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July 31, 2014

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Hollywood Reporter says Apple can't kill cable

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 26th 2009 10:04AM
The world might be all moonbeams and rainbows about the prospects of a TV-less show world thanks to Apple's possible deal with Disney and CBS, but The Hollywood Reporter has swooped in to crush everyone's dreams.

A commentary from THR's Andrew Wallenstein states rather bluntly in the headline that "Apple can't kill cable."

His argument is varied and well-thought-out in several areas, from a lack of adequate company backing to fill Apple's show roster to basic economic principals that I could have understood if my college economics professor didn't make brains bleed with the power of his voice.

Then again, never-say-never. For instance, a certain entertainment newspaper once said in 1955 that rock 'n roll music would be "gone by June." Do you know which newspaper that was? Well, it was ... um, Variety, but that's beside the point.

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Apple talking to CBS, Disney for its TV project

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 23rd 2009 9:30PM
Any attempt to break new barriers in television accessibility is nothing without content and Apple's latest attempt to corner TV has two big names in its front pocket.

CBS and Disney are in talks with Apple to join their latest iTunes TV project, a monthly subscription that would give viewers access to a whole range of TV shows.

Of course, none of these deals are set in stone and everything can fall apart at a moment's notice, but imagine the effects this project would have on television. Are you excited about it or does it scare you down to the very core of your being?

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Is Apple looking to take a bite out of TV next?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 25th 2009 2:33PM
Apple logoApple has left some fairly noticeable heel marks on the free throw lines of the computer, digital music and the cell phone industry.

So what technology business does Steve Jobs have next on his "To Dominate" list? Why TV, of course. What did you think I was going to say? Toasters? Did you not read the name of this blog?

A financial analyst with the Piper Jaffray investment banking firm speculated that the company is eying at taking a stab at TV technology by releasing its own high definition television by 2011.

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aTV Flash makes Apple TV hacking easy, for a fee

by Brad Linder, posted May 23rd 2008 1:08PM

aTV Flash

Wish you could use that Apple TV box next to your TV for web browsing, reading RSS feeds, or even just playing DivX video? You could do a little software hacking yourself, or if you're worried about mucking things up, you could pay $60 for a USB stick from aTV Flash loaded with software that will do all the dirty work for you.

Here are just a few of the things you'll be able to do with your newly hacked Apple TV:

  • Play DivX, XviD, AVi, and WMV files
  • Play uncoverted DVD files
  • Sync and play videos without iTunes
  • Surf the web with a WebKit/Safari-based browser
  • Rent HD movies from Jaman
  • View weather forecasts
  • Read RSS feeds

And best of all, the developers claim the software does not void your Apple TV warranty.

[via TUAW]

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AppleTV updates: Linux bootloader released, internet radio improved

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 30th 2008 2:33PM
atv-bootloaderThe Unofficial Apple Weblog picked up on two interesting tidbits related to the Apple TV today. First up, the latest software update from Apple includes the ability to listen to internet radio streams. You'll need to connect your Apple TV to a computer with iTunes, and that computer will need to have some streams saved in a playlist.

But the much more exciting news (if you happen to be a big nerd) is that hackers have figured out how to load Linux on an Apple TV. That means if you're a fan of the Apple hardware, but not so much the Apple TV interface, you might be able to turn your box into a MythTV FrontEnd, or even load a port of XBMC, the media center suite originally developed to run on converted Xbox video game systems.

You can find out more about the Linux bootloader at the atv-bootloader page.

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Is Apple finally adding a PVR to the AppleTV?

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 13th 2008 3:04PM
AppleTV PVR
The folks at AppleInsider have uncovered a group of patent applications filed by Apple back in 2006. The filing, which became public this week provide details for a hardware and software interface that would allow users to watch and record live television. In other words, Apple may have been planning to turn the AppleTV into a PVR all along, which is kind of what we've been hoping for since the company first announced the media streaming device.

Some of the more interesting patents cover a remote control device that looks a bit like an iPod Nano. The idea is that you'd be able to download program information from your set top box unto the remote control and view it using the small built in LCD. You could then view program listings and schedule recordings using just the remote. Next time you bring the remote in contact with your set top box the recordings will be scheduled.

The patent filings also show a series of on-screen menus that would allow users to browse program listings, schedule recordings, or watch recorded programs using an AppleTV. It's never a good idea to read too much into these patent filings. Some or all of these concepts may never see the light of day. But there's really not much reason to doubt that Apple plans to add PVR functions to the AppleTV. It's got a hard drive, internet connection, and it's designed to play video on your TV screen. Why wouldn't you be able to watch and record live programming using the same box?

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Apple TV take 2: Download iTunes videos without a computer

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 15th 2008 2:02PM
Apple TV take 2
If you were a bit underwhelmed by Apple's first set top box, the Apple TV, you weren't alone. At Macworld today, Steve Jobs pretty much admitted that the Apple TV was a failure. Part of the reason for that is that people didn't want a two-step solution that required them to download videos from the iTunes store on their computer and then stream them over a home network to the Apple TV for watching.

So Apple TV take 2 lets users download movies from iTunes directly. No computer required. Oh yeah, and you can also rent movies now, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. Older movies will be at the lower end of the scale, with new releases and HD rentals filling out the higher end.

There's also support for more watching more YouTube videos, Flickr images, and .mac support. Apple has also dropped the price of the Apple TV from $299 to $229. And current users can get all of the new features through a free software upgrade.

There's still not PVR functionality, which some people were hoping for. But all things considered, the new Apple TV at $229 is a lot more attractive than the old version with fewer features for $299.

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Transfer shows from your TiVo to iTunes with SeasonPassGetter

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 30th 2007 4:30PM
SeasonPassGetter
TiVo finally released a TiVoToGo package for Mac this year that allows Mac users to download recorded programs from their TiVo to their computer. And when we say TiVo released this application, we mean TiVo partnered with Roxio to include the feature in their commercial applications, which means there's no official free version available.

Fortunately for cheapskates out there, TiVoDecode Manager gives you some of the same features for free. And this week, Alex at TiVo Blog spotted another free application called SeasonPassGetter. The program takes content from your TiVo, moves it over to your computer, and automatically adds it to iTunes.

The best part is that is regularly transfered scheduled recordings. In other words, if you have a season pass for Lost, SeasonPassGetter will transfer every episode to iTunes, which can then export every episode to your iPod, AppleTV, or iPhone.

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Vudu launches set top box with access to 5,000 movies

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 6th 2007 3:03PM
Vudu
Since folks just can't get enough extra set top boxes to stick next to their TV, Vudu has decided to launch a new AppleTV competitor. Because you know, the AppleTV is selling so well.

We first told you about Vudu back in April. But if you promptly forgot about it, here are the details. It's little black box that lets you download 5,000 movies from major studios and independent producers. But you'll have to pay. Prices range from $.99 to $3.99 for rentals and $4.99 to $19.99 for purchases. That's on top of the $400 you pay to buy the box.

Oh yeah, and once you buy a movie, it's stuck on the box. You can store up to 100 movies at a time, but once you fill your Vudu up, there's no option to transfer files to a spare hard drive, PC, or burn to DVD.

On the upside, CNet reports that the video quality is pretty good and that videos begin to stream almost immediately after a download begins.

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Not AppleTV: Web-based AppleTV style video player

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 29th 2007 5:00PM
Not AppleTV
Ever want to take the AppleTV interface for a spin without spending $299 to actually buy a little white box? Flash developer Paul Yanez has come up with the next best thing to actually giving Apple your money. Not AppleTV mimics the AppleTV interface, but instead of iTunes videos, you can browse a selection of videos from online video sites like YouTube, Break, and the NSFW Pornotube.

Yanez is the same guy who developed the Flash-based Joost clone we told you about last month. He also has a Babelgum version.

We can't imagine that Joost, Babelgum, or Apple aren't going to come after this guy at some point and force him to shut down the sites. While he's not taking any video content from their respective services, his designs probably violate their intellectual property.

That said, it would be great if one of these companies would hire Yanez to develop a web interface for their products. It'd be great if you could install Joost on your home computer but access your account over the web using any browser. It would be even more exciting if you could access content stored on your AppleTV over the web using an interface like Not AppleTV.

[via TechCrunch]

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AppleTV hack enables external hard drives

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 28th 2007 2:30PM
AppleTVDigging the Apple TV, but not a fan of its anemic hard drive? Sure, Apple's released a 160GB version for $100 more than the 40GB AppleTV. But if you're a big movie/TV fan you might want to store more programming than you could fit on such a puny hard drive.

Lucky for you, the Apple TV hacking community has released tools for enabling external storage. In fact, the hack is more sophisticated than that. It enables the Apple TV to boot off its internal hard drive while using an external hard drive as its primary storage drive. In other words, plug in your 750GB drive to store all the movies you can handle.

Remember to backup your unit before attempting the patch. This is certainly warranty-voiding stuff. But if you've got an Apple TV, and an intel-based Mac or Linux/Unix machine lying around to execute the script, we don't see why you wouldn't want to at least look into applying this hack.

[via Gizmodo]

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Who needs an AppleTV? Neuros OSD gets YouTube

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 27th 2007 6:58PM
Neuros OSDWho wants to spend their time and energy hacking the AppleTV when you could finagle with the open-source (hacking encouraged) Neuros OSD? Turns out, a lot of people. But that's beside the point.

The Neuros OSD is an open-source PVR that's capable of accessing online media like music, movies, and pictures. It records directly onto removable flash cards, making it an ideal choice for commuters who like to watch recorded TV on the train using a portable media player.

Thanks to the miracles of the modern hacking community, Neuros has just announced a new beta update for the OSD that adds YouTube browsing to the device. You can browse YouTube by categories and ratings, or you can perform keyword searches. A future release will add sharing, subscriptions, and other features.

[via Boing Boing]

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Archos TV: everything you hoped the Apple TV would be

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 14th 2007 6:56PM
Archos TV Plus
Archos is branching out from its portable media player roots. While the company unveiled an update to its line of portable media player/recorders, the big news as far as we're concerned is that Archos is getting into the set top box game with the Archos TV Plus.

Here's what we know about the Archos TV Plus so far:
  • Includes hard drives ranging from 80Gb to 250GB
  • Includes UB 2.0, WiFi, and Ethernet connections
  • HDMI and RGB inputs and outputs
  • Functions as a standalone PVR
That's right, it's got a larger hard drive than an AppleTV, can record television shows, and has an electronic program guide. And it lets you stream video from your PC or the internet.

And of course, you can synchronize the Archos TV Plus with Archos portable media players. It looks like the Archos TV Plus will be available for €220 - €300, or $300 to $400 U.S.

[via Engadget]

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Vudu set to take on the AppleTV this summer

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 28th 2007 5:08PM
VuduGizmodo has the scoop on an upcoming product that's designed to make the AppleTV look like a Betamax player.

Vudu is set to launch this summer with a video store that will sell several thousand movies from seven major studios as well as independent filmmakers.

The other central component to the Vudu system is a small box that plugs into your television set. No computer required. You can purchase and download movies directly from the set-top-box.

The box will handle MPEG-4 video upscaled to high definition. It includes HDMI, composite, and S-video ports. No WiFi here. You'll have to connect to your high speed internet connection over ethernet.

No final word on pricing or hard drive size yet, but Vudu has the AppleTV clearly in its sites, so expect competitive features and pricing.

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AppleTV plugin downloads other plug-ins - VIDEO

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 19th 2007 7:00AM
AppleTVWant to try out some of those cool new third party plug-ins for the AppleTV, but aren't sure how to install them? It's about to get a whole lot easier.

The folks over at AwkwardTV are working on an AwkwardTV Loader. Basically, it's the one plug-in to rule them all. It displays available plug-ins on your AppleTV interface and lets you download them from the internet and install them.

Plug-ins include a file browser, an RSS reader, sports scores, weather, and a plug-in to run Perl scripts.

The program is in closed beta testing at the moment, but you can get more details by visiting the #awkwardtv IRC channel or the wiki.

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