As soon as Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs hit the streets, buzz about a possible Apple television set has hit a fever pitched. The idea was renewed based on comments Jobs made that he had finally "cracked" the interface for such a device. Now a new report suggests that we may have already met that interface: Siri.
It's been less than a month since the new digital voice assistant on the iPhone 4S debuted to the public, but Apple may already have plans for it to feature as the controller of a connected TV. Nick Bilton, writing for the Times' Bits blog, says Apple engineers tried one thing after another in their search to simplify or do away with the remote control. After floating ideas like a wireless keyboard or iPhone control, they eventually had their eureka moment: just talk to it.
Although the report cites anonymous sources who say Apple has a television in the works, it's not clear if the information about Siri as a controller comes from them or is Bilton's speculation. It does seem like a logical move for Apple to include Siri in future products, particularly any TVs it may be working on. However, it remains to be seen if consumers fully embrace it as a control mechanism or see it as a barely useful extra. In addition, integrating Siri would require a level of electronics that most TVs don't have, pushing the price up.
Cable executives on Tuesday downplayed the impact of Netflix on their businesses, arguing that it is simply another provider in a crowded market, though they were forced to acknowledge that consumers are no longer satisfied with just a cable box and a remote.
Execs from Time Warner, Viacom, Comcast, Cox, and News Corp. sat down this morning for a panel discussion at The Cable Show in Chicago. When asked about Netflix's recent decision to air original content, Philippe Dauman, president and CEO at Viacom, warned that "it's not easy to get into the content business; it's a tough exercise."
"That's not really their fundamental business," Dauman said of Netflix. Viacom, on the other hand, is "100 percent focused on content," he said. Netflix is just one cog in the content wheel, he said, pointing to the "incremental money" Viacom has made by repurposing its older shows, like "Beavis and Butthead," on Web-based services like Netflix.
This morning at its E3 2011 Xbox Media Briefing, Microsoft announced that YouTube will be coming to Xbox Live this fall. They didn't go into too much detail about it, but you'll obviously be able to search and view videos from the YouTube service, and we're gonna go out on a limb and guess that you'll also be able to upload gameplay videos taken with Kinect directly to the service as well. Even without that last part though, adding YouTube is just another step Microsoft is taking in their hopes of making the Xbox 360 the ultimate living room hub.
With the Wolfgang S Birdhouse designer Dennis Nino Clasen has killed two, ahem, birds with one stone. Not only does it allow you to trick your neighbors in to thinking you are watching their every move but it also puts an aesthetically-entertaining roof over the heads of your feathered friends. While it may not keep your neighbor from tossing their raked-up leaves over the fence and into your yard for very long, it will provide a little extra ambiance for the exterior of your house during the spring and summer months.
If you are a current Netflix subscriber, you’ll likely recall that they decided to enter into an agreement with Warner Bros. back in January that would delay Netflix from making new films from the studio available to subscribers for 28 days from the in-store release date. Well, it looks like more studios are jumping on board, as both Fox and Universal has now come to similar terms. What’s the upside for Netflix subscribers? More streaming movies.
For example, with the Fox agreement, you’ll need to wait 28 days before you’ll be able to get a movie like Avatar in the mail, but in exchange you’ll find streaming titles like 24, Bones, Lie to Me, Arrested Development, Prison Break, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With Universal, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for movies like It’s Complicated, but don’t fret, because Billy Elliot, The Pianist, and Being John Malkovich (among others) will be at your instant streaming disposal.
Expect more of these deals to be made, as Netflix is banking on streaming movies as the future of distribution (we agree,) and they are of the mindset that having customers wait an extra 4 weeks to get new discs is worth it if it means greater access to streaming rights. Let’s see how this all plays out. Anyone upset about this?
Read More | Netflix
Sirius XM has finally released its app to subscribers that allows 120 channels. Many favorites will be available such as The Grateful Dead Channel, Eminem’s Shade 45 and Radio Margaritaville, while others like Howard Stern, MLB Play-by-Play and NFL Play-by-Play will not. A 7-day trial is available, but then a subscription is needed as well as iPhone OS 2.0 or later firmware. Current customers can use the app if their package includes online access. You can download the Sirius XM app now.
Read More | Sirius XM on App Store
The LG Scarlet Series HDTV aims to add a touch of flair and style to your environment, all while bringing you that 120Hz, 1080p goodness. The front is finished in a glossy piano black, the LCD panel has a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, and is ISFccc capable. The speakers are hidden in the bezel, which is a nice touch, and it’s got 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs, along with component, composite, and USB.
We give you a rundown of this 52-inch television set in this episode, and also give you a few details on our upcoming giveaway, where one of our viewers will walk away with this very item.
We know, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the iPhone 3.0 beta release yesterday, and tons of people rushed to upgrade. However, now we are seeing some of the negatives that are starting to creep up. Sure, the keyboard can be a bit sluggish in some apps, and MMS isn’t working at the moment, whatev on those. What really sucks, though, is the fact that there are some apps that will just flat out refuse to
install. Case in point, the new Fandango app. If you try to install it on your 3.0-enabled iPhone, you’ll get a message telling you that the application isn’t compatible, and that it requires the iPhone 2.2.1 software update. We aren’t feeling that, because we wanna get our Fandango on!
Let us know if you find any other apps that choke on iPhone 3.0.
Update: Looks like the problem here is with installing from the App Store directly on the iPhone. We just tried downloading and installing Fandango using iTunes, and it works swimmingly. Keep that in mind.
CBS Interactive has launched their TV.com application. With it you get free access to clips from CSI, the L word, Star Trek and more. Shake your iPhone or touch and get a random clip. There is also free streaming from CBS News, Sports and Radio, Showtime and cnet. Although most of the content are clips, promos and interviews, there will undoubtedly be more full episodes if the app is well received.
You can download the TV.com app now.
Read More | TV.com app
If your mate cannot be with you the Valentine’s Day, there’s an app for that. Create realistic Candy Hearts from White Husky software. Compose your own message in up to four lines. Select a color, background and font, and the application creates your masterpiece. A new v1.6 added more colors and chocolate candy, one with icing letters. The app is available as a free download at the App Store, but the full version is only $0.99. Save it for last minute gifts for your spouse/partner’s birthday, anniversary or latest domestic squabble.
Read More | Candy Hearts App