Web Video Technology Category

The back-end technology that broadcasts IPTV and broadband video. These articles discuss the technology and workings behind the platforms that bring us television over the internet including both hardware and software.

Google recently unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle that is able to stream content from mobile devices to your television. This is Google’s latest attempt to grab a foothold in the TV industry, which it’s going to need to be a part of as its future starts to take shape.

Chromecast

Chromecast is a dongle which plugs into an HDMI on your TV. Apps on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop will then sync with Chromecast, giving you the option to watch content from the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play on the bigscreen.

Google was initially offering three months of Netflix streaming free for anyone who bought Chromecast. But the company quickly ended that promotion citingoverwhelming demand.” In other words Chromecast was clearly going to sell well enough without such an offer, so why continue offering it.

Indeed, demand was so fierce that Chromecast quickly sold out on Google Play. The $35 price tag (with or without the Netflix offer) is cheap enough to make people make a snap purchase and not worry about whether or not it’s worth buying.

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youview-logoYouView has been delayed once more, and this latest missed target means the set-top box and related platform won’t be out by the time the London 2012 Olympics begins. The question is whether this actually matters or not.

YouView

YouView, which grew out of Project Canvas, has taken far too long to come together. With Alan Sugar added to the process the set-top box technology finally began being tested in the wild last month, but it’s still not going to be commercially available in time for the Olympic Games.

This wouldn’t ordinarily be an issue, but when we’re in the midst of huge companies testing the streaming waters a delay of any length could prove fatal.

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Apple TV SetIf you believe the old adage that there is no smoke without first then the it’s a case of when rather than if Apple is going to release a television set. New rumors have emerged recently that suggest the product is certainly in the pipeline.

Previous iTV Rumors

It’s been a few years since rumors of an Apple television set began cropping up. The thinking was that Apple would try and do for the television market what it has done for the mobile and computing markets. It would certainly be an obvious next step for the company to take.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson just before his death last year that he had “finally cracked it,” the “it” being the television set and how Apple could disrupt the market. Which suggests something new, innovative, and enough to warrant a high price.

Rumors at the end of last year suggested that Apple was preparing to launch the Apple television set, possibly named iTV, at the end of 2012. That now seems unlikely, but you would have to be very cynical to believe the product doesn’t exist, even if it’s just in prototype form for the time being.

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New-Apple-TVIt looks exactly the same, it does pretty much the same things as it did before, and even under the hood little has changed. But we should still be getting excited about the new Apple TV.

Apple TV

Apple TV is a set-top box which enables anyone to stream video content to their television set. The product has been with us for some time, but in 2010 Apple rebooted it into the small, elegant black box pictured above.

In the two years since then Apple TV has enjoyed strong-yet-unspectacular sales. And it’s still regarded as nothing more than “a hobby,” as described by Steve Jobs several years ago.

However, a new version of Apple TV was unveiled today alongside the new iPad 3. And it’s…

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Web Video Technology by Dave Parrack on January 4, 2012

Roku Streaming StickRoku sees a future when we will all have a Roku Streaming Stick plugged into the back of our televisions. It has to be the future, however, because most televisions are currently incapable of powering the device.

Roku Boxes

The idea of streaming video content directly to a television set was pie in the sky just a few years ago, but now there are numerous methods for achieving this, and more are being added all the time.

Roku is an established company with an established product. Its set-top box started life in 2008 as a means for Netflix subscribers to watch content on their TVs. But Netflix expanded to multiple other devices, while Roku added more content.

There are now a range of different Roku set-top boxes available, and the company is breaking out of its self-imposed U.S. borders to launch in the U.K. and Canada sometime in 2012.

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Posted in: Apple, Broadband Video Companies, News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Web Video Technology by Dave Parrack on December 18, 2011

Apple LogoIt’s well known that Apple has been planning to develop a television set for some time now. Or at least it was the dream of late founder and CEO Steve Jobs to do so. But the plans are taking a long time to materialize, and dripping through to the public rumor by rumor.

Apple TV = TV Set

After Steve Jobs’ death earlier this year it was revealed he felt he had solved the conundrum of how to bring Apple’s design sensibilities to the television market. With a simple, “I finally cracked it,” Jobs spelled out a vision for a future Apple television set.

Despite his death Apple is carrying on with his vision for the future, and an Apple television set is now all but guaranteed. Not that we know what form it will take. But with an ear to the ground we can attain some strong clues.

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Xbox 360If you have your Xbox 360 hooked up to the Internet, and why wouldn’t you, quite frankly, then it will update itself tomorrow to the latest version of the Xbox Live dashboard. And this upgrade brings television and movies galore to the games console.

Xbox Live Upgrade

We have known this large and rather impressive Xbox Live upgrade was coming since the beginning of October, and it’s finally set to land on the Xbox 360 consoles of gamers tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011).

Everything is pretty much as expected, with a host of broadcasters and content providers partnering with Microsoft to have their movies and television shows available to watch directly through the online service. Bravo, ESPN, HBO, Syfy, BBC, Canal+, FOXTEL, MediaSet, and ZDF are just a few of the names launching on Xbox Live, with many in the U.S., others in countries around the world.

They’re not all free: an Xbox Live Gold subscription is a must, while many of the individual companies have their own subscription packages. But that doesn’t take away from the joy of having all these services available on the one set-top box. One which has 35 million users.

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