The Cable TV App Bandwagon-Whos on it

Cable TV

We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s an app for that” and when it comes to cable TV streaming to your phone or tablet, that’s the absolute truth.

If you subscribe to cable or even satellite TV in the US, odds are you can download a free app that’ll let you watch TV on your smartphone or tablet. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or an Android device. All the big cable companies, and many channels have free apps you can download so you can have your TV anywhere you are.

Here’s a quick list of channels and companies that have free apps available for streaming TV:

– ABC, CBS, CW, FOX and NBC. All the major networks have one. These can provide access to currently running shows, news, some live events and may even allow you to play shows from earlier in the season to catch up.

– AT&T U-verse – For those who subscribe to AT&T U-verse, apps are available for download to allow access to your TV subscription.

– Charter – Charter provides subscribers with streaming access to their packages via the free Charter app.

– Comcast – With Comcast’s Xfinity app, you can access live TV wherever you are.

– COX Communications – COX also provides their subscribers with a free streaming app.

– DirecTV – As with cable companies, satellite TV providers are also allowing subscribers to download free streaming apps. DirecTV also provides expanded football coverage with their apps as well.

– DISH Network – In conjunction with their Hopper, DISH subscribers can access their subscription as well as shows stored on their DVRs.

– ESPN – With their WatchESPN app, you can have access to ESPN coverage regardless of where you are, any time.

– HBO Go/ MAX Go – These apps, much like the ESPN app above gives subscribers of HBO and CineMAX access to shows and movies while you’re on the go.

For companies that require subscriptions such as your local cable TV provider, your app usually gives you access to your online billing account as well. For those who also subscribe to internet services via a cable TV provider, you may also have access to your e-mail accounts, too.

These apps are available online from several sources including Apple iTunes and Google Play. Most of these apps are designed for current versions of iPhone software as well as the latest versions of Android from Honeycomb (3.0) and later. When you log into Google Play or iTunes your device compatibility will be verified before the app is downloaded.

Do keep in mind that, especially in the case of your smartphone, data rates may apply. If you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network, your phone will try to use your 3G/ 4G connectivity to stream your content. For constant users, this can easily surpass your data limits which could cause your cell phone bill to be extremely high, unless you have an unlimited data plan. Also keep in mind that, even with an unlimited data plan, your cell phone provider may impose data rate limits.

In today’s hectic world, it can be a real challenge to find the time to sit on the couch and watch TV. Between work, family activities and other responsibilities, taking the time to watch your favorite show or even a favored sporting event may simply not be possible. However, with free streaming apps available from your TV provider, you can watch shows when you want, where you want. Don’t do without TV when you don’t have to. Download an app today and enjoy!

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BBC Launches The Application Layer (TAL) for Smart TV App Developers

tal-appThis is an interesting development. BBC has launched an unusual new venture that will give app developers a chance to develop products for smart TV/Connected TV sets, basing their new releases around the official BBC ‘TV Application Layer’.

The new service is designed to offer external developers to create new applications that are ‘universally compatible’ across all TV-based devices (including set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and games consoles along with the obvious means of smart TV).

To achieve this, the broadcasting giants are making it easier for such systems to be developed, with their new ’open-source software’ carrying the HTML-based code and documentation required for the foundation of such a platform, and available for download from the ‘open-source repository’ GitHub.

BBC ‘future media TV & mobile platforms’ executive Peter Lasko announced the release in a blog post, writing: “The TV Application Layer originated from our ambition to run BBC iPlayer, News and Sport applications for Connected TVs on as many different devices as possible. There are hundreds of different devices in the marketplace and they all use slightly different technology to achieve the same result.

“Having figured out how to build an application on a specific device we want to use this knowledge to build additional applications for that device. Our answer to this challenge is the TV Application Layer (TAL). By abstracting the differences between devices and creating a number of TV-specific graphical building blocks (like carousels, data grids and lists), we provide a platform upon which we can build our applications.”

About the TV Application Layer

The purpose of the TV Application Layer is to allow developers to write an application once and for this to then work on all HTML based Connected TV Devices.

Comprising of a number of JavaScript libraries, The TV Application Layer operates across a wide range of different Connected TVs, IPTVs, games consoles, set top boxes and Blu-ray devices in the market.

The common feature of these devices is that they all get used via your TV, still the best place for consuming video content.

As each new application faced a similar set of device specific challenges, such as media playback, animation or networking, we set about making the TV Application Layer a standalone product that could support our entire Connected TV product needs both now and in the future.

tvapplayer-bbc

Because the abstraction code is modularised into the specific areas that vary between devices, we effectively have a selection of options that we can configure for each device.

This allows us to add new devices to our applications simply by recognising the device’s browser and applying a specific configuration appropriate to that device, without modifying the application’s code.

Therefore we can deploy our applications on devices that might have different key features such as video playback, animation, persistent storage and remote control key codes, by creating a new configuration file.

The TV Application Layer also provides some TV-specific graphical widgets for use in new application development. For example: the menu carousel used in iPlayer.

We find that the TV Application Layer allows us to concentrate on building the features our audience want rather than addressing device specific differences that we have already solved before

While it remains to be seen how much the platform will be used outside the BBC’s confines despite its open-source stature, will the BBC’s ‘TAL’ prove to be a positive way for would-be smart TV app developers to get started in the industry?

To know

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Opera TV Store integrated into MediaTek's series of Smart TV solutions, 140 Plus HTML5 TV Apps available

Opera-and-MediaTek-smart-TV-app-storeOpera today announces that MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, has integrated the Opera TV Store into its Smart TV solution. Manufacturers that implement MediaTek chipsets can now provide web functionality and application environments for their TVs, set-top boxes and media players.

Smart TVs are rapidly gaining share worldwide. NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that shipment of Smart TVs with open internet access will grow to 95 million in 2016. The connected TV industry is embracing open standards, such as HbbTV and HTML5.

The Opera TV Store, an HTML5-based app store for connected TVs, set-top boxes and media players, offers a selection of high-quality, easily navigated web apps. Side-by-side applications allow viewers to use TV apps without losing focus on the program they are watching. The Opera TV Store has also been enhanced with the ability to display ads, thereby enabling publishers and content providers to inject pre-roll ads and to monetize their applications. The store is now available on Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray DVD players. It will be soon shipped by other leading TV and set-top-box manufacturers, such as TCL and Humax.

“MediaTek is an important partner for us. Our two companies share the vision of bringing more web to more people,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Implementing the Opera TV Store in MediaTek’s Smart TV solution will help to move Smart TVs from being a novelty to the mainstream. Millions of app-hungry users will be able to enjoy a comfortable, ‘leanback’ experience on their TVs.”

The Opera TV Store is now integrated in MediaTek’s chipsets. TV and media player manufacturers that want to provide the complete Smart TV solution to their end users can now reduce the time to market significantly. Currently, in the Opera TV Store, there are more than 100 high-quality, HTML5-powered TV apps available, such as Associate Press News, Facebook, AUPEO!, Tunein Radio, Redux TV, Twitter, Viewster, Vimeo and more. The number of the apps in the store is constantly growing, since developers can easily repurpose existing HTML5 applications running on computers and phones to work on TVs, creating cross-platform applications that work on any device running the Opera TV Store.

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Samsung's 2013 Smart TV's To Have Promising Features, TV App Developers will Benefit

Samsung Smart Hub
Samsung has recently released the much awaited SDK 4.0 for the 2013 series of Smart TV Platforms. This means a whole lot of new features and functionalities have been added and the TV app developer community can build TV apps with these new features and functionalities for an amazing user experience. To experience some of the Smart TV Apps on the Samsung TV’s visit the Samsung Smart Hub (Smart TV App store ) US Store , India Store

Lets look at what the SDK 4.0 has to offer. The toolset includes an Eclipse-based application editor, Visual Editor, debugger, and Smart TV Emulators for current and past TV platforms.

The Mac OS X and Linux platforms are now supported by the Samsung Smart TV SDK. In addition to the Eclipse-based App Editor, a new Linux-based Emulator has been released. This Emulator executes in an Ubuntu virtual machine that is run in the Virtual Box virtualization tool.

This release also marks the introduction of the Cloud Emulator. The Emulator is hosted on a remote server that developers can connect to using a “thin client” Emulator on their development machine. Currently, this feature is supported only on the Mac OS X platform.

■ [Editor]

– Open Samsung Smart TV Semantic Service
– Support for Mac OS X and Linux platforms
– Full WYSIWYG code editing (visual editor and code editor are synced)
– 6 new Visual Editor components (arrowbutton, hscrollbar, pageindicator, slidern, togglebutton, tooltip)
– Smooth re-sizing of components
– Web Inspector (debugger) support

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Windows

– Smart Interaction: Gesture events have been added (New HI (including Gesture) Simulator).
– Apps Framework
– 2013 App Engine (HTML5 Video/Audio, WebSocket, WebGL)
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)
– Convergence Framework
– OCI (Open Convergence Interface) : MIDI support
– MPEG Dash
– AllShare
– In-App Ads
– Flash 11.1
– Smooth Streaming
– Web Inspector support
– ATT (Automatic Test Tool) : User can record and playback input events for testing.

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Linux (First Release)

– Apps Framework
– App Engine / WebKit
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)

■ Features for 2013 Platform on Mac (First Release)

– Apps Framework
– App Engine / WebKit
– UniPlayer
– SEF (Service Extension Framework)
– Cloud Emulator client for Mac OS X

With this release I see a great potential in Video streaming apps for entertainment companies. TV channels / Video on Demand categories can best utilize these features. With motion sensors, the Minority Report style of  experience is very much possible in the apps. Gaming experience will be amazing. Social interactivity will increase. Education is another space which can better utilize this platform. A whole new world of opportunities awaits . I am sure with Samsung and other OEM’s focusing a lot on R & D , we can expect this space to evolve.

The TV Apps space will do well in  countries where broadband speeds are good. To experience the streaming content on the smart Tv’s a high speed internet is required. India is yet to catch up, once 4G/wimax is launched, this space will see some growth. But in countries like US where Technology adoption is faster and better, will see tremendous growth with Europe and Australia markets picking up well.

If you are interested in keeping  track of this space you can follow the following Networking/Professional/Developer Groups @ Linkedin

Smart TV/Connected TV/Social TV App Developers  (700+ Members)

Samsung Smart TV Apps ( 170+ Members)

 

 

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Comigo Offers WatchApps – A New Type of Contextual TV Interactive Applications

comigoComigo, an Israel-based company has announced that it will use its presence at CES 2013 to demonstrate its unique social and interactive applications (WatchApps) which allow viewers to engage with the content they watch and interact with their friends.

The WatchApps are offered as part of Comigo’s multi-screen Smart TV platform. The viewers can participate in polls, betting or trivia questions, get extended internet-based information related to the content they watch, buy merchandize or other items – all while watching the show with no need to surf the web or search in the application store.

For example, while watching a Sports match, the viewer can enter the Facebook page of the league, get the history of the players, receive real-time results of other games being played at the same time, re-play interesting events that took place during the game, minute-by-minute, make a bet, purchase tickets for the next game and more.

Viewers can purchase specific products related to the viewed content and invite their friends to join this purchase – in return they can get a discount.

Viewers can also use the WatchApps to send virtual multimedia messages to friends while watching a show, such as Birthday Cakes and wishes and throwing a tomato when their friend’s team scores.

Comigo offers SDK, enabling developers to build such interactive-applications and back-end tools for the TV Service Providers to manage and correlate the interactive-applications with their EPG.

About Comigo

Comigo is the creator of a feature-rich smart TV platform which combines the TV/Video/Broadcast viewing with the Internet capabilities. Comigo developed an advance Smart TV platform, including middleware for Android based STB, Applications for iOS/Android Smartphones and Tablets, as well as a strong Server side that manages and enhances the solution.

 

 

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Job: Lead Application Developer – iOS/Android & HTML5 for CodeCube

JobsJOB title – Apps Team lead for CodeCube

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with pleasant personalities and good organizational skills to work as an Applications team lead.  At least five app on the iTunes App Store or Android Play store is a must.

Must be willing to work in a startup environment where challenges are thrown everyday.

Must be able to understand all aspects of a typical business. We have all varieties of clients and need strong business skills.

The ideal candidate should have atleast 5 years of experience in this Software industry with minimum of 2-3years on the iOS/Android plus HTML5 domain.

 

Duties:
Responsibilities include the following:

  • Development of mobile apps on Android, iPhone and HTML 5
  • Deal with clients data, feeds and designs.
  • Co-operation with other development team members (e.g. Project manager, Web programmers, graphic designers, and authors, quality assurance) in the production of a finished product.
  • Ability to work on project without detailed instructions; taking the initiative with this job is important.
  • On-going maintenance of existing projects.
  • Able to build and manage a small team of developers

 

Required

·       Self starter

·       Passionate about mobile and smart TV apps development

·       Should know how to manage team and their expectations

·       Very strong communication, interpersonal and written skills

·       Able to understand client requirements and handle all technical queries

·       Project Estimation based on FPA method

·       2yrs exp in iOS/Android plus HTML 5 for mobile app development

·       3-5 yrs exp in Java/J2EE technologies (preferred)

·       Hands-On experience in Java/J2ee technologies, Struts/Spring framework (preferred)

·       Experience in one of the applications servers like Web Sphere (is preferred), JBoss, Web Logic

Qualifications:

  • BTech/BCA from a Tier 1 or 2 institute with excellent grades
  • Excellent knowledge of the iPhone iOS SDK
  • Excellent knowledge of Android SDK
  • Excellent knowledge of HTML5, PhoneGap, Sencha Touch or jQuery Mobile
  • Must have worked on HTML5, CSS and JS for web app development
  • Knowledge of XML and JSON is a requirement
  • Knowledge of SqlLite and a working experience in SQL databases
  • Coding standards, organizational programming skills and good commenting practices is important

 

Job Perks

An opportunity to work on exciting Smart TV Apps across all platforms

Also work on Mobile apps across technologies ie iOS, Android, Windows and HTML5

Work on the latest device for testing…

A very cool and chill out place of work right in south Delhi. Open and free work culture and opportunity to interact with other start ups.

5 mins walk from Nehru Place Metro station

Apply for this position

raman@codecube.in

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nexGTv Bags Opera's 2012 Top Apps Award In The Entertainment Category, Symbian Platform

nexgtvDigiVive’s premier mobile TV service nexGTv has been honoured with Opera’s the Top Apps Award for 2012 in the Entertainment category – Symbian platform, in the Opera Mobile Store.  Opera Software introduced the Top Apps Awards this year to acknowledge the most popular apps within its catalog of 80,000 free and paid apps in the Opera Mobile Store, which now has 50 million monthly users and is the world’s fifth-largest mobile app store today. The winners were picked through popular voting by users of the Opera Mobile Store, who voted for their favorite apps between November 15 and November 22, 2012.

nexGTv provides users with content like Indian cricket matches, more than 100 live channels, short and full-length movies, premium content during festivals, etc. Along with this award, nexGTv’s popularity is highlighted by the fact that it has maintained its top app position in the Entertainment category across app stores such as Ovi, Google Play, iTunes and others. These app stores together provide around 40,000 downloads every day of DigiVive’s nexGTv mobile TV service. nexGTv witnessed huge traction during cricketing action, and the average new user count is increasing daily. Currently, nexGTv caters to more than 6.5 million users, which will further help develop mass acceptance of the service.

Commenting on this victory, G. D. Singh, Director, DigiVive, said, “We are glad to receive this prestigious award for our mobile TV service – nexGTv. Our deep technological back-end support, 24/7 customer-care call center, desirable content and user-friendly interface ensure that there is a good attraction towards our service. This award is very important to us, since it echoes the end user’s voice.”

nexGTv is one-of-a-kind service and various features such as replay TV, adaptive streaming, a best-in-class user interface and 24/7 support call center makes it stand out from other prevailing mobile TV services in India. It offers channels ranging from national to regional in the categories of Entertainment, Movies, News and much more. It offers best content, via top channels such as Sony bouquet, Star bouquet, Aaj Tak, Asianet and Raj Channels. One of its unique features is adaptive streaming, which enables seamless, live streaming even on 2G networks.

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First Pan-European Campaign Launched On LG Smart TVs

The first pan-European campaign on LG Smart TVs has been launched by the German agency Pilot Screentime. The campaign is for a fashion chain, New York, and will be running across nine European countries. It features  ‘sponsorship and promotion areas’, pre-rolls, and a connected TV landing page. Smartclip, that manages LG’s inventory in Europe, Russia and Australia, will handle the Ad Serving.

Commenting on the launch, Damian Rodgett, CEO of Screentime Pilot said, “Smart TV has arrived in the homes of German consumers, which adds an additional important media channel that enjoys high levels of engagement. Our pan-European Smart TV advertising campaign complements the multi-screen approach and gives us a creative, emotional and opinionated dialogue with our target demographic. New York’s video content is no longer confined to the TV networks, but is now available on smartphones and of course on the large Smart TV screens in their living rooms. And that’s where we come in, because we have for the first time the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with the consumer via the large screen in the living room.”

The LG Smart TV platform is used across LG Smart TVs, Smart 3D Blu-Ray players and the Smart TV Upgrader (set top box) set up. “The LG Smart TV advertising platform gives us a direct connection between our two main TV channels and online media. For New Yorkers, the combination of very prominent advertising formats in new settings on big-screen TVs with the already successfully established, targeting on ad serving technology is a very interesting branding option, ” explains Silvia Lange, Head of Marketing at New York.

 

[via: VAN]

 

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18% of consumers Access Online Content via TV

Over the last few years, there’s been a huge change in the way users view online content.  Online content can be viewed not only in PC’s or laptops, but also in mobile devices and connected TV’s. According to a new NPD DisplaySearch Connected TV Study, around 18% of consumers access online content daily on their television. The study, based on a global survey of more than 14,000 respondents in 14 regions, found that though desktop PCs and laptops are still the primary source for viewing online content, mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones are gaining ground.

Movies are the most popular source of entertainment for consumers viewing internet content on TVs. Besides movies, consumers also catch up on daily television shows that they miss at its original time of broadcast, allowing them to view content at their convenience. The study revealed that about 30% of respondents, who do not watch online content on television, may be interested in viewing it.

Riddhi Patel, NPD DisplaySearch Research Director of Consumer Insights, said, “Online content is mostly viewed on computers or mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, but TVs are increasingly becoming devices of choice for consumers, particularly since an increasing numbers of sets have either built-in connectivity or can be connected to the internet via a peripheral device such as a connected Blu-ray player or set top box, among others.”

She added,“Although results differ by country, the results imply that there is still a general lack of interest in viewing online content via TV. This can be attributed to usage of devices other than TVs to view online content as well as a lack of infrastructure and/or expertise to connect their existing TVs to the internet.”

However, the daily usage of TVs to view online content still remains under 30% in most countries. In fact, online content on TV is viewed most aggressively in China—possibly due to consumer interest in viewing foreign programs that may not be available via traditional TV medium.

About NPD DisplaySearch

NPD DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries.

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Report: Connected TV's to Reach 650 Million by 2017,Indian Subcontinent will grow slow due to the lack of fixed broadband connections

A new report from Juniper Research forecasts that the number of residential TVs, connected to the Internet via different platforms such as Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and consoles, and also via built in wireless or Ethernet connectivity, will reach almost 650 million by 2017.

However the Indian Subcontinent will account for the lowest proportion of connected TV sets throughout the forecast period, due to the lack of fixed broadband connections

The report finds that Smart TVs are becoming mainstream amongst consumers, similar to smartphone and tablet adoption. Even though the replacement cycle of TVs are longer than for, say smartphones, the report forecasts strong growth over the forecast period. Smart Home Revenues to reach almost $60bn by 2017, rising from $25 billion this year

The Demand for Online TV Apps & Content to grow

The report ‘Smart Home Ecosystem: Connected Devices, Service Models & Revenues 2012-2017’ finds that there is an increasing demand from consumers for new video content services from so called OTT providers Netflix, LOVEFiLM and YouTube. The revenue and profitability of traditional entertainment services within the home has attracted many new players including content aggregators and platform providers such as Apple and Google.

This consumer demand for connectivity and content has influenced the smart home entertainment segment in a major way along with the – integration of social media, multi-screen strategies and applications

Via: App Market TV

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