Image-heavy redesign adds more detail to show recommendations
Netflix has updated a number of its apps for smart TVs and set-top boxes, bringing them all under the same new uniform interface. The new UI heading to the Roku, Smart TV apps, Blu-Ray players, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 aims to provide more detail about potential shows, using large images and more personalized recommendations.
TuneIn Radio update features redesign and optimization for iOS 7
TuneIn Radio, a free radio app for iOS, lets users listen to a variety of streaming radio stations features sports, news, talk, and music programming. Listeners have access to 100,000 live radio stations and two million podcasts, concerts and shows, all of which can be streamed on an iPhone, iPad and iPod. In version 5, Tunein features a redesigned interface, optimized for iOS 7. Live college basketball games can also now be accessed, including every PAC-12 game. Also included in the update are bug fixes regarding playback and streaming errors, and issues pertaining to viewing recommendations upon swiping the Now Playing screen. TuneIn Radio is available on iTunes, and can also be accessed from the web.
Streaming outside home network works over Wi-Fi, LTE to come
TiVo has finally allowed out-of-home streaming on some of its digital video recorder range. Apps have been released for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store which allow for streaming and downloading of live TV shows and recorded content to a mobile device, something the company teased at the launch of its TiVo Roamio DVR line back in August.
Second music streaming service from Google could still launch this year
Rumors of a YouTube music streaming service have resurfaced, with a new report providing a lot more detail about Google's potential plans. It is now thought by report sources that the tiered service, in a similar vein to Spotify, iTunes Radio, and its own Google Play Music All Access, will be launching before the end of the year.
Amazon media streamer to use forked Android
The expected launch of Amazon's rumored set-top box, dubbed by some as "Firetube," for the living room has apparently been delayed by the company. The device, which is said to be a direct competitor with Apple TV and Roku for streaming video as well as running apps, will not receive its pre-holiday season shopping launch as allegedly planned.
Live streaming of Apple event confirmed on Apple TV
[Update: Streaming to iOS devices confirmed] Apple will be streaming its press event to the general public later today. A new item has appeared on Apple TV set-top boxes labeled "Apple Special Event – October 2013," within the "Apple Events" channel, with iPad, iPhone, and Mac owners also able to watch the event live at the same time.
TV and movie streaming app adds Google Chromecast extension for iPhone users
Hulu, a subscription-based movie and TV streaming service, has added a Google Chromecast extension to its Hulu Plus app for iOS. Already included for iPad devices, version 3.1.1 of Hulu Plus for iPhone and iPod touch includes access to Google's digital media streaming adapter for those running iOS 6 or later. The addition of Google Chromecast support offers users more ways to stream Hulu Plus content to their high-definition television. Hulu Plus can be downloaded for free on iTunes, and its subscription service is priced at $8 per month.
New Vizio streamer cuts price, streamlines remote control
Vizio has introduced a new media-streaming set-top box along the lines of its existing Co-Star offering, that offers more basic smart TV functionality. The Co-Star LT offers the same apps and services found on the Vizio M-Series smart TVs, such as access to Internet radio and streaming video, but in a device that can be connected to any HDTV with a HDMI connection.
America's northern neighbor likely to be first outside country to gain the service
Apple has posted job notices seeking iTunes Radio programmers for Canada, a sign that the well-received free music-streaming service will be expanding into the US' closest ally as one of, if not the, first countries outside America to gain the service. The posting suggests that the launch of the service in Canada may occur as early as sometime later this month, presuming some strong candidates can be found.
New device allegedly to run apps, stream from multiple sources
Amazon is reportedly in the process of designing a set-top box, similar in form and function to an Apple TV or Roku media streamer, to be released before the holiday buying season. Divergent from Apple, Amazon is allegedly offering an app ecosystem for the device, allowing gaming or media streaming from sources other than just Amazon purchases.
