iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
Nintendo's TVii service for the Wii U is finally out, so you can take advantage of Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. TVii will act as a media hub, providing several streaming services as well as your cable and DVR boxes into a cross-searchable package. You may've noticed he absence of Netflix and TiVo, however, but they are coming early next year. Japan was lucky enough to receive the service when the Wii U launched on the 8th of December, while folks in the US had no such luck, for whatever reason.
Check out the press release in full below.
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
In a move that's far overdue, Apple has finally launched Hulu Plus on the Apple TV. A software update was released early this morning that adds the Hulu Plus app to the second- and third-generation Apple set-top-box, but it's a behind-the-scenes update. All you need to do is restart your Apple TV if you don't see Hulu Plus on the home screen.
Users can get a 1-week trial, log in with their existing Hulu Plus account, or subscribe right from the Apple TV using their connected iTunes account.
Read More | Hulu
Network and cable TV has been the primary source for new sitcoms and shows, historically. Now, with the adaptation of the internet, that is slowly changing. What started as a mere hub used to catch up on television shows, Hulu is now expanding into producing original, first-run shows on its own.
For those that use Hulu, you may have already known that Hulu had original programing like Battleground, Up to Speed, and A Day in the Life. Hulu’s programing is now expanding to include new shows, titled We Got Next, The Awesomes, Don’t Quit Your Daydream, and Flow.
Read More | TechCrunch
Ahh Nintendo, rarely an innovator, often an imitator. At least that can be said about the company’s next online “innovative” venture. The company is looking to various media service providers in order to kick off the Wii U release later this year with a bang. Like the Xbox 360, Nintendo has every intention of collecting as many service providers as it can in order to try to replace your cable or satellite box with the console. Nintendo is currently in talks with several ‘top content’ companies, possibly including Comcast, to become a cable TV provider alongside or after the Wii U launch.
Currently there are no official statements from Nintendo as to what content we can expect to see with the Wii U. What we do know is that Nintendo has announced that the Wii will soon be receiving Hulu compatibility.
Microsoft also announced a significant number of related content partnerships, bringing most major services to the Xbox platform this week or by early 2012. On Dec. 6, Starting Dec. 6, a free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let also let users find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday night, Microsoft said that the "Bing on Xbox" update would arrive on U.S. consoles beginning "tomorrow," and roll out to U.S. console owners over the coming weeks. Those without a Kinect peripheral will be able to search using Bing text search.
The voice search capability, first revealed in June, will work with both the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Video, and selected content partners. On Dec. 6, presumably the date of the update, Microsoft plans to add content from new entertainment partners, including apps, from EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and MSNBC's Today.
Microsoft's vision for the Xbox platform, including voice search via Kinect, probably was more significant six months ago before Apple's Siri began dominating headlines with its ability to naturally search and interact with the user and a variety of apps. Nevertheless, it allows users to interact with a growing sea of content as simply as possible.
This morning Barnes and Noble unleashed their answer to the Kindle Fire, and it's the Nook Tablet. The Nook Tablet focuses on multimedia consumption, and keeps true to its e-reader roots with a great book and magazine reading experience. It's got a 7-inch display with Wi-Fi built-in and 16 GB of storage as well. It's thinner and lighter than the Nook Color, with a much faster 1 GHz dual-core processor as well.
The Nook Tablet also has 1 GB of RAM, and weighs in at under a pound. B&N says you should expect 11.5 hours of battery life from the device, which runs a customized version of Android 2.3. That customization, by the way, means that this isn't the type of Android tablet that you can just take and do your will with. It's geared towards things like reading books/magazines/periodicals, email, Internet browsing, video streaming, etc. In fact, a partnership with Netflix means you'll have deep integration of the platform on this tablet, with suggestions showing up on your home screen. Expect games, music services like Pandora, and other entertainment options (like Hulu) as well.
The Nook Tablet ships on November 18th, and can be pre-ordered now.
Google is now in preliminary talks to buy Hulu, the Internet video powerhouse that allows you to watch ad-supported television and movies, according to the LA Times. This is in addition to other companies like Microsoft and Yahoo, who've also met with Hulu about a potential acquisition. Interestingly enough, Google has been hard at work on finding a way to get the content that you typically find on Hulu over to YouTube to make the video sharing site a bigger competitor in the media space (not to mention a bigger money-maker as well.) The rights that Hulu has to current season television shows is obviously a valuable asset, and they've got over 600 advertisers as well. In fact, this year Hulu expects to earn over $500 million in ad revenue. The point here isn't to buy Hulu's technology--it's all about the content deals. The big question, though, is how long before those deals expire, and what happens then? This will be an interesting one to watch.
Read More | LA Times
Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed a bill that would make it illegal to share your password on subscription-based entertainment services like Netflix, Pandora, or Hulu Plus. As the AP explained, the bill is intended to stop hackers who sell batches of passwords, but it could extend to the average user who lets friends or family members watch a movie using their Netflix login or listen to music streams on Rhapsody.
"What becomes not legal is if you send your username and password to all your friends so they can get free subscriptions," bill sponsor Rep. Gerald McCormick, a Republican, told the AP.
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