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

Media Giants Join Forces Against FCC Opening Set-Top Box

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to begin to allow third-party companies to develop devices and apps to carry pay TV signals, thus loosening the grip of the set-top box manufacturing market and the pay TV companies that lease them. But now Disney, CBS, 21st Century Fox, A&E Television Networks, Time Warner, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom have banded together to oppose the move, in comments filed with the FCC. The founder of Roku has come out against the idea as misguided and unnecessary. Continue reading Media Giants Join Forces Against FCC Opening Set-Top Box

HBO Now Reaches 800,000 Paid Subs, Expects Future Growth

HBO’s standalone streaming service HBO Now, which launched in April 2015 exclusively for Apple TV, currently has about 800,000 paid subscribers, the cable network announced this week. Since it is now available across a variety of devices and does not require a traditional TV subscription, the $15-per-month service is primarily targeting cord cutters and cord nevers, who are willing to pay for Internet connectivity but not necessarily a cable or satellite service. HBO’s goal is to reach half of the 10 million U.S. homes that have Web access but no TV subs. Continue reading HBO Now Reaches 800,000 Paid Subs, Expects Future Growth

Amazon Pulls Rival Streaming Devices to Prevent “Confusion”

Amazon made a bold move yesterday by announcing that it plans to stop selling Google Chromecast and Apple TV streaming devices by the end of October. While the online retailer sells the competing Fire TV, it is expected to continue offering Roku and other streaming devices. According to Amazon, the move is designed to prevent “customer confusion” since the Google and Apple products do not stream Amazon’s video content, offered through its Prime membership. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video,” said a company spokesperson. Continue reading Amazon Pulls Rival Streaming Devices to Prevent “Confusion”

Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Simple.tv — the company that has been trying to reinvent the DVR since 2012 — is about to launch ShowDrive, which allows users to record and playback up to 1,000 hours of TV programming from the cloud to Internet-connected TVs, streaming devices and mobile phones. Unlike Aereo, whose live TV and time-shifted TV DVR was killed by a Supreme Court ruling that it didn’t substantially differ from a cable operator, Simple.tv’s technology is based on technology that has standing in past legal cases. Continue reading Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

SiliconDust, a startup known for its live TV streaming devices, is now making a DVR that will not tie viewers down to their living room televisions. The HDHomeRun DVR is designed for cord cutters. It plugs into SiliconDust’s streaming devices so that users can watch recorded shows on smart TVs, game consoles, tablets, smartphones and computers. The HDHomeRun DVR can also record from premium channels such as HBO. As of press time, the Kickstarter campaign had raised more than $169,000. Continue reading SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

As more people cut the cord and abandon their pay TV plans, Dish Network believes it can retain customers by offering a new remote control that promises to help people find what they want to watch. Startup Ray Enterprises is already working with Dish to make its advanced remote control compatible with Dish Network’s Hopper DVR. The $200 touchscreen remote includes search and recommendation features and the ability to control other devices connected to the TV. Continue reading Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote