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Tag Archives: TV

$30/month iTunes “Cable Killer” Subscription Service On The Way?

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By David Ponce

The word on the street (meaning Peter Kafka from AllThingsD) is that Apple has been going around TV networks over the last few weeks pitching a $30/month subscription service that would make it possible to watch TV through iTunes. It’s not clear exactly how this would work. For instance, we don’t know whether this would make live programs available live or as a later download, nor whether you’d have access to the same kind of programming that you get currently from cable companies. This of course would depend on how many networks jump on board, a selling task left up to iTunes boss Eddy Cue. Rumor has it

“that if anyone jumps first, it will be Disney (DIS), since CEO Bob Iger has shown a willingness to experiment with Apple and iTunes in the past: In 2005, Disney was the first player to sell its programming on iTunes, via a-la-carte downloads. And Apple CEO Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest single shareholder, a result of Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Jobs’s Pixar animation studio. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.”

Whatever happens, Apple’s in a hurry as they’d like to launch this early 2010.

The question is, would you pay $30 for a service like this? Would you ditch your cable company? Everything is moving to the web as it is, so this seems like a natural and perhaps inevitable evolution for broadcast… but is it too ambitious, too soon?

[ AllThingsD ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Futurama: The Complete Collection Includes Bender’s Head As A Really Depressing Trophy

Futurama: The Complete Collection (Image courtesy Fox)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t know about you, but I’m still miffed about the way Fox treated Futurama, so I’m not entirely sure if I’d want to see Bender’s head every day, staring at me from my DVD shelf and reminding me about another brilliant animated series cut-down in its prime.

On the other hand, Futurama: The Complete Collection does include every single episode of the late sci-fi series, including the four recent feature-length adventures (which didn’t really capture the spirit of the original series) and should be mandatory for any animated series collection. And of course it also includes Bender’s head in a fake jar, and a numbered letter from Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. $159.98 from FoxStore.com available October 13, no Blu-ray.

[ Futurama: The Complete Collection ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]

TVClean Is A Lint Roller For Your TV Or Monitor

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By Chris Scott Barr

Being the bachelor that I am, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a clean freak. Granted, I usually keep things pretty tidy, since I can’t work in a messy office, but I’d fail the old white glove test. One thing that I do hate is when people touch my monitors or TV. I spend half my day staring at one, so I really don’t want fingerprints on it. I generally use a microfiber cloth to clean my screens, but here’s another interesting solution.

The TV Clean is sort of like a lint roller for your LCD monitor or TV. You just roll the little device over your screen, and its rubber roller picks up any dust and dirt, which is transferred to a sticky roller. This does seem like an easy way to get the dust off, but unfortunately you’ll still need to use a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and such. $50 seems a bit expensive for a dust remover. I’m sure it works just fine, but so does my method, and I don’t have to pay for refills.

[ TVClean ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Epix To Stream Movies Before DVD Release

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By Chris Scott Barr

Don’t you love it when you realize that you missed a movie in theaters, and thus have to wait months for it come out on DVD? I’m sure that the movie studios have a good reason for doing it (profit, mostly), but it can still be rather frustrating. Well a few movie studios including MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate have jumped on a project that will allow you to watch movies at home, before they are released on DVD.

The project is called Epix, and it works in two ways. First, it is a TV channel that will air movies in a pay-per-view fashion before they are released on DVD. Second, they will also allow you to stream the movies to your computer, in 720p no less. This all sounds pretty good right? It would be pretty cool if it weren’t for the one little catch. Epix will only be housing their servers with select ISPs. What that means is that you will have to have both TV and internet service through a specific ISP in order to enjoy these movies. Honestly, if I can stream movies online, why do I need a TV channel for it? I ditched my cable service in favor of Hulu and Boxee and I have no regrets. I think I can wait for a DVD.

[ Epix ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Bang & Olufsen Unveils 103-inch BeoVision 4

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By Shane McGlaun

Most of us would think that a 50 to 60-inch plasma or flat panel TV in our living rooms was big. Sure you can get larger screens, but when you get into big sizes of TVs they tend to get more expensive that most homes.

