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.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. In a conclusion to court cases that have been going around the country ever since the service started in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled this morning that Aereo TV is in active violation of copyright law. The decision in favor of television and cable broadcasters and their corporate backers will effectively cripple the web and mobile streaming TV service, and may destroy the company altogether.
Another week, another cable channel with its own app, but this one will be particularly welcome for sports fans. Fox is now ready to broadcast its cable sports content to subscribers via the Fox Sports GO app, offering a live feed of available games and various talking head sports shows. Oddly this app shows up as a "version 2.0" release - Fox may have been testing it internally, since the Wikipedia page says that the Android version is still forthcoming.
Fun fact: because of the enormous expense of shooting on location, a surprising number of American television series are shot and produced in Canada. Often when you see "Chicago" or "New York" on the small screen, it's really Toronto or Vancouver standing in as a body double for an entire city. Supernatural's Winchester Brothers are almost always running around British Colombia, and the rolling Wild West frontier of Hell On Wheels is really Alberta.
So, Aereo's streaming TV service is pretty cool. It re-broadcasts standard over-the-air television signals to your mobile device, assuming you live in one of the coverage areas. If you want to enjoy your incredibly convenient TV Xzibit-style, and put your TV in your TV (set), you'll soon be able to. According to a new press release, the Aereo app will add support for Google Chromecast on May 29th. Hooray!
Of course, that assumes that Aereo's $8-a-month subscription service is still around at that point.
Hey, Sky? You do know that the same Google Play Store listing can be used for both smartphone and tablet versions of an app, right? No? You're still going with separate smartphone and tablet apps, like it's 2010? Okay then. The Sky Go tablet app has the same basic features of the smartphone app, but it's restricted to 7" or larger tablets running Android 4.0 or later.
Kidding aside, the feature set of the Sky Go app is pretty admirable, with live TV and streaming TV on demand.
Virgin Media TV customers in the UK, you can now watch your TiVo live television service or recorded programs on your Android device, anywhere! Anywhere with a WiFi connection, that is. Assuming that you've got a phone or tablet running Android 2.3 through 4.3, but not KitKat 4.4. Oh, and you can't be rooted. Have fun!
All kidding aside, there seem to be some serious issues with Virgin's new TV Anywhere app for Android, starting with the aforesaid KitKat support.
A handful of cable TV providers have been working to bolster their offerings in an effort to keep customers content. Among the top requested features is streaming of content to screens that aren't directly tied to our cable boxes, particularly tablets. We can welcome Cox Communications to the streaming club with the recent release of Cox TV Connect.
The app is intended for homes with Cox TV Essential or AdvancedTV packages, plus Cox Preferred, Premier, or Ultimate Internet service.
If you're reading every word of this post and running it through an internal translator to output a language your brain understands, DISH has something for you. The DishWorld app has launched on Android, bringing over 90 channels in 12 (non-english) languages to your device over the internet. It requires a subscription, but no hardware on the roof.
DishWorld programming is currently offered in Arabic, Bangla, Brazilian (Portuguese, presumably), Cantonese, Filipino, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Vietnamese (Mandarin and Taiwanese are coming soon).
Remember back in the day when MTV actually showed music videos instead of two-dozen different [completely moronic] shows that you don't really want to watch? Well, it looks like VEVO wants to bring that sort of always-on music video channel back from the dead with its freshly-announced VEVO TV. As the name suggests, it's a TV-like channel that can be accessed any time, where you can watch music videos in real-time with everyone else.