Tag Archives: Jared Newman

Sling TV apologizes after botching another big streaming event

photo: Sling

[Sling] buckled under pressure from the series premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, Sling has acknowledged the problems and apologized to affected users. “We’re aware some of you have been experiencing issues with our service,” Sling wrote in a blog post. “Our apologies to those of you who have had interruptions. – Jared Newman, TechHive

Sideclick is shaping up to be a killer remote control for streaming video

photo: Sideclick

The best thing about Sideclick is how simple—and obvious—it appears to be. Essentially, it’s a small IR blaster with eight programmable buttons and a clip-on cradle for your streaming remote of choice . By adding TV functions such as power, volume, and input, Sideclick solves the problem of needing two remotes just to watch Netflix on a separate streaming video player. – Jared Newman, TechHive

Apple’s streaming TV service might not be imminent after all

[W]hile an earlier Wall Street Journal report said Apple was negotiating with several media companies, including Disney and Fox, Re/code’s sources say Apple hasn’t actually signed up any TV providers yet. For that reason, a rumored announcement of the service at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June seems unlikely. – Jared Newman, Macworld

Comcast’s TV Everywhere streaming lineup doubles as cord-cutting options skyrocket

Comcast says 30 percent of its subscribers are taking advantage of the streaming video options—a 20 percent gain year-over-year. That’s “tremendous growth” according to Comcast, though it shows there’s a long way to go before most cable subscribers get on board. – Jared Newman, TechHive 
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YouTube TV tips: 6 ways to bring the streaming video site into your living room

Use advanced search for TV-friendly videos
Those lists I linked earlier aren’t the only ways to find longform videos on YouTube. With advanced search terms (via this list at Digital Inspiration), you can narrow your searches to HD videos that are at least 20 minutes in length. Just add the words “long” and “HD” to your searches, separated by commas. For instance, you could search “pearl jam concert, long, hd” if you feel like rocking out, or search “wildlife, long, hd” for some nature documentaries. Keep in mind that this only works on the desktop browser version of YouTube [.] – Jared Newman, TechHive 
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Grooveshark gives fully-legal streaming a shot with ‘Broadcasts’ radio service

The Wall Street Journal reports that Grooveshark will launch a new service in January, called Broadcasts. Instead of offering on-demand songs, as Grooveshark’s current service does, Broadcasts will have radio stations curated by users. The service will cost $0.99 per month and will have no advertisements. Just as importantly, all of the songs will be fully-licensed, with royalties paid through the same government-mandated system used by Pandora and its ilk. By going the radio route, Grooveshark doesn’t have to negotiate directly with record labels. – Jared Newman,PCWorld

How to turn a Chromebox into a video-streaming workhorse

A Chromebox is a small desktop computer that runs Google’s Chrome operating system, and you can use one to access virtually any streaming video service available on the web. They’re considerably more flexible than those sub-$100 set-top boxes, but they can’t do as much as a Windows-based media PC. On the other hand, they’re free from security and update hassles and they’re a whole lot cheaper. You can usually find models from HP and Asus on sale for less than their $180 list prices. […] Chromeboxes strike a happy medium between Windows-based home theater PCs and smaller streaming media devices. You get the freedom of the full Web that devices like Roku and Apple TV can’t match, without the costs (financial and otherwise) of Windows. The living room Chromebox isn’t for everyone, as it requires some tweaking, but it rewards patient cord-cutters with a wealth of Web-based video options. – Jared Newman,PCWorld
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The golden age of cord-cutting is upon us. Don’t let scare tactics tell you otherwise

What you’re witnessing is the first few cracks in the mighty cable paywall […] Naysayers would have you believe otherwise. They actually think that big, bloated cable bundles are a great deal, and that dismantling them leaves us in no better shape than before. But that only makes sense in a world where people are constantly glued to their televisions. Times change, one size doesn’t fit all, and the fearmongers will be proven wrong. […] The problem is that this system promotes excess and bloat. When the NFL asks ESPN for more money to carry Monday Night Football, that cost gets passed onto the cable company, which passes it onto you. To jack up costs even more, a network with lots of channels, like Viacom, may only sell them to the cable company as a package deal, thus encouraging them to add more. Meanwhile, the cable company, trying to protect its profits, hikes its rates, invents new fees, and makes subscribers pay the company’s excise taxes. Suddenly, your cable bill is far outpacing the rate of inflation, even as your viewing habits stay the same. […] Predictably, the arrival of new streaming options has provoked plenty of fearmongers and cable apologists—people who want to scare you into thinking we’re on a bad path. Be careful what you wish for, they say, because a la carte is going to be a lot more expensive than buying a big fat cable bundle. – Jared Newman,TechHive

Qualcomm pushes 4K video streaming with prototype TV dongle

Qualcomm has a plan to liberate 4K video from high-end smartphones, and it involves a Chromecast-like prototype TV dongle. […] The prototype dongle is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, but doesn’t require a Snapdragon-based phone or tablet on the other end. It uses the basic Universal Plug and Play protocol to connect with other devices, and Qualcomm is working on supplementary software to let the dongle work with existing Android media players such as BubbleUPnP, VLC and MXPlayer. – Jared Newman & Michael Brown,TechHive
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ESPN still pondering standalone streaming service, but not the one you want

In an interview with Re/code’s Peter Kafka, ESPN President John Skipper said the sports network is considering a standalone streaming service, similar to what Netflix offers. However, it won’t include any of the popular shows or live sports broadcasts found on ESPN’s cable channels. […] Much of ESPN’s current revenue comes from carriage fees paid by cable and satellite providers, to the tune of about $6 per subscriber per month. Those contracts often prohibit or discourage networks from bypassing cable and satellite providers and offering their content on a standalone basis. ESPN currently offers a streaming service called WatchESPN, which includes live sports such as college football and NFL Monday Night Football, but most of the content is only available to cable subscribers. – Jared Newman,PCWorld
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