Sharp may supply 32-inch and 37-inch panels for Apple HDTV; Q2 or Q3 launch possible

By on December 27, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

Sharp may supply 32-inch and 37-inch panels for Apple HDTV; Q2 or Q3 launch possible

Sharp is reportedly working to supply Apple with 32-inch and 37-inch LCD panels for its Siri-equipped HDTV. Manufacturers could begin building the new televisions as soon as the first quarter, DigiTimes said on Tuesday, and a public launch could occur in the second or third quarter next year. Samsung reportedly began building chips for the “iTV’ devices in November, too. The Wall Street Journal said earlier this month that Apple was already beginning to pitch the voice-controlled TV to top media executives and an article in The New York Times recently said that Apple will “absolutely” launch a TV with Siri-powered voice controls that will replace the remote. Tuesday’s report is in line with an earlier report from an analyst that also said Sharp will provide the displays and that a mid-2012 launch is possible. More →

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Apple launches ‘Complete my season’ iTunes feature for TV shows

By on December 20, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

Apple launches ‘Complete my season’ iTunes feature for TV shows

Until recently, iTunes users were able to purchase episodes of television shows a-la-carte or buy a whole season outright. The problem was, however, a user still had to pay full price for a television season even if he or she already owned a few individual episodes. Apple has reportedly fixed that problem by adding a “Complete my season” button that functions just like the “Complete my album” button in the iTunes Music Store. That means, for example, if you’ve purchased nine episodes of Family Guy and want to own the entire first season, you can buy it at a discounted rate that takes your previous purchases into consideration. The feature should be live now, according to MacRumors. More →

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Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

By on December 19, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

Apple has reportedly met with top media executives to discuss the company’s vision of the television market’s future, suggesting that the company is moving full steam ahead on its rumored Siri-powered HDTV. The television is expected to include similar technology to the company’s current Apple TV set top box, which allows users to stream content such as movies, music and photos over a wireless network. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue has reportedly been in the aforementioned meetings and has pitched the idea of  a television that could be controlled by voice or motion, seemingly similar to Microsoft’s Kinect technology, and Cue has discussed “new ways Apple’s technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs,” The Wall Street Journal said Monday. Steve Jobs was said to have been working on a prototype for several years before his passing in 2011. It remains unclear when such a product might hit the market, although early rumors have suggested it will use a display provided by Sharp and will launch in mid-2012. More →

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Verizon considered Hulu buy, may challenge Netflix streaming service next year

By on December 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM.

Verizon considered Hulu buy, may challenge Netflix streaming service next year

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently took the stage during a UBS conference in New York where he explained that Verizon once considered purchasing Hulu. McAdam did not comment on another rumor, which suggests that Verizon is working on building its own video streaming service that could compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Reuters first reported on the rumor and said the service could be deployed next year in areas where Verizon doesn’t offer its FiOS broadband and TV products. It is unclear what programming partners Verizon is speaking with, although Reuters suggested Epix or Viacom would be two content companies that might be interested. “If this deal comes true it’s not clear to me what Verizon would bring to the table that is materially different to what others like Amazon offer,” Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner told Reuters. McAdams did admit that, while Verizon may not be purchasing Hulu now, his company “[continues] to look at alternatives.” More →

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Microsoft Kinect-enabled TVs could go head-to-head with Apple’s rumored HDTV

By on November 24, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Microsoft Kinect-enabled TVs could go head-to-head with Apple’s rumored HDTV

Microsoft’s Kinect motion and voice control system, currently available for the Xbox 360 and soon for Windows PCs, may soon be built into televisions. Microsoft is working on deals to license Kinect to TV makers Sony and Vizio, The Daily reported, noting that such technology could allow couch surfers to control their TVs with motion and voice. Currently, Xbox 360 Kinect owners are able to browse their Netflix queues and more by making gestures with their arms or using a number of voice commands. The Daily said Microsoft may be working to enable the system to recognize specific users, too, which would allow a TV to adjust various settings automatically in line with a user’s viewing habits. The technology could put TV vendors in a position where they are more prepared to combat the rumored Siri-controlled television Apple is said to be working on, but it is unclear when Microsoft’s partners might begin to release Kinect-enabled televisions.  More →

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Apple TV price drops suggest imminent refresh

By on November 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM.

Apple TV price drops suggest imminent refresh

Amazon and Best Buy are both offering the Apple TV for $89.99, $10 lower than Apple’s standard retail price, which suggests that the Cupertino-based company could be brewing up a refresh for the popular home entertainment box. In addition, Amazon has added a “2010” label next to the gadget, indicating that a 2011 model is on the way (or that it is simply distinguishing it from the earlier version). In May, a rumor surfaced that suggested Apple was building a new Apple TV that will support full 1080p video output, iCloud, 16GB of storage and a new A5 processor. It is unclear when Apple might unveil the new unit, but it would certainly make sense for it to hit store shelves in time for the holidays. In any case, this rumor should not be confused with other speculation that Apple is hard at work developing a Siri-enabled television set. More →

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Sony CEO: We’re building ‘a different kind of TV set,’ just like Apple

By on November 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Sony CEO: We’re building ‘a different kind of TV set,’ just like Apple

All eyes have been on Apple to reinvent the television set, but Sony CEO Howard Stringer recently confirmed that Sony, too, is working on re-imagining the TV. “There’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set,” Stringer said during a breakfast hosted recently by The Wall Street Journal. “We can’t continue selling TV sets [as we currently do]. Every TV set we all make loses money.” Stringer said that he has “no doubt” that Steve Jobs had intentions of designing a brand-new kind of television but said that “it will take a long time to transition to a new form of television.” Read on for more. More →

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Sony scrambles to reverse losses, will split television business into three parts

By on November 1, 2011 at 1:00 AM.

