Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

Apple Sports is a new free app for iPhones that delivers real-time scores, stats and more via a GUI designed by Apple. Available to download from the App Store in the U.S., Canada and UK, the app currently tracks Major League Soccer, Premier League soccer, the National Basketball Association, men’s and women’s NCAA basketball, and the National Hockey League, among others. More sports will be added over time, Apple said, mentioning Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The concept is designed to keep fans continuously connected to their favorite teams while driving Apple TV tune-in. Continue reading Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

YouTube TV Expands NBA League Pass Choices in Multiview

To the appreciation, if not delight, of sports fans, Google is allowing YouTube TV subscribers to exercise more choice in what games to watch in their multiview windows. YouTube TV offers the option of watching up to four different sporting or news events simultaneously on a single screen. However, it doesn’t allow endless free choice, but presents combination options. Users complained and Google responded by serving up more multiview combinations to choose from, but stopped short of generating customizable multiplex streaming feeds for each user. Continue reading YouTube TV Expands NBA League Pass Choices in Multiview

Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Amazon this week began serving advertising to Prime Video customers who did not elect to pay an additional $2.99 per month in addition to the basic annual Prime membership of $139 per year or $14.99 per month. Adding commercials is estimated to potentially bring in more than $3 billion a year for Amazon, which is expected to have 2023 revenue of around $567 billion. The surplus will come in handy to pay out $1 billion a year over 11 years for the rights to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.” The ad-supported Prime Video service launches in the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany, with Mexico, France, Italy, Spain and Australia following later in the year. Continue reading Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Xumo, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter Communications, has begun rolling out its Xumo Stream Box to Charter’s Spectrum customers, with plans to bring it to Comcast’s Xfinity homes soon. The Xumo Stream Box is powered by Comcast’s Entertainment Operating System (EOS), designed to simplify the process of finding content, regardless of where it resides. “Xumo is streaming simplified, bringing a live TV experience together with all the top apps,” Charter President of Product and Technology Rich DiGeronimo said of the new device. Xumo Stream Box can be used to find, discover and select content on-demand using voice control. Continue reading Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Netflix Beta Tests Its Game Streaming on TVs and Computers

Netflix continues to expand its game ecosystem. The company released a TV game controller for iOS devices earlier this month and has just begun beta testing its game streaming on TVs in Canada and the UK, with plans to begin tests for computer play in the coming weeks. Participating in the tests are partner devices including Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, and Walmart Onn, with plans for more manufacturers to be added on an ongoing basis. Continue reading Netflix Beta Tests Its Game Streaming on TVs and Computers

LG Smart Cam Provides HD Interactivity for Users of LG TVs

LG Electronics is introducing the LG Smart Cam, a Full HD video camera with built-in dual microphones and multi-view function. The LG Smart Cam is a 1080p camera system designed to seamlessly operate with any LG smart TV running webOS 22 or webOS 23, the company’s proprietary platform. Among the features of the model VC23GA Smart Cam are webOS’s multi-view, which displays two apps in a split-screen, and videoconferencing using LG’s web-based RemoteMeeting app. LG is also touting Smart Cam as a next-generation home fitness experience. Continue reading LG Smart Cam Provides HD Interactivity for Users of LG TVs

WWDC: Apple Surprises with Product and Software Reveals

Day one of Apple’s WWDC 2023 conference from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino was about much more than the anticipated Vision Pro mixed reality headset. The company introduced a powerhouse Mac Pro with Ultra M2, starting at $6,999, and upgraded Mac Studio desktops with M2 Max or M2 Ultra chips. The macOS Sonoma desktop operating system was among the reveals, along with the new 15-inch MacBook Air. Apple took the wraps off iOS 17 and announced that FaceTime and videoconferencing are coming to Apple TV in 4K with tvOS 17. The company’s watchOS 10 rounded out the new product and software highlights. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Surprises with Product and Software Reveals

