Apple TV News

This is a discussion on Apple TV News within the Apple TV forums, part of the Apple Hardware category; The BBC has brought its online streaming service, iPlayer, to U.K. owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV thanks to a promised app. The app sports ...

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  1. #51
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    BBC brings iPlayer to the fourth-gen Apple TV in the UK




    The BBC has brought its online streaming service, iPlayer, to U.K. owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV thanks to a promised app.

    The app sports a look consistent with tvOS, and live streams of BBC channels as well as on-demand video. Access is restricted to the U.K. as a free perk for the country's TV license fee payers.

    Different menu layers let users see highlights, popular choices, and show/genre picks, as well as switch between channels.

    In October the BBC briefly hinted that iPlayer would be coming to the Apple TV, but at the time said only that it would arrive in "the coming months." The debut is particularly notable since previous Apple TV models lacked an iPlayer app, even if people could get around this to a degree by using AirPlay in the iOS client.

    The fourth-gen set-top launched in late October. Since then the number of tvOS apps has grown rapidly, topping over 2,624 as of Dec. 3. Another recent media provider to jump on board was Pandora.





    12-15-15

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    Starz arrives on iOS, Apple TV as standalone service with $8.99 price tag




    No longer will fans of "Ash vs. Evil Dead" be forced to keep a cable subscription or pony up to purchase full seasons, as premium content network Starz has become the latest company to join the on-demand content fray.

    The Starz offering also includes sister networks Starz Encore and Movieplex, bringing more content in addition to the network's stable of in-house shows like Outlander. The $8.99 monthly fee slightly undercuts competitors including HBO and Showtime, though it's not clear whether consumers in this market are price conscious or are simply looking for the best content.

    "Starz has entered the market today with an enormous value proposition for consumers," company CEO Chris Albrecht said in a release. "Our programing [sic] will now be more widely available to the 20 million broadband only homes of cord nevers, cord cutters and cord shavers, including Millennials and other underserved consumers who need other viable subscription service options."

    Consumers who already pay for Starz through their cable or satellite provider can authenticate that subscription in the app to access its on-demand features without an additional fee.

    Like HBO and Showtime, which arrived on the Apple TV late last year, Starz will debut with support for Siri universal search. Fourth-generation Apple TV owners in supported countries will see Starz results alongside those of iTunes and other subscription services.

    At press time, the Starz app was still in the process of rolling out but will be available on the iOS and Apple TV App Stores today.





    4-5-16

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    Apple TV Apps Can Now Be Previewed on the Web




    Apple has begun rolling out iTunes web previews for Apple TV apps, allowing Apple TV users and developers alike to easily share links to Apple TV apps on the web. The change was first spotted by Slide to Play's Jeff Scott (via MacStories).

    Previously, Apple only had iTunes web previews enabled for iOS and Mac OS X apps, making it very difficult for users of the fourth-generation Apple TV to share their favorite apps on the web as well as for developers to promote their apps on their websites and social media accounts.

    Although the feature is still rolling out, it appears it's limited to tvOS-only apps thus far. Kevin MacLeod of AfterPad told MacStories "that while the iTunes API is now returning screenshot metadata for tvOS-only apps, that metadata is absent for iOS apps with tvOS support."

    Two of the first apps to feature web previews are currently Disney Infinity 3.0 and Beergeek.com TV. While these previews offer users and developers a way to see what an Apple TV app looks like or what features it has, they do not include any way for users to take any action.





    4-20-16

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    AMC launches tvOS app with free streaming for select shows




    As promised, AMC this week launched a tvOS app with a content selection mirroring that of its iOS app and web portal, including free-to-stream episodes of hit shows like "The Walking Dead" and "The Night Manager."

    The free app was released Monday to little fanfare, but is now featured as a "Best New Apps" pick on the tvOS App Store. AppleInsider in March was first to report on AMC's tvOS plans.

    Like its iOS counterpart, AMC for Apple TV features full episodes, behind-the-scenes extras and bonus content from its various original shows including "The Walking Dead," "Fear the Walking Dead," "Better Call Saul," "Halt and Catch Fire" and more.

    Currently, Apple TV owners can stream the first three episodes of "Fear the Walking Dead" without signing in as a subscriber. Show extras are always available for streaming, but viewers must link their cable or satellite provider account details with the app to access AMC's back catalog of full episodes.

    In addition to the tvOS version, AMC on Wednesday also updated its mobile app with AirPlay improvements.

    AMC's app is a free 15.6MB download from the tvOS App Store.





    4-28-16

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    Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 9.2.1 to Developers




    Apple today provided developers with the fourth beta of an upcoming 9.2.1 update to tvOS, the operating system designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV. Today's beta comes one week after the third beta of tvOS 9.2.1 and more than a month after the release of tvOS 9.2. tvOS 9.2.1 has been in testing since April 6.

    tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Those who have already installed the first three tvOS 9.2.1 betas will be able to update to the fourth beta over the air.

    As a minor 9.x.x update, tvOS 9.2.1 focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements that are not readily apparent to Apple TV users. There have been no outward-facing changes in the first three tvOS 9.2.1 betas, but any new features discovered in the fourth beta will be listed below.





    5-3-16

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    Apple TV sales surge with hardware refresh, but still rank 4th in US streaming device




    A new survey of U.S. broadband households recently purchased a streaming media player has found that Roku continues to own the largest market share, while the Apple TV sales have greatly increased since last year's update. However, no one device controls a majority of the market, leaving the race for a winner still wide open.

    New data from Parks Associates published on Tuesday has estimated HDTV streaming video players sold from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. The firm's findings show Roku in the lead with 30 percent of total sales over the one-year period.

    Apple TV, which was updated last fall to a new model with a dedicated App Store, came in fourth with 20 percent of sales. Finishing ahead of it were Google and Amazon, both with 22 percent.

    One factor in Apple's fourth-place finish was price: About half of streaming devices sold in 2015 were low-cost "sticks" that offer basic streaming and app functionality, like Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick. Park Associates found that three-quarters of Amazon's sales and one-third of Roku's were streaming sticks.

    However, Apple saw a big boost in marketshare thanks to the launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV with Siri remote. Of the four largest manufacturers, Apple saw the greatest unit sales increase year over year, and its share of sales in 2015 was 50 percent higher than in 2014.

    A year prior, Roku had a 34 percent share of sales, Chromecast was at 23 percent, Amazon Fire TV was 16 percent, and Apple TV accounted for 13 percent.

    Apple continues to sell the third-generation Apple TV, which lacks the Siri remote and App Store, for $69, in a bid to fend off low-cost options like the Chromecast. But the fourth-generation Apple TV has a starting price of $149 for 32 gigabytes of capacity, bumping up to $199 for 64 gigabytes, putting it in a price category much higher than most of its competitors.

    In contrast, the Amazon Fire TV stick is priced at $39.99 with a standard remote, or $49.99 with Voice Remote. And Roku's most expensive fourth-generation model, which is capable of streaming 4K video content, costs $119.99.





    5-18-16

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    Apple to announce 'watch list' TV discovery app at Oct. 27 event




    One of the things Apple reportedly plans to showcase at its Oct. 27 event is a new app that will let people find new shows based on what they watch on an Apple TV.

    The app has been described as "the Watch List" to network executives, but will take on a different name when it actually reaches the public, sources told USA Today. The people didn't describe exactly how the app would work, or even which platforms it will appear on, but the main concept is to centralize recommendations from multiple content providers. A person subscribed to FX, for example, might be steered towards watching Atlanta.

    The app may be as much a way of attracting networks to the Apple TV, giving them a place to have shows publicized.

    It could be related –or identical –to Apple's rumored viewing guide for the Apple TV, though industry executives were previously said to be worried that the guide would diminish their ability to promote their own shows.

    The usefulness of a guide and/or recommendation app may be dependent on the availability of single sign-on support on the Apple TV. The feature was originally supposed to launch alongside tvOS 10, but is still missing even after this week's tvOS 10.0.1 update, which could mean that Apple will announce yet another tvOS update on Thursday.





    10-26-16

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    Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 10.1 to Developers




    It is not yet clear what new features or changes might be included in the tvOS 10.1 update, but many Apple TV owners are eagerly awaiting a new single sign-on feature that will allow Apple TV users to sign in once with their cable credentials to access live cable content included in a cable subscription.

    Single sign-on was not introduced in the initial tvOS 10 release, and Apple has said it will come in a future update. We are also expecting to see the new "TV" app soon.

    tvOS 10, for those unfamiliar with the operating system, brings features like improved search, expanded Siri capabilities, a dark mode, a Continuity option for using the iPhone for text input, automatic app downloads, quicker access to live TV, and more.





    11-1-16

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    PlayStation Vue subscription streaming service launches on Apple TV App Store




    Following availability on iOS and the PlayStation 4 game console, Sony on Thursday expanded its PlayStation Vue cable cutting service to the Apple TV.

    The free PlayStation Vue app gives users access to the subscription service on their fourth-generation Apple TV. It includes live TV programming, cloud DVR, simultaneous streaming, and no long-term contact commitments.

    Networks included in the service are ESPN, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, and NFL Network. Plans start at $29.99 or $39.99 in select cities.

    PlayStation Vue has offered live TV capabilities on Apple's iPad since mid-2015. While it initially launched in a handful of major U.S. cities, availability has since expanded to include more areas.

    Users can check access and channel lineups at the service's official website, where a free trial is also offered.

    Rumors have suggested Apple has sought to offer a similar service, but the company's plans are said to have been internally delayed due to roadblocks in negotiations with content owners.

    Apple will, however, launch a new unified television experience next month with a new "TV" app for tvOS and iOS. It will feature a single sign-on for existing cable providers to stream content, and also make it easy to find where programs are available across a variety of apps and services.





    11-18-16

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