Today Reuters reports on talks that Microsoft has had with several television networks about adding TV show content to the Xbox 360. While the details aren't known, one possibility is that the company could become a virtual operator and sell subscriptions to networks like ABC and NBC, or even add HBO and Showtime as subscription options. This would allow Microsoft to keep competing with rivals like Google (see the currently flailing Google TV) and Apple ( who recently released an updated Apple TV.) Microsoft actually has an advantage here if they choose to move into this area since the Xbox 360 is already in millions of homes, and adding services to the existing platform like that is much easier than releasing and expecting consumers to purchase a new device. If Microsoft plays their cards right, we could see the Xbox 360 take the top position in the battle for the living room.
Read More | Reuters
If Apple merchandise is on your holiday buying list this year, you're gonna wanna be sure to check out MacMall's 36-hour Black Friday sale, which features up to $300 off of Mac computers. The sale includes all Macs, so you can even get a nice discount on the new MacBook Air. The deals offer 6% off the price of a new Mac when all is said and done, but that's not all they're offering for Mac buyers. You also get a free copy of Parallels 6, an HP all-in-one printer, and free 2-day shipping. They've got other items as well, including discounts on the iPod touch, Apple TV, and major discounts on a bunch of consumer electronics like digital cameras, Blu-ray players, and more. Definitely a sale to check out to get the jump on your shopping--whether it's for someone else, or yourself.
Read More | MacMall 36-hour Black Friday sale
The newly redesigned Apple TV is next up in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, and for good reason. You can stream movies, TV shows, photos, and music to the device, and setup just requires plugging it into power, and into your television. A couple minutes later and you're connected to Wi-Fi and streaming Netflix. With iOS 4.2 and the AirPlay feature, you can even send videos and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch directly to your television. Mix in HD movies rentals from $3.99 and TV show rentals for $.99 cents, and you have a nice little wireless media extender. You can pick one up now for $99 from Apple, or $98 from Amazon with free shipping.
Wanna finally get in on that AirPlay video action with the new Apple TV? iTunes 10.1 is what you need, and Apple just pushed the update out a little while ago. You can download it right now. Oh, and the release also includes iOS 4.2 support, which should be launching sometime within the next week or so.
Read More | iTunes
We know you’ve been waiting for our Apple TV review, and we’ve been playing with Apple’s second try at a home theater set top box for about ten days now, and figured it was time to report back with our thoughts. The thing is, it really is a lot of the same in terms of usability and interface. There aren’t many changes (yet!) to that side of things, despite things being very different under the hood. The new Apple TV is a lot smaller, and runs iOS 4, and is priced at just $99. It’s centered around a focus on renting movies and TV shows rather than purchasing them. It’s also got Netflix integration and the new AirPlay functionality that allows you to fling video and audio content from your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch right to the Apple TV with ease.
Rather than go into this as a full review, we figured we’d focus instead on five aspects of the new Apple TV that we like, and five things about the Apple TV that we hate. So let’s jump into five things we like about the Apple TV:
We’ve already given you the first portion of our Apple TV review when we gave you five things we like about the Apple TV. Now it’s time we dig into the things that we straight up hate about Apple’s second try at a living room set top box. There are some things that were omitted or ignored that we kind of can’t stand, and other decisions for sub-optimal experiences that were seemingly made just because Apple felt like they could get away with it. Read on for our list of five things that we hate about the second generation Apple TV.
Looks like Eric Sadun over at TUAW has found that the new Apple TV is definitely hackable, as the device is instantly recognizable by PhoneView (an OS X app that let’s you browse the disk of your iOS devices.) Since the Apple TV runs iOS and has been found to pack 8GB of storage, aside from the fact that the Apple TV version os iOS has already been hacked by the iOS Dev-Team using their SHAtter jailbreak, it’s a no-brainer that we will be seeing third-party apps on this thing at some point in the very near future.
Read More | TUAW
We’ve got the new, second revision of the Apple TV, and we figured before we hit you with a review video, that we’d unbox it and give you an up-close look at the device. The new Apple TV is very tiny, and includes the newer Apple remote control…but if you’ve got an iOS device, you should just download the Apple Remote app and use that instead. You can pick up the new Apple TV for $99
So, now we know that the new Apple TV runs iOS, which is what we expected. What we didn’t expect was that you’d be able to run the Apple TV version of iOS 4.1 on an iPod touch. The software that runs on the Apple TV is called Lowtide, and looks to operate just fine on the iPod, save for some screen real estate issues.
If you’re ready to cut the cable cord, it looks like Hulu Plus may be just the thing to facilitate that. Already available in beta on the PS3, as well as on the iPad and iOS devices, it was just announced that the service is coming to Roku‘s line of set top boxes, and that it’ll also be added to the TiVo Premiere as a service. Hulu Plus will also be made available to the general public on the Xbox 360 in 2011 as well. Depending on which shows you watch, the $10 Hulu Plus monthly fee may very well allow you to ditch your cable TV package, especially if paired with Netflix. Get ready for a shift in the way television gets consumed.
The only thing we are wondering now is if the new Apple TV will also be picking up Hulu Plus at some point, or if Apple plans on just going with Netflix plus $.99 TV rentals.
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