HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco yesterday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler indicated that the company has considered offering a standalone version of its HBO GO service. However, the prospect of offering broadband-only distribution will depend largely on demand, and only a small percentage of subscribers currently use HBO GO. The traditional model is still working for the premium channel, which reported subscriber gains of 2 million in 2013. Continue reading HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Video-streaming set-top box maker Roku is planning to launch its anticipated Streaming Stick with Wi-Fi remote next month for $49.99. The thumb-size media stick plugs into a television’s HDMI port and offers a similar interface available through the Roku set-top boxes with access to a host of online streaming services. A simple solution to make your TV smart, the Roku Streaming Stick will compete with the popular $35 smartphone-controlled Chromecast device from Google. Continue reading Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

At the Consumer Electronics Show next week, we expect to see a host of companies, large and small, offering backend cloud integration services. These range from the startup Active Video, with its signature HTML5-powered Cloud TV app, to the publicly-traded prime mover Akamai, offering its Terra enterprise solution. In recent months, we have reported significant cloud-related news from major players such as Amazon, Google, Oracle and Verizon. We anticipate this wave to continue in Las Vegas. Continue reading CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

Google Chromecast: 10 New Streaming Apps for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google announced on Tuesday that it is supporting 10 new apps for its $35 Chromecast media streaming dongle that plugs directly into a television’s HDMI slot. The new apps come from Avia, BeyondPod, Plex, PostTV, Red Bull.TV, RealPlayer Cloud, Revision 3, Songza, VEVO and Viki. Chromecast, which debuted in July, now has 17 apps available for streaming content. Users can select the video apps on a phone or tablet to view content on their TV. Continue reading Google Chromecast: 10 New Streaming Apps for the Holidays

Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

Google is rumored to be working on a set-top box that will run Android, play video games and stream from services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. The device, reportedly named “Nexus TV,” is said to be scheduled for launch in the first half of 2014 and may include a motion sensor that can be controlled with an Android smartphone. Earlier this fall, Google apparently showed developers an early version of the box, which won’t support live broadcast. Continue reading Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Time Warner Cable is marketing a stripped-down, low-cost bundle ($29.99 per month) that includes HBO and a limited number of broadcast TV channels. The new package is targeting viewers who are not interested in paying for a traditional tier of cable channels. The “Starter TV with HBO” package features about 20 channels including local broadcast networks. The special pricing is available for the first 12 months, but does not include set-top box fees or other charges. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

An article in MIT Technology Review this week looks at the history and trends involving content distribution and suggests that Hollywood should consider adopting methods that are similar to those related to media piracy. While efforts to combat piracy continue, some question the perceived impact of file-sharing and other techniques, suggesting the film industry might be better served by adopting new ways to distribute its content and gain potential exposure. Continue reading Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

HBO Offers Past Seasons of its Shows on Google Play Store

HBO announced that it is now offering a limited selection of past seasons of its original programs via the Google Play digital storefront, providing fans with access to shows on their Android-based smartphones and tablets as well as Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter for televisions. The network is currently offering individual seasons of seven shows, with plans to add more titles and seasons in the coming weeks. HBO says the gradual rollout is part of a larger marketing strategy to “create more sustained awareness.” Continue reading HBO Offers Past Seasons of its Shows on Google Play Store

Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

When Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming media player launched in July, it only supported Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music. Google added support for Hulu Plus yesterday, the first new partner since Chromecast made its debut. Other apps are reportedly going to be supported as well, although formal announcements have not yet been made. Pandora and HBO Go are two services rumored to be integrated in the future. Continue reading Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

DirecTV is increasing its rates in 2014 due to the rising costs of television programming. In addition to programming costs, sports broadcasting prices have risen, while DirecTV subscriptions have fallen. The pay TV company is considering more focused, over-the-top options, but not a broad video-on-demand service. However, some are questioning claims of rising programming costs and suggest there are actually increases in premium channel subscribers. Continue reading DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

Are Streaming Sites Missing a Social Viewing Opportunity?

Among those who do not subscribe to cable, or may not own own television sets or have their own accounts for the variety of streaming services available online, sharing password information for sites like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu and others is increasingly common. Although data on this trend has yet to be quantified by the likes of Nielsen or comScore — conversations, articles, posts and social media chatter seem to all indicate it is on the rise. Continue reading Are Streaming Sites Missing a Social Viewing Opportunity?

HBO GO to be Packaged with Broadband Internet Services?

The online streaming service HBO GO, which allows subscribers to watch their favorite HBO content via mobile devices and PCs, may be revamping its access. The premium cable channel is considering teaming with broadband Internet partners in order to provide its service to customers who do not subscribe to a cable TV service. This could lead to competition with popular streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Continue reading HBO GO to be Packaged with Broadband Internet Services?

Will Spotify Be Next to Develop Video Streaming Service?

It seems a number of major media companies are looking to get into streaming video as it continues to grow more popular. On-demand music service Spotify is the latest company rumored to be in the planning stages of such a service, perhaps a surprise to many since its focus has thus far strictly involved music. But two sources say Spotify intends to grow into an on-demand music and video service, including original content. Continue reading Will Spotify Be Next to Develop Video Streaming Service?

Netflix Strives to Revolutionize the TV Viewing Experience

Reed Hastings once led Netflix as an effective distributor of movies and TV shows through the U.S. Postal Service, but always envisioned the company becoming the premier provider of streaming video content. Now the CEO hopes to stay ahead of the competition by positioning Netflix to take on HBO as a provider of premium video content. Hastings’ move is undoubtedly risky, but he sees it as a necessary step towards the future of television. Continue reading Netflix Strives to Revolutionize the TV Viewing Experience

Insiders Suggest HBO GO Could Be on Apple TV by Mid-Year

Apple is in negotiations to carry Time Warner’s HBO GO app on its Apple TV by mid-2013, say two people familiar with the matter. Apple’s $99 set-top device already streams content from Netflix and Hulu Plus. With the addition of HBO GO, the STB could better compete with video-delivery devices such as Roku and Microsoft Xbox (which already have the HBO service). Continue reading Insiders Suggest HBO GO Could Be on Apple TV by Mid-Year

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