Miso is shutting down

Miso

One of the pioneers of the social tv segment is shutting down its services. Miso was acquired in February 2013 bij NextGuide.TV maker Dijit. At the time a lot was happening in the space of social tv with GetGlue, now tvtag, almost getting bought by Viggle, the hype around second screen and rumours of Twitter moving into the tv space in some way.

With the closing of Miso, tvtag (owned by i.TV) seems to be the only serious alternative for people who really want to check-in what they are watching and share this with friends. The latter feature is still used but these days but tvtag sees itself now as an aggregator of user content around tv shows and a curator of tv content.

Miso users can transfer their points to Viggle, the current owner of Dijit,although this will only work for US users as Viggle is not available in other countries.

SlingPlayer is now available on Chromecast

SlingPlayer

TV-on-the-go company Sling announced an updated version of their SlingPlayer app to support Chromecast. With the latest version one will now be able to watch live TV and recorded content on the Slingbox on any TV with Chromecast as long as it is in the same network.

The new app is available for IOS and Android smartphones, Android tablets will follow later. As for hardware, a Slingbox 350 or 500 or the newer SlingTV or Slingbox M1 devices is needed.

Although this sounds very interesting at first glance, one cannot help wandering what problem this solves for as one the mobile device and the Slingbox need to be on the same network and live television is usually already available on… the television. As is the recorded content on a slingbox. So the most interesting development here might be a cheap and easy way to connect multiple television sets to the Slingbox using Chromecast.

Sony to sign a deal with Viacom for its cloud-based TV service

Sony strikes deal with Viacom

Sony announced the service early this year at the CES promising a combination of live television, on demand and DVR. But no cloud without good content and good content is rather difficult to obtain. So where others have failed (Intel, Google) or are still working on it (no news about the Apple TV yesterday), Sony seems to have found a way to do business by striking a deal with Viacom. Sony will be allowed to distribute 22 of the Viacom channels over the internet, including popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon.

Although it looks like a breakthrough, the only new thing here is the ability to access traditional lineair channels over IP and therefore on other devices than the TV set and the (technical) possibility to sell contracts anywhere in the world. However, it still will be (mostly) linear TV and Sony might encounter problems in countries where these Viacom channels are already being distributed by traditional cable companies.

Furthermore, one of the biggest reasons Netflix is so extremely popular has to do with the fact that they provide on demand content only. Somehow people seem to like this, so it has to be seen if the new Sony service is something that will attract the coach potatoes attention.

It is finally here, the Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV

The long rumoured Amazon streaming media box has finally arrived. Meet Amazon Fire TV. The Fire TV is a small, black box that runs on a special operating system, has 2GB ram and a quad core processor.

The box connects through wifi and has a small remote control that also has a small microphone to enable voice search

Content comes from its own Amazon Instant Video library as well as from a large number of partners like Netflix, HBO GO, SHO Anytime, Hulu and ESPN.

But it is not all streaming video that one can watch on the Fire TV. Amazon added a photo app, there are several music services like Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and Amazon is promising to grant access to thousands of games as of next month.

The media box costs only USD 99 and is already for sale at… Amazon.com

Finally you can watch LOVEfilm on your iPhone now

LOVEfilm

Whereas most services are available on the iPhone first, Amazon’s LOVEfilm took its time producing an app for the popular smartphone. Until now. Next to the obvious Kindle platform (also Amazon) and the iPad there is a LOVEfilm Instant app for iPhone and iPod allowing streaming video and TV on demand.
The app also brings AirPlay and IMDB integration.

Endemol is investing EUR 30 million in premium internet video channels

Endemol Beyond

Famous television production company Endemol is expanding its business into online video with a serieus investment of EUR 30 million. With this investment, it will create a series of premium channels within main video portals like YouTube,Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Dailymotion.

The new venture is called Endemol Beyond and aims to accelerate current online video productions in countries like the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain but Endemol Beyond will also invest in original productions and work together with brands to create new channels.

Currently, Endomol has already launched over 100 YouTube partnering with global brands like YouTube, Yahoo, McDonalds, Sony Music and Mazda.

TiVo out-of-home streaming is now is available

TiVo Roamio

TiVo has begun the roll-out of their out-of-home streaming services. From now on, owners of a Roamio Pro or a Roamio Plus DVR can stream live TV and recorded content over Wi-Fi to iOS devices (5.1 and higher) at no extra costs. Support for streaming over 4G/LTE and to Android devices is scheduled for 2014. Also dowloading content to a mobile device for later viewing will be possible.
Note that streaming to a mobile device is limited to one device at the time and that there are still shows that are not allowed to be streamed or downloaded to a mobile device. Visit www.tivo.com for more details.

TiVo will start pushing the new app with the streaming functionality as of today.

“Google TV will be Android TV”

Android TV

According to GigaOm, Google is thinking about rebranding Google TV into Android TV. Apart from the name change, no new services or products are about to be released under this new brand so this would be more a cosmetic kind of a change. In a way, it makes sense that Google is naming it Android TV as the current devices are running on Android and Android is a well known brand of its own these days and the brand Google is still more associated with search then with an operating system. However, Google is also pushing the Chrome brand beyond the browser with products like Chromecast, a television HDMI dongle. So if Google would change the name of Google TV, why not call it Chrome TV? Or will they change the name of Chromecast into Androidcast as well?

Tight integration with Comcast turns Twitter into a TV remote control

Twitter NBC

We have known for sometime that Twitter is taking TV very seriously as users are already using Twitter heavily during linear programs and advertisers and networks are looking for ways too tap in these massive twitter streams. Today Twitter announced a deal with Comcast promising a tight integration that will go beyond chatting.

During shows like The Voice, Twitter users will see a “See it” button in NBCUniversal tweets about this show. Clicking on the button will open a Twitter card and, if you are already a Comcast pay TV subscriber (Xfinity), even give you the opportunity to watch or record the show directly from your set top-box, computer of mobile device making it a almost some sort of social remote control.

Not clear yet is if tweets from ordinary users talking about a show will contain the “See it” button as well. That might create even a bigger impact.

If this is a success, other networks might join and making watching TV a new experience. Especially if not only networks, but also VOD and Streaming Services like Netflix are included. One other thing that would be great is a sharing option that allows a Twitter user to invite another Twitter user to watch the show via a tweet.

Google Chromecast now available for international shipping… thanks to Amazon

Google Chromecast

Although Amazon competes with Google in the streaming media space, the technology giant is also still shipping a lot products. Like Chromecast. The nicely priced HDMI dongle allowing to stream video directly to your TV whilst using your mobile device as the remote was an instant hit and got sold out almost immediately. And it was only officially available in the United States. Until now. According to Android Central Amazon is allowing international shipping. At least orders for Australia and the UK were accepted. Let us know if orders from other countries were possible as well.