Chromecast APIs aim to improve second-screen gaming
Google is giving developers even more ways to create content that works with Google Cast and the Chromecast streaming dongle. A new set of Remote Display APIs released in beta for Android and iOS will allow for developers to set up a better second screen experience than currently available, such as displaying the controls and some important information for a game on a smartphone or tablet while the main game is displayed on a connected television.
Pebble Time backer shipments to begin from May 27
The Pebble Time smartwatch will start shipping to backers of its Kickstarter campaign from May 27, the company has revealed. In mass production since the start of this month, backers of the Pebble Time are being sent invitations to finalize their selections for backer rewards and their smartwatch, with tracking numbers expected to be provided to customers by mid-June. Shipments of the smartwatch will apparently continue on a "rolling basis" when the devices reach regional distribution centers. The company has also advised it is preparing to debut the new support apps called "Pebble Time Watch" for iOS and Android from next week
Vast library of current and previous HBO programming available for $15 per month
The standalone service HBO Now has launched on Apple TV in a new update, offering owners of Apple's set-top box the option of subscribing to HBO without an existing cable or satellite subscription as a requirement. Included in the deal, which includes a "first month free" trial offer, is all current HBO programming including movies, and access to all previous original HBO programming, including series such as Veep.
HBO joining Sling TV this month, add-on priced at $15
Sling TV will be getting HBO before the new series of Game of Thrones is set to begin on April 12. Confirming a Wall Street Journal report to Slashgear, the Dish-owned service will offer HBO to subscribers of its "Best of Live TV" core package as a $15 per month add-on, bringing the total monthly cost to $35. While there will be only one of HBO's channels available to watch, subscribers will still have access to the broadcaster's on-demand catalog.
HBO streaming service heading to Apple devices for $15 per month
HBO has unveiled its new streaming service during Apple's Spring Forward Event, one rumored for a long time but resurfacing just last week. The exclusive service, launching soon, will be accompanied by a price cut for the Apple TV, with the streaming set-top box being cut from its $99 price down to a more-affordable $69.
Comcast notably not allowing PlayStation 4 HBO Go app to operate
HBO Go has been enabled for the PlayStation 4 in the United States, allowing most cable customers with the channel included in their subscription to access the app, with one notable exception. Comcast is still denying access to HBO Go through the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, but it is unclear why the cable company is taking the stance in the first place.
Channel would not require existing cable or satellite subscription
According to a new report, Apple is in talks with movie and original program service HBO to bring its streaming service, called "HBO Now," to Apple TV as a standalone subscription service that does not require an existing cable or satellite connection. The deal, if it goes through, would bring some flexibility to users who would like HBO programming, but don't want to pay for a higher-priced bundle that cable companies often force on customers. The service might launch in time for the Game of Thrones premiere on April 12.
Estimated pirate downloads of HBO show double second place program
Game of Thrones has become the most-pirated TV show for the third year running, according to a report. TorrentFreak's research, using statistics from multiple public BitTorrent trackers, suggests that the season finale of the HBO show achieved more than 8 million illegal downloads, close to double the number of downloads of its nearest competitors.
Streaming app from HBO hits Fire TV today, Fire TV Stick in spring
HBO Go is heading to a number of streaming devices now and in the near future, it has been revealed. Owners of Roku streamers on Comcast will soon gain access to the app and Showtime, while Amazon's Fire TV users are able to stream from the service straight away, with the app also including support for the Fire TV's voice search functionality.
Executive decision prompts resignation of HBO CTO
HBO has hit some stumbling blocks in the creation of its standalone streaming service, it has been revealed. An alleged internal memo states that the broadcaster has decided to cancel its own attempt at the project, and instead will be using an existing streaming provider to provide the eventual service, something which is earmarked to launch by April 2015.
First episode 'Iron from Ice' launches, game played from five different points of view
Fans of George R.R. Martin's epic A Song of Ice and Fire series and the associated television show on HBO, "Game of Thrones," now have a new way to experience the saga. Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series hit Steam for OS X and PC today, bringing the California-based studio's narrative touch involving choice and consequence to Westeros.
Streaming version of HBO will be offered outside of current pay-TV packages
HBO will be starting up a stand-alone streaming service in the United States, the CEO has confirmed. Starting from next year, the broadcaster will be offering subscriptions to stream its content to customers with broadband Internet connections, without it being bundled alongside other channels as part of a more expensive pay-TV package.
