The Play Movies & TV app is sporting a new look with the rollout of v3.22, and this one won't blow out any corneas in a dark room. The new look brings a dark theme to the app and makes a few tweaks to the layout to increase density in scrolling lists. Hidden inside the apk are some hints that Google is also preparing to integrate with TV providers and streaming services to give users a better viewing experience. Read More
The new Chromecast Audio is neat. But the box only comes with a 1/8th inch aux cable (AKA a headphone cable), so if you want to use that handy little streaming gadget with anything that doesn't have a standard headphone jack, you'll have to dive into your rat's nest of ancient cables and adapters. Or you could head for Radio Shack, realize that Radio Shack closed two years ago and you never noticed, then head to Best Buy, ask the guy in the blue shirt where the audio cables are, find him again and ask him where the audio cable that you actually want is, then leave the store in defeat when he admits he's out of stock, then finally go home and wait a week for a $5 cable to come in the mail from Amazon. Read More
About a month ago, Google engineer Benson Leung went on an Amazon crusade against companies claiming to sell USB Type-A to Type-C charging and data cables. As Benson found out from his extensive reviews, most of them were selling non-compliant cables with the wrong kind of resistor that could potentially damage your Type-C devices (like the new Nexus 5X, 6P, Chromebook Pixel). The list of correct cables was small and the braided
USB 3.1 USB 2.0 iOrange-E was among them. It also happened to be the cheapest back then at $14.99.
A month later, the situation has changed a little bit. Read More
Android TV and similar set-top boxes are incredibly popular with the cord-cutting crowd. But if you still subscribe to cable, the various networks included with your package are finally getting their respective acts together and creating decent online options for streaming shows and movies. EPIX, a channel that's mostly focused on playing older and second-run movies, has finally made its way to Android TV. The app went live back on June 9th, but for some reason the company is just announcing it now.
EPIX is one of several apps that was revealed in an NVIDIA blog post following the launch of the SHIELD. Read More
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store.
New above, old below.
Version 2.0 of the XFINITY TV Remote app is different. Read More
DISH Network has updated their official app with a variety of improvements and new features, making it better both as a streaming video player and as an account management console. Probably the best addition in this update is the ability to support multiple profiles for a single subscriber account, a la Netflix. Each profile will have its own favorites list and recommendations, making family sharing a lot smoother.
Also on the streaming side of things, DISH has tried to make following the NCAA men's basketball tournament simpler. While it already has its own sports section to help you separate that content from general TV, this update brings with it the ability to look through the tourney bracket to check on scores. Read More
In a document posted to their corporate website, Netflix sought to describe their long-term plans. The piece reads like a fascinating mixture of investor relations propaganda and fantasy or media theory. While it touches on all kinds of different aspects of their business and the changing environment it exists in, perhaps the most intriguing part has to do with how they are describing their ideal content catalog.
We don’t and can’t compete on breadth of entertainment with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google. For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish.
Sling TV, a new hardware-free, online-only television service from the people behind Dish Network, is the most exciting thing to happen to IPTV in years. It's a $20-per-month alternative to cable and satellite that you access via the web, or more probably, apps on your mobile device or set-top I box. Sling TV is live today, offering a handful of notable cable channels with more available as paid extras.
The service is launching with an Android app, which is a refreshing change from some other online services we could mention. Read More
AT&T U-Verse customers can use the Android companion app to watch live channels on a phone or tablet, turn their handset into a TV remote, and manage DVR. The user interface hasn't looked particularly holo over the last several years, but after the latest updates, it now looks kind of ready for KitKat just in time for everything else to go material. Hey, at least it's something.
If you've used U-Verse on a tablet before, then this interface probably won't look particularly new. While AT&T has provided fresh screenshots on both Play Store pages, the tablet UI has looked this way since over the summer. Read More