Commercial breaks have never been enjoyable, but after growing accustomed to Netflix's commercial-free experience and the brief pauses between Hulu videos, sitting through five minutes worth of ads while watching cable is more jarring than ever. It's possible to channel surf long enough to find something else to watch during that time, but you know the drill - either every show that's interesting happens to go to a commercial break at the same time, or you get too engrossed in something new to remember to turn back.
Anyone paying $20 per month for a premium cable channel should probably be doing everything possible to take advantage of it. With that in mind, the new update to Showtime Anywhere has added live streaming of Showtime to the app, but it's only available if you're a paying subscriber.
All the archived episodes of Showtime series are included, but now you can see what's airing on the Showtime East and Showtime West feeds.
Chromecast may perhaps be the evolution of the Nexus Q, but it's not a replacement for Google TV. True to form, the company believes that the two products do not compete with one another and can co-exist comfortably side by side. This should come as no surprise from the folks that brought us both Chrome OS and Android, two operating systems that just aren't going to merge regardless of how loudly some people cry.
Want to know how you're expected to connect your phones, tablets, and computers to that fancy Chromecast that's shipping in the mail? Simple, there's an app for that. Google has dropped dedicated software in the Play Store that configures all that Chromecast devices in your house, because I know there are a good number of you that have already ordered more than one.
The app will set up your Chromecast to work on your local network and give you an interface for managing its settings, such as changing the device's name or inputting a new WiFI password.
If you've ordered (or picked up) your Chromecast dongle and you're raring to start sharing content from your devices to your television, you can take one more step to get ready by downloading the official Google Cast extension.
Community Manager Moritz Tolxdorff posted to Google+ earlier this evening encouraging users to download the extension, which will allow the sharing of media and tabs straight from Chrome to a Chromecast-connected TV.
Just sitting around with nothing to do? Why not watch some TV on your Android device? The new Watch ABC app offers access to a large number of on-demand shows and even does live TV streaming in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. The obvious downside here is almost no devices are currently supported.
Cross-platform specialist Bluestacks has already thrown its hat into the Android mini-console ring with GamePop, currently in the pre-order stage. Today the company announced a second option, the GamePop Mini, which will use the same subscription model as the "full-sized" console but come with free hardware, along with a 12-month contract. Specifications for the GamePop Mini have not been released, but it will be less powerful and have cosmetic variations from the standard model.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is working on a few things. They are, according to the world's most infamous tipster "People Familiar With The Matter," working on an Android-powered video game console. And a smart watch. And a new Nexus Q. And the possibility of Android-powered appliances (like refrigerators). And Laptops. And, oh yeah, low-cost phones for developing markets.
Typically we avoid reporting on too-good-to-be-true rumors, but today's alleged revelation is a real whopper.
Announced at CES this year, the ASUS Cube has managed to get a decent amount of attention for a Google TV Box. Formerly known as the Qube, this angular, textured device came to market toward the end of last month, and I've been living with it ever since, trying to get a feel for the product and decide whether ASUS has something special on their hands.
In reviewing the Cube I wanted to answer two main questions that I think underlie every GTV device: Is the user experience a good one, and does the product successfully make Google TV something I actually want to use on a daily basis?