Hold onto your hat, pardners. The legal shoot-out between upstart Aereo and the TV industry has flared up out west; the outcome will determine if streaming TV (legal in New York but not California) will be allowed in six more states. Read more »
PlayKids TV just got a lot new content for the preschool crowd, and the makers of the iPad app want to lure in parents frustrated about Netflix not working on a plane. Read more »
After getting itself acquired by Japan’s Rakuten, Viki is now looking to brand and eventually personalize content discovery. Read more »
People are watching TV show episodes later and later. Is the sheer number of good shows on TV these days to blame, or do we want to binge on everything? Read more »
Execs are talking about measuring tweet volume and the reach of those tweets, but isn’t the real value in figuring out what people think? It’s not worth touting that 200,000 people tweeted and 4 million people saw those tweets if the overall sentiment is that the show sucks. But given the history of shows such as “Arrested Development,” 20,000 of the right people tweeting about how great something is might be worth noting even if ratings aren’t high.
Simple.tv wants to get videos from its networked DVR onto more screens, which is why the startup is now embracing Chromecast and DLNA. Read more »
Facebook announced last week that it’s going to provide U.S. TV networks with weekly data reports on user activity — including “likes,” comments and shares — around their TV shows. And now it looks as if international networks will benefit as well: The Wall Street Journal‘s Digits blog reports that the social networking site will send data to “10 networks in eight countries, including France, the U.K., Germany, Brazil and India.” Facebook plans to announce the initiative Monday. Eighty-three percent of the social network’s users live outside the U.S. and Canada.
Fall TV means more stuff to watch, and keep track of. These apps can help you master your fall TV schedule. Read more »
Activist investor Barry Rosenstein has bought a 14.5 percent share in Outerwall, the parent company of Redbox, for around $204 million, reports Forbes. Rosenstein, who made the investment through his Jana Partners outlet, believes Outerwall to be undervalued, declaring in an SEC statement that options include cost cutting as well as “pursuing a sale, selling and/or discontinuing businesses.” Outerwall not only competes with Netflix through its Redbox DVD kiosks, but also through Redbox Instant, a subscription streaming service the company jointly launched with Verizon.
Can you tell me how to get to…the Sesame Street app: Close to half of Sesame Workshop’s audience now uses touchscreen devices. Read more »
CBS is expanding the full episodes that are available for viewing through its smartphone and tablet apps: The network will make all new episodes of fall primetime shows available on the app eight days after they air on TV. Read more »
TiVo recently launched three new devices that promise closer integration of streaming services and personal recordings. Check out our video review of the TiVo Roamio. Read more »
Amazon’s long-rumored TV set-top-box may finally see the light of day this holiday season. Read more »
Mixbit, the new video service from YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, released an Android app Thursday that aims to help users record, edit and mix videos on their handset. Mixbit is a bit like Vine meets mashups, allowing users to combine up to 256 single clips, which can be as short as one second, within a single mix. The Android app follows the release of the Mixbit iOS and web apps two months ago.
If you’re not going to buy a Samsung TV, the company wants to at least sell you a Samsung media server. That’s what the new $299 HomeSync is and like other recent Samsung products, works best with Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Read more »
The Netflix iOS app rolled out two key updates Thursday: The app now supports Air Play, so you can stream from your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV. And the app will stream in HD if you have a fast enough internet connection. If you’re not seeing these features yet despite upgrading your app, Netflix says to be patient: they’ll roll out “to all members who have the latest Netflix app (version 5.0) by mid-October.”
Looking to play local files with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick? Soon, Plex may be able to help you. Read more »
Good news for Hulu Plus subscribers hit the airwaves on Wednesday: Google announced support for Hulu Plus on its $35 Chromecast device. Instead of watching video content from the online provider on an Android smartphone, tablet or Apple iPad, folks can shoot Hulu Plus to an HDTV.
To get the new wireless streaming function, users will need to upgrade their Hulu Plus mobile app to the latest version, which now includes a one-touch Chromecast button to enable streaming. As with other Chromecast streaming services, Hulu Plus will actually shoot video from the cloud to the Chromecast, but the smartphone or tablet used to start the stream can act as a remote control for playback.
Here’s another clue about Apple’s plans for the TV space: The company just hired CableLabs executive Jean-François Mulé to work on “something big,” according to a MultiChannel News report. CableLabs is a R&D joint-venture run collectively by the biggest cable operators that has brought us exciting things like the DOCSIS standard. Apple hasn’t revealed what it is working on yet, but Mulé’s hiring supports rumors that the company is looking to develop a kind of next-generation cable box.
Apple may one day make a full-blown TV set, but contrary to earlier rumors, German TV maker Loewe will likely not be associated with it. Read more »
YouTube is launching its own music awards show, and Vevo is going live in Germany. Both announcements came on the same night, and both don’t mention the other long-time partner with a single word. That’s not a coincidence. Read more »
Soundrop, the Spotify app turned collaborative listening platform, has secured another $3.4 million in funding from Northzone and Investinor. Soundrop offers Spotify users listening rooms that can best be described as a mix of Turntable.fm and Reddit. The Norwegian startup was the first maker of a Spotify app to receive funding back in June of 2012, and has since launched listening rooms on Facebook and the web as well.
MSN TV is no more: The internet TV pioneer, which launched all the way back in 1996, shut down Monday. Read more »
What happens when one of the most talked-about shows on television airs its final episode? For one thing, a lot of piracy. Read more »
Facebook is going to start sending TV networks weekly reports on activity around their shows. The move is partly an attempt to compete with Twitter, which is making TV a big part of its IPO strategy. Read more »
Disney advertises the Second Screen Live experience as a rebellion: “Break the rules — bring your iPad to the movies!” But it’s less a trip to the movies and more a fully interactive experience. Read more »
How stealthy radio technology developed for the armed forces is helping consumers to get rid of their expensive cable bill. Read more »
Wuaki.tv wants to compete with Netflix, Lovefilm and others for British eyes — but Netflix says it’s happy with its growth in the U.K., despite all the competition. Read more »
Intel may be ready to partner with Samsung or Amazon to get its TV service off the ground, but it’s unclear how exactly such a partnership would look. Read more »
Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, talked about the challenges facing the newspaper business in a recent presentation in Italy, and showed that he understands those challenges better than most media executives. Read more »
Netflix has started to serve higher bitrate HD streams to all of its subscribers, but issues around peering and local content caching are far from resolved. Read more »
Stephen Colbert thinks that YouTube comments are the freest form of speech, and he urged his viewers to challenge YouTube’s new comment filters. Read more »
TV maker Vizio noticed something interesting earlier this year: During some weeks, people were streaming more media than watching regular TV. Read more »
Hulu has long insisted that it is less like Netflix and more like cable, giving viewers the option to watch current shows, but also showing them ads, even if they pay for the company’s Hulu Plus subscription service. But the company may be introducing an ad-free tier in the future: Hulu’s interim CEO Andy Forssell said at a Goldman Sachs conference this week that Hulu may give viewers an option to pay more for an ad-free experience, according to a Variety report. How much more are we talking? According to the report, Hulu generates about $7 of ad revenue for every Hulu PLus subscriber.
Just because it’s on the web, and just because it’s a video game adaptation, doesn’t mean that the second season of the Machinima-distributed, Warner Bros-produced series can’t reach for a higher level of production. Read more »
Hopster combines TV show episodes with interactive games to create an experience that goes beyond just watching episode after episode after episode. Read more »
The popular open source video player app VLC got a significant update Wednesday: VLC 2.1 features support for 4K video, completely revamped audio playback and video hardware decoding, which should make video playback especially on mobile devices a lot smoother. Speaking of which: The new version also comes with new apps for OS X and Android, as well as a partial Windows 8 and WinRT port for all those folks out there who don’t know what else to do with their Surface RT.
Netflix CFO David Wells has some interesting advice for HBO: Become more like us, and you could be twice as big. Read more »
Toothpaste, back-to-school supplies and… movie downloads? Target just launched its very own digital video store. Read more »
Do a growing number of “cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers” mean the TV business is about to be battered like other traditional industries? Media investor Terry Kawaja doesn’t think so. Here’s why. Read more »