Google is reportedly looking to sell the set-top box business it will inherit from Motorola Mobility before its acquisition of the company closes, The New York Post reported on Wednesday. CEO Larry Page previously claimed the manufacturer’s set-top division would help Google revolutionize the living room. Many people, however, view the clunky cable box as an obstacle to newer and more advanced technology that integrate TV and the Internet. According to Infonetics, a company that tracks the set-top box market, last year was the sector’s peak and sales will see a sharp decline this year and in the future. Motorola attempted to sell the business for $4.5 billion in 2009, however the sale was unsuccessful. The Post claims that Google is looking to sell the business for between $2.5 billion and $4 billion. More →
Boxee will begin shipping its new Boxee Live TV tuners this week according to a post on the company’s blog. The new device is a dongle that provides Boxee Box owners with the ability to watch local broadcast TV stations. The Boxee Box accessory costs just $49.99 and it is likely best for those who have turned to Boxee to replace their cable television subscription, not those who are using it as a supplement. The Boxee Live TV tuner supports the following:
- Social Channel Listings – We’ll show you what’s on, what your friends are watching, and how many people total are watching a show as you flip through channels.
- Sharing – Share the traditional Boxee way on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr AND you can now passively share to Facebook using our Live TV Timeline App – turn sharing on and whatever you’re tuned into will post to your Facebook ticker automatically. It’s easy to switch off too so your friends don’t need to know about your addiction to HSN.
- Edit Channels - Quickly hide channels from your lineup that don’t speak your language or have pissed you off with bad programming decisions like taking Arrested Development off the air. Easily rename WNDHCTA 7.2 to NBC.
- All-In-One Interface – done watching a show on broadcast, easily jump into more episodes from the web. It’s the best of both worlds all on the same remote.
9% of consumers in the United States have already cut cable TV service from their monthly utility bills, the latest State of the Media Democracy survey from Deloitte indicates. The company also found that 11% of U.S. consumers are considering cutting cable TV. Younger generations are more likely to get rid of cable TV, too. Deloitte found that 19% of those aged 23-28 are thinking about canceling cable while 13% of Generation Xers and 7% of baby boomers said they are considering doing the same. “For the first time, less than half of all viewers say they have viewed their favorite shows live on their home TV,” Phil Asmundson, Deloitte’s U.S. Media & Telecommunications Sector Leader said. “In 2011, the number was only 49%. In 2008, it was 71%. That’s striking.” Read on for more. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published three Thunderbolt related patents that suggest Apple may have plans to build Intel’s Thunderbolt connections into its iOS devices. As Patently Apple points out, Apple may build its own cabling technology that gives it exclusive rights to how Thunderbolt technology might be built into portable devices. Thunderbolt ports would allow for faster data transfers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as shorter charging times. One of Apple’s more revealing patents describes stronger Thunderbolt cables that could handle greater amounts of data more efficiently and without overheating. Apple says in its patent that the Thunderbolt connections “may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices.” Apple currently has a number of devices, including displays and computers, with Thunderbolt ports. The company does not yet offer a portable device with the I/O option, however. More →
When we last heard from social media listening firm Mashwork, we learned that future smartphone buyers were much more interested in purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S II than the 4G-friendly Motorola DROID BIONIC. Mashwork is back on Monday with some more interesting findings: according to the firm’s latest research, 45% more people prefer Netflix over Hulu Plus than vice versa. Pulling data from 10,283 relevant tweets between June 28th and July 6th, 2011, 29% of all users prefer Netflix over Hulu Plus for streaming movies and TV shows, while 20% prefer Hulu Plus over Netflix. Also of note, 51% of those accounted for in Mashwork’s study use both services and are hoping to cut the cord with their cable or satellite TV providers. Hulu certainly would like to have been positioned better in the study; Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed at a recent Allen & Co conference that Hulu owners NBCUniversal, News Corp and Disney/ABC Television Group are currently trying to sell the company. Mashwork’s full infographic follows below. More →
We’ve been keeping our ears to the floor for news on what Microsoft has in store for the E3 trade show, which kicks off early next week, and we’re finally starting to hear some mumblings. According to winrumors, Microsoft is finalizing media partnerships and plans to debut a new Xbox LIVE subscription TV service — currently being called “Diamond” — during its press conference. Xbox LIVE Diamond should allow Xbox LIVE customers to watch streaming television provided by Microsoft’s content partners, although it’s currently unclear how much the subscription will cost. The Redmond-based company has also recently trademarked “Fusion Vault, “Fusion Genesis,” and “Fusion Sentient,” and it reportedly has a music and video discovery service dubbed “Ventura” in the works, too. We’ll be reporting from E3 next week in Los Angeles where we’re sure to hear plenty more. More →
According to new data from ABI Research, internet TV and and television services run by telecoms – such as Verizon or AT&T— are slowly eating away at cable TV’s market share. Cable TV subscriptions dropped from 72% in 2009 to 69% in 2010, and cable providers in North America and Western Europe saw the greatest subscriber losses. Despite the customer losses, the overall pay-TV market continues to grow — there were 11.3 million new pay-TV subscribers in Q1 2011, and that the total number of subscribers is expected to exceed 759 million by the end of this year. Cable TV is continuing to grow in Latin America, however, and penetration in Brazil is expected to reach 10% in 2011. “The emergency of digital TV in different pay-TV platforms begins to offer more choices to consumers,’ Khin Sandy Lynn, an ABI research analyst, said. “Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets. ABI research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011.” Hit the jump for the full release More →
Patently Apple reports that its Cupertino-based namesake has been granted a new patent for an improved 30-pin dock connector. The interface, which is used by Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPods, is slightly thinner and will be able to sherpa data over USB 3.0 and 2.0, and contain a dual-lane display port channel. The patents suggest that future versions of the company’s laptops, desktops, and mobile devices will utilize the new USB technologies — and that future mobile devices may be able to output to HDMI without the need for an adapter. There is an additional patent schematic after the break. More →
We knew that Cablevision was involved in creating an iPad app that enables the viewing of TV content, but we didn’t know that the app would offer iPad owners a better experience than FIOS’ and Time Warner Cable’s offerings. Cablevision’s Optimum app lets you, from behind your own network at home, view your entire channel lineup directly from up to two iPads simultaneously, complete with program guide information, access to the company’s more than 2,000 VOD offerings with the rest coming this summer, while also letting you record and control your DVR directly from the app. After entering my Optimum account username and password, I was immediately able to access every Optimum channel that I subscribe to from my iPad, and after some quick buffering, video looked absolutely great. It doesn’t look like you’re able to currently watch any recorded video from your DVR, but that’s not such a big deal in my book. Cablevision told me that their app doesn’t use the internet to deliver video to your iPad, nor is the content streamed, rather it’s sent over the company’s network just as it works with your set-top box. If you are an Optimum customer that doesn’t have a cable modem, Optimum will provide an internet-blocked cable modem for free that will enable you to use the iPad app with a user-provider secure wireless router. Cablevision also said that they plan to deploy the same experience to other devices, so we anticipate an iPhone and Android app in the future. Check out some screenshots of the app in our gallery, and if you’re an Optimum cable customer, the app is available for free in the App Store. Press release after the break.
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is likely none too pleased with the team responsible for writing a presentation he gave at a recent investor conference. In it, Seidenberg stated that his company’s LTE service could become a “modest substitute” for traditional cable or home Internet access. The press and blogs subsequently erupted, and rightfully so — at $50 for 5GB per month or $80 for 10GB per month (plus $10 per GB for overages on either plan), Verizon’s “4G” would be an extremely pricey cable Internet alternative. It would also provide service that is a fraction of the speed of current home Internet solutions. Cable Internet subscribers in many regions pay $30-$40 each month for download speeds in excess of 20-30Mbps and no finite caps on usage. In preliminary tests, Verizon’s LTE service achieved download speeds of less than 10Mbps with no load whatsoever on the network. More →
T-Mobile has cleared the air in response to reports Friday that questioned why the carrier might be stocking connector cables for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPod lines. T-Mobile, of course, does not currently sell any Apple products. A T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed to BGR that the cables will be sold in select T-Mobile locations, but said they are intended for subscribers using unlocked iPhone handsets and European T-Mobile customers roaming in the U.S.
Select T-Mobile stores will soon begin carrying iPod/iPhone charge and Sync cables to support customers who may be using an unlocked iPhone or are traveling from outside the United States and using an iPhone while roaming on our network. T-Mobile carries the iPhone in Europe, so many people traveling to the U.S. roam on our network with their iPhones. The iPod/iPhone cable also makes a great companion product for our line of MicroUSB charging solutions. The cable can be plugged into the USB port of the universal MicroUSB car, wall or two-in-one chargers to provide customers with a charging solution for their iPod when they are on the go.
Many had jumped to the conclusion that the iPhone might soon be offered by T-Mobile, but unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. Instead, the iPhone remains an AT&T exclusive… for now.
Any T-Mobile fans out there looking for some fresh iPhone-rumor fodder? TMoNews is reporting that several T-Mobile retail locations are starting to receive T-Mobile branded Dock Connector cables; a 30-pin cord which is currently only used by Apple’s iPods, iPads, and iPhones.
T-Mobile has publicly stated that it would support unlocked iPhones on its network — this new cable could be a testament to that. However, if you’re one of those people who know all about the “Magic Bullet” theory, you might like to convince yourself that the cable is a clear indication that Magenta could begin offering the iPad or the iPhone in the not-so-distant future.
Anyone have any additional thoughts or conspiracy theories? We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for comment and will update this post with any additional information provided. More →
Kind of… Cablevision and Time Warner are spending $10 million to provide WiFi service to over 30 parks in NYC as part of a deal to renew the cable companies’ cable TV franchises. Here is the catch though: internet use over Wi-Fi is free, but it’s limited to up to (3) 10 minute sessions a month, a total of 30 minutes of usage a person. If you want to get your SlingBox on after that, it’s going to cost $0.99/day to access the internet. Not an exorbitant amount of money, but definitely not quite free, either. More →