Archives For Video

As wireless data usage increases, T-Mobile has seemingly come up with a clever solution to satiate customers without saturating their network. “Binge On” will enable unlimited video streaming, from select providers like Netflix and WatchESPN, that doesn’t count against one’s cap. T-Mobile marketing states they’ve “optimized” the video … which some are reporting as 480p. On the go, on a small screen, that may be sufficient for most. I’d probably make that trade at the gym for treadmill Netflix, given the facility’s WiFi struggles and the potential to burn through my Verizon bucket.

From Fierce Wireless:

The reality is that Binge On will be imposed on all of T-Mobile’s customers starting Sunday, including the ones who have signed up for its unlimited data plans. Customers who don’t want the service will have to opt out of it. Yes, Binge On gives T-Mobile’s customers free streaming video, but it also reduces the resources T-Mobile needs to employ to deliver that video. It’s a smart move, but it’s not as altruistic as Legere might imply.

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Of course, there are two sides to every coin. And some will object to reduced video quality. Assuming they even know T-Mobile took the liberty of making that change on their behalf. Further, “zero rating” is something of a net neutrality issue. Continue Reading…

Apple TV – Did you buy one?

Dave Zatz —  October 30, 2015

The [new] Apple TV reviews are out. And it seems to be something of a mixed bag. No, Apple TV hasn’t redefined television here and there isn’t much that sets it apart from a Roku or Fire TV. However, the hardware and presentation seem much more polished than the competition – despite some notable inconsistencies (Siri). The lack of 4k isn’t necessarily a huge deal at this point … unless you consider Apple TV is 50-100% more expensive than Amazon’s $100 streamer, with 4k. The biggest initial ding is on the content front, as it’ll take some time for developers to retrofit their experiences (or create new ones) for the 10′ interface of tvOS. I’m sure I’ll pick an Apple TV up at some point. But probably not this month. You?

Didn’t I tell you Best Buy would be the place to get Amazon’s 4k Fire TV ahead of the official October 5th release? Whereas I’d assumed in-store inventory was ripe for abuse, it turns out the advantage was gained via online sales. Folks who’d pre-ordered had units shipped early on 9/30. And, as you can clearly see from the imagery below, they’ve started arriving. This slip-up isn’t on par with, say, iPhones arriving ahead of official reviews, but I can still appreciate as a gadget agent of chaos.

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Can’t wait until October 5th for your 4k Fire TV fix? Best Buy has already started lining shelves with Amazon’s new model, clocking in at the same $99 (and potentially cheaper than the incoming Roku 4). And while I didn’t partake (today), I’m far more interested in Amazon’s streamer knowing TiVo support is just around the corner.

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I assume many of us would prefer the HDMI dongle form factor in many situations. However, my experience with the Fire TV Stick wasn’t the greatest. Plus, beyond my Amazon-specific quirks, there’s really only so much you can cram into these sorts of gadgets before they melt and wireless reception will always be a concern. So, box it is — more power, more ports, and more clutter (unless you get tricky). Continue Reading…

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Plex Confirmed For New Apple TV. No Timeline, Probably No Universal Search.

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Unboxing the new Apple TV

Dave Zatz —  September 13, 2015

A third generation DISH Hopper just broke cover at the FCC. The second gen model won CES 2013 Best of Show by building upon automatic recording and commercial skip with newly integrated Slingbox capabilities. As to the incoming model, we don’t have much to go on as the juiciest parts of the filing are confidential. Given the previously announced 4k Joey DVR extender, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suspect the Hopper 3 might similarly include UHD capabilities – it’s all the rage these days.

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