A few years ago getting Internet access while on an airline flight seemed like magic. Now in the not-too-distant future, the connection in your plane might be faster than the one in your home. According to a press release issued by Virgin America, new technology from corporate partner ViaSat will improve its satellite Internet connection by a factor of five to ten times thanks to a next-generation satellite. The new technology offers speeds of up to 140 gigabits per second spread across the entire network, which should mean "8 to 10 times faster" speeds for individual users, enough for reliable music streaming and (maybe) some video. Read More
Communication companies are hooking up around us as we speak. Mobile carrier AT&T is buying satellite provider DirecTV. Cable distributor Charter is acquiring rivals Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Now T-Mobile is looking to merge with Dish Network, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The two sides apparently agree on how the combined company would look. T-Mobile CEO John Legere would serve as CEO, while Dish Chief Executive Charlie Ergen would be the chairman. Read More
Far be it from me to tell gigantic companies like Turner Broadcasting or Time Warner what to do with their Android apps. But when the last version of your official streaming app has what look like Froyo screenshots on the Play Store (from back when it wasn't even the Play Store), it might be time for an update. Adult Swim, the allegedly grown-up portion of Cartoon Network's programming block, now has a much more modern app for fans to watch new shows and back episodes. 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. Read More
I don't think anyone has ever accused cable companies of having the best aesthetic sensibilities, but DISH Network's former Android streaming app was a particularly good example of how not to do it. It was a lazy port of the iPhone version, and it showed, covering the basic streaming and scheduling with the bare minimum of effort. The new version... well, I'd be lying if I said it was great, but at least it gets a facelift and a proper tablet interface. Read More
There have been rumblings recently that, adding to its other (perhaps more far-flung) efforts to improve Internet access around the world, Google would eventually deploy its own fleet of satellites. Today, those rumblings got a little bit closer to reality as Google announced its agreement to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million in cash.
Skybox's journey so far, according to the announcement on its own blog, has been about revolutionizing "access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth." Having already deployed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, the company says it's already made "great strides." Read More
We have a second screen problem. The TV may have the largest display in the house, but it fails to consistently hold our attention even during engaging content, let alone commercial breaks. Cable and satellite companies have tried to respond to this phenomenon by releasing companion apps that place their content on both screens at once. Unfortunately, these apps typically aren't that good. The DIRECTV Android app was completely revamped not too long ago, but already a new update is available that changes things around a bit. Read More
Voice Search is everywhere these days. Google's expanding its Search app to pull contact information, Glass is controlled via voice commands, and iOS's Siri is now integrated with the Chevrolet Sonic. With the latest update to the DIRECTV app, customers can now use voice search to find out what's on television.
What's new in this version:
- Just talk as you would to a person and the app finds what you’re looking for.
DISH Network may be hard at work trying to woo Sprint away from the clutches of SoftBank, but in the meantime, they've got a few million TV customers to satisfy. The DISH Anywhere app left a lot to be desired when it debuted, but version 2 adds much-needed features like access to the company's growing library of on-demand content. Of course, most of the on-demand content comes from HBO, Cinemax and the like, and if you're paying for them, you've already got access to the (usually better) dedicated streaming apps. Read More
Google TV still exists. It's important to be reminded once in a while because, while Google TV promised to be our deliverer from the evil world of crappy cable box interfaces, so far the company has yet to deliver. Today's update to the TV & Movies app, though, is a step in the right direction. For starters, Google has finally done what we've all wanted since there were more than three channels: now you can see what shows are on just your favorite channels on a single screen. Read More