Sling TV accidentally reveals its set-top box for cord cutters
The Sling TV team has inadvertently spilled the beans on its previously leaked media hub for cord cutters. Zatz Not Funny discovered a briefly available landing website for the AirTV Player, and it’s clearer than ever that Sling (read: Dish) is catering to those determined to leave cable and satellite behind. The set-top box will revolve around a home screen that merges over-the-air TV tuning with not only Sling TV, but Netflix — you won’t have to jump between apps or devices to watch both your local news and the latest season of Black Mirror. And since this is an Android device (notice the “G” button on the remote), there’s a good chance that other online services will be available as well.
It’s not certain how much the AirTV Player will cost or when you can get it in your hands. However, a launch at CES in January seems likely given that Dish tends to have a major presence at the trade show. It could be a big deal if there aren’t any rude surprises in the pricing or execution, though. Until now, you’ve typically needed a separate over-the-air TV tuner device (like Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR) if you wanted local live programming wrapped in a slick interface. That won’t be necessary here, as you can just buy one gadget that covers both your local TV and streaming needs. No matter how well it works, it’s clear that Dish wants to give you as many reasons as possible to skip rivals like PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now.
Source: Zatz Not Funny
Samsung TVs now play YouTube videos in HDR
If you have a recent Samsung TV and want more high dynamic range content without having to buy a game console, you’re in luck. Samsung’s 2016 quantum dot and 4K TVs are getting support for HDR YouTube videos thanks to an updated YouTube app rolling out to sets worldwide starting in December. You now only have to visit a special HDR section in the software to find a library of extra-vivid videos — no subscription services or dedicated media devices required. There’s still going to be a relatively limited selection of clips given how new HDR is for YouTube as a whole, but it’s an important step for making the color-rich technology available to a wider audience… and, of course, it’s a good excuse to show off your new TV.
Source: Samsung Newsroom
‘Mr. Robot’ creator turns sci-fi legend ‘Metropolis’ into a series
Sam Esmail is apparently taking a very unusual strategy for his next big project beyond Mr. Robot: he’s tackling one of the earliest sci-fi epics. Hollywood Reporter sources say that Esmail is creating a miniseries based around Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film about a dystopic society. The show is still very early (Esmail may need to finish Mr. Robot before devoting his full attention), but partner Universal Cable Productions is apparently willing to give it a budget fitting Metropolis’ pioneering visuals. Reportedly, the company would be willing to spend a whopping $10 million per episode, and is willing to shop it around to numerous providers, including streaming services.
UCP isn’t commenting on the report. Metropolis would be an appropriate fit for Esmail, though. The movie’s premise revolves around a class struggle between elite industrialists and oppressed workers, with a technological twist — in a way, isn’t that Mr. Robot in a nutshell? The challenge is paying tribute to Fritz Lang’s iconic work while bringing it into an era when robots are no longer mysterious. Given Esmail’s recent track record, it’s promising… the main catch is the likely years-long wait to see the finished product.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Amazon’s new look for Fire TV is rolling out now
When Amazon started shipping its latest Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice controls built in, the company also mentioned that a refreshed look was on the way for its streaming devices. Well, Amazon tells TechCrunch that update is starting to roll out today. If you have a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you’ll soon notice that “cinematic experience” the company promised which includes more trailers and screenshots from movies and shows.
The biggest change is that the menu has been relocated from the left side of the screen and situated across the top. Another key tweak is that Amazon will show you a lot more options than just its own content, providing recommendations from other streaming services like HBO and Netflix. Of course, the online retailer will still push its original shows and movies up top. Speaking of Netflix, navigating through the library of apps and content on the Fire TV works similar to that streaming repository. You can browse what’s available by scrolling horizontally through the menus.
In addition to the new layout, Amazon is adding the ability for you to assign a PIN to access certain apps alongside parental controls. There are also accesibility improvements for users with hearing and visually impaired.
Netflix and Amazon secure 17 Golden Globe nominations
While Amazon and Netflix are now regular names during awards season, the Golden Globes helps provide a good benchmark for how the wider industry rates their output. For the 2017 Globes, TV honors are even, with both companies securing five nominations each. As for movies, Amazon drama Manchester by the Sea has a whopping five nominations.
Amazon paid $10 million for Manchester by the Sea, a Kenneth Lonergan drama that stars Casey Affleck as a handyman dealing with family woes, at Sundance and that investment seems to be paying off. It’s up for Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor, Best Performance by an Actor (Michelle Williams), Best Director and Best Screenplay. The Salesman also earned a nod in the foreign language film category.
Two of Amazon’s most successful shows — Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle — received another couple of nominations in the Best TV series and Best actor in a TV series categories for comedy, courtesy of Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Tambor. Billy Bob Thornton is also in the running for Best actor in a TV series for his role as Billy McBride in legal drama Goliath.
Netflix, which has relied on mainstays like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black in the past, could see some its newer shows getting the recognition they deserve. Sci-fi hit Stranger Things and royal drama The Crown are in the running for best drama TV series, with Winona Ryder and Claire Foy receiving nominations for best actress. John Lithgow was also picked as one of the five “best supporting actors in a series, limited series or TV movie.” As for movies, Netflix picked up a lone nomination for Divines.
Last year, Netflix trumped Amazon in the nomination stakes, but it was Amazon that prevailed on award night, taking home two Golden Globes for Mozart in the Jungle. Transparent and Mozart are up against Atlanta, Veep and Black-ish this year, but the retailer-cum-streaming-giant will fancy its chances in those categories due to sheer strength of numbers. We’ll have to wait a month to find out who wins and who doesn’t, however, as the ceremony airs January 8th on NBC.
Source: Golden Globes
Apple releases iOS 10.2 and its companion TV app
Apple is making good on its promise of giving you a unified video streaming experience. The company has released iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, both of which include the company’s centerpiece TV app. So long as a given service supports the feature, you no longer have to jump into and out of apps to catch up on your viewing — you can resume your favorite show or check out recommendations from a single place. Netflix isn’t included in TV at the moment, alas, but this and the recently launched single sign-on should save you a lot of hassle.
The iOS update isn’t just a one-trick pony, of course. It includes a slew of new emoji, including a face palm, a gorilla (read: Harambe) and female equivalents for most job emoji. And of course, there are numerous subtler tweaks. You’ll see improved music controls with quicker access to your queue and shuffling, better stabilization and improved frame rates for Live Photos, a dedicated News app section for saved articles and notifications for smart home devices like smoke detectors and door sensors.
Combine these with general fixes (there’s a significant upgrade to Bluetooth performance, for example) and you’ll definitely want to upgrade — if just to see Apple fulfill one of its big end-of-year promises.
Google Search experiment asks users to rate movies and TV shows
Try looking up a movie on Google — if you notice a thumbs up and a thumbs down sign inside the movie’s info box, you’re among the few who has access to the tech titan’s new experimental feature. The big G has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it has begun testing out a way for users to rate films and TV shows right within search results. As you can see in the image below the fold, you can find either option above the usual IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings. There’s even a new “Google users” percentage right next to those two.
At the moment, it seems to only show up on the desktop version of Google search, so you may want to try going a Google search on a computer. One can only guess what other features the company cooks up based on this one, though. Google could start recommending movies and shows, or it could surface certain titles nearer the top of the results page, based on how you vote. We’ll know for sure if ever this experimental feature becomes a permanent one.
[Image Credit: Android Police]
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Operating System, Search Engine Land
Hulu is finally rolling out individual streaming profiles
Sharing a streaming service account is convenient, but it also runs the risk of jacking up your queued shows and movies or those important recommendations. To help keep your personal list in order, Hulu is rolling out profiles for its subscribers. The new feature will allow you to divide your account with up to six different profiles that display a personalized masthead, home page, recommendations and Watchlist. In other words, one person’s obsession with the likes of The Mindy Project won’t wreck suggested options for someone who’s more into shows like Designated Survivor.
When you create a new profile, Hulu will ask a series of questions to get a feel for what you like to watch. Based on your answers, the service will be able to show recommendations from the jump. For younger viewers, there’s a child-specific profile type that allows kids to browse the age-appropriate content on their own without the risk of picking something that they shouldn’t be watching.
If this all sounds familiar, Netflix has offered individual profiles since 2013. The tool works similarly with that streaming service, keeping members of the same household separate in terms of viewing habits. Netflix also has a kid-friendly option that only surfaces selections from its library of children’s shows and movies.
Hulu’s new profiles will be rolling out to smart TVs and other streaming devices “over the next couple of weeks.” However, if you stream via the web, you can create profiles now by accessing your account right here.
Netflix gives ‘Luke Cage’ a second season
Marvel must be feeling glad that it bet on a slew of internet-only superhero shows — Netflix has confirmed that it’s renewing Luke Cage for a second season. There’s no mention of a date for the new episodes (the teaser’s “always forward” is a nod to Pop’s motto), but the mere mention of more Cage is likely enough for now.
It’s surprising that the news didn’t come sooner, if we’re honest. The gritty series has been well-received by both critics and fans, and there was even a temptation to pin an outage on the show’s debut (though it wasn’t likely the cause). The big question: will Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders carry the torch as well as Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones have so far? The track record suggests yes, but there will always be concerns that the hot streak might end due to either a flop or viewers tired of non-stop Marvel programming.
Always forward. #LukeCage pic.twitter.com/4pnu52KFKr
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) December 4, 2016
Source: Luke Cage (Twitter)
NFL loosens its policies on teams posting GIFs and videos
The NFL’s current rules social media posts have been rather draconian, even after a recent rethink. Football teams couldn’t post any video during the game window until the NFL made a sanctioned clip available on its servers, and they couldn’t create any GIFs during game time. They couldn’t post more than 8 clips on game day, either. However, the league appears to be changing its mind. Yahoo Finance has obtained a memo revealing that the NFL has once again loosened its policies. Teams can now post non-highlight GIFs and videos (that is, no on-the-field action) on their own, right up to a newly expanded 16-video cap. If they want to celebrate fans or the halftime show, they don’t have to wait for the NFL to act first.
That’s just the start. Teams can post five clips to Snapchat during a game, and stream three non-game day press conferences on Facebook Live. The memo also reveals a “test agreement” that will have Giphy serve as a source of “ancillary game and historical/iconic” GIFs. You won’t visit Giphy to relive an epic touchdown from the weekend, but you won’t have to search the whole web just to find a classic moment. The dry run lasts until June 2017.
A spokesperson confirmed the move to Yahoo and noted that it was a response to “feedback” from teams.
As you’ve probably gathered, the NFL isn’t exactly flinging the doors wide open. It’s still barring anything that might give you a reason to skip those oh-so-lucrative TV broadcasts and official live streams. All the same, it’s clear that the league is acknowledging reality — it can’t pretend that it’s always as quick to react as the teams themselves, or that it can downplay services like Snapchat in the modern era. If it’s going to drive interest in football, it has to capture the moment-to-moment thrills wherever viewers happen to be.
Source: Yahoo Finance