Amidst noise of a second generation Chromecast and a curious Roku IPO, Amazon delivers on spring Techcrunch intel with the Fire TV Stick ($39). Beyond the known Fire TV lineup, Amazon looks to extend screen mirroring support beyond Kindle tablets to capable Android devices. Of course, we’re still awaiting HBO GO and an updated Netflix app and it’s yet to be seen how Plex will run on this diminutive USB-powered HDMI stick. But, at $19, for Amazon Prime members during promotional launch pricing, why not?
Archives For Video
More than a year after release, Google appears poised to refresh Chromecast (in addition to cranking away on the new Android TV platform). As to what’s improved, FCC filing details are scarce due to the typical 180 confidentiality request. Having said that, we anticipate this is a minor hardware revision given the incoming device sports the same model number as my original streaming+mirroring stick (tho the FCC ID increments from -42 to -2A) – perhaps representing a swapping of internal components for cost savings and/or performance gains. Continue Reading…
A periodic roundup of relevant news…
Google and Asus release first Android TV device for $99
The Nexus Player, which was announced in conjunction with the Nexus 6 phone, the Nexus 9 tablet and Android Lollipop on Wednesday, is being manufactured by Asus and will be available for pre-order starting October 17 and go on sale on November 3.
HBO’s Over-the-Top Service: Here’s What We Know
HBO has shaken up the media biz with its plan to launch a standalone over-the-top service next year, making the pay-TV titan the first major cable programmer to be marketed to consumers who do not pay for a traditional MVPD subscription.
PlayStation TV Launches, Sans Netflix
While Sony’s new paperback-sized device is primarily a gaming machine, it also serves as a media streamer with initial support for apps, including Sony’s Crackle video-on-demand service, anime app Crunchyroll and the music concert and documentary service, Quello.
Introducing InstaWatch from VUDU and Walmart
Exclusively from VUDU and Walmart, InstaWatch gives you a digital copy of every eligible DVD or Blu-ray that you buy at Walmart stores or on Walmart.com—automatically.
Plex app coming to select 2013/14 Vizio HDTVs
we’re happy to say that we can lend at least some of you a hand. We’re thrilled to announce our brand new Plex app for VIZIO Smart TVs, available today for Plex Pass subscribers! Once the Plex Pass preview period ends, the app will be available to purchase for a one-time fee
As expected, Amazon Instant streaming has gone 4k this month… via a number of award-winning blockbusters such as Vendetta and Time Runners. Michael S sent in a few snaps from his brand spanking new Vizio P Series (which I’m contemplating) and 4k video is designated via a small UHD banner in the upper left of the box. Although Michael tells us the label is inconsistently applied and I’m not certain if the content is natively 4k or if the video has been upscaled from 1080. Irrespective, the future is here… should any of these titles appeal and our bandwidth caps be sufficiently generous.
By way of several support notes, perhaps posted a bit early, we learn that Roku is set to unveil mobile device screen mirroring. It’s not clear if these are the Miracast capabilities originally predicted by GigaOm in 2013 or something entirely different, but we do know the feature is currently limited to Roku 3 and Roku Stick (HDMI) hardware and it’s suggested both the Android or Windows Phone streaming device and Roku reside on the same network for best performance. Beyond straight up screen mirroring, Firefox Video Casting is also revealed and is more Chromecast (DIAL) in presentation. Desktop mirroring is referenced too, but a mechanism to pass the content has yet to be described… also, noticeably absent is iOS. I expect we’ll learn more shortly! Continue Reading…
As GoPro introduced their new $400-500 Hero4 action cam, they also unveiled a camera for the rest of us. The new $130 Hero is waterproof, out-of-the-box, shoots 1080p, and is compatible with a wide variety of accessories… and will presumably help fill the vacuum left by Flip. Whereas the advanced feature set coupled with extreme pricing kept me out of prior Heroes, at this price point I can justify a purchase for the occasional vacation adventure. While storage and battery details remain elusive, we do know the GoPro Hero weights in at a mere 3.9 ounces and can be submerged to 40m. Stay tuned, as I’ll be picking one up as soon as it becomes available in October or November.
In conjunction with the A&E, History, and Lifetime Channel apps launching on Fire TV, A+E Networks hit us with an interesting infographic. And, while it’s far too large to run in its entirely, we’ve chopped up a portion above. Beyond the numbers, and without knowing how exactly they measure an Apple TV “download,” A+E elaborates:
On average, XBOX 360 users watch 292% more videos per user than Apple TV and 21% more than Roku. Roku users watch 224% more than Apple TV users.
Further, reinforcing data previously provided in regards to the Verizon FiOS Xbox app, A+E Networks report viewing peaks each evening about 10-11PM. And 88% of connections by those running “mobile” apps occur over WiFi versus cellular.