing importance of digital viewing
CBS will stream its full coverage of NFL playoff games to computers and tablets beginning this year, according to an announcement. That entails AFC playoff games -- including one wildcard -- and any divisional and championship rounds. People will generally have to watch through CBSSports.com, as the network hasn't said anything about app support.
Completes holiday theming throughout site
Apple has posted its holiday-themed new commercial, "Misunderstood," to the front page of its website, replacing the tribute to Nelson Mandela that had graced its landing page. The site shows off both the TV ad and the original "Harris Family Holiday" video which the company has since verified was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s. Apple has received nearly universal acclaim for the touching holiday ad, and the change completes the company's site-wide redecoration for the holiday season.
Based on actual home video shot on iPhone 5s
Apple has debuted a 90-second holiday TV ad for its iPhone 5s, called "Misunderstood," that is based on a family holiday home video shot on an iPhone 5s. While the company didn't say if the original home video was actually created within the family, the commercial version introduces a backstory of a teenage member of the "Harris family" who makes a thoughtful Christmas present by creating a movie on his iPhone.
Pair talk (Product) RED designs
Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, is interviewed along with fellow designer Marc Newson on the latest episode of the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. The show aired last night in some parts of the US, but is only scheduled for 11PM Eastern tonight in others. It has also yet to become available on the Charlie Rose website, although Bloomberg has a short clip (below).
LG firmware will fix TV fault over data transmission without user permission
LG has admitted that its smart televisions are sending data related to TV shows and content watched to its servers. The electronics producer will be releasing a future firmware update for the televisions, one that fixes an issue where user data got fed back to LG, even if the television's owner did not allow it in the device's options menu.
Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV negating need for full-scale TV set
Apple is no longer planning to ship a dedicated TV set in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. The firm quotes sources in the TV supply chain industry, who add that one of the main obstacles is the company's inability to secure deals for proprietary content. While Apple is potentially an attractive partner, earlier reports have suggested that TV networks are reluctant to risk the lucrative deals they have with cable and satellite companies, which typically bundle channels into packages.
Cloud-based DVR service to be available in Denver metro area November 4
Aereo, a cloud-based DVR company, has announced its service expansion to the Denver metropolitan area, launching in the region November 4, 2013. A monthly membership permits users to access 'over-the-air' television channels via an Internet connection, from local Aereo antenna and remote DVR centres. Users control both the antenna and remote DVR using a web browser or mobile device, and can view, record, pause, fast-forward and rewind. The Denver metro area service expansion includes sixty-seven counties across Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. Aereo membership pricing starts at $8 per month, which includes 20 hours of DVR storage, and $12 per month for 60 hours of storage. Consumers receive their first month of access for free.
Cloud-based DVR accesses free over-the-air TV channels via supported devices
Aereo, a cloud-based DVR company, has announced the upcoming availability of its television services in the Detroit metropolitan area, beginning October 28, 2013. Using web browsers, iOS devices, Android devices, and more, Aereo allows users to access 'over-the-air' television channels via an internet connection, that could once be attained with 'bunny ear' antenna over top of one's TV. Aereo's antenna are located in data centres for serviceable areas, which also include a remote DVR. Users control both with an Internet-connected device, and can view, record, pause, fast-forward and rewind as one would with a cable or satellite DVR.
Industry minister calls for changes
The Canadian government is reportedly preparing to establish new regulations that will force cable TV companies to offer unbundled channels. Several cable services already offer "a la carte" pricing for individual channels, however comments from the country's industry minister, James Moore, suggests the government will mandate the service option as part of a broader consumer-protection strategy.
Now available worldwide, presumed lost for over 45 years
Fans of Doctor Who are celebrating the recovery of nine previously-thought-lost 1960s episodes of the classic sci-fi fantasy show, with the recovered material already exclusively available on iTunes less than a day after the find was publicly announced. This is the first time that newly-rediscovered episodes of the pioneering BBC space drama have been made available in digital form before being (re) broadcast or made available on DVD, and comes just over a month ahead of the show's 50th birthday.
Could ship in October alongside new iPads
Apple is preparing a new version of its Apple TV set-top, which could ship as soon as October, according to well-known tech commentator M.G. Siegler. The claim is backed up by 9to5Mac, which says that while it's not sure when the device will arrive, sources indicate that the hardware is at least in development. The site adds that the unit should keep the same overall form factor, and that Apple is separately continuing work on a full-scale TV, as well as possible Kinect-style motion controls for TV products.
Likely to be dismissed due to content owners determining 'seasons'
Noam Lazebnik of Ohio has filed suit against Apple, saying that the company should not have advertised a "season pass" to the fifth season of the hit television series Breaking Bad that does not contain what he considers to be the full season. Apple is one of several resellers who offer streaming downloads of the show, most of which have offered the currently-airing second set of eight episodes as "Season 6," apparently as set by the show's producer, American Movie Classics (AMC). The case, should it get to trial, is likely to center on which company determined the "seasons."
