Archives For Video

Word on the street is that Apple TV will gain Siri-powered “universal” search with a rumored new $149 model being unveiled next week. Which would be quite curious if they also deliver a more open app platform as, suddenly, Apple iTunes video could compete directly against the likes of Amazon and Vudu. Presumably, should both come to pass, Apple would be content to take a cut of app sales (as seen on mobile) to offset the video losses.


Of course, others like Roku and Fire TV, have long featured universal search, with TiVo leading the pack — as both live and upcoming television programming are indexed, along with the ability to create a OnePass playlist from disparate sources. Apple’s search functionality would gain additional utility should their rumored streaming TV service launch… with live programming and hopefully an on demand library.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  August 18, 2015

All the news that’s fit to click…

Another day, another interesting trademark to mull over. And like TiVo Bolt, we don’t have much to go on here with Echostar AirTV.

Computer hardware and software for streaming audio and video content to a variety of network devices, namely, personal computers, mobile phones, tablet computers and stand-alone hardware decoders

So it sounds a lot like Miracast screensharing, versus Chromecast beam and control. Could this be something offered by sister company DISH Network or might there be some interplay here with Echostar’s very own Sling Media Slinbox group? Hm.


While I’ve been a fan of Showtime, often preferring their original content to HBO’s, my primary ding against the Showtime Anytime streaming service has been stereo sound. With the launch of Showtime’s new Internet streaming service this week, that does not require a cable subscription, I reached out to Showtime’s PR team. And the good new is that 5.1 surround sounds it coming to these services “very soon”. I expect this will apply to both native Apple TV and Roku Showtime apps, but the fascinating Hulu Showtime linkage remains a question for me given Hulu’s own auditory limitations.


In addition to shortly launching a stand-alone service, akin to HBO NOW, Showtime has entered into an fascinating partnership with Hulu.

This July, Hulu brings you a new way to get SHOWTIME. Get up to 30 days free of SHOWTIME with a Hulu subscription and see what you’ve been missing! After your trial, you’ll get SHOWTIME for $8.99/month in addition to your $7.99/month Hulu subscription.

What makes this unique is a 20% Showtime streaming discount along with both on-demand and live content being accessed from within the Hulu interface. Beyond SHO’s willingness to give up some control, I wonder if this signals Hulu interest in Sling TV space — should we expect additional channel-like offerings?

Continue Reading…

Plex Hits TiVo Next Week

Dave Zatz —  May 24, 2015


By way of a TiVo media blast and discussions I’ve had with Plex representatives, we now know the rumors are true. Plex lands on TiVo Roamio, Premiere, and Mini hardware next week! And, fortunately, the Plex experience is not buried within the Opera TV Store, residing alongside Spotify and an also soon-to-be released iHeartRadio under Music & Photos. Although, in actuality, most folks will probably utilize the multi-talented Plex as a video player – reinforcing TiVo’s need to rethink how they present and we access apps.

Plex on TiVo is a custom built affair, similar in presentation to their other Smart TV apps and utilizing the Opera SDK. At launch, streaming will max out at 720p – but 1080p is on the roadmap. However, unlike most Plex “Smart TV” implementations and given their partnership with TiVo, a PlexPass subscription will not be required. Unsurprisingly, our Plex libraries will not commingle with TiVo’s unified search and OnePass that encompass both linear television and streaming apps like Netflix. All that remains to be seen is how well Plex performs. No, it probably won’t be as sprightly as Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but it could be good enough for Input 1. And a big boon as TiVo now courts cord cutters.


As promised back in January, Marriott has started deploying a suite of streaming applications to their Enseo set-tops and televisions… and Cord Cutters News has gone hands-on. Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus and Crackle are available at select higher-end Marriot properties and it’s believed the plan is to expand to more and more diverse properties. At the moment, there aren’t any television-specific fees but you’ll be required to use your own subscription with Netflix and Hulu Plus. Even should the lineups shift over time, this is a great option and sure beats trying to get a Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick working in the hotel (via WiFi Marriott once blocked). Or sadly “watching TV” via phone or tablet in bed, as I have on too many occasions. Two more interesting tidbits: Marriott’s Enseo TV remote has a dedicated Netflix button and supposedly the hotel will clear your credentials upon checkout.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 6, 2015


Comcast Announces new Xfinity remote with voice control
You don’t have to learn a new language or speak like a robot. Just press the blue button, say what you want to watch and it appears on screen. It’s easy, just like watching TV should be.

JetBlue to Offer Amazon Prime Members Free Wi-Fi to Stream Video
Amazon is taking to the skies in its battle with Netflix: The e-commerce giant announced a deal with JetBlue, under which Prime members will have free, unlimited access to in-flight Wi-Fi — fast enough to stream video right to their seats.

TiVo Survey Indicates Majority of OTA Cord Cutters Come From Satellite
TiVo Inc., a leader in monetizing over the air signals for operators, today released the findings of an in-depth survey of Over The Air (OTA) TV consumers revealing that a materially higher percentage of cord cutters are coming from former satellite TV service subscribers.

Cable companies want you to pay twice for On Demand with Hulu Plus deal
In another sign that operators are increasingly willing to bring over-the-top streaming services directly to their subscribers, Hulu has announced that it has reached agreements with five multichannel operators to offer Hulu’s subscription streaming service to their customers.