Given that we had the half-hour-long iPad commercial on 'Modern Family' recently (an ABC program), it seems that the network has gotten behind the new gadget. However, it's not just ABC. Marvel Comics, also a Disney-owned property, have announced an app for the iPad. In all likelihood, there will be a plethora of Disney apps for the iPad before too long. And soon after, other networks and companies will jump on the bandwagon if they haven't already.
Will the iPad signal the end of television as we know it? Probably not. The screen is too small for that and there is a comfort from watching a big screen television in one's own home. However, it will make watching shows on the go easier (provided a data or WiFi connection is available).
So far, you've missed eight episodes, but it's still not too late. In an unprecedented move for HBO, they're making the first three weeks (that's fifteen episodes for you mathematically challenged) available for free viewing online. The full series runs 43 episodes, but these 15 will give you plenty of time to give your cable/satellite provider a call and sign up for HBO.
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.
Sling is currently accepting testers, but the beta is currently live. SlingPlayer for Symbian will officially work on Nokia N75, N95, and E65 phones, although your results may vary with other devices. You'll need a 3G or Wi-Fi capable device to apply for the beta, seeing as how streaming video is going to look pretty bad on any phone without a high speed internet connection.
You'll also want to be on AT&T or T-Mobile to sign up, since the client supports GSM networks.
No word as to when an official US Symbian client will be released. But it's probably fair to say you'll have to wait at least a month or two since the beta is just getting underway.
The latest beta adds two juicy new features:
- A Media Center add-in that connects to a WebGuide server and lets you stream your recorded television programs, videos, and DVDs within a media center interface at up to 720p resolution. In other words, you can access your media remotely using an MCE computer or Xbox 360.
- A new feature called WebGuide Prism that lets you view content from several machines running MCE. If you've got two or three PCs in the house recording programs, you can see them all in one menu using Webguide Prism. This also works if you want to share content over the internet with friends who are also running Windows Media Center.
Babelgum will begin acepting beta testers on Wednesday, and invitations will be sent out starting next Friday. While Joost has been busy signing up major content providers like Viacom, Babelgum will focus on independent film, shorts, and documentaries.
One of the biggest complaints about Joost has been its lack of quality programming. Even with material from MTV and Comedy Central, there's not really that much worth watching. If Babelgum can get interesting programming, I doubt anyone will care if its from lesser known sources.
So who wins? Umm... nobody. It's apples and oranges, remember? Basically, neither does a great job of displaying downloaded HD video content. TiVo records and plays high definition TV, while Gizmodo prefers the AppleTV when it comes to photo and music playback.
eHomeUpgrade, on the other hand decided to compare apples to apples today, and has a nice chart comparing the AppleTV to the Mvix MX-760 media streamer. While this isn't a hands-on review, it's still worth taking a look. The MX-760 features upgradeable storage, support for many more audio and video codecs, and higher resolution video.
If you're curious what's inside Apple's latest box, our friends at Engadget have taken a peek at the AppleTV's innards.
Movielink is owned by the Hollywood studios and has about as good a library of films available for download as any other service on the market right now. Word is that Blockbuster could pick the company up for less than $50 million.
Blockbuster has already shown its interest in moving into online video distribution, having created a Netflix-like online rental store that allows users to order movies online and return them either to a local store or through the mail. With Netflix rolling out online video streaming, Blockbuster may be feeling the pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
[via Zatz Not Funny]
Now, Apple is saying the device will be ready toward the middle of next month. Steve Jobs first showed off AppleTV last fall, but the road from working prototype to production unit is often long and slow.
Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi is not happy with YouTube. The Spumco founder has been using his blog as a kind of "online classroom" to discuss the history of animation, as well as techniques and craft that were a major part of the "Golden Age" of animation. As a visual aid, he's been posting a lot of clips from YouTube of old Warner Bros. cartoons, but recently received an e-mail from YouTube telling him many of those clips have been taken down due to copyright infringement.
Now, I don't know enough about copyright law to take any definite stance on this, but Kricfalusi's assessment is that he's actually helping to promote these cartoons, and that people who see the crappy versions on YouTube will want to go out and actually purchase the higher quality DVDs. He writes: "While Warner Bros. stops promoting their own great properties by taking the cartoons off of the TV networks, the only way left for young fans to discover these classic films is through YouTube and our fan blogs."
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