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.More →
Last summer, Cablevision was one of the first cable providers to release an app for watching live TV on mobile devices. The Optimum App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch allows Optimum subscribers to watch live television when connected to their home networks. Cablevision is now testing the Optimum App for Laptops, which transforms a user’s laptop into an additional TV when connected to a home network. A beta version of the application is currently available to select customers for a limited time and we managed to put it through the paces on Thursday. Check out our hand-on photo gallery below and hit the break for some quick impressions.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.
Microsoft is poised to deploy its latest Xbox 360 dashboard update on December 6th, The Verge reported recently. The update will give the dashboard an entire overhaul and will use Microsoft’s Metro-based UI, currently found in Windows Phone and Windows 8. Reportedly, the software will also include new Kinect voice controls, the ability to save games using cloud-based storage and integrated Facebook sharing. The update may include live TV support as well, but that will largely depend on where you live, The Verge said. We’re pretty big fans of the current user interface but are still excited to see any improvements that Microsoft has in store… when we take breaks from absolutely crushing our opponents in Battlefield 3, that is. More →
The original Google TV products were met by lukewarm reviews at best, and according to Geek.com, the search giant is hard at work on its new Google TV 2.0 product. Developers have been joining Google’s new “Fishtank” program to get early access to tools that will allow them to create compelling new content for Google’s next attempt at entering our living rooms. Google TV 2.0 runs a barebones version of Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and there are reportedly only 50 developers partaking in the initial Fishtank program. Fishtank includes an Intel CE4100 reference platform with a beta version of Google TV 2.0 preloaded, and a wireless keyboard. Intel’s Sodaville SoC, part of the CE4100 reference platform, also includes support for 3D gaming and Flash. Geek.com noticed a new “dual-view” feature that allows users to watch TV and use the OS at the same time; and the user interface has the same glowing-blue Tron-like effects as the tablet version of Honeycomb. Developers are said to be up in arms over the “Live TV” application on Google TV 2.0 — many want to interact with the TV interface directly, but Google isn’t allowing that just yet. Will it be enough for Google to tackle Apple TV? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, another shot of the box and a couple of UI images can be seen after the break. More →
Motorola Mobility announced the Televation on Monday, a new device that plugs into a Wi-Fi router and uses your home network to stream live television to connected IP devices. Once it’s plugged into a router, it will automatically translate programming from MPEG-2 to MPEG 4 and match a device’s resolution to display content properly. Motorola is also providing Android and iOS SDKs so that its customers will be able to develop custom applications for finding shows and other content offered by cable providers. “Consumers love entertainment, and want easy access to TV no matter where they are in the home,” said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. “Coupled with the explosive popularity of tablet devices, this represents a terrific opportunity for MSOs [multiple system operators, or cable companies] to increase customer satisfaction while generating new revenue.” Unfortunately, it sounds like Televation will not be a direct-to-consumer product, and will instead be offered to Motorola’s cable partners, so pricing has not yet been announced. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
WatchESPN, an app that allows users to stream live TV content to devices over Wi-Fi or cellular data connections, is now available for Android devices. ESPN released the app for the iPhone and iPod touch last month and we’ve definitely been enjoying it, so seeing the network follow up with an Android app last week was most certainly welcomed. WatchESPN streams live content from ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com provided you subscribe to a cable TV package from one of ESPN’s partner companies. If your cable provider isn’t among those listed by ESPN, however, you’re unfortunately out of luck. More →
ESPN has announced that its new WatchESPN application is now available for iOS devices including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The free app provides content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN3.com to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Verizon FIOS TV customers, and allows subscribers of those networks to stream content on their iOS devices. After installing the app, you’ll need to provide your cable subscriber credentials before accessing the goods. ESPN says that a version that’s specifically optimized for the iPad will launch – for free – in May. It also has plans to launch on other smartphones and tablets in the future, which suggests that an Android version is in the works. Hit the jump for the full release. More →