Amazon Debuts 4K Fire TV Cube With Alexa-Centric Strategy

Amazon, which started shipping its Fire TV video streaming devices four years ago, is now planning the release of its 4K Fire TV Cube, which combines Fire TV capabilities with Amazon Echo and acts as a TV control center for other devices. Fire TV Cube offers built-in Alexa and was designed with a “voice first” strategy to, as Amazon Fire TV vice president of product development Sandeep Gupta said, “highlight the use of voice.” Priced at $119, Fire TV Cube is the most expensive device in the segment and the sleekest. Continue reading Amazon Debuts 4K Fire TV Cube With Alexa-Centric Strategy

ATSC, CTA, NAB Chiefs Gather to Celebrate ATSC 3.0 Rollout

In the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CES 2018, ATSC president Mark Richer, NAB president Sen. Gordon Smith and CTA president/chief executive Gary Shapiro gathered to clink glasses of champagne to celebrate the official rollout of the new ATSC 3.0 television standard. In the audience were ATSC board members and several people who contributed to the standard. “Today’s milestone wouldn’t be possible without the work of hundreds of people,” declared Richer. “It’s been an intensive five year effort by all these people.” Continue reading ATSC, CTA, NAB Chiefs Gather to Celebrate ATSC 3.0 Rollout

Plex DVR Exits Beta With New Commercial-Removal Feature

Plex started out as a simple home media server and has evolved into a cloud-based platform that offers streaming personalized news and a full-featured DVR. The company has now added a new DVR feature, via an update, that automatically removes commercials. Most of the update fixed bugs; this new feature must be manually enabled in the Plex DVR settings, which now offers a “Remove Commercials” option. Users should, however, pay attention to reports from other users and the setting’s description. Continue reading Plex DVR Exits Beta With New Commercial-Removal Feature

Amazon Takes Aim at Cord Cutters, Roku With Its Fire TV Set

Amazon is taking pre-orders for Element’s Fire TV Edition sets, to ship in June at the same time other retailers get them. Amazon, Element and Westinghouse announced Fire TV-based television sets at CES 2017, and the companies are now revealing prices and other details. Element will offer its 43-inch Fire TV for $449 retail, a 50-inch for $549, a 55-inch for $649, and a 65-inch for $899. The TVs support 4K video and offer a quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage for apps, specs that are meant to future-proof it. Continue reading Amazon Takes Aim at Cord Cutters, Roku With Its Fire TV Set

Vizio Settles FTC, New Jersey Lawsuit Against Data Collection

Vizio just agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General. The lawsuit accused the smart TV manufacturer of using its TVs to track what its owners watched — without their knowledge or consent — and then selling that information to marketing firms. According to the FTC, Vizio began gathering such data in 2014, and even retrofitted smart TVs sold as early as 2010 via a software update, for a total of 11 million TVs. Continue reading Vizio Settles FTC, New Jersey Lawsuit Against Data Collection

Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

At CES, Dish debuted AirTV, a 4K set-top box that features Sling TV, Netflix and Android TV for streaming apps and OTA channels, with the Sling TV guide as an organizer for all of the content. The accompanying remote control, which connects to the box via Bluetooth and offers voice controls, provides dedicated buttons for the streaming libraries. The set-top box is “about the size of an Apple TV or Roku box,” with ports for power, Ethernet, HDMI and USB. AirTV is priced at $100 or $130 for the antenna-compatible version. Continue reading Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

CES: Ford/Google Partnership Highlights Autonomous Cars

At CES 2016, a record-breaking 464 automotive electronics companies will exhibit a broad range of new developments, with trends from VR/AR interfaces to modular infotainment systems. Going head-to-head with Tier 1 auto suppliers are Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, which are targeted for adoption as native interfaces. From automakers, Ford is expected to announce a partnership with Google to create self-driving vehicles, a synergistic pairing that boosts both companies’ fortunes. Continue reading CES: Ford/Google Partnership Highlights Autonomous Cars

Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Less than a year after the Supreme Court shut down Aereo for delivering OTA TV signals to Internet subscribers, a U.S. District Court in California granted FilmOn, an Internet video streaming site, a compulsory license to retransmit TV station programming online. The difference between the two cases, says the judge, was that the Supreme Court did not address whether Aereo was entitled to a compulsory license, but rather found that it violated copyright laws. Fox Broadcasting has said it will appeal the ruling favoring FilmOn. Continue reading Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Xbox One Support for OTA TV Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

With its newly added capabilities to support over-the-air TV broadcasts, including HD content, the Xbox One is gearing up to become the ultimate cord-cutting device. Microsoft had always intended for the Xbox One to become a console with extensive media capabilities extending beyond gaming. Its support for over-the-air TV now complements services such as Netflix and Plex, in addition to OneGuide integration and compelling features including voice control and the ability to pause live TV. Continue reading Xbox One Support for OTA TV Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

Aereo Supreme Court Case Could Upend Cloud Computing

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Aereo case that could cause legal implications for cloud computing businesses such as Dropbox and Google, especially if remote storage and data transmission are classified as “public performance.” Broadcasters accuse the Internet startup Aereo of violating copyright laws by using antennas to stream over-the-air broadcasts to paid subscribers. Justices will determine if Aereo’s service is “public performance” that requires permission. Continue reading Aereo Supreme Court Case Could Upend Cloud Computing

New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

After raising nearly $145,000 on Kickstarter, antenna maker Mohu plans to release its Channels TV adapter this June. The Mohu Channels device is a TV adapter that combines free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts with online video streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu Plus. Mohu also hopes to include the ability to play back local files, time shifting functionality to pause and fast forward through live programming, and an Android app that can be used as a remote. Continue reading New Mohu Channels Adapter Combines Streaming and HDTV

New Audiovox Receiver Cuts the Hardline for Dyle Mobile TV

The Dyle mobile digital TV venture announced that its service is now positioned to reach a wider range of smartphones and tablets following the debut of the new “mobiletv” receiver from Audiovox, developed by Siano. When paired with the Dyle app, the new receiver captures Dyle TV signals and sends them to iOS and Android mobile devices using an integrated Wi-Fi radio. Earlier Dyle-compatible receivers could only plug into iPads and iPhones via 30-pin hardline interfaces. Continue reading New Audiovox Receiver Cuts the Hardline for Dyle Mobile TV

Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Television broadcasters intend to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling from a lower court involving Aereo’s continued streaming of digital broadcast signals in the New York area, according to sources with knowledge of the case. October 15th is the deadline to file the petition. Broadcasters have achieved some court victories against another startup, FilmOnX, which provides a similar service. Meanwhile, Aereo announced its service will be available for Android devices later this month. Continue reading Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

CEO Says Aereo Will Be Profitable Before One Million Subs

Aereo’s CEO and founder Chet Kanojia claims that the company will be profitable before achieving one million subscribers. Aereo is not disclosing its subscriber numbers, but the company could earn a profit with only hundreds of thousands of subscribers, according to Kanojia. Television broadcasters have been unsuccessful so far in preventing Aereo from operating. The service is expanding into new regions this year to cover a total of 22 cities. Continue reading CEO Says Aereo Will Be Profitable Before One Million Subs