Just under a year from when Google and Logitech first unveiled the first Google TV, otherwise known as the Logitech Revue, Google I/O 2011 is this week in San Francisco with some real hope for the platform. Google just signed a deal that brings thousands of videos YouTube.
Content, content, content. Without it, you're as dead in the water as the some extended cable channel at 3 a.m. The only reason that fools like me own one is the vague hope that Google might see the light, open its pocketbook, and perhaps give us some real content to watch.
It's odd, in a way, that consumers could even gripe about such a thing. A few bucks to Netflix or to Hulu opens up a wealth of fresh and archived content that should keep the most devoted couch potato rooted for weeks. But there's something inutterably frustrating about visiting a website and seeing content blocked—blocked!—just because you own a particular piece of hardware.
It seems likely that Samsung will announce its Google TV devices this week, in addition to a Chrome OS netbook. With Logitech reporting just $5 million in sales for the Revue, it would seem that the supply will outstrip the demand.
But with Google's deal that brings rentals to YouTube, there's hope for the platform yet. While Google TV doesn't look likely to dominate the media streamer market, let's look at what Google could do to make the next generation of Google TV succeed.
If you're a TiVo Premiere owners with Comcast Xfinity service, you've got one more reason to be excited, as the companies have announced that they're bringing Xfinity On Demand programming directly into the TiVo Premiere interface. One of the main gripes many have with TiVo is that, if you want to enjoy On Demand and Pay-Per-View content, you still need a cable box from your provider, since the TiVo can't access that stuff. This agreement changes that a bit. Soon, if you are one of the many Xfinity customers out there, you'll be able to browse the On Demand content right on your TiVo. They don't make mention of PPV specifically, but even if that isn't a part of this, you can always order those by phone as well. Given those two facts, this will make it possible for a TiVo Premiere box to serve as your only cable box, which can knock off as much as $20 per month from your cable bill, depending on your location.
Of course, since both TiVo and Comcast and two of the slowest moving companies in existence, this is going to be a slow, gradual rollout. They are going to start with the largest markets, with the first expected to be the San Francisco Bay Area, with additional markets to follow. No timeline or anything has been given.
Any Xfinity customers excited about this?
Read More | TiVo Blog
Thanks to a software update for Apple TV announced Wednesday, owners can now stream live and archived U.S. NBA and MLB games. The Apple TV update version 4.2 also adds 5.1 Dolby audio to Netflix streaming.
Starting at $64.95 a year, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) "League Pass Broadband" lets you follow seven teams, while a $99.95 option lets you watch games from all 30 teams, amounting to more than 40 games a week during the season. However there is a location-based blackout period, meaning that you'll only be able to access your subscription in the state or zip code in which you purchased it.
Meanwhile Major League Baseball's "MLB.TV" streaming package, also available on Roku and PlayStation 3, starts at $19.99/month or $99.99/year for the Standard package; $24.99/month or $119.99 a year for the Premium package. Premium adds the ability to choose home or away team video broadcasts, DVR functionality, and split-screen viewing.
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.
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
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.
Did you order one of those new $99 Apple TV units that Apple announced at their fall music event? If so, you may wanna keep an eye on your inbox, because the company has been sending notices to some customers letting them know that their orders have been delayed by 2-3 weeks:
“Our records indicate that when you placed your order you paid for upgraded shipping,” Apple wrote in the emails. “Due to a delay, we may have not been able to meet our delivery commitment.”
We’re guessing that this is a case where more people were interested in picking up the $99 box than Apple had expected to be able to send out before September finishes out. However, if you go to the Apple TV page on the Apple Store, it still shows that the device will ship within this month.
Read More | Apple Insider