Slingbox has pushed out a handful of updates for SlingPlayer on iOS and Android, adding new features on both platforms. On the Android side, Slingbox joined forces with sporting-app Thuuz. Now if you have to skip watching the Giants game for work, SlingPlayer will let you know Tim Lincecum is using his secret mustache powers to pitch a no-hitter . If you can sneak away from your meeting for a “bathroom break,” a link within the app will instantly tune you into the hair-raising action. The sports app won’t be integrated into the iPhone version of SlingPlayer until this summer, but iOS users can still download it on its own to try out now.
While iOS users will have to wait until football season for Thuuz, they did get a little something new this week.Up until now, if you wanted to sling some Scandal to your Apple TV via Airplay you’d have to sacrifice your phone for the duration of the marathon. If you tried to back out of the app to respond to your bosses emails (he’s probably wondering why you’re watching Scandal instead of working) your video would stop playing. The update allows you to put the app in the background, so you can start streaming and then go back to your game of Angry Birds (you’ll beat those piggies eventually, we promise). Keeping with the exclusive theme, right now the feature is iPhone only. However, the plan is to bring the fun to the iPad this summer — just in time to use your tablet as a second screen during premiere season.
Twitter’s cosy with many broadcasters that wish to connect with their audiences better, and in the UK, Sky’s previously partnered with the social network for tweeting footy highlights in near real-time. Today, the two have teamed up again on Twitter embeds that allow Sky subscribers to watch or record content from within tweets by way of Twitter’s mobile apps. Two buttons in these style of tweets, that will feature on several of Sky’s accounts, send you either to the Sky Go app if you can’t wait another second to indulge, or set your Sky box to record the TV show, film or sporting event via the Sky+ app. It’s basically the same agreement Twitter has with Comcast in the States, as the microblogging platform moves to bridge the gap between the second screen and, well, screen.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Via: The Telegraph
Samsung said it would launch a website that showed off its design chops, and it’s delivering as promised. The newly launched Make it Meaningful page dives into the inspirations behind the Korean company’s products, complete with an abundance of giant artwork, marketing speak and promo videos. It’s not just breathless prose about “timeless” TVs (the S9) and “sharply refined details” (the Galaxy S 4), though. The tech giant also addresses the more pragmatic concerns behind certain products — Samsung notes that it built one washing machine just for India, where humidity and limited electricity rule out conventional appliances.
The site isn’t limited to discussing individual gadgets. Samsung is eager to talk about its artistic collaborations and design events, and you can get a better sense of its overall design philosophy. There isn’t a lot of content to look at just yet, and the odds aren’t great that you’ll get many pre-release revelations. Nonetheless, the site is worth exploring to better understand the motivations of what’s arguably the world’s most influential technology company.
Source: Make it Meaningful
Sony has nailed down the final launch details for its newest 4K Bravia TVs, and surprise — they just might be affordable this year. The “entry-level” XBR-X850B series will start at a relatively frugal $2,099 for a 49-inch model, with prices peaking at $5,499 for a 70-inch set. If you’ve got a bit more cash and want upgrades to both audio and wall mounting, the XBR-X900B line starts at $3,999 for a 55-inch set and scales up to $8,999 for a 79-inch variant. There’s still a couple of models for the money-is-no-object crowd, of course. The improved LED lighting of the 65-inch XBR-X950B will set you back $7,999, while the display’s 85-inch sibling costs an eye-watering $24,999. All of the 4K sets ship in June.
The company also hasn’t forgotten about those with earlier Bravia sets. It’s releasing an updated version of its 4K media player, the FMP-X10, this summer. There’s no pricing just yet, but it has 1TB of storage for downloaded Video Unlimited movies and supports the same 4K Netflix movies as newer Bravia TVs. The previous model sold for $699, although Sony has bundled it with sets for free or at a discount — whatever the new one costs, you may not have to pay full price.
The big US broadcasters are primarily leaning on legal action to shut down Aereo’s antenna-based streaming TV service, but what if the startup prevails in court? Apparently, the media giants aren’t too worried; they have some backup plans. The Wall Street Journal claims that CBS is considering a subscription-based video service of its own that would offer both live and on-demand shows for a few dollars per month. While it would still include ads, there might also be an option to pay for Showtime’s premium programming.