Case viewed as important in Aereo battle
Television broadcasters have won a legal battle against FilmOn X, a company that provides online streams of broadcast TV content. Judge Rosemary Collyer of the US District Court for DC has ordered the company to shutter its services, noting that broadcasters will likely prevail in arguing that the service violates copyright laws.
Issue unreported on Apple's system status page
A number of users are reporting that access to TV shows has vanished on the Apple TV and in the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes. On the Apple TV, the app for TV shows has disappeared; in iTunes, trying to click on the "TV Shows" tab in the iTunes Store may boot users back to the storefront's homepage. Apple's system status page shows no sign of the problem.
Alcatel working on successor to One Touch Idol X claims rumor
Alcatel is rumored to be working on a successor to the One Touch Idol X, shortly after its launch. The TCL N3, likely called the One Touch N3 outside of its native China, is shown in a render leaked by Chinese site MTKsj.com to have a 5.7-inch 1080p display with minimal bezel. Internal specifications and a projected release date were not suggested in the rumor.
New role related to Apple's TV plans?
Former Hulu executive Pete Distad has confirmed a new job as VP of product marketing at Apple, reports note. Bloomberg first hinted at the recruitment in July, but the switch was only made official this week through a change in Distad's LinkedIn status. Before coming to Apple, Distad was Hulu's senior VP of marketing and distribution.
Could include pay TV service
Apple is adopting a new strategy towards getting content for its TV set, sources say. For years the company has tried talking to cable companies, but made little progress. Now though the company is allegedly latching onto an app-based strategy, and talking directly to content providers. Some providers already have apps on the Apple TV set-top box -- namely HBO and Disney's ESPN -- but Apple is also said to be negotiating with companies like Viacom, which owns networks like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.
Product would allegedly ship in first half of 2014
Officials from Apple met with peers at Corning, Foxconn, and G-Tech Optoelectronics in the US about two weeks ago to talk about the production of a TV set, according to sources for Taiwan's Economic Daily News. Foxconn is reportedly asking Corning to share some data about Gorilla Glass with G-Tech, so that the latter can do surface treatments needed to produce the set. G-Tech is relatively unknown in the West, but was once rumored to be behind the anti-reflection glass for the 2012 iMac.
New title replaces earlier apps
TV network Syfy has launched Syfy Now, a new iOS app. The title replaces two earlier apps with a redesigned interface formatted for both iPhones and iPads. The main addition however is support for watching complete episodes, instead of just clips and behind-the-scenes promotional videos. Episodes are normally only available the day after broadcast, though, with access authentication from a TV provider.
Could include 'some surprises'
Apple is preparing "some sort of television product" that could be arriving as soon as this November, according to M.G. Siegler. The venture capitalist and former tech industry reporter notes that it's not necessarily a long-rumored TV set, but says he has refrained from writing about it because of uncertainty about what the product is. The method of interaction may be a key selling point, though. "People have talked about voice, but I think that's out the window and there might be some new way to interact with whatever this thing is," he comments.
Company had comprehensive database of available TV content
Matcha.tv -- a startup "second screen for TV' service that offered comprehensive cable and online video service listings, social channels for managing and talking about TV watching and other features -- has been bought by Apple, reports claim. The promising service and matching iOS app, which routinely featured in the top charts for entertainment apps, shut down quickly and mysteriously at the end of May. Users could use Matcha to discover content on digital, streaming and cable services, rate shows and get recommendations based on what they enjoyed.
Hammers home emotional themes of recent campaign
Apple has started airing a new TV spot for the iPhone (below), "FaceTime Every Day." The commercial continues the tone of its "Designed by Apple" and "Music Every Day" ads, trying to forge an emotional connection instead of concentrating on feature details or prices. The clip meshes together a series of vignettes of people using FaceTime in emotional circumstances, such as touring a new home or coping with the aftermath of a fight. At the end of the ad, Apple claims that more people do video calls on the iPhone than on any other phone.
Tablet uses Android, includes educational software, Angry Birds Rio
North Korea has allegedly created a new Android tablet, a move that effectively mimics that of companies in South Korea, such as Samsung. The seven-inch Samijyon tablet is apparently supplied without a way to create a Wi-Fi connection, though is said to be capable of connecting to the country's restricted Internet, as well as a TV tuner that can only pick up state-run broadcasts.
Aero expanding to Utah and Chicago
Aereo, a live TV streaming/DVR service has today announced that it will be expanding into Utah on August 19. With memberships beginning at $8 per month, Aereo allows customers to access 30 major broadcast channels on any internet-connected device as well as record up to 20 hours of DVR content in a cloud account. A pre-registration page has been setup online, and will provide priority access to anyone who signs up before the August 19 launch. In addition, Aereo has also announced that after the Utah expansion it will begin to prepare for a September 13 launch in Chicago.
Aims at pulling in fees from distributors
Apple is negotiating with "other big distributors" about Apple TV apps similar to the one it's working on with Time Warner, according to the New York Times. Sources involved in the talks explain that Apple is hoping to collect fees from distributors in return for improving their TV service. For cable providers, the deals would theoretically keep people paying for subscriptions, a worry in an age when services like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix allow people to be free of cable or satellite packages.
Appe's 'hobby' outsells all other competitors combined
The business both Steve Jobs and current CEO of Apple Tim Cook refer to as a "hobby" is the dominant player in the nascent-but-growing "Streaming IP Device" market, according to a new report. Apple TV's 56 percent share -- a figure that represents the more than 13 million units sold through Q1 2013 -- is greater than all other competitors in the space combined. While brands like Roku, WD TV, Boxee and Google TV may get more headlines, all but Roku and TiVo have negligible market share in a field that is growing rapidly -- as more consumers become "cable cutters" and use alternatives such as Netflix and mobile apps for a relatively ad-free entertainment experience.
New redoubled effort has made little headway with broadcasters so far
According to sources familiar with the matter, search engine giant Google is in talks with media companies about licensing for an Internet TV service to stream live programming. If the reports are accurate, this newest attempt is the second in as many years to get a service off the ground for the Mountain View-based company.
New models upscale content to UHD with Quadmatic Picture Engine
Samsung's Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TV family is expanding in the United States. The company announced its next wave of UHD TV models with the introduction of the F9000 line. The new 55- and 65-inch models will be available for pre-order starting July 21.
Allows day-after viewing of new episodes
The USA TV network is launching a new iOS app that provides access to complete episodes of its TV shows, reports indicate. Users will be able watch new episodes the day after their broadcast date, as well as older backlog material. In keeping with a number of recent TV apps however, users will have to authenticate an existing cable subscription to view full shows.
Live TV promoted by iPad giveaway to passengers on flight
Satellite TV provider Dish Network will be providing free live TV to passengers on Southwest Airlines flights. The service, titled TV Flies Free, will be available on more than 400 Southwest planes with Wi-Fi onboard, and will offer up to 75 on-demand shows at no charge, as well as access to 13 live-streaming channels.
Continues trend started with recent iPhone ads
Apple's "Designed by Apple" TV ad isn't scoring well with test audiences, says consulting firm Ace Metrix. The spot scored just 489 on an Ace Metrix scale, the lowest among 26 Apple ads aired during the last year, and below even a 542-point industry average. In the past, some Apple campaigns have scored over 700. Each Ace Metrix survey is based on at least 500 TV viewers.
Gear previously bundled with Harmony Ultimate, Harmony Smart Control
Logitech has introduced a standalone version of the Harmony Ultimate Hub, a peripheral previously bundled only with the company's Harmony Ultimate and Harmony Smart Control remotes. After downloading a special app, the unit lets iPhone/iPod and Android owners control up to eight home theater devices. Users can for example swipe to adjust volume, change a TV's channel by tapping on network icons, and control recorded video playback.
Switch to pushing brand over products
Apple's "Designed by Apple/Our Signature" TV ad is just the start of a new marketing campaign in association with long-time partner TBWA\Chiat\Day, say sources. The people tell Bloomberg that the campaign will focus on the touted quality and reliability of Apple's products and hosted content, instead of just the products themselves. More such ads will reportedly follow in the next few months.
First solid glimpse at new iOS
Apple has posted several videos on its website in the wake of today's WWDC keynote. These include the keynote itself, designer Jonathan Ive's introduction to iOS 7, and the "Designed by Apple" corporate branding ad narrated by Ben Affleck. The keynote video is roughly two hours long.
Could merge TWC TV app into Apple TV
Time Warner Cable is in talks with Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft for streaming video deals similar to the one it has with set-top maker Roku, CEO Glenn Britt hinted at today's Bank of America/Merill Lynch Global Telecom and Media Conference. "You should assume we're talking to everyone who makes devices like this, whether it's Samsung smart TVs, Apple, Microsoft," said Britt. Time Warner brought a TWC TV app to Roku boxes in March, letting people watch live TV without a separate dedicated cable box.
Second in series of ads playing up popularity, simplicity
Continuing with a nearly voiceless and poetic new campaign, Apple's latest TV ad for the iPhone is called "Music Every Day" and carries on the theme begun in the previous "Photos Every Day" ad, touting a major feature of the iPhone that is not unique to it, but more widely used on the platform than on any of its rivals with visually beautiful montages anchored to a single, simple piece of music.