Monthly Archives: June 2015

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Is there a new Fire TV model on the way? The Amazon Fire TV box and dongle are big sellers for the retail and video company but with the recent announcement of an Android 5.0 or “lollypop” update coming for Amazon devices we wonder if there will be a new Fire TV model on once the update is ready. Amazon has given no indication that one is on the way but the topic came up on a recent episode of The Cord Cutting Show, a weekly podcast focussed on cord cutting and streaming prompting the question what could be added to an already powerful and popular device family. Long before the Fire TV launched or was even more than a flicker of a rumor the Streaming Advisor speculated on what an Amazon device could look like. We were spot on a number of features. See our after the fact comparison here. Today we project new Fire TV model features to hope for.

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June 30
1) Under the Dome season 3

July 1
2) Downton Abbey season 5
3) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
4) Drive Me Crazy
5) The Day the Earth Stood Still
6) Thumbelina
7) Bulworth
8) Heidi
9) Wayne’s World 2
10) 48 HRS.
11) The Bad News Bears
12) The Brady Bunch Movie
13) The Butcher’s Wife
14) Cadillac Radio
15) Dirty Dancing
16) Dragonslayer
17) Flashdance
18) Friends and Lovers
19) Harlem Nights
20) Heaven Can Wait
21) King Kong
22) The Odd Couple
23) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
24) Stuart Saves His Family
25) UHF
26) The Warriors

July 2
27) Annedroids season 2
28) Glory
29) Underworld Evolution
July 3
30) Dr. Strangelove
31) Gandhi

July 5
32) Extant season 2

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The Latest addition of the Cord cutter show is available. The podcast featuring myself “The Streaming Advisor” Elias from AFTV News and Luke from Cord Cutters News covers major news developments concerning the streaming and cord cutting communities from a number of great sources. This week we discuss

Check out the podcast in any of these formats
via:
iTunes
RSS feed
YouTube
MP3 directly

This weeks topics

The Cord Cutting Show Episode #11 Showtime comes to Hulu, Netflix Added to More Hotels, Amazon Adds HDR, And Much More

Episode #11 of The Cord Cutting Show is now online! AFTVnews, CordCuttersNews, and TheStreamingAdvisor have teamed up to bring you a weekly podcast about cord cutting.You can find us on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cordcutterss-podcast/id986117164Or you can subscribe with our RSS feed here: http://cordcutters.libsyn.com/rssToday’s Hosts:

Luke: CordCuttersNews.com

Elias: AFTVNews.com

Ryan: TheStreamingAdvisor.com

 

Today’s Stories:

NBA Offering A la carte Packages for League Passhttp://thestreamingadvisor.com/2015/06/22/nba-a-la-carte-personalize-your-nba-streaming/

Showtime standalone service to be available on Hulu. http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/hulu-showtime-ott-1201526103/

Netflix is being added to TVs at 10 major hotel chains. http://cordcuttersnews.com/netflix-is-being-added-to-tvs-at-10-major-hotel-chains/

Amazon becomes first video service to offer HDR content

http://www.aftvnews.com/amazon-becomes-first-video-service-to-offer-hdr-content/

Amazon to ‘double down’ on its Prime Instant Video investment http://www.techradar.com/us/news/television/amazon-to-double-down-on-its-prime-instant-video-investment-1297459

Digitalsmiths: Over 32% of cable subs are ‘on the fence’ about cord-cutting http://www.fierceonlinevideo.com/story/digitalsmiths-over-32-cable-subs-are-fence-about-cord-cutting/2015-06-17
Developer Preview announced for Android 5.0 Lollipop Based Fire TV OS 5 http://www.aftvnews.com/developer-preview-announced-for-android-5-0-lollipop-based-fire-os-5/

82% of Viewers Want A La Carte Pay TV Options: Digitalsmiths http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/News/Online-Video-News/82-of-Viewers-Want-A-La-Carte-Pay-TV-Options-Digitalsmiths-104639.aspx

 

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After previewing its Seinfeld library Hulu launched the show about nothing making it available in all its yada yada yada. The ensemble comedy dominated and nearly defined the 90’s television scene coining catchphrases a earning a number of awards. Hulu is said to have spent an average of 1 million dollars per episode on the series so it had better pay off. This has been a big week for Hulu as it also announced a major partnership with Showtime. The service trails Netflix and Amazon substantially as far as subscriber numbers but may well be positioning itself for a big 2015.

For a Video Review of the Mohu Channels click here. The sales of antennas and set-top boxes have been growing as cord cutting becomes more popular. People are finding that a lot of their favorite programming is available via the main national networks that most people call “local channels”. Along with antennas cord cutters often purchase set-top boxes like the Roku family of products in order to take advantage of web based video services like Netflix and Hulu. The Mohu

The Mohu Channels combines multiple media sources in one place.
The Mohu Channels combines multiple media sources in one place.

