MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

MobiTV reportedly has plans to power a service in 2014 that will introduce a new HDMI streaming stick or lightweight set-top box for playing Internet content on a TV set. While the company is not revealing who is behind the prospective service, it is likely that a broadband or wireless provider would use MobiTV to turn an OTT video service into something consumers can easily enjoy in their living rooms. This would be a bold move for MobiTV, which is not a traditional service provider. Continue reading MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

Netflix is making a push for Ultra HD resolution streaming and promises to reveal details on its plans for 4K at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Neil Hunt, the streaming service’s chief product officer indicated Netflix has deals to offer 4K streaming with embedded players on certain UHD TVs (manufacturers will also be announced at CES). The second season of Netflix’s original series “House of Cards” will be the first to stream in 4K in 2014. Continue reading Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

In the wake of an eventful year for television technology, January’s Consumer Electronics Show is expected to feature a slew of new announcements, most notably, perhaps, involving a new wave of LED LCD sets possibly filling the void left by plasma. In October, Panasonic announced it would stop manufacturing plasma TVs. While LG and Samsung will likely introduce new plasma models in 2014, compelling features of affordable LED LCD models could possibly take center stage. Continue reading TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

TiVo Co-Founders Plan Launch of QPlay TV Streaming Device

Through their San Jose-based startup InVisioneer, TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton are reportedly getting ready to release a new TV companion device called QPlay, designed to blend video discovery and curation with smart TV functionality. According to a recent FCC filing, QPlay connects to TVs through HDMI and, similar to Chromecast, relies on an iPad for Wi-Fi set-up and device interaction, rather than a remote control. Continue reading TiVo Co-Founders Plan Launch of QPlay TV Streaming Device

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

EXCLUSIVE: SMPTE Asks if 4K Will Be a Hit with Consumers

Industry leaders gathered at Loews Hollywood Hotel for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ annual conference this week. Executives from Samsung, Sony, NPD DisplaySearch and HDMI Licensing discussed the progress and future of 4K television during the “4K/UHD TV – Will it be a hit with consumers?” panel. Topics included quality, pricing, content availability, upconversion, replacement cycles, lessons learned from 3D TV, and the need for consistent terminology. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: SMPTE Asks if 4K Will Be a Hit with Consumers

SMPTE: Industry Executives Discuss the Future of Ultra HDTV

During a panel discussion at the SMPTE conference, execs from Sony, Samsung, HDMI Licensing and NPD DisplaySearch addressed the challenges ahead for what was described as an “exciting” time for “immersive” Ultra HDTV. The panel discussed topics including the current lack of available content and the need to shape a clear message for consumers. While the industry seems divided on a 4K transition, proponents at the conference suggested there would ultimately be consumer demand. Continue reading SMPTE: Industry Executives Discuss the Future of Ultra HDTV

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

Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

Roku has unveiled its new line of streaming players, offering a simplified means of distinguishing models based on features and power. The company has done away with product names like LT, HD and 2XD. Consumers now have a simple selection and can choose among the entry level Roku LT, the increasing features of the Roku 1 and Roku 2, or the most powerful, the Roku 3. The Roku 1, 2, and 3 will be available in the U.S. U.K., Ireland and Canada. Continue reading Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

SnapStream DVR Records Multiple Channels and Shares Clips

Houston-based SnapStream offers a line of DVR devices that are highly scalable and can go well beyond consumer DVR functionality. These devices have the ability to use 30+ channels to record a large collection of TV programming simultaneously, create clips and share via the cloud. SnapStream products are being used in the media industry in addition to other non-media industries that have a need to record and catalog video — for example: government, schools and the military. Continue reading SnapStream DVR Records Multiple Channels and Shares Clips

Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

Sony is expected to debut a new streaming media device this week, similar to Google’s Chromecast. Briefly teased on the Sony blog last Friday, the BRAVIA NSZ-GU1 Smart Stick is a small dongle that unlocks Google TV on BRAVIA HDTVs. Users will have access to the Google Play store through the Smart Stick, in addition to streaming video applications such as Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Netflix, Redbox Instant, Vudu, YouTube and other BRAVIA apps. Continue reading Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the announcement of a next-generation Blu-ray Disc compatible with Ultra HD is imminent, putting to rest concerns of a potential 4K format war. During the IFA conference in Berlin, Marty Gordon, VP for Alliances & Communications at Philips and spokesman for the BDA, said that an announcement regarding an enhanced Blu-ray format involving a traditional-looking disc is expected in the near future. Continue reading IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

Is New Google Chromecast All About the Future of Pay TV?

During yesterday’s breakfast event unveiling Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet, the company also announced the $35 Chromecast, a small thumbnail device that connects to televisions via HDMI and enables users to send content via Wi-Fi from phones, tablets or PCs to the TV screen. Chromecast comes with three months of free Netflix and offers more functionality than Apple TV’s AirPlay. “On paper at least, it’s the best device Google has ever announced,” suggests Wired. Continue reading Is New Google Chromecast All About the Future of Pay TV?

ESPN Chief Technology Exec Cautious About Future of 4K TV

Earlier this month, we reported that ESPN is planning to shut down its ESPN 3D channel at year’s end. “Due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home, ESPN is discontinuing ESPN 3D,” explained the company in a statement. While ESPN’s top tech exec Chuck Pagano is not yet convinced that 4K TV will take off either, the sports broadcaster is setting up a technical framework for Ultra HD to prepare for its eventuality. Continue reading ESPN Chief Technology Exec Cautious About Future of 4K TV

Review: Streaming Roku 3 Features Notable Improvements

In its review of the Roku 3 set-top box, Ars Technica remarks that the company has had success thus far due to its content partnerships and overall high standards for what should be offered in a streaming box, providing customers with a variety of choices. With the $99.99 Roku 3, the company offers an affordable, feature-filled streaming device, which Roku describes as the “most powerful, responsive streaming box” it has built so far. Continue reading Review: Streaming Roku 3 Features Notable Improvements