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Posts tagged with "apple tv"

Apple Is Targeting Spring or Summer 2019 to Launch Its Video Service According to TV Executives

According to a report in the New York Times, producers and executives who have met with Apple recently said the company is targeting sometime between March 2019 and summer 2019 to launch a video service. With about a dozen shows signed in the past several months, the Times says Apple is on track to spend significantly more than the $1 billion or so that it told TV executives last year it had budgeted to spend on programming. The report says the turning point came last summer:

The week after “Planet of the Apps” made its debut, Mr. Cue greatly improved the company’s standing in the entertainment industry by hiring the veteran television executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht away from Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown.”

The two executives moved quickly to build Apple Worldwide Video from the ground up, expanding its staff to roughly 40 people and opening divisions for adult dramas, children’s shows and Latin American and European programming. In putting together its slate of 12 projects (and counting), Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht made deals with big names including Reese Witherspoon (for three shows), Steven Spielberg, Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan, Jennifer Aniston, Octavia Spencer and Kristen Wiig.

As reports have trickled in about new shows that Apple has signed, it’s become clear that the company has plans to launch a full slate of original programming. Although it remains unclear how Apple intends to roll the shows out to consumers, the New York Times' report provides an interesting peek at where the project stands today and when it might launch.

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Apple Adds Direct Access to News Sources to its TV App

Apple has added a dedicated News section to its TV app on the Apple TV and iOS devices. The feature, which was announced at the company’s September 2017 event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, allows users to jump straight into several different news programs.

In the US, the choices include CBS News, CNN, Fox News, Cheddar, CNBC, and Bloomberg, some of which require paid subscriptions. When you select a news source, your Apple TV or iOS device will prompt you to install its app if it isn’t already on your device. On iOS, and at least with CNN on the Apple TV, the app is installed without a trip to the App Store, after which you are taken directly to the app to begin watching the news. The new feature also works with Siri using commands like ‘Watch CNBC.’

If you tap on a news source for which you don't have the app, you are prompted to install it without having to go to the App Store.

If you tap on a news source for which you don't have the app, you are prompted to install it without having to go to the App Store.

News joins the TV app’s dedicated Sports section, which was announced at the same time as News but was introduced last December. Unlike Sports, which occupies a dedicated tab in the TV app’s interface, News is limited to a single row of icons that appears beneath Up Next, What to Watch, Sports, and a row of featured content.



Installing tvOS Betas Over-the-Air from iOS with iCab and Dropbox

I was trying to update my two Apple TVs (a 4K model and a 4th generation one) to the latest tvOS 11.2.5 beta earlier today to test AirPlay 2 (more on this soon) and, because I remembered there was a way to install tvOS betas without a USB-C cable, I was attempting to download Apple's tvOS beta configuration profile using Safari on iOS. However, as soon as I tapped the Download button on Apple's developer website, I got this message instead of a new tab showing the downloaded configuration file:

I don't know when Apple changed this behavior, but I recalled that Safari wouldn't try to install tvOS configuration profiles on an iOS device. Without a way to manually fetch the .mobileconfig file and save it to my Dropbox, I was going to unplug my TVs and connect them to my MacBook Pro (which usually sits in the closet until it's recording day for AppStories or Relay) to finish the process.

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tvOS 11.2 Introduces HDR and Frame Rate Options to Apple TV 4K and Sports Feature

Apple has released tvOS 11.2, which adds a new settings option to 4K AppleTVs that can automatically match the frame rate and dynamic range the content being played. The option, called ‘Match Content,’ is found under the Video and Audio section of the AppleTV’s Settings app. Under Match Content, users can choose to ‘Match Dynamic Range’ or ‘Match Frame Rate,’ which can automatically detect and set the original frame rate of content.

The fourth generation and 4K Apple TVs also gained a Sports tab in the TV app. The new section features live sports broadcasts and lets users pick their favorite teams to follow, get alerts when the score of an ongoing game is close, and view scores and schedules.


The Original Apple TV: Ushering in a New Era of Entertainment

Today's Apple TV is its own full-fledged platform. While it is more expensive and less popular than other some other media streamers, the Apple TV has come into its own. The current device can stream 4K HDR content, play games and even be used as a calculator.

The original Apple TV didn't enjoy such a wide feature set, and it wasn't treated as a full-blown product by the company, which repeatedly talked about it as a "hobby."

To understand that attitude, I think it's important to go back to when Steve Jobs first previewed the device in September 2006.

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tvOS 11: The MacStories Review


WWDC was big this year, introducing new iPad and Mac hardware, Apple’s arrival into the smart speaker market with HomePod, and a variety of exciting software releases across iOS, macOS, and watchOS. But one of Apple’s main platforms was almost entirely overlooked: tvOS. During the WWDC keynote we received word that Amazon Prime Video would be coming to the Apple TV, but nothing else. Sessions held later in the conference revealed that a new version of tvOS did exist, and that it would be coming this year, but the details prove that it’s the smallest release in the OS’s young life. You could say that the focus of tvOS 11 is incremental improvements; the updates here are nice, but they hardly merit a major numbered release.

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4K HDR Video Is Coming to the 5th Generation Apple TV

Long anticipated, 4K HDR streaming video is coming to the Apple TV. As announced at the Apple press event today, the first ever held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, 4K streaming will be available on the new 5th generation Apple TV, which has been dubbed the ‘Apple TV 4K.’ The new Apple TV also supports HDR televisions with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The Apple TV’s new capabilities are powered by an A10X Fusion chip, the same chip that powers the iPad Pro.

Based on the iOS 11 gold master leak last weekend, the Apple TV 4K's content will be displayed at 2160p resolution, which is twice the standard 1080p HD resolution. 4K content on iTunes will be priced the same as existing HD content, and any HD content you already own will be upgraded for free to 4K resolution. 4K content will also be available from third-party streaming services including Netflix and, later this year, Amazon Prime Video.

Apple also announced that later this year, it will debut live sports and news inside its TV app. When browsing available sports, the Apple TV will display the time remaining in a game and the score to help you decide what to watch. However, the score display can be turned off if you'd prefer not to know. The TV app is also expanding to include Australia and Canada this month and France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the UK later this year.

The update to Apple’s television-connected box brings it in line with other hardware manufacturers who have offered 4K video support for a while. With more 4K content available than ever before from providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video (which will be debuting its own Apple TV app soon), the time was ripe for an Apple TV revision. According to Eddy Cue's presentation during the keynote, the new Apple TV will be available for ordering on September 15th and will ship on September 22nd. Presumably, 4K video will start to show up in iTunes and on the Apple TV around the same time.

The new Apple TV 4K starts at $179 for the 32GB model, and the 64GB model will run $199. Apple will also continue to sell the 32GB 4th generation Apple TV for $149.


You can also follow all of our Apple event coverage through our September 12 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated September 12 RSS feed.