The big providers may not decide to fight Aereo in the marketplace, though. Other options include lobbying Congress for anti-Aereo legislation or even pulling content from over-the-air broadcasting. This last option may be impractical — it could limit the content that affiliates can offer, hurting both local stations as well as viewers that can’t afford (or simply don’t want) pay TV. The operators haven’t locked down what they plan to do, but Aereo hasn’t discussed a failsafe of its own. If it loses its court battle, the networks may not have to lift a finger.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Samsung’s track record on smartwatch marketing has been, shall we say, mixed. Its nostalgic sci-fi TV spot for the Galaxy Gear was a hit, but its awkward (and slightly creepy) romantic skier ad? Not so much. Give credit to the company for learning quickly, though, as its newly released TV commercial for the Gear Fit (shown below) mostly hits the right notes. The 30-second clip sticks to showing real-world use cases, such as tracking fitness data while running and turning down phone calls. It’s still a bit silly — really, who wears a smartwatch over a fancy bracelet? — but it does make a good case for intelligent wristwear.
Source: Samsung Mobile USA (YouTube)
The drastic change in the way people consume media has stirred up the argument that TV as we knew it is dead. But while prime-time ratings have dipped since the rise of services like Netflix and solid programming from networks such as AMC and HBO, the first quarter of 2014 has been very kind to prime-time TV in the US. According to a report from MoffettNathanson, prime-time TV ratings saw a surge of four percent compared to the previous quarter, and in the process marked the first time TV has seen any sort of growth since over a year ago. As Re/code notes, researcher Michael Nathanson says this is television’s “best performance since the last quarter of 2007.”
But there’s a reason for this: Nathanson points out that the increase in TV ratings is largely due to major events that have taken place this year, including the Oscars, the Sochi Winter Olympics, playoff games from the NFL and, most recently, the NCAA’s March Madness tournament. We’ll see if ratings can keep up this momentum going forward, but, at least for the time being, it’s safe to say good ol’ TV is far from being put to rest
The big US broadcasters like to tout the strength of their mobile TV apps, but actually viewing the apps’ content on a TV has frequently proven elusive. That’s a rather glaring omission, don’t you think? Some credit is due to NBC, then, as it recently updated its iOS app with AirPlay support. Unfortunately, it’s pretty basic at this stage. All you can do is turn on AirPlay mirroring and beam whatever is on your mobile device’s screen — you’re out of luck if you’d like to see optimized videos, let alone do something else on your iOS gear while you watch. Still, it’s good to see NBC catch up on features that services like Hulu have had for quite a while.
Source: App Store
TiVo has been rolling out a firmware update that has given some DVR users a lot more than they were bargaining for. Officially, the refresh supplies Mini, Premiere and Roamio units with a very helpful page for default recording options as well as a host of bug fixes. However, that’s when it’s working — quite a few subscribers have been dealing with glitches instead. Some Mini users have received an error that prevents installing the update without unplugging the set-top box for up to three days. Meanwhile, others have seen some of their gear roll back to older code, which can wipe out customizations and break multi-device setups. There are reports of spontaneous reboots and other hiccups, too.
The device maker is aware that the update hasn’t exactly gone as planned, and notes that the rollbacks aren’t intentional. It’s not clear when everything will be straightened out; we’ve reached out to TiVo for more details. For now, viewers who’ve encountered rough spots in the new firmware will just have to sit tight.
[Image credit: Zatz Not Funny]
@netnothing Nothing should be rolling back. I need TSNs of boxes that appear to have been rolled back. margret at tivo dot com
- TiVo Margret Schmidt (@tivodesign) April 11, 2014
Via: Zatz Not Funny
Not wanting to be left behind by networks across the pond, Sky’s been pulling out all of the stops to broadcast big-budget TV shows at the same time as its American counterparts. Following the season four premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which saw 538,000 viewers opt to return to Westeros way past their bedtime, the broadcaster has confirmed it’s hashed out another simulcast deal, this time teaming up with with Fox to mark the return of Jack Bauer to UK TV screens. The opening double bill of 24: Live Another Day will air on Sky1 at 1am on May 6th, the same time as when US viewers will be tuning in. The 12-part series will revert to its traditional 9pm slot from then on, but it will also be available on-demand. After a surge in Game of Thrones streams managed to bring Now TV and HBO Go servers down yesterday, we wonder if Sky will be better prepared for when Jack comes back.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Via: Digital Spy