Case in point is the new Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 4 103-inch plasma TV that is currently on a three city U.S. tour. The manufacturer says that this is the only chance to see one in person because each future set will be custom built when ordered.

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Disney Buys Into Hulu, Will Offer Full ABC Shows

By Chris Scott Barr

I’ve been contemplating dropping my cable TV service for a couple of months now. There are two main factors that have influenced this idea. One, I realized that I don’t actually watch that much TV. There are a few shows that I follow on a regular basis, which brings me to my second point. All of the shows I watch can be found online. For free. Hulu is by far the site that I watch the most video on, and soon it will have even more to offer me.

Disney has just wrapped up a deal that will land them a 30% stake in Hulu. They will be putting up roughly $100 million and will soon start offering full ABC shows and classic movies on the site. Yeah, it’s definitely time to dump my cable.

[ WSJ ] VIA [ Wired ]

ProPrompter Wing Turns Your iPhone/iPod Touch Into A Teleprompter

ProPrompter Wing (Image courtesy Bodelin Technologies)
By Andrew Liszewski

NAB is just around the corner, so for the next week or so you can expect an avalanche of new broadcast-related gear. Like the ProPrompter Wing from Bodelin Technologies. It attaches to your camcorder’s tripod mount and allows your iPhone or iPod Touch to hang off the side, relatively close to the lens, and be used as a teleprompter.

The other piece of this puzzle is the ProPrompter software which is still awaiting approval on the Apple App Store. It features smooth scrolling in landscape or portrait modes, seven ‘prompting’ speeds, customizable fonts, text size and background color as well as cue point functionality. Your scripts need to be uploaded to the ProPrompter website and then downloaded to your device, but you’re able to upload as many as you need once you’re logged into their site.

The ProPrompter software will be free once available on the App Store, and pricing for the ProPrompter Wing will most likely be officially announced at NAB.

[ ProPrompter Wing ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Check Out The New Yankee Stadium’s Giant Screen – There’s No Such Thing As Too Big

New Yankee Stadium Screen (Image courtesy CBS)
By Andrew Liszewski

Given the Yankee’s new stadium has a price tag of $1.3 billion, it’s not surprising that some of that money has been spent on what has to be one of the largest ‘TVs’ in the world. The image you see here was taken by a New York CBS affiliate and shows an early test of the stadium’s 103 by 58 foot (that’s almost 6,000 square feet) Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED display. It’s composed of 8,601,600 LEDs and besides being HD it can also display up to 4 video feeds at one time, and do picture-in-picture.

Unfortunately some fans are worried that the new screen might actually be too big, and that it could become a distraction or overshadow what’s happening on the field, but apparently they’ve never sat through an entire baseball game before. As far as I’m concerned, the more distractions, the better.

[ Wired Gadget Lab - Monster Screen in New Yankee Stadium Looks Great, But Won't Show Crucial Replays ]

DTV Converter Box Battery Hack Means My Sony Watchman Is No Longer Obsolete

Digital TV Converter Hack (Image courtesy Kipkay via Instructables)
By Andrew Liszewski

Like any technophile, I was quite excited for the DTV transition to finally hit the U.S. I mean free digital and HD signals over the air? What downside could there possibly be? I was on cloud nine, until I realized that my beloved Sony Watchman, the first gadget I ever skimped and saved for, would become useless once the analog broadcasts stopped transmitting.

Sony Watchman (Image property of OhGizmo!)

And unfortunately, all of the DTV converter boxes currently on the market are AC powered, which totally negates the ‘portable’ aspect of a portable TV. But over on Instructables, Kipkay has posted a tutorial on how to hack one of those converter boxes to run on battery power. Besides making your portable TV portable again, the hack is also useful for camping or in the event of emergencies when there’s no power and you have to rely on a portable set. Now if I could just find a way to splice the signal from a DTV converter box into my Watchman, I’d be all set.

And if you’re curious, after the jump I’ve included a few more glamor shots of my Watchman that I had sitting on my drive.

[ Instructables - Digital TV Converter Hack ] VIA [ TechEBlog ]

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