Channels is a device that can be attached to a coaxial antenna to provide access to an OTA TV program guide that includes channels from an antenna and provide a platform from which to access Android video apps and even linked web pages. We had a chance to take a look at the Mohu channels recently. Here is the rundown.

Remote
The remote for the Mohu channels is very well designed to handle all of the actions that the device has to perform. It has a full QWERTY keyboard with the ability to insert symbols @,& etc.

The Mohu channels remote is a full keyboard and air mouse.
The Mohu channels remote is a full keyboard and air mouse.

It is lighted which is incredibly convenient for use with the lights off, features directional buttons and of course numbers. The use of the remote completely eliminates the need for the on screen keyboard typically found on set-top boxes and dongles that utilize an Android tablet based interface. The remote runs on 4 AAA batteries and pairs easily with the device without the use of an external dongle. It also has basic buttons that assist in navigation like a guide button to return to the home screen, back and page up and down. The most important feature on the remote by far though is that it is also an Airmouse. An Airmouse is a wireless controller for computers and TV connected devices that allows one to interact with a TV connected device using a cursor in the same way one would with a traditional computer mouse to navigate Windows or Mac OS. A very common example of this sort of thing was the wand remote for the Nintendo Wii. The remote performed all of its tasks quite well from browsing the Internet, Navigating apps and of course the basic interface itself. I found it responsive and appreciated the option that allows one to turn the actual cursor on and off. Overall it is one of my favorite included remotes that I have used with a set top box.

App Support
Apps for the Mohu Channels come from the Google Play Store. This means that there are thousands of potential apps. Of course the important apps to a Channels owner are going to be the video apps. With that said the Channels can be loaded with all of the most popular Android

The Google Play store provides users with a huge selection of apps.
The Google Play store provides users with a huge selection of apps.

based video apps like Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and anything else on the Google Play store for that matter. Because the device also has a Google browser users can choose to download android apps from other sources too by simply going to the website and getting them. Where the device struggles on this front is that because the channels is based on a tablet-centric system the apps available for the device are meant to be controlled as though the user were touching them. That is where the air mouse is needed. If an app has a touch based interface users can use the cursor and select button on the remote to glide through the apps and select their programming. The Google Play store has tons of great video apps and movies so users are limited only by their imagination when it comes to content.

Interface
The Interface for the Mohu Channels is similar to what you would find using a digital cable guide. The home screen is based on a grid featuring the users installed TV channels, apps and web pages. Other features like settings are accessed at the top of the screen and feature brightly colored tiles almost reminiscent of Windows 8.1. Users navigate through a listing of their TV channels along with program information using directional buttons in a pretty straight forward

The main interface for the Mohu Channels is a simple program grid.
The main interface for the Mohu Channels is a simple program grid.

manner. Users can choose to delete channels and apps or move their placement depending on how they choose to use them. This means if you happen to want to access Netflix and ABC most often the can be at the top of the guide for easy access.

Performance
The device is a bit underpowered compared to a number of the other options in its class. It features single band Wi-Fi which gets the job done while in apps but can get bogged down when apps are downloading from the play store or from websites. I found that I would sometimes have to switch to its ethernet supported option in order to complete such tasks. For users who are not able to plug their device into a router via a network cable this might be troublesome. I would not have a lot of trouble believing that the internet issues were related to the uneven performance of my ISP,

The Mohu channels provides metadata for live TV and displays the OTA signal strength.
The Mohu channels provides metadata for live TV and displays the OTA signal strength.

Time Warner Cable. In general it was powerful enough to zip in and out of the interface with no noticeable lag time nor was there any trouble booting, rebooting and loading firmware. As a partner to an antenna it performs admirably by setting up an accurate program guide for all of the compatible channels. How well a channel is displayed is of course up to the strength of the signal compared to the type of antenna one is using. The device though does provide info as to what level of signal each channel is providing to the unit.

Third Party App Support
It appears that the Mohu channels can support Android apps not included in the Google Play Store. And with the option of adding apps via the browser it is not difficult to find them. Like other Android devices the Channels can support Kodi. This is a good app to have in place because the addons for Kodi are based on a TV interface. For a number of reasons I prefer using YouTube on Kodi to navigating a tablet based app. By adding Kodi users have a simple way to add new functionality to the Channels as well as access video stored on networked hard drives.

Setup

The Mohu channels is easy to set up and the device even provides a diagram during setup to help.
The Mohu channels is easy to set up and the device even provides a diagram during setup to help.

Setting up the Channels is simple. The device has a setup wizard of sorts that walks the user through the process of choosing a time zone, scanning for TV channels as well as a walk through to help users pair a compatible remote to the device if they would rather use something besides the included remote. There is also a slide show of sorts that details how the remote works, button mapping and an explanation of the Interface. Before the setup is complete users will have loaded TV channels, chosen their internet connection and time settings. It takes about ten minutes max depending on how many TV channels your antenna can pull in.

Compatible Antennas
The Leaf is compatible with any Antenna that has a coaxial connector. Mohu offers packages

The Mohu channels is compatible with any antenna with a coaxial cable.
The Mohu channels is compatible with any antenna with a coaxial cable.

featuring their own antennas including their lower end Mohu Leaf 30 and the high end Mohu Sky 60. Users should base the antenna they connect to their TV’s based on the distance from the broadcast towers they wish to reach. We suggest using the website http://www.antennaweb.org/#. There users can take a look at the channels available in their area

and see what they should be capable of receiving. Mohu also has a helpful tool on their website that will let users type in their zipcode to find out what kind of channel lineup to expect from their own products complete with channel listings. At its hear Mohu is still an antenna company and will likely be releasing more powerful and stylized models.

Full Specs

Device Size and Weight

  • Shape: Elliptical

    Mohu Channels device
    The Mohu Channels provides android apps and a great live TV interface.
  • Height: 1.4 inches
  • Width: 2.6 inches
  • Depth: 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 3.52 ounces (100 grams)

Processor

  • ARM DUAL-CORE CORTEX-A9 (1.5 GHz)

Remote Controller

  • Customized design
  • Integrated RF and IR (enables sync with TV remote) capability
  • Motion control QWERTY keyboard
  • Back lit buttons

Ports and Interfaces

  • RF jack
  • HDMI
  • 10/100 BASE – T Ethernet
  • USB Type A receptacle
  • Power supply input (5 volt)

Wireless

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)

Power Supply

  • 5 volt @ 2.5 amps

System Power

  • 6 watts

System Requirements

  • HDTV antenna (included)
  • Coaxial RF cable (included)
  • HDMI cable (included)
  • Power supply (included)
  • High-definition TV with HDMI and capable of 1080P @ 60Hz (not included)
  • OTT/application subscriptions required for streaming paid content
  • Optional Local-Area Network (LAN) with Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) wireless or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network.

Environmental Requirements

  • Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
  • Storage temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing

Video Formats

  • ATSC MPEG-2
  • Multiple language and multiple format sub-title video support
  • Supports multiple video formats for playback

Audio Formats

  • MediaCPU with DSP audio processing
  • Supports MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC, Ogg

TV Compatibility

  • Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI and capable of 1080p including popular brands including: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, and Westinghouse.

Accessories

  • HDMI cable
  • Power supply
  • Remote control

 

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Available July 1:
Alive (1993)
An Honest Liar (2014)
Bad Hair Day (2015)
Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (2009)
Bulworth (1998)
Dave Attell: Road Work (2014)
Death in Paradise: Season Three (2014)
Grandma’s Boy (2006)
Hostage (2005)
Invizimals: The Alliance Files (2014)
La Reina del Sur (2011)
Octonauts: Season Three (2013)
Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
El Señor de los Cielos: Seasons One-Two (2013-2014)
Saw V (2008)
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
Set Fire to the Stars (2014)
Shooting Fish (1997)
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
Velvet: Season Two (2014)

Available July 3:
Knights of Sidonia: Season Two (2015) *Netflix Original

Available July 4:
Faults (2014)
Hell on Wheels: Season Four (2014)
White Collar: Season Six (2014)

Available July 7:
Monster High: Scaris, City of Frights (2013)
Witches of East End: Season Two (2014)

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A la carte tennis channel “Tennis Channel Plus” saw huge growth during its first year of existence including a major surge in usage during the French open which featured 260+ hours of coverage, 140+ live matches and encore replays, and 120+ hours of nightly primetime show French Open Tonight. The service which costs a one time fee of $79.99 per year or a more flexible $11.99 per month allows users to watch expanded coverage of major events throughout the year. While not a full replacement for the actual tennis channel it provides a great option for tennis fans who choose to drop cable as well as die hards who just can’t get enough net action. According to a press release 25% of subscribers use the online service once daily. Of those users 50% stream from their computers, 25% used tablets, 15% via media streamers (Apple TV and Roku) as well as 10% on mobile phones. 

To see the full original release click here

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Move could be aimed at Netflix and Sling TV

Showtime, which will soon be available as stand-alone option on Apple devices, Roku players, Roku TV, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue, will also be available as a premium addon for Hulu customers. Starting in July Hulu’s pay service which costs $7.99 will offer an additional slate of programming from Showtime (for the additional cost of $8.99 per month) featuring its full catalogue of shows as well as sports content, documentaries and movies. Watching Showtime and Hulu team up to provide premium content reminds us of another new service.

Is Jurassic World to scary for the kids? Its to scary for mine. Never fear, Google is giving away a free copy of Night at the Museum. The giveaway adds the title to an existing Google Play account and not surprisingly the company also encourages you to purchase copies of the other titles in the family friendly trilogy. This can be a nice cure for the summer heatwave that is sweeping parts of the country.