Bundle combines HBO, HBO Go with local TV channels, Internet
AT&T is following Comcast's lead, in offering a basic service aimed at cord-cutters. The bundle combines a basic television service with Internet at a relatively low cost, and while it copies Comcast in providing HBO and HBO Go under the subscription, it also unusually adds in one year of free Amazon Prime deliveries and Prime Instant Video.
CEO comments suggest premium channels could have future standalone subscriptions
Subscriptions to Showtime and HBO separate from a cable television service could still happen, according to comments made at an investor conference. The CEOs of Time Warner and CBS both made similar statements, suggesting the channels may be available without requiring a cable subscription, with viewers able to watch shows over the Internet.
Possible web TV expansion hints at future non-cable HBO service in US
HBO may be working on making its programming more available online, though outside of the United States. The channel is believed to be looking into expanding its existing Web TV service it has operated in Northern Europe since 2012 into new markets, as the Time Warner unit explores ways to increase its revenues without disturbing its existing US arrangements with pay-TV operators.
Concurrent torrent user record broken shortly after season finale broadcast
Game of Thrones has set new records for piracy, according to a report, with the final episode of the current season resulting in the largest ever recorded BitTorrent swarm. Within hours of the episode appearing on torrenting sites, over 254,000 peers were said to be sharing one single torrent at one point, beating the old record of more than 200,000 peers held by an earlier episode of the show in the same season.
Netflix reveals plans to expand into six more European countries
Netflix is expanding its presence in Europe to include six more countries, the company has revealed. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg will receive access to the streaming video service later this year, with content and pricing for each region to be announced in the future. The new additions will likely increase Netflix's international subscriber count upward from the 12.7 million it already has in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. By contrast, the US has 35.7 million subscribers.
Classic HBO shows heading to Prime Instant Video next month
Subscribers of Amazon Prime will be able to enjoy classic HBO shows in the near future, the retailer has revealed. At the same time, Amazon has announced HBO Go will be added to the company's Fire TV, allowing the streaming media box to show recently-broadcast programs as well as its archive of over 1,700 shows, original films, and specials.
Game of Thrones premiere free on Xbox Video after HBO Go crashes
HBO is offering the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones free on Xbox, after its HBO Go app failed during the broadcast. The free episode will be viewable on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Video, rather than the HBO Go app until April 14th, reports Variety. HBO Go is not the only service to be affected by the influx of Game of Thrones fans, as British broadcaster Sky's Now TV suffered a similar fate during the later UK broadcast last night.
Sony announces PlayStation 4 sales exceed 6 million units globally this week
As of March 2, Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console system has cumulatively sold through more than six million units globally. Software sales currently total over 1.37 million copies sold in retail stores, as well as through digital downloads. Over 370,000 console units have been sold in Japan since its launch in the region on February 22. The PS4 system is currently available in 57 countries worldwide.
HBO content now viewable on Chromecast
Just as previously hinted in Google's support pages, HBO has updated its app for both Android and iOS, adding the ability to play shows through the Google Chromecast dongle. The updated HBO Go allows for streaming to the Google media player while simultaneously allowing the app to be used for controlling playback.
Package geared for streaming content
Comcast is reportedly preparing a new offering that essentially unbundles HBO service from a traditional cable TV package. In a promotion spotted by GigaOM, the company is enabling customers to purchase basic Internet service with local TV channels and HBO content for $40 per month.
Netflix passes HBO in subscribers
Movie and television streaming service Netflix has reportedly surpassed Time Warner-owned HBO in terms of overall subscriber base. This according to a new report from Bloomberg, which said that Netflix now has roughly 30 million paying US subscribers as of Sept. 30, while HBO has roughly 28.7 million. HBO is seen as the most successful premium channel on traditional television, as well as a natural rival for Netflix given the overlap in their services.
Game of Thrones, True Blood downloads appear on Google Play
HBO has started to offer some of its popular television shows as downloads, via Google Play. The cable channel has added its programming to Google's online store in a similar way to its offering on iTunes, something it has done so for a considerable amount of time, though it appears that only those in the United States will be able to purchase episodes.
Developer able to stream video, photographs directly from phone to Chromecast
The Google Chromecast will be receiving more support in the future, with reports of Redbox, Vimeo, and HBO preparing to take advantage of the device. The possible new additions come at the same time as a developer shows off a way for smartphones to directly share images and video with the streaming dongle.
HBO, WatchESPN options require existing cable subscriptions
Apple has issued a v5.3 update for second- and third-generation Apple TVs. The new firmware adds support for several video services, most notably HBO Go, WatchESPN, and Sky News. Also included are Crunchyroll, which concentrates on anime and other Asian content, and Qello, which hosts concerts and music documentaries.
Piracy fails to 'negatively impact DVD sales' of Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones may retain its crown of being the most pirated television show, based on reports. Despite the number of downloads of the season premiere entering the millions within 24 hours of its first broadcast, the programming president of HBO appears to be taking the dubious accolade as a compliment.
Service might still be tied to Internet service
HBO may be relenting on its position towards allowing HBO outside of cable TV subscription packages, Reuters reports. CEO Richard Plepler says that the company is considering allowing access to HBO GO, its digital streaming option, via bundles with broadband Internet subscriptions. That would likely add about $10 to $15 to a person's Internet bill. "We would have to make the math work," says Plepler.
Agreement blocks Netflix from Universal content
HBO has signed a deal with Universal Studios that extends its exclusive rights to Universal Pictures' and Focus Features' films for another ten years. The extension prevents competing video-on-demand services such as Netflix from gaining access to content, keeping it on HBO's TV, mobile, and online services until the year 2022.
Could improve movie selection at iTunes, Google Play
HBO and Fox have renewed a rights agreement originally set to expire in 2015, AllThingsD reports. Under the new deal, Fox movies will continue appearing on HBO until 2022. More importantly, however, Fox and HBO officials say that the agreement includes a "softening" of something known as the electronic sell-through window. Previously HBO maintained a strict policy that while it was running a movie for the first time, no one else could sell or rent a title electronically.
HBO denies standalone app despite piracy level
Game of Thrones is reportedly the most pirated series of the current TV season, with downloads nearly equaling television viewer estimates in the US, according to figures gathered by TorrentFreak. Each episode attracts an estimated 4.2 million viewers on HBO, barely surpassing 3.9 million pirated downloads. A call for HBO to introduce a standalone subscription for online access to content was dismissed by the cable television network.
Premium channel apps now on Android
HBO has rolled out Android versions of its HBO Go and MAX Go apps, allowing the users of Android-powered devices to stream content from the two premium channels on the go, so long as they already have a cable subscription to the premium channels. The Apps are available for free in Google's Play app store.
Xbox 360 can now get HBO shows on Comcast
As promised, Comcast on Monday switched on its HBO Go support for the Xbox 360 on Monday. Viewers who have a Comcast cable subscription and the console can sign in and watch nearly all of HBO's catalog on-demand. Unlike the Xfinity TV app, though, viewing counts towards the 250GB data transfer cap.
Apple gains a studio for cloud video downloads
Apple edged closer to having a complete iTunes in the Cloud on Saturday with previous holdout Universal adding support. Movies from the studio can now be re-downloaded on any device with an Apple ID, or streamed directly to an Apple TV. The expansion adds hundreds or more videos to those from existing supporters like Sony Pictures.
MLB joins cable on Xbox 360
Microsoft took its promised Comcast Xfinity TV and HBO Go support live on the Xbox 360 Tuesday with the extra addition of MLB.tv. Akin to the ESPN app, it gives users the option of watching live and on-demand events, albeit live only for out-of-market games. Kinect owners have the extra advantage of motion and voice commands that can sometimes speed up the action.
Comcast and HBO get long awaited Xbox 360 apps
The long-expected Xbox 360 apps for Comcast's Xfinity TV and HBO Go should go live on Tuesday. Tips sent to GigaOm were short on details, but it's believed the HBO app was going live to make sure it was ready for the Game of Thrones second season premiere on April 1, as hinted by studio co-president Eric Kessler. Comcast's timing wasn't explained, but might be following the same reasoning.
Xfinity TV on Xbox 360 near ready
Comcast has slipped out through a support page that it's currently beta testing its Xfinity TV app for the Xbox 360. The service as it stands will give Comcast subscribers who sign in access to a large but incomplete pick of Comcast's usual access. It should include the four core broadcasters and build in major premium providers like HBO, The Movie Channel, and Comcast's own Streampix, but it won't have many mid-tier TV networks.