Hulu adds Cast button to mobile apps to support Chromecast streaming
The Google Chromecast media-streaming dongle is now able to support video from Hulu. An update to the Hulu Plus mobile app for the iPad and Android will add a Cast button to the menu, which then starts playing the selected TV show through the Chromecast device, with the app acting as the remote control. Support for the iPhone is "coming very soon," according to the Google blog.
Roku line refresh shipping to US, UK, Ireland
Roku has refreshed a majority of its line of streaming set-top boxes, in order to coordinate with its existing Roku 3. While the Roku 3 remains the same, the new Roku 1, Roku 2, and Roku LT all have a number of hardware and software updates, as well as an overhaul in external design to match the current flagship model.
Hundreds of ideas under consideration
Microsoft is reportedly preparing a wide range of original television programming for its Xbox streaming video service. In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer said the company is "very close" to announcing details of the new projects, which will include content that is not directly related to games.
Deal would see content shared from 525-station radio network with Rdio
Rdio could be offering a free version of its service before the end of the year, as part of a deal with a radio broadcaster. Expected to be announced later today, Rdio is said to be working with radio station operator Cumulus Media that will see the streaming service gain access to the broadcaster's programming and offer an advertising-based free service, in exchange for stock.
Piracy figures triggered Prison Break purchase for Netflix in the Netherlands
Netflix monitors piracy sites for shows being downloaded, in order to decide what to acquire for its users. The video streaming service uses statistics relating to video piracy as a social barometer, along with other metrics, in working out what shows and films it doesn't currently offer that it needs to secure for members to view.
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."
Direct streaming from Spotify to compatible speakers
Spotify has announced it is working with a number of hardware manufacturers to bring controllable music streaming to other devices, taking on AirPlay and other audio transmission systems. Spotify Connect will allow for subscribers to send playlists to nearby speakers or home theater systems, and in a move similar to Google Chromecast, the audio will stream directly to the sound-producing device from the service itself, instead of from the smartphone.
Music video content app for Apple TV could happen as soon as this week
Music video provider Vevo may have signed deals with both Apple and Samsung to provide streaming and on-demand content. For Apple, the deal will likely mean a new app on Apple TV, possibly coming as early as later this week. For Samsung, Vevo is allegedly providing the content for the Korean company's smart TV lineup. The on-demand music video service would be similar to the content already provided to Microsoft's Xbox, reports say, but the new deals add a second channel that would stream videos 24 hours a day.
Viacom network includes content generally not on 'broadcast' channels
Viacom has reportedly hammered out an agreement for its programming, including BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and Nickelodeon, to appear on a Sony Internet television streaming service. Sony's service, scheduled to launch before the end of 2014, may differ from current services by streaming content that normally exists only on cable or from satellite TV providers.
Can only use content from Camera Roll, currently iOS-only
Streaming media set-top box maker Roku updated its iOS app on Thursday with a thus-far exclusive feature: the app can now stream some video content wirelessly to various models of Roku set-top devices, expanding the company's "Play on Roku" feature which previously allowed only photos and music. The new function is limited to streaming only videos on the user's Camera Roll, and is thus intended to share self-shot videos by and large by transferring them wireless to an HDTV. Version 2.3 also includes bug fixes and performance enhancements.
Streaming app saves having to transcode video formats
Media appmakers FireCore have issued a major update to their multi-format media player Infuse for iOS ($5), which allows users to play normally unsupported video and audio file types by transcoding them on-the-fly. The new version 1.3 offers AirPlay streaming, Wi-Fi transfers of media from network-connected computers or drives, social sharing and one-button subtitle downloads. The program supports 14 different video formats, and features automatic artwork and metadata fetching, Dolby Digital Plus surround sound and full 1080p.
Ranking proves again that value of experience can trump content
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has surveyed customers of mobile media and entertainment sites and found that generally, customers are more satisfied with such services than they were a year ago: the average score was 77 out of 100, compared to 67 a year ago. In the streaming TV and movies category, Apple's iTunes squeaked out a surprise win over competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus. The study also found that customers were much more satisfied with home Internet service than cellular data.
