Apple dusted off its four-year-old Apple TV "hobby" on Wednesday and gave it some polish. But even with a lower price tag, a smaller, sleeker design, and a few more bells and whistles, the streaming set-top box is still likely to remain a side project.
Steve Jobs even referred to it as such when he introduced it at the annual fall event held in San Francisco Wednesday. In place of his famous "One more thing," he said, "One more hobby" when introducing the latest version of Apple TV.
There were some interesting new features: … Read more
Samsung Electronics think so. The Korean company is here pitching Samsung Apps, an application platform and marketplace, to media and content providers, as well as individual third-party developers.
Samsung Apps, as the platform is called, has been rolled out in other countries, but the company came here for its first developer conference, called Free the TV Challenge, to introduce its new software development kit to more than 100 developers in the United States.
Since app stores have become a given for portables--no phone maker would dream of launching a new smartphone today without access to one--Samsung says people want that same experience when flipping through channels from the couch.
"Consumers want and expect choice and control. Not just on the go, not just in front of computer, but in the living room," Eric Anderson, Samsung vice president of content development, told the group gathered in the ballroom of the Fairmont hotel.
Part of Samsung's pitch to developers on Tuesday was that its position in TVs and mobile phones will provide a large enough window for developers. Samsung already sells 45 million TVs a year and 200 mobile phones, so the implication is that if its TV app store takes off, the developers in on the ground floor will have their apps broadcast to a large chunk of TV owning people or people who will buy one in the next few years.
So far, there are 88 apps already available on Samsung's TV platform, but the company says there will be 200 by the end of the year. Samsung has been selling Web-connected TVs with apps from the likes of Yahoo, Netflix, Blockbuster, Facebook, Twitter, and others since 2009. By opening the platform up to third parties, it expects that number to increase exponentially over the next few years. … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Google made a big splash in May announcing its entrance to the TV business, but how the company plans to make money for Google TV and for its content partners is still a bit muddled.
Google TV is the search giant's platform that will allow people to search on their home television to find videos from anywhere on the Web or a channel service provider. At the DisplaySearch TV Ecosystem Conference here Wednesday, Shalini Govil-Pai, the group manager for partnerships at YouTube and Google TV, told attendees that "monetization models are still being discussed. Obviously … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Even if "Piranha 3D" has a modestly successful box-office debut this weekend, it could in the long run do more damage to the hopes of 3D TV makers than good.
The more 3D movies available, the better is what the consumer electronics industry's strongest proponents of 3D would say. After all, the more opportunities to demonstrate the technology to people and sell the 3D Blu-ray copy later is in their interests. But a horror movie starring three-dimensional carnivorous fish, and similarly schlocky uses of the technology could be a setback.
The industry that's … Read more
That revamped Apple TV we heard about a few months ago? It might be headed our way shortly.
Apple TV has long been a "hobby" for Apple, a project the company considers a work in progress, not a flagship product like the iPhone or Mac. As such, there have been few changes to the video-streaming set-top box since its introduction in 2008.
In June, Engadget was told by some unnamed sources that a makeover for the device was coming--including a smaller footprint, iOS 4, the A4 chip, 1080p playback, 16GB of storage, and a $99 price tag.
On Wednesday, Engadget released updated expectations, citing the same sources, reporting that the same features are planned, with the exception of 1080p playback. The new Apple TV will not upgrade to 1080p, after all, but will continue to output 720p video, which matches the current capabilities of iTunes video. An iTunes-streaming service is expected to accompany its introduction.
But the report also includes some other interesting tidbits: that the device will have access to apps, like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, something long been rumored and expected.
Perhaps more intriguing: Apple TV is getting a new name, according to the report. Well, an old new name. Apparently, Apple is rechristening the device iTV, which was the original name for Apple TV when it was first introduced.
Apple declined to comment.
While it's safe to say it's unusual for Apple to be so noncommittal on the name of a product that's already been shipped, Apple TV is a special case/"hobby." … Read more