Watch live events from Livestream now on your big screen with Roku

Livestream

Sometimes an event is too expensive, too far away or one just does not have enough time to go there. In that case it is nice to watch the live stream of an event. Some events stream their event themselves, some companies already work with the Livestream to broadcast their event. Until now, it was possible to watch the live stream via internet but now there it is also possible to watch it on the big screen. That might create a better experience and also solves the problem of working on the same computer as the live stream.

In order to watch the events, the only thing needed is an app on the Roku media player.

Both companies could benefit from this and there will probably more platforms that will try to integrate live streams as the difference between various sorts of streaming content are rapidly disappearing and a lot of live events (presentations, red carpet events, talks) are just as interesting as “normal” TV.

Roku 3 is here

Roku 3

Roku is introducing their brand new version called Roku 3 today. The new streaming media player is, according to the manufacturer, 5 times faster than its predecessor and comes with a brand new interface and a remote with built-in head phone jack.

On the content side, Roku brings a lot of entertainment to the living room. Over 150,000 movies and shows can be streamed in a quality up to 1080p HD. It offers access to Hulu Plus, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, HBO GO, Blockbuster on demand and EPIX.

The Roku 3 is available for USD 99 through the website of Roku. Amazon and some other online retailers. With that price, it will prove a serious competitor to Apple TV.

See for a demo the video below

IGN opens a channel on Roku, more gaming to come?

IGN Entertainment

IGN Entertainment (formerly known as Imagine Games Network) is the home for many gamers. It’s an entertainment portal with lot’s of news, reviews and trailers of games on popular platforms like Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC and 3DS. But it’s not only about games, there is also a lot of information about films and series, mostly sci-fi, fantasy, action etc.

Today they announced to have their on channel on Roku. This seems not such a big news event, but come to think of it, Xbox started of as a gaming platform and is trying to become an entertainment hub with streaming video as an important part. Just like Roku. And although the most recent rumours about Apple releasing a SDK for Apple TV next month proved to be (again) just a rumour, Apple is expected to release it at some point. Maybe sooner than later, and when that happens, game developers will be among the first to develop for the new platform. And eventually kill competing platforms like Xbox 360, Playstation and Wii U. Or as former Xbox creator Nat Brown states it at his blog:

“Apple is already a games competitor broadly, even if Apple-TV isn’t yet a game platform or a console. Mobile generally and iPad specifically have grown the total hours of game play and grown the overall game market. Only in the last 18-24mo has that overall growth turned from a segment-expanding rising tide to a tsunami swamping the console game vendor profit boats hitched to the docks. It is accelerating. Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV. I already make a lot of money on iOS – I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I’ll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money. ”

So maybe this channel is a first step for Roku to do more with games. Clearly games and films are growing closer with all the films and series based on computer games and vice versa. And gamers are always looking for new and better ways to enjoy games and their favorite content. Bringing games to a set-top box or media player seems like the inevitable thing to do.

 

Apple TV, the latest rumours and developments.

Apple TV

The game is on. With big competitors like Microsoft (the new Xbox 720 is supposed to be coming soon and a Windows 8 based ecosystem), Amazon (Kindle, Amazon Prime Instant Video but also golden oldy IMDB), Google (Google TV, Android) and since yesterday even Intel but also the smaller ones like Netflix, Dijit and Roku, Apple must feel the pressure building up. And clearly CEO Tim Cook could use a success of his own. This could be the iWatch, it could be Apple iTV or even both. Whilst the continuous stream of rumours seem to indicate that something is bound to happen, it is time to sum up the most recent stories.

Techcrunch writes about an analyst note suggesting that an event around Apple TV will be organised in March. At this event, an offical SDK (Software Development Kit) is to be introduced. The quoted analyst Peter Misek also suggest the introduction of an Apple Television set somewhere in September or October.
If there is going to be a real television, this could be based on technology from Loewe. Stocks of the German hardware manufacturer jumped initially more than 40% on the rumour that Apple is about to launch a bid of 4 euro per share for the troubled company. Obviously all parties decline comment or simply deny but that is part of the game. Interesting to know also, is that Apple allegedly invested heavily in supplier Sharp last year in order to secure continued supply of displays for their telephones. But Sharp also builds televisions and owns 28% of the stocks of Loewe.

The big issue in the end however, will probably not whether or not Apple can build a television. The success of adding a TV set to the ecosystem will probably depend on content. MIT Technology Review wrote a good read on the Apple TV and, amongst others, also stresses this point. Where the music industry had not much choice working together with Apple and allowing them to sell songs instead of albums, the producers of films and series are in a completely different positions. And so far they are exploring new ways to distribute content to the livingroom whereas the only thing the music industry did was taking legal action in an effort to stop progress. Getting the major media companies on board and / or buying libraries and / or creating their own content (like Netflix and Amazon are doing) will be key to the success of any kind of Apple TV or iTV.

 

New Roku in the making?

Roku

According to Engdaget, the arrival of the new Roku is imminent. Details from FCC databases suggest a new series called 4200x is going to hit the market. Not much detail was found apart from smaller dimensions and Dual Band Wifi (2 and 5 Ghz). Hopefully there will me more news or even a launch in the coming weeks.

New Apple TV not that new after all, HBO Go coming?

Apple TV

There were some rumours the last few days about a brand new Apple TV coming to the market. Based on a FCC-filing, Engadget thought there was a new version in the making with new hardware in just a few millimeters smaller box. After some good research from TheNextWeb, it turned out to be just a small hardware resfresh.

“We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval” an Apple spokesperson told TNW. “The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.”

So nothing new as far as hardware concerned. However a new and interesting rumour about HBO Go emerged. According to Bloomberg, HBO Go will be available on Apple TV sometime this year. Adding HBO Go to the current parnerships with Netflix and Hulu Plus might put them a little bit more in the game with Microsoft XBOX 360, Roku and other set-top box suppliers.

Still, nobody really knows what Apple will do with TV. Apple TV so far is not the groundbreaking revolution for TV as the iPhone was for the smartphone market. And adding a few media partnership or adding a few content libraries will not change that. On the other hand, Apple sold 2 million boxes last quarter. Without much effort. People like it, it’s easy to use and it fits perfectly into the ecosystem. So maybe not a revolution after all.