Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Ryan Michael Downey

If you are a Roku owner who has not discovered the joy of private channels then you are missing out on a lot of fun and Roku interesting content. Did you know that some of Roku’s most popular channels began as private channels? Plex, which is consistently ranked as a top 10 Roku channel, began as a private channel and now is prominently offered as a suggested channel for new users. For a little more info on Plex click here. PBS is another hugely popular Roku channel which existed as a private channel until the network jumped on board officially. There are private channels for both video and audio Podcasts, 24 hour news channels, sports channels and more. Almost all of them are free and they offer content you can’t find in the official channel store.

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The latest challenger to Roku has been announced. This time challenge comes via the form of the QPlay. The QPlay is a new product from the co-founders of Tivo Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton. But despite the credentials this product is not going to challenge Roku. It must make its own place in the market because at least at the start it is as unlike Roku or Apple TV as it can get.

Must be used in conjunction with an IOS App
The Qplay is not a set top box in the vein of Roku, Apple TV the Western Digital Live or even the Visio Co-Star. It has no apps to speak of, despite the background of its developers it has no DVR capabilities either. All of its content is routed from an IOS app and the services it will work with as it debuts include YouTube,

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Olympics Pic

Ryan Michael Downey
Fierce Cable, released a quantitative report about how many people used NBC’s streaming option to view live and recorded content. Overall 61.9 million viewers used NBC Olympics Live Extra service via mobile Apps and computers. There are some interesting numbers embedded in this information.

Most Streamed Hockey Game Ever
The US vs Russia hockey game was the most streamed hockey game since NBC began to utilize streaming as part of its broadcast package. The event had 598,552 unique visitors, which only tracks the single computer or device that accessed meaning there could have been many

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Ryan Michael Downey

Nature abhors a vacuum and apparently so do cleaver developers. The Streaming Advisor has written before about the potential of the Google Google Cast Store LogoChromecast along with its inherent problems. For our take on this click here. Early on the biggest criticism of the Chromecast from critics and those who purchased the device was that there was a shortage compatible apps. Later as third party apps began to emerge to fill this gulf, Google’s tendency to shoot down these unofficial apps upset even more users. Google did so because while Android is an open source mobile operating system the developers did not have official permission to release said apps. One of the most famous examples of this was the AllCast App that let users share locally stored video from a mobile device on a Chromecast along with many other streaming capable and DLNA devices.

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March Madness may take on a new meaning if Roku and Apple have anything to do with it. Rumors already point to a possible update of Apple TV in March and According to the technology blog Zats not funny Roku may be about to launch a direct answer to the Chromecast. The site reports that Roku will be releasing a new version of the Roku streaming stick in March that eschews the MHL port in favor of powering the device via USB, like Google’s Chromecast. While the current streaming stick and the Chromecast  look very similar they could not be more different. The streaming stick only works on TV’s that are equipped with MHL ports which can both transfer the audio and video signals as well as power the device without the need for an external power source. Once equipped on a compatible TV the streaming stick opens the entire Roku lineup of channels minus YouTube which is still currently only available on the Roku 3. The Chromecast on the other hand is a simple device that utilizes a normal HDMI port and allows users to send select audio and video apps from smart phones and tablets to a TV as well as mirror chrome tabs from a computer.

The new WWE Network is ready for prime time. Registration for the Internet based network began at 9:00 am along with a free week long preview of the network. The venture which is priced at 9.99 per month includes access to the WWE’s monthly pay per view broadcasts as well as an extensive library of past ppv events from the WWE’s properties including former rival promotions WCW/NWA as well as the ECW. The network will also feature replays of its current programming that appears on traditional TV networks, original shows and archived footage dating back to the 1970s. For a full listing of the

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As Hulu Plus continues to revamp its interface to be more usable in a TV and tablet environment the service has added new categories to its main menu choices to its Roku interface. The categories are displayed at the top of the page. The new look debuted in May of 2013 and included categories for  Kids, TV, Movies, Que and Search. Recently the service has added more sub categories that further simplify content discovery as well as placing an emphasis on its own original programming.

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The WWE Digital Network will launch Monday as the sports entertainment giant becomes the first major brand to operate a network exclusively on the Internet. Those who look at this launch through the lens of professional wrestling and nothing else fail to see the bigger point. The $9.99 per month service that will stream Pay Per View events at a yearly cost at close to 1000 dollars less then buying the events individually will be a wrestling fans dream. For a full article that addresses all of the features of the network click here. The WWE Network could very well be the first drop in a flood that will reshape the face of the television industry.

 How could a wrestling network reshape television?
Sure wrestling has its dedicated fan base but this is just men in tights and masks right? Wrong! The monumental thing that the WWE did by deciding to go to the net and market directly to its fans is that in doing so it also turned down pay TV offers to carry the channel. This is a choice that other major brands have not made. The NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball all have official cable networks along with in the case of the NBA and the MLB there is also a substantial web presence that allows people to subscribe to see live games as long as they are considered outside the geographic area. This means that someone in California could not use the NBA web offering to watch the Lakers but could do so to watch the New York Knicks.

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The Amazon rumor mill is in full swing again. According to re/code citing un named sources Amazon may be set to release its long rumored set top box in March.  There are few verifiable details to report on concerning the announcement. There has also been no official statement from Amazon. While there are no details as to the possible features of the device The Streaming Advisor published a speculative story in October 2013 on a possible Amazon set top box. To see our take click here.

The Streaming Advisor will continue to monitor this story.