Monthly Archives: January 2014

The National Football League is making a momentous addition to the digital streaming landscape announcing plans to launch a free digital network NFL Now via the Internet. And while the league promises that the service will provide numerous avenues for fans to get closer to the game including original content, highlights, content produced by NFL clubs, NFL Films content, & NFL Network content and live events including press conferences, and shows, the NFL’s vice president of digital media business development Vishal Shah, who spoke to Time Magazine in a story by Victor Luckerson may have hinted at its long term strategy saying

“Live games are certainly an option for us. It’s really figuring out the right distribution strategy on our end.”

Are Live NFL Games On The Internet A Possibility?
Did Shah give us a hint at where the NFL is really going with this venture? NFL spokesman Alex Riethmiller actually disputed Shah’s statement telling Time that the NFL was” happy with our (the NFL’s) current broadcast and cable agreements”.

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Every Super Bowl party has at least one person who says “I just watch the game for the commercials” While NFLs biggest game of the year is the most watched athletic contest of the year in the US, it is also the most watched set of commercials of the year and this year will be no exception. But if you miss the game or miss the add that everyone is talking about the next day then you can catch up on all the Buzz at Adzone on Hulu and Hulu Plus.  Right now on viewers can watch large collections of clips such as Advertising Age Best Super Bowl Adds of All Time featuring memorable moments such as Michael Jordan VS Larry Bird and the Mean Joe Greene Coke add. This must be a win win for Hulu. While there are only a few places to watch the game online and there will be a lot of traffic heading Hulu’s way on both its free website and paid service Hulu Plus. It will certainly be the only time of the year people are excited to watch adds on Hulu Plus.

Is Amazon working on a set top device for release later this year? We do not know.  Though there are

some speculating that Amazon is set to launch a streaming device or even a game console, Amazon has never officially commented on the possibility. They are certainly recruiting for something. Jon Fingas of Engadget shared a copy of an invitation to a recruiting event looking for developers to work with a project that could be “Bigger than Kindle”.   Something important to note though, is that this is not the first time Amazon has put out an announcement of this type. In an article from October, 2013 titled Amazon May Be Launching A Streaming Device, the Streaming Advisor reported that Amazon had held a recruiting event as far back as May 29, 2012 with the same pitch. See the announcement here.

Apple TV owners with AirPlay compatible devices can add Plex to their list of preferred apps. Plex, the

popular XBMC fork is available for download in the App Store and costs 4.99. Once installed users can launch the app and send video content from all of Plex’s channels including third party apps from its “unsupported “App Store. Users must also have a Plex’s media server connected to the same network as the Apple TV. Users only need to start a video and launch it to the Apple TV using AirPlay. Using Plex in this manner adds numerous content channels to the Apple TV without forcing users to do anything that might void the warranty or require any sort of advanced know how. Unfortunately it does mean that Plex access is limited to those who also own compatible products. But for those who own an Apple iPhone 4 or above, The iPad 2 and above and even the current iPod Touch this is a very helpful way to add Plex to their Apple TV.

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When will Roku get it’s own version of AirPlay? This question has been asked many times by hopeful

 Roku owners. The answer, is that It already has. This is possible because of a little known and little written about private channel for the Roku called trimeplay. Trimeplay allows users to send internet based videos from multiple websites from a mobile device to a Roku. In our case we used an iPad 4. Attempts to replicate the functionality with a Kindle Fire and a windows based laptop were unsuccessful. While we cannot confirm this for certain it appears that trimeplay mimics AirPlay in the respect that it is only possible to use trimeplay when the video is viewed on a compatible Apple AirPlay device.

Where Do You Get It?
Like other Roku Private channels trimeplay is not listed in the Roku channel store. The channel code for trimeplay appears in the GitHub, a software development cooperative but interested Roku users can save time and energy and add the TrimePlay channel by clicking here.

Ryan Michael Downey

The Google Chromecast has remained popular since its launch in the Summer of 2013. The item is so

Google already has an app Store integrated in to its browser.
Google already has an app Store integrated in to its browser.

inexpensive that many tech enthusiasts and even those trying streaming for the first time have been tempted give it a shot. But as people explore the device and its uses they ask a lot of the same questions. Does the Chromecast have its own apps? Is there an App Store? What else can I use on the Chromecast? Right now the Chromecast officially has 14 compatible mobile apps , apps launched from a smartphone or tablet, but many who purchased their Chromecast early are unaware of the new additions which include Vevo and Plex. There is a lot of competition for the living room right now and more on the way but Google can position itself from a place of strength without reinventing the wheel but by using tools and capabilities it already has in place.

Google Should Stop Ignoring its own Built in Ecosystem

The Google Chromecast has been a top seller since its debut.

The Google Chromecast offers a great value for its $35.00 price tag. It is simple to operate and provides access to the most popular Chromecast picweb based video services Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus and HBO-Go. While there was tremendous hype surrounding the product during the summer of 2013 there has been very little news since.  Roku owned the fall and winter so far. It stepped in to the spotlight rolling out new models, YouTube (for Roku 3) and debuted TV sets with the Roku interface. There are also plans to add YouTube to the new current Roku LT, 1 and 2. A $50.00 Roku LT with YouTube could be a real problem for Google. Why has this been an uneven year for the Chromecast so far? Today we look at what Google has done right and what it has done wrong.

What It Has Done Right

Ryan Michael Downey

Many people who are considering the purchase of an Apple TV set top box are looking for a simple way to watch movies and TV shows using apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus but the truth is that you can watch great Itunes Podcast video content on Apple TV using iTunes Podcasts. iTunes Podcasts  is a treasure trove of information and entertainment where users can keep up to date on news, sports, entertainment, politics and other current events.

Full Video Programing
In many cases full length video programming is available. Numerous newscasts are added sometimes only hours after they have aired. Video segments from a variety of subjects are available and so numerous you can get lost just searching. Everything from sports based podcasts to the “Naked News’ can be found.

Ryan Michael Downey

Are you a current Netflix customer. If you have been considering starting a Netflix streaming only account you may want to get it in place before the pricing plan changes. GigaOm’s Janko Roetgers

Once you add a profile you can begin to customize it.
Once you add a profile you can begin to customize it.

 is reporting that the service which recently announced  a subscriber base of 44 million people is exploring a pricing structure for new members that would include different prices based on the number of access points one uses.

This may be a way for Netflix to curb the sharing of accounts among multiple users . The existence of these sorts of arrangement has been acknowledged by HBO CEO Richard Plepler. According to an article by Buzz Feed’s Mathew Lynley, Phleper thinks that people who access HBO through other means especially while they are young will become paying customers later in life.

Whether it is an attempt stop such a practice or an attempt to increase revenue going forward Netlfix, in a rare case of customer loyalty, says that current Netflix members will be allowed to keep their plan in place.  Netflix may have already tipped their hand on pricing as the company has recently rolled out a family pricing structure that charges 11.99 for use of four devices at the same time as well as a less expensive plan for 6.99 that only streams in standard definition.

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Ryan Michael Downey

If you want something done right you have to do it yourself. That’s what Tom Roth, the creator and editor of the Roku Guide discovered.Roku Guide Roth a self-professed “gadget guy”, who works full time as an environmental engineer, bought a Roku four years ago when the company was just rolling out its channel lineup. There were about 50 channels but very little information available about what the channels featured or how well they worked. Roth who had been creating websites since the beginning of the World Wide Web’s popular adoption decided to fill the gaping hole in Roku landscape.

Diving In
In the absence of a dependable voice for consumers and streaming enthusiasts Roth decided to add the available channels to his own Roku and take a look under the hood of each of them personally. The site caught on quickly with the public and as more channels were added to the Roku lineup Roth began to publish weekly.  Each week since Roth takes a look at another group of channels and publishes his findings via a his website and a weekly email newsletter. His reviews or “Quick Looks” provide an independent take on the content of a given channel. For instance, if the Quick Look is examining a movie channel Roth will take a look at the breadth of the genre selections. Roth will watch part of the movie to see its playback quality and examine the variety and quality of the selections. The site also features topical and timely stories concerning streaming options for upcoming live events available on Roku.