CES: TCL Expands TV Lines, 98-Inch 4K QLED Model Is a Hit

Smart TVs were among the hottest products of CES. One set that seemed to generate raves all-around was TCL’s 98-inch 4K QLED with Dolby Vision HDR and Google TV. The unit features a built-in subwoofer, powerful Mini-LED backlight system and more than 2,300 dimming zones. During the show, TCL announced it was readying its first QD-OLED TV and committing to Samsung Display panels. However, the company later explained that a line in the “press release confirming plans to launch the brand’s first QD-OLED television this year was incorrectly included.” TCL, which said it will be “focused” on Mini-LED this year, showed a range of compelling TV tech. Continue reading CES: TCL Expands TV Lines, 98-Inch 4K QLED Model Is a Hit

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

New YouTube Shorts Feature Is Optimized for HDTV Screens

With research showing TVs are the biggest growth platform for YouTube Shorts, the streamer is rolling out its purpose-built player for HDTVs worldwide, starting this month. The YouTube Shorts on TV player will work with recent-model smart TVs, game consoles and streaming devices such as Roku and Google’s Chromecast. Users will now see a “Shorts shelf” on the homepage of their YouTube TV app, or the Shorts can be launched directly from a creator’s channel. YouTube Shorts are seen on about 1.5 billion mobile devices monthly, and this move is designed to increase views. Continue reading New YouTube Shorts Feature Is Optimized for HDTV Screens

Google Makes Family Link and Google TV More Child-Friendly

Google has redesigned its Family Link experience, launched five years ago to help keep children safe online. The most popular tools — screen time limits, blocking apps and content filters — are now easier to find, and there is a central place for viewing requests and notifications. A Controls tab has been added, enabling parents to set screen time limits for individual devices or specific apps, dial-in content restrictions and manage data permissions. With families in mind, Google is also adding new AI-powered features to Google TV, such as parent-controlled watchlists. Continue reading Google Makes Family Link and Google TV More Child-Friendly

Netflix Tops Q3 Forecasts as the Service Schedules Changes

Netflix beat Q3 expectations, adding more than 2.4 million subscribers, more than twice the StreetAccount projection. The majority of growth was generated in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for an additional 1.43 million paid accounts, while North America increased by 100,000. Improvements on the top and bottom lines sent Netflix shares surging more than 14 percent after Tuesday’s bell. Revenue was $7.93 billion, versus a $7.837 billion Refinitiv estimate. That was up almost 6 percent from Q3 2021, although the $1.4 billion in profit represents a 3 percent decrease from the same period last year. Meanwhile, Netflix will launch its ad-supported tier in two weeks and plans to start cracking down on account sharing in 2023. Continue reading Netflix Tops Q3 Forecasts as the Service Schedules Changes

Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Top European TV supplier Vestel has become the first OEM for Xperi’s new TiVo-branded TVOS. In addition to distributing TVs under its own imprimatur, the Turkish firm manufactures sets for Hitachi, JVC, Toshiba and Panasonic. Vestel will begin selling branded TVs with TiVo as the primary software OS in mid-2023, Xperi said. Smart set manufacturers have increasingly sought a portal approach that helps customers navigate among a dizzying array of individual content platforms while sidestepping the additional costs associated with interfaces from the likes of Amazon Fire, Roku, Google TV or Android TV. Continue reading Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

YouTube is laying the groundwork to bring its YouTube Shorts to Google TV and Android TV. While the company’s take on TikTok’s vertically framed, quick-hit content has been enormously successful — racking-up as many as 30 billion views in one day on mobile devices this year — there is as yet no dedicated TV support for the phone-first format. That’s about to change according to reports filtering out of an internal partner event. While the meeting centered on Alphabet’s own smart TV formats, as a content-provider YouTube’s past practices have tended to platform agnosticism. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Regional Sports Network NESN is launching a subscription streaming service called NESN 360 for $29.99 per month, with the first month priced at $1. NESN 360 allows fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content. Launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball, NESN 360 makes NESN the first regional sports network in the country to launch a direct-to-consumer service bypassing cable. Annual subscriptions are priced at $329.99 and include eight tickets to see the Red Sox play in 2022. Continue reading NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

Google TV is working on an app that will let users cast content from multiple streaming services to a central TV or display. A new “central casting” button announced at the Google I/O developer conference will later this year allow the Google TV app on Android phones or tablets to send content from a variety of different streaming services to your TV through a single app. The Alphabet unit also updated statistics for its Android TV ecosystem, detailing 110 million monthly active devices using the Android TV OS, which includes Google TV. That’s an increase from 2021’s 80 million monthly active devices. Continue reading Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

Google Rolls Out New Features, Updates for Android Mobile

Google is debuting a host of new features for its Android mobile phone interface. Reactions between iPhone and Android users will now appear as emoji in text messages. Videos will be experienced by all recipients in the same resolution as when sent through Google Photos links in a conversation, a feature the company says will soon be available for photos, too. The Portrait Blur now available to Pixel users and Google One members through Google Photos is expanded to work on pets, plants and food, and will soon be rolled out to Android users. Continue reading Google Rolls Out New Features, Updates for Android Mobile

Google TV Aims to Build Its Own Identity Among TV Platforms

Alphabet’s Google continues on a path of global dominance, announcing during CES 2022 earlier this month that the total number of monthly active Android TV devices has grown to 110 million in the world. Since May alone, 30 million devices were added, a growing number of them featuring the company’s new Google TV platform, with TCL reporting that it is moving about 10 million television sets a year with the Google TV interface. Seven of the world’s top 10 smart TV OEMs are currently using a Google UI on their TVs, according to Google TV director of product management Rob Caruso. Continue reading Google TV Aims to Build Its Own Identity Among TV Platforms

CES: TCL 8K QLED X925 Pro Comes in a Very Thin Package

TCL, the No. 2 TV-maker in the world after Samsung, raised the curtain on a new flagship model at CES 2022. The X925 Pro is a super-thin, 85-inch, 8K Google TV powered by the company’s own flavor of Mini-LED, featuring OD-Zero technology. Measuring just 10mm thick — half that of some competing models — the 8K display has local dimming, QLED color, a built-in webcam for video chats, 120Hz refresh rate and, to make gamers happy, variable refresh rate (VRR). The Google TV OS enables hands-free “Hey, Google” voice commands. The X925 Pro touts numerous high-end touches and has a $10,000 price to match. Continue reading CES: TCL 8K QLED X925 Pro Comes in a Very Thin Package

CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

Atmosphere — a startup that curates streamed video content for commercial venues including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Taco Bell and Texas Roadhouse restaurants, as well as gyms, spas, airports and other places people congregate — has entered into a deal with TikTok to offer clients a channel programmed with the popular app’s short-form clips. The offering will be distinct from TikTok TV, launched in November as the mobile app’s first dedicated foray onto television screens and now available via Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Google TV and other Android TV devices. Continue reading CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

YouTube TV, Google TV Ink Data Deals with Comscore, Parrot

YouTube, YouTube TV and Google TV inked new TV data agreements with Comscore and Parrot Analytics. Comscore said its cross-platform service Comscore Campaign Ratings will incorporate YouTube and YouTube TV measurement to provide data on those platforms across desktop, mobile and connected TV, to help advertisers and agencies “better understand co-viewing for YouTube and YouTube TV across OTT/CTV.” YouTube and Google TV also added Parrot Analytics’ global audience demand data and entertainment consulting services. Continue reading YouTube TV, Google TV Ink Data Deals with Comscore, Parrot

Google Reduces Developer Fees via Its Play Media Experience

Google has unveiled the Play Media Experience Program, offering app developers “additional discovery and engagement opportunities across devices” and a “service fee of 15 percent for all applicable earnings.” The company said the program is the global expansion of a previous invite-only program that it had never publicly revealed. Amazon and Apple apparently had similar programs that they’ve expanded, but Google’s program is distinct in that it asks developers to support Google TV, Wear OS, Android Auto and its other platforms. Continue reading Google Reduces Developer Fees via Its Play Media Experience