Fox, Universal, WB tapped for initial deals
HBO is relaxing terms on streaming content to services like iCloud, according to a company spokesman. To attract viewers, the cable network regularly buys exclusive rights to movies; these windows usually start six months after a title's disc release, and persist for roughly a year. HBO's terms frequently prevent movies from being sold online or through video-on-demand services during a window.
iTunes in the Cloud and 3G App Store get new limit
A studio veteran divulged Wednesday that the iTunes in the Cloud access coming hand-in-hand with the new Apple TV and iTunes 10.6 doesn't include Fox and Universal. Either was tangled in HBO deals that gave the premium cable network brief exclusives that conflicted with the re-download rights, AllThingsD heard. HBO confirmed the issue but expected to find "common ground" that would clear full access.
CEO sees Netflix possibly as part of cable package
Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, believes that in the future, cable television and his company could be partners rather than competitors. Hastings thinks that the cable service providers could fold the streaming movie and DVD rental company's service into their programming as a counterbalance to HBO. Hastings made his comments at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
HBO hopes to slow down Netflix with price change
HBO confimed Thursday that it had stopped directly supplying Netflix with discounted discs. The change won't affect Netflix's ability to get discs, but it will force Netflix to get discs from other sources, CNET was told. It isn't expected to hurt availability or prices in the near term, although Netflix has never had HBO streaming rights.
Cablevision joins TWC with HBO Go access
Cablevision on Monday joined Time Warner Cable's move in adding support for HBO Go and MAX Go streaming. Those on iPads, iPhones, and some Android devices can watch every current and past episode from the "best" shows on either network, including some big-name movies. Viewers need to authenticate to an Optimum account with HBO access to watch the streams, which also include the web.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica Espaņa's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
Roku LT arrives with extra low price
Roku hoped to lower the price floor for networked media hubs Tuesday with the Roku LT. By shedding the Ethernet, SD card slot, and Bluetooth used for the Roku 2's gaming on many models, the box drops to just $50, or half the price of an Apple TV. It can still output 720p video streamed over Wi-Fi and has all the channels of regular Roku players, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Pandora radio.
UltraViolet has wide but potentially vague rights
The long in the making UltraViolet platform will get its formal launch this week. Starting with the October 11 Blu-ray release of Horrible Bosses and the October 14 release of The Green Lantern, viewers who prove ownership of a UV-aware title will have access to it across computers, mobile apps on Android, BlackBerry, and iOS, and even across services. The rights include five major movie studios and, for an extra fee, can sometimes involve getting a physical copy for something they only own digitally.
Xbox 360 to bring TV content as soon as next week
The latest update in Microsoft's bid to bring TV content to Xbox 360 Live has the new content arriving on its game console subscription service as early as next week. Microsoft is engaged in talks on the matter with many content providers and cable companies, with Comcast and Verizon chief among them. A source who couldn't speak publicly revealed these details.
Companies said to be finalizing deal
Time Warner Cable is reportedly preparing to offer HBO's Go apps to its cable TV subscribers. Although the cable provider has yet to publicly confirm the move, which would enable users to access HBO content from mobile devices, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg both companies may be ready to announce an agreement sometime in the next few weeks.
Netflix gets DreamWorks movies for 30m
DreamWorks late Sunday revealed that it had struck a deal with Netflix to provide its animated movies. The deal, unofficially estimated by a consensus of NY Times analysts to be worth $30 million, will bring movies like Monsters vs. Aliens or the Shrek series to the streaming service. It's not evident how long the deal will last other than multiple years, starting in 2013.
Future Disney deals to require log-in for web TV
Disney is following in the footsteps of the Fox book by requiring online TV show viewers to be pay TV subscribers and log in with a cable ID. According to a Wednesday GigaOM report, the company is working on deals with content distributors to allow this. Thus far, cable networks like CNN and HBO are already requiring such logins.
Boxee for iPad and Boxee Box firmware go live
Boxee swung out a pair of major additions to its mix, including its first real tablet app. Boxee for iPad (free, App Store) lets users stream video both from some content channels as well as from computers on the local network. The app isn't locked into supporting the iPad's native formats and transcodes video from the computer on the spot.