Apple’s Siri-enabled iTV already being tested by potential partners, report claims

By on February 7, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Apple’s Siri-enabled iTV already being tested by potential partners, report claims

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 →

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Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

By on February 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM.

Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

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 →

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YouTube surpasses 4 billion video views per day

By on January 23, 2012 at 7:45 PM.

YouTube surpasses 4 billion video views per day

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 →

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Apple’s Siri patent reveals a much more powerful service that may be in the works

By on January 19, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

Apple’s Siri patent reveals a much more powerful service that may be in the works

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 →

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CES

Toshiba CES 2012 booth tour

By on January 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM.

Toshiba CES 2012 booth tour

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.

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Apple’s iTV could offer dynamic backlighting for improved picture quality

By on January 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM.

Apple’s iTV could offer dynamic backlighting for improved picture quality

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 →

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9% of U.S. consumers have canceled cable TV, study says

By on January 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

9% of U.S. consumers have canceled cable TV, study says

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 →

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Samsung may reenter Japanese TV market

By on January 3, 2012 at 4:04 AM.

Samsung may reenter Japanese TV market

Samsung may soon begin selling its televisions in Japan after taking a several year hiatus. Samsung is reportedly talking to Yamada Denki Co and Yodobashi Camera Co., two retailers in the country, Reuters said Monday. Samsung originally left the market citing an increase in competition from other television makers and a drop in profits. The South Korean firm is expected to unveil several new models during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. LG, one of the Samsung’s largest competitors, took the wraps off of a gorgeous nearly borderless 55-inch OLED television on Monday. More →

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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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