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 »
Mediacom, a U.S. cable company, has turned to Qwilt, a three-year-old startup to solve its over-the-top video woes. Qwilt thinks it can cut costs and solve the business problems of delivering online video. Read more »
Amazon is making some Prime Instant Video content available for download, so viewers can watch it without an internet connection. It’s not available for every video in the Prime catalog, but it’s still an intriguing option that Netflix and Hulu don’t offer. Read more »
Roku’s got some new hardware just in time for the holiday season. The features don’t surprise, but the refresh might nonetheless help to sell some extra boxes. Read more »
RealNetworks wants to help consumers to share videos they’ve shot on their phones – and it won’t even nag them to install RealPlayer. Read more »
Popular Science magazine says it is shutting down comments because they are “bad for science,” but what’s really bad for science is closing off a potential avenue for informed debate around the topics the site is writing about. Read more »
YouTube is cleaning up its comment section with advanced moderation features and a closer integration of Google+. Read more »
Twitter is engaged in a full-on love affair with your television set, because it sees that as the road to advertising wealth — but will the changes the service has to make become its salvation or its ruin? Read more »
US-based news junkies can once again access reports produced by Quatar-based Al Jazeera English online after the network stopped blocking access to its YouTube videos from within the US Tuesday. Al Jazeera started to lock out U.S. viewers from its online videos when it launched its new cable channel Al Jazeera America back in August due to contractual obligations. Its contracts with cable operators also forced the network to block its live stream in the US, which remained inaccessible Tuesday. It’s unclear what exactly changed with regards to its YouTube videos, but Al Jazeera English staff celebrated the move online:
Great news. Al Jazeera English video clips are no longer geo-blocked in the US. The last 7 years of all our hard work is back online!—
Cath Turner (@ajecathturner) September 24, 2013
AT&T is using old MediaFLO spectrum it bought off of Qualcomm to create a broadcast service. The mobile industry has had little success with multicast video in the past, but it has high hopes for LTE-Broadcast. Read more »
Apple has resumed its AppleTV update on Tuesday, says 9to5Mac, after it pulled the software over the weekend amid reports of problems. Whatever the issue was appears to be fixed and version 6.0 of the software is now flowing to devices. The update includes support for iTunes Music, AirPlay from the cloud and more.
I was one of those that unsuccessfully tried to update an AppleTV over the weekend. Why did I jump on the software right away? iTunes Music was the key reason for me: I find the service to be quite good, even compared to Google Play Music All Access, which I won’t be subscribing to any longer.
Prepare for the next TV blackout: Dish and Disney are currently in negotiations about their next deal, and the Hollywood Reporter is reminding us that their deadline coming up at the end of the month. After that, blackouts are possible. But could Dish go nuclear and drop Disney’s ESPN network? Most people don’t think so, but Dish boss Charlie Ergen recently said that it may be time to take that step.
94 hours of South Park might not be your cup of tea, but the live-stream of the complete series to date will make you appreciate the show’s 17 years on the air. Read more »
How do cultural ideas spread across the world, and why are people in some countries into similar things? A new MIT project looks at YouTube to find answers. Read more »
You can open your eyes again: Tweets about Breaking Bad are now automatically filtered out, thanks to Spoilerfoiler.com. Read more »
Your Twitter feed will soon contain clips from CSI or 60 Minutes thanks to the company’s new partnership with CBS. For Twitter, this represents a doubling down on its big bet to pull major money in from TV. Read more »