In a move that is sure to strike fear into broadcasters and advertisers everywhere, Apple (AAPL) is apparently working on technology that would automatically shut off broadcast advertisements in favor of preloaded content. AppleInsider reports that a new Apple patent covers a system of “seamless switching between radio and local media” that will let mobile devices “automatically switch between broadcast content and stored media to offer the user a type of customized content consumption experience.” More →
Samsung confirmed on Friday that its 55-inch OLED HDTV will be shown at Berlin’s IFA trade show in late August, according to a report from SlashGear. At the event, the manufacturer will announce the TV’s official launch details alongside a new, premium range of HDTVs. Samsung describes the new televisions as even “more premium” than its OLED models, although that may be in terms of functionality rather than design or display technology. Samsung unveiled its OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, however details remain scarce. Both television sets will reportedly support the newest iteration of Samsung AllShare, which will add a 5GB cloud account to its local DLNA-based service, along with a remote login system, in the latter part of 2012. Using a single account login, the feature will allow users to remotely access any of their Samsung devices located anywhere in the world. More →
More than 1 million cable television subscribers in the United States canceled their service in 2011, opting instead for online films and TV shows available through services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Nearly 2.65 million cable or satellite TV subscribers have canceled their service since 2008 to rely solely on Web-based services according to estimates from the Convergence Consulting Group. “It’s pretty obvious that there’s actual cord-cutting going on in the U.S.,” Brahm Eiley, president of Convergence Consulting, said in an interview with Bloomberg. The firm warns that the pace of defections may slow this year, however, as content providers tighten online access to shows and increase prices. It is estimated that roughly 930,000 customers will cut the cord in 2012, for a total of 3.58 million subscribers since 2008. The group also estimates that traditional television providers will add 185,000 accounts this year, up from 112,000 in 2011. More →
In a effort to cut costs and improve its financial situation, Sony is eliminating two divisions at its main electronics unit, promoting three executives and keeping a close eye on its money-losing television unit, Bloomberg’s Businessweek reported on Tuesday. The Japanese company will shut down its consumer products and services group, which handled consumer-level electronics, and the professional device and solutions group, which handled business oriented products and components. Executive Deputy President Hiroshi Yoshioka, who oversaw the professional device and solutions group, will head the company’s newly created medical business unit. Sony spokeswoman Satsuki Shinnaka said all changes will be effective April 1st and are aimed at speeding up management decisions. On the same date, the company will welcome its new president and CEO Kazuo Hirai. Hiari is largely credited with making Sony’s PlayStation game business profitable and will be looking to do the same with the company’s Bravia television unit, which is expected to post its fourth straight annual loss. More →
Apple hasn’t even announced the HDTV that has been rumored for months, but it is already the most talked-about television in the world. While the constant chatter is certainly building hype surrounding Apple’s first foray into the space, it also reportedly has the Cupertino-based technology giant in a bit of hot water. British television network ITV has apparently sent a strongly worded letter to Apple advising the company not to use the “iTV” moniker for its upcoming HDTV, The Telegraph reports. Apple first unveiled its Apple TV product under the iTV name, however it was later changed in order to skirt a potential lawsuit. Apple is reportedly preparing to launch its first television this summer featuring iOS as well as Apple’s voice-powered Siri technology. A number of sources have referred to the set as “iTV,” though it is unclear if Apple intends to launch the device with that name.
Prototypes of Apple’s upcoming HDTV are already being tested by multiple potential carrier partners Apple is trying to woo, The Globe and Mail reports. The Canadian paper calls the iTV “a product that has the potential to revolutionize TV viewing by turning conventional televisions into gigantic iPads,” and claims at least two Canadian carriers are currently testing the Apple television in their labs. Apple’s forthcoming iTV can be controlled using voice commands or by making gestures in the air, and it supports Web browsing as well according to the report. Apple is said to be in talks with Canadian carriers Rogers and BCE regarding potential broadcast partnerships in Canada, though the content and terms Apple is seeking are unclear. Apple is expected to launch an iOS-powered HDTV later this year that will replace the conventional remote control with voice commands interpreted by Siri. The iTV may also offer a customized channel subscription model and iOS app support according to earlier rumors. More →
Apple will launch its own HDTV called the “iTV,” analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Company said on Monday. We’ve written dozens of reports on Apple’s alleged upcoming HDTV, and most speculate that the device will run a version of iOS along with the company’s Siri voice engine that will remove the need for a traditional remote control. Misek also said that Apple is in talks to partner with carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T for access to exclusive and non-exclusive content, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Best Buy recently leaked possible details on the iTV and the retailer’s survey suggested the device will have a 42-inch display and a $1,499 price tag. The TV could launch near the middle of this year, although a recent report suggested that the television’s launch might be pushed back due to limited display availability. More →
Google recently confirmed that YouTube now receives more than 4 billion video views per day. Reuters reported the news Monday morning and noted that the site has seen a 25% increase in videos viewed per day since May. Google, which owns YouTube, also confirmed that there are more than 60 hours of fresh video uploaded each minute, up from the 48 hours of video added per minute in May. Advertisements on videos generate roughly $5 billion in revenue each year, Reuters said, but just 3 billion videos feature ads each week. The growth in viewership was attributed to users accessing the service from smartphones and televisions. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published Apple’s patent application related to its Siri digital assistant service. We’ve already heard rumors that Apple is planning to launch a new television set that completely reinvents how we interact with TV by using Siri to replace the remote, but now it appears that the company has much more expansive plans for the technology. Read on for more. More →
Toshiba had a ton of products on display this year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The booth was chocked full of stunning new technology and we were blown away by several of the 3D products on display. Toshiba had its new line of Qosmio laptops with glasses-free 3D screens, glasses-free 3D TVs that were more impressive than the models we saw last year, and its Thrive and Excite X10 tablets were on display as well. We even had a chance to play a 3D game on a huge HDTV that was hooked up to a Qosmio laptop, which was a ton of fun. Check out all the highlights from Toshiba’s booth in our gallery below.
Apple recently filed for a patent called “Dynamic Backlight Adaptation for Black Bars with Subtitles” that may be used to provide improved picture quality in its rumored HDTV. Apple explained in the patent application that the black bars above and below video on widescreen televisions can make it tough for a television panel to display blacks properly. “These non-picture portions complicate the analysis of the brightness of the video images, and therefore can create problems when determining the trade-off between the brightness of the video signals and the intensity setting of the light source,” Apple said in the patent. “Moreover, these non-picture portions can also produce visual artifacts, which can degrade the overall user experience.” Apple’s solution would be to dynamically change the backlighting. Read on for more. 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 →