Tag Archive for ‘Television’

Apple to Announce ‘Watch List’ App ➝

Dawn Chmielewski, reporting for USA Today:

Apple plans to announce this week a new way for viewers to discover TV shows through an app, people with knowledge of the project told USA TODAY. […]

Described to network executives as “the Watch List,” the app will recommend shows based on the content viewers access through their Apple TVs. For example, a subscriber to FX Networks might be encouraged to check out the new dramatic series Atlanta.

There’s no indication as to whether you’ll need a cable subscription or not, but I really hope the app is cord-cutter-friendly.

Apple’s New TV Plan Is a TV Guide ➝

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Apple has started talking to TV programmers and other video companies about creating a digital TV guide that would work on both Apple TV boxes and other Apple devices, like iPhones.

The idea is to let users see what kind of programming is available in video apps made by the likes of HBO, Netflix and ESPN, without having to open up each app individually, and to play shows and movies with a single click.

I would love an interface like this.

‘Why I’m Finally Leaving Cable TV’ ➝

Chris Plante, writing for The Verge:

For years I figured that when I scrapped my cable plan, it would be because an even easier option appeared. But this week, I’ve considered finally cutting the cord for a different reason: subscriptions services better respect my time.

In fact, now I recognize all the ways cable is designed to waste my time.

The key point for me is the lack of advertising. I pay less for a Netflix and Hulu subscription than anyone I know pays for cable and I never have to sit through a single commercial. With cable, unless I take the time to setup DVR recordings before a show airs, I’m stuck watching it live. And even if I remember to record it, I still have to fast-forward through ads and hope that I hit play at just the right moment. That’s less “entertaining” and more “nerve-racking.”

Here’s What Apple Really Meant to Say Today About Its Plans to Sell Web Video ➝

Peter Kafka, on the Hollywood Reporter’s interview with Eddy Cue:

Again, this doesn’t square with Apple’s longstanding efforts — led by Cue — to deliver a skinny bundle. I asked Apple to explain the cognitive dissonance, and they referred me back to the Hollywood Reporter piece.

So now that we’re done with that exercise, I’m going to suggest that there are some things Cue would say differently if he were speaking to someone privately, instead of in an on-the-record interview.

Kafka offers his thoughts on what Cue would have said if he was speaking more candidly, and I think it’s spot-on.

Apple’s First Foray Into Original TV Is a Series About Apps ➝

Emily Steel, reporting for the New York Times:

Apple announced on Thursday that it was working with the entertainer Will.i.am and two veteran TV executives, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, on a new show that will spotlight the app economy.

“One of the things with the app store that was always great about it was the great ideas that people had to build things and create things,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, said in an interview.

Details about the production are scant, and it was unclear how directly the show would promote or refer to Apple’s own app store. Executives declined to discuss specifics, such as financing, title, timeline, storylines, episode length or how people will watch the show.

A Unified TV Interface ➝

Benjamin Mayo would like to see a single unified interface for all of his television shows — like the list of recorded episodes on a DVR. I couldn’t agree more and have actually thought quite a bit about this ever since I cut the cord nearly a decade ago.

In my younger, and much more naive years I thought that video podcasts were going to be the future of television. You simply subscribe to all of the shows you like, they download automatically when new episodes are released, and you can watch them at your convenience in the client of your choosing. I realize now that this would never happen. There’s no way for content creators to completely control the experience, prevent piracy, or  ensure that viewers are actually watching the ads.

The only hope we have now for a unified interface, like Mayo describes, is if a service like Netflix or Hulu ended up lincensing the lion’s share of available content. But that, of course, comes with its own set of problems.

Samsung Announces Serif TV ➝

I’m kind of digging this design. I wouldn’t mind bringing living rooms back to a simpler time when you didn’t need to mount your TV on the wall or buy a piece of furniture for it to sit on. And now that we’re going to have set-top-boxes like the Apple TV which can fill the roll of a game console and media source, why not build TVs like this?

Apple TV Could Be Fourth in Streaming Set-Top-Box Sales ➝

Parks Associates:

A new Parks Associates report on streaming media devices reports four brands – Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku – accounted for 86% of all units sold to U.S. broadband households in 2014. […]

“Roku continues to lead streaming media device sales in the U.S. with 34% of units sold in 2014. Google is second with 23%, and new entrant Amazon overtook Apple for third place,” said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates.

It’s not clear how they sourced their data, since Apple and Amazon don’t report sales numbers for their set-top-boxes. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they were fairly close to the mark. Roku seems to have built incredible brand recognition and every Android owner I know has asked me about the Chromecast. A few of my friends have Apple TVs, but it’s not the dominate device amongst my circle.

The Apple TV has been the centerpiece of my living room setup for nearly eight years, so I have an attachment to it. But there’s been a tremendous amount of competition in this space over the past several years from dedicated streaming boxes and game consoles alike. If Apple wants to start gaining market share again, they need to hit this upcoming hardware announcement out of the park.

Not having their television streaming service ready at launch is a bit of a disappointment, but it’s not like they can wait forever to release new hardware — eventually they have to ship. However, the existence of third-party software will certainly help bolster the announcement. Games and streaming apps could be intriguing enough to win-over users who had previously written-off the Apple TV, especially if developers are able to easily port their existing applications. That would allow for a large software library at launch that could quickly outpace the number of Apple Watch-compatible apps.