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.
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.
Bidders in sale failed to provide high-enough offers for Hulu
Streaming media service Hulu will not be sold to another company, it has revealed. The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, and NBCUniversal, the owning companies of the service, have all decided to pull Hulu from potential sale, and instead will be providing another $750 million in investment to grow the service further.
Lovefilm shuttering game rental option in UK on August 8th
Streaming and DVD rental service Lovefilm is putting a stop to video game rentals in the United Kingdom. The Amazon-owned service has already removed the option for new subscriptions, with Eurogamer reporting that existing subscribers will be able to continue receiving game discs until its full closure on August 8th. Lovefilm will still be providing DVD and Blu-ray rentals by post for the foreseeable future.
Cloud-based DVR, live TV streaming service covers 16 counties
Live TV streaming service Aereo is launching its service in Chicago, Illinois on September 13. The expansion of the service to Chicago comes after successful launches in New York City, Boston, and Atlanta, and will continue its national rollout despite continued opposition and legal threats from a number of broadcasters.
Deal said to be better than terms offered by competitor Pandora
A new report in the Wall Street Journal details the offer Apple is making to independent labels for its iTunes Radio service, one that is said to be nearly identical to the deal reached with the major labels. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple would pay a slightly more generous rate on songs streamed on the service than is currently paid by its main streaming competitor, Pandora. The latter company is actually seeking to cut the rate it pays for songs, claiming it cannot make a profit on its current 12 cents per 100 streams rate.
Social media features present, no monthly subscription
Video streaming service Vdio has exited its pre-release phase and is now open to users in the United States and the United Kingdom. The service, created by streaming music provider Rdio, will allow anyone in the two countries, including those not subscribed to Rdio, to access the service through the website and through its companion iPad app.
New shows based on DreamWorks Animation catalog to air on Netflix first
Netflix is continuing its drive for exclusive content by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation. The multi-year agreement has the streaming video service securing the first-run rights for TV shows based on past, current, and future DreamWorks properties, and will add over 300 hours of programming to the Netflix show catalog.
Customized recommendations to apply to users, rather than entire account
Netflix will be adding separate user profiles to its accounts sometime this summer. The additional profiles will allow the streaming video service to keep a track record of what shows and films are viewed by individuals, rather than on the per-account basis it currently uses, in an effort to improve recommendations provided to its users.
Working with device OEMs to make Roku software for TVs
Roku has received another injection of investment to develop its streaming set-top box. The $60 million round of funding comes from new investors Fidelity and Hearst Corp, as well as from previous investors such as broadcaster BskyB and News Corp, and brings the total amount of money invested into Roku to $130 million.
Sony allegedly holding out for higher fee for streaming music
Apple may have hit another snag in its alleged plan to launch an "iRadio" service in the near future, according to an unconfirmed report from London's Financial Times. The forthcoming service, should negotiations get completed, would allegedly see iTunes offering a streaming music service that leveraged its enormous statistical and purchasing information from users to serve curated songs they would be likely to enjoy from artists they have bought before or would probably like. Sony, according to sources, is still holding out.
Apps include local content as well as nationally syndicated programming
Media streamer hardware maker Roku has deployed a new app set, adding PBS and PBS Kids content to most of its line of video streaming set-top boxes within the US. Now available for streaming are shows such as American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, Masterpiece, and Nature. Children's programming now available due to the new additions include Curious George, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, and Super WHY.
Extra DivX features provide multi-language subtitles, audio, chapters
Rovi has revealed that Toshiba will be the first television manufacturer to launch a range of DivX Plus Streaming-certified HDTVs. The addition of DivX Plus Streaming to the televisions will allow users to watch streaming content with typical features found in DVD and Blu-ray Disc usage, such as support for multi-language subtitles and audio tracks.
Offering replaces paid products from other companies
Google today announced that starting later this week, all US Congressional members will have access to YouTube channel "enhanced features." While no pertinent details have emerged from the search engine, the new permissions allows the elected officials to live stream video, much the same way that the State of the Union address was broadcast on the video streaming service.
Device would directly compete with Apple TV, Roku
Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.
Slight increase in Netflix profits next quarter, continued shift away from DVD
Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings report for the first part of 2013. The company reports having added over three million streaming members, bringing the company's total to more than 36 million worldwide. The company continues to see profits in the US offsetting losses elsewhere, with a $131 million profit in the US and a $77 million loss internationally. DVD rentals continue to earn well, with it bringing in $113 million profit for the company in the US. After all expenses, including payback of debt, the company earned five cents per share.
Overall iPlayer use equals 272M January record
Usage of tablets to view BBC content on its streaming service has beaten that of smartphones for the first time. Information published by the BBC saw 200,000 more iPlayer requests from tablets than mobile phones, with the combined usage of mobile devices making up 30-percent of all requests, namely 81 million requests for March alone.
Amazon Instant Video, Lovefilm users to help judge shows
Amazon is allowing its customers to view new television shows on its streaming services in the US and the UK, in order to decide which to create into a full series. The 14 pilot shows, created by subsidiary Amazon Studios, can be watched on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm, with the retailer hoping to use viewer comments to influence its choice of which shows get a full 13-episode season commission.
Warner Music said to be close behind, Sony in early stages
Should Apple actually succeed with its alleged plan to start up a Pandora-style streaming radio service, one of the biggest obstacles the company faced may be behind it as early as next week, if a report on The Verge is true. Multiple sources say that Apple and Universal Music Group, one of the "big three" music labels, have reached an agreement on streaming royalties -- and that the company is in the final stages of also closing a deal with Warner Music. The third major label, Sony, is an earlier stage of the process.
Finds workaround for obstacles with two major record labels
Late on Thursday, unnamed sources from "people familiar with the negotiations" said that Apple has come up with a clever workaround to the major obstacles preventing it from concluding a licensing deal for its alleged "iRadio" streaming service. The breakthrough is said to have been sufficient to get two of the three major record companies on board for the yet-to-be-announced feature, and relies on letting Apple get the streaming royalty rate it wanted -- far lower than comparable services -- in exchange for creating ways for labels to make up the cost difference.
Content available for rental and purchase, no subscription service available
Music streaming purveyor Rdio is previewing its long-awaited next effort -- the video streamer Vdio. Calling it a "beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favorite movies and TV shows with your friends," the service is available today in pre-release form with a $25 viewing credit given to existing and new Rdio Unlimited subscribers.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Service available over 29 counties across NY, CT, NJ, PA
Aereo today announced that its Internet-repeating television service is now available to the more than 19 million people living in the New York City metropolitan area. The region includes 29 counties across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Previously, Aereo was only available to residents of New York City's five boroughs.
App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version
Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.
Renews exclusive programming from France, UK
Hulu has previewed three new shows that it will air in the summer as part of its original programming drive. The new shows, a pair of comedy series and a docu-series, are also joined by a number of new exclusive shows that will start in January, while existing Hulu-specific programming has also seen renewals.
Netflix encouraging subscribers to petition ISPs to use Open Connect
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announced its Netflix Open Connect initiative is now delivering the majority of Netflix international traffic, and has accepted its first two US ISPs for the service. Additionally, Netflix Super HD and 3D TV shows and movies are available on the service for the first time.
Charge intended for home use; OnBeat Rumble Lightning dock
Two new JBL products are expected to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. Both the JBL Charge portable Bluetooth streaming speaker and the Lightning-equipped docking station JBL OnBeat Rumble will be on display at the JBL booth at the expo, which begins Monday.
Existing eyeIO user Netflix likely to offer 4K media in future
Video processing company eyeIO has unveilled its second generation of video encoding technology. The new version includes a new option called StudioRes, which is capable of encoding 10-bit 4:2:2 H.264 video at a 4K resolution, as well as claims that it will encode video 45-percent faster than its previous incarnation.