Posts Tagged streaming video

It’s been a great week for those who use video streaming services on their iPads. Yesterday Hulu Plus added Apple TV support to its app and today Amazon Prime members finally have iPad access to Amazon Instant Video. The service, and app by corollary, is part Netflix, part iTunes allowing you to stream a library of 120,000 movies and TV shows including very current ones for $79 or order titles a la carte.

There are some other cool features as well. You can create a Watchlist, or queue if you prefer, that is available on any platform. It shows rented media and your personal collection. Season Pass holders will be able to see their favortie shows within 24 hours of broadcast and those shows will be added to the Watchlist automatically. Videos can be streamed over Wi-Fi or downloaded for offline viewing.

The one hitch is that in order to circumvent Apple’s 30% take of all in-app purchases, Amazon does with Instant Video what it does with its Kindle app. That is, it forces users to the Amazon web site to order. The extra step is a nuisance, but for those who use a Kindle Fire, or are in other ways tied into Amazon’s digital media ecosystem, it’s not really that much work.

Oddly missing is AirPlay or Apple TV support for video (right now it’s audio only). There is no word yet from any Amazon spokesperson on future plans or to explain the omission. If you use to the service and try it out on your iPad, please let us know what you think in the comments.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-31 :: Category: Entertainment

BigStar Movies Updates iOS Apps

Fan of the BigStar Movies app and those looking for a new subscription-based video streaming service will be happy to hear about the latest update. Along with their catalog of lesser known titles including some gems, the app now supports AirPlay for HD streaming, and HD upscaling on iOS devices happens faster. Also added is a new “collections” section to help find specialty items, with five categories to start and the promise of more to come. The movie info now shows in a side panel and the whole app was rebuilt for increased stability.

BigStar Movies is a lot like Netflix, but it doesn’t replicate the service. There aren’t tons of mainstream movies here and practically no TV, but there are lots of smaller film festival award winners, and lots and lots of indie across genres. The pricing plan and payment methods are also different. Netflix and similar services require you to sign up and create an account online. They use their own billing services and cost a bit more. BigStar Movies allows you to do the same, and you’ll even find a good discount through online sign-up right now – three months for $4.99, the price of one – but the app also allows you to subscribe via iTunes, nice for those who don’t have credit cards.

The app has the requisite social media integration, enhanced in this update, along with trailers and user ratings. The catalog of movies is the same in Canada as the US, which is unusual and suggests the app’s service is available in its entirety wherever the app is available for download. BigStar is definitely for a certain type of movie lover, so be sure to check out their selections before subscribing. If underground and small indie films are your thing, though, this is a great time to give BigStar Movies a try.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-12 :: Category: Entertainment

BBC iPlayer Puts the BBC on the iPad

Ages ago, when mankind first learned of fire and kept small dinosaurs as pets, I used to work in a very large bookstore. One of those big ones that sold DVDs and wooden toys on top of books and stuff. Stick with me, the bit about the DVDs is important. So, having worked in a store that sells DVDs I’ve come to learn something about our society: American people go absolutely nuts for British television.

Seriously, so many people would spend upwards of $80 or more on a single season of some show about a woman who marries people and lives in wine country or something. And maybe solves murders. Average citizens solve a lot of murders over there, don’t they?

Perhaps it’s because they’ve finally realized that their shows have a massive global appeal, or maybe it’s because they finally got the funds together, but BBC Worldwide has created (and is unleashing) their BBC iPlayer: an iPad app that allows a fairly extensive (1500 hours worth on day one) amount of their catalog to be streamed digitally. The managing director of BBC.com (Luke Bradley-Jones) has told guardian.co.uk that the service will feature newer episodes but also grant users access to “… the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years.”

Some content is available for free (add-supported, of course), but subscriptions are available for €6.99 (roughly $10) a month and €49.99 (about $72) a year. Sure subscription fees are always daunting, but considering the fact that most BBC enthusiasts plunk down more than triple that in a year or less, I think this seems like a great deal. Especially when considering the perks that the US version will include: 3G and Wi-Fi streaming, as well as (this is the big one) downloading videos directly to the iPad for offline viewing. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t be willing to pay a little bit each year to be able to load up some Doctor Who, Primeval, Top Gear and more, whenever they’d like? Imagine how awesome those commutes would be.

The BBC iPlayer is due out “Thursday” in 11 Western European countries, but US, Canadian and Australian residents will have to wait until later this year. Bummer.

[via guardian.co.uk] [ image credit: guardian.co.uk ]

Ever since the invention of the internet, consumers have been dictating the way that they consume media.  Whether it be digital music or the recent boom digitally delivering television via services like Hulu or the more shifty BitTorrent, people have decided that they want to be able to enjoy their entertainment on their own terms.  The problem was, until recently anyway, the only way to consume this content on an iPad was either via breaking copyright laws or through Hulu’s iOS app.

They say that competition breeds a superior product, so lets hope MobiTV‘s newest entry to the iPad helps to kick the entire market into gear.  MobiNow, as their new app is called, looks to improve on their existing iPhone app named after its parent company, by adding in a library of new content and channels as well as support for pushing the iPad to its visual limits.

Here is what the developer has to say about the introduction of their new product:

“MobiNOW allows iPad and iPhone users to watch the best in family entertainment, reality TV, breaking news and more. Take PBS Kids, Discovery Channel, FOX News, A&E, History, TLC, Animal Planet and many more with you wherever you go. It’s a free download and it brings tablet- and device-based entertainment to a whole new level.” — VIA MobiTV Product Blog

MobiTV’s push to syndicate on-demand content seems to actually fly in the face of the live sporting events that have been previously touted by their legacy iPhone app.  Does this mean they are shifting their focus, or is this just another method to advertise the re-packaging of an existing product?  It is hard to say at this point, but with an initial free download, they seem to be begging you to find out.  Your assignment is to give it a download and report back here with your findings. I know I would appreciate learning what is going on!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-01-05 :: Category: Entertainment

There are many video providers on the internet that are competing for your glances.  Fighting for market share with among the likes of YouTube, MetaCafe, and Dailymotion, Vimeo has been in a tough position to say the very least.  As a longstanding supporter of HTML5 and the video capabilities that the platform provides, it has been one of the few services that have a fully featured in-browser delivery system for their media on iOS based devices.  They have always hung their hat on the fact that they never needed a supplementary iOS application to play your content, but that looks to be changing very soon.

Projected for an App Store release of some point late in the fourth quarter of 2010, Vimeo has decided to not only be trailblazers in the browser space, but to bring their multimedia expertise to their viewers in an iOS tailored application.  While some could interpret this as backpedaling on their prior plans, Vimeo General Manager Dae Mellencamp seems to think otherwise.

“Vimeo user(s have) been asking for an iPhone app for a long time. Not everybody uses the browser as much, on the iPhone particularly. People have become prone to using the apps. We want to be where the users are.” — Dae Mellencamp via NewTeeVee.com

This simply looks like a smart business move on the part of Vimeo: to go where the audience is.  As far as I am concerned, in an already tightly contested streaming content ecosystem, it would only make sense to follow in the footsteps of the other market leaders.  Really, it is a marvel that it took them this long to make the jump.

At the end of they day, this is all about the advertising dollars and in order to stay afloat you need the numbers.  This should put Vimeo in a much better position than they have been, plus allow them plenty of room for expansion.  Who knows, we could even be witnessing another party seeking to usurp Apple iAds from their lucrative position atop the In-App advertising heap.  Only time will tell.

[ via NewTeeVee.com ]

U-Verse: TV on your iPhone

AT&T U-verse customers, you lucky dogs, are now able to watch on-demand video from the newly updated U-verse mobile app.

On top of being able to “browse the U-verse TV program guide, view program descriptions, and schedule and manage your DVR recordings,” you can now download full TV shows from the U-verse network over any available Wi-Fi network.

“We’re making it possible for you to watch TV shows on your iPhone at no extra charge. It’s just one more valuable and innovative feature available on U-verse TV,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Our U-verse multi-screen promise is now a reality for millions of U-verse TV customers, with content available on U-verse TV, U-verse Online, and today, U-verse Mobile. No cable provider comes close to matching the cross-platform experience we’re delivering today, and we’ll continue to add unique features that further integrate these screens.”

In an effort to get existing iPhone users to sign up for yet another AT&T contract, they are offering a $75 gift card for new users that order AT&T U-verse U300 or U450. In case you are weary of selling your digital souls to AT&T, they were the “Highest in Residential Television Service Satisfaction in the South and West Regions Two Years in a Row,” according to the J.D. Power and Associates for 2008 and 2009.

For those of you who have already made the leap, be sure to pick up U-verse Mobile from the App Store ASAP, it’s totally free.

[Source: PR Newswire]

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-06-18 :: Category: Entertainment

ustreamb4Ustream has wanted to stream from the iPhone for a long while now. They started out with a jailbroken iPhone version. But that didn’t reach that many people. They also released a viewing application for the iPhone. A good start. Next came the iPhone 3GS app that allowed you to record videos with your iPhone 3GS then upload them to Ustream. Getting closer.

Then, last week, Apple decided to let streaming video application loose on the App Store. And now we have the Ustream Live Broadcaster.

The app allows you to stream video to the Ustream site and to the Ustream viewing application at a 320×240 resolution. Here’s the cool part — it works on Wifi or 3G on both the iPhone 3G and 3GS. You can also record the videos locally and upload them later if you choose.

And as you would expect these days there are options to share the videos on Facebook and Twitter. And you can also include your location information with the videos.

I imagine we will see the sending and the viewing applications combined at some point in the future. But for now, you need both.

Overall a pretty good experience for sharing video to multiple people. Have you tried the Ustream broadcaster? How was it?

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-08 :: Category: Photography

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-01-19 :: Category: Entertainment

SlingPlayer Mobile

SlingPlayer Mobile

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
After almost a year of waiting for this app to hit the shelves, we wind up with a watered down version that all the other mobile platforms have already been enjoying for the same price they paid for a full featured version.

Read The Full Review »

slingplayer_iphone_540x359

Nearly a year ago, Sling Media announced that they planned to bring Slingbox connectivity to the iPhone and iPod Touch. That makes sense, considering that the app is already available for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, and BlackBerry platforms. After being held up in the approval process for unconfirmed issues, we can now say that the wait is finally over!

According to our source at Sling Media:

“Apple will post our app (Wi-Fi only) on the iPhone Store between 9:01pm (PDT) Tuesday, May 12th and 3:01 AM (PDT) Wednesday May 13th.”


Continue reading SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone App Launches Tonight »

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