Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

NBCUniversal has launched a free Roku app that offers television viewers access to day-after-air full high definition episodes and highlights of their favorite NBC shows, including new fall series such as “Blindspot,” “Heroes Reborn” and “The Player.” While no provider login is required for select new series, authentication will be needed for access to returning NBC shows and older content. The network also plans to make late night programming — including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” — available as full episodes and as clips. Continue reading Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

Fan-Built Virtual Reality Starship Has Trekkies Wanting More

Sci-fi fans and others have tried before to recreate the Enterprise-D starship from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in virtual reality. Although some of these VR experiences have been impressive, another one has just arrived on the scene that stands far above the rest, say some VR enthusiasts. The Enterprise Construction Project is spearheaded by a 3D artist identified only as Jason, whose obsession is to create a VR version of the entirety of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D and all its 42 decks. Continue reading Fan-Built Virtual Reality Starship Has Trekkies Wanting More

Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps. Continue reading Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

As hotels in the U.S. continue to offer faster Internet connections, an increasing number of guests are more inclined to stream video content via popular services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu than opt for in-house video-on-demand. As a result, hotels are beginning to experience a significant decline in VOD use. Some have recently cut their adult-themed VOD content, and may eventually do the same with other on-demand offerings. However, this may not be the end of video-on-demand in hotels if providers make their services more competitive. Continue reading Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

Facial Monitoring Software Could Impact Your TV Experience

TV technology is getting closer to monitoring and analyzing our facial expressions in order to distinguish between boredom and enthusiasm to better understand our viewing tastes. Software from media startup Affectiva could usher in a new frontier in television viewing, one in which our devices watch our reactions and offer content suggestions or enable brands to provide more targeted ads. If consumers are willing to allow their emotional data to be gathered, movie and TV show recommendations from Netflix, for example, could become more relevant. Continue reading Facial Monitoring Software Could Impact Your TV Experience

Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

One year after the disappointing release of its Fire smartphone, Amazon is introducing a line of low-cost devices including a new tablet and smart TV plug-ins. The Seattle-based company debuted seven new products yesterday that are slated for release by this year’s holiday season. Among the announcements: a 7-inch Fire tablet with front- and rear-facing cameras that will run for less than $50, an updated $100 Fire TV set-top box that now supports 4K, and a Fire TV stick with voice-activated wand that turns your TV into a cloud-based personal assistant. Continue reading Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

Fullscreen Planning SVOD Service to Target Youth Audiences

YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen plans to roll out a subscription video service that will feature original and licensed programming including series, documentaries and feature length movies. While pricing and other specifics have yet to be released, the SVOD service is expected to launch in the next few months. “We think there’s an underserved audience out there,” said Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit. “We want to create a premium video environment where the best work can be made by Fullscreen and other studios.” Continue reading Fullscreen Planning SVOD Service to Target Youth Audiences

Plex and VLC Streaming Media Apps Are Coming to Apple TV

Analysts seem to agree that the most promising aspect of the recently unveiled fourth-generation Apple TV is its App Store. A wave of compelling apps could easily generate more interest in the device. Plex, for example, which works with Chromecast and Fire TV as a tool for organizing personal media libraries, and has long been sought after by Apple TV users, is planning an app for the new Apple TV. Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski has confirmed plans for a new app as the team awaits the tvOS developer beta. Meanwhile, a tvOS version of the cross-platform VLC media player is also being planned. Continue reading Plex and VLC Streaming Media Apps Are Coming to Apple TV

Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

In the wake of pay TV subscriber losses and a falloff in content stocks, industry news has recently focused on the impact of the Internet, mobile apps and streaming services on traditional television. Disney chief operating officer Tom Staggs, who most analysts believe will be the successor to CEO Bob Iger, defended the future of ESPN and the programming bundle at an industry conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Staggs also suggested that Wall Street had overreacted to recent changes in the business and should not be so quick to dismiss the current model. Continue reading Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

Research Points to Internet Impacting TV Ratings, Ad Revenue

According to new figures released by Moffett Nathanson Research, the growth of online ads will have a significant impact on traditional television and other media. Analyst Michael Nathanson predicts that ad spending on TV will decrease by 3 percent annually through 2020. He also forecasts that online advertising, led by tech giants Google and Facebook, will increase annually by 12 percent over the next five years and exceed spending for TV ads by 2017. The forecast comes as cable TV ratings are down 9 percent and 566,000 cable and satellite subscribers canceled their service during Q2. Continue reading Research Points to Internet Impacting TV Ratings, Ad Revenue

Why Action Sports Dominate Mobile Viewing Time of Millennials

The National Football League is starting its own YouTube channel and Major League Baseball, which began streaming games online 13 years ago, bought the rights to manage the National Hockey League’s Web operations. But action sports — including surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding — rule millennials’ viewing time on their mobile phones. Although Americans are still watching less video on mobile phones than traditional TV, action sports on mobile channels is a parallel universe of sports viewing and is likely to remain so. Continue reading Why Action Sports Dominate Mobile Viewing Time of Millennials

Live Sports Are Generating More Opportunities for Online Ads

Brands want a way to connect to viewers who peruse laptops and smartphones while watching major sporting events. Major digital players such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are looking for ways to monetize increased online activity during those same events. It’s a match made in heaven, and it’s going live just as the National Football League season begins. Google plans on offering ads to be placed alongside football-related search results, but the company isn’t alone in making plans to capture advertising dollars. Continue reading Live Sports Are Generating More Opportunities for Online Ads

Half of U.S. Homes with Internet Have Connected TV Devices

NPD Group reports that “connected TV devices” were in 46 million U.S. homes at the end of Q2 2015. That figure represents about half of all U.S. homes with an Internet connection. NPD defines “connected TV device” as one that connects to the Internet and allows the user to access apps (including connected devices such as smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players and Blu-ray Disc players). According to NPD executive director John Buffone, the 4 million year-over-year jump is attributable to increased sales of smart TVs and a surge of streaming services. Continue reading Half of U.S. Homes with Internet Have Connected TV Devices

TV Everywhere: Scripps Offers Live Streams of Cable Channels

Scripps Networks Interactive has partnered with TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato to offer viewers new live streams of the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel online and via mobile devices. In addition to streaming Scripps programming, Anvato is powering dynamic ad insertion (DAI) on network websites and the Android and iOS apps for Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel. According to Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Anvato, DAI is becoming more popular as producers look to monetize their digital services. Continue reading TV Everywhere: Scripps Offers Live Streams of Cable Channels

IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

As 4K UHD TVs slowly come to market, and streaming services continue to introduce support for 4K and high dynamic range programming, Ultra HD Blu-ray is the next logical step. During its press conference at the IFA trade show in Berlin yesterday, Samsung became the first company to officially announce a 4K UHD Blu-ray player. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 supports HDR, offers 64 times the colors of standard Blu-ray, and plays UHD content at up to 60 frames per second. 20th Century Fox is providing content for the player, and plans to issue all its new releases in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Continue reading IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

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