Television must be broken, because everyone's trying to fix it.
Fanhattan joined the long list of companies set on "simplifying the TV experience," with its announcement of Fan TV, a small streaming box designed to integrate cable TV, streaming video and DVR recordings through a single interface. The pebblelike box was designed by Yves Behar and includes a buttonless, touch remote that lets you swipe your way through your content.
If the box looks good, the user interface looks even better. The company released several sleek screenshots that are certainly prettier than anything your cable company can … Read more
Whether the Apple TV undergoes a full transformation into something representing the future of television, a number of apps are attempting to take us there today. Live TV and the increasing number of streaming-video apps on iOS present a seemingly unbridgeable gulf, but apps like Dijit's NextGuide are doing their best to synthesize the experience.
Much like TV Guide's recently updated app, NextGuide is a mix of standard TV listings, social recommendations, and direct hooks to launch streaming-video apps with the content you're looking for. The layout and discovery of shows is based on tiles and genres, … Read more
Devices like the iPad have become spectacular as repositories for streaming TV apps and video services, but they're not so great at discovery of said streaming shows, which tend to be scattered around like Easter eggs across different apps. The latest version of Fanhattan takes a small step forward in the great Mission To Help iPad Users Find Their Videos, but it's not the perfect app yet. … Read more
TV and movie fans: one of the best streaming media and entertainment discovery apps for iOS just got better with three new content providers.
Fanhattan for iOS (download for iPhone or iPad) already let you discover and watch TV and movies on your iOS device from many popular services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Vudu, and ABC. Starting today, Fanhattan has added a wealth of new content from PBS, Crackle, and Lifetime.
The Fanhattan App offers a great layout for entertainment discovery. To get started, you choose between TV or Movies on the home screen. From there, Fanhattan offers several ways to dig in to your favorite shows, letting you swipe to browse related content like reviews from Metacritic, trailers, actor and crew bios, and much more.… Read more
Devices like Apple's iPad are revolutionary for their myriad ways of accessing TV and movies, but discoverability across services is a huge pain. Example: knowing whether any Steven Spielberg movies are on Netflix streaming. Or, is your favorite TV show on Hulu, Netflix, or neither? Is it on iTunes, or maybe even Vudu? Fanhattan is an app that intends to help users tackle this problem by tying together a media-browsing interface and search that doubles as a launcher for those TV shows and movies. The app launched earlier this year, but a recent app update has added more features, including a Facebook connection. Is it the ultimate way to figure out what video to watch on your iPad? Well, it's close.… Read more
While everyone's been in an uproar about Netflix pricing, few are discussing Netflix itself--and what's still broken about it. Netflix needs its pricing model problems fixed, but Netflix also could use some improvements to how its service works, too--particularly on mobile devices.Related links How Netflix could get out of its pricing mess Social media backlash over Netflix pricing Netflix alternatives
As a service, Netflix is at a crossroads. Is it streaming? Is it a DVD delivery service? Is it best as both? For myself, even though I subscribe to the DVD/streaming combo plan, I find myself rarely playing the DVDs I order. They sit on a shelf and collect dust. That's because I'm not a big living-room TV watcher: I cut the cable cord over a year and a half ago, and prefer to use my iPad, iPhone, or laptop to easily stream video. So, to me, Netflix is a streaming-video service.
Therefore, let me address Netflix's faults on those terms: as a streaming-video entertainment service. While we're venting our frustrations over paying more for what Netflix offers, there's no better time to cast an eye on what still doesn't work well on Netflix to begin with. Fix what's broken with Netflix, and maybe, if the service improves, it just might be worth a higher subscription price after all.… Read more
You may (or may not) know Vuze. It's the company behind the eponymous Bittorrent client (formerly known as Azureus) that's been slowly but surely morphing into a do-it-all media software hub.
The Vuze software is all fine and good (5 stars from CNET editors, an average of 4 stars from more than 1,900 CNET users), but that's yesterday's news. The company is emerging from the Bittorrent shadows and aiming to become the next big thing on the media landscape with its new venture: Fanhattan.
(Before we proceed: Yes, it's "Fanhattan." As in, "fan + Manhattan." Ridicule it all you want, but just remember the same scorn that was heaped upon the names "Wii" and "iPad" before they went on to become the defining products in their respective categories.)
Fanhattan is designed to be an entertainment discovery engine, a single point of aggregation for all of the TV and movie entertainment options available on (and off) the Web. At the core of the service is The Open Movie Database (TMDb), a formerly independent user-created database that Vuze has now acquired. (Vuze says the site "will be completely rebranded and redesigned to support the new service.")
Using the TMDb metadata, the hope is that Fanhattan will be a comprehensive resource for searching on TV shows, movies, actors, directors, and other related information. In addition to providing the standard "related content you might also enjoy" links, Fanhattan aims to provide links to the relevant content itself, regardless of the source.
That's where things get tricky.… Read more