Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

Roku TV and the Roku player are getting new features including better search and discovery to complement its more than 400 free live linear TV channels. The upgrades will begin rolling out with the introduction of Roku OS 12.5 in the coming weeks. Highlights include the ability to follow a favorite sports team, new music channels and the ability to link Roku’s Photo Streams image-based screensaver to a Google Photos account, so personal pictures can be displayed between viewing events. The changes are across a wide range of features targeting sports enthusiasts and others, including technical purists and casual viewers who need help finding entertainment options. Continue reading Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

Comcast’s NOW TV Streams 60 Channels, Peacock Premium

Comcast announced NOW TV this week, a new streaming solution that includes more than 40+ live channels, 20+ integrated FAST channels and a subscription to Peacock Premium, priced at $20 per month for Comcast’s Xfinity Internet customers. NOW TV is designed for “the value-conscious consumer who wants an entertainment product that is simple and convenient with quality programming movies, top shows, live sports, and news,” the company explains. Launching in the coming weeks, NOW’s live cable offerings feature A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Hallmark and Warner Bros. Discovery, among others. Continue reading Comcast’s NOW TV Streams 60 Channels, Peacock Premium

Google TV Expands Free Live Channels and Revamps Guide

Google TV is launching a new TV experience with more than 800 free live TV channels across multiple providers as part of the smart TV operating system for Chromecast devices and various TVs. Included are news channels from NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, along with stations featuring popular shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Westworld” and “Law & Order: SVU.” New streaming channels Tubi, Plex and Haystack News will be integrated and showcased in a redesigned Live tab programming guide. The new content will be positioned alongside Google TV’s existing channel lineup from free streamer Pluto TV. Continue reading Google TV Expands Free Live Channels and Revamps Guide

Roku Updates OS, Adds News, Announces Best Buy TV Deal

Roku is upgrading to OS 12, which will offer improvements including to streaming live TV and sports, among other things. A concurrent mobile app update features a new home screen and new tools for account management and photo storage. The company also announced that new Roku-branded TVs will be sold exclusively through Best Buy and online. Unveiled at CES 2023, the Roku Select and Plus series TVs made by Roku are now shipping, with 11 models spanning two lineups that offer sizes ranging from 24- to 75-inches. Pricing starts at $150 and scales to $1,200. Continue reading Roku Updates OS, Adds News, Announces Best Buy TV Deal

CES: Canon and Sony Tools Provide a Virtual Take on Sports

At CES this year, Canon and Sony both showcased multi-camera capture technologies with an eye towards attracting a younger generation of viewers. Canon’s Free Viewpoint video system (using an AI-powered ring of high-resolution cameras in a stadium or arena) and Sony’s combined tools from its Hawk-Eye vision processing company and recently-acquired AI-based data visualization firm Beyond Sports can create low-latency virtual reproductions of live sports. The capture from multiple angles enables the virtual reproduction to offer interaction that a simple video stream does not, though each technology is distinct in what it offers. Continue reading CES: Canon and Sony Tools Provide a Virtual Take on Sports

CES: OS-Supplier Roku to Launch Its Own Line of Smart TVs

Roku, whose software the firm claims is used in a third of U.S. TVs, will release its own line of televisions this year. The San Jose-based company, known for its smart TV OS, plans two models: the Roku Select and a higher-end Roku Plus, according to an announcement at CES 2023. Available in 11 models ranging from 24- to 75-inches, the Roku Select and Plus Series TVs will focus on streaming features associated with the brand, with prices ranging from $119 to $999. The new Roku TVs will include access to free live TV, news, and sports, plus popular Roku features like Find My Remote and Private Listening. Continue reading CES: OS-Supplier Roku to Launch Its Own Line of Smart TVs

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

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

Nielsen to Invest More in Streaming, Live TV Ratings Product

Nielsen Holdings will increase spending to improve how it measures TV audiences, especially its new Nielsen ONE product, said chief financial officer Linda Zukauckas. The news follows Nielsen’s $2.4 billion sale of Global Connect (since renamed NielsenIQ), which measures retail shopping for packaged goods companies, to Advent International Corporation. Nielsen ONE combines streaming and live TV ratings and is due to unveil next year. Nielsen hopes it will be a U.S. ratings standard by 2024 and, soon, a global standard. Continue reading Nielsen to Invest More in Streaming, Live TV Ratings Product

T-Mobile to Debut Pay TV Service Starting at $10 Per Month

T-Mobile US is aiming to lure cord-cutters with a new TV service that costs as little as $10 per month. Next week, the No. 2 mobile carrier will offer three tiers of service: TVision Vibe, a bundle without sports channels for $10 per month; TVision Live, with local broadcast channels, sports channels and news brands such as CNN; and TVision Channels, a bundle with premium cable options like Showtime and Starz. T-Mobile customers will be able to access the service this Sunday, followed by Sprint customers later in November. Continue reading T-Mobile to Debut Pay TV Service Starting at $10 Per Month

Roku Announces Its New Ultra with Support for Dolby Vision

Roku is debuting a new Ultra with, for the first time, Dolby Vision, which plays back HDR (high-dynamic range) content. This new $100 Ultra also features a speedier quad-core processor, more RAM and around 50 percent better Wi-Fi range, although the company has not released full specs on the device. The form factor is now somewhat rounder, to house its revamped wireless antennas, and still features an Ethernet port, an HDMI cable and earbuds. Also new, the Roku Channel is available as a standalone Android and iOS app. Continue reading Roku Announces Its New Ultra with Support for Dolby Vision

Plex Launches 80 Live TV Channels on Its Ad-Supported App

The free, ad-supported media app Plex just added 80 live TV channels, none of them cable channels like CNN, Lifetime or TBS. Rather, it offers a lineup that includes Reuters, Toon Goggles and the Bob Ross Channel, among others. In the current economic climate, consumers are gravitating to this kind of free linear programming, which harkens back to the early days of television. Plex got its start as a cord-cutting solution with free on-demand video and DVR functionality for on-air TV networks. Continue reading Plex Launches 80 Live TV Channels on Its Ad-Supported App

FaceBank Group and fuboTV Announce a Merger Agreement

Florida- and New York-based FaceBank Group, Inc. — developer of hyper-realistic digital humans for use in artificial intelligence, entertainment, productivity and social media — is merging with OTT live TV streaming service fuboTV, which currently touts “more top Nielsen-ranked sports, news and entertainment channels for cord cutters than any other live platform.” The combined digital entertainment company, to be led by fuboTV CEO and co-founder David Gandler, will be named fuboTV, Inc. with plans to offer a premium viewing experience across a global distribution network. Continue reading FaceBank Group and fuboTV Announce a Merger Agreement

AT&T TV Launches Today with Hundreds of Live TV Channels

Following several months of testing in 13 U.S. trial markets, AT&T TV launches nationwide today. The broadband service features a 4K- and HDR-capable Android-based set-top box, 500 hours of DVR storage, access to hundreds of live television channels and 40,000 on-demand titles. Streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube are available, as well as 5,000+ apps through the Google Play store. Additionally, the voice-enabled remote control is integrated with Google Assistant. Chromecast support is also built in. AT&T TV will be integrated with HBO Max when it launches in May. Continue reading AT&T TV Launches Today with Hundreds of Live TV Channels

WarnerMedia Deal to Bring HBO and Cinemax to YouTube TV

Google’s streaming OTT service YouTube TV — which provides subscribers with live television and news, on-demand video, cloud-based DVR, and live and local sports from 70+ networks— will carry Cinemax and HBO for the first time under a new distribution deal with AT&T’s WarnerMedia. As part of the agreement, YouTube TV will also offer the upcoming streamer HBO Max when it debuts in May, and will continue to provide Turner cable networks such as Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies.  Continue reading WarnerMedia Deal to Bring HBO and Cinemax to YouTube TV