Sony scrambles to reverse losses, will split television business into three parts


Sony announced on Monday that it will split its television business into three different branches in an effort to reverse a course that has the arm headed to its eighth consecutive annual loss. The three new branches include LCD TVs, next generation TVs and outsourced televisions, Reuters said on Monday, and the changes will go into effect on Tuesday, November 1st. “By dividing into three divisions, we will make clearer the misson and responsibilities of these,” a Sony spokesperson said. Additionally, Sony is said to be in talks to sell its 50% stake in S-LCD to Samsung, its partner in the joint venture.  More →

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Apple will ‘absolutely’ launch a TV, Siri to replace remote according to report

By on October 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM.

Apple will ‘absolutely’ launch a TV, Siri to replace remote according to report

Apple has been planning to redesign the television since 2007 and when it finally launches the new set, it will replace the age-old remote control with Siri voice commands, The New York Times reported on Thursday. A recent quote from Steve Jobs’s biography — “I finally cracked it” —  began circulating recently and, for many, it seemed to solidify rumors that Apple was going to enter the television market. The New York Times believes that quote was actually in reference to Jobs’s realization that Siri could be used to control a TV much better than a remote or a combination of a mouse and keyboard. You might be able to say “Play Arrested Development,” or “turn on the weather” from the comfort of your couch, for example. “Absolutely, it is a guaranteed product for Apple,” one source told the The New York Times. “Steve thinks the industry is totally broken.” Apple is reportedly waiting for the price of displays to fall before it introduces the product to consumers, but an official announcement could come as soon as late-2012. More →

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Apple’s smart TV to feature ‘unmatched aesthetics,’ could be game-changer for gaming

By on October 24, 2011 at 8:36 AM.

Apple’s smart TV to feature ‘unmatched aesthetics,’ could be game-changer for gaming

Reports have suggested for more than a year that Apple is working on a smart TV product, and those reports were firmed up last week when an excerpt from Steve Jobs’s biography revealed that the Apple co-Founder was indeed working on an Apple television. “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs said according to biographer Walter Isaacson. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.” In a note to investors on Monday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said that the upcoming introduction of a smart TV represents a $100 billion revenue opportunity for the Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics giant. Read on for more. More →

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Steve Jobs’s biography suggests Apple has TV in the works

By on October 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM.

Steve Jobs’s biography suggests Apple has TV in the works

Steve Jobs’s biography, written by Walter Isaacson and due on store shelves on Monday, has a passage that suggests Apple has a TV up its sleeves. The Washington Post published a small excerpt on Friday that reveals a conversation Jobs had with Isaacson in which he says he has already created a product that could change the television industry much like the iPhone changed the mobile landscape and the iPod re-sculpted the music industry. “He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson said in the book. Here’s an excerpt:

“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” he told me. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.” No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

Rumors that Apple has plans to enter the TV market have swirled for years now. In March, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said checks in Asia suggested that Apple was already working on a smart TV. Earlier this summer, another rumor started by a former Apple employee said customers will soon be able to walk into an Apple Store and leave with an Apple-branded TV. More →

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Apple working on new streaming technology to take over living rooms

By on August 26, 2011 at 10:20 AM.

Apple working on new streaming technology to take over living rooms

Amid the flurry of news reports about Steve Jobs’s departure as CEO of Apple was one hidden gem: Apple is reportedly working on a new way to deliver video content to televisions. The Wall Street Journal noted that Tim Cook, who has stepped up as the new CEO of Apple, will need to work on boosting Apple’s presence in the digital video market. “Apple is working on a new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to launch a subscription TV service,”  the report said. It is still unclear what Apple’s new technology is, but in July we saw a unique patent for sharing media across iOS devices, which could very well be used with an Apple TV product. In addition, there have been rumors that Apple has considered purchasing the online streaming service Hulu, which could certainly help it kick-start a subscription TV platform.

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Flipboard to add TV shows, books and movies; iPhone app on its way

By on August 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM.

Flipboard to add TV shows, books and movies; iPhone app on its way

Flipboard, the company behind the popular like-named social magazine application for the iPad, plans to add TV shows, books and movie content, Reuters reported on Thursday. The company’s app has been downloaded more than 3 million times, and it offers articles from several popular magazines including Rolling Stone and National Geographic. Users can view articles alongside customized news and social network feeds, too. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told Reuters that he hopes to add TV shows and movies by the end of the year but has not discussed who his company is teaming up with to deliver the content just yet. It is also still unclear when McCue will add books to the app. A version of the software for the iPhone and iPod touch will be launching in the coming weeks and we’re excited to see how it performs on the iPhone’s smaller screen. More →

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