Telly Offers Free Smart TVs Featuring Ads on Second Screen

Telly, the TV hardware startup led by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, is shaking up industry business models by offering 500,000 smart TVs free to consumers willing to watch 24/7 ads on a split screen with streaming TV shows and movies. The ad-subsidized sets feature a dual-screen that includes a 55-inch 4K HDR display with a nine-inch “smart screen” mounted beneath. The smaller screen is where the ads will appear, running alongside feeds featuring information such as weather, stock reports, and sports scores. Powered by TellyOS, the sets also have a built-in five-driver soundbar. Continue reading Telly Offers Free Smart TVs Featuring Ads on Second Screen

Dish Network’s Sling TV Is Reimagined as ‘Sling Freestream’

The Dish Network’s Internet-streaming division Sling TV is being rebranded as Sling Freestream, offering free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) and free, ad-supported VOD in attempt to better connect with consumers who don’t want to pay monthly subscription fees. Although the Sling live TV service was already free, the move sees it doubling down in the sector by expanding from 150 to 210 free channels with 41,000-plus on-demand titles. Sling Freestream users will also be able to subscribe to 50-plus standalone streaming services, including Showtime, Discovery+, MGM+ and AMC+. Continue reading Dish Network’s Sling TV Is Reimagined as ‘Sling Freestream’

Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

Cinedigm, a streaming firm that debuted its Cineverse platform this summer, is introducing the ability to rent fresh theatrical films via a partnership with ROW8, a subscription-free cinema OTT service launched in 2018. Cinedigm says the partnership allows it to market content on Cineverse that’s “still in theaters” via TVOD (transactional video on-demand). The agreement is reciprocal, with ROW8 able to offer Cinedigm’s own upcoming theatrical releases to Android and iOS, Apple TV, Google TV, Roku players, Vizio and other mobile devices. Cinedigm claims to be platform agnostic. Continue reading Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

Warner Bros. Discovery Adds Nearly 3 Million DTC Subs in Q3

Warner Bros. Discovery saw streaming subscriptions grow to almost 95 million globally in Q3 across HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+, propelled largely by “House of the Dragon,” the hotly anticipated “Game of Thrones” prequel. The buoyant performance prompted WBD CEO David Zaslav to announce on the earnings call that the company has accelerated the U.S. launch for the new streaming platform that combines HBO Max and Discovery+ to spring, rather than waiting until summer 2023 as originally planned. The growth translates to 2.8 million HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+ subscriptions added from Q2 to Q3 — 500,000 of them domestically. Continue reading Warner Bros. Discovery Adds Nearly 3 Million DTC Subs in Q3

Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Despite speculation that Apple will debut a realityOS (rOS) headset next year, CEO Tim Cook says the metaverse is not yet ready for prime time, telling a European publication he’s “really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.” On a continental excursion that included a commencement address at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, Cook appeared bullish on augmented reality, while downplaying virtual reality, the technology around which Meta Platforms is building its future. “I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook told the magazine Bright. Continue reading Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Free streaming media service Plex is testing a new community-oriented feature called Discover Together that lets users add friends and keep tabs on their favorite programs, viewing their ratings and bookmarks. In addition to enhancing engagement by prompting online discussions, Plex hopes the crowd-sourced community data can eventually help power its recommendation engine. The idea is for Discover Together to launch with a high degree of privacy, inviting users to fill out Plex profiles with their geographic location and Plex Pass status, extending individual friend invites using a Plex username or email. The feature is currently in beta for web, iOS and Android users. Continue reading Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Amazon is rolling out a redesigned Prime Video app for Android and connected living room devices, including Fire TV for customers worldwide, with iOS and web to follow. The company says the new interface will make discovery and navigation much easier. Among the visual enhancements are a Top 10 Chart showcasing trending Prime Video content and “Super Carousel” displays with “poster-style artwork” for Amazon Originals. Also emphasized is graphical distinction between content included with Prime memberships versus that which is available for general purchase. Continue reading Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Weak and repeated passwords are a huge vulnerability when it comes to navigating one’s digital life, and it appears 2022 is the year online companies will make a concerted effort to navigate users away from passwords altogether. At the WWDC 2022 developer conference last week, Apple announced passwordless logins across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. Later this year, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura users will be invited to log into apps and websites using passkeys. Once a passkey is set up for an app or site, it gets stored on the device used to activate it. Tech giants Google and Microsoft are also backing the passkey protocol. Continue reading Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys