Info on unidentified digital media receiver has come across my desk. Could it be Amazon? Model CL1130, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth remote. Hm!
— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) March 11, 2014
Archives For Video
Along with the massive iOS 7.1 update, Apple TV also sees new software. And version 6.1 is significant given a rare UI enhancement that somewhat mirrors app management on Apple’s mobile devices. Highlighting a content provider, followed by holding the select button down will ultimately get the icon jiggling, at which point the play/pause button provides an option to banish the app from your home screen. While it’s a rather tedious exercise from remote, and only marginally better via the iOS Remote app, it sets the stage for better app management as Apple continues to bring on new partners … amidst rumors of a new Apple TV. For comparison, Roku hides “channels” in a “Store” that can be pinned while WDTV Play offers customizable genre screens/tabs for app management.
The extensive and expanded distribution agreement grants DISH rights to stream cleared linear and video-on-demand content from the ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2, as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.
Of course there’s no telling when DISH might launch a web television service and certainly others (Verizon, Sony) are pursuing similar. But this represents the first time a major content provider has indicated publicly that they’re willing to play ball. So the sea change begins.
You know Mohu, the Leaf antenna guys. Well, like Channel Master, they’re looking beyond the aerial and have cooked up an Android streamer paired with an OTA tuner. “Mohu Channels” may have launched as a Kickstarter campaign, but we suspect this is more marketing than fundraising. So those of us awaiting a Roku-esque device with over-the-air capabilities will have something to evaluate come summer.
The small, oblong device, with both Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g/n, runs Android with a custom guide skin, unifying television listings with our preferred web shortcuts and apps from the Goole Play store – similar to what Channel Master has done with DVR+ in listing Vudu as “channel” 200. There’s no mention of an EPG subscription fee and early bird pricing runs a modest $79 — pretty good when you consider that included universal RF/IR QWERTY remote with “air mouse” functionality. Unfortunately, we’re only talking a single tuner here and there’s no mention of potential DVR capabilities… although there is an unaccounted for USB port.
Via a most trusted Best Buy source (now on Twitter), comes a planogram of Best Buy’s May shelf reset… featuring the inevitable Amazon streamer and a possibly new Apple TV (reporting over 100 apps, without listing an existing SKU). Amazon details are amazingly light, with only the brand name and a tick in the WiFi box. But Amazon’s set-top or stick timing does line up nicely Recode’s intel. Won’t be long now…
The Wirecutter is out with a new piece on The Best Wireless IP Camera, having anointed the $200 Dropcam Pro as their top pick amongst the three cameras they put thru the paces. However, in this category, one size doesn’t fit all and the situation remains unsatisfying. We should start by saying that I’ve been fascinated with network video both as a tool and an entertainment medium since the days of the 3Com JenniCam… and I currently possess a number of devices, some photographed above (plus a dashcam), in addition to providing a variety of blog coverage (Logitech, VueZone, Archerfish). What you ultimately buy really depends on your objectives and selection is probably best determined via some sort of flow chart. Continue Reading…
By way of the FCC (and Brad Linder), we learn of a new player in the streaming space, the Blackloud PoChannel. With YouTube branding and DLNA promises, the Gemtek-produced device looks similar in size and playlist function to the upcoming Qplay TV Adapter… minus the TiVo founder’s social linkages. But unlike Qplay, while PoChannel will ship with both Android and iPhone apps, a traditional remote control will also be included for more traditional control. Yet the questions remain, what sets these guys apart and is the market already saturated (with imperfect products)?