Microsoft will reportedly not launch the highly anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360 this year. Cedrick Delma, Microsoft’s marketing director in France, recently told Le Point that he was “certain” the Redmond-based company would not release a new Xbox this year. Gamers shouldn’t give up all hope on at least getting a glimpse at Microsoft’s next-generation console this year, though. BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft has plans to unveil its Xbox 360 successor during this year’s E3 gaming show in Los Angeles. A few Microsoft patents recently suggested that the “Xbox 720″ might double as a set-top box complete with DVR functionality, and a rumor last week also suggested that the new console will be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360. More →
Sling Media has been the go-to provider for video placeshifting solutions for nearly seven years now. The California-based company launched its first Slingbox in 2005, enabling users to watch live television exactly as it was being broadcast to their homes on any Internet-connected PC. The company rolled out its first SlingPlayer Mobile application the following year and it hasn’t looked back, continuing to expand its mobile offering to support a wide range of popular platforms and devices. Sling Media will launch the latest addition to its mobile app lineup on Tuesday when it releases SlingPlayer Mobile for Amazon’s popular tablet, and we spent much of our weekend enjoying placeshifted live television on our Kindle Fire to test the new app. Check out a small gallery of screenshots below and hit the break for our early impressions of SlingPlayer Mobile for the Amazon Kindle Fire.
A patent that was granted to Microsoft in December suggests the company is working on an Xbox game console that will double as a digital video recorder (DVR). The patent describes several processors that are dedicated to “game titles” and a second batch that are reserved for “game titles and system (including DVR).” Specifically, the patent details a system that is equipped with a “digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console.” The filing continues, “The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on.” It is unclear if Microsoft plans to launch both a regular Xbox 720 and a second version with DVR capabilities, or if the company will release a single Xbox that simply has the DVR option for those who want to use it. We exclusively reported in June that the Xbox 720 could make its debut at this year’s E3 show. More →
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 →
AT&T has settled a patent lawsuit with TiVo in which it will pay the DVR vendor $215 million through June 2018, including an initial payment of $51 million. AT&T will also pay “incremental recurring per subscriber monthly license fees” to TiVo through July 2018 if its subscriber base surpasses a certain level, TiVo said in a statement Wednesday. AT&T and TiVo were locked in a patent battle after AT&T began to market its own digital video recorder using a technology patented by TiVo. TiVo also recently settled similar lawsuits with Dish Network and EchoStar Corp. Read on for more. More →
The firm behind PlayOn, the popular online video streaming service, announced its new PlayLater service. PlayLater allows users to record streaming video from nearly any website — including popular cable programs such shows from TBS, CBS, Adult Swim, and more — for watching at a later time. Its offline cachine features means you can store the video for watching even when a connection isn’t available, too. It’s exactly like a DVR, which means you can choose what you want the software to record, and simply forget about it until later. PlayLater is supported on PCs, and recorded content can also be watched on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad. Early beta users will receive a free one-month trial of PlayLater, after which it will cost $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. Hit the jump for the full announcement, as well as a chance to be one of the first 5,000 users in the early beta. More →
Apple may be expanding its portfolio beyond just Apple TV to an actual “Smart TV,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. “Checks in Asia suggest Apple is working on a Smart TV prototype,” Huberty said in a note to investors on Friday. She also suggested that such a TV could help create a whole new Smart TV category. While there are already connected TVs that some manufacturer’s advertise as being “smart,” Huberty thinks Apple’s could include “TV/Video content, gaming, DVR as well as other features like apps and FaceTime.” By 2013, such a device could earn Apple roughly $4 billion for every 1% of the TV market it grabs, Huberty said. We think a cooler option might be for Apple to take the ATRIX 4G path and create a TV dock that would allow your phone to power services — and render them properly — on your home TV. It would certainly be a cheaper option. Either way, Infinity Blade rendered on the big screen? Count us in.
You heard that correctly, folks. TiVo has begun plans to subsidize their DVR hardware with a monthly fee. The Premiere is available for free with a 2 year commitment and $20 monthly fee, but is also available for $99 which requires only a year-long arrangement. The TiVo Premiere XL rings up at $299 with a one year commitment if you just can’t pass up some THX-certified recorded shows. TiVo had been experimenting with these plans on and off for the last week, but as of now, they are available to everyone directly from TiVo’s website.
Following Netgear’s announcement Tuesday that it would offer a $90 set top box powered by Roku’s software, it looks as though Roku is playing with alternative models in an effort to stay competitive. Roku gained notoriety in 2008 by providing an easy solution for streaming Netflix Watch Instantly video content to television sets. The company has since expended its product through partnerships that brought additional content from the likes of Amazon Video On Demand, MLB.TV and Hulu. With a growing content library and three new hardware products starting at just $59.99, Roku still finds in the precarious position of having to compete with the likes of Google, which recently launched Google TV, and Apple, which refreshed its Apple TV offering last month.
In an effort to combat the aforementioned giants, Roku is licensing out its software. The first taker, Netgear, announced the Netgear Roku Player NTV250 earlier this week, which is already available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Fry’s, Amazon.com and Buy.com. Roku hopes that by letting larger hardware partners do the heavy lifting, it can spread its net as wide as possible and let the simplicity of its software carry partner offerings. There’s no question Roku has a great product, but Google has shown that it plans to be very aggressive with Google TV and Apple sold a quarter-million Apple TVs in just six weeks. Roku tells BGR that its business couldn’t be better right now but with competition like Apple and Google, Roku has its work cut out for it. More →
Android fans on AT&T have gotten the short end of the stick more times than we can count. It took far too long for AT&T to hop on board the Android bus and now that the wheels are going round and round, AT&T subscribers are still forced to deal with a less-than-stellar handset selection compared to the competition. In an effort to make amends, AT&T today announced the availability of its U-verse mobile app for Android handsets. The app gives Android users the ability to schedule recordings on their DVR boxes remotely. U-verse mobile can also download and play TV shows and movies that have already been recorded on a user’s DVR. AT&T’s U-verse app for Android is available immediately for the Samsung Captivate and HTC Aria, with versions for the Motorola FLIPSIDE and Motorola BRAVO set to follow soon. Unfortunately, the app is not available for the ancient OS build still residing on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
AT&T has announced that the U-Verse mobile app is now available to Apple iPhone users via the App Store. As the press release so succinctly puts it:
U-verse Mobile replaces the popular Mobile Remote Access for iPhone app and incorporates the ability to browse the U-verse TV program guide, view program descriptions, schedule and manage your DVR recordings, while adding the ability to download available episodes over any Wi-Fi connection, and watch them in full-screen mode on your iPhone from anywhere.
There is (as always) a catch, customers have to be subscribed to the U-Verse U300 package or higher, which starts at around $82 per month (and doesn’t include HD). If you are already a U-Verse customer, have a U300 cable package or better, and rock an iPhone, check out the new goods and let us know what you think! AT&T’s full press release is after the break. More →
Verizon couch potatoes throw your hands up! If you have a DROID or Eris on Verizon, and you’re a FiOS customer, you can get FiOS Mobile on your phone now. You can check TV listings, adjust parental controls, set your DVR and even check out Videos On Demand with the new mobile application. Verizon also included a nifty little storage space indicator to let you know when it’s time to delete those episodes of Jersey Shore that you’ve already seen a dozen times. Let us know how it works out for you, will you? More →
We popped over to Sling Media’s booth here at CES and took the new Sling Touch Control 100 for a spin. Overall, it’s pretty impressive and nifty, albeit a bit large, but the big, vivid screen makes up for it. Now, instead of picking up your heavy arm, grabbing the remote control and pushing all those buttons, you can set this thing down beside you and navigate your DVR or Blu-ray player over your wireless network with just the touch of a finger. The layout and set-up is very similar to what you’d see online for navigating content, so it’s quite intuitive. But if you miss that good-old-fashioned remote control look, you can get that up on the screen, too. Hit the break